With five active hunts, Olympic caliber trainers, some of the best equine vets in the country and all the assets any breeder, trainer or hobbyist could ask for, this is natural horse country. It’s no wonder that the Charlottesville countryside is well known throughout the world as one of the finest places to raise horses. The fertile fields and healthy climate have been home to generations of fat ponies and Derby winners. That said, all land is not equal when it comes to keeping horses.
It is possible to find land in the Charlottesville area that is absolutely perfect for horses. It would consist of a nice deep soil with few if any rocks. It would be gently rolling and well drained and it would already be in good grass, your horse’s favorite food. This is horse country and a horse can thrive here and live entirely off the land for most of the year. It’s not all horse country, though, so you need to do your homework.
Up close to the mountains the pasture will be rockier and harder on your horse’s feet. That beautiful flat bottomland along the creek looks great when dry but will often be a wet soil that can be unhealthy for hooves. Clearing woodland to make pasture can be done but it takes years to build up the grass to compare with established pasture.
If you want to breed horses you’ll want to look at the type of grass growing in your fields. The fescue grass found in much of this area needs to managed if broodmares are grazing on it.
As a Central Virginia country property expert, and a horse owner for many years, I have found that selecting a place that is already fenced and has existing stabling is usually the best buy. Fnding a place that allows riding off the property can be a huge benefit in how you can enjoy your horses without trailering.
Feel free to contact me directly with additional questions, and look forward to next week when we talk location!