Columbus and Nashville--advice, horsey and non-horsey
Some COTHers might remember my threads on previous OT days regarding my interviews for medical residency programs (I finish med school this May--5 short months, eek!) I have two more interviews to go (Michigan and Duke), but the current places leading the pack (aside from my current institution in St. Louis) are Ohio State in Columbus, OH and Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN. OSU is better for my ultimate career goals but the two programs are very similar, and I think I'd be happy at either. OSU also has the added benefit of being much closer to my parents and extended family (largely in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas).
I find out where I end in mid-March. I'm trying to collect info about horsey amenities and hopefully make a trip to investigate boarding options (and apartment options for myself, not necessarily in that order) in the spring. Any recommendations regarding stables and/or areas to live in either city?
Stables: I ride primarily western. Pixie is green for her age (courtesy of THREE years in a row of accidental injuries requiring lay-up, sigh), so we're undifferentiated at the moment. We just ride and try to make progress without any drama...showing of any kind is a distant dream. I prefer decent amount of turnout and opportunities for training and/or lessons. An indoor is kinda a must given my work schedule...generally I won't be done before 6pm. I'm willing to drive up to an hour (obviously would like to have a shorter drive if possible). Price range is 250-350.
Myself: single, 3 cats, not interested in buying property at this time. I hope to rent nice 1 or 2 bedroom apartment/condo/townhouse within a 20 min drive of the hospital. Aside from safety/crime concerns, most important issue is a quiet building/complex (ie no rowdy undergrads or lots of noisy kids) since I have to work nights periodically. Proximity to grocery/shopping/freeway a plus. I'm not into night life, so I don't really care about things like being in walking distance of bars or restaurants. Also I appreciate any insider advice on areas to avoid, local politics, community events, farmers' markets, festivals, arts/music scene, recreational offerings (I like yoga, swimming, aerobics).
Thanks in advance! I know I can count on COTHers for the scoop
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Mighty Rehabbers Clique
I think you're going to have a hard time finding an indoor within an hour of Nashville for 250-350/month and a trainer, good turnout, etc. Honestly, you really won't need one down there. A covered arena is nice, but even a regular old outdoor with lights will be sufficient for most of the year. Your price range will easily get you pasture board at a nice place with the amenities you describe or stall board without them. Franklin (which is south of Nashville, not west) is a primarily hunter/dressage horsey community, but I know there are some AQHA-type people down there. I don't know of any boarding barns off-hand in that area that focus on Western type disciplines. It is also probably THE most expensive of the Nashville suburb areas. There should be some options around Gallatin (north of Nashville), Lebanon (east of Nashville), or Murfreesboro (southeast of Nashville). One I would recommend in the Murfreesboro area that is affordable, has a small but serviceable indoor, and isn't fancy but provides good care is http://www.needahandhorsetraining.com/index.html. Turnout there isn't what I'd call extensive but it is decent. I also have some friends who run couple of different boarding barns in Lebanon and would be happy to get you their contact information if you'd like; just PM me if you're interested. All three of those areas are a reasonable drive from downtown (although traffic is a b^%$* in Nashville at rush hour, so prepare yourself for double to triple the estimated drive time!) and should offer affordable options for Western-focused barns with decent care.
For housing, avoid Antioch/east Nashville and anything that has a price that seems too good to be true. Visit prospective neighborhoods both during the day and at night and make sure you feel safe there. I worked about 20 minutes south of Vanderbilt and ended up having to rent a house in the Spring Hill/Columbia area (an hour south of Vandy) to find something I could afford where I also felt safe. I can also give you a couple of numbers in that area - no trainers but cheap and with good care (one has a covered arena and the other is next door to that facility) - if you decide to look further south.
Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions! I lived and worked down there for 18 months and just moved in August so have some pretty recent contacts/information.
