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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
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    9,625

    Default tell me about Pennsylvania

    Okay PA folks - current or former - please tell me about the horse scene and life in PA. I'm not interested in any area in particular, so please tell me about your area.

    Interested in hearing pretty much everything about your part of PA -- the horse scene, dominant disciplines, access to good trainers, available shows, available trails, weather, land / farm prices, taxes, job market, quality of life, and anything else you'd like to share.

    I do have family in Hershey and also in Bucks County... but they aren't very horsey at all.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2008
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    4,170

    Default

    Southeast PA has a variety of disciplines, ranging from eventing to Dressage, hunter, jumper, equitation, western pleasure, reining. Devon is located here, as is Bucks County horse Park and various farms. While the area close to Philadelphia, down to Delaware is more heavily populated, Oxford is about an hour and a half away and close to Fair Hill. It still has a lot of farms (both horse and other agriculture) and a lot of opportunities for trail riding or Fox Hunting while still being close to the racing world and professional show barns.

    It is a nice place to live, as a horse person.



  3. #3

    Default

    I don't live in PA but I will point out one thing: one of the ladies who boards at our barn lives about an hour away up in PA (we're in MD) and she commented on a few of the houses for sale in the barn's neighborhood, pointing out that her house in PA is comparable in size and quality/etc but she paid half what they're asking in that neighborhood.

    Heck, lots of people who work down in MD live just over the line in PA and commute down because real estate prices (and I'm assuming taxes?) are less.
    Last edited by analise; Sep. 16, 2009 at 02:00 PM. Reason: typo



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2006
    Location
    Southeast Pennsylvania
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    2,729

    Default

    I grew up in Swarthmore, PA and have been in Delaware County almost all of my life. It used to be quite horsey--Rose Tree Hunt Club and LOTS of small barns in the Media area Not so anymore.

    I ride at a private barn about 15 miles from where I live. Close to Wilmington, DE. Lovely riding along the Brandywine Creek and the Woodlawn Wildlife Refuge.

    Chester County is VERY horsey and very expensive. Lots of good trainers, big name and not so big name. Hunters, eventing, dressage, racing.

    Delaware County is close to Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE so the corporate job market is pretty good. I would never think of travelling to the Kind of Prussia, Valley Forge area as a daily commute--that would be brutal. Mileage wise, not so bad, but traffic and roads--holy moly NO WAY. I work in Wilmington, 17 miles from my home, and even that can take an hour on some days coming home.

    Pennsylvania is known as the tax state and Governor Rendell is not making that any better.

    All in all, I like the area I live in. Moderate weather--well, there was Hurricane Floyd 12 years ago....... Close to the city and reasonably close to horsey areas.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2008
    Location
    Hershey, PA
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    115

    Default

    I live in Hershey, while I don't own I rent. Reasonable pricing I feel. Plenty of nice barns with good trainers. Close to Rails to Trials (trail riding). Quentin is only a few minutes away and about a hour away from Swan Lake (both hold multiple H/J A shows). 3 tack shops within in a few minutes. Weather is decent. Cold but not freezing in the winter and the summers can get a bit humid... even though I don't think we actually had a "summer" this year. Many eventers in the area that travel to Fair Hill, Plantation etc. All in all not a half bad area.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 2007
    Location
    Gettysburg, PA
    Posts
    2,640

    Default

    We're near Gettysburg. Hunters seems to be the largest discipline. Eventing and foxhunting are popular. I am just down the road from Swan lake that was mentioned above. Nice H/J venue - lots of schooling and rated shows to choose from. There are many eventing venues within 1-2 hours. We are one if the MD people who moved to find affordable land. We love it here.
    Epona Farm
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2007
    Location
    SE Pennsylvania
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    1,042

