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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 19, 2013
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    south central PA
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    Default Living in the Carolinas questions

    We've just been given quite the life altering news, etc., and so we will be moving. We are looking for opinions, experience, and information on living in either N or S Carolina. Fire ants? Gators? Other pests? Costs of hay, feed, farrier, vet, and so on? How are the winters, summers? What do/did you like most? What do/did you like least? Why? If you left, why & would you move back? Why or why not? Are there as many western/stock breed shows, etc. as there are the English disciplines?

    Thank you very much in advance.
    "It costs nothing to say something kind. Even less to shut up altogether." Nathan Fillion



  2. #2
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    Jan. 28, 2003
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    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
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    way too many variables, coastal, midlands/piedmont, or upstate/foothills/mountains????
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  3. #3
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    Um... The N. Carolina is heaven for horse people.
    Do you like mountains, ocean or something in between?
    We have 4 seasons with mild winters, it's humid, no gators, yes fire ants (but where are there not fire ants?), nice people, lots of shows, lots of disciplines, lots of clinics. Great housing prices too.

    Good hay is $9 good alfalfa is $16 triple crown averages $22, but there's tons of feed options.
    Board ranges from $300-1200 for full board depending on how uppity you want to get and trainers on site etc.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
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    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    2,936

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
    Um... The N. Carolina is heaven for horse people.
    Do you like mountains, ocean or something in between?
    We have 4 seasons with mild winters, it's humid, no gators, yes fire ants (but where are there not fire ants?), nice people, lots of shows, lots of disciplines, lots of clinics. Great housing prices too.

    Good hay is $9 good alfalfa is $16 triple crown averages $22, but there's tons of feed options.
    Board ranges from $300-1200 for full board depending on how uppity you want to get and trainers on site etc.
    And if you go backyard mostly pasture board you can get less than $300. I'm on the coast, nearly in S. Carolina. My barn is barely an hour from Myrtle Beach, SC. Apparently there are gators in my area though I have yet to see one.

    Climate here is lovely - doesn't get too cold in winter, apparently doesn't get as hot as inland in the summer. Its always ~5 degrees cooler because of the sea breeze.

    For recognized competition you pretty much have to drive to Raleigh, which is about 2.5 hours away with a horse trailer. We're also not far from Southern Pines where there's eventing and fox hunts. My favourite thing about North Carolina though is the people. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming! Life happens at a slower pace here in the south, which has taken some getting used to for me, but mostly I love it. Having said that I'm not sure I'd live any further south than I am now.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 1999
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    Shangri-LA
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    1,668

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
    Good hay is $9 good alfalfa is $16 triple crown averages $22, but there's tons of feed options. .
    I may move there just because of the price of hay!!!!! Much cheaper than the$30 a bale I'm paying.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
    Location
    NE TN, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Event4Life View Post
    ...My barn is barely an hour from Myrtle Beach, SC...
    If you move to that area, be prepared for some good seafood. How do you feel about shrimp 'n' grits?

    In the mountainous region, there's Tryon, on the NC/SC border. Great facilities, great climate. Some snow, but it usually melts away in a few days.

    I used to live in the southeastern part of NC, near Southern Pines. Mild winters but hot, muggy and 'skeeters in the summer. Back during WW2, they used to train fighter pilots by having them practice on the 'skeeters. Problem was, the 'skeeters kept winning. But that's probably one of the reasons our boys gave Hermann Göring such a bad time.

    Oh, and don't for get the hurricanes. A lot of them come inland on the NC and SC coastlines.
    Last edited by Frank B; Apr. 28, 2013 at 09:18 AM.
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
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    Fort Worth, Texas
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    As others have noted North and South Carolina are nearly two different worlds

    even eastern verses western as the Application mountains have the higher elevations the farther south you go



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
    Location
    Southern Pines, N.C.
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    Hmmmmmm. Not sure where good hay is $9/bale. I use a hay broker and/or a feed store -- whichever has the best hay; I feed orchard grass/alfalfa -- not costal or timothy.

    This winter I paid up to $14 bale, loaded into my loft and stacked. (= $500/$525 a ton). The best hay comes from the midwest or upstate NY and shipping costs have zoomed.

    That said, I adore Southern Pines. My mom moved here in 1971 and I have lived here on and off since then, finally getting my own farm in 2009.

