Equestrian Ranch Operations: Tips for Landowners

March 09, 2023   |   Equestrian

Owning equestrian land offers unlimited potential to aspiring landowners and advantageous investors.

Horse farms have become an increasingly popular form of investment within Florida’s land market. This is partly due to the variety of land use practices that are available to equestrian landowners. Depending on what type of horse ranch you own, common practices can range from horse breeding to competitive training techniques. Two of the main types of operational horse ranches are: Working and Recreational.

Types of Horse Ranches

Working Horse Ranches

Working horse ranches include farms used for horse breeding and other areas of ranching. These types of ranches are typically closed off to the public at the landowner’s discretion. More recently however, there has been an increasing number of working ranches that have incorporated recreational activities such as training lessons and horseback riding to help generate additional revenue.

Recreational Horse Ranches

Also known as “dude ranches”, recreational horse ranches are oriented for the entertainment of visitors, tourists, and other equestrian enthusiasts. These types of ranches may contain riding trails, arenas, turnout pastures for horses, and even lodging facilities. Activities on recreational horse ranches include horse training, horseback riding, horse camps, competitive shows, and therapeutic services.

Important Characteristics to Look For

Owning a horse ranch can be one of the best experiences of your life, but buying a horse ranch is a large investment and should be carefully considered over strategic planning. Regardless of the type of horse ranch you decide to invest in, knowing what to look for when purchasing an equestrian ranch is essential for making a sound investment decision. The following characteristics will help determine whether a piece of property is worth your equestrian pursuit:

  1. Access – Look for horse ranches that have easy access to main roads. You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t have to drive through the neighbor’s property, or vice versa, to access the ranch.
  2. Acreage – Make sure there is an ample amount of land to house your horses. The more horses you have on your property, the larger the property should be.
  3. Water Source – Having a natural water source on or near the property is essential in providing your horses with a water supply. They should not have to travel far to find water.
  4. Flood Potential – Protect your assets by making sure to choose a property that is not in a flood zone.
  5. Dangers and Hazards – Familiarize yourself with the natural wildlife and vegetation of the area. This includes any predators and some even certain weeds that can pose a threat to your horses. You’ll want to enact a thorough inspection of the property’s active wildlife before committing.
  6. Adequate Shade – Ensure there is adequate shade available. With Florida’s year round high temperatures, your horses will be grateful for some shady spots to rest under.
  7. Fencing & Clear Boundaries – Purchasing a horse ranch with established, quality fencing will save you a lot of time and money. Fencing is also a great way to mark the boundaries of your property.

When purchasing equestrian, it’s important to spend time doing the necessary research to ensure you don’t encounter unforeseen problems later on. Our expert land advisors at SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler understand what it takes to run a horse ranch and contain a wealth of knowledge on the market surrounding. The brokerage has access to wide range horse farms for sale all over the Southeastern United States and can even offer advisory services about local equestrian communities. Our land advisors are also highly-experienced in locating the perfect property that fits the needs of both the buyer and the seller. Contact an advisor today to get started on your investment journey and understand your land management potential.