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View Full Version : If you could go anywhere in the US, where would you go?



mbm
Jan. 25, 2012, 12:43 AM
I am looking into moving elsewhere, somewhere where there are lots of professional horse people, where I can learn as much as possible about riding/management/maybe breeding, etc.

My current discipline is dressage, but came from an eventing background (way back when :)

My dream would be to be an assistant farm manager/ working student/ something where i could learn all day, ride, work etc.

i have a lifetime of experience already, but it isn't enough....

ideas?

khp vol
Jan. 25, 2012, 08:32 AM
I answered that question myself several years ago. I used to live in CA (Sloughhouse) and when real estate prices went into the ionosphere several years ago I decided to move and after considering several horsey places picked Lexington.

The cost of living is reasonable, the people are friendly, and there is a wide variety of equestrian activity available.

deltawave
Jan. 25, 2012, 09:13 AM
You could literally go anywhere if all you want it to ride and work and learn . . . but your odds would be better if you looked in very horse-dense locations like Kentucky, Florida, Virginia, etc.

Do you care about weather? Seasonal migration witih winters down south? Breeding a necessity or just something you threw out there? Racing industry a possibility?

wildlifer
Jan. 25, 2012, 10:35 AM
Southern Pines. I hate winter, but I also hate SC summers more than our summers here. I love Lexington too, but I spent 9 years of those icy winters and I don't really miss them.

shawnee_Acres
Jan. 25, 2012, 10:57 AM
PM me! :)

mbm
Jan. 25, 2012, 10:58 AM
i would prefer cold winters to extremely hot weather....

i want to try to find a place where professionals are abundant so that i can learn as much as possible....

i am mostly interested in management and training of high level sport horses, but working on a breeding farm would be interesting too.

racing maybe - ( i have been using google earth to randomly pick places and exploring and those farms in KY are mind boggling)....

i just want to LEARN and learn from people who know what they are doing. If I could go to germany I would but that is a bit unrealistic for me :)

I would also like to bring my horse ....

Event4Life
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:06 AM
The South East - Northern Virginia/The Plains/Middleburg area or Southern Pines, NC. The furtherest north I would venture might be Southern PA (around Philly - where Phillip Dutton, Bruce Davidson, etc are). I am sick and tired of long, cold winters.

netg
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:07 AM
Are you able to travel to check places out?

I think Florida is a great location, but I detest summers like theirs, so it would be out for me unless I were with a farm which relocates for winter.

I'd tend to say the general VA/MD area. Lots of horses, and that area just feels like home to me when I'm there. It's drastically different from my home, yet it calls to me.


If money were no issue and I could go anywhere, I'd want to live in So Cal/San Diego area in one of the cooler areas there. But the places I'd want to live are WAY too expensive for me. Unless I were to live on a farm as an employee, of course. ;)

mbm
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:26 AM
above post reported....... and do not click on the (probable) spam links

mbm
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:28 AM
yes, I can travel around and will do just that once i get some idea where to go!

while the folks down in SoCal are interesting, that is not the kind of management practices i want to deal with ... ie there is no turnout.... the air is bad, etc

as for FL - i think too hot for me...... cold is better than hot :)

If i were to look around the other suggested areas - what would be a good way to explores? suggestions of towns/areas/people/etc?

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:32 AM
i would prefer cold winters to extremely hot weather....

i want to try to find a place where professionals are abundant so that i can learn as much as possible....

i am mostly interested in management and training of high level sport horses, but working on a breeding farm would be interesting too.

racing maybe - ( i have been using google earth to randomly pick places and exploring and those farms in KY are mind boggling)....

i just want to LEARN and learn from people who know what they are doing. If I could go to germany I would but that is a bit unrealistic for me :)

I would also like to bring my horse ....


Lot of that in this part of the country (Southern Chester County PA--Unionville/Kennett Square/West Grove) Large community of top eventers, jumpers and dressage riders...as well as steeplechase, fox hunting, polo etc.

Top vets, farriers...lots of sport.


But for me...if I could really go anywhere....I'd also be looking at the UK or Ireland.

mbm
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:36 AM
I answered that question myself several years ago. I used to live in CA (Sloughhouse) and when real estate prices went into the ionosphere several years ago I decided to move and after considering several horsey places picked Lexington.

The cost of living is reasonable, the people are friendly, and there is a wide variety of equestrian activity available.

i would love to hear more! how did you decide where to go? did you explore? how did you find a job/place to live/etc?

my main source of income now is that i am self employed small business accountant so that is totally doable anywhere..... But my goal is to work in the horse world - (yes, i know no money etc) i don't have to have much to survive and i can always work after hours in my profession that pays well if needed.

i couldn't do this up til now but now i am all for it lol!

mbm
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:38 AM
Lot of that in this part of the country (Southern Chester County PA--Unionville/Kennett Square/West Grove) Large community of top eventers, jumpers and dressage riders...as well as steeplechase, fox hunting, polo etc.

Top vets, farriers...lots of sport.


But for me...if I could really go anywhere....I'd also be looking at the UK or Ireland.

yeah, me too! a freind of mine is off to Ireland this week for a year! She is going to learn to be a trainer... lucky girl :) I might go visit ..... I'm to scared to actually think of going for a year (at this point in time anyway) ... I spent a year at a FEI barn in Ontario Canada, immersed in german culture etc... and i learned so much.... so now that i can go anywhere.....

the area you are suggesting is EXACTLY what i want - real top pros / lifetime horsemen/women.... know how to manage/ride/train a horse correctly.

