Birmingham is probably the most horsey area, with Montgomery coming in second, then Huntsville, the rest of the state depends on what discipline. Lots of barrel racing, roping, rodeo pretty much all over the state but Hunter/Jumper and Dressage is mostly Birmingham, Montgomery and Huntsville. The better vet clinics etc are in Birmingham and Auburn Vet School. Used to be a lot of AQHA shows and open shows statewide, don't know if that's still the case or not. I quit showing several years ago. I'm in the Southern part of the state, not much going on around here, no vets and very few, if any, good trainers. If you feed Alfalfa, I just paid $30 a bale for hay (that's an 80 lb bale).
I'm in North AL and haven't found any great horsey areas other than lots of great trail riding pretty close. I just bought and moved my horses to my own farm and plan on putting in some little xc jumps eventually. I'm curiouse to see what others have to say...
Pastures full of horses all over in Alabama. A variety of disciplines mostly western/rodeo, gaited, and trail.
If you are looking for dressage, h/j and eventing Jim Graham up north and Susan Wainwright at NoneSuch Farm 'near' Montgomery. Fair amount of activity and trainers in West Georgia. Several near I20 on the west side of Atlanta, Newnan area is a hot spot of really good event trainers. Poplar Place near Pine Mountain, GA is a large show site.
Check the USEA Area III site for barns and trainers.
"Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
Courtesy my cousin Tim
There was Gray Line Farm in AL that was a Saddlebred Place veering into Sporthorse stuff. It is prob still there. cannot recall where. there is alot of multi discipline Arabian farms there. Check out the Alabama Arabian Horse Club (or maybe Arabian Horse Club of AL).
I am strictly hunters. My husband may or may not delve into western pleasure riding. We'll see. I am currently in the ATL area and love the horsey scene north of town, but hate how overpopulated and overrun everything has become.....and I loathe the traffic. Once upon a time, Alpharetta was the "country". Not anymore. DH seems to think the "answer" is in AL. Based on what I'm seeing here, there are very few thriving hunter barns? Hunter shows limited? The last thing I'd want to do is be forced to haul back to Georgia for shows or clinics.
I worked with Dennis Sr., back in the late 70's. I watched Dennis Jr. grow up. He is a very good rider. Vandiver is about 45 minutes from Birmingham. There are a lot of farms which have sprung up since I lived down there.