While visiting Cherokee you’ll want to be sure to take in Unto These Hills, a drama telling the Cherokee’s rich story from 1780 to the twenty-first century performed live in the amphitheater under the stars. During your day visit to Cherokee you will not want to miss a visit to the Oconaluftee Indian Village, an authentic recreation of a 1760s Cherokee Indian village complete with dwellings, work areas (where you can observe the traditional craftsmen plying their trades just as they did over two centuries ago), and sacred ritual sites.
In 2018, The World Equestrian Games (WEG) will be the world’s forth largest sporting Event and the Games will be held right in the backyard of the area of Western North Carolina that we serve.
The International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) World Equestrian Games began with great hopes and have grown into a trademark international platform from which to show equestrian sport at its best. Since 1990 the Games have been staged every four years, halfway through each Olympic cycle. They bring together the World Championships for all FEI disciplines.
Initially staged at European venues, and always at a new location – Stockholm (SWE), The Hague (Netherlands), Rome (ITA), Jerez de la Frontera (ESP) and Aachen (GER) – the Games moved outside Europe for the first time in 2010, into the heartland of horse country in Lexington, Kentucky (USA) for the Alltech-sponsored spectacular. In 2014 they returned to Normandy in France.
The 2018 WEG has the potential to be the largest sporting event in North Carolina history with over $400 million dollars of projected economic impact and 500,000 spectators over the 13-day event in September. TIEC is preparing for a daily attendance of 40,000 to 50,000 people.
The 2014 Games in Normandy delivered over $400 million in economic impact, and attracted 984 athletes, 1,234 horses, 74 nations, 1,900 accredited media from 52 countries and 575,000 spectators.
The disciplines of Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance and Vaulting were included in the first five editions of this equestrian extravaganza, Reining joined in 2002 and Para-Dressage in 2010.
After a 10 year buyer market with unbelievable values, Jackson County real estate is entering a market that favors sellers.
Year to date new listings declined 13% and pending sales increased 100%. Closed sales increased 103% over this time last year. Median sales price increased 44% and the average selling price increased 72%. Even though days on market have increased it is still a good time for sellers to put their properties on the market.
Good Time To Buy
Buyers should not be discouraged because property values though increasing are still at bargain prices and well below the highs of 2008. That means that at today’s selling prices a buyer can reasonably expect appreciation if market trends continue. Another motivation for buyers are interest rates that remain fair but are projected to increase throughout the year.
Good Time for Selling
Though the market is tending towards a seller’s market it is still a fairly balanced market making it a good time for selling and a good time for buying.
Buyers are better off buying now as interest rates remain fair and for sellers, selling in up markets is always preferable to selling in down trending markets.
Smart horse property buyers know the value of good pasturage so the wise property owner will maintain pasture not only for the health of their own horses but to insure the property’s value remains competitive.
Understand How Grass Grows
Understanding how grass grows is an important step towards good pasture management. The leaves of grass or blades of grass are the light absorption mechanism that produces energy from photosynthesis. This energy is stored in the roots as carbohydrates and drawn on by the plant to produce growth. When grass is grazed (or mowed) the leaves are removed reducing the plants ability to absorb light and energy. With less absorption ability the roots begin to shrink as the carbohydrate reserves are depleted.
Horses and People Damage Pasture
Horses and people can be hard on pasture health. Overgrazing and heavy traffic reduce the health of pasturage. If left to their own devises horse tend to graze their same favorite areas leaving the grasses in those areas little opportunity to replenish their roots.
Healthy Pastures Need Healthy Roots
There are five basic measures you can take to assist healthy root growth.
Use rotational grazing: Give each area three to four weeks to recover.
Mow less and cut grass high: Mow only after removing the horses from the area leaving at least 4 inches height. Allow the grass to grow to 6 to 8 inches before grazing again.
Fertilize: Soil test pasture every 2 to 3 years and apply fertilizer as recommended. Your county extension office will have the test kits.
Protect high-traffic areas: Areas around gates, waterers, and feeding areas will not maintain healthy grass. Geotextile fabric under dense rock pads is one way to maintain these areas.
Install a sacrifice lot: The sacrifice lot is a small area that is “sacrificed” to protect the larger pasturage. A sacrifice lot should be a place that has naturally good drainage. Though smaller, it should be a lot sufficient to provide a place to turn horses out even during the dampest and coldest seasons while protecting the primary pasturage.
