View Full Version : Moving to Worcester, MA...need ideas!

May. 26, 2012, 08:09 PM
My husband was just offered and accepted a position in Worcester, Massachusetts. We will be moving there with our 2-mares, 1-large dog, 1-cat, later this summer. :)

We are looking into 2-options:

1. Rent a small farm: need 2-stalls minimum, fenced property, wouldn't mind living in an apartment above the barn, but pets must be allowed etc.

2. Board at a facility that provides full care, beginner lessons (western for hubby), clinics, broodmare care etc.

(I was going to add "at a reasonable price" but already know we are facing much higher prices up there... :eek: unlike the $150 pasture board for each mare we now have in TX... ;))

Any advise from my fellow CoTHer that are familiar with the area is greatly appreciated. Please feel free to PM me with your recommendations of reputable realtors and/or boarding facilities to consider, and/or realtors and boarding facilities to avoid.

Thanks in advance. :)

May. 26, 2012, 09:58 PM
Realtor--Ginette Brockway.
Fantastic person to work with.

If you go a little west of Worcester, you'll find places suitable for horses.

May. 26, 2012, 10:08 PM
Thank you, Ghazzu! :)

May. 27, 2012, 10:11 AM
Welcome to MA! My daughter attended college in Worcester (College of the Holy Cross, a beautiful school) but the city on the whole is pretty rugged and has some very depressed areas. Once you get out of the city, though, the area is really beautiful.
You might find some great local suggestions on the Bulletin Board at this site:

I think you will love the area. Worcester is just an hour from Boston, two hours from great skiing and hiking in the White Mountains and the gorgeous coastal area on Boston's north shore. Good luck with the move!

May. 27, 2012, 11:36 AM
on list of needed items.... winter coats, insolated gloves, snow plow, snow tires for car, and possibly a mid-winter vacation to topical island... as you have less daylight up north during the winters

The horses should be moved as early as possible so they can adjust to the longer winters.

May. 27, 2012, 07:26 PM
chai, thanks so much for this info and website link. We are very excited to be heading north again, to visit many of the sites in the MA, NH, VT, ME areas, and away from the ungodly HOT temps we have here in TX. :yes:

May. 27, 2012, 07:42 PM
Oh yes, clanter, great suggestions. Although we have never lived in MA, I was born/raised in PA, my hubby in NJ, he went to university in RI and visited Boston often. We are use to snow and blizzards but this move north will be a new experience for our horses and want to make sure their transition will be as smooth as possible. :yes:

May. 28, 2012, 04:58 PM
Texas Rose, good luck with the move. PM me if you need anything. I teach at a barn about an hour east of Worcester. We had a very mild winter this past year which in New England means get ready for payback next year, so heed Clanter's good advice!

May. 28, 2012, 09:16 PM
Welcome to the neighborhood! I would look west of the city or south along route 146. The Uxbridge area has some really nice properties.

May. 30, 2012, 10:31 AM
Thanks, chai. Oh yes, we are most definitely heeding Clanter's good advice; making lists of everything we, horses and pets will need for the move and surviving a winter in MA! :yes:

May. 30, 2012, 10:36 AM
Thanks for this additional info, IFG. :)

I have been off-line for a few days and just now getting caught up. Also appreciative to those who have sent me PM's (I'll reply soon)... thank you!! :yes:

May. 30, 2012, 11:16 AM
Keep in mind that while MA is a small state, it can take HOURS to drive a short distance, unlike, say Arizona, where you can drive across in 4-5 hours.

May. 30, 2012, 01:00 PM
Sutton is also a decent commute south of Worcester and has plenty of horses.

Beware if you are living west of Worcester that you typically come in on Rt 9 with stop and go traffic and sun in your eyes - and in the winter it is just no fun at all. I would not live west of Worcester unless it was somewhere I could hop on the Mass Pike and come in and then that puts you pretty far out and you have the expense of tolls. Where is Worcester is he working because that might play a role in which direction you search.

BTW, Princeton is nice town north of Worcester and there is a place for sale here that the owner might rent. There is also a lesson barn close by that hubby can take lessons on. It is relatively rural and there are tons of trails. One caveat...we are up a little higher than the surrounding areas..often we have a little more snow than those around us. On the plus side, we are a bit cooler in the summer. It's a nice town.

Address is 340 Ball Hill Princeton, MA $315,000 MLS number 71306940. The Realtor in this area to call is Joe Lee. joeleeway@juno.com. He is not a horse person, but is very familiar with the area. I've never been on this property, just have seen it listed. It has been on the market for a long time and I 'think' someone told me he would rent it but that is rumor..

