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If you had the luxury to move anywhere in the United States

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  • #21
    Polo Club. Wellington


    So greatful to get to ride!

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by Danvers View Post

      Thank you for replying. How long have you lived in Aiken? Do you ride dressage? I thought seriously about moving there from NYC, I ride in CT. so want to get away from the high cost of the northeast. do you live there year round? the weather seems a bit precarious to me.. meaning super hot in the summer and not particularly good in the winter ... that is what I am curious about.
      I have lived in both NYC and CT, so I feel you.

      I have lived in Aiken for about a year. I spent a couple of years studying it, Southern Pines and Tryon before moving here from Oregon. Aiken is much better for horsing than Oregon and the Northeast, though not in the same way! But I'm very happy.

      I do live here year round and I'd say there are three or four significant drawbacks.

      1. The heat of summer which, to me, lasts 5 months. This may change over time as I get used to the heat, but I spent a lot of time hiding out in the AC my first summer. I would say that the heat and humidity is a tad worse than what I remember from CT and the Finger Lakes section of New York; I don't know how to compare summer in the asphalt jungle of NYC to a more natural environment. But here, you really want to get your riding done by 11 am at the latest; I don't remember that being such a big deal in NY/CT, so I guess it's officially worse. But this whole heat-n-humidity problem will be true anywhere in the Southeast. If you want economical horsing (and horsing that is wonderful for the horses), I think you are looking at a hot-n-humid corner of the country. More on that below.

      2. There's not a whole heckuva lot going on in the way of nightlife or culture unless you are into the slower, more subtle version of it that's Southern. That's painfully true in the summer but Aiken revs up nicely for the Horse Season (January to April). Golfers abound, too.

      3. The pace of life and business and the way you treat people here will differ *significantly* from what you see in the five boroughs or Southern CT (and yes, those are a bit different). I find people in the South to be genuinely friendly and caring. And that will be apparent when you meet them/visible in their manners. I think you can find those attributes in people everywhere, but you won't see them initially in CT and, in a way, in NYC. IMO, one must adjust one's manner and expectations to the Southern pace of life. What counts as a business-like conversation up north can feel like blunt or inconsiderate here. And your patience might get tried when you are trying to do business with someone and these rules apply.

      4. You will be moving into a poor, red state. The good news is that the old-fashioned rules about never discussing politics apply. The other good news about Aiken is that there are a lot of people here who came from elsewhere. So regardless of your political leanings, you'll get through your day just fine. But! You will be living in the middle of a place that, IMO, suffers at the hands of the current version of conservatism and the way it treats the most vulnerable among us.

      When choosing a Place for Horsing, I think you have to pick a place that has a long history of horsing... and pick the best one you can possibly afford. That's because a good environment for horsing (whether cultural and economic, like Zone 2 in the Northeast) or climatic (Aiken, Southern Pines, Florida... at least part of the year) allowed development of a horse industry. Where I lived last, Corvallis, OR, was a study in how SOL you will be if you move to a place that is rural enough but which has not had the benefit of a horse industry. There, you can find pretty land and state forests to ride in, but you can't get the quality of vets, farriers, trainers or boarding that you'd like. In other words, when an environment is bad for horsing, you will not get the growth of supporting infrastructure because, one at a time, anyone who wanted to ride seriously eventually left. When it is good for horsing, you will get that infrastructure that supports what you want to do.

      Winter has glorious weather. In fact, it feels a lot like the SF Bay Area where I grew up. In fact, great winter is why the rich Northeastern horsemen used to put their horses on freight cars and come down here to play. Google "Aiken winter colony" to see what I mean. The sand footing is spectacular. Compared to the Northeast and the rainy Pacific Northwest, this means your costs for a farm drop by at least $200K because you don't need an indoor in order to ride year 'round. Heck, you don't need to build a ring at all. The sand and turf do very nicely.

      The cost of land and real estate here will be ridiculously low in comparison to the prices you pay where you are. But appreciation will be slower, too. Hay will be more expensive unless you convert your horses to what grows here-- Coastal Bermuda.

      You can find lots of dressage trainers to choose from.

