I would go to Sweden. I would move back in a second if it weren't so far from my parents - I do not want an ocean between us as they age. But it's horse heaven - horses everywhere (and very fancy horses for reasonable prices), so much knowledge, a real equestrian culture, access to shows, beautiful nature, etc. I also just love it there in general, for reasons having nothing to do with horses. If things were perfect I could also afford a heated arena, of course.
DH: Back to Wyoming, raise cattle, go back to being a FT cowboy. But he'd be doing it as a divorced man and he knows it.
I love where I am IF money were no concern, I mean literally we won the lottery, I still wouldn't move much farther than we are now. Off the island probably but that's more for shows and clients so we could fill our dream barn. I would NOT build our dream barn on the island, not enough clientele. Heck, that's the plan now, our house here is for sale . But I'd be hemmed in by my job as to how far away we could go; 12 hour shifts means I don't want more than 1.5 hour commute. But south down the I5 corridor, a big ole chunk of land, big dream barn, find a GOOD h/j or eventing trainer looking for a place to lease a block of stalls and come with clients, DH will fill the rest, that would be my dream answer to the "where would you go?" question.
Weather: yes yes it rains a lot here (actually it doesn't, it's just more spread out so it seems like more), but when it's lovely, it's lovely beyond words.
Footing: make yer own, in your indoor (see above).
Trails: yep, those are nice, but I don't like trail riding...
Beautiful location is an understatement. Oceans, mountains, valleys, big cities and national parks are all RIGHT HERE!
If you have grass, you have fat horses up here. Hay is wonderful and not expensive, and most people feed very little grain because of the grass and hay.
COTH's official mini-donk enabler
"I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl
We're trying to move to southern NM right now. Our horse riding currency is wilderness and trails and camping so Montana has been great for that but within a very small window. We have a chance for a good job in NM so we're looking there and I have to say as the snow falls outside my window today (4/14) I'm hoping it works out. I need more "good weather" days. There is still plenty of trail riding and camping there in the wilderness and it still has that western culture that we like here.
Ideal would be NM in the winter and the Bob Marshall Wilderness all summer long. That is the retirement plan.