Do you have any suggestions of how to find a place that is seeking help? (i'll even clean stalls :))

SonnysMom
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:52 AM
I already live in an area that is pretty rich in horse knowledge and opportunity. SE PA/MD border has the English horse disciplines well covered. Not much for Western.
New Bolton is here and they frequently look for foal sitters during foaling season. It is also a great large animal veterinary facility in general.

Iron Spring Farms has great breeding facility. There are a number of dressage, CT/Eventing, hunter and jumper shows.
Many high level riders/trainers are based in this area.

Fair Hill, Plantation Fields for eventing, Devon/Dressage at Devon for breeding and hunters/jumpers and dressage. Harrisburg has an indoor hunter jumper and horse expo.
There are a number of A/AA shows withing easy driving distance. The local unrated horse show association CCHSA is pretty well run and competitive. There are a couple of dressage/combined training associations that have good shows and have clinics available.

There are a number of recognized and unrecognized fox hunting clubs.

Many parks with great trail riding.

During spring, summer and fall you could show every weekend and frequently will have your choice of multiple events and multiple disciplines.

I even generally like the weather. It doesn't get as hot and humid as Florida. We don't get as much snow/ice as NY, MA etc... but we still get definate seasons.

From the non-horsey aspects: there are lots of golf courses, Philadelphia, NY, Washington DC and Baltimore are all pretty close for sports teams, museums etc... The Poconos are close for skiing. The shore is close for beach vacations.
I am sure I have left many places out but you get the idea.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:52 AM
yeah, me too! a freind of mine is off to Ireland this week for a year! She is going to learn to be a trainer... lucky girl :) I might go visit ..... I'm to scared to actually think of going for a year (at this point in time anyway) ... I spent a year at a FEI barn in Ontario Canada, immersed in german culture etc... and i learned so much.... so now that i can go anywhere.....

the area you are suggesting is EXACTLY what i want - real top pros / lifetime horsemen/women.... know how to manage/ride/train a horse correctly.

Do you have any suggestions of how to find a place that is seeking help? (i'll even clean stalls :))


A lot of people are south right now (Aiken or FL). But there are some still left suffering through the winter!

Some jobs are posted here
http://www.horsedelval.com/classfd.htm

Also check out the Chronicle. Call up people like Silva Martin, Phillip Dutton etc. and see if they are hiring or know anyone looking. Networking is usually the way to go. And like most horse jobs...if you get in the area, you meet people and opportunities arise. The first job you take to get out here...may (or likely;)) not be the one you want to stay at long...but first you need to get in the area.

Plus it is a great area that is close to a lot....only 2-3 hours to get to either NYC or Washington DC. There is a ton in between!

SonnysMom
Jan. 25, 2012, 11:57 AM
Do you have any suggestions of how to find a place that is seeking help? (i'll even clean stalls :))

I think I periodically see ads from Jane Sleeper looking for a working student type position.
This is the local horse rag and they seem to have a few positions advertised
http://www.horsedelval.com/classfd.htm#clcode170

Another local horse classified paper.
http://www.equinemarketer.com/Equine-Classifieds/Help-Wanted/

I have a spare bedrooms if you want to come out to the area for a job interview or to scope out the area.

scubed
Jan. 25, 2012, 12:01 PM
I agree with the Area II corrider (SE PA, Maryland, Virginia). You can also look here for employment ads http://usea2.net/ads/index.php?id=38
Even if positions listed are old, get in touch with those folks and ask if they know of anyone looking, etc. You can also check the classifieds of the affiliates: http://www.usea2.net/departments/affiliates

Jobs listed here: http://www.whinny.org/jobs.htm#JOBS

For Maryland, under general in the Equiery: http://classified.equiery.com/classifieds.asp

mbm
Jan. 25, 2012, 12:04 PM
wow, thanks guys for all the ideas and links! i am off to ride my 2 now, but will be back later to do research! thanks!

and please if anyone else has suggestions etc please post!

leahandpie
Jan. 25, 2012, 01:05 PM
Just wanted to say a bit about the hot summers in the South (I'm in SW Georgia).... they really aren't THAT bad. Especially when you consider how gorgeous the fall is, and how you can ride outside all winter. It is 65 and sunny here today.

It does get HOT, but I got used to it in about a week, and so did my horse. We're both from Seattle, WA so neither of us had ever experienced anything like the south. We just would ride in the early morning or the evening. I don't know, but there is something awesome about it being 80 degrees in the morning! It really got me going, and I loved the summer. I would go hang out with the horses in the afternoon when it was 95+, give them a good hose off. It is definitely hot, but it is relaxing and it feels good (at least for me) to go outside and be completely warm.

That might be because I've been freezing my a$$ off in wet, rainy, freezing Seattle for the past 25 years... LOL.. but so far, we LOVE the south!

puddytat
Jan. 25, 2012, 03:55 PM
Aiken - the "new" Wellington!
SE PA - lots of opportunities, weather can be a little annoying; cold and hot, but not like FL or CAN
Lexington - the center of racing, etc, etc

Wow, what a great opportunity to just be able to choose a place to live and work.... hope it works out for you!

hrsmstr
Jan. 25, 2012, 04:31 PM
I would suggest Austin, TX. Yes, it gets HOT there but there are a lot of things going on: Third Coast Eventers, Dressage, Endurance. The winters are mild. The downside is they've had a decade of no rain, so hay is outrageously expensive.

