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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
    Location
    Catharpin, Virginia
    Posts
    6,800

    Default Why would Texas be better for me than my beloved Va horse country...

    You Texans...tell me about why I should move my farm to your state. What are the pros and cons. I've been a devotee to sport horse breeding and training in the heart of the special VA horse country for 23 years, but I'm thinking about moving. Qualified, dependable labor is scarce if not inexistent in the last 10 years. While I'm still very much an oasis...the urban sprawl has changed the landscape (though not for me) but I've lost the rural feeling. Neighbors are abusive and don't care for the land and lifestyle with their McMansions.

    So, tell me, which part is the best part of the state to raise sporthorses, pursue the training and marketing for the dressage and jumper market, and enjoy rural life with a horse business once again. I'm single, self-employed (beyond the horses and can keep that business going regardless of where I live)...and 57.

    Both of my sisters have been trying to get me to TX for years as they say it would be easier for me as people want to work and are more entrepeureal in nature. That's the LAST thing I'm seeing now that D.C. suburbia and that mentality as eaten away what I adored about my farm on what was then on the "outskirts".

    Thanks.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2002
    Location
    Hometown: San Antonio, TX ; Current Location: Amarillo, TX
    Posts
    1,605

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sid View Post
    So, tell me, which part is the best part of the state to raise sporthorses, pursue the training and marketing for the dressage and jumper market, and enjoy rural life with a horse business once again. I'm single, self-employed (beyond the horses and can keep that business going regardless of where I live)...and 57.
    Best part for sporthorses would be around the Dallas/Ft.Worth area or Houston area (oh but the humidity ). Pin Oak is a huge h/j show in Houston as are a few of the dressage shows and Dallas has some nice h/j trainers.

    Wherever you end up be prepared to DRIVE everywhere!!!! A 4 or 5 hour haul to shows is the norm around here. Honestly if breeding and raising sporthorses/ jumpers was my business, Texas would be one of the last places I would move. I am a born and raised Texan but can tell you honestly, english horses are not as popular as they are out east. We have some very fancy english horses and some super nice barns but you are more likely to find reiners and cutters or rodeo horses. I lived out on the east coast for 5 years so I speak from experience.

    I love Texas but if I was going to try to make a living with eventing horses I would be on the fastest highway out of here.
    RIP Kid Gloves (Holly) 1992 TBxHanv CCI*** mare.
    http://photobucket.com/tx3dayeventer/holly
    New mare: Miss Bunny Express (Missy) 1995 AQHA Jumper mare.
    http://photobucket.com/tx3dayeventer/missy



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2008
    Posts
    1,418

    Default

    I'll be no help to you at all but I did live in Texas for a year as a child and have shown extensively in VA. I have to say it. You're CRAZY to leave VA!

    I'll never forget being terrified to walk outside because of the tarantulas and scorpions. . I love VA though (depsite the ticks!).



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,455

    Default

    sid -

    Not really horse related but the most recent issue of The Economist had a huge article on Texas. Very interesting article on how well the state is run, addressed tax issues, housing, zoning, growth, etc.

    Here it is:

    http://www.economist.com/opinion/dis...ry_id=13990207

    ETA: When I was a kid we could ride all day around the Catharpin area - hacked over farms, over to the battlefield and back to my friends farm.

    That's all gone now.

    My area is in the crosshairs next. Was hoping to stay here but I think we'll be forced out eventually.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
    Posts
    4,114

    Default

    Worrying about scorpions and tarantulas depends on where in Texas you go...

    So the cons (to get them out of the way): HEAT, drought (most of the state is in severe drought right now), driving (everything is spread out), snakes, higher property taxes

    Pros: cost of living, lack of state income tax, availability of land (especially if you don't have to be in/near big city), short winters (yay!), bluebonnets, friendly people and beautiful country

    I'm becoming a fan of central Texas. We live outside of Lorena (near Waco). So far, I haven't seen tarantulas or scorpions (knock on wood) and the humidity has been nothing after Houston's horrid humidity. We have had a couple of non-poisonous snakes (I hate snakes) but almost no fire ants. I don' t know the horse scene as we've only been there almost two months - I'm looking for a dressage instructor now.
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

    Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
    Location
    Catharpin, Virginia
    Posts
    6,800

    Default

    What about the Hill Country...Wemberly? I was there for a few days for my nephew's wedding. It was lovely.

