Confessions of a Timid Rider

Leveling Up the Equestrian Dream- Taking the Leap and Buying a Horse Property

Confession: my husband and I just bought a dream home in Vermont with 10 acres. You can bet I’m planning to bring my horses.

Since I was a little girl I dreamed of waking up to my horses grazing outside my window, their nickers greeting me for the day. It’s always been that, a dream.

I bought my first pony when I was 41. A little later in life but totally worth the wait. For years my husband has teased about one day perhaps having a little property in New Jersey. Somewhere close where we could have a few horses and the kid’s can stay in our school district. We’d start looking and then he’d change his mind or get nervous.

Truthfully, we live in the most congested state in the United States. Land is limited and quite expensive. My husband was born and raised in New Jersey. When he came to me in August and suggested we start looking for a vacation home in Vermont, I didn’t get excited. In fact, I didn’t get involved at all. He sent me a number of listings but I didn’t want to get my hopes up yet again. After a few weeks, I started to take him seriously and we put together a wish list. The overall theme was that we were not in a rush but wanted to check all the boxes.

Our dream home and property would include:

  • Cabin or small home with character.
  • Within 5 hour drive from our home.
  • Near ski resorts, mountain biking, and horse trails.
  • Be minimum of 10 acres.
  • Land that consisted of trees and land we could convert to paddocks.

Surprise, surprise when we casually received a notification of a new listing that seemingly checked our boxes. We contacted a local realtor and arranged a viewing for that week since we’d be in Upstate New York anyway. The house and property were everything we wanted and more, so we made an offer. I teased it a little bit (I got so excited I posted on IG when our offer was accepted, but took it down until we officially closed) and now it’s OFFICIAL!

We purchased this home for weekend getaways to ski and snowboard, bike, and of course bring up the horses! The goal is to build paddocks with shelters, a round pen, and a little arena so we can trailer the horses up with some friends and all go riding.

I’m super nervous to trailer horses up 5 hours and back, and ride them in a new place. That is a LOT of challenge for me. The good news is I’m all about planning and preparation. We’ll take the winter and spring to clear more area, fertilize, and mark the property where we think the paddocks will be best suited.

I’m starting to note what I would like my ideal set up to be, research, and plan. I’ve never run a barn or had one of my own but I’ve worked in quite a few! With Vermont winters in my future, I definitely want to invest in automatic waterers.

When my children go to college, this will be our “retirement home” and we will live here full time, with our vacation getaway back in NJ visiting friends and family. A reverse snowbird. I have years to clear more land, fence off areas, and generally create my perfect horse property.

Do you have any advice for me? Thank you, please drop your comments below!

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