Ft. Benning, GA... need area and horse boarding info
Well, the Army finally caught up to my husband, and he got orders to Ft. Benning, GA. We are supposed to be there by the end of June for a 2 year assignment.
I am leaving my 8 acre farm in VA foxhunting horsie paradise to..... what? I know the Midland Hounds are there, and I've hunted with Belle Meade and Bear Creek. I've had the horses at home for almost 7 years, but am thinking of boarding when we move, and need to give up 1 of them too. Anyone need a really nice OTTB mare?
So I guess I am looking for info on boarding options, within a 40 mile radius of Ft. Benning. I'd love it if it were a foxhunting barn.
When I lived in Columbus and worked for the Fort Benning MWR, oh gosh 10 years ago now, I kept maresy at Blue Water Farm in Waverly Hall. I loved it there. http://www.bluewaterfarm.org/ Fantastic owners. 180 acres of rolling green hills.
There were not many options when I lived in that area, so that's all I've got for you. I am not sure the stables on Post are still open. They were dilapidated at best when I was last there 10 years ago. Maybe someone else will weigh in. I know at one point there was talk about the MWR taking back over the stables, but I have no idea what became of that.
Blue Water Farm is near me. Nice pastures, but there is barbed wire if that's a concern. Poplar is expensive and there was no night staff when I boarded there, so no eyeballs on the horses from around 6pm to 8am. It's primarily a show facility, with some horses in training in the main barn. Not many 'just boarders' when I was there, and kind of lonely.
I know the owner at Blue Water Farms, your horse would get excellent care there. Poplar Place is very pricey. I don't know of any hunt barns here, mainly Dressage. Let me know if you want further info on those. There's a barn in Ft. Mitchell that is small, but very good care, also Dressage.
The place in Fort Mitchell boards, but if you look at google maps (the house is on Rte 165), you'll see the area has grown a ton in the past few years, and the house and land are for sale. Supposedly there is a Walmart coming, or a regular grocery store, so that should be on the road frontage right around where the stables are too. The barn name is Kingsmoore, and it's been for sale for at least six months. There are subdivisions all around the barn now too. I drive past everyday on my way to and from work or town.
My trainer may have a spot at her place in Midland area~ it is full care and a super nice barn. (Windy Hill Farm) Barn is full right now, but we've got some girls going to college next year and probably will have openings around June.
Stables on post are actually pretty nice. Not fancy, but safe. They just re-did the arena, and the main barn got a facelift also from what I've heard. You can't beat the board price of $35/month! It is full self care, though, and is a drive unless you decide to live on post.
Poplar is the best bet if you want individualized, excellent care, individual turnout, meticulous blanketing, etc. You do pay for it, though, but the facilities are immaculate and very impressive.
Stay far away from Bally Cor farm and the trainer there. Beautiful facility...quite a shame it is not better managed. PM me for more details if you are so inclined.
My pasture boy lived at Blue Water for the summer, and it is a WONDERFUL place! The only barbed wire is in the front field on the very far side~ everything else is smooth wire. I've since moved my horses to a small private place close to my house...one was living at trainer's, and the other at Blue Water and that was expensive and a lot of driving.
It is worth getting in touch with Midland Foxhounds to see if they have any boarding available. The facility is quite nice, and if you are planning to join the hunt they may have a spot for you.
Anyway, we love it down here! Lots of eventing and the weather is nice and sunny
The schools in Harris county are pretty good from what I hear. And there is lots of housing out there also. Plus, if you get something close to I-185, then commuting to post is easy (185 goes only to post, and dead ends at the PX and Commissary area on the Marne Road exit), and the new hospital will be the exit before that. Everyone I know that lives in Harris County likes the schools.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris_County,_Georgia Here's the Wikipedia for Harris County. And the Midland area of Columbus is nice, but it is in Muskogee County that is closer to post, and has pretty good schools also. There are tons of rental houses here also, and quite a few with land attached. Don't rent in Upatoi-it's right next to the tank gunnery range and even though this was announced when BRAC occured in 2005, people who moved there after that complain about noise constantly. Waverly Hall, Ellerslie, and other towns are some of the popular areas of Harris county, about 45 minutes to post or less, and on good roads. The houses in those communities have a fenced portion, and usually are at least an acre, or more, and there are many rentals too. Some of the builders in Ellerslie Place and other ones might even rent a place for a year or so if it hasnt' sold yet. You can get DSL there, but the TV is Directv or another satellite company, and they do have HOA's, but I don't think they're intrusive HOAs.
The base barn is actually run by the Fort Benning Hunt Club, and is totally self care. I think it probably has a wait list also, and because it's self care and the OP will need to live off base, it might be a commuting problem, and be easier to board off post. No one who is careful lives closer to post than exit 8 or further up I-185. And having to come on post twice a day, every day for self care would be a big pain. When you consider the time, and commuting costs, it might be cheaper and more convenient to board closer to home.
And all on post housing has number requirements for pets, and the OP has five. Plus there are breed restrictions on post also, because of the insurance requirements since they privatized post housing. If you want to look at some rentals (not all certainly, but this will give you a good idea of the market and costs) google Waddell realty, and look at kpdk.com (Coldwell Banker's local rep). There are a bunch of other rental companies also.
I checked out Blue Waters Farm and the fencing was really poor. Also there is no fencing to keep the horses from getting out on the road when you enter the main fence to the property. They also have equipment in the fields. Huge hazards. The owner was really nice but I wouldn't consider it a safe barn.
I was at Ft. Benning for 5 years and kept my horses at the Hunt Club. It is what it is. Self care and very basic, stalls in the barn (which no one ever seemed to want but me and couple others) and outside paddocks with a run-in and tack room. Look off post on the Alabama side for houses to rent with acreage or decent boarding facilities. It tends to be a little cheaper on that side. Poplar is fantastic. I worked there but couldn't afford to keep my 2 horses there. SillyMoose here on CoTH still is down in that area so she could tell you more current info as I have been gone about 5 years now
"Farriers are the hairdressers of the horse world. They know everything about everybody..."-Lildunhorse