RIDING TRAILS AT LBJ NATIONAL GRASSLANDS W hether you have your own beloved horse or you have never even sat in a saddle, a quick review of the LBJ National Grass- lands’ more-than-75-miles of riding trails will clearly indicate just why horse-lovers love the area so much. However, there are some surprises that are highly relevant to buyers hoping to invest in property adjacent to the grasslands. Much of the national park and the private land surrounding it is not actually wide open, grassy meadows, but instead consists of dense forests with thick undergrowth, high plateaus with breath-taking views, deep ravines, small fishing lakes, and countless stock ponds. The park has numerous points at which horse trailers may be loaded and unloaded, but there are also vast swaths of land where no motor- ized vehicles are permitted or where a complicated gate system may slow down an unprepared horse-hauler. Furthermore, hunting is permitted in the park to individuals holding certain types of permits, so it is important to be aware of the season when exploring the area. “When you get inquiries from people in other states or even other countries about horse properties, it helps to know what will matter to them when they are evaluating a purchase,” Norman explained. “At the end of the day, all of us horse people will probably end up using the same veterinar- ians, the same farriers, and the same trails because it’s just horse country here. If you’re a horse per- son, then you know what I mean.”

The beautiful, unspoiled miles of the LBJ National Grasslands attract riders from around the world to enjoy the scenery

and, when they can, buy properties adjacent to it.

owner can purchase land to the LBJ National Grasslands, the more they are willing to pay for even a small parcel because then they will not have to haul their horses very far, if at all, to ride there. “The most treasured land is the land that attaches directly to the grass- lands,” she said. INSIDER KNOWLEDGE AND NETWORKING As with all real estate, buying, selling, and investing in horse and ranch land is all about networking and awareness, but the stakes are much higher because there is such scarcity of the product. Norman noted that she finds a lot of her leads in local, free newsletters and newspapers printed up and distributed in feed stores and local cafes. “If you have a really elite stable that you want to market, you might also place an ad in a national publication because the demand for this land is so high, but like anything else, the key to success buying or selling this type of land is knowing who who the brokers are in the area and who is handling the horse properties,” she explained. Because well-positioned horse prop- erties are such a hot commodity, many buyers will watch an area for months or even years before making a move. When they do move on a property, they move fast. “The best way to get a good price

and to sell a property quickly is to let everyone who might be interested, the brokers and potential buyers who might be reading those newsletters or the national publications, know that you are getting ready to list so that they can start reaching out to people that they know are looking,” Norman said. AT HEART, A LOVE OF THE LAND Norman’s love for horse land and the LBJ Grasslands, specifically, shines through when she talks about this unusu- al side of her real estate business. “I just love land. I love selling raw land. I don’t care how many acres I have to tramp over to see it all. I’ve climbed fences, and I’ve walked land with a guy carrying a shot- gun because there were wild boar all over out there. The land is where is starts for so many people,” she effused. Another benefit of raw land? The option to shape it and develop it the way you (and your horses) like best. “There are so many people whose dream it is to build a horse facility exactly the way they want it. It just makes the entire process of finding leads, listing, and selling so much fun,” Norman concluded. •

According to Julie Ziglar Norman, the view "between your horse's ears" of the LBJ National Grasslands is one of the most beautiful sights in the world.


by Carole VanSickle Ellis


exclusive, niche community. “I moved an hour north of Dal- las-Fort Worth specifically because of the Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) Nation- al Grasslands,” she explained. “The government bought these lands in the 1930s to keep farmers from going bank- rupt, and the subsequent restoration program resulted in about 75 miles of beautiful, well-marked and -maintained horse trails. There are more than 20,000 acres of gorgeous land, and that is a big attraction to the riding community.” Norman explained the closer a horse

president of business development for famed Ziglar Inc. and, coincidentally, a passionate horsewoman herself. Nor- man holds her real estate license with Texas-based Prime Properties Realty and specializes in turnkey real estate investments when not on the road speaking about her father’s legacy and her own passion, Ziglar Women. She has also leveraged her unique knowledge of and passion for all things equine into a profitable side-specialty that allows her to indulge in her love for horses and trail riding while serving the needs of a very

f you’re considering buying a horse ranch or land for personal riding, the odds are good that you’re going to want to buy it from someone who loves their horse as much as you love yours. That’s good news for a cer- tain subpopulation of specialized real estate professionals and solid insight for investors who do not necessarily share that passion. “Horse people live in a pretty tight- knit world, and that extends into their real estate transactions,” explained Julie Ziglar Norman, spokeswoman and vice

Julie Ziglar Norman is a realtor with Prime Properties Realty. She believes in “Investing Simplified,” and may be reached at 817-233-8444 or

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