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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2008
    Location
    From CA to PA to VA
    Posts
    274

    Default Being a breeder in VA

    My family and I currently reside in N. CA. and I am interested in re-locating to VA within the next year or so. I have friends (non-horse people) in Woodbridge that I have visited, along with surrounding areas (they are originally from CA) and they really love the area. I would like to get some more information (primarily from sporthorse breeders that have their own farms) on pros and cons, special considerations about the area, weather concerns (for people and horses), hay prices, etc. Any info. will be greatly appreciated. Please and big thanks. Regards to all,
    Anney Daugherty
    Winsmore Farm
    www.winsmorefarm.com



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2004
    Location
    Fauquier County, VA
    Posts
    10,467

    Default

    I think Virginia is a great place to have a farm, and in fact moved to this area specifically because I think it offers so much for horsepeople. I am near Leesburg, and in this area there are shows nearby throughout the year, a good market for horses (the mid-atlantic region generally tends to be strong), a number of very good trainers, excellent vet and farrier care, and if you look you can still find nice land. It is a bit pricey, but I believe that generally you can get better value here than in CA (though CA housing prices are down more than they are here, so that disparity might be closing a bit). If I were looking for a farm in Northern VA, in particular I would look at Loudoun, Fauquier, and Rappahonnock (sp?) counties. Loudoun has the highest taxes of the three, but has the advantage of being more accessible to DC (and depending on where in Loudoun, to MD as well). Generally, Western Loudoun is the more rural, horsey part, and Eastern Loudoun is more suburban.

    In terms of hay costs, typically I can get second cutting orchard grass from a hay farmer for around $5.50 a bale - IF I pick it up. Delivery charges can run around $75. Hay from the feed store would typically cost double (and I had to do that during the drought last year). Ideally, it would be best to have enough land to be able to have your own hay baled. The pasture quality here tends to be quite good, so you might not need as much land as you might think to be able to do that.

    You might check out the listings at longandfoster.com . If you use the advance search function, you can search by county and specify a minimum # of acres. Also, if you need a rec for a good real estate agent, the one who helped me find my farm was great and is a horsewoman herself, so she really understood our needs. I recommended her to a friend and she helped her get a great farm in the area also.

    And if you do come to the area, I have a great list of people who do all sorts of things like build rings and fencing, etc., because we have done a lot of work on our farm in the three years we have been here. I would be happy to share contacts.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2007
    Location
    Heaven on Earth--Sonoma County, CA
    Posts
    1,803

    Default

    As someone who grew up in the Bay area, lived in Northrn VA for 13 years, and now lives in the Bay Area again, I will say think very, very, carefully about your choices. I moved back because there were things that ultimately made life there unteneable for me.

    First and foremost, weather. You folks who are from the midwest and grew up in the east don''t fully appreciate how good we CA'ers have it. Snow and ice is cool for the first winter, then it becomes a soul killing, body destroying, unforgiving and inescapable part of life. There is a light years worth of difference between 40 and raining (CA winter) and 20 and sleeting (VA winter). There are thunderstorms all summer that make everything wet, muddy, and gross. The humidity means you never really feel clean. I had never in my life seen as many skin problems, hoof problems, and infections in my life as when I moved into a humid climate.

    As a part of the weather, the bugs and flies in the summer are unreal. You think the flies in CA can be bad, try the Jurassic Park critters in Va that can bite through clothes, leave bloody welts the size of dimes, and send horses into fits of hysteria to get them off.

    Secondly, attitude and politics. Here in the North Bay I'm considered a moderate bordering on mildly conservative. In Northern VA I felt like Timothy Leary. I heard the N word used in causual converstation more in the first month I lived there than in my entire previous life to date. There is very much a class system there, and that is something we from CA can't even begin to fathom. You may feel tired of the granola crowd here in the Bay Area, but trust me, the other extreme, which abounds in VA, is just as bad.

    There are a lot of wonderful horse practitioners in the area--vets, farriers, etc--some of the best in the world. Unfortunately, not only do you pay through the nose for many of them, they don't need you as a customer, so their business operates on their convenience, not yours. I know many vets that stopped doing emergency calls--expected you to take them to a clinic instead. Farriers there have shops, and you go to them . . . or you pay an extra $150 in travel fees.

