View Full Version : Talk to me of NC. :-)
Nov. 30, 2009, 10:02 PM
I am looking to relocate to the Fort Bragg area. Not Fayettville. Ive been down, and I am not a city person, but do need to stay close by Ft Bragg since I am looking to go active duty there.
Anywho. Thats a story for later. I have found a few properties I am looking at, but am more interested in hearing fellow horse peoples view of the area. One is by the Carolina Horse Park (literally a mile away) and the other is in Southern Pines area.
How is the ground for pasture? I know there are variables, but generally, once established are the pastures easy to maintain? I have lived me entire life in Pa (minus a stint in Iraq) and up here, well, you cut, weed and cut some more. Nothing to major, since everywhere you go we have some of the best soil in the country. I am just not familiar with the sandy soil and the care of good pasture in it. I do know I dont want fescue, I know, I nixed the hardiest grass, but I want to breed, so I dont even want to deal with it. Endophyte free or not. Eventually nature takes its course.
How is the veterinarian situation? Do we have a lot of good choices? I know NC State is close by, so I know we have an amazing emergency hospital which is a relief.
What about farriers? Up here there is such a shortage, its insane!
Hay? Is it easy to get a hold of? Current prices (guesses are fine. :-)
I am also a beginner dressage rider. I have been around horses my entire life, but rode H/J. Is there a good source of reputable dressage trainers down there?
Thank you in advance!
I hope I can finally bring my girls all home. I currently have my horses at 2 different farms! :-( My youngest, 7 months, is at a breeders, so she has playmates. My 2 older gals are at a small pleasure barn for retirement. It would be amazing to walk into the barn in the morning and say hello to everyone! Heres to hoping!!!
Nov. 30, 2009, 10:24 PM
It's been a while since I lived in that area but Southern Pines is the place to be if you can afford it. We lived there when we were stationed at Bragg. Nearby areas have grown up for horses also like Vass and around Carolina Horse Park....Aberdeen, etc...and all are commutable to Ft. Bragg.
Pastures are mostly sandy...pretty much coastal bermuda grows in it as do some nasty little weeds called sandspurs. They are sharp and will cut you. You can burn off fields or use weed killer for those. You don't want them. Winter, you can overseed with annual rye for year round pasture.
Some good vets in the areas and some good vet clinics. State is about an hour away from So. Pines.
Farriers...I have no idea but at the time I was there, there were some stellar ones and some not so good ones...like most places.
Not sure on trainers anymore. It's been over 10 years since I lived there. There used to be a lot of good folks to choose from though. Hopefully someone will chime in.
You may want to change your title to read something like So Pines area of NC...it is very different there from say the Raleigh area in soil types and of course who is available locally. It's a great place to live if you are into horses. I miss it!
Dec. 1, 2009, 07:17 AM
I'm on the Aberdeen side of things, and Ft. Bragg is very easy to get to from here. We are across the street from McCall.
Hay--expensive, no matter how you do it. Expect to pay 300 to 400 a ton, plus delivery unless you get it yourself.
Plenty of vets, good farriers seem to be more scarce.
Pasture, once maintained, needs to be seeded twice a year for optimum results--but you will have green grass all year (provided it rains). You don't get much choice in grasses--you have to use what will grow (and is drought resistant).
Rye in the winter, Bermuda in the summer typically.
Mowing wotj fertilizing/weed killer a few times a year keeps my pasture pretty nice.
Dec. 1, 2009, 09:43 AM
I live about 1.5 hours from there. We come down to ride in Pinehurst a lot and recently competed at CHP. It's lovely -- great footing everywhere since it's all sand. S Pines is chockablock full of great trainers and places to school, there are HEAPS of eventers there. NCState is a little over an hour away from S Pines, although they have the equine research facility there in Pinehurst.
Dec. 1, 2009, 03:27 PM
There is a NC forum you may want to take a look at - NC Horse News Message Board.
Dec. 1, 2009, 05:59 PM
I live on Bragg - pony (lucky devil) lives in Southern Pines. I basicall live right in the middle of Bragg, so I can fill you in on commutes.
Bragg to Vass/So. Pines - 30 minutes. Go out the back way and it's fairly quick, with little to no traffic.
Bragg to Aberdeen/other side of US1 (Whispering Pines, etc.)/Carthage - 35-40 min. Same way - go out back, head to US1.
Bragg to Raeford - out back, down Chicken and Plank to 211. About 35-40 minutes (35 to the Horse Park), but traffic can be a b*tch and the MPs are constantly patrolling the area. DEFINITELY go the speed limit - do not exceed. Those MPs don't play around.
Bragg to Lumberton/Parkton/parts of Raeford - 30 minutes. All American to Owen Drive, to 301.
As you can see, Bragg is about 30 minutes away from EVERYTHING. Traffic is horrendous at the peak times - coming into Bragg at 6am, leaving Bragg at 4pm, and during lunch time.
Footing is incredible down here. All sand, all the time. I come from Michigan, Land of the Clay, where we have beautiful pastures but horrendous, sticky, trappy footing in the spring and November. No need for an indoor - we ride pretty much year 'round outside. Foundation has miles and miles of trails, and if you can access to Weymouth Woods (no trailer parking),those trails are wide enough for a four-in-hand and a nervous young Trak to pass side by side (as me how I know this).
Hay is approx. $10/bale for timothy, usually brought in from Canada/Pennsylvania/Michigan/etc. Buy by the ton and you get a discount, but not by much. You can usually tell who seeds their winter pastures around here because of the fluorescent nature of the grass. DEFINITELY plan on fertilizing/weeding. We have this nasty little plant that grows in abundance around here called false dandelion/cat's ear/flatweed. It looks identical to dandelion, but it can be the cause of a serious neurological condition in horses that resembles EPM. My draft cross was in an unimproved field full of it, lost a lot of use of his hindquarters for most of year, and never did come back 100%. Scary. Fertilizing/weeding gets rid of most of it. Oh yes, the sand spurs. I hate them with a passion. We have years where they're worse than usual, and years where I don't see a single one.
Vets are excellent - I use Southern Pines Equine for my boy. Farriers are plentiful, and most are pretty good.
As far as dressage, we have quite a few, and we have quite a few eventers who excell at dressage, so it shouldn't be hard to find a good trainer.
Dec. 2, 2009, 05:07 PM
And if you like to trail ride sometimes, you will be an easy haul (approx. 1 hr.) to Morrow Mtn. State Park near Albemarle and Badin, and Uwharrie National Park/Forest (?) near Troy. Morrow Mtn. has 15 miles of bridle trails with more coming. Uwharrie also has miles but I don't know how many. Uwharrie also offers a river crossing and horse camping.
We are transplants from OH and have been in NC for 14 years. We have really enjoyed living here. I bet you'll like the climate!