Perhaps it's no surprise that the land that was once home to the original Rough Rider, Theodore Roosevelt, is home to hundreds of residential horse properties, and to the Long Island Riders, a cowboy mounted shooting team.
"It's a different lifestyle," says Sharyn Guzzi, who turned her equestrian hobby into a business when she founded Long Island Horse Properties Inc. in Smithtown 13 years ago. Guzzi, who has been in real estate for 25 years, says the equestrian community on Long Island is strong and that members try to patronize one another. "It's a very close-knit group of people."
Guzzi cites what she sees as an increase in residential horse properties to changes in the larger real estate market. "Many big barns are being sold to developers because they outbid the horse property owners," Guzzi says. "We're losing the big facilities. We're becoming backyard horse people."
Location is a big factor for equestrian-minded buyers, says real estate agent Gary Baumann at Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Ronkonkoma and lihorseproperty.com. Homes that are close to public facilities that allow horses, such as West Hills County Park in Huntington and Connetquot State Park in Islip Terrace, are a draw. "Houses near entrances to these parks attract horse owners," Baumann says.
Realtors who specialize in horse properties advise buyers to be sure to check with the local municipality about whether horses may be kept on the property. Villages such as Belle Terre that were once home to many horses now prohibit them.
Regulations also may vary depending on the size and location of the parcel and may even be site-specific, Baumann says. For example, in some towns and villages, corner properties are prohibited from being horse properties, even if the acreage requirement is met.
Horse property experts such as Guzzi advise buyers to pay particular concern to the property's "footing," or the composition of the ground that makes up its horse trails. Too many rocks on the property can cause injuries to horses' legs while riding, Guzzi says, and should be avoided.
Real estate professionals also advise buyers to think about the neighbors. Are there other horse owners nearby? In areas where houses are closer together, barn odors and horse droppings on local roads may be fodder for disputes. "Every community doesn't open its arms to horses," Baumann says.
Many East End communities are friendly to horse owners, says Kate Carpluk, an associate broker at Century 21 Albertson in Southold. Owners of small horse properties near larger farms often have a gentleman's agreement, Carpluk says. "If they live near a large farm, they can often get permission from the owner to ride the trails," she adds. "It's all according to where you purchase." Because, after all, Carpluk says, "Most people don't want to trailer their horse to go for a ride."
ANNUAL TAXES $32,732
LISTING HISTORY The property went on the market two years ago for $9 million; it was listed May 15 at its current asking price.
EQUESTRIAN STATS Known as Dream Come True, the 27.6-acre farm includes a 12,000-square-foot barn with 54 stalls, a 28,000-square-foot indoor riding and jumping arena, three additional riding rings and 30-plus outdoor paddocks. The property is next to additional riding trails in the Pine Barrens.
OTHER FEATURES There is a 5,300-square-foot Georgian mansion with four bedrooms and 31/2 bathrooms. The home has a covered loggia, a three-car attached garage and a full basement.
LISTING AGENTS Mark Schindler and Zachary Vichinsky, The Corcoran Group, 631-723-4433 and 631-723-4441, respectively.
ANNUAL TAXES $21,557
LISTING HISTORY The property was listed in September.
EQUESTRIAN STATS Includes a seven-stall barn with water and electricity, a tack room, two paddocks and a riding ring. The property is next to West Hills County Park's miles of riding trails.
OTHER FEATURES There is a ranch-style home with four bedrooms and 31/2 baths on two acres in the South Huntington School District. There are two fireplaces and a full basement.
LISTING AGENT Robert Olita, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 516-759-0400.
ANNUAL TAXES $11,358
LISTING HISTORY Listed in December
EQUESTRAIN STATS This property has a barn that houses four stalls with storage for three tons of hay. It includes paddocks and a fenced training ring.
OTHER FEATURES The 2006 postmodern farmhouse has an open kitchen-great room, a master suite with a sitting room and two additional bedrooms. The 1.5-acre property, surrounded by preserved farmland, is in the Riverhead School District.
ANNUAL TAXES $10,597
LISTING HISTORY Since April
EQUESTRIAN STATS The center-isle style barn has three stalls, a tack room, water, electricity and a second-floor hay loft. The property borders Bohemia County Park, where you can ride, and Connetquot State Park's bridle paths.
OTHER FEATURES The 1985 cedar-shingled farm ranch is in the Connetquot Central School District. It sits on a little less than an acre and has three bedrooms and two full baths.