    The land there is beuatiful, and the area is very horsey. But ultimately, that wasn't enough for me, I came home and have never been happier.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2007
    Location
    Meadowview VA
    Posts
    2,291

    Default

    Most, if not all of VA is horsey. Where we are, in SW VA almost to the TN border, a little less so. Guess we are undiscovered .
    I grew up in Richmond, went to college in Harrisonburg, and then moved back to Richmond where we stayed for a few years. Goochland Co, to the west of Richmond, is horse and hunt country, but I think it is becoming more suburban.
    If I had my druthers, I'd live in the Lexington area, where the Virginia Horse Center is. Absolutely gorgeous countryside, seems like the prices aren't too crazy, and you would be about an hour or so from Charlottesville and a couple hours (?) from the Warrenton/Upperville area. It is a college town-VMI and Washington & Lee are there.
    There was a 35 acre parcel about 5 miles from us for sale recently that I believe was 5k an acre-unheard of down here (cheeeeeap). Twelve acres were in pasture, 23 in woods (hills), it was near a river, and right on a good country road. I am assuming it sold as the signs are gone. Hope a developer didn't find it....
    Why didn't we buy it? We are spoiled-less land, but very, very private property and great neighbors.
    Virginia-no earthquakes, relatively mild winters, not really bothered by hurricanes (knock on wood), and only a rare forest fire.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Rawley Springs, Virginia
    Posts
    2,468

    Default

    I live in VA and have nearly my whole life. I would live in Sonoma Co if I possibly could. What a neat place! It is cheaper to live here, but even I feel like a radical in my home state. I was much more comfortable in CA when I visited. The humidity is a killer here and the flies. BUT hay is cheaper and land is cheaper. VA has a huge variety of cost of living and what is horse friendly and what is not. I live "near" Charlottesville, Lexington, etc. Very horse friendly, lots of local and A shows within easy driving distance. Some areas are beautiful. So it is a mixed bag. Depends on what is important to you. Feel free to email me christolar@comcast.net for more info. You should visit different areas to get a feel. We have mountains, flat lands, beach. The ice and rain and mud and heat and humidity can drain the best horse person.
    Chris
    Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
    WWSD? (what would Suerte do?)



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2005
    Location
    Great Falls , VA
    Posts
    181

    Smile

    Hey there sassy Ms. Phoenix...I live in Great Falls, VA. Grew up in Waterford, Va. Went to University in Lexington, VA. I also lived in Tiburon, Ca and worked in Napa, CA. I don't know who you knew in Virginia, but, I have never kept company with folks that used that kind of language...here in Virginia or California. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED my liberal, easy going buddies in California, great people, great lifestyle, beautiful country. But rest assured, there are plenty of us open minded, Democrats (and yes, I actually have a few Republican pals too!!! And they all have good manners...HA) that love living in one of the top states for showing, breeding and loving all kinds of horses and ponies. Trust me, there is NOTHING like a gallop on a crisp Fall morning in the Blue Ridge mountains with vibrant leaves and air that smells like heaven, truly as good as nature can get. I also like that I can take an "A" pony or a local packer, to any variety of shows virtually any weekend, all year long, and have (usually) no more than a 1/2 to an hours drive. I loved Northern California and its' people and its' horses/ponies, but be gentle on Virginia!
    Kelly, Ballingard Grove
    If you tell the truth, then you don't have to remember anything. Mark Twain



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2007
    Location
    Meadowview VA
    Posts
    2,291

    Default

    Oh, but PhoenixFarm, we all know that NOVA isn't really VA!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2005
    Location
    Great Falls , VA
    Posts
    181

    Smile

    Ok 3dogfarm...I will give you that one!
    Kelly, Ballingard Grove
    If you tell the truth, then you don't have to remember anything. Mark Twain



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2007
    Location
    Meadowview VA
    Posts
    2,291

    Default

    Well, , it's because my aunt lived for years in Arlington and Alexandria, and I did my student teaching in Springfield.
    Being caught on 495 on a Friday afternoon is still seared in my memory...over 30 years ago...in one of those Pintos that had the exploding gasoline tank....with semi's barreling down the shoulder of the highway at 60 mph....