      I hope this helps. I know others will have other views of Aiken. Take all you can get! But you should come down and see if for yourself. PM me if you want a place to crash while you do that. COTHers were so helpful with information and offers to hang out or a place to stay when I was checking the South out. Oh, and you can probably find a couple of threads of mine from 2017 about Aiken, Southern Pines and Tryon. Lots of good info there.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by mvp View Post

        I have lived in both NYC and CT, so I feel you.

        I have lived in Aiken for about a year. I spent a couple of years studying it, Southern Pines and Tryon before moving here from Oregon. Aiken is much better for horsing than Oregon and the Northeast, though not in the same way! But I'm very happy.

        I do live here year round and I'd say there are three or four significant drawbacks.

        1. The heat of summer which, to me, lasts 5 months. This may change over time as I get used to the heat, but I spent a lot of time hiding out in the AC my first summer. I would say that the heat and humidity is a tad worse than what I remember from CT and the Finger Lakes section of New York; I don't know how to compare summer in the asphalt jungle of NYC to a more natural environment. But here, you really want to get your riding done by 11 am at the latest; I don't remember that being such a big deal in NY/CT, so I guess it's officially worse. But this whole heat-n-humidity problem will be true anywhere in the Southeast. If you want economical horsing (and horsing that is wonderful for the horses), I think you are looking at a hot-n-humid corner of the country. More on that below.

        2. There's not a whole heckuva lot going on in the way of nightlife or culture unless you are into the slower, more subtle version of it that's Southern. That's painfully true in the summer but Aiken revs up nicely for the Horse Season (January to April). Golfers abound, too.

        3. The pace of life and business and the way you treat people here will differ *significantly* from what you see in the five boroughs or Southern CT (and yes, those are a bit different). I find people in the South to be genuinely friendly and caring. And that will be apparent when you meet them/visible in their manners. I think you can find those attributes in people everywhere, but you won't see them initially in CT and, in a way, in NYC. IMO, one must adjust one's manner and expectations to the Southern pace of life. What counts as a business-like conversation up north can feel like blunt or inconsiderate here. And your patience might get tried when you are trying to do business with someone and these rules apply.

        4. You will be moving into a poor, red state. The good news is that the old-fashioned rules about never discussing politics apply. The other good news about Aiken is that there are a lot of people here who came from elsewhere. So regardless of your political leanings, you'll get through your day just fine. But! You will be living in the middle of a place that, IMO, suffers at the hands of the current version of conservatism and the way it treats the most vulnerable among us.

        When choosing a Place for Horsing, I think you have to pick a place that has a long history of horsing... and pick the best one you can possibly afford. That's because a good environment for horsing (whether cultural and economic, like Zone 2 in the Northeast) or climatic (Aiken, Southern Pines, Florida... at least part of the year) allowed development of a horse industry. Where I lived last, Corvallis, OR, was a study in how SOL you will be if you move to a place that is rural enough but which has not had the benefit of a horse industry. There, you can find pretty land and state forests to ride in, but you can't get the quality of vets, farriers, trainers or boarding that you'd like. In other words, when an environment is bad for horsing, you will not get the growth of supporting infrastructure because, one at a time, anyone who wanted to ride seriously eventually left. When it is good for horsing, you will get that infrastructure that supports what you want to do.

        Winter has glorious weather. In fact, it feels a lot like the SF Bay Area where I grew up. In fact, great winter is why the rich Northeastern horsemen used to put their horses on freight cars and come down here to play. Google "Aiken winter colony" to see what I mean. The sand footing is spectacular. Compared to the Northeast and the rainy Pacific Northwest, this means your costs for a farm drop by at least $200K because you don't need an indoor in order to ride year 'round. Heck, you don't need to build a ring at all. The sand and turf do very nicely.

        The cost of land and real estate here will be ridiculously low in comparison to the prices you pay where you are. But appreciation will be slower, too. Hay will be more expensive unless you convert your horses to what grows here-- Coastal Bermuda.

        You can find lots of dressage trainers to choose from.

        I hope this helps. I know others will have other views of Aiken. Take all you can get! But you should come down and see if for yourself. PM me if you want a place to crash while you do that. COTHers were so helpful with information and offers to hang out or a place to stay when I was checking the South out. Oh, and you can probably find a couple of threads of mine from 2017 about Aiken, Southern Pines and Tryon. Lots of good info there.
        Thank you SO much! this is beyond helpful and informative! I will let you know when I plan a visit! Thank you, again!