    Default

    I live in Bucks County..depending on where you go it can be very horsy. Bucks County is huge though, and I really only know Central Bucks, not Upper or Lower. I see a lot of hunter/jumper barns and also a good number of barns that do hunter trials and paces. At least around my barn, there are a lot of farms. Many of them look to be privately owned, but there are also a lot of big show/lesson barns. We have a huge local circuit called the Associated Horse Shows (AHS), but many of the barns have now transitioned to also doing the rated shows. We don't have that many rated show facilities very close to me, usually we travel about 45 minutes to either Our Farm or go into NJ or Central PA. Central PA has more rated show facilities..Heritage, Quentin, etc. But when you drive on our roads, you normally see at least a couple horse farms everywhere!
    Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine - Class of 2014

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2004
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    4,768

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    I think this covered it concisely but there are more equine advantages to the area. We have top international riders and trainers, you can find a horse show every week pretty much, eventing and eventers, among the best in the world nearby True Prospect Farm, talented DQs with Iron Springs and Hilltop just over the state line, many indoor arenas, a couple nearby racetracks, Fair Hill is on the state line of DE and PA, tack and harness shops-Dover, Bit of Britain, Rick's Heritage, Bartville and more. If you prefer driving, Lisa Singer the Olympic Silver Medalist lives here too. There are many tops names in various disciplines, we still have open space to ride, as was mentioned Fox Hunting and vet services we have New Bolton and other good vet services.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ajierene View Post
    Southeast PA has a variety of disciplines, ranging from eventing to Dressage, hunter, jumper, equitation, western pleasure, reining. Devon is located here, as is Bucks County horse Park and various farms. While the area close to Philadelphia, down to Delaware is more heavily populated, Oxford is about an hour and a half away and close to Fair Hill. It still has a lot of farms (both horse and other agriculture) and a lot of opportunities for trail riding or Fox Hunting while still being close to the racing world and professional show barns.

    It is a nice place to live, as a horse person.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2008
    Posts
    2,887

    Default

    NE PA is pretty, and close to all sorts of horsey things. But it always seems to take forever to get anywhere? I think it is all the mountains lol! You drive and drive and it feels like you are always looking at a rock.
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
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    Somewhere between Here and There
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    Default

    As someone currently situated on the west side of the state, if you want horsey stay to the east of the Harrisburg line. My area used to be pretty horsey in the 60s through 80s. Now it is very hard to find a good barn and even harder to get a spot there. And by good barn I mean one that believes horses should have H2O access all the time, more than 2 small flakes of hay a day and more than 1 hour turn out. Good farriers and trainers are even harder to find.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2005
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    1,544

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    We are about 1 hr NW of Philly in Montgomery County. It is getting more suburban but there is still a lot of open land. Horse farms abound and all English disciplines can be found in abundance. It is an easy and quick drive to the Bucks County Horse Park as well as other parks that have horse trails and cross country jumping (Green Lane Park). There are multiple h/j shows every weekend throughout the year that are about 1 hr and 15 minutes or less (the New Jersey Horse Park, Briarwood, Our Farm, Palermo Show Stables) and countless local, unrated shows throughout the spring, summer and fall. In addition, MidAtlantic Equine Clinic and New Bolton are about an hour away. Devon is about 40 minutes away.

    The weather is warm to hot in the summer (max mid 90's) but the real hot is only for a few weeks at most. The winters range from quite snowy and cold (Jan highs are in the 20's some days) to wet and miserable (like this past winter!) where you have to deal with a lot of mud. However, December and March can be pretty temperate so you only have to get through Jan and Feb. Did I mention Sept and Oct? Those are the 2 months to live for! Warm days and cool nights - it is a glorious thing. We still have a lot of foxhunting around (MFHA and private packs) and nothing is more wonderful than to canter across in a field in October.

    There are many quality trainers in the area - from Kevin Babington quite close to here, Frank and Laura Chapot are an hour away, Anne Kursinksi and Nona Garson about the same; Scott and Susanne Hassler as well as Hilltop are about 1 1/2 hrs south. If you are looking for less than Olympic caliber, there are many very will qualified trainers in both h/j and dressage.
    Last edited by skyy; Sep. 16, 2009 at 03:46 PM. Reason: more info



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2004
    Posts
    4,768

    Default

    Region/equine specific Yahoo groups, you're welcome to join and ask questions.