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2005
    Location
    Great Falls , VA
    Posts
    181

    Default

    Sooooo Funny. I agree, we are one big traffic jam here in NOVA. Go south young gal, go south!
    Kelly, Ballingard Grove
    If you tell the truth, then you don't have to remember anything. Mark Twain



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2006
    Location
    Sunbury, NC
    Posts
    1,789

    Default

    We just recently moved into very NE NC over the VA line (we work in VA - 5 miles from the border) after living in VA all our lives - me in Richmond and my bf/partner in NOVA...

    I loved Richmond, winters weren't too bad, very central to all horsey areas. Down in the "Hampton Roads" area where we were before we moved to NC, we RARELY got snow, and still don't here, so that's nice. The one thing that sucks in the HUMIDITY. Humidity = bugs, sweat, miserableness. I recently said to some Cali friends something about the "heat index" and they had no clue what I was talking about, and I wanted to die! I am beginning to like winter better than summer.

    Of course there are pros and cons to every area. Cost of living seems less than Cali, but varies as to what part of VA you're talking. It's definitely green and pretty here in the summer (if we actually get rain like we're supposed to), which was a comment of delight we got from a visitor from CA.

    So, if you don't mind snow and a bit more cold, go for Charlottesville/Warrenton/western NOVA in the mountainy spots. Some gorgeous scenery. If you hate snow, go for the flatter, probably a bit hotter but closer to the beach (but subsequently hurricanes!) area like Chesapeake or even maybe up on the Peninsula. Only bad thing about this southeastern VA area is it's hard to grow good hay, so if you're picky like us you have to get it trucked in - $7-8/bale or more for good stuff.

    Hope this helps!
    Signature Sporthorses
    www.signaturesporthorses.com



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2004
    Location
    Fauquier County, VA
    Posts
    10,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixFarm View Post
    As someone who grew up in the Bay area, lived in Northrn VA for 13 years, and now lives in the Bay Area again, I will say think very, very, carefully about your choices. I moved back because there were things that ultimately made life there unteneable for me.

    First and foremost, weather. You folks who are from the midwest and grew up in the east don''t fully appreciate how good we CA'ers have it. Snow and ice is cool for the first winter, then it becomes a soul killing, body destroying, unforgiving and inescapable part of life. There is a light years worth of difference between 40 and raining (CA winter) and 20 and sleeting (VA winter). There are thunderstorms all summer that make everything wet, muddy, and gross. The humidity means you never really feel clean. I had never in my life seen as many skin problems, hoof problems, and infections in my life as when I moved into a humid climate.

    As a part of the weather, the bugs and flies in the summer are unreal. You think the flies in CA can be bad, try the Jurassic Park critters in Va that can bite through clothes, leave bloody welts the size of dimes, and send horses into fits of hysteria to get them off.

    Secondly, attitude and politics. Here in the North Bay I'm considered a moderate bordering on mildly conservative. In Northern VA I felt like Timothy Leary. I heard the N word used in causual converstation more in the first month I lived there than in my entire previous life to date. There is very much a class system there, and that is something we from CA can't even begin to fathom. You may feel tired of the granola crowd here in the Bay Area, but trust me, the other extreme, which abounds in VA, is just as bad.

    There are a lot of wonderful horse practitioners in the area--vets, farriers, etc--some of the best in the world. Unfortunately, not only do you pay through the nose for many of them, they don't need you as a customer, so their business operates on their convenience, not yours. I know many vets that stopped doing emergency calls--expected you to take them to a clinic instead. Farriers there have shops, and you go to them . . . or you pay an extra $150 in travel fees.

    The land there is beuatiful, and the area is very horsey. But ultimately, that wasn't enough for me, I came home and have never been happier.
    Wow, if that had been my experience here, I would have run out of the state to anywhere else, USA. I have to say my experience, on all counts, has been the polar opposite (except maybe the weather; though even so I have not seen anything like you are describing here -- the last few winters have been mild except a bad 4-6 week period, and we rarely have mud on my farm at any time of year, but are in the hills and have excellent pasture and drainage). And I hate bugs, and have not found them to be a problem, either.

    I have lived in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, Louisiana, Connecticut, New York, Paris, London, and the South of France. For horses, VA and RSF top my list. As for vets, I have top ones and they have always been excellent about coming out no matter what the hour or the day of the week. We had a major emergency on one 4th of July and nearly lost a horse; my vet stayed up all night with my horse and ultimately saved him (he was too sick to even consider transporting).