May. 30, 2012, 02:28 PM
I'm about an hour west of Worcester so no help when it comes to boarding, etc. But do agree with getting the horses here asap so they can start growiong their winter coats! Worcester is the 2nd largest city in MA and is very grotty in parts. You will also want to explore my area - especially the Northampton/Amherst area, and the Berkshires. Just gorgeous country, fantastic restaurants, lots of nature-y things to do, great shopping.

May. 30, 2012, 05:21 PM
Give Tammy Barton at Integrity equestrian a call, very short drive from Worcester she is in Jefferson right off of I-190, very good boarding farm with a good safe lesson program.
508 829-5265

May. 30, 2012, 07:46 PM
What do you mean by "broodmare care"? If you have a horse in/with foal, you're not going to find a regular boarding facility for that plus training plus lessons. There are some farms that are for broodmares but 99.99% of the time that is ALL they do.

If you just mean that you want pasture board for a mare that isn't being ridden, you can probably find somewhere that is a training facility but will also do pasture board for a horse that's not being used.

There is not much Western riding out here and you will have an extremely difficult time finding a facility that offers *both* Western and English instruction. I'm not sure there even are any.

There is a New England horse board called http://www.equinesite.com/ that would be a good place for you to start looking. Good luck!

May. 31, 2012, 10:39 AM
Have you checked out Hardwick? About 35 mins. NW of Worcester. Horsey, lots of land and cheaper than Princeton or Sutton.

May. 31, 2012, 10:47 AM
@LittleblackMorgan, sketcher, oliverreed, nextyear, Guin, and Leprechaun, thank you so much for this valuable info... many areas to check out! :)

Yes, we need to find a facility ASAP to allow time for our mares to adjust and grow their winter coats and have been working towards that goal. :yes:

I also realize we may not find a facility that caters to all "our wants" right now, but it's more important that our mares' needs are met and everything else for us will fall into place. :yes:

"broodmare care"... I should have worded that better. We have 1-broodmare that is not being used for riding/breeding, but still want to find a facility that offers full-board, stalls with good pastures etc. for both our mares.
"western lessons"... something my hubby was asking about. We realize it will be hard to find but at this particular moment it is also not a high priority on our list.

May. 31, 2012, 12:13 PM
Contact the folks at The Horseman's Yankee Pedlar in North Oxford, MA.Great regional equine magazine and they may be able to give you some advice. Ask for Joan she knows just about everybody and every place. 508-987-5886


May. 31, 2012, 12:36 PM
Thanks for this info, pds! :)

May. 31, 2012, 05:28 PM
Welcome to MA! My daughter attended college in Worcester (College of the Holy Cross, a beautiful school) but the city on the whole is pretty rugged and has some very depressed areas. Once you get out of the city, though, the area is really beautiful.

Worcester is not such a bad little city. It has a great local music scene, great restaurants, a fabulous little art museum and all the activity that comes with having ten colleges and is central to everything - Boston, Northampton and Berkshires, Providence and Newport RI...name it. A day at the ocean, a weekend in Maine or Vermont or NH mountains or NY city. All within a few hours. You have to live there a bit to develop an appreciation for it.

May. 31, 2012, 06:02 PM
Boy, my Pinto/Paint and roping friends will be surprised to hear there's not much Western riding :D

May. 31, 2012, 06:13 PM
I agree that Worcester is not a bad little city -- yes, it has its less charming sections, but as has been said, it has a few great restaurants, a really nice theater, and it's within commuting range of quite a few horsey towns, too many to list here. If you post on equinesite.com, you will get plenty of good suggestions for barns/towns.

I think you can expect to pay somewhere around $600 a month for full board, but I could be wrong, and of course there's a huge range. Private barns might be alittle less; if you need an indoor (which is a good thing in the winter), maybe alittle more.

I think there are quite a few small farms for sale within a 45-minute commute of Worcester, and maybe one of them might consider renting.

May. 31, 2012, 06:19 PM
Welcome to Wuhstah! (please make sure when interacting with anyone from MA that you pronounce Worcester as Wuhstah. God forbid you say something like Wor-kester. Rs do not exist to a hardcore "wicked smaht" person of Worcester. I say this from experience.)

There are some really nice places down in Uxbridge. I'm just south of Boston (BAHSTAN), but if it wasn't over an hour, I'd board over there in a heartbeat. I know someone who does English/shows Western at a barn down that way. Don't remember the name, but I think it was in Grafton.

Man $150 for pasture board? *sigh* I'm going to be paying $700/mo for full board moving farther away in Rehoboth.

You also have the option of looking in RI for barns being close to Worcester - it's about 45 min from Providence. But it's def cheaper out west. The closer your are the the Berkshires, the more land and less expensive board.

