I'm looking to move out of my current situation which appeared to be perfect... but ended up not being. I found it through a friend of my parents and now that I need to move I have no idea how to go about finding a new place.
I'm not a trainer or a boarding barn manager.. it's just me and the 3 ponies. I have a barn I can pick up and take with me.. just no where to go!
This isn't an advertisement, I just honestly don't know where to start. It seems like everything is huge properties that I don't need, or can afford.
It sort of depends if you want to buy or rent, whether you require a place for a house or simply land for horses, and how much work you're able to put into it. (for example, is vacant land with no improvements OK, or do you need fencing, water, electricity already in place?)
Start with one of the many real estate search engines in your area. We have one here in SW Michigan where you can input just about any parameter you want (acreage, price, county, vacant/not vacant, sale or lease, etc.) and it will give you all the listings. FWIW, it's http://www.swmric.com which is utterly useless to someone outside our area, but there MUST be similar search sites elsewhere!
If you are looking for a place to simply plop down a barn, why not drive around and see if there are any nice looking farms (dairy, cash crops, etc.) with high, dry acreage in an area that would suit you and approach the landowner about leasing a few acres?
Check out The Equiery and Virginiaequestrian.com...both have classifieds for real estate and rentals...
When we moved to MD about 18 months ago, I went through through this, it's tough! Also, had some luck on Craigslist, using key words "farm" "farmette" "acreage" and "acres" Ask around at the tack and feed stores, local barns, etc
Good luck! Sometimes you can find rentals on Realtor.com, but its very regional...
Do you know where you would like to be located? Sometimes there are boarding barns, private barns, and properties for sale that just don't advertise in any of the obvious commercial venues (newspapers, local magazines, radio, etc.). Figure out the general area where you'd like your ponies to live, mark all of the little towns in that area, and do a driving tour. Check out each tack shop and feed mill and boarding barn in the area, because they are all likely to have bulletin boards and some may even have newsletters. If you have a very clear idea of what you're looking for, you can take a stack of your OWN flyers describing your needs and providing your contact information. Those same bulletin boards can be good places to post flyers. Even local tractor dealerships and repair shops can be useful - after all, someone with a farm is bound to have a tractor somewhere.
Chatting with the owners, staff members, and other customers can be quite profitable - it's just amazing how often someone will say "Oh, you should call my friend/neighbour/cousin, s/he's looking for a few boarders" or "My sister is just about to put her place up for sale, maybe you should take a look..." Talk to everyone, even if someone doesn't look overtly horsey. I once met a lovely barn owner with a terrific facility that she never advertised anywhere, and I would never have known about her but for a brief chat I had with a totally NON-horsey local farmer! It turned out that he cut and baled her hay, and even though he knew nothing about horses, he was a great source of information.