Leahandpie brings up Seattle, WA. I live in Olympia, about an hours drive south of Seattle. . The summers are so so here, last year we had only one day of temps over 80. The winters? Well, as of today, 25 Jan 12, we are only now digging out from under three feet of snow, and in my specific location, seven days and counting without power. Think carefully about wanting cold winters! Like she said, it gets old either freezing one's butt off or seeing it rain for nine months of the year.

leahandpie
Jan. 25, 2012, 04:39 PM
Ok, Ok, seattle isn't that bad!! there is a super horsey community, and a great group of eventers!! I miss all my friends... but... am glad to be looking out my window to sunshine today.

I know people that live in Lexington... they absolutely love it. It seems like a great place, just enough culture to make it interesting. Plus, it is horse heaven.

hrsmstr
Jan. 25, 2012, 04:53 PM
I second that on Lexington. Rolex! They had the World Equestrian Games! The Kentucky Horse Park! There are horse farms, and everyone seems to know someone with horses. They understand racing. The license plate has a mare and foal on it. While there for the WEG, everyone I talked to was friendly.
My bootmaker is moving there in the spring. And Kentucky is lovely.

leahandpie, please remind me what the sun looks like?:lol:

khp vol
Jan. 25, 2012, 06:28 PM
i would love to hear more! how did you decide where to go? did you explore? how did you find a job/place to live/etc?

my main source of income now is that i am self employed small business accountant so that is totally doable anywhere..... But my goal is to work in the horse world - (yes, i know no money etc) i don't have to have much to survive and i can always work after hours in my profession that pays well if needed.

i couldn't do this up til now but now i am all for it lol!

When I bought my place in CA it was pretty much out in the middle of nowhere, but then the whole area just started growing like a weed and I decided I needed more space.
I knew the names of a number of horsey places and did some research, and decided on Lexington and Tryon, NC as my finalists. I visited them both and decided on Lexington.

I retired early and sold my place in CA for seven times what I paid for it, so I work at KHP as a volunteer or a seasonal employee, if I find a job I really like, which is something you could do at KHP. I don't know exactly what you really want to do, but you can go to the KHP website and apply. Most seasonal jobs are filled in March (the park season begins March 15).

There are a number of other COTHers that read this forum and I'm sure you'll get good advice from them as well.

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR SEARCH! If I can be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to ask.:)

secretariat
Jan. 25, 2012, 07:11 PM
Lexington area. Any discipline, large number of choices, excellent technical content and world's best/friendliest people. Look up Reese Koffler-Stanfield for your dressage contact on the national scene and Susan Posner is a force regionally.

TheHeimer
Jan. 25, 2012, 08:07 PM
Lexington.

It has the infrastructure. Shows come here. Clinics come here. Veterinary seminars come here. You can ride or drive in any discipline or gallop racehorses or work in the breeding shed or in the sales barn. There's also equine research and a number of awesome vet clinics that need seasonal help. There are several programs you might be interested in. I'm not sure how many are currently funded, but a poke around Google should pull some up, like this: http://www.kemi.org/news.aspx

A lot of gigs here are just word of mouth. PM some Lexingtonians here and we'll find somewhere for you to go. :)

mbm
Jan. 25, 2012, 09:32 PM
wow! thanks for all the super ideas, friendly invites and resources!

i am overwhelmed at the possibilities! I have been thinking Kentucky or surrounding areas for a while.....

ok, off to peruse some of the great suggestions, links etc :)

btw: i have no idea what i want to do - i just know that life is short, i have nothing holding me here and since i clearly want to dedicate my life to working with horses in some way it is time to do something about it!

I have ridden since i was 6, have a decent seat, feel etc... but i am not young enough to start (other peoples) babies anymore.... but barn management would be awesome, or, i don't even know the possibilities :)

this is going to be so fun!

VicariousRider
Jan. 26, 2012, 02:16 AM
I'm in Unionville and, as BFNE said, you will never runout of options here!

Horse of the Delaware valley is a good online resource.

Event4Life
Jan. 26, 2012, 03:08 AM
www.virginiaequestrian.com is a good source if you want to check out VA :).

FairWeather
Jan. 26, 2012, 10:40 AM
I love where I am (Southern Pines area), but if I had unlimited resources to have farms everywhere, other than here I'd go with Unionville, Aiken, and Charlottesville.
All super duper horsey, all fun towns.

Dance_To_Oblivion
Jan. 26, 2012, 11:28 AM
Lexington :) Reasonable cost of living, I have an amazing trainer, awesome vets, good farrier. Lots of shows in good driving distance, lots of places to ride and the people here are wonderful. Absolutely love it here!

mbm
Jan. 26, 2012, 11:44 AM
thanks folks! i am overwhelmed by the choices!

can anyone share cost of living in the various places?

eventually i want to buy a small place (small house, barn, land) - it is possible to get something for under 350k? (unheard of here :)

also, in the interim, what does it cost to rent and board?

for renting, as an example - right now i live in a tiny cottage (600 sq ft +/-) with a nice big yard.... i would love something similar.... a granny unit, cottage, small 1 or 2 bedroom place - i like old - so that always helps keeps costs down :)

for board: i have two: the Connemara is 4 and out 24x7 and the mare is out all day and in paddock at night... would like similar.... what does that cost and a "normal" type barn?


anyway, i am super excited to do this! but i have no idea how to even begin to choose !! (and i wish i had done this years ago)

one more question: while i mostly do dressage, i want to get back into lower level eventing & jumping... i prefer the german system and training with someone from that system. suggestions?

and finally: what is the general weather like the general areas we have been talking about? (KY, WV, PE, SC, DC, etc etc) are their hurricanes or tornadoes?

