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Eventer90210
Jul. 28, 2011, 01:51 AM
As far as Area I, Area II, III, etc. So, why is your area the best? Number of shows? Overall affordability? General atmosphere? Climate?

So tell me, COTHers, what do *you* like most about your area?

Thanks!

yellowbritches
Jul. 28, 2011, 03:27 AM
Area 2. There are 10 events within 90 minutes of the farm (half are probably 30-45min). Probably the same amount between 2 and 3 hours. That's VERY hard to beat. There is also easy access to great instruction. What more could you ask for? (There's actually lots more to love, but that's a start.)

Eventer90210
Jul. 28, 2011, 05:16 AM
How are the rates for showing/lessons/boarding?

I'm very curious to hear from everyone allover! The google maps did get me interested in Area I/II because of the number of events so close together.

That number of events within that range is really hard to beat. I live in central OK and there's one event 45 minutes from me. The next closest are in other states.

Thanks for the reply!

Also, yellowbritches, the farm you ride at/own(?) is GORGEOUS.

Joan from Flatlands
Jul. 28, 2011, 06:19 AM
Area 1 for sure! Lots of quality events within a 3 hour radius of almost anywhere.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=216556470123519659360.0004a911369aa664050d f&msa=0

Great organizers – great courses – great trainers and friendly, supportive competitors! You can find a recognized event, schooling event or local dressage show just about every weekend – and not break the bank w travel and entry fees. The Area 1 council is filled w knowledgeable horse people who not only care about the sport but also make an effort to keep everyone informed and involved. I also think we have the best website at www.area1usea.org (http://www.area1usea.org). When they post a link to the results of each event, they also post a link to the photographer’s website *grin*

Joan from Flatlands

Eventer90210
Jul. 28, 2011, 06:51 AM
Thank you for the responses!

Once I graduate college, I'll have the opportunity to move pretty much where ever and thought I migh as well start planning now!

:)

piaffeprincess98
Jul. 28, 2011, 07:39 AM
Area II for the same reasons YB said. Also great courses and lots of competition to really up your game. I also like the varied terrain for cross country.

deltawave
Jul. 28, 2011, 07:54 AM
Area 8:

Good things:

1. We don't typically have broiling, God-awful temperatures all summer long. Mid-July? Yes indeed. But the rest of the season is typically very, very tolerable. A little cold in early April and late October. ;)

2. Great people in general, good (if not great) venues

3. Costs are usually just a little lower than average for entry/stabling, when you look at costs elsewhere.

4. Decent unrecognized events, although I wish there were more.

5. We own Rolex! :D

Not-so-great things:

1. Distance between shows is not nearly as brutal as our western USA buddies cope with, but we don't have six to choose from on a given weekend within a 2-hour drive, either. :)

2. Although we enjoy good weather, the season is a little shorter than some places.

3. Places that allow schooling are, in some places, challenging to find or nonexistent.

4. It can be a little flat. :lol:

Auburn
Jul. 28, 2011, 08:40 AM
If you live near Lexington, KY, which is in Area8 and home to Rolex, you have seven recognized events at the KHP every year (except for the WEG year). There are several more wonderful venues just a few hours drive that include: Spring Run, Greater Dayton, Gemwood, Flying Cross, all of the events in Indiana and some of the ones in TN.

We have tough hills to rolling hills on which to condition. Masterson Station Park is FREE to school and you can go there anytime. They have cross country jumps and dressage arenas set up all of the time, on which to practice.

It is hot in the summer, but what place isn't right now? The winters can be very cold, but so are the winters in Area's I and II. Our winters are not as long as theirs, but our summers are longer.

We get awesome clinicians to come to our area including Wofford (clinics at South Farm, a farm in Columbus, OH and one in KY after Rolex), Leslie Law (who was a clinician at LAZ's camp and this coming weekend to Flying Cross), Becky Holder (this past January and again in August), Jim Graham, Robin Walker, Stephen Bradley, plus great instructors who already live here: Diana Rich, Cathy Weischhoff, Dorothy Crowell, Eric Dierks....

Despite our current heat index, I love living in KY and Area8! :D

yellowbritches
Jul. 28, 2011, 09:02 AM
How are the rates for showing/lessons/boarding?

I'm very curious to hear from everyone allover! The google maps did get me interested in Area I/II because of the number of events so close together.

That number of events within that range is really hard to beat. I live in central OK and there's one event 45 minutes from me. The next closest are in other states.

Thanks for the reply!