    The thing I can't get over is that Texans call the Hill Country "green" and and "hilly". Nothing lush in greens and hilly about it like here in VA...it looked stark and barren to me.

    How does one feed horses in such barren, hot land..the costs, the hay. I'm a huge forage feeder.

    BTW, I'm not so worried about getting to shows. I know TX is a huge state compare to VA. My sisters in in Houston and I know that drive from downtown to the Woodlands.

    I'm more concerned about clients being able to get to me for training/riding in a reasonable time and having enough of a horse-riding population with interest in the Olympic sports to make it worth their while.

    Thanks again!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2005
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    1,985

    Default

    Well I would not leave Virginia for Texas, but if you must.....
    For Houston area I would say Woodlands area and north of that. Remember we have hurricanes.
    I don't know about Dallas.
    Central Texas has possibilities. Check out "central texas sporthorses breeders".
    College Station has Texas A&M - ie vet school. Brenham and Chappell Hill close by there.
    I am trying to think of any part of Texas that would compare to Virginia- perhaps east Texas - but it is not exactly "civilized".
    The Wimberly area is nice - the rivers etc - not sure that area is horsey.
    I will do some more thinking about this ie if I were you where would I want to live in Texas. It is 100 deg here and hard to think.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    3,373

    Default

    I don't live in Texas, but I've visited there a couple of times. I thought there were areas of it that were very beautiful, but on a personal level, I absolutely could NEVER tolerate that kind of humidity. I still remember getting off the plane near midnight in Houston and feeling like I physically "hit" the air -- it was that thick. Gross.

    I am VERY spoiled by the lovely air I enjoy here in the Pacific Northwest, so I found the air there to be HIGHLY objectionable. It seemed like wet, warm air that had been breathed by someone else already!

    I did think that the "hill country" was beautiful, though since I live where there are MOUNTAINS, the "hills" were relatively unimpressive. I also thought the area around Brenham was especially pretty. Lots of GRASS everywhere -- it looked like good cattle country to me!

    I have been friends with a number of Texas residents, and I think the constant droughts make hay tough to find, and rather high priced, at times. Not to mention, fire ants, hurricanes, HOT summers, etc.
    Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
    Click here to buy: A Guide To In Hand Showing of Your Welsh Pony



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
    Location
    Catharpin, Virginia
    Posts
    6,800

    Default

    Greyarabs...we get those 90 degree + days here too as well. We also can have oppressive humidity.

    I think I'm worrying more about the horses than me. They DO acclimate to the weather if it stays stable enough. If your'e going to be hot humid then make it for a long time, they acclimate. If you're in northen WI, same thing. Long cold winters, they adapt to.

    Here in VA we can go from 75 degrees on a March day, then 10 below a few days later. They have to adapt to extreme temperature fluxuations in a single day during Spring and Fall. At least TX and way up north, the fluctuations don't change very few days..or in some cases every few hours

    As most know, WB's are more heavily muscled and don't dissipate heat very well. So that is a concern (to be able to ride and work them productively during the summer months).

    Scorpions and fireants...no problem. We have copperheads and water moccacins up here. We are also so lush that we often have Fall weed poisonings. That part, I'm not concerned about.

    I need to have access to top knotch vets and a surgical facility..I'm a health and preventative care nut.

    I guess I may give up the summer in the Houston area, but then again, I'll have the winter which is mud and crappy and ofen icy here.

    Tell more. BTW, I love Texans and their attitude about life. Very different than suburban Washington. And that counts for something as far as my mental health..



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
    Location
    Catharpin, Virginia
    Posts
    6,800

    Default

    I've heard the that PNW is wonderful...but I don't know anyone there.

    Plus I have the haul my Mom who has advanced dementia with me and find the care she needs (very specialized..not the normal "assisted living").

    In Houston, at least my sis's are there to help me with her, so the weather my be a trade off in my situation.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2008
    Posts
    301

    Default

    I have a friend with a 120 acre spread in east texas near Paris. It's gorgeous with rolling hills and trees -- and the grass is very lush. The downside is that it isn't a very populated area, so it would be difficult to find the type of clients you want (show clients). She is into breeding, but it is still difficult to get people out to see her youngstock.
    * Sunny * Ella (2006 filly) * Tank (2008 colt)*



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2007
    Posts
    345

    Default Do your sisters hate you?

