April 27, 2020

Buying a Horse Property Franklin TN

4 Things you should look for when buying a horse property in Nashville or Franklin Tennessee

Since moving to Franklin, TN  six years ago, I have learned quite a bit about being a horse owner.  I am not an equestrian expert, I am more of a semi-knowledgeable ranch hand.  Did you know grass has lots of sugar in it and if a horse eats too much grass they can get laminitis?  I didn’t until I moved here and now own two horses. 

My wife is the horse lover and like most horse lovers dreamed of having her horses in a big pasture being able to run free, rather than confined to a small stall in an equestrian boarding facility. Of course, like every good husband, my job was to make her dreams come true so in short order we landed in Leipers Fork, TN. the proud owners of a horse farm.
Here are the things I wish someone had told me when we began work on our horse farm in Nashville TN.

1) You really need a Dry Lot

This is probably the most important but a lot of people don’t even know what this is. I know I didn’t. A dry lot is an area that is usually fenced off and contains NO grass. Yep. You heard right. No grass.

But what about all those visions of my horses running free across green lush pastures? They can still be a reality, just limited to a certain number of hours a day. (Usually 5-10 hours in the spring/summer)

Why you ask? Well here in Tennessee we have very lush green grass …especially in the spring and fall. It is chock full of sugar.

This can cause horses to develop laminitis quickly or even founder. (It is equivalent to you eating Ben & Jerrys for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday…not great)

Also, in the rainy season a dry lot can save your pastures from becoming a muddy swamp and save your horses feet from developing thrush, seedy toe, white line and greasy heel.

We have a 50’x100’ dry lot off of our barn so our horses can be kept off the grass and still move around quite a bit. It is a lifesaver. You will hear me say all the time that it is the best money I ever spent on the farm.
It is very simple to put one in if the property you are looking at does not currently have one.
You simply lay down a layer of geo-textile landscaping fabric and then spread approximately 3” of quarter-down (which is also known as crusher rock in some parts of the country) There is a local quarry in Franklin or Fairview that can deliver it for you.

Build Horse Farm Nashville 

2) What kind of Barn do I need?

The thought of building a barn can be daunting, especially if you have fallen in love with a property that does not have a proper barn built yet. The thought of doing construction can be more than you really want deal with on top of moving.
But don’t despair. You can have a barn built on a budget and it doesn’t have to break the bank.
Here in Nashville there are a few Mennonite companies that will build a barn for you and deliver it. How cool is that? We choose Hilltop Structures in Cumberland Furnace to build our barn. It is a 3 stall barn with a tack shed and it took them about 6 weeks to build and deliver it.
All we had to do is create a level pad of quarter down (crusher rock) for them to place the barn on.

When they finished delivering it, we just had to lay mats down in the stalls and voila- a wonderful barn!

They also can design pretty cool run in sheds, chicken coops or other outbuildings for you. Feel free to go by their showroom and you can actually see their models before you choose.
We love our barn. It is cool in the summer and warm in the winter and the horses can come and go freely into their dry lots.

Build a barn Nashville

3) Good Fencing is Key

Of course this one goes without saying. Horse farms around Nashville usually have what we call 4 board black fencing. This is a great option and we are super happy with ours. If you have a Houdini horse and want even more security you can run a hot wire of electric fence along the top.

I personally would stay away from barbed wire or any wire fencing. Horses can get entangled in it if they kick out and cause a lot of damage to their legs. Super scary and not worth the worry or the vet bills. Start with solid fencing and save yourself a lot of time and money.

It is also a good idea to divide the pasture (cross fence) into 2 or three parts. This comes in handy if one of the fences is damaged or if you just want to rotate grazing.

Horse Property Leipers Fork

 4) Some Level Ground

The rolling hills of Middle Tennessee make for a beautiful landscape and pretty pictures, but they can prove challenging if you have horses. It is best to look for a property with some flat ground for your pastures. It doesn’t all have to be flat but it is best if you have at least one pasture that is flat-ish.
If the farm you are looking at as a possible dream home has mostly hills you may find it very hard during the wet & rainy season with your horses as they may struggle to find decent footing if there is no flat dry land in sight. It can become dangerous if all they have to move about on is a hill that quickly resembles a slip & slide after a week of rain.

There are plenty of opportunities to own a horse property in Franklin, TN. and the surrounding areas.  Anything from a mini-farm for a couple horses and a few other animals to a full fledged equestrian property with all the fixin’s.

 Horse properties in Nashville can come in many different forms.  As I mentioned previously, they can have all the fixin’s or a home with land that can be transformed into your dream horse property.

Horse properties will vary and may have everything you need or maybe just the land to be turned into your dream horse farm.  When we bought our property it had the land and a run-in shed....we figured out the rest and now my wife is living her dream of being a cowgirl, she doesn’t rustle cattle, but she is really happy when she’s with the horses. And you know what they say about Happy Wife, Happy Life.

 If you need help buying your dream Equestrian property or Horse Farm in Nashville or Franklin Tennessee, contact me or give me a call and I will be happy to help. (And save you a lot of time and energy figuring all this stuff out!)


Ryan Charlick
Ryan Charlick

Franklin TN Realtor | Call me to get started finding your dream home! | 714-345-1255

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