Event4Life
Jan. 26, 2012, 11:51 AM
2nd Charlottesville. You can definitely find board options like you describe in that area, reasonably priced especially if you are willing to go further afield to Orange and Green COs. Weather in Cville is amazing - 4 nearly perfect seasons, as long as you go on holiday last 2 weeks in August, as my family used to do when we lived there. You do get the edges of hurricanes but not too badly as it's far inland enough.

As for price of housing afraid I'm not much help - we got our 4 acre plot in Ivy for pittance but it was years ago. Good luck though!

Oo ETA: Be sure to check out around Scottsville - SO many fantastic event farms there, Grayson (will always hold a special place in my heart - the first time I rode in my life was at Grayson), Plain Dealings right next door, the list goes on.

Holly Jeanne
Jan. 26, 2012, 12:28 PM
Well, I don't make a ton of money by any stretch of the imagination. I went from a one bedroom apartment in eastern PA to a 12 acre farm here for not a great deal more money. (not including upkeep ;)) WAY under the $350,000 price tag you mentioned. (think less than half). Of course, I'm an hour from Lexington. The closer you get the more expensive it is. We do get tornado's sometimes but are not in tornado alley. We get hot in the summer and cold in the winter but it USUALLY doesn't stay that way the entire season. I've had my own place for 12 of the 13 years I've been here but it appears that boarding can vary greatly. For employment, check out the organizations at the horse park. They often have administrative type jobs.

secretariat
Jan. 26, 2012, 12:34 PM
Lexington area:
Markets are down, plenty of properties <350K, especially north and northeast. Try Georgetown, Stamping Ground, Cynthiana, Paris areas. Google Lexington KY farms.

LOTS of eventing here. Double digit barn/coach options.

German dressage? Limited. Reese spent some time in Europe, that's about it to my knowledge.

Stable board $400 - $1000/mo, depending on amenities. Lots of small, private farms do turnout board for a horse or two, probably in the $200-300/month range.

yellowbritches
Jan. 26, 2012, 01:09 PM
Unionville area or Middleburg area. Both places are disgustingly full of TOP everything (riders, trainers, vets, farriers). You can spit in Middleburg and hit a few gold medalists (multiple disciplines). Same is probably true with Unionville. Both areas are super beautiful, and the horse flesh in any give barn is pretty awesome.

Lexington is pretty and has some great horsey features, and a lot of the other places are kinda cool, but until you experience one or both of these locations, you really just don't get the concentration of top of the top of everything there is in the Unionville or Middleburg area. Just because Lexington has Rolex doesn't mean that's where all the Rolex riders (and their grooms, farriers, vets, massage therapists, etc, etc, etc) live...they all go home to Middleburg and Unionville after the awards ceremony ;) (I'm teasing...a little...I do know those are n't the only places to find top riders...you just don't trip over them at the grocery store and post office like you do here! :lol:).

caryledee
Jan. 26, 2012, 01:32 PM
I agree with yellowbritches. I've lived in Lexington for almost 6 years. If you want to get into racing, this is the place to be. If you want to get into eventing/hunter-jumper, etc. look farther east. Lexington has grown a lot as far as sport horses go, but its nothing like Aiken, PA/NJ/VA. Even finding a boarding barn with a decent riding ring can be a challenge; most places are still concentrating on boarding brood mares.

Cost of living here is still reasonable, but decent paying jobs are difficult to find. You can check out local real estate on www.lbar.com (http://www.lbar.com).

Good luck with your decision!

mbm
Jan. 26, 2012, 02:33 PM
Unionville area or Middleburg area. Both places are disgustingly full of TOP everything (riders, trainers, vets, farriers). You can spit in Middleburg and hit a few gold medalists (multiple disciplines). Same is probably true with Unionville. Both areas are super beautiful, and the horse flesh in any give barn is pretty awesome.

and this is what i want. i want to learn from the most knowledgeable that we have here in the US - since going abroad probably isnt feasible for me at this time..... (maybe in a few years tho!)

btw: looking at the resources provided, i am gobsmacked at that options and opportunities! wow!

SonnysMom
Jan. 28, 2012, 01:27 PM
Colleen Rutledge has on her website that she is looking for a working student.\http://colleenrutledgeeventing.com/

She appears to be Mt Airy, MD

mbm
Jan. 29, 2012, 12:03 PM
ok, so I am starting to plan a scouting trip(s).... I think I want to narrow my search down to VA, MD, PA, West VA, then KY and maybe NC...

Since I have no idea about this area, and I am being overwhelmed by the possibilities, does anyone have suggestions on upcoming events, things to do, places to see that might give me an idea of the flavor of each place ?

I am thinking fly out (what airport?) rent car and drive....... visit various places etc. probably 1 week trip to start.....

I will be on a budget, so budget minded ideas would be swell....

thanks!

Event4Life
Jan. 30, 2012, 03:24 AM
I would fly into either one of the Washington Airports, Baltimore, or Philly. Spend a few days in each place - Unionville, MD (area around B-More maybe? I don't know much about MD, sorry!), & NoVA. I would focus on Middleburg/The Plains area within NoVA. With only a week you will probably not have enough time to drive to Charlottesville. If you can extend to ten days or 2 weeks, Charlottesville is an easy 2 1/2-3hr drive from NoVA.

