I have always had horses in Massachusetts and hate winter more and more every.single.year. I often dream of moving south, but the husband wants to stay here because he DOES NOT like heat and humidity (he is English- they don't do either well). How are Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina for horse keeping? I often think they'd be far enough south to improve the winter situation, but far enough north that it may work for DH with regard to those muggy hot summers. Am I dreaming? North Carolina in the Raleigh Durham area may actually have work for us, we're both in technology.
What's your definition of "heat and humidity"?
July and August in the Raleigh area - and most all of NC from the foothills on East - can be in the 90's and 50%+ humidity, often with several days over 100, not always in a row but sometimes :)
Va can be the same. MD too.
The farther West in all those states, the less you might deal with humidity, but it still just depends.
Winter here IS an improvement over anything in the NE :) If you/he can tolerate a couple months of higher temps and humidity, then the rest of the year will be a breeze
I do believe it's easier.
- No frozen water.
- No waiting til the sun's up to turn out cause it's so cold.
- Riding is available year around (especially if you have lights to ride in the summer evenings when it's a bit cooler and in the winter after work).
- Land is very expensive (of course at the moment it's a bargin).
- Summers most people turn out all night and in during the days (under fans). I do the opposite but I have plenty of shade on my property.
- Bugs - means lots of fly spray in the spring,summer and fall.
But don't ask me - I plan to move in a few year further up north (not too far) since we were given LOTS of land.
I do have to make the point that here in Ocala, there hasnt been a single day since Ive lived here, that during the summer we were any where near the hottest part of the CONUS. I see the northeast sweltering in upper 90's and 100's, when here its 92 or 93. Even TX and the Midwest gets hotter than it does here. I dont know if its the proximity to the ocean, or how flat it is here, but Ive rarely been as hot here as when I lived in the North East. Talk about sweltering!
I'll second that. Two major bodies of water on either side of us temper the humidity. If it gets too wet, it'll just rain and be done with it. But we are hot and humid for much longer. I take August and much of July off from riding. We can ride through the winter though.
I'm currently in Wisconsin. It can be pretty here, but the cold can really suck. I especially hate trying to drag horses in when it gets dark so early and waddling around like a Pillsbury dough boy because I have so many layers on. It does get hot in summer too and the humidity isn't my friend.
I had an easier time living in Southern California and getting up early and riding before the heat then than in Wisconsin. I don't know, sometimes it's hard getting up when you just melt into a puddle of sweat by stepping outside. Summers in southern Oregon seemed easier too.
But honestly, I would have to try out a few places before I could decide my favorite, hah. But I will say my next move is less cold (at least a couple fewer months of freezing) and more time to ride with less time fighting blizzards, frozen water tanks, hoses, etc. Of course there are trade offs, but life is short and more hours in the saddle should be worth it in the end, I hope.
I miss the snow back in Colorado and Virginia. I mostly miss the fact that the bugs weren't super sized and died off for a much longer period...
Got the best of both worlds. Wednesday 54 degrees. Today 6. And I didn't even have to leave the state.:D
I live in NH and in SC.
SC is definitely easier. In NH, the horses are either out or in stalls. Here, they have stalls with walk outs, and they choose to mostly stay outside.
So, I can mostly manage farm chorses myself, where in NH, I have to have someone come in to help clean stalls. I have 9 horses.
Hay is way more expensive. Weather here is wierd, so I do much more blanketing than I ever did in NH.
Lifestyle is definitely a negative for me here. In NH, I live very close to conveniences. Here it is a half hour drive to town.
Here, things well, just are not available, and they will tell you that it will be here tomorrow, and then this goes on for a week or two or three. I mean, really how can tractor supply be out of basic hardware, feed, etc is beyond me considering this is Aiken and a horse town, esp in winter. Its not just tsc but every where. I think its a southern thing.
I do like weather here, but thats about it. I am probably the only person who is not enthralled with Aiken, and have no desire to live here year round.
There are other places in the south which I feel are more progressive and I am on the look out for another place that is horsey, but has other options too.
Another thing I wasn't prepared for. In SC, the coastal dies in october...I mean die as in brown and dry. It also doesn't come in till may. It is not a lush grass like northern grass, it is wiry and well, just not that great.
So, in winter, be prepared if you want something for your horses to graze to plant ryegrass...which can cost you a lot of money.
when people mention the footing here in aiken is great, that is true, however it also makes for lousy pasture. Soil is sandy, and does not hold water and well, the soil just is lousy.
I did not find the bugs that bad in june here...when I left at the end of the month to head north. Well, bugs were not bad, but flies are disgusting. There are flies even in winter here. In warmer temps, OMG, one needs a fly spray system...those DR. foster battery operated sprayers don't do a thing.
I wear the same wool, down, hat and gloves etc that I did up north. Its very cold at night, and in the morning, and then by mid day, end of day it warms up. So, if you are only out mid day, its great, but if you are caring for horses early morn or night, its cold. So,for example, last night it was 25 and this afternoon it was in the mid 50s. Another thing, temps in one day are huge swings.
The sun is very strong, even when its cold and windy. SInce it is flatter and less hills/mtns to block the wind, it is incredible to deal with the wind.
Like many others, I believe it's easier in the south, but I think horses are healthiest in colder climates. I live in northern Vermont, and the winters here can be brutal. 2 weeks ago we never got above zero for several days. My horses were snug in their heavy Rambos, got some extra hay, and were just fine. They went outside each day, except for 2 when the windchill was about -30. I complain about the winter WAAAY more than my horses.
I love the seasons here in VT. Yes, the winters are long and cold, but I would take that over the heat, humidity, bugs, and earthquakes, tornados, mudslides, hurricanes, etc. that come with living in other places. I like having winter so my horses get some much deserved time off!