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Waahhhh! Have just viewed the perfect paddock for sale...

18 replies

LittleHorseShoes · 28/04/2015 12:58

A paddock has come up for sale just 8 mins drive from home, 6.5 acres - completely flat, direct access to 2 long bridle ways, plus the neighbouring paddocks have a school which can be hired for lessons etc.
I'm so excited, I feel sick and scared. I don't even know if I can raise the money OIEO £90,000 but I want it sooooo much!!!!

I currently keep my ponies at livery on a farm which costs in the region of £300 pcm and is pretty laid back, owner is a good friend who will cover for me if I'm away or ill, it's just 3 mins drive (or 15 min walk) away and I don't have to think about muck heap removal or hay or paddock management as its all done for me.

Am I being silly to even be thinking about buying the paddock?? Is owning your own place really all it's cracked up to be or is it loads of stress and bother?? I'm torn between feeling worried getting into debt to fund the purchase and feeling ridiculously excited about having my own land, which is surely a good investment?!!! Land round here (wilts) is very hard to come by and not likely to lose value any time soon.
So many thoughts whizzing round my head.
Somebody tell me what to do!! Please!!!!

OP posts:
catguilt · 28/04/2015 15:00

Owning your own paddock is lots of work particularly in the winter, harrowing rolling etc in the spring. What soil is it?

Fwiw I own our paddocks and your current livery setup sounds fab to me Smile

Butkin · 28/04/2015 19:50

Sure you are considering all these points but..

Will you top, fertilise, trim the hedges, fix the post and rail etc yourself or do you need to get quotes for a local farmer (we do the latter!).

Do you currently have to poo pick? You will on your own land.

Where are these fields in relation to your stabling? You'll still need to bring them in for the vet, farrier, really bad weather etc.

How many horses do you plan to put on this amount of land. We have a couple more areas than this and it's two fields split by a hedge yet we couldn't have more than 4 ponies on it and that is with 2 ponies on show livery in the summer and using electric tape to strip graze.

We currently rent our land and stables and would like to own but only if attached to a future house.

LittleHorseShoes · 29/04/2015 10:33

Thanks for your replies :)

I know I would have to do a lot more than I do now, but that is part of the draw really. DD4 will be starting school in September so
I will have freedom during the day to do as I please for the first time in 13 years woo hoo! We have 2 ponies and my older daughter has a 15.1 Connie that she keeps at school during term time but would come home
for the hols (and maybe permanently once we were well
set up - not an option where we are at the moment as there is no more room).
I don't ride, but have 4 daughters who do and we go to lessons, pony club, local shows & comps etc. With the current situation we have to box to lessons once a week (10 mins drive) as there are no schools near us. It would be so awesome to have a school literally 1 minutes walk away we could use for lessons and in the winter.

Although it is lovely and laid back on the farm, sometimes it is a bit too laid back - I pay for my friend to turn the ponies out in the morning or give them hay if they can't go out but if she is busy, they are always bottom of her list and there are times I have been over at 11am/midday and they are still in with no hay and clearly not been given any since I fed them the night before. We are only allowed to ride in the field (where the jumps are) if it's dry (fair enough) but usually all the other horses are out or there are also cows in the field, so can't even do it then which does get frustrating as hacking is pretty much just one of a choice of two loops round the village and gets a bit dull!

The more I have been thinking about it, the more having our own place appeals, especially with all the off-road hacking available...

OP posts:
catguilt · 29/04/2015 10:35

yes if you have kids that ride a school is an absolute godsend

AuntieDee · 30/04/2015 11:18

It's a lot of work but it is absolute bliss! I'd never go back again. 6 acres will get trashed over winter if they are out 24/7 but it will recover if you treat the ground properly. 6 and a half acres is probably too little to take a cut of hay off but you could manage - maybe have a small paddock fenced off for the winter and apply for planning permission to have an all weather turnout laid a crafty way of getting a school laid. Farmers will normally cut haylage for you for half the cut which would cover you for the winter.

Things to think of

  • is there a water supply? It can be a pain to cart water in in containers
  • electricity? Winter and no lights can be an issue
  • what are the chances of getting any form of planning permission? You may want to put a field shelter or all weather turnout school at some point.
  • is the land actually Ok for horses? There have been cases of people buying agricultural land for horses and then being issued with notices to remove them as the land was strictly for agricultural not leisure use. You have to apply for planning for change of use.
  • if you put stabling up (and definitely if there is a school) you will be subject to business rates as the land isn't under the curtailment of a property. People have historically got away with it as the council don't know where all the stables are, but for new planning you'll get hit :(
  • what is the fencing like? It's a nightmare to pull out barbed fencing! I would never have it again after the number of rugs that get trashed, plus of course the risk of injury.
  • what trees are in the area? If there are sycamores in the field, or even two fields away you are risking sycamore poisoning when the shoots come through. And it is a nightmare to pull them all by hand
  • what is the weed situation like? You could be looking at £500 to get someone to spray 6 acres if you have docks, nettles and thistles. As for ragwort - it could become the bane of your life!
  • someone said about needing somewhere to bring in for farrier, vet, bad weather. I've managed perfectly without - it's nice to have but not essential. As long as you have a good doer they will be ok in winter with a couple of rugs :) even better still if the field has trees and hedges for shelter. We had an area that we covered with railway sleepers that was big enough to have them shod. Temporary flooring...

