What is an equestrian property? A guide for buyers

What is an equestrian property? A guide for buyers

Buying an equestrian property is not only a great option for somewhere to live, but a superb business opportunity, too.

But what is an equestrian property and what should you be looking for when viewing one to buy? We’ve got all the answers here…


What is an equestrian home?

Equestrian homes are properties that come with stables and other facilities for horses, including grazing land and riding trails.


What is equestrian land?

Equestrian land is any land where riding, rugging, teaching or homing horses takes place.

Equestrian land is a hugely important part of any equestrian property and adequate land for grazing, feeding and riding is key when keeping horses.


Are there restrictions on equestrian properties?

When buying an equestrian property, it’s important to understand the difference between equestrian land and agricultural land.

If horses are simply grazing, then it’s likely this land will be classed as agricultural, and no planning permission will be required.

However, if the land is used for the exercise of horses, permission is required from the local authority.


How do I buy an equestrian property?

Buying an equestrian property is a similar process to purchasing any other kind of home.


Start by establishing your budget

Buying an equestrian property can be expensive, so set yourself a realistic budget based on the amount of land and the type of property you want to buy.


Look online for good options

The best place to start your search for an equestrian property is online.

There are a number of agents dedicated to the sale on equestrian property, while the property portal OnTheMarket also lists equestrian properties for sale in the South West and across the UK.


What should I look for in an equestrian property?

Knowing what to look out for when searching for and viewing equestrian properties is key.

Equestrian property is in high demand but it’s also a huge investment, so it’s important you understand your needs and what you’re prepared to spend to secure your new home.

You should also consider:


1. Location

As a rule, equestrian properties are located in very rural settings.

And while this provides buyers with a tranquil, beautiful location to live in, it can also make access tricky.

When viewing equestrian properties to buy, take note of all the access points to the property and be certain there are good enough roads in and out for large vehicles and horse trailers.

Ideally, your equestrian property will be close enough to main A roads or a motorway that you don’t have to endure hours of driving on small country roads to reach riding events or shows.


2. Land

Land is arguably the most important part of any equestrian property.

As your horses will be spending so much time on the land that comes with the property, you need to be confident there’s enough of it and it’s of good enough quality.

You should aim to provide 1.5 acres of land for each horse you own, according to the British Horse Society, and you should be able to split the land to rotate grazing spots.

Free-draining soil is also a must-have as this reduces the risk of injuries to horses, so look for properties with chalk soils and avoid thick clay-based land.

You should also look for potential expansion opportunities, so avoid properties where the land is bordered by other properties or roads.


3. Water supply

Horses drink a lot of water.

So, any equestrian property should have a reliable and safe supply.

Look for modern plumbing and ensure the property’s water supply is close to stables and pastures.


4. Well-built outbuildings

Barns and stables are your horses’ home.

So, you should spend plenty of time exploring and assessing them when on a viewing.

Look for barns with well-constructed stables, running water and electricity, and ensure they face away from winds, are dry and well ventilated to minimise the risk of disease.


5. Good storage options

Horses also require a lot of kit and equipment.

So, an ideal equestrian property should also come with a tack room and additional outbuildings for storing hay, keeping feed and storing other riding equipment.


Can you get a mortgage on an equestrian property?

If you’re looking to buy an equestrian property to home your own horses and they’re being used for domestic pleasure, you may be able to secure a traditional residential mortgage to purchase it.

However, if your plan is to create a business or run an existing one, such as a riding school or livery yard, you may need a commercial property mortgage to fund your purchase.

The difference between a commercial mortgage and a residential mortgage is that commercial loans are calculated based on the returns generated by the business, rather than your income.

A specialist equestrian mortgage broker is the best port of call when exploring the options available to fund your equestrian property purchase.


Further reading…

Good quality outbuildings can be a great addition to agricultural and equestrian properties. Our guide explores exactly how much value they can add.

Land, too, can be a great investment – this guide explains everything you need to know about developing land.