View Full Version : Western States: best places for eventing

Apr. 17, 2010, 09:23 PM
I am considering a move in the next 3-5 years. Currently located in CA on Central Coast (down the road from twin rivers). I am definitely not interested in Southern California. Can anyone say anything about about Northern CA, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, or Colorado (New Mexico and Arizona would probably be too hot for me). Cheaper real estate is a plus and close to skiing also a big plus (as in Reno, NV or Bend, Oregon) Thanks in advance for your help. (yes, Reno would be hotter than I like but so close to Tahoe!!!)

Apr. 17, 2010, 09:48 PM
I second the interest! We're thinking of moving to the Bozeman, MT area when I finish vet school on the east coast and would love to know more about the horse world there or in any of the other areas the OP mentioned. Thanks!

Apr. 17, 2010, 11:43 PM
I am in MT and 3hrs from Bozeman- I was a working student over there this last fall. They are defiantly have the biggest Eventer population , but doesnt have a public equestrian park w/ cross country like Missoula, Kalispell (home of Rebecca Farms) and Billings do. Helena has a wonderful privately owed xc called Juniper Hills, they used to run a reg. even many years ago. Bozeman is a really short drive to Power Basin HT in Gillette, WY, and Arrowhead, an event in Billings.
Kalispell is awesome, between the Event in July at Rebecca, the H/J and dressage shows they put on, and Herron Park that hosts mini events during the summer, they are great. Jil Walton also lives there, so between her and many other great event trainers you have lots of opportunities.
WA has LOTS of events all summer long, its insane, so does CO.
ID on the other hand doesnt really have anything, I have heard they are maybe going to put on an event this year, but thats not for sure.
WY has 2 going on, and Utah and OR have one each. Hope I helped!

Apr. 18, 2010, 08:12 AM
Check the omnibus (http://useventing.com/competitions.php?section=calendar)to get an idea of how many events are held in the areas you are interested in. More events usually means more people/trainers/barns eventing in that area.

But distances out West are a big deal -- Wyoming, for instance, has two events -- FIVE hours apart from each other. Colorado is GREAT for eventing if you are thinking about living on the Front Range (Boulder-Denver-Colorado Springs) or in the mountains close to it (you mentioned skiing, so that means around Winter Park, Breckenridge, Loveland, Copper Mountain, Vail, etc.). There are a bunch of events through prelim within a couple hours drive, including one of those Wyoming events. Lots of event riders, trainers, clinics, schooling opportunities, etc. If you want to live in the more remote mountains (such as Telluride, Crested Butte, Steamboat) you'll still find fellow eventers but it's a much different story in terms of drive times, access to schooling opportunities, etc.

Apr. 18, 2010, 09:51 AM
I live in Salt Lake City, there lots of good instructors and clinicians however you will have to used to driving to compete. For example it is about 12 hours to Rebecca Farm, same to CA. However we have 9 ski areas within 1 hour, Snowbird and Alta are 17 minutes door to parking lot!

Apr. 18, 2010, 11:12 AM
I just skiied 3 days at Mammoth Mountain : ) That was a ton of fun. But nearly 400 miles from where I currently live : ( Unfortunately I don't think I could live in Mammoth or Bishop and 1. Afford real estate 2. Have enough income. Montana does sound nice. I lived in Wyoming for many years and really liked it.

Apr. 18, 2010, 01:38 PM
My parents live in Reno part of the year (they can't abide snow, so live near me in the winters). I wouldn't put it near the top of my list. The economy there is totally down the tubes, so bad that they are considering eliminating one of the reasons many people move to NV in the first place--no state income tax. Property values have plummeted there, so real estate may be affordable, but I also don't believe jobs are thick upon the ground.

As far as eventing, I haven't seen much evidence of it when I've visited, thought I do know there is a farily active dressage community. There are no events, and no eventing barns that I've seen. There is a surprisingly active foxhunting scene, thanks to the Red Rock Hounds, and their facility has some schooling and showing, but most of the hunting is in the desert--think jumping sagebrush, not coops and panels.

Honestly, and no offense to natives, I just don't like Reno. It has a weird vibe, kind of Vegas' skanky little sister. Very conservative politically, except for things like drinkin', gamblin', and whorin' (those are fine, and yes there are legal brothels just out of town), and I think this makes the area in a constant state of identity crisis. They want to be very moral and upstanding, but the economy and history is built on things which, well, aren't, LOL. I'm also not a fan of high desert topography, though the Incline area is very pretty.

If I was moving for eventing, (and even then honestly,) I'd scratch Reno off the list pretty quick.

You might do better in the CA Sierra area, like Grass Valley. Kristi Nunnik is up there (can't remember exactly where) and it's cheaper than the bay area. Can't speak to job opportunities--honestly everyone I know who moved up there pretty much ran their own businesses from home.

I obviously love my area, but wouldn't pretend that the real estate is reasonable, though comparatively speaking, a lot of good deals right now.

I couldn't possibly do any of the Rocky Mountain West. I moved home to get away from snow several years ago, and you couldn't pay me to live somewhere with snow every again. But you're a skier so I get that, LOL.

The best man at my wedding and his wife are both equine vets at a clinic in Boise, and they've been happy, though he's a native Idahoan, and she's from Wyoming, so not a big culture or climate shock. They aren't eventers though, so not sure what that experience would be.

Apr. 19, 2010, 06:41 PM
I moved east to Virginia from Bozeman, MT almost five years ago. There is a pretty strong eventing community in western Montana. Just get used to a lot of driving. Coming from CA, the OP should not have much to get used to, CA is a big state! However, coming from Area II to Area IX is going to be a bit of an adjustment, faybe!

I can highly recommend a trainer in Bozeman, and to pick a place, it would be it. Arrowhead (MT), Powder Basin and Moon Rock (both WY) are 3-5 hours away. Rebecca Farm is about 6, depending on your stops. There is good schooling in Helena (Juniper Hill) and Arrowhead is open for clinics. Missoula has a public horse park and Kalispell has Herron Park (last I knew) that is public. Washington and Colorado would be about 12 hours for events there. Bozeman is pretty much as close to central as you are going to get.

In addition, the skiing and summer mountain activities are top-notch.

Mtn trails
Apr. 19, 2010, 07:24 PM
It's true, WA does have a lot of events. There are quite a few held south of Seattle - Onalaska, Ethel, Yelm, Rainier all summer long. Not quite as many to the north but still Donida Farm has a couple and there's a number of derbys. Also, there is the Cle Elum equestrian park which holds eventing camps every summer.

Affordable property is another ball of wax altogether.

Apr. 19, 2010, 08:27 PM
WNT- thanks so much for this info! I grew up in south Louisiana, not exactly an eventing mecca :) so I'm used to long hauls (I think our shortest was 6 hours to Poplar Place in GA and longest was 17 hours to Maui Jim in IL) . I have been spoiled living in VA and PA for the past six years though! I still have 3 years left in Philly, so we'll see what happens, but I would love to end up in that area.

Apr. 20, 2010, 12:05 AM
LOL, Faybe! You'd find yourself surprisingly at home here in Bozeman! There is (oddly) a closet group of South Louisiana folks here (Geaux Tigers!) Don't really know why or how, but they are here! Real Estate isn't cheap, and work isn't exactly plentiful, but man, if you can make it work, this place is heaven! We do have to drive for our events, but we often have top notch clinicians quite close all summer. I think they just like coming to MT! We do have a couple of very good trainers as well. Anyway, obviously, I live in Bozeman, and am a big fan of the area. I too, left VA about 6 years ago. The horsey scene can't compare in any way, but I wouldn't change it for the world!