One thing I would advise though is make sure you do your fencing to incorporate a strip of electric wire at the top. If you do post and rail, either lose the top rail and replace with galvanised wire, or run it along the top using those little round insulators. Post and rail is a nightmare to maintain as soon as they start chewing or leaning over it. If you go for livestock fencing you can replace the top strand of barb with a strand of electric too. I'm speaking from the experience of trashed fences and loose horses due to doing fencing the 'traditional way'

As I said earlier I wouldn't go back. The only problem is it can be a little lonely but with 4 DC you won't have that issue :)
AuntieDee · 30/04/2015 11:32

Also think about where you are going to put your muck heap (assuming you are going to poo pick) It has to be 10m from any drainage ditches and 30m from any waterways. Also you are not allowed to put it on land that is likely to flood or become waterlogged. It has to be removed and every 12 months and the location moved every 2 years. Full logs must be kept of the sites (and updated within a week of the change occurring) and waste removal must be fully documented. Regs changed in April 2014 so make sure you are up to date.

AuntieDee · 30/04/2015 11:47

I've got mainly this sort of fencing

Waahhhh! Have just viewed the perfect paddock for sale...
AuntieDee · 30/04/2015 11:48

I also have some of this but I put my insulators vertically from the posts to make the fence that bit higher.

Waahhhh! Have just viewed the perfect paddock for sale...
AuntieDee · 30/04/2015 11:50

Then I divide up further like this. I used to use poly poles but they either snap, bend, or the horses run straight through the lot dragging the whole fence with them :(

Waahhhh! Have just viewed the perfect paddock for sale...
LittleHorseShoes · 30/04/2015 21:05

Thank you so much Auntie Dee, that is so helpful :). I never knew that about muck heaps - I had absolutely no idea there were regulations about them!!!
The 6.5 acres for sale is basically the bottom field of a pre-existing equestrian holding. The owners, who live in a house on site and have the school, are downsizing ==raising cash==and selling off this portion of the land. It is all post & rail and horses are currently grazing there. The owners have said they have local farmers who provide hay, & will do harrowing/topping/rolling etc and they will be happy to share this with whoever buys the field. There is water but no electric - I was thinking solar panels could be an option??
Good idea about the all weather turnout ==school== . I have one pony with Cushings who needs tlc and one of my many reasons ==justifications== for wanting my own place is to provide him a home for the rest of his life Smile

OP posts:
LittleHorseShoes · 30/04/2015 21:08

Ha ha completely failed at my first attempts at ironic strike through lol!

OP posts:
LittleHorseShoes · 30/04/2015 21:11

This is it!

Waahhhh! Have just viewed the perfect paddock for sale...
OP posts:
honeyroar · 30/04/2015 23:40

It looks lovely, but sounds very expensive!

Having them at your own place is wonderful, but not always cheaper, in fact quite the opposite sometimes. There is always something that needs doing, fixing etc.

How many ponies will you have on the six acres? Do you know what the soil type is? I have 16 acres of clay and it's hard work, I'd swop it for 5 acres of good draining soil! Is there a likelihood of getting planning for stables or shelters?

If you do buy it look for a good freelance groom who can cover holidays etc - that's the hardest part of having them on your own place.

britnay · 01/05/2015 07:42

Land is generally £10,000 per acre, so that sounds rather pricey to me.

BaldricksWife · 01/05/2015 10:57

I have done this. I have just over 5 acres and bought it as a parcel of land. I have water but no electric and use a 110v generator (portable) which runs a line of building style lantern lights- got local farmer to dig out an area which was put down to road planings and now have six stables and a small barn/storage.
Most land is agricultural and technically a horse should have planning permission to graze on there but to start enforcing it would be such a headache it that councils just tend to look the other way. I have also had all my gateways scraped out and hardstanding put down around this area and a good way into the field- this has made a huge difference as to how boggy it gets as the nags congregate on firm going when they start thinking about being brought in.
Other costs are muck heap removal, hedge trimming if you have them, and harrowing/rolling in the spring. My 5 acres/stables have been valued around 100k. It is the best thing I have ever done x

AuntieDee · 03/05/2015 10:22

BaldricksWife - they do enforce it :(

BaldricksWife · 05/05/2015 09:55

AuntieDee- when we had the council round about the permission for our stables he asked if the horses had planning to be in the fields, he looked very smug when asking too. I said no and if he wanted to turn my horses off the land I would expect to see the permission granted for every single horse on an agricultural plot of land within his area. Possibly the thought of all that hassle turned him green but when the stable planning went through we also changed land to Equestrian with no problems!

AuntieDee · 05/05/2015 11:14

Baldrickswife - you were lucky. There was someone who fought it and ended up paying the councils costs at court and still had to remove the horses :(

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