    So what did you do to your sisters when you were little that they want to get back at you for? Texas is ok, but VA is wonderful. Unless you just need an income tax break,or want to be with your family, why leave? There is no tradition of fox hunting or timber racing here at all, so you don't have much of a culture of riding English. The only time the weather is nice is in the winter, and some winters are so rainy it's as difficult as snow. The only place you really get "green" is Houston - Woodlands and north and the smaller east Texas Piney Woods towns. Everything else is shades of low brush and brown most of the time.

    Peter Pletcher is in Houston, Russel Frey is in Dallas, and that's sort of it for the H/J nationally recognized crowd. There are some dressage trainers here, but I'm not sure any of them are nationally recognized.

    There definitely is a basic "no problem, let's get 'er done" attitude in Texas, but it's also in Charlotte, NC and Charleston, SC from my experience. Is there some other part of Virginia or North Carolina that appeals to you? It would be much less of a shock to your psyche to stay East.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2008
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    Other than $$$, I can't see how it could be better.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Posts
    3,047

    Default

    Ask Donna Ray. She's in Texas. She posts here a bit, is a breeder, and is very interested in dressage. I'm sure she'd be happy to talk to you about this!

    http://www.carson-farm.com/html/about_us.html
    Kendra
    Runningwater Warmbloods & Mare Station

    Home of SPS Diorella (Donnerhall/ Akut), EMC What Fun (Wolkentanz I/ Lauries Crusador), and EMC Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) 'Like' us on Facebook



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
    Posts
    4,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sid View Post
    What about the Hill Country...Wemberly? I was there for a few days for my nephew's wedding. It was lovely.
    It is gorgeous - I love Fredericksburg, Kerrville, etc. More prone to rattlesnakes and scorpions. And I don't know about the horse scene out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by sid View Post
    How does one feed horses in such barren, hot land..the costs, the hay. I'm a huge forage feeder.
    Hay year round. In Alvin (south of Houston), I had 5-7 horses on about 3 acres and had grass. BUt we had tons of rain and I kept the horses off the grass all night and didn't have all of them out every day. I heavily managed my place.

    Now in Waco area we're under a drought, and I'm in the process of buying my first round bales. The good news this year is that you can find hay in other parts of the state, and if you are willing to buy a full semi load (34-38 acres), then you can get it delivered. (Or split it with someone like I did).

    Quote Originally Posted by sid View Post
    I'm more concerned about clients being able to get to me for training/riding in a reasonable time and having enough of a horse-riding population with interest in the Olympic sports to make it worth their while.
    I think people in Texas are more used to driving, so if you are good (I don't know you - so that wasn't a snotty comment!), promote yourself, etc., then people will haul to your place.

    As far as Olympic type sports - when I was a grad. student, I knew a lot of undergrads in College Station who were into eventing and some who did dressage. Look up the dressage groups (Houston Dressage Society is one) and the eventing groups in Texas and check them out.

    And if you end up near Waco, maybe I'll sign up as a client. (Depending on whether or not I can convince my husband to haul my horse out for lessons).
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

    Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
    Posts
    4,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sid View Post
    I think I'm worrying more about the horses than me. They DO acclimate to the weather if it stays stable enough. If your'e going to be hot humid then make it for a long time, they acclimate. If you're in northen WI, same thing. Long cold winters, they adapt to.

    Here in VA we can go from 75 degrees on a March day, then 10 below a few days later. They have to adapt to extreme temperature fluxuations in a single day during Spring and Fall. At least TX and way up north, the fluctuations don't change very few days..or in some cases every few hours
    In the fall and winter when the cold fronts come through, I have felt the temp. drop from 70 to 50 (or closer to 40) in an instant. The first cold front of the fall always worries me because it is a shock to the system. The temp. changes may not be as extreme as you mentioned, but it isn't uncommon to go from 80 one day to 50 the next and 80 again a few days later.

    When we moved back to Texas from MI, we moved in the fall and the horses seemed to adjust just fine. We left MI right before it started to really get chilly but while it was still warm in TX.