Improve Your Horse Property Value
Improve your property value by starting below the soil surface. A healthy and resilient pasture feeds horses, provides safe footing and reduces the cost of horse ownership. A strong root system provides a solid foundation for maintaining the value of your horse property.
Quite often we think that conservation and going green is something that only tree huggers do. However, us Western Carolinians who value our equestrian lands, know that conservation is the only way to sustain the usability of our Smoky Mountain horse farms while maintaining and even increasing the economic value of our property.
US Rider provides a seven-point plan to green up the Appalachian horse farm and increase the economic value of the equestrian estate.
Manage Horse Pastures:
The most important part of greening up the equestrian farm is keeping horse pastures healthy and mud to a minimum. Less mud means healthier pastures and healthy and cleaner horses means less time grooming the horses and more time enjoying the horses.
Keep the equestrian pastures healthy by rotation and manure removal on a regular basis. Sample test and add lime and fertilizer according to analysis results. Over-seed in the fall to increase grass density and help choke out weeds with reduced need for spraying pesticides.
2. Set Up a Horse Barn Recycling Center:
Horse barns generate an enormous amount of trash, ranging from pop cans and water bottles to feedbags, hay bale twine, and plastics for bale shavings. To discover what of all this trash is potentially recyclable, visit earth911.com. Once you have an idea as to what can be recycled set-up a recycling collection area.
3. Compost Horse Manure:
A single horse can produce as much as 50 pounds of manure per day or nine tons per year. Composing is the ideal solution for disposal of all this material. Composing provides multiple benefits. It kills parasite eggs and fly larvae and can also break down toxic chemicals. Should you still end up with a surplus of material, consider selling the composted horse manure to local gardeners.
4. Plan the Equestrian Estate Carefully:
Plan the the equestrian estate layout carefully. Be sure that buildings are situated so that run-off runs away from the barn, feed, and water areas. Be sure to have sacrifice areas where horses can be turned out when ground is wet.
Laying down gravel in places where horses like to congregate, such as around gates, loafing sheds, and water troughs can go a long way for minimizing mud.
When developing the site be sure to allow for a buffer between the horse pastures and any streams or wetlands to provide protection of water quality.
5. Build the Horse Property Responsibly:
Building with responsible and sustainable material whether building new or making additions to simply fixing fences is a wise environmental choice. Using bamboo over wood can be an option for a wide variety of applications. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants and is typically grown without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. It is also strong and durable.
Be sure that your buildings include gutters that direct rainfall to appropriate drainage routes. Also consider recycled tire rubber mats for barn aisles and walkways. With a little bit of effort, you can find a wide variety of environmentally friendly options to include in equestrina estate building design.
6. Let there be light!
Maximize natural light. Horse stalls with windows to the outside and horse barn roofs with cupolas not only look good but they also let in the natural light. They also provide for better ventilation — good for human lungs as well as horses.
For artificial lighting, replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescents use one-quarter the amount of electricity of incandescent and last approximately nine times longer. For an even more efficient light option consider LED. For more information about horse barn-friendly lighting, visit equilumination.com.
Place outside lighting on motion detectors. An excellent way to conserve further is with the use of solar panels. A small solar panel may be all that is required to generate enough power to open electric gates or keep a water heater running or provide charge to an electric fence.
7. Pest control:
Where there are horses there are flies. Where there’s grain, there are rodents.
Careful construction, horse pasture management, and manure composting can go a long way toward minimizing flies. No matter how hard you try, the flies will still show up and rodents will invade the barn. A natural and effective pest control device is the use of predator wasps. Flysheets and natural sprays containing citronella can give the final layer of control. If barn swallows come to nest, don’t chase them away as they love feasting on flies.
Proper grain storage is crucial for keeping rats and mice to a minimum. For additional protection add a barn cat.
Remember that any little bit of greening up will improve the value so when you are ready to put your equestrian luxury estate up for sale you’ll get your highest value. Start small and keep taking small steps toward a green and more environmentally friendly horse barn and equestrian farm. Whatever steps you take will make for a cleaner barn and more productive farm. Your horses will be healthier and happier. And, not insignificantly, the property values of the your Appalachian Smoky Mountain equestrian estate will increase.