May. 31, 2012, 07:11 PM
But it's def cheaper out west. The closer your are the the Berkshires, the more land and less expensive board.

:lol: Not really. Full board in this area (Amherst) is right around $600. It gets a LITTLE cheaper if you really go out to the boonies, but at that point any money you're saving on boarding is being added on to the gas money the longer commute takes you.

MA is expensive evverrrywhhereee, unfortunately.

Jun. 1, 2012, 01:03 PM
@TB7, I couldn't stop laughing with your pronunciations because every time I'd say WOO-STIR to my husband, he would quickly say it's WUHSTAH, and BAHSTAN!! :lol: :lol:

I know we are very lucky to be paying $150 for each mare on pasture board here :yes: unlike what we might have to pay up there, approximately $1500 a month for both... :eek:

Jun. 1, 2012, 01:11 PM
@sketcher, before we moved south, my husband and I would frequently take trips to New England and loved it. Drive up on Friday, see the sights Saturday, drive home to PA Sunday (straight through from ME). :yes:

@Ghazzu, will you please PM me with more info on Western riding in the area? Thanks! :)

@SharonA, thanks for the info! :)

@GoForAGallop, you are right... "MA is expensive evverrrywhhereee, unfortunately."

Jun. 1, 2012, 05:56 PM
I'm from Dudley, which is about 35 min southwest of Worcester- right on the CT line. Great school system, small town feel, probably can find a decent property for horses (or board with us!). PM me if you want more info

Jun. 1, 2012, 06:07 PM
approximately $1500 a month for both... :eek:

Yep - I've got 2 now so it'll be $1,400/mo in the boonies for me. In the "heart of horse country" (Which I don't understand because they don't even have decent turnout, but I guess a lot of people like having tiny dirt paddocks where their horses can't run or get hurt, especially when they have 5 figure horses. My horses would just go crazy from not being able to move.) you'd be paying more like $1,700-2,200/mo for 2. One place was $1,500/mo for ONE horse. I sh*t you not.

She's Pure Gold
Jun. 1, 2012, 10:19 PM
There are a lot of great areas outside of Worcester, in pretty much every direction. My husband and I live closer to Boston now (I work in Boston) but we did live in central MA for a few years and we are hoping to eventually make our way back there. In particular I really like Sterling and Princeton, both north-west of Worcester up 190 but are not too far up. Spencer has a lot of country areas, and if you're willing to drive further you can probably find great deals around Barre, Rutland, Hubbardston etc. (though there is not much else in those areas!). Lots of nice places to trail ride, too, if that's your thing at all. Good luck with your move!

cheval convert
Jun. 2, 2012, 09:44 PM
You should be able to find something in the $500 - $600 per horse range. I board in Carlisle (closer to Boston that Worcester) and pay $525 for outside board with access to shelter. THe facility has everything but an indoor.

Once you and your horses are up here you'll have time to look for the perfect place for them.

Also, for western lessons, go to the www.equichat.com and look up the user quarterhorseforme. He is a western trainer and my trainer holds him in very high regard. (She does not make recommendations unless she is really impressed.)

And welcome to the area. Let us know when you arrive.:D

Jun. 2, 2012, 10:11 PM
I'm about 30 minutes northeast of Worcester. I do not know the Worcester area well, however, so I'm not much help. Up here we're paying 750 for full board with an indoor.

If you want to be guaranteed the ability to ride in the winter, you'll want an indoor. This past winter was really warm, with little snow, so we were able to ride outside for most of it. The winter before, however, was a nightmare. Lots of snow and very cold, so the snow didn't melt between storms. I was at a barn with no indoor then and there was no riding and practically no turnout...four feet of snow piled on the ground and everything iced over, there were a number of weeks where all we could do was handwalk up and down the drive :(.

www.equinesite.com is the New England horse board, someone there may know of something for you.

Jun. 3, 2012, 10:59 PM
Worster is very close to Rhode Island boarder, you can look into barn in North Smithfield as well. New England states are TINY compared the counties of Texas. Many people live or work in one state and have their horses or send their kids to school in another. "Pasture board" is extremely rare in New England as pasture it's self is very minimal. The land is horribly rocky, covered in trees and very poor quality soil. The over head on keeping is much much higher than most southern states. The weather reeks havoc on keeping horses outdoors. Most people keep horses in stalls and then "turn out". This is because keeping horses out really tends to destroy the pastures. Finding more than a paddock for turn out is rare. Some of the bigger more expensive barns have true pasture but tend to only go out for a few hours on rotation to keep the pastures in good condition. The reality is boarding is likely going to cost you $500 per horse minimum, that "break even" rates for the barn owner. As well all day turnout or pasture board is extremely rare. Welcome to New England lols, where EVERYTHING is expensive =p