    Quote Originally Posted by sid View Post
    I need to have access to top knotch vets and a surgical facility..I'm a health and preventative care nut.
    Texas has Texas A&M Vet School in College Station. There are other surgical centers (Las Colinas in DFW, Retama in San Antonio and others I'm forgetting).

    I'll also HIGHLY urge you to avoid the coast. I know hurricanes don't happen often, but it was awful to turn the corner to my house, look where my barn was and see nothing but some of the upright poles left. And to be out of my house for six months just sucked. I am NOT going to miss that now that we're off the coast. If you go for Houston, go for the north side.
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

    Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2006
    Posts
    294

    Default

    I am a native Texan and just moved (about a year ago) to New Hampshire. I can't believe I waited this long. The horse scene in Texas is rough, especially for sport horses. Now, if you were into stock horses, that would be a different story. The weather is atrocious, a lot of horsemanship is "rough around the edges", and you have to drive 3 hours to get to a single event. Most events are 8 hours away.

    Every poisonous snake found in North America lives there, in addition to tarantulas and scorpions. You may get hay year round, but it's all coastal bermuda grass. Plus, they are still in the middle of a 7 year drought. Some places around Austin have not seen rain since May. And the summer is not half over yet.

    And talk about suburban sprawl. Have you ever heard of Plano? Scariest.Place.On.Earth. Invented the McMansion and Soccer Mom in the Excursion and the strip mall. Wowsers.

    You could not pay me enough money to move back. And the New England winters are not a cakewalk, but I will take them over Texas summers every year and be thankful.

    Good luck.

    [Just my opinion though! I am sure it'll be lovely! ]



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
    Location
    Catharpin, Virginia
    Posts
    6,800

    Default

    Guess I won't go to Texas. I wish I could get my family to move here....

    Maybe I'll head to southwest VA. I just love this state. But I'm fed up with NoVa, the people and attitude and lack of farm type people here anymore... even though I used to be "country".

    I love the Lexington area. I'll ponder. But you've all convinced me that Texas is not the place to go with my crew, including my 3 stallions, who love life just the way it is here.... Gotta think about the boys as well.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2001
    Location
    West of insanity, east of apathy, deep in the heart of Texas.
    Posts
    15,797

    Thumbs up Not so fast...................................

    Not a native Texan, but I got here as fast as I could.

    I realize wookiee's perspective may be more valid than mine, being a native and all, but I love Texas and think you'd probably be very happy here.

    Want hills? Go toward Austin. Want coast? Down to Corpus and South Padre. Want rolling hills and pine trees? Go up northeast to Pittsburg, Bettie, Gilmer - all within a stone's throw of Texarkana, and about a five hour drive from Houston. I'd give a lot to be able to live there. Land prices are low, as are taxes, and as I said, it's very beautiful and temperate. GREAT horse country, and there are plenty there. Plus, it's not a bad jumping off point for other equestrian venues. As I said, Houston is 5 1/2 hours away, and there's a brand new show facility that was built in Tyler (about three hours from the area I'm speaking of) that is absolutely stunning, or so I'm told. All the hunter princesses think it's grand, so it must be up to snuff.

    Come on down! You'll love it here.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.
    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    9,276

    Default

    Sid-If you mean Lexington, KY I say go for it, and I think that about half of the COTH members have moved there, dream of moving there, or would kill to move there. I haven't spent much time there, but there is so much horsie stuff around the state that it's hard to beat.

    A friend who was into showing dogs, and agility and his wife looked at the best places to retire that were centrally located in the U.S. for going to the most activities within a day's travel and decided that the Land Between the Lakes region was for them, because they also wanted to be around water so they decided that either the lake or around Lexington was perfect. I think the same criteria and the English slant of the state's horse scene would make the Lexington area perfect for you, and the distance to the KHP and the other great venues within a day's drive would make it perfect for your needs, especially if you need great transportation to market your stallions. And the climate should be fairly close to the seasons that you have where you are now.

    I really think that when you look at the available properties in the areas you are interested in that your heart will tell you where your new home is going to be. No place is perfect, but you can come very close to what you really want if you do lots of research first. Good Luck.
    Last edited by JanM; Jul. 16, 2009 at 08:55 AM.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



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