    Weather? Wonderful from October to May. I cannot deal with the summer months and tend to go into hibernation inside in June, July, Aug. But it is still bearable to ride and show before 8am. And there is a series of dressage shows which start at 6:30 am and guarantee to be finished by 11 am.

    Fire ants are not really a problem. For farms, companies spray the whole farm for them, and for lawns there are granules for individual mounds.

    People ARE very friendly. Much more so than the NE. And yesterday, someone actually said to me, "Why darlin', Bless your heart".

    In SP, near the foundation, full board costs about $650. But, go to Vass or Raeford (20 minutes out of SP) and you can get full board for $400 and pasture board for $250.

    The best part of NC (as people have said) is the diversity. In SP, it is 3 hours to the mountains to the West and 3 hours to the coast in the East. You have progressive cities with great universities and modern technology (Research Triangle Park) and backwoods country (scary. ).

    Whatever you want, NC pretty much has it. Right now gas is $3.49/gal. I have no idea how that compares to other places.
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    $9 a bale for orchard or rye in E. Raleigh.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
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    4,735

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    Quote Originally Posted by js View Post
    I may move there just because of the price of hay!!!!! Much cheaper than the$30 a bale I'm paying.
    Where are you in the south, if you don't mind me asking? I'm in TN and just purchased a nice orchard grass for, get this, $3.50 a bale.
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
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    South Carolina
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    I live in the part of SC you're probably thinking of.

    We do have gators (which hardly ever bother anybody) and five different kinds of venomous snakes (which sometimes do bother people, but mostly just the cottonmouths. They're kind of aggressive. The copperheads are fairly chill; the rattlesnakes will at least warn you of their presence; and I have yet to meet a coral snake though I'm told we have them).

    I pay 6 bucks a bale for coastal bermuda and despite what all y'all from up North seem to think it will not kill your horse. I feed KeepPace, a grain-free low starch feed that's $18/bag, to my young guys and pay about the same for Strategy for my old guy plus around 15 bucks/bag for beet pulp. I think to get teeth, sheaths, and shots done on my 3 horses was about $600.

    You need to do those spring shots in February! Mosquitoes are present all year here and most people booster again in late summer/early fall.

    Oh, yes, we have fire ants. And about every blood-sucking pest known to man. Huge B52 horse flies, yellow flies, sheep flies, deer flies, ticks, etc. The good news is they are mostly only around in summer. The bad news? We have four seasons: fixing to be summer; summer; still summer, and Christmas.

    I lived in the Northeast and Midwest for three years, just to see some of the rest of the country. I came back to South Carolina because that's what South Carolinians do. It never occurs to us to live anywhere else.

    What do I like best? The footing here is good - sandy and flat. Eight and a half months of the year you can ride all day every day. From June through mid-September, if you want to ride, you will learn to be a morning person. As in buttcrack of dawn morning person.

    We are beginning to attract good vets to our area. Southern Pines is only an hour and a half north, and Camden is only two and a half hours west. I've just started using a new farrier, after a few years of failing at barefoot, and he charges me $70 for front shoes only and $35 to trim my retired guys. So far I think he's really good. We have a good selection of farriers who travel from NC and who do good work.

    Yes, I'd say there is as much huntseat as WP. There are also the western rodeo events, like team penning, etc. and games. Not much dressage.

    What do I like least? I guess the number of people here who still believe in outdated and dangerous horsemanship practices because "that's how granddaddy always did it." Well, hell, my daddy fed his mare on cornshucks and she probably never got a shot or a float in her life, but that was the Depression. Since then we have newfangled things, like antibiotics. Sheesh. But I suppose there are those folks wherever you live.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    I'm digging this thread. Would you all characterize NC and SC as "more and less Deep South"? Or more/less cosmopolitan. Are most folks born and bred there (and psyched about that)? Or do people from other parts of the country end up feeling welcome?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  13. #13
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    Nov. 13, 2005
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    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    I'm digging this thread. Would you all characterize NC and SC as "more and less Deep South"? Or more/less cosmopolitan. Are most folks born and bred there (and psyched about that)? Or do people from other parts of the country end up feeling welcome?
    I would not characterize Triangle Area, NC as deep south (my parents live there so I've been back and forth since they moved in 2008). Its got something like the highest % of PhDs per square mile, and you see more liberal bumper stickers on cars (and more Prius's) than conservative. Chapel Hill especially doesn't have a very "southern" feel to it compared to say, Charleston SC.