LisaB
Jan. 30, 2012, 06:46 AM
People talk about the nice weather in MD, VA, and NC and compared to Sonoma CA, you're dead wrong that it's nice weather. And you will not be able to ride year round.
In VA, MD this winter has been mild but I spent all last weekend indoors because of hte ice. And there's probably only been a couple of weeks total ( a day here and there) that you couldn't ride. But like I said, it's been a really mild winter. Prepare to spend at least 3 weeks indoors because of snow/ice. Then the summer is hot and muggy and the ground in concrete. If you can get a ride in July/Aug/beg. of Sept before 8 am or after 6 pm in the arena, you're good to go. But conditioning can be a hit or miss.
But there's a plethora of events, nice green rolling hills and great people to hang out with. Just coming from CA, you will be disappointed in the weather.

mbm
Jan. 30, 2012, 10:46 AM
LisaB -

I know I will be giving up fab weather - altho this year we have had more nights than I can count below freezing (unusual for us) ... however, i want to learn and we dont have the same kind of horse culture here.

So I will give up the gorgeous weather for being in a place with professionalism all around where i can learn to ride/manage/breed like a real professional.

Luckily, I spent a little over a year in Ontario Canada, so learned about -30 C weather! and riding when it is so cold the saliva freezes on the horses muzzle!

this california girl is prepared lol!

just read it gets really hot too.... the heat i like less. How hot and what areas are cooler? How do folks manage back there? Do they take the summer off?

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 30, 2012, 10:59 AM
just read it gets really hot too.... the heat i like less. How hot and what areas are cooler? How do folks manage back there? Do they take the summer off?

At least in PA...the heat isn't what gets you as much as the ground getting hard. There are competitions all summer but a lot of us will play it by ear. If it is too hot or the ground too hard...I scratch. But you never know. The weather can change on you in a heartbeat.

By hot...it will get into the high 90s with high humidity. I just ride early and don't find it too bad. It is winter that I dislike.

snoopy
Jan. 30, 2012, 11:33 AM
People talk about the nice weather in MD, VA, and NC and compared to Sonoma CA, you're dead wrong that it's nice weather. And you will not be able to ride year round.
In VA, MD this winter has been mild but I spent all last weekend indoors because of hte ice. And there's probably only been a couple of weeks total ( a day here and there) that you couldn't ride. But like I said, it's been a really mild winter. Prepare to spend at least 3 weeks indoors because of snow/ice. Then the summer is hot and muggy and the ground in concrete. If you can get a ride in July/Aug/beg. of Sept before 8 am or after 6 pm in the arena, you're good to go. But conditioning can be a hit or miss.
But there's a plethora of events, nice green rolling hills and great people to hang out with. Just coming from CA, you will be disappointed in the weather.


I agree, I would never leave California...ever!

Event4Life
Jan. 30, 2012, 12:48 PM
just read it gets really hot too.... the heat i like less. How hot and what areas are cooler? How do folks manage back there? Do they take the summer off?

Don't go any further south than Charlottesville if you can't deal with extreme heat, and check into mountain properties. Avoid the DC Metro area, it's the worst in the summer!

Perfect Pony
Jan. 30, 2012, 12:54 PM
I'm sorry, but now is not the time of your life to attempt to get into the Lexington TB industry. The guys (and it IS a man's world) come up through the ranks starting as kids. Women actually working with the horses are rare, and they start off typically as young, tough as nails riders. I worked in KY at the horse farms and the sales, both breaking yearlings and handling sales horses, it's not for the faint of heart. I got my riding jobs because I was a 110lb kid who would, and could, ride anything. I got my sales jobs because I was a cute 18 year old girl who could handle the horses.

I hope you have a very large trust fund if you plan to just move off to horse country and plan to be part of the scene.

mbm
Jan. 30, 2012, 02:23 PM
lol!

thanks for the input... more data points to add to the mix :)

yellowbritches
Jan. 30, 2012, 02:39 PM
Oh, if just wanted lovely weather, I would ship off to Sonoma in a HEART BEAT!!! :lol: I fell in love with Petaluma on a trip I took out that way 2 years ago...but not enough eventing for my taste!

I am the wrong person to talk to about weather in this area! I HATE winter, and still manage to whine incessantly about this mild winter we're having (I'd be Aiken bound if I could), and I love summer...for the most part.

I don't enter events in July and August (I will OCCASIONALLY head north to Millbrook in NY, because I love that event), and opt to give my horses a little down time. There are still events going on, but the couple of times I've done events in July and August (save Millbrook) they have been the most miserable, hot, soul crushing experiences :lol: I also refuse to run my horses on the concrete that is our ground in July and August (although I seem to be the minority), so we hack, maybe going do some dressage or jumper shows, and wait for a hurricane to come and soften up the ground for September.

For your trip, the hot set up would be to fly in to one end- either Philly or Dulles- spend a few days in your arrival area, then head north or south (depending on which end you start at) check out the area around B-more on your way, and spend a few more days on the other end, and fly back from that side.

Event4Life
Jan. 30, 2012, 02:57 PM
For your trip, the hot set up would be to fly in to one end- either Philly or Dulles- spend a few days in your arrival area, then head north or south (depending on which end you start at) check out the area around B-more on your way, and spend a few more days on the other end, and fly back from that side.

