568 White Oak Drive, Santa Rosa. (All Images courtesy of Sotheby's International Realty)

568 White Oak Drive, Santa Rosa. (All Images courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty)

As a young girl, I went through a ‘horse’ phase. I collected horse figures, read books about horses (Black Beauty, anyone?) and watched my (much older sister) try to compete in dressage. We lived in an area that was mainly agricultural, and of course, there were places to learn how to ride or take a horse out on a nearby trail for an afternoon adventure.

I grew out of it, like most kids do, but there are a lot of equestrians for whom riding a horse was never just a phase, and this Santa Rosa house proves it. Besides being a luxurious estate, the grounds around the home include 2 barns to board 20+ horses, round lunging hall, lighted outdoor arena, jumping arena, pastures, and a turn-out paddock.

If you like horses, you’ll love this estate:

568 White Oak Drive, Santa Rosa – $17,000,000
9 Beds, 7.5 Baths, 13,175 Square feet. Year built: 1999

Interior of the horse barn.

Interior of the horse barn.

Though the house is always the main reason homebuyers want to see an estate, after starting off talking about horses, I had to begin by showing the interior of the 20+ horse barn. By the quality of the construction, lighting, and cleanliness, you can tell that these horses are well taken care of. Checking this out first sets a precedent for what I expect the interior of the home to look like.

View of the home.

View of the home.

Private pond.

Private pond.

When approaching the house, you’ll notice a private pond with a dock.

View of the pond from the porch.

View of the pond from the porch.

Imagine walking out of the house every morning and seeing this view. Not a bad way to start the day.

Living room with fireplace.

Living room with fireplace.

Hardwood floors, antique furniture, and Persian rugs abound. Though built in 1999, this estate immediately feels like old money.

Living room.

Living room.

There’s judicious use of windows in the living room, allowing natural light in and making the downstairs feel open and airy.

Music area.

Music area.

There’s a space set aside for the piano.

Library.

Library.

This library is my favorite room in this house (as with any house!) and what looks like Delftware interspersed with the books.

Bathroom.

Bathroom.

In fact, books are such a big deal they’re also found neatly arranged in the downstairs bathroom.

Kitchen.

Kitchen.

The rest of the house may be posh, but the kitchen is cozy and unassuming. Again, the island in the middle has a space to keep cookbooks.

Master bathroom.

Master bathroom.

The master bathroom takes a cue from the kitchen, choosing for down- home and cozy as opposed to ostentatious.

Pool with caretakers cottage.

Pool with caretakers cottage.

An estate wouldn’t truly be an estate without a pool.

Front view of pool.

Front view of pool.

Garden.

Garden.

The grounds are immaculate. I would happily sit on this swing reading a book for hours on end.

Paddock.

Paddock.

But let’s get back to the horses. There’s a large paddock to use for training, and it’s just as well maintained as everything  else on the property.

Barn exterior.

Barn exterior.

This is the exterior of the barn where the horses are kept.

Barn view.

Barn view.

Another interior view of the barn, this time when the horses are out for training and everything has been thoroughly cleaned.

Horse training.

Horse training.

The tools are already in place around the estate for basic horse training exercises.

Horse training.

Horse training.

Horse training.

Horse training.

Horse training.

Lunging hall.

This round covered lunging hall allows for training all year, no matter the weather.

Boat in pond.

Boat in pond.

Of course, training horses is a lot of work.  You may want to rest by taking the rowboat out on the pond.

House at night.

House at night.

At the end of the day, this house looks warm and inviting in the evening light.