View Full Version : GA, FL, or SC??

Jun. 2, 2011, 02:29 PM
So a relocation MAY be in the future....we have the choice of Florida, South Carolina or Georgia....which is better to rebuild a business and best expense wise? I know climates are all pretty simalar, SC being the more mild of the three(which i like!) Thanks guys!!:D

Jun. 2, 2011, 02:30 PM
I think the location in each of those states might be helpful...

Jun. 2, 2011, 02:36 PM
and also, what city should i think about being nearest to? Aiken for SC, Florida....I was thinking weather wise no further south than Clearwater...But not to sure on where I would choose in GA. I dont know much about GA

Jun. 2, 2011, 03:07 PM
Dressage wise in Florida....for major competition - you will want to be near Wellington. However, there is not much land down that way and the expense is HUGE. Many people just make the trip for the major competitions.

Ocala is starting to pick up in terms of private barns that host dressage clinics. USDF rated shows are held in Jacksonville, FL (www.dressageonthefirstcoast.com) as well as Newberry, FL (right outside of Gainesville) (www.canterburyshowplace.com). For land/home purchases in Ocala - now is the time (www.ocalahorseproperties.com). The prices have dropped greatly.

Orlando has a presence as well. You can check out www.orlandodressage.com for information on what they have to offer. As for land/home purchases...I am not too familiar with what might be available. Also remember that Orlando is a tourist city with Disney and Universal.

Sorry I can't be of any assistance with GA or SC. Good luck! And if you choose near Jacksonville - look me up!

Jun. 2, 2011, 03:19 PM
which is better to rebuild a business and best expense wise? you will have to be more specific to get an accurate answer to this.

in GA there's greater atlanta (aka ATL and an hour out in every direction), and athens, and Savannah... everything else is either military based or rural (in comparison to ATL)

Jun. 2, 2011, 08:45 PM
a horse business, and expenses meaning hay shavings ect..

Jun. 2, 2011, 08:56 PM
i have lived in all 3 places, i am totally in love with a small town called williston. just nw of ocala between gainesville and ocala. lower priced land and farms and quiet with little to no traffic(and after atlanta, trust me that's great!)hay is a little pricey but it seems to be that way in all 3 of the places you are thinking about.yes, it is hot here during the summer, you ride early or you ride late. but winter is great, never stays cold for to long.look me up if you decide to come here.

Jun. 2, 2011, 09:13 PM
Thanks for the info maxxtrot! I will look you up for sure if we head that way! :)

Jun. 2, 2011, 09:13 PM
Can't speak to GA or SC

Ocala, FL has a glut of farms on the market keeping costs low. In addition, it is the heart of Florida's TB industry, so the sport horse industry gets to piggy back off of the availability of hay, shavings, feed stores, etc.

On the down side, it's not particularly close to the "real" world, which is who your clients may well be.

Also Ocala, being far from the coasts is 10 degrees colder in the winter and (feels) 10 degrees hotter in the summer.

Jun. 2, 2011, 09:16 PM
I hate to pan my own state of residence, but GA is really struggling right now. We got hit late by the recession wave and it's still a little slim here. There are some folks with money, but there are also plenty of horse businesses competing for it.

Jun. 2, 2011, 11:10 PM
make SURE you stay above the GNAT LINE!!!! Trust me, I live BELOW it!!! :(

Jun. 2, 2011, 11:29 PM
Florida has big competition on pretty much every event. But I agree with the posts above, go near wellington or ocala. I live on the west coast near Tampa and there's not too much here.

Jun. 2, 2011, 11:50 PM
In the expense catagory, Florida has no income tax - a big factor in my relocation! Central Florida has land and housing at very reasonable prices particularly on the north side of Orlando. We can get to Wellington in right around 3 hours, all turnpike, so the big stuff is not far and there are lots of shows w/in a few hours in the other directions.
There is also the advantage of being near a major airport if you have any need to travel.
Edited to add that the cost of hay etc in Wellington area is apparently thru the proverbial roof............

Jun. 3, 2011, 06:27 AM
make SURE you stay above the GNAT LINE!!!! Trust me, I live BELOW it!!! :(

I agree!!! I am also below the line, MISERY!:lol:

I also agree with Kinnip. GA is still struggling and the horse industry is being hit hard. I am hoping it will recover very soon!

Jun. 3, 2011, 09:20 AM
I live in Loxahatchee, about 3 minutes from Wellington, Florida. In southern Florida it is really pretty temperate, in fact, it seems that it gets hotter in the summer in SC and colder in the winter. In the summer it hovers around a high of 93 degrees here, but there is always a breeze as we are close to the ocean. We have very few mosquitoes and gnats - no horseflies to speak of (I think because we are a little higher in land than Wellington, or else because we live surrounded by nurseries that use lots of pest control???) Wellington seems to have way more mosquito problems. Also I have never seen an alligator near my place, as it's not natural swampland.

It's reasonable to buy in Loxahatchee vs Wellington, and there are some great deals to be had right now due to foreclosures. Wish we didn't buy our place in 2004!