Also, yellowbritches, the farm you ride at/own(?) is GORGEOUS.
Area 2 itself covers a wide area, if not geographically, then economically. So, "cost of living" prices (board, lessons, care) will vary kinda wildly. Showings though seems pretty comparable to everywhere else. I compete often enough in Areas 1 and 3 and occasionally 8, and entry fees seem the same (obviously, you don't spend as much on gas, stabling, hotels, and meals when you only have to drive around the corner to an event!).

As for cost of horse keeping and lessons, THAT can really depend. Our farm is in the DCmetro area, which has high cost of living anyway, so horse keeping is the same. Board from about northern VA and north, probably solidly to NJ, can range from about about $500 for really basic board on up to $1000ish for pretty classy, fancy boarding. I don't know what costs are exactly, but I think they run generally less in the southern half of the area (but events are also not quite as concentrated).

Lessons are the same, when you talk about more local, lower level or non-big names. But lessons and training with the BNTs average between $75-100, and I think that is pretty much the same no matter if you're riding in Southern Pines or NJ.

Oh, and I am lucky enough to manage that farm! And it is even prettier in real life!

eponacowgirl
Jul. 28, 2011, 09:32 AM
I'm in Middle TN, which is technically area 3, which is, in fact, an awesome area.

Unless you live in Middle TN, which means the best part of being in Area 3 is its proximity to Area 8's KHP.

Eventer90210
Jul. 28, 2011, 09:45 AM
I was already kinda leaning towards the east coast before I started this thread anyways, but I do want to hear from people all over. :)

Keep the opinions coming! :D

Duckz
Jul. 28, 2011, 10:39 AM
Area II is fantastic, especially if you're in the Northern VA, DC, or Baltimore area. Downside? Cost of living is high and traffic sucks. I solved this problem by living about an hour south of DC, in southern southern Maryland. For a 1.5 - 3 hour drive I can access 10 - 15 gorgeous venues that hold recognized events. Within 5 hours are some of the top trainers in the sport.

By not living closer to DC I add about an hour of driving to get anywhere. However, I can afford a house, I live 5 minutes from my office, and board at a lovely farm with an indoor and outdoor arena for $400/mo. Judging by the comments from folks in other areas of the country, my commute to events is nothing ;)

So yeah. Area II kind of rocks.

pegasusmom
Jul. 28, 2011, 11:15 AM
Area II, but it also depends on what time of year you are talking about. January - May we could hit the shows in Florida (8 hours to Ocala) all the way up the eash coast to Virginia HT. Aiken is 3+ hours from me, and here locally I have 8 within 90 minutes.

Great footing, good weather for about 9 months out of the year (although TODAY might make me change my mind!) and lots and lots of all sorts of folks to ride and train with. If you don't have to be along Young's Road in SoPo, there are plenty of very affordable places to live within 20-30s of the foundation. Nice horse community.

Mtn trails
Jul. 28, 2011, 11:45 AM
No one brought up area VII so I will. Although we don't have as many events as our east coast brothers, we have a decent schedule, enough to keep you busy most weekends. The weather is unbelievable, right now mid-70s and sunny. We have the offshore marine flow that keeps the temps from getting too hot and virtually no humidity.

If you want to go trail riding, there are thousands upon thousands of acres of wilderness and backcountry to explore, all within a 1-2 hour drive from the west coast. If you want to ski, we have world-class skiing, water sports are also nearby.

Boarding costs run the gamut from $150/month all the way up to around $650-$700. Washington is a very horse-friendly state, sure it rains a bit but the summers more than make up for it.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 28, 2011, 11:50 AM
I've lived/ridden significantly in CA, VA and PA.

CA--beautiful state, expensive cost of living and everything was a bit of a hike. Some good trainers and riders but not the depth or level of competition I found in VA and PA. Great weather...fantastic trails/beaches.

VA--DC area. Extremely close to a number of events and many good trainers. I could easily (and did) compete at prelim all season (one to two events a month) without ever stabling overnight...and close to that for Intermediate. Cost of living in the meca area (middleburg) was pretty high. I worked in DC and kept my horse in Leesburg....which gave me quite a commute in high traffic. Great equine support (lots of top farriers and vets).


PA--Unionville area. Dense with good trainers (in all disciplines). Easy access to many shows and events although more slightly further drives than VA (not significant though). I can still go to most of my events without stabling. Cost of living is perhaps slightly less that I saw in VA. Easier commute into my job (while a slightly further distance, traffic is less). Access to many great vets and farriers. Great hacking out of most farms (big fox hunting area still).

