Am at an early stage of thinking about buying a farm + moving to Vermont. I don't know it very well in terms of horse life, but do know about GMHA, and it looks like there are two hunts. I'd want to be in an area with a good horse scene so there'd be farriers and vets to choose from. And not super far from a city, or water (for swimming). I love hacking, hunting and eventing.
Am thinking Upper Valley or somewhere west, south of Burlington.
Any feedback on what you like in your area would be appreciated! Vets and farriers and trainers you like there too. What do you think?
Vermont is the greatest place on earth, but it does have really tough winters and a poor employment outlook.
The Woodstock/GMHA area is great, but then you'd be a bit far from a major city depending on your definition. Champlain Valley is equally good but then you're a bit far from the really major horse activities.
I know the horse scene around Middlebury/Vergennes fairly well, and know people involved with the Green Mountain Hounds. PM me if you're interested.
i'm thinking of selling my farm and have a fabulous endurance training facility.
(notice how i turned a mountain side into a positive thing?)
no pasture either which is awesome for horses with insulin problems.
(see, i did it again!)
there is a three stall barn with heat and water w/ storage for 800 bales.
it really is a pretty fab place, with waterfalls and swimming holes right outside the door. 38 acres with some new fencing.
we're under twenty miles south east of btv on the chittenden/washington counties border.
excellent dressage, plenty of foxhunting barns and still more trail and hunter barns.
chittenden county is loaded with horses and we have many excellent vets and farriers.
not listed yet, so fsbo still.
Well after last year's flooding disasters, get your barn and house UPHILL of the water and drainage systems going to the river. Plan to have a full pantry and generator in case the power fails. A wood stove and wood pile to keep you warm is also a good idea, when the power goes out.
Vermont is lovely country, especially if you enjoy winter sports. I am kind of spoiled driving on our well-tended winter weather roads. We get cleared out pretty quick even in deep snowfalls. Not sure how they care for their roads, which are often narrow and winding. The natives tend to be a bit stand-offish, hard workers, independence and "can-do attitude" is very highly rated there.
i've lived here most of my life, and there are still pockets of 'woodchucks' as some natives call themselves.
luckily they are a dying breed, and hostility to 'flatlanders' is dying out.
and boy do they hate when you point out that unless they are abnaki they ain't native,lol.
anyway the roads can be bad in winter and mud season, we drive slower when they are. undercoat your vehicles for rust control as often as necessary.
real estate prices are very good still, we were't hit nearly as hard as other regions of the country. outside of btv one can pick up a small farm for around 300 thousand fairly easily.
today diesel is 4.30 per gallon and gas is 3.80 i believe.
vermont has a plethora of fabulous restuarants, bakeries etc.
the farm to table movement is huge, localvores and slow food-ies thrive here.
btv has live theatre, music and lots of galleries, and farmers' markets etc.
even in winter the farmers's markets are awesome, with love music, lots of crafts and less fresh veg but more homecooked specialties to bring home.
btv also has a large and growing ethnic population. there are plenty of thai, vietnamese places, and a few bosnian and slovak restaurants too.
if one wants to sell organic meats we have excellent markets in every direction.
montreal is under three hours north, boston around the same and albany too.
and anything one wants to sell 'made or grown in vermont' is quite sexy thsese days and commands a premium dollar.
winters are not what they used to be imo, it's all cyclic anyhow.
I love Vermont in the summer, hate the cold winters, although this past winter was MILD!!! I loved it!
Anywho...now is a good buyer's market. Employment might be tough, so I would plan for that ahead of time; unless you are a spontaneous person!
There is also the Vermont Horse Show Association, and they have many shows all over Vermont. They don't typically "hold" the show, but you join as a member, and attend shows that are VHSA accredited to cumulate points for year-end awards. THis will be my 2nd year showing the VHSA circuit - nice local shows, english & western, arab/morgan/QH breed classes, some shows held have driving and mini classes. The VT Classic Horse Show Series has MANY classes to choose from - native arabian costume, hunter hack, etc etc etc.
Do you have any questions specifically about Vermont? It's hard to just ramble on about everything!
"If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."
Everywhere in Vermont is super far from a city, if your idea of a city is most people's! That's a good thing in my view.
I'm from the southeastern part of the state. It's very horsy, I rode with the Guilford Hounds which was fantastic and spent plenty of time at GMHA. One good thing about Vermont is nothing is all that far from anywhere else.
A lot depends on what you do for money, frankly. Not a lot of work there. Lots of great vets and farriers, as well as trainers. Vermont has always been rural so it's always been horsy.
I'm in California now (Bay area) and I love it but I do get homesick sometimes. I have to go back every couple of years for a fix. There is no place like Vermont.