The best of the best ride here in the winter, there are top shows in my backyard for 5 months of the year, with 5 CDI's (next year maybe more). I save a fortune on hotel bills by sleeping at home (my groom too) during the show season....

There seems to still be plenty of action in the horse business in the area, so if your business is good, and horse related, it should thrive at least from November through May. More and more trainers and people are staying down year round, so it is slightly less seasonal than it used to be.

And, we are 20 minutes from the beaches! I'm a northern convert......

Jun. 3, 2011, 09:49 AM
I have spent time in both Aiken and just north of Orlando, FL (less in Georgia). I would vote for Florida. Warmer winter, but summer seems the same. Wider range of shops, and other stuff (non-horsey side of life) like gyms, yoga, etc. If you are riding, either the Wellington area (probably better for upper level dressage) or the Ocala area (which is getting more dressagey), but you can also get away with being nearer to Orlando if you want to be nearer a city/airport. Anne Gribbons is based there and there are dressage shows at Clarcona and other places there: http://www.orlandodressage.com/results.html
I have a sense of less dressage, more h/j and eventing in Aiken and of course lots of eventing in Ocala. If you want to be near a University, the area Maxxtrot mentions is great. Housing prices are pretty reasonable in all the areas now due the economy.

Jun. 3, 2011, 01:05 PM
Thanks guys! This is helping. Yes the tax thing is a BIG thing for us! Taxes are ridiculous here in IL!! I could afford a lot more house/land in FL b/c us the low/no taxes!
out of curiosity...where is the gnat line??? lol

Jun. 3, 2011, 01:11 PM
Normally I'd say just south of the mountains, but with this weather, I'll bet they're having issues too.

Jun. 3, 2011, 01:16 PM
I'll throw my vote in for South Florida. I moved here a couple of years ago and it was the best move I ever made. Great place to live and work. There's a very strong horse community here.

It gets a little hot in the summer. I just make sure I have a nice fan in my trailer while I'm working at the forge and I carry a lot of Gatorade LOL

Jun. 3, 2011, 01:32 PM
If you look at Georgia, look primarily in north GA. I live in middle GA, and there is relatively little English riding of any type in my area, and what there is is mostly hunt seat. The greater Atlanta area, particularly the outlying suburbs are where you will find the most people involved in Dressage. There is a very nice horse park in Conyers that was built for the '96 Olympic games. There are many shows of all types hosted there.

Jun. 3, 2011, 02:55 PM
I live close to Dahlonega and I've never heard of a gnat line. Exactly where is it supposed to be and are the gnats north or south of said line ?

Jun. 3, 2011, 03:35 PM
Sand gnats are a coastal phenomenon... not sure exactly where the gnat line is but they're not restricted to GA... been bit up real bad in Jacksonville and South Carolina too. I swatted them for over a decade before moving far, far away!
Not much dressage going on around coastal GA, or coastal SC either... some lower-level schooling shows and trainers but you end up trailering long distances.

Jun. 3, 2011, 05:46 PM
If you look at Georgia, look primarily in north GA. I live in middle GA, and there is relatively little English riding of any type in my area, and what there is is mostly hunt seat.

Agreed and will also say the same holds true for South Georgia. There's not much English at all -- much less just dressage. Mostly it's just Western places. I have an hour's drive to the nearest H/J barn to me -- which is in Fla.

I'd go with Florida.

Jun. 4, 2011, 12:41 PM
The gnats lay their eggs in sand. The gnat line for Ga is just below Macon. Macon and above is known for it's Red Ga Clay, the gnats can't raise their young there. I'm in Tifton, a little more than 2 hours below Macon.......in what could easliy be known as the gnat capital of the WORLD!!! Grrrrr, I HATE those little fellas.

Jun. 4, 2011, 01:02 PM
You need to tell the gnats that!

Jun. 6, 2011, 11:45 AM
So a relocation MAY be in the future....we have the choice of Florida, South Carolina or Georgia....which is better to rebuild a business and best expense wise? I know climates are all pretty simalar, SC being the more mild of the three(which i like!) Thanks guys!!:D

Insurance in Florida is driving expenses out the roof, so not good, but housing/land prices have dropped dramatically. Ocala has lots of land, but even where I live (VERY close to I-95 and 20 minutes from the coast) land is getting less expensive. Plus unlike Ocala, we get sea breezes here so it's easier to ride in the heat.

So with living close to Cocoa Beach (East or Orlando) - we are close enough to I-95 to go to Wellington, close to Orlando and Ocala for dressage shows (less expensive than Wellington), and convenient to the beach for the non-horsey SO to enjoy the area. Also- getting GOOD instruction here is a challange. I just lost my GP trainer and luckily my second trainer is still available (she now works F/T in another occupation and only P/T in dressage), otherwise we don't have anyone else in the area that is worth their salt (for up to and including second level).

Jun. 6, 2011, 02:09 PM
North Georgia is pretty pleasant, has a ton of dressage activity, and is within reasonable driving distance of a bunch of show grounds (and no gnats).

Jun. 6, 2011, 04:27 PM
South of Macon the gnats are worse than usual this year :(