Yeah only keep in mind when hunting for flights that if you start/finish at a different destination, the price will rise. Take this from someone who spends a lot of time cheap flight hunting, and lives in Paris but flies to the US via London/Eurostar. #thefastline.

scubed
Jan. 30, 2012, 03:05 PM
amtrak, bolt bus and mega bus are options for getting inexpensively from as far north as Boston down to DC or even Richmond VA

mbm
Jan. 30, 2012, 03:16 PM
more great ideas! i like the idea of arriving in one place and traveling around and ending up at my departure destination... probably more costly, but would give more bang for my buck i think....

i was also considering trains.....

what would be a great month (weather/events/etc) to plan such a trip?

scubed
Jan. 30, 2012, 03:33 PM
Depending on how long you have, mid-late May is often nice. There are a bunch of events in July (astonishingly given how hot it can be, but that would give you a sense of the worst of it). Check the omnibus and the usea2.net calendar and be aware that anything in PA (the area II part), DE, MD, VA is less than a 6 hour drive from pretty much anywhere else.

yellowbritches
Jan. 30, 2012, 03:42 PM
You may have to do some fancy footwork to not get raked over the coals by the airlines. A friend of mine just had to do something similar (fly in one place, fly out another). Her dad got creative and saved a bundle, but it took some intelligent shopping (used different airlines) and I think being a little underhanded.

I agree with coming in May. I wouldn't come out before Rolex, because there are quite a few operations that stay south until after Rolex (not all, but a few). And coming any earlier than that, well, you'll miss a lot of people who are south! May is great weather (usually) lots of good events, and everyone is around. June is also nice. A later option would be September, but I wouldn't bother with October, as everyone will be gearing up from the east coast fall three days.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 30, 2012, 03:52 PM
If it is too cost prohibitive to fly into different destinations...I'd fly into Baltimore. Easy drive to PA (only 1.5 hours) and an easy drive to Middleburg VA.

Honestly. From Philly to Middleburg is only a 3-4 hour drive. NOTHING is that far away....and hell, if you want to take a day trip up to NYC...you can do that too;)

The biggest cost savings you are going to have is finding a few people to stay with in the areas so you don't have to pay for a hotel!

yellowbritches
Jan. 30, 2012, 04:07 PM
You can stay with me! I have a tiny house, but I have a comfy couch and a decent air mattress. You may have to share with two very pushy, half crazed orange cat-boys and a even pushier, bed hog of a dog, but I live in the middle of Middleburg ridiculousness/fabulousness! :lol:

I was also thinking about flying into BWI. Pretty much halfway between Mecca 1 and Mecca 2.

netg
Jan. 30, 2012, 11:28 PM
A lot of the time a multi-city trip barely costs more, and it's worth it for the convenience. I have been doing them more and more often.

I'm going to North Carolina and New Hampshire in a few weeks because adding NH to my trip cost me an extra $100 from the least expensive NC flights I could find. No biggie!


Previously I went on a cruise which left from Florida, then flew to Italy, and flew in and out of different cities in both Florida and Italy - and it was less or the same as the least expensive flights I could find, plus FAR less expensive than making each trip separately.

mbm
Jan. 31, 2012, 12:44 AM
You can stay with me! I have a tiny house, but I have a comfy couch and a decent air mattress. You may have to share with two very pushy, half crazed orange cat-boys and a even pushier, bed hog of a dog, but I live in the middle of Middleburg ridiculousness/fabulousness! :lol:

I was also thinking about flying into BWI. Pretty much halfway between Mecca 1 and Mecca 2.

thanks so much for the offer! i might take you up on it because what better than to have the inside scoop?

i am going to plan a little and i'll touch base when i get a clearer idea.... getting excited!!

Simbalism
Jan. 31, 2012, 01:15 AM
I'm already there. I live in the Richmond Va area. I belong to a very active riding club and paticipate in everything from team penning, trail riding, hunter paces, foxhunting, CT's, parades, judged trail rides, whatever touches my fancy at the time. A group of friends are putting together a seminar about musical freestyle dressage and also going to give that a go. Decent weather here-can ride most all winter(especially this year-really mild weather). I can get to the mountains and the Va horse center in about 2 hours, and to the beach in about 2 hours.

LisaB
Jan. 31, 2012, 07:03 AM
If you don't like oppressively hot humid summers, then you'd better head north. Even Charlottesville is stifling in July/Aug/beg Sept.
And yeah, I love Millbrook too. The weather was just suddenly perfect in Aug.
You're going to have terrible summers from FL all the way up the east coast for the most part. It's the humidity that's bad. Temps look good on paper but in reality, you just don't want to go out.
Guess why all the big guns go down south for the winter and then head north and west for the summer?
Our best times here are March through May and then end of Sept through Oct. Then it's hit or miss the rest of the times.
The events do their best though with aerovating and such. And the crew of eventers are awesome. And you can pick the horse people you want to hang around. And it's easy to avoid the numbnuts. I have the best group of friends and professionals.

mbm
Jan. 31, 2012, 12:21 PM
I am really driven to learn from the best, so where that takes me i will go - within reason of course lol!

i am slammed at work right now, but will be back planning in a day or so... keep the super ideas coming!

scubed
Jan. 31, 2012, 12:33 PM
you could stay with me in Philly, though it is right in the city so a bit of a hike out the riding areas

PhoenixFarm
Jan. 31, 2012, 05:36 PM
I'm going to try to be delicate here, but let me preface this by saying, I mean no offense to you or anyone else (or their place of domicile).

