Have intimate knowledge of the land you are interested in
Land in general is not necessarily the most suited for horses — steep slopes, areas with thick trees that haven’t been taken down and muddy or marshy areas consisting of poorly draining soil are all not recommended for equestrian estates.
In Langley or South Surrey you won’t find too much of the slope issues however, steep slopes can commonly be found in Mapel Ridge and they put undue strain on delicate tendons and ligaments. Maple Ridge also has many thick forested properties and with sharp tree branches you can have issues with scratching unprotected eyes. Parts of Langley and South Surrey will have soupy soil can cause hoof walls to rot and weaken.
Very hard rocky soil or grounds can cause bruising to tender soles of the hooves and stress or even crack hoof walls. Farms with standing water can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes that can transmit potentially fatal equine diseases.
Before buying a horse property in Maple Ridge or Langley… Do your research! Make sure the property will have enough of a water source for equistrian needs. Did you know, the average horse drinks 5 to 10 gallons of water per day, so having a deep well with high yield will come in handy filling 150 gallon troughs.
Also, know where the “after effects” of all the grass, water and grain a horse eats is going to go. The average 1,000-pound horse gives off 37 pounds of manure and 2.4 gallons of urine a day.
If there isn’t a manure pile already in place, make sure there can be a place to put a manure pile will be that fits into local bylaw and zoning regulations.
Bank barns, pole barns or shed row?
Similar to how there are different kinds of homes, there are different kinds of barns. Instead of kitchen cabinet space your concern will be hay storage. Instead of the numbers of plates the cabinets can hold you’ll be concerned with the number of hay bales it can hold. Instead of the number of bedrooms you’ll be concerned with how many stalls are in there, and is there room for storage or equipment?
Also, keep in mind the pastures, are there structures for them? These structures are usually called run-in sheds for the horses to escape beating sun, driving rain or get out of winter winds. This is super important if there is no barn on the property, horses must have some form of shelter to protect them from extreme weather conditions.
The placement of the barn in relationship to the house:
If you are going to have the property for your own horses only, then the barn should be placed behind or after the house. If you are planning to have boarders, then the barn should be before the house in most cases. Why? In the first example, keeping you horses and barn/horse supplies safe from off street theft makes it harder for them to steal those items. They have to get by the house first. The second example, you don’t want the borders always coming to the house….they go to the barn.
Where should you keep your tack?
Horse people have a lot of equipment for the care and riding of their horses, and this all needs to be kept somewhere, usually called a tack room. This is where saddles, bridles, blankets, grooming supplies and more are kept.
It is not unusual for a saddle to be $2,000 – $4,000, as mentioned above, tack storage areas or anything else of value need to be secure from not only the possibility of theft but also the potential ravages of critters.
Mice leave behind droppings, make a mess and can chew through delicate stitching and weaken leather.
A tack room should be protected from extremes in temperature, which can also weaken and damage leather goods.
Many riders keep first aid supplies and medications in the barn, and all medications should be kept in temperature-controlled areas to prevent spoiling of the active ingredients.
Why is it important to have a feed room?
Just as I do, horses love to eat. Like me also..If it were up to the horses, they would likely eat all day, and most of the night as well. Their bodies and digestion tracks are designed to eat slowly throughout the day and not huge meals all at once. One of the most frightening scenes to find first thing in the morning is a horse that has somehow gotten into a feed room and gorged on grain. As humans, if we eat something that may have gone bad, or overeat and get a stomach ache, we may throw up and then feel better. Horses are not physically able to vomit. This can lead to an episode of colic, or severe stomach pain, and can be fatal. A horse-proof place to store grain is a must. Ideally, the storage should also be rodent proof, as well.
Fences keep things in and out
Fences need to be stable and durable. They also need to be checked on a regular basis for loose nails, cracked boards or loose posts. Three- and four-board wood fences are the most common types, with electric tape, vinyl and no-climb wire also being popular.
Barbed wire should never be used on an equestrian property in Langley Maple Ridge or South Surrey. Any horse owner will tell you this. There is no need for a graphic bloody explanation.
Ride out access in Maple Ridge, Langley, and South Surrey
This is one category that causes more problems for the listing agent than any of the others. Ride out is the term used by equestrians to denote if there are riding trails or areas off the property that are allowed for equestrian use. You can find many properties like this in both Campbell Valley Langley BC and as well in Silver Valley Maple Ridge around the Golden ears area or certain properties that run along the dykes in Northern Maple Ridge.
You may often see agents write in the Listing write up: “Kilo-meters of trails!” but unless there is a public park next door that allows equestrian use, this likely isn’t true and actually downright dangerous. With the increased liability and fear of lawsuits, fewer and fewer private landowners are allowing people to ride on their properties so you cant rely on riding through your neighbours land anymore and need to rely on your own or public area provided by the city or feds.
Make sure there is access for vets, farriers and trailers
Horses require a lot of people to keep them healthy. Farriers are people who trim horse feet and attach shoes and are usually done about every four to six weeks. Veterinarians usually come to the property about twice a year for checkups and vaccines, and many horses also get at least a once yearly visit from the equine dentist.
Having easy access to your barn and then have a place that is well-lit to safely work is a must and should be considered one of the top concerns for your tall furry members of the family. I can be said that somehow horses know the most inconvenient time to fall ill. Not only do all of these people need a place to work on your horse, they also need a place to park their truck where they have easy access to the tools of their trade in the pitch dark. Having a dirt path to the barn that turns into eight inches of shoe-sucking mud during the spring rainy season will make for a very cranky veterinarian if they get their vehicle stuck at your farm.
Also, if owners plan to have feed and hay delivered, those very large heavy trucks need a way to get into the property and to the place where they need to deliver. If they don’t think they can get to your property without getting stuck, they won’t deliver.
Farm equipment parking
No you aren’t running enough equipped to operate the Cloverdale Rodeo. But…you most definitely are going to need a place to park all of your farm equipment. Tractors, Horse trailers, mowers, manure spreaders, arena maintenance equipment, trucks and whatever else you have all need a place to live. Keeping machines covered or in some form of garage will make them last longer and work more reliably.
Have a summer and winter weather plan
If a huge snow fall is expected in the hills of Maple Ridge and the horses could very well be snowed in, then you will need a plan for how get to the feed and water to the barn or horses. If the barn is a lang distance from the house you will most certainly need heavy equipment to make sure they can get to their horses in a timely manner.
Ryan Taylor has grown up in Fraser Valley surrounded by horses, houses on acreages and farms. He in dept knowledge of the area and the inside information from the city and their OCP’s make him an invaluable resource for you purchase. Contact Ryan today for neighbourhood expertise and marketing professionalism which is unpaired. He would be happy to hear from you.