When we first decided to move to Prescott, Arizona from California and set up Davis Ranch Combined Driving Center we had several criteria that we needed to meet when looking for property:
- The property had to have two homes on it as my parents would be living on the property also.
- The acreage had to be zoned to accommodate at least six horses.
- The acreage had to be large enough to enable us to set up a combined driving course that one could practice on.
After owning and running a boarding and breeding stable in California we decided that when we moved to Arizona that we would only have our horses and would accommodate strictly people traveling with horses that need a place to just stable overnight.
About six months later we found what we believed to be the perfect property that meet our requirements. We found a five-acre parcel that had two houses, that had just been finished being, built on it. One house perfect for my parents with 1500 square feet and the other for my family with 4000 square feet. The rooms are spacious and the garages are big enough to house my collection of horse drawn vehicles. The two homes were built on the upper quarter of the property out of the flood zone area. The distance between the two homes gives privacy and also afforded space to build the kennel and covered storage area for the horse trailers and tractor.
From the front porch of the large house one can oversee the whole property which is about 4 acres. We had a six stall MB Barn built with 100’ runs that exit off the backside. All of the stalls are furnished with rubber mats for easy maintenance and clean up. In front of the barn we built a retaining wall to help guide the rain runoff around the barn and into the natural runoff area. Two hitching rails finished off the barn area.
Up from the barn is our tack room which is 12’ x 14’ which is plenty big enough to accommodate saddles. We also put in a cement 12’ x 12’ wash rack with a tie rail, which serves not only for baths but also for veterinary and doctoring work. To the side of the barn is a hot walker and two additional 24’ x 24’ outside pens. All corrals and barns are of pipe as to deter chewing.
To the north end of the barn we put in a 100’ x 200’ foot arena for both riding and driven dressage. It is of white vinyl for ease of maintenance, no painting ever needed. To the south of the barn we put in a carriage barn, by MD Barns to house the carriages and harness. Large roll up doors make easy in and out access of the carriages and short work of hitching up.
In a large area out to the front of the property we put in a 50’ bullpen for training. Having it away from the main barn helps with the concentration of the young horses.
Davis Ranch Marathon Course!
The rest of the area we have turned into a cross-country driving course as is used in a driving marathon. With a wooden bridge, water crossing and trimming of trees that are on the property we have been able to have a good ½ mile of marathon course set up. In doing the course we have used the natural water collection area as the pond, and the wide spaces between the live and removed dead trees, serves as paths in an effort to preserve as much natural flora and fauna as possible.
The complete five acres is fenced with six foot chain link fence and a shorter pasture fence and gate gives us the ability to let the horses out together and graze the spring and fall grasses without them eating the trees.
We have been able to put a lot on the acreage and still keep it uncluttered and safe for both the horses and the humans. At Davis Ranch we have had many clinics and CDE’s over the past years and it has proven to be safe and functional.
I feel that we have been able to construct an environmentally friendly Davis Ranch. We have used the natural water runoff areas in ways too not to detour the water into new and unwanted areas thereby limiting new erosion. The natural pines, oaks and plants have served as obstacles and have enabled us to create an innovative driving course. We are using the open areas and the grasses that grow naturally with a little help from the manure from the horses and rain to supplement our feed. The slope of the property has proven advantageous to the placement of the structures. The homes are on the higher ground overlooking the complete horse set-up thereby making it easy to watch over and guard the horses.