Ohio: Charter Member - COTH Hockey Clique & COTH Buffy Clique
I'm not close enough to know much specifics on boarding in the Columbus area (I'm in Dayton). But I can give you at least 1 email address of someone in the Canal Winchester area who may have some recommendations. She's a farrier so knows quite a bit of the area. PM me and I'll pass on the email.
"Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."
"Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike
I think you're going to have a hard time finding an indoor within an hour of Nashville for 250-350/month and a trainer, good turnout, etc. Honestly, you really won't need one down there. A covered arena is nice, but even a regular old outdoor with lights will be sufficient for most of the year.
I'm not sure I agree with you on not needing the Indoor. I grew up in Tullahoma, TN and went to pre-college at Vanderbilt. It gets cold and wet from January - May. Once it finally warms up in May, you get the rain and storms.
I do agree that you probably won't find a place in that price range and yes, Franklin is pretty expensive.
To the OP:
My sister lives in downtown Nashville and I think it is pretty pricey too. I have a friend who has a private breeding farm in Franklin and she knows a lot of the locals (she's always on the lookout for something frugal). PM me if you want me to put you in touch with her.
Proud member of the Clean Horse, Dirty House Clique! Founder of the Goodbye Fat, Hello Muscle Clique!
Shady, it does get wet....but really not *that* cold (last year excepted). A covered arena is nice and helps immensely during the wet parts of the year, yes, but an indoor is a luxury that very few barns in middle TN have or need. In 10 years of boarding in and around middle TN, I only had access to a covered arena for about 10 months. And I only ever used it twice in that time.
On a side note, I grew up in Fayetteville (well, Mulberry really)...just a stone's throw from Tullahoma!
I have a house in downtown Nashville. We have a lot of Vanderbilt-affiliated neighbors. We also know a lot of people who live in East Nashville and, IMO, it's a nice place to live. Yes, Nashville has its dangers but not overly so, and I've never felt 'unsafe' living there.
We don't consider Nashville to have 'traffic' at all but then we lived in LA for 20 years.
I haven't kept any horses there (they went to NC and GA to be more eventing-centric) but the countryside around Nashville sure is beautiful.
While I would love to toss my hat into the discussion of where would be best horsie life. <I bleed scarlets and grey>
But think about it for a moment you said one of the hospitals/schools would be the better of the choices for your particular field. My thinking has always been while settle for ''it will do'' when the better or the best is avaialble to you?
If it were me that is the one I would go to. The rest is window dressing.
I boarded at a FABULOUS barn in Columbus - about a 20-25 minute drive from campus - but it's a little out of your price range at $400/month. Let me know if you want more info, though. Good amount of turnout, lovely indoor, and wonderful care.
I lived in Victorian Village for most of vet school, and really enjoyed the neighborhood and proximity to the campus. It's a little on the pricier side, though. I had a lot of friends who lived in Grandview and north of campus. I'd avoid anything east of campus - that area tends to be mostly undergrads, and there are some pretty seedy areas over that way (if it's near the fairgrounds don't even think about it!) Ohio State also has a very nice rec center that's only a few years old.
I'm primarily hunter/jumper, but when I was looking for barns near Columbus with an indoor, it was a bit pricey (for me on my extremely limited budget). Usually around $500/month, but I did find a place for around $400 that I like that has a wide variety of horses/riders. It is a bit farther out than I originally wanted, but worth the savings to me. You can PM me for more info if you want.
I live in Murfreesboro, TN which is southeast of Nashville by about 40 miles. You do not NEED an indoor here. I have an outdoor arena (not covered) and I ride year round. If you have lights, you're all set. My arena drains well so even in the wet winter I can ride. Sure an indoor or a covered arena would be nice, but it's more a luxury than a neccesity. Lots of nice boarding facilities if you are open to using an outdoor arena. But you can still find some with indoors. There's Rock Bottom in Mt. Juliet that is primarily wester with indoor and outdoor with lights. Not the fanciest place but probably cheaper than a lot. I don't ride western, so I don't have a lot of details. Good luck!!