Horse property owners in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina know that weeds will invade the best managed pasture. It is, therefore, no surprise to horse owners that constant vigilance is required to maintain the health of any horse pasture.
Most weeds are not poisonous for horses. Nevertheless, if allowed to dominate a horse pasture the presence of any type of weed will reduce the quality of the forage and diminish the nutritional value for the horses.
Poisonous varieties can range from mildly toxic to lethal. It is important for horse owners to be able to identify the species that can be a threat to the health and even the life of the horse.
The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care, published by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture produced a slide presentation illustrating some of the more common weeds found in pastures in the Appalachian regions of North Carolina.
Taking a moment to review the slidepresentation to familiarize yourself with the common weeds in the Western North Carolina area will provide guidance for pasture improvement that will increase your horse property value but more importantly, it might just save the life of your horse.
When you’re ready to buy or put your horse farm up for sale, contact Steed Talker Realtyfor specialized service.
If your pastures are green in the fall, that’s a good sign that your pastures are healthy. If brown this time of year, it is time for action to improve the quality of the pasture.
Cool Season Species Improve Pasture Health
Cool season grasses dominate the pastures in the mountains of North Carolina. The predominate species found here in our mountains are Kentucky bluegrass, orchardgrass, tall fescue, ryegrass, and smooth bromegrass. These species thrive best in spring and fall when our day time temperatures range between 60 to 75 degrees.
For horse owners with cool-season grass pastures, fall (especially after a frost) is an excellent time to quickly evaluate pasture health and productivity. If green grasses dominate the pasture, it’s likely that your cool-season grasses are growing with ideal temperatures and rainfall and good soil fertility. Grown pastures, on the other hand, are probably either dominated by warm-season grasses, or your cool-season grasses are being starved of soil fertility and acceptable growing conditions.
If your pastures are brown in the fall they may be dominated by warm season grasses or were over grazed throughout the summer. Either way, an application of nitrogen will stimulate the growth of the cool season grasses and fall is an excellent time to apply.
For an Objective Measure There is an App
A visual assessment will tell a horse owner the state of the overall health of the pasture. For a somewhat more objective measurement, Oklahoma State University has developed Canapeo, a multipurpose green canopy cover measurement tool which allows users to photograph a pasture and analyze the phot for green and brown pixels. Ideally, pastures should be more than 60% green when being grazed in the fall.
Take Home Message
Quality pasture enhances the value of your property. Knowledgeable prospective equestrian buyers will be assessing not just the quality of the facilities but also the quality of pastures. A major facilities renovation will cost thousands. In comparison, pasture improvement is extremely economical and quality pasturage will be sure to impress the equine buyer.
The better your pastures look, the more interested the buyer will be. Pasture management has value in return on investment when you sale your Horse Farm.
Taking care of winter pasture can pay off big in spring and summer. Keeping the impact of horses to a minimum is the best thing that can be done for your pastures over the long haul.
Though, pastures become dormant in winter, if horses are left on the lot they continue to graze. Over grazing results and by spring the pasture is depleted.
A sacrifice area is your best bet for protecting your overall pasturage. Ideally, the sacrifice area will be armored to keep dry footing under your horse with geotextile fabric, rock, and dense grade aggregate. However, if you have a pasture area that you plan to revitalize and improve the following spring, it may also serve as the winter’s sacrifice lot.
Fall is an excellent time for soil testing. Take a sample to your local extension agent and apply lime, phosphorus, and potassium as recommended. One thing you will not see on the results of the sample test is nitrogen because it doesn’t persist in soil. Nevertheless, nitrogen is critical to maintaining healthy pasture through the winter.
Nitrogen has the single greatest impact on plant growth and fall applications help grasses to establish hardly and healthy root systems that are ready to respond to the spring warmth. One University of Kentucky (UK) study found that applying just 30 pounds per acre of nitrogen twice in the fall increased percent coverage in the spring by nearly 20%. Thick grass stands shade out weeds.
For further information on maintaining healthy winter pasture, visit “The Horse: Winterizing Pasture Starts in the Fall“
Sell Your Horse Property
To sell your equine property in the Appalachian region of Western North Carolina contact Steed Talker Realty. We are the regions most preeminent real estate equine specialist. We are horse people and we know what horses and their people need and want when it comes to making the purchase of a horse farm.