But. I'm sort of uniquely qualified to comment on this thread because I grew up in Sonoma County, had all my early equine education here, and then did what you're contemplating: relocated to the Middleburg area for 13 years to further my equine education, and moved back here in 2006. I also spent a fair bit of time in the SOuthern Pines area and Lexington, KY.

Think very, very carefully about what you are doing. Because honestly, I fear you are bound to be dissapointed.

I moved east with massive stars in my eyes, and was ready for my great and improved education, because of course, with all the horse stuff and famous people right there, it would just be so much better, right?

I got those stars knocked right out with a two by four.

Having read a lot of your other threads, and seen a bit where your desires and politics lies with regards to horses, honestly, I don't think you are going to find what you are looking for in the way you are imagining. I've read your complaints about this area, and hey, while I disagree, fair enough, your experience is exactly that and you are more than entitled to want something different.

IMVHO, at a certain (higher/professional) level, in any discipline, there are a different set of priorities. And just because someone has a medal, or a famous name, and is a fabulous rider, doesn't mean they are a top class trainer, horseman, teacher, or human being. But even the best people, who are good, and kind, and wonderful and love their horses, will not always make decisions that absolutely, and unequivocally put the horses first, when it's the day of the big dance and big things are on the line. I had a lot of heroes when I moved east, I have virtually none now.

That doesn't mean everybody sucks, or there aren't things to learn, or any of that, and I will say my knowledge of horse management was improved enormously through my time there (and my farm here in SoCo is set up, based on those experiences), but I can't say it changed my world in terms of my information base and knowledge--I still use just as many techniques that I learned before I moved, as I learned after I moved. And I learned plenty about what I wouldn't do, and the levels at which I felt comfortable having my horses participate.

I will also add, that as horse people we tend to think, "All I need is the horses, the rest doesn't matter." It's not true. First and foremost, the weather beat me down, slowly, relentlessly, year by year, to the point where the first snow each year used to cause me to burst in to tears. It was hot, humid, and nasty in the summer, cold and utterly crappy and depressing in the winter. I hated, hated, hated the weather. I was totally spoiled by growing up here, and I never, not in 13 years, ever got used to it. (And, because people always say, oh the winters aren't so bad, in 13 years I was snowed in by blizzards 3 times, ice storms 5 times, and was in two weather related car accidents.)

There is also a HUGE difference in the culture. You may think as a horse person you're insulated, but the first time the farm owner calls the African American stall cleaner their "boy" or their "n-word" or the checker at the grocery store lets their neighbor cut in front of you, or you realize 50% of the population has never been outside of the state, you realize that you are in a different world. People in east are also a lot blunter that we SoCo-ers. You may think, "Oh, that'll be refreshing," but unless you have the skin of a rhino, the first time someone says, "Wow, you are stupid for (insert action of belief here)" it will bring you up short. If you are considered middle of the road or even slightly conservative here in SoCo, you will the crazy liberal pinko there. It is just a very, very different place.

You are looking at quite literally flipping your entire world upside down. Taking horses, and altering your career, etc. etc. etc. I would honestly have hard time recommending anybody do that under the circumstances you have listed here. If you just want to relocate, fair enough. But to put yourself through that kind of ringer because you're sure you can find a horse life where everything will be so much better, well, honestly, that simply wasn't my experience, and I just wanted to put that out there.

All of my negative nelly-ness aside, if you DO wind up in the Middleburg area, by far the best person I met in the area, in terms of skill as a trainer and teacher, horsemanship, and general human being-ness was Sharon White. Just a class above, IME. I will also say in that area, you will be dissapointed in the dressage experience, unless something has changed since I lived there (certainly possible). Frankly, the various eventers I rode with were better than the three dressage instructors I tried.

I do not regret my experience back east. It was certainly an important experience for me to have, and on top of everything else, that's where I met and married Mr. PF. But it was never home. And I never had the same joy and happiness there, that I've had since moving "home."

This post is truly meant from a place of kindness, whatever you decide, the most important thing is to live a life without regrets. Just make sure that you are going in with your eyes wide open, and not filled with stars.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jan. 31, 2012, 06:19 PM
Great post Phoenix

But I will note...that it is important to experience the difference.

Talk about perfect weather...I grew up in HAWAII. It just plain doesn't get any better.

I lived on the west coast (in CA)...I've lived (and currently live) on the east.

I left Hawaii and went away to school in MA. Talk about shock about the weather and culture.

There are crappy shallow biased people EVERYWHERE....great people everywhere too.

You learn at bit from everywhere you go....but the important thing is to GO. Experience other parts of the country and the world. You may not set down roots....but you will learn something.

I will always love Hawaii (both the weather and parts of the culture)...and it will always be home for me (and is still home for a lot of my family). But there are also things I love about PA (and it is home now too)...and Delaware...and the east coast. There are things I like in the north and things I like in the south...and things I dislike in both places.

You have to go and experience it to grow as a person and really decide where you want to lay down roots. It will be a different decision for everyone.

JER
Jan. 31, 2012, 06:26 PM
You learn at bit from everywhere you go....but the important thing is to GO. Experience other parts of the country and the world. You may not set down roots....but you will learn something.

This is great advice.

There's a wonderful self-confidence you get by moving and traveling and not being afraid to land in new territories.

:)

PhoenixFarm
Jan. 31, 2012, 09:47 PM
Oh I agree wholeheartedly bfne and JER. It is an invaluable experience.

But there is a difference between moving somewhere for the experience of something new and different, and moving somewhere for the expectation of something "better". The former is a great reason to travel and move. The latter is, in my experience, almost always disappointing. Especially when "better" is defined by a quirky little niche like horses. :winkgrin:

As a life experience, living in the east was great! As an example of "better" horse life, or life in general, not so much.