    Chester County, PA
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ChesterCountyPA_horse/


    Maryland
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/M...e_Equestrians/


    Montgomery County, PA
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MontgomeryCounty_Horse/



    Also PA and Chester County in particular is home to probably the second largest population of Nokota horses. www.nokotahorse.org and our Yahoo group is

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Nokota_horse/



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2006
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    173

    Default

    www.lancasterhorse.com is a good resource



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
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    9,625

    Default

    Thanks everyone! I appreciate all of the insight and the links.



  15. #15
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    Apr. 14, 2007
    Location
    Pen Argyl PA
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    4,034

    Default

    i'm in NE Pa. I hate what has happened to the land. NYC and NJ have moved in and there is no land to ride on. i'm a trail rider and i have suffered greatly in the past 10 yrs trying to find a boarding barn with trails. I am finally at a great farm next to a state park. that is the only place i ride, but i have 18 miles of trails. The downside is that i have to drive a half an hour to get to the barn. There is no way i would ever talk anyone into moving here with horses. i hate the cold winters, and i am currently trying to sell my house for what it is worth. Ha. With the economy. Good luck deciding.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2005
    Posts
    1,056

    Default

    The horse scene I've experienced in Lehigh and Bucks counties is fairly good. You have to search (though a poster here has compiled a good resource of barns in those areas: http://www.lvhorsefarms.com/) to find a place that suits your needs but I've been happy with the horse scene in those areas (once I found the right barn that is).

    I go to college in Bethlehem. I would recommend it but I definitely wouldn't recommend anywhere else in the Lehigh Valley. I also have family in the York/Manchester area which is pretty typical PA--lots of farmland interspersed with moderate to fast paced growth (in my opinion). As far as driving goes in PA I absolutely detest it. I've driven on roads 476 (turnpike), 22, 33, 78, 222, 83, 81 etc and I have to say that PA is the worst state I have ever driven in. Exits are not always marked, construction is FREQUENT and poorly planned.

    I would recommend PA if you are going to live in the Philly suburbs. But this is all from a college student (and not full-time PA resident) so take this with a grain of salt. I don't know anything about the housing market but I can say that I had a horrible time finding a minimum wage job but that may just be me. Good luck!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 7, 2009
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    1,419

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaxxton View Post
    Okay PA folks - current or former - please tell me about the horse scene and life in PA. I'm not interested in any area in particular, so please tell me about your area.

    Interested in hearing pretty much everything about your part of PA -- the horse scene, dominant disciplines, access to good trainers, available shows, available trails, weather, land / farm prices, taxes, job market, quality of life, and anything else you'd like to share.

    I do have family in Hershey and also in Bucks County... but they aren't very horsey at all.
    Your family or the area? Bucks County is a horse MECCA!! I grew up there and rode at many different farms in Bucks County! My parents farm was in Richboro and we lived there for years ( moved to Berks county about 12 yrs ago because the taxes are lower and land was so much cheaper we ended up with a bigger farm) if you need info on where to board or ride in Bucks send me a PM.
    We now live in Berks County between Reading and Harrisburg, there are lots of horse farms near and around us but I find that there are fewer local shows, and not hardly any A shows close to us ( expect Quentin) we ride and breed hunters, so that is the discipline I know the most about.
    Kim
    If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.



  18. #18
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    May. 22, 2003
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    9,625

    Default

    Sorry, I meant my family is not very horsey. Both areas appear to be pretty horsey from what I can see.



  19. #19
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    Mar. 11, 2004
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    3,296

    Default

    We're in West Chester, and Chester county is very horsey. Plus a nice place to live. Property taxes are nothing compared to NJ or Long Island, but not as cheap as other places. West Chester has tons of restaurants, but -- strangely enough -- no good Chinese food.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    157

    Default

    seeuatx........what part of western PA are you from?? We just moved from Johnstown to KY in June. What you said about good barns is spot on. And I LOVE the siggy!!!

    Bones



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