Weather in PA/northern VA is similar. Northern VA is usually just about 2 weeks ahead of us coming out of winter. Weather in CA was better but I would still call PA/VA weather pretty mild....especially compared to the winters in MA!

purplnurpl
Jul. 28, 2011, 01:01 PM
DFW Texas.
Not just area V. But the west side of Dallas/Ft. Worth.
why?

because I am within 45 minutes of:
(schooling shows)
Denton Creek
Quail Run
Willow Draw
Greenwood
Curragh
Hidden Lakes (h/j schooling shows)

(coaches)
Mike Huber
Heather Morris
Kadi Eykamp

being that I usually have kiddos that need tons of miles--and need to get to schooling shows often I couldn't ask for a better area.

In the spring and fall I have schooling shows almost EVERY weekend. They are cheap, have great prizes, and count towards points for Area V (North Texas Eventing Association) year end awards.

GingerJumper
Jul. 28, 2011, 01:09 PM
I love Area II, not gonna lie. Plenty of big events and little events, and pretty convenient to KHP and such, depending where you are in the area. Plus we've got CHP, The Fork, Virginia stuff, MD stuff, Full Gallop, and a newer 3DE facility in SC.

frugalannie
Jul. 28, 2011, 01:09 PM
You've gotten a response on why Area 1 is great from an eventing standpoint (and it is: historic roots, legendary venues, a mix of events, supportive competitors, great coaches, trainers and teachers). All this but perhaps not as intense as other places. For me, it's the other things as well: the ocean, mountains, accessible cities, "culchah", Sox, Pats, Broons, seafood AND a strong horse community that make it outstanding. Don't forget that with global warming, our riding season is getting longer and longer, too.;)

OH! And I forgot to add the best thing: Flatlands Foto!

Squirt
Jul. 28, 2011, 02:08 PM
Area 8 - Rolex and Richland Park. 'Nuff said.

baxtersmom
Jul. 28, 2011, 02:13 PM
Area 8:

Good things:

2. Great people in general, good (if not great) venues

4. Decent unrecognized events, although I wish there were more.



These! We have THE BEST local eventing association (TEAM!) and great unrecognized events in Michigan, held on the same courses and usually up to snuff with the USEA events.

And DW, if you'd live on the right side of Michigan, it wouldn't be so flat AND there is lots of schooling! :D

Divine Comedy
Jul. 28, 2011, 02:27 PM
DFW Texas.
Not just area V. But the west side of Dallas/Ft. Worth.


Great for babies and lower levels. Not so much for upper levels.

Mike/Heather are great and do a great job getting their UL all over the country for competitions. But it's a LONG way to most upper level events. TX Rose will help that, especially if they add an Advanced eventually. But yeah, we're talking 12+ hours currently to get to any event with I or A, unless it's Greenwood or Holly Hill. Advanced is always a 12+ hour drive. It gets expensive really quick.

Also, it's wicked hot here in the summer. I always tell new people this. They always brush it off. Then it hits 95 + humidity and they start thinking it's hot.

Then it hits 100 (or more) + humidity. For 20+ days in a row.

Yay. (I'm not bitter about the heat or anything. :D)

Advantages of Area V:

Hands down, the people are amazing. You end up seeing the same people over and over at events, which makes it really easy to make friends within the area. Everyone knows everyone, especially at P and I. The support is great for each other. We have a strong, active YR program.

If you're moving to Area V, DFW is the way to go to have access to the best trainers (as listed by puplnurpl).

Almost Heaven
Jul. 28, 2011, 05:44 PM
Deltawave, Auburn, and Baxtersmom nailed it - Area VIII!! Area VIII has more mainstream eventers than anywhere else in the world - fewer ULR's, perhaps, but I'll put our "normal people" up against anywhere else!

If you're in the Lexington area, you've got at least 2 venues every weekend to choose from. Go to Lakeside during the winter. Use the hunter and breed shows to fill in the schedule, and don't forget the formal schooling days at the KHP and Masterson.

And did I mention that Masterson is a PUBLIC PARK? Go practically anytime you want! Call Georgia, and ride in the indoor during the winter for a small fee. Wednesday nite Summerbird dressage!

The only real drawback to Area VIII is the lack of upper level events for those of you so disposed. Richland, Hunter's Run, and Lost Hounds are the long and short of it unless you're qualifed for Rolex. If you're interested in Rolex, Area II and III are the place to be - but they're a short 8 hour drive (sic) from Lexington.