If the OP is looking for life experience then by all means. But my impression is that she believes she'll find something "better" and that sort of expectation is almost always a let down.

As an aside bfne, my grandparents have had a home on the Koan coast of the Big Island for the better part of 30 years, so spent a lot of time there over the years. If I could figure out how to have horses there, I'd never leave, that is PERFECT weather. :D:cool:

mbm
Feb. 1, 2012, 01:51 AM
thanks PF, for your input.

I think i was pretty clear in my OP what i was after: an education. i am not looking for Shangri-La.... Instead, I am looking to get educated. And since i cant go to Europe, I am looking for a place here, in the US, that i can go and LEARN.

I am not a star struck person - heck i dont even know who anyone is in eventing or dressage for that matter lol! (= i live under a rock)

What matters to me is learning to ride/train/manage/etc to the best of my ability.

:)

FLeventer
Feb. 1, 2012, 02:05 AM
Personally I love living in Florida. Events all year long, many pros come in the winter and many stay all year long, good weather for the most part, not a lot of mud if you are not in the swampy areas, and just a good place for me.

I have lived in upstate NY, England, Massachusetts, and everywhere inbetween. I like a lot of places in the US, but I can't imagine living there year round.

Another place I would consider is South Carolina and Georgia. I live in SC for a few months and GA for about a month. I love it. Nice weather, good people, and great place to live. I bike ride and hike almost the whole time I was there and the land was nice and pretty cheap where I was at.

LisaB
Feb. 1, 2012, 07:07 AM
FLeventer likes the oppressive heat and humidity :D

Oh so true what Phoenix said.
BUT you can choose to stay away from the non-horseman and the ignorant backass country hicks. I went to college here and stayed and been through the gamut.
Oh yeah, I've been through trainers. Many are complete a-holes and saw the worst in horsemanship from these Olympians. I could tell you stories...
Again, you can choose not to be around them. I have the best trainer in the world I think and I probably won't find anyone like her when I move to NM. But that's okay, I may find a really great dr trainer and a really great jumping trainer. It won't be the same but do-able. And I'll get to ride year round :cool:
And I'm sorry but since I went to the AEC's and got my ass handed to me by eventers in the west, I don't really think the east has the monopoly on great eventers. The CA and CO and TX people seem to be doing just fine.

I forgot to add, that I really do equate the closed minded hicks to the closed minded bottle blondes. Same difference, same ignorance just in a different package.

mbm
Feb. 1, 2012, 11:56 AM
Yes, there are good and bad people everywhere :)

One thing I do want to add - I am not a "competitive" person... so I am not really looking to work with someone just because they win. Instead, I want to work with those that are truly educated and have the knowledge that I want.

as an example: my current trainer doesn’t really show. he gets too nervous (lol!) but he is the absolute best trainer, has taught me a HUGE amount etc. (He is also thinking about places for me to go)

That is what I am looking for. Professionals that are in it for the horse, who have a depth of knowledge and who are willing to teach and share that info to a hard working person (that would moi)

I also am not looking to be in any "scene" (whatever that means) - do the social climbing thang etc.

I just want an education. there is so much I don't know. and I am specifically looking for areas where I can learn from a wide variety of sources and disciplines...

Having just worked 22 hours in 2 days, my mind is a bit fuzzy... please excuse any fuzzy logic ;)

fooler
Feb. 1, 2012, 02:46 PM
Great post Phoenix

But I will note...that it is important to experience the difference.
. . .
There are crappy shallow biased people EVERYWHERE....great people everywhere too.

You learn at bit from everywhere you go....but the important thing is to GO. Experience other parts of the country and the world. You may not set down roots....but you will learn something.
. . .
There are things I like in the north and things I like in the south...and things I dislike in both places.

You have to go and experience it to grow as a person and really decide where you want to lay down roots. It will be a different decision for everyone.

Quote - LisaBFLeventer likes the oppressive heat and humidity :D

Oh so true what Phoenix said.
BUT you can choose to stay away from the non-horseman and the ignorant backass country hicks.
. . .
I forgot to add, that I really do equate the closed minded hicks to the closed minded bottle blondes. Same difference, same ignorance just in a different package.


Very true words and great advice!

Take a look at Southwest Airlines. Southwest flies into Raleigh, NC, allowing you to start your search in the Carolinas and then migrate up to VA/MD/PA. Southwest also flies out of Mid-Atlantic and the North East. Southwest is more flexible with out and return flights most other airlines.

Disclaimer - I am not associated with Southwest in any way. Just have to find last minute tickets for DH and SW has been the answer on many occasions.

Brigitte
Feb. 1, 2012, 10:37 PM
I've felt like crying because we DON'T have much snow this winter! Call me crazy, but I love the snow and our winters. It is very hard work sometimes, but I just love it. The horses seem to love it also.

scubed
Feb. 2, 2012, 07:42 AM
And PF, I grew up in Michigan, spent 16 years in the bay area, loved many things, but always missed 4 seasons and found plenty of people annoyingly superficial, live now on the east coast and do wish people were a bit more laid back and did not treat driving as a competitive sport. I would go back to the midwest in a heartbeat, but also have roots and connectons in California and the east and am glad to have lived and ridden in all 3 areas of the country. I do find it interesting that almost all of my closest friends at work have a midwest connection. The horses transcend that and my eventing friends are from all over