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by mvp View Post

          I have lived in both NYC and CT, so I feel you.

          I have lived in Aiken for about a year. I spent a couple of years studying it, Southern Pines and Tryon before moving here from Oregon. Aiken is much better for horsing than Oregon and the Northeast, though not in the same way! But I'm very happy.

          I do live here year round and I'd say there are three or four significant drawbacks.

          1. The heat of summer which, to me, lasts 5 months. This may change over time as I get used to the heat, but I spent a lot of time hiding out in the AC my first summer. I would say that the heat and humidity is a tad worse than what I remember from CT and the Finger Lakes section of New York; I don't know how to compare summer in the asphalt jungle of NYC to a more natural environment. But here, you really want to get your riding done by 11 am at the latest; I don't remember that being such a big deal in NY/CT, so I guess it's officially worse. But this whole heat-n-humidity problem will be true anywhere in the Southeast. If you want economical horsing (and horsing that is wonderful for the horses), I think you are looking at a hot-n-humid corner of the country. More on that below.

          2. There's not a whole heckuva lot going on in the way of nightlife or culture unless you are into the slower, more subtle version of it that's Southern. That's painfully true in the summer but Aiken revs up nicely for the Horse Season (January to April). Golfers abound, too.

          3. The pace of life and business and the way you treat people here will differ *significantly* from what you see in the five boroughs or Southern CT (and yes, those are a bit different). I find people in the South to be genuinely friendly and caring. And that will be apparent when you meet them/visible in their manners. I think you can find those attributes in people everywhere, but you won't see them initially in CT and, in a way, in NYC. IMO, one must adjust one's manner and expectations to the Southern pace of life. What counts as a business-like conversation up north can feel like blunt or inconsiderate here. And your patience might get tried when you are trying to do business with someone and these rules apply.

          4. You will be moving into a poor, red state. The good news is that the old-fashioned rules about never discussing politics apply. The other good news about Aiken is that there are a lot of people here who came from elsewhere. So regardless of your political leanings, you'll get through your day just fine. But! You will be living in the middle of a place that, IMO, suffers at the hands of the current version of conservatism and the way it treats the most vulnerable among us.

          When choosing a Place for Horsing, I think you have to pick a place that has a long history of horsing... and pick the best one you can possibly afford. That's because a good environment for horsing (whether cultural and economic, like Zone 2 in the Northeast) or climatic (Aiken, Southern Pines, Florida... at least part of the year) allowed development of a horse industry. Where I lived last, Corvallis, OR, was a study in how SOL you will be if you move to a place that is rural enough but which has not had the benefit of a horse industry. There, you can find pretty land and state forests to ride in, but you can't get the quality of vets, farriers, trainers or boarding that you'd like. In other words, when an environment is bad for horsing, you will not get the growth of supporting infrastructure because, one at a time, anyone who wanted to ride seriously eventually left. When it is good for horsing, you will get that infrastructure that supports what you want to do.

          Winter has glorious weather. In fact, it feels a lot like the SF Bay Area where I grew up. In fact, great winter is why the rich Northeastern horsemen used to put their horses on freight cars and come down here to play. Google "Aiken winter colony" to see what I mean. The sand footing is spectacular. Compared to the Northeast and the rainy Pacific Northwest, this means your costs for a farm drop by at least $200K because you don't need an indoor in order to ride year 'round. Heck, you don't need to build a ring at all. The sand and turf do very nicely.

          The cost of land and real estate here will be ridiculously low in comparison to the prices you pay where you are. But appreciation will be slower, too. Hay will be more expensive unless you convert your horses to what grows here-- Coastal Bermuda.

          You can find lots of dressage trainers to choose from.

          I hope this helps. I know others will have other views of Aiken. Take all you can get! But you should come down and see if for yourself. PM me if you want a place to crash while you do that. COTHers were so helpful with information and offers to hang out or a place to stay when I was checking the South out. Oh, and you can probably find a couple of threads of mine from 2017 about Aiken, Southern Pines and Tryon. Lots of good info there.
          I just PM'd you, I hope, its the first time I did that on this forum - I know pathetic... Please let me know if you got my message - again, thank you!

          Comment

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