    Re the social commentary, the ONLY person I have ever heard speak as you describe in my presence was one contractor I had --for one day -- who is no longer welcome on my property. I do not tolerate that kind of talk and don't have time for people who think that way.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2004
    Location
    Fauquier County, VA
    Posts
    10,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tntpony View Post
    Hey there sassy Ms. Phoenix...I live in Great Falls, VA. Grew up in Waterford, Va. Went to University in Lexington, VA. I also lived in Tiburon, Ca and worked in Napa, CA. I don't know who you knew in Virginia, but, I have never kept company with folks that used that kind of language...here in Virginia or California. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED my liberal, easy going buddies in California, great people, great lifestyle, beautiful country. But rest assured, there are plenty of us open minded, Democrats (and yes, I actually have a few Republican pals too!!! And they all have good manners...HA) that love living in one of the top states for showing, breeding and loving all kinds of horses and ponies. Trust me, there is NOTHING like a gallop on a crisp Fall morning in the Blue Ridge mountains with vibrant leaves and air that smells like heaven, truly as good as nature can get. I also like that I can take an "A" pony or a local packer, to any variety of shows virtually any weekend, all year long, and have (usually) no more than a 1/2 to an hours drive. I loved Northern California and its' people and its' horses/ponies, but be gentle on Virginia!
    Of course you are happy, having grown up in beautiful Waterford! *That* is, imo, one of the most gorgeous areas in Loudoun County. I love driving on Loyalty Road.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,119

    Default

    I read these posts with great interest. I cannot add anything about living in Virginia. I have never been there. It does sound lovely. Yet, I can relate to leaving suburban California to a more rural environment with cultural and climatic differences, even though still in California! I am 50 years of age and born and raised in Southern CA. Attending school in the 70's, I was really the only one I knew whose parents were also born in CA. Everyone else had uprooted from somewhere else and relocated to CA. Most Californians have no issue with folks from other parts of the country, or foreign countries, as that is our heritage. I don't think you will find that anywhere else: my experience with other parts of the country is that there is a stigma attached to being from CA. So, there is that issue to contend with. My husband and I relocated from So. Cal 3 years ago to a very rural area of Northern CA that is sparsely populated. Here we can have 40 beautiful acres of land to raise horses that we could not dream of elsewhere in CA. Here we have winter with snow and ice. I was golden with it the first year. Snow! What a thrill! The second year I felt isolated and fearful of driving over the mountains. Since we are surrounded by mountains (real mountains, I don't think the elevations are that big in the South) this became a serious issue. Really. It took another winter and some major changes to adapt. If you are a native to the sunnier climes of CA , you might now consider even rainy days as eventful and hazardous. It sounds silly even to me, but you should consider this in your moving plans. Weather is bigger than you. You really have no idea about how the weather will affect you, I know I did not, but thought I did. When Winter comes, just about everything comes to a screeching halt in ways that are difficult to imagine. The ground freezes. You will not be getting that project finished until next year if it isn't done by September or October at the latest. I would take the poster's comments about "soul-killing" rather seriously. Secondly, most of the folks that live in our area have lived here for generations. It doesn't matter that we are also Californians; we are outsiders. This presents challenges in building a social network. I can only imagine a place like Virginia to be deeply rooted in tradition, families and social networks long established that will present challenges to newcomers. Consider this carefully. My advice is that you consider renting or leasing a place and give it at least two years before you can say the area is right for you. And about the hay prices: the price of hay given in these posts is for bales of hay much smaller than you are accustomed to. I'd say the bales of hay mentioned here are perhaps one third the size or weight of what you would expect. Overall, my impression is the price of hay is greater there than what I pay here in N. CA where the hay is grown locally. So, while some things sound relatively less expensive elsewhere, the true cost is yet to be determined. I wish you success in your endeavor. I just wanted to give you some issues to consider as a fellow Californian uprooted and living in a very different environment. Best wishes!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2004
    Location
    Fauquier County, VA
    Posts
    10,467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Indy-lou View Post
    Secondly, most of the folks that live in our area have lived here for generations. It doesn't matter that we are also Californians; we are outsiders. This presents challenges in building a social network. I can only imagine a place like Virginia to be deeply rooted in tradition, families and social networks long established that will present challenges to newcomers. Consider this carefully.
    That is not true of most of Northern Virginia. Many, many people in the greater D.C. area are transplants, particularly those in Goverrnment jobs and military. I really cannot imagine it being difficult to build any kind of social network here. And having a strong interest in something very popular here -- such as horses -- makes it very easy to meet people. If nothing else, there are a number of COTHers who I am sure would be happy to introduce a newcomer around!