    Wilmington I think is kind of borderline. Its a couple of hundred miles further south than Chapel Hill and I do notice the difference. As soon as you get out in the country it definitely feels more like "deep south." However you also get lots of northerners who move down for the film industry, weather, beach, or combination of those. I've only been in Wilm for 4 months and have felt more welcome here than almost anywhere else I've lived (except South Africa), and I've lived in a lot of places!

    Take all that for what its worth, and remember its only one displaced Brits opinion!
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2009
    Location
    North Carolina
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    5,217

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    The two states are VERY different and each region of the state is VERY different. Since my work area is roughly the central 1/3rd of NC, I see a LOT of all three phsysiogeographic regions.

    Yes, we have gators in NC, fire ants, snakes, whatever, but 99% will not bother you, it's fine, LOL. Way better than ice and snow, IMO, I HATEZ winter. And I love reptiles anyway, so that is plus for me!

    Much of the area around Charlotte and Raleigh has been, hmmm, colonized? by tons of folks from NJ, PA, NY, so you are hardly traipsing into a foreign land, haha. Most folks who are from NC have moved away from those areas -- thankfully much of our state is still rural outside of the I-85/40 corridors. Yeah, I DO NOT LIKE cities or traffic or...people, heh.

    I was not born here, but have lived in the southeast since I was 8, soooo...I guess I'm part of it now? In various states, been in NC for the past 8 years. People are people wherever you go, I've lived in another country and out west as well. Many are friendly and will bend over backwards to help you out -- many others you'd prefer to meet with the front bumper of your truck, that's just humans for you.

    SC is much more "deep South" - like than NC. It's also much more sparsely populated and has fewer economically stimulated areas. Since it is somewhat hotter and more humid (amazingly it is possible) in the summers, folks who don't like that tend to choose to reside in NC instead, particularly the mountains.

    Prices vary widely depending on where you are, but yes, I can buy very nice timothy hay all year round for $9-10 per bale from my Southern States down the street (I lucked out and have a great one). All the other stuff just depends on who you choose as your practitioners and where you are. One cannot generalize an entire state by anything!

    My only strong dislike, felt even more because I work for the state, is the very backwards political climate. We've just gotten a very poor governor and legislature who seem bent on carrying us decades backwards, especially in natural resource management, among other things. But that has also become a nationwide issue and on a local level, it is sometimes balanced out by good things we are able to participate in or help bring about and on the ground is where it really matters.

    The horse network here is excellent, accessibility to everything I want is fantastic (I event) and I have finally been here long enough to feel well-networked wherever I need to go throughout the region. I just bought some land and am planning on selling my current house soon, so I guess I'm not going anywhere for a while!


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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Alabama
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    If you going to buy or lease a farm, then to avoid gators, don't buy near a swampy area. I live in east central Alabama, and the only one I've heard of around here apparently came out of a swampy area, off of a river. Fire ants are spreading further and further north, so don't think you won't run into them someday, but they are manageable. The great thing about moving further south is the friendliness of the people, lower property taxes most places, and the difference in weather is really nice. I used to live about 90 minutes from the coast, and it was an area where the remnants of hurricanes came through, dumping lots of rain. Then there was Hurricane Ivan in 2004-that sucked because it was a level one hurricane, but it was a level one until it hit Pittsburgh, and was probably a once in a lifetime occurrence. I didn't like the hurricane remnants, so when I had a job offer I moved about two hours northeast, and the doesn't happen here.

    If you can give us a hint on the cities you have in mind, then people can be more specific. I know some people absolutely love Asheville, and one lady I worked with said her idea of heaven was Marion, NC, but it's such an individual preference, that it's hard to recommend a place, unless you telecommute or something, and aren't dependent on a specific area.

