Reposting from my post a few weeks ago in H/J, where I didn't get much traction.
DH and I have accepted jobs in South Bend, IN, and will be moving to the area sometime over the summer. Does anyone have any insight into the horse world there? I ride jumpers and will be purchasing a small farm somewhere within 1/2 hours' drive of Notre Dame.
I will need a vet, farrier, and would love to take lessons again. I am extremely rusty after almost a decade of no lessons and hardly riding. I have three horses that will be moving with me. Any recommendations? I don't mind driving some distance for good instruction.
Don't really have any real estate advice, but I grew up in central Indiana and can vouch that as of every visit I have made back in the past few years, there has been no great increase in the traffic in the roads around South Bend in the past 30 years, so commuting would probably not be a problem. Highway 31 is pretty empyy. Also, from what my friends tell me, real estate in very reasonable.
Didn't I read early on in Charlie Weis' tenure at Notre Dame that his wife is an equestrian and built a large facility somewhere in the area?
Feelings may still be raw, but she may be a good resource. It seems from your post that you have some connection with ND?
Thanks, NAN. I would be pleased to just grab up Charlie Weis' place, it looked lovely in the drive-by we did when out there a while back. A little out of our price range, though.
It seems like the horse scene may be a little on the thin side. I see some quarter horse and some gaited horse barns, but not much in the way of nice H/J facilities. But hey, it isn't that far from Chicago -- people jump in Chicagoland, right?
Yeah, I don't really think Mrs. W's place is for sale; with the money he got out of his contract, maybe he'll just stick around and be a good horse husband. I did like Charlie; hopefully he'll go to work for the Bears or the Colts so they can stay in the area, and his son can still go to ND (if he still wants to)
I agree with the horse scene being thin in that area. I grew up about 60 miles due south of South Bend, and I don't recall much of a horse scene until you get as far as Indianapolis.
Good luck - it sounds like Chicago may be the thing!
I grew up in West Virginia, where there was no H/J scene, so driving 3 hours to a show is not bad. I drove 3 hours for lessons once a week when I was in high school.
I have been spoiled with everything so close in MD, but at least I'll have time to show now -- being close to everything is useless if you can't make the time to get to it anyway. Looking forward to my new, more relaxed way of life!
Almost everyone around here (Cass Co MI, Granger IN, which are near South Bend/Mishawaka) uses Bergman in Cassopolis as their large-animal vet. There's not a LOT in terms of large-animal, though my boss uses a small-animal practice in Granger that he credits with saving his cat's life.
You aren't anywhere near Chicago in terms of doing stuff on a daily/practical basis. It's over an hour on the train, at least three by car to just the southern side of town. Totally doable for shows, but I didn't even look past South Bend when I was looking to board--I'm about fifteen minutes from South Bend/Mishawaka here in Dowagiac. So for barns, look in southwest Michigan, too--it's an easy drive. If you're looking for a show barn, I don't know any--not my scene, but some came up searching and board ran around $350 or so (I pay less, but no indoor and it's not a show barn.)
South Bend and Mishawaka are where everyone around here goes to shop--the big stores are all down there including all the big pet-supply places. Oh, and South Bend, Granger, and Niles (MI) like to get into gas price wars--the stations there along the state line are usually at least a few cents cheaper, and if you don't mind waiting in line the Niles Wal-Mart is almost always much lower than everywhere else.
I don't know much about South Bend, but do know central Indiana well. There is an eventing/jumping/dressage barn in Lebanon, just off I65, caled IRUS stables-clean, well kept, have an eventing trainer on site. There is also a facility in Sheridan, but can't remember the name. Am unsure about instruction there, but facility in decent shape. If you are interested in lessons, best instructor in area is Jen Kaiser at Forrest Hill Farm in Lafayette-focus is mainly dressage. And there is Rosebud Ranch in Brookston, right off of 43. Nice facility, several hunter/jumper people there. Unsure about quality of instruction. PM me if you want more details.
A place to lesson is at Betsy Waltman's place up in Niles. My friend trained there throughout her junior years while she lived in South Bend. It's a pretty nice facility the last time I was down there. And she does locals up through the A's if IRCC.
\"In all manners of opinion, our adversaries are insane.\" Mark Twain
Hehe, my grandparents live on 31, in Lakeville, just outside of South Bend.
Sadly I'm not much help when it comes to the horse scene there, though. My aunt used to ride pretty regularly, but that was dressage and it was about ten years ago. I took a lesson from her instructor a few times back in the day. Lady named Linda, always had opera playing in the barn, used to do therapeutic riding but got tired of the politics, and had a TB/Perch cross mare named Miss Marple. Not that any of that is terribly relevant
Chicago area wouldn't be a bad drive for a show or clinic, but I agree, I wouldn't want to do it regularly.
In keeping with my "empty Highway 31" theme, I agree that driving south to the Indianapolis area may be easier than driving north to Chicago. I kind of forgot how far Chicago was and how congested it is between South Bend and Chicago.
I was kind of surprised when someone mentioned Zionsville because that is on the West side of Indianapolis, but then I realized that it is actually only about 120 miles.
Distances seemed much greater when one was a child. Driving either north to a Notre Dame game or south to Indy used to seem like an all day adventure.
But, right now, central Indiana is the place to be pulling a horse trailer if you don't want to run into too much traffic!