    My advice is that you consider renting or leasing a place and give it at least two years before you can say the area is right for you.
    I think that is always prudent if feasible, though the market is pretty soft right now so it is probably a good time to buy (on the other hand, there may be more opportunities to rent nice places than there have been in the recent past). It is not that easy, though, to find a farm to rent, and the cost of boarding multiple horses would quickly approach the amount of a house payment each month, without any tax or other advantages.


    And about the hay prices: the price of hay given in these posts is for bales of hay much smaller than you are accustomed to. I'd say the bales of hay mentioned here are perhaps one third the size or weight of what you would expect. Overall, my impression is the price of hay is greater there than what I pay here in N. CA where the hay is grown locally. So, while some things sound relatively less expensive elsewhere, the true cost is yet to be determined.
    How big are your bales? Off the top of my head, I don't know how much mine weigh, but they are huge. There is no way you would be able to lift anything bigger than what I have, and presumably Californians can lift their square bales. I also rarely have to supplement pasture with hay while the horses are turned out; our fields are excellent for most of the year. There is maybe one or two months of the year when we have to put it in the fields, and we also always give free choice hay while they are stalled.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2004
    Location
    Marshall, VA
    Posts
    1,178

    Default

    Just wanted to chime in that while I am not a breeder, I am a dressage trainer, and a N. IL transplant who is LOVING Virginia! We moved onto a street where about half our neighbors are related, and they have been almost universally kind and friendly, even to a family of Yanks who made traffic on our block a nightmare during our 6-or-so months of construction.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2003
    Location
    Virginia Hunt Country
    Posts
    1,060

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by YankeeLawyer View Post

    How big are your bales? Off the top of my head, I don't know how much mine weigh, but they are huge. There is no way you would be able to lift anything bigger than what I have, and presumably Californians can lift their square bales. I also rarely have to supplement pasture with hay while the horses are turned out; our fields are excellent for most of the year. There is maybe one or two months of the year when we have to put it in the fields, and we also always give free choice hay while they are stalled.
    They generally don't lift their hay bales in CA at least they didn't when I was there. Their bales are 140 to 150 lb three wire bales. You use something called hay hooks to move them. It was quite a shock first time I help unload a shipment at Ft Ord.


    I have raised horses in VA, FL and CA. VA gets my vote. Yes there is weather here but it beats the two seasons of fire and mud slide you get in CA. There is a shade of lush green that exists naturally in VA that does not exist in CA. I noticed it when I moved back. My horse did not do well in CA she was depressed despite being at a high end breeding farm. When I moved her back to VA and turned her out into a pasture there she just shook for a few seconds quickly grabbed a few mouthfuls of grass and took off before I could change my mind. She was much much happier on a Virginia pasture than she had been on the "golden brown hills" of Monterey county.

    You have a much greater variety of forages here than CA. The support for the horse is better and the vets are used to customers who are knowledgeable and don't feel threatened by that. In Fauquier horse's are a way of life and their importance to the area is evident everywhere. There is a concerted effort to keep the land open that has been very successful in northern Fauquier county and there are a wide variety of trails and show venues.

    When it comes to showing here it is not a case of is there a show nearby this weekend but which of 3 shows nearby do you wish to go to. Their are tack shops galore. there are at least 10 within a half hours drive of my farm. Some which specialize in used consignments.

    The vets are good and competitive.

    My hay costs me $4.25 a 40 lb bale timothy/orchard grass delivered and stacked.

    The local coop has a program where they help you gage you foals growth curve and helping you adjust your feed accordingly. This is a free service.

    And personally I love the weather here. The rain gives us the lush pastures, The snow is only around long enough to play in and then it goes away. In the 25 plus years I have lived here I have only broken out my it's really really cold weather gear about 5 times.