    Yes, there are bugs, and it really depends on the area. Where I live spiders, are the big one; a couple of counties over they have scorpions, if you get a house that's live in before, you'll probably want to have the pest control people first. Any pest or bug problem is manageable, so don't worry about that too much. The biggest and baddest roaches I ever ran into were in New Mexico, and the ants there would take over your house, but here I just have a pest control company, and they're very good at using organics and natural solutions, so I don't have any problem with bugs or pests now. The most important thing is to get a good, local pest control company that knows what your area has in the type and kind of pests, and know how to treat it. And if you're buying in a termite area, many houses here come with a termite bond (annual checkup, and treatment every 7 to 10 years, or Sentricon or similar systems that are inert detection systems).
    Last edited by JanM; Apr. 28, 2013 at 01:13 PM.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2011
    Location
    WNC
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    726

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    Move to the Tryon/Landrum area and have all the benefits of the WNC mountains and the SC Upstate. 90 minutes from Charlotte, 45 from Asheville, and just 3 hours from Charleston.

    Plus 2 foxhunts, 2 trail systems with 100+ miles of trails, 2 existing show facilities (FENCE and Harmon Field) and the newly approved 900-acre White Oak Equestrian facility (plus residential) being developed in Tryon by some of the Wellington organizers. Plus a hunter-pace series that runs every 2 weeks from Sept-May.

    I pay $5/bale for good local fescue and $12+ for Timothy trucked in from NY or Idaho; alfalfa slightly higher. Many good vets and the well-respected Tryon Equine Hospital for surgical referrals. Lots of farriers and trainers in every discipline. Several local feed and tack stores. Lots of boarding options; full board around $475 and up; pasture or self-care available for less. Boots/breeches/jeans/horsey smell accepted absolutely everywhere.

    Well worth checking out! For more info, visit tryonhorsecountry.org Nothing to do with me, just good info on the area.

    PS No gators and about the only poisonous snake is Copperhead unless you get up in the mountains further, where you can find rattlers.
    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.


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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2007
    Location
    in the sticks
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    18

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    Hi...I live in the mountains of western NC near Asheville. I grew up here, but also lived (and resumed my horsey life by taking lessons) in Charleston, SC, where I went to college. Moved back to the mtns after some years in Charleston. Differences....no fire ants here, though we do have rattlesnakes and copperheads (I LOVE the blacksnakes at my barn since they're supposed to keep the poison snakes away.) Also way less mosquitos up here! And of course, the temperatures...we usually get maybe 20 days of having to break thick ice in the water troughs in the winter, but it's intermittent, so you do have a bit of a break in between cold snaps. In the summer, day temps might get up to 85 rarely, but it almost always cools down to upper 60's at night. Boarding barns are not as fancy here; if your horse poops in the aisle while you're grooming, you darn well need to clean it up yourself. But that's not to say that you can't find barns that offer good care. If you trail ride, there are many options, including the grounds of the Biltmore estate (you have to buy a yearly equestrian pass, but it's worth it.) I second what a previous poster said about the Tryon area, also. Horse heaven there, just a little warmer than here as it's down the mountain from us. Very respected equine vet facility there, too, last I heard. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 21, 2006
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    South Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    I'm digging this thread. Would you all characterize NC and SC as "more and less Deep South"?
    In 1860, remarking on secession (we were the first) James L. Petigru said "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum."

    Things haven't changed much. In fact, we put that very saying on our t-shirts the year I graduated from law school.

    So I guess I would say, yes, we are Deep South.

    I am from the Upstate, but moved fifteen years ago to my farm in the coastal swamplands. I am still considered an outsider. Because I am a native South Carolinian, I still consider myself an outsider here, so it doesn't bother me. (My family is from the Appalachian mountains, and as they say up at the college in Boone, NC - it's Apple-latch-an. Say it right!)

    However, if you move into the Upstate of SC, particularly Greenville, it is much more cosmopolitan. We started getting immigrants back in the 1970s. Or, if you move to somewhere like Myrtle Beach or Conway (a very charming little town on the Waccamaw River, about ten miles inland) you'll feel very welcome.

    Or move down here in the swamps with me, and we'll keep shaking up the locals.



  19. #19
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    Jan. 28, 2003
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    coastal SC is horse hell....
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm


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  20. #20
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    Feb. 18, 2005
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    I think you need to clarify your area of interest. Yes, there is a big difference between NC and SC - but also a noticeable difference between coastal NC, Raleigh/Triangle area, Piedmont, Charlotte area, and western NC



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