Susan P
Jul. 28, 2011, 06:01 PM
I'm in West Grove, PA between Unionville and the MD line where Fair Hill is and it's all I know. I am thrilled to be surrounded by some of the best equestrians in the world with a variety of disciplines and top competition for all. The trainers, the competitors, the competitions both high lever to beginner and everything in between are excellent and driving distance to them is reasonable. It's not too far to get to NJ or MD and even northern VA isn't too bad but Chester County, PA is loaded with opportunity and great barns, instructors and just fun. We do still have some open space, and the grass is still green despite this awful heat this year and dry weather. When the drought caused VA hay fields to dry up they drove here to buy our hay. Our weather is generally moderate though humid. We are close enough to the shore to enjoy hitting the beach for some diversion also.

All in all after a lifetime going on 59 years, I have come to appreciate what we have here in this region. I love to dry the back roads and look at the green rolling hills of pasture with lovely horses munching away.

New Bolton Center is a valuable asset for horses needing medical help plus we have other great vets too, like Unionville Equine. I don't even want to begin a list of great equestrians but just our Olympians are impressive but we also have top hunters and jumpers that live here. It's better than Hollywood.



I've lived/ridden significantly in CA, VA and PA.

CA--beautiful state, expensive cost of living and everything was a bit of a hike. Some good trainers and riders but not the depth or level of competition I found in VA and PA. Great weather...fantastic trails/beaches.

VA--DC area. Extremely close to a number of events and many good trainers. I could easily (and did) compete at prelim all season (one to two events a month) without ever stabling overnight...and close to that for Intermediate. Cost of living in the meca area (middleburg) was pretty high. I worked in DC and kept my horse in Leesburg....which gave me quite a commute in high traffic. Great equine support (lots of top farriers and vets).


PA--Unionville area. Dense with good trainers (in all disciplines). Easy access to many shows and events although more slightly further drives than VA (not significant though). I can still go to most of my events without stabling. Cost of living is perhaps slightly less that I saw in VA. Easier commute into my job (while a slightly further distance, traffic is less). Access to many great vets and farriers. Great hacking out of most farms (big fox hunting area still).

Weather in PA/northern VA is similar. Northern VA is usually just about 2 weeks ahead of us coming out of winter. Weather in CA was better but I would still call PA/VA weather pretty mild....especially compared to the winters in MA!

technopony
Jul. 28, 2011, 08:34 PM
Another nice thing about Area II is schooling. Most of the recognized HTs have schooling days the week after the event, and so its possible to have schooling available on a recognized course almost every week April-Nov. And since the events are so close together geographically, for me probably 90% of these venues are within an hour drive, so I can fit in schooling around work and school even on weekdays. Also, as others have said, most of the courses and venues are really top notch.

Also, if you enjoy hunting in the off season, the google maps of hunt clubs looks very similar to the one for events ;) I don't think I will ever be able to leave!

CANTEREOIN
Jul. 28, 2011, 09:44 PM
I'm adding to the already great posts about Area 1...

We have a short and intense season... our community is like a great neighborhood bar... we kind of know everyone and even know the regulars really well and when we get together at the big events, we have absolutely great parties.

Our events are beautiful, the terrain varied and for the most part well run.

PuraVidaEventing
Jul. 28, 2011, 10:12 PM
So I pretty much live in 2 areas! Area VI and VII.
Area VI is great! There are shows every other weekend from February-November, all within a 9 hour drive (from me, in Southern CA). Many of them run through A/I, we have the only CCI*** on the West Coast, there are lots FEI events in the spring and a few more in the fall, the weather is warm and somewhat perfect for Feb-May and Sept-Nov :) Between is hot but bearable (for me at least!). All venues are great quality with very well built courses. The people are GREAT. Everyone is friendly and willing to help anyone out! There's a ton of great trainers in VI as well!

Area VII is also pretty awesome :) The weather is much better than VI (for me at least), but only for a few months! While the season is short, the events are all great quality. You can't forget about Rebecca Farm! And Aspen Farm is adding an Advanced, as well as their new CIC * & **. I personally love running cross country on grass and every event in Area VII is on grass (: However it means STUDS. If you're in the Seattle area, almost every event is within 2-3 hours, as well as tons of places to school. There are some great trainers in VII as well!

dustbowl
Jul. 29, 2011, 12:02 AM
I have been to venues for schooling and shows in Areas 3,4, and 5 (excluding FL in Area 3). However, I would choose a small city (e.g., Chattanooga, TN) to live after college on the border of Area 2 and 3 to get the best of all worlds.