    There is a reason why horse people congregate here.
    "I am sorry, I lead a bit of a complex life, things don't always happen in the right order" The Doctor



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2004
    Location
    Fauquier County, VA
    Posts
    10,467

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaotic mind View Post
    They generally don't lift their hay bales in CA at least they didn't when I was there. Their bales are 140 to 150 lb three wire bales. You use something called hay hooks to move them. It was quite a shock first time I help unload a shipment at Ft Ord.
    .
    Ok, then I concede bales like that are bigger than mine! Mine weigh more than my feed bags, which are 50 lbs each, but less than me, and I am petite. I think they are more like 70lbs.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2007
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    1,616

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    Like Indy, I haven't lived in VA, but I have experienced living somewhere other than CA (on the East Coast), and have to agree with the comments about the climate grinding you down, down, down. We live in No. CA, so earthquakes are not an issue, and we live in the foothills, so snow and ice are not an issue. We do deal with heat, rain, and fog - but I never realized how oppressive heat was until I spent time on the East Coast. Holy cow, the humidity drags you to the ground. What I've learned over the years, is some people are affected by it, others aren't. So you'll have to make that assessment of yourself.

    As a teen, my Father uprooted the family and took us to the East Coast for a year. It was beautiful, honestly, I'd visit again in a flash, but the humidity and the bird sized bugs are something I have nightmares about. Imagine walking around with a hot wet sheet over you for weeks on end. Your hair is sticky, your clothes are sticky. I thought maybe I'd imagined it as worse than it was (teen years an all). But recently we visited friends in CT, and it was even worse than I imagined. BEAUTIFUL country, but if you are affected by heat and humidity (not everyone is), oppressive... It is green because it is wet all the time.

    And the winters - the snow and ice were beautiful for the first few storms. After that, it wasn't so pretty anymore. Plugging in a car just to keep it warm enough to drive - then driving on iced roads IF the roads were clear. Bitter, bitter, bitter cold. Hail storms. I found them more frightening than an earthquake. You could be walking along on a crisp day, sun is shining, and all of a sudden, there is a black cloud behind you and a ROAR. Pounding toward you is a sheet of hail ready to mow you down (literally). Cars are dented, people are injured, gardens are flattened by golf ball sized hail.

    A lot of it depends on whether you have the money to pay someone to deal with the chores when the weather is bad so you don't have to go out and feed in the sleet or muck horses out of the mud or clean moldy tack. If you can pay people to do that part of the work, it is probably MUCH more liveable. You can avoid the worst part of the humidity and storms, let someone else deal with it. But if you are trying to operate like many of us smaller farms do, where you do much of the work on your own, then take the advice and live there temporarily and decide whether your body can handle the weather.

    As for comments on vets and services - I think that varies ANYWHERE you go. I live in a rural county in CA - when we first came, there was ONE equine vet that served much of 3 counties. And he took weekends off, period. So it was pretty awful - emergencies, good luck, you learned pretty quickly to handle just about everything on your own. But times are changing, we have a 2nd vet in the area, and she brought in a 3rd vet, and are considering adding even another. They have ties to top surgeons in CA, so we get 2nd opinions over the phone very easily. And someone is always on call. It isn't the equine mecha yet, but getting there. And I imagine VA is like that too - some places are great, others aren't when it comes to support services.

    Politics - well, CA is a much more open and liberal state than many. Things do differ as you head in-land and to the south to visit other states - but that isn't unique to VA, that is kind of how the US is.

    ETA:
    I do think it is BEAUTIFUL on the East Coast, and if you can handle the weather/climate issues, go for it. But, realize many people are very negatively affected by the humidity and the Winter weather, so go into it with eyes wide open. AND - as for traffic, since you're already in CA, you should be grossly familiar with bad traffic ;-)
    Last edited by FriesianX; Sep. 6, 2008 at 11:07 AM.
    www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
    Director, WTF Registry



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2003
    Posts
    2,794

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    As someone who has lived in Southern Cal and who has lived in the southeast and as someone who has spent a LOT of time in the D.C. area, I can tell you that the D.C people and attitudes are much MUCH different. Harsh, abrupt, rude are just a few words, then judgemental, clickish and class oriented also come to mind. I couldn't live there just based on how the people are. Those of you who live there seem basically unaware of it. But those of us who have lived in different areas find it offensive.



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