Colorado Horse Property, A Buyer’s Guide
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Buying Colorado horse property in is not difficult but it does take some care. As a horse owner and Realtor in El Paso County I can attest to the following suggestions that go for anyone looking to buy Colorado Horse Property in any county including El Paso. Mention this article and Turner Associates will provide a rebate to you upon closing should you become our client! Amount of rebate is dependent upon purchase price and exceeds the amount by the USAA mover’s advantage program. As you read this, please keep in mind the importance of hiring a realtor that know horses and horse properties, whether that ends up being Turner Associates or not. Note: We consider ourselves Horse Property Realtors.
The ideal Colorado horse property needs to be for you & your family first. We will make the assumption that you are new to the area or new to horse ownership so here are a few things that you should try to keep in mind when looking for horse property in El Paso County or any other county for that matter. We are horse real estate experts in El Paso County and that is why we are using that as an example. Whether you are just looking for a plot of Colorado Springs land OR a home on acreage complete with a barn, keep us in mind.
Nothing can get into trouble faster than a horse. So, try to remember that when you are looking for horse property. Think sharp branches sticking out from trees, old abandoned wells, T-post barbed wire fencing and so on. Barns may look great to the untrained eye but they almost always harbor things that can get a horse hurt and a visit from the vet. A weak fence line will draw a nosy pony like flies to honey. They WILL try to step over or around or go through it and just like that you have a horse tangled in wire. So, check your “ground” before you fall in love with the view.
In El Paso county hay will not be found on the ground unless you have a very large piece of property that has good water. Don’t plan on feeding your horse on the back yard. 2 horses will completely strip a 5 acre lot of any grass in one year and then you will spend the next 20 years trying to get your grass re-established while fighting weeds, you can also experience sand colic. Just budget to buy hay, both timothy and alfalfa are readily available. Both have protein up to 12% if you look for it. The best time to buy is in late August or early September. First cut is in July and is usually a little “stemmy”. 2nd and 3rd cuts are usually pretty good if you buy from a reputable dealer. Our horses have always loved alfalfa…think about a 2 year old after eating a box of candy. Your horse will get pretty hot on it. I think Timothy is better because it isn’t as hot and it takes the horse longer to run it through his digestive tract. That makes it especially nice feed in winter as It keeps them warmer.
The only thing your horse needs more than feed and a safe environment is water. Have fresh water available every day. EVERY day. Unless your horse is a mustang fresh of the high desert of Nevada don’t count on him to know how to eat snow and break the ice on a barrel. You are at the barn feeding anyway, so do it for him. In Colorado and specifically El Paso County, the water under your property does not belong to you. You get an El Paso County well permit to pull it from the ground and sometimes those permits do not allow you to water a horse…or even a lawn. These permits are especially tricky when buying existing homes. So again, make sure you get a Realtor that knows their stuff and understands the intricacies of Colorado horse properties in El Paso County.
I am going to get letters on this one: In Colorado Springs you do not need to shoe your horse, the ground here is soft and generally not rocky. Obviously, you will need to trim their feet but unless you are doing a lot of performance/ trail work or there is a “pedal problem” with your pony you can usually get by with trimming.
Get one. There are several around here who have lots of experience. They make their living keeping horses just like yours healthy and happy. Listen to them, It will save you money. Get the shots..all of them, and don’t forget to worm.
They live where they live, you live where you live
When your Realtor (hopefully Turner Associates) decides to show you some Colorado horse properties, give a thought to how many horses you want and whether or not you want to board for money. Most home owner associations have a restriction on the number of horses per home and further restrict commercial activities. Again, get an El Paso County Realtor that knows horses as well as property. If you are going to build then think about the environment. If it slopes don’t put your home below your corral…you get the picture. Fence them out of the driveway. Horses cannot eat everything and they definitely should not eat the local oak brush. They will eat if it they can get to it and in large quantities it is poisonous. If you have a garden they will go into it and eat every living thing and trample the ones they don’t eat.
Good strong fences are safe and do the job. Split rail is expensive but it does not rot and most of the time and it will stay up when your horse pushes on it. Hog wire catches hooves, barbed is brutal, electric works…some times. White PVC 3 rail is very pretty and works great. If you do not have a kid headed off to college you might want to look into it-it’s pricey. A 4-wire fence properly installed and gated will work just fine. They all need maintenance or you will find yourself out hunting your lost horse…usually in a snow storm. Additionally, fencing is generally a well noted item in home owner association covenants so be sure to check before spending a lot of time and money on a fence.
Anyone who has ever owned horses knows you don’t move someplace new and know everything. That is part of the charm. You and your horse learn together. Just use your common sense, ‘cause he doesn’t have any. Just like the houses in town, not all horse properties are alike. A good Realtor that knows horses and real estate brokerage is what you want to look for. They all don’t but those that do will take care of you. So when buying horse property in northern Colorado Springs keep these things in mind. You will be glad you did.
Thank you and sincerely,