BTW, within 6 hours or less of Tulsa here in flyover country: Greenwood, Holly Hills, Heritage Park, Mill Creek, Briar Fox, Queeney Park, Jubilee, Corona del Sol (stretching!), Texas Rose Horse Park, Feathercreek.

ltmac
Jul. 29, 2011, 01:09 AM
Area 8:

Good things:

1. We don't typically have broiling, God-awful temperatures all summer long. Mid-July? Yes indeed. But the rest of the season is typically very, very tolerable. A little cold in early April and late October. ;)

2. Great people in general, good (if not great) venues

3. Costs are usually just a little lower than average for entry/stabling, when you look at costs elsewhere.

4. Decent unrecognized events, although I wish there were more.

5. We own Rolex! :D

Not-so-great things:

1. Distance between shows is not nearly as brutal as our western USA buddies cope with, but we don't have six to choose from on a given weekend within a 2-hour drive, either. :)

2. Although we enjoy good weather, the season is a little shorter than some places.

3. Places that allow schooling are, in some places, challenging to find or nonexistent.

4. It can be a little flat. :lol:

Area VIII represent!

Eventer90210
Jul. 29, 2011, 03:21 AM
Thanks for all the replies!

Now it's gonna be even more difficult to narrow down the search since everyone loves their area so much. (All though, that's a really good thing to be honest!)

I'm in a toss up between whether I'll handle the heat or the cold better. The places with longer summers would be nice because that means less winter (and winter rides/winter hair/winter period). OTOH places farther north would be nice because of the shorter summers (which equals more bearableness for me).

Good points about the fewer UL events in Area V. I love all the places I've showed here in Area V. The people are really the best and Feathercreek and Greenwood would have to be my two favorite places!

I also don't know exactly how far up I'll go/be able to afford. Not that that really checks anywhere off my list, but still it's something to consider.

Thanks for all the replies though! I didn't expect this many replies right away! :D

frugalannie
Jul. 29, 2011, 08:40 AM
For a great resource on density of competitions, check out Duckz's thread on Area Map Challenge (I'm a technophobe, so I can't post the link, nor do the great job the posters on that thread are doing!)

As to your cold weather/ hot weather dilemma, if one is of a certain age and prone to "personal summers", more cold than heat is definitely preferred. But whatever age, it's easier to add layers and maybe skip riding in January/ February (except, of course, for beach rides) than to get to such hot weather that no more layers can come off and all you do is hide out in the AC (that would be me).

As far as affordable, lots of Area 1 isn't by most standards. LOTS of people want to live here. But with the real estate crunch it is getting more so, and it has always been true that through the horse community, some really cool and affordable living quarters can be found. That's how I found my first apartment up here!

purplnurpl
Jul. 29, 2011, 09:48 AM
Also, it's wicked hot here in the summer. I always tell new people this. They always brush it off. Then it hits 95 + humidity and they start thinking it's hot.

Then it hits 100 (or more) + humidity. For 20+ days in a row.

Yay. (I'm not bitter about the heat or anything. :D)




ugh soo true. 100+ with humidity has been really tough on us this summer.

But then again, we have the winters that are 100% ride-able without an indoor and we can start our season in Feb/March.

2 months are bad out of the year. I can live with that in return for only one bad snow storm each summer that cuts out only 1 week of riding in January. : )

tres grey
Jul. 29, 2011, 06:15 PM
Even though I'm dying to see what Area II is all about, I'll put in a little vouch for Area III. I'm from Alpharetta, 30 minutes north of Atlanta and eventing isn't too shabby here. Chatt Hills is an hour away; Poplar/Big Bear is 2 hours; Pine Top 2.5 hours. Our local association (GDCTA (http://www.gdcta.org)), while a little heavier on the D than CT, is a great resource of schooling shows and these awesome clinics called Kudzu Klinics. $20 a pop! My favorite thing about Area III is that you can almost event year round if you want to (events run from mid-January through Thanksgiving) and when everyone comes down for the winter, you're only a stone's throw away from great instruction and clinics.

Eventer90210
Jul. 30, 2011, 07:00 PM
Thanks for all the replies! I've always been envious of people posting competition pics in Jan/Feb!

Decisions, decisions! Good thing I have a few years to think about where to move. :)

Right now I'm stuck between the Dalla/Ft. Worth part of TX, or somewhere in between Area II and III!

Again, thanks for all the replies! It's really nice to hear from people who live in the various areas. :D