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if you retired now where would it be for perfect riding life?

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  • if you retired now where would it be for perfect riding life?

    ok so i am sitting here approaching mid life crisis...

    want to relocate to the perfect riding place! Sick of snow and bitter cold and not being able to ride all year except in an indoor arena>i know nothing of Tenesee, Alabama???

    I need to be within an hour or two of an international airport. other than that where is the dream place to trail ride, really ride! Where there are tons of people who love to ride, where there are open minds and not annoying rules and stuffy types

    Bring it on!

  • #2
    Does it have to be *one* place? I'm south of Phoenix now, which is great for winter. My barn owner eventually wants to have a place in Prescott for the summer months. She plans to take the horses up there and have a guest cottage so boarders can come visit and trail ride. Obviously, it's not a show barn.
    ... and Patrick


    • #3
      When yu find it , let me know. I'm ready too.
      There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.


      • #4
        I suspect any place will have some draw backs. While I have a couple months of snowy weather. People in Florida have several months of extreme heat and humidity. Same goes for Phoenix. They have a wonderful winter, But I can't stand their 100 days of 100+ degree heat. It's kinda of trade off. Some places have earthquakes, some tornados, other hurricanes or ice storms.

        Not sure what you consider annoying rules and stuffy types. You may want to elaborate on those descriptions.

        I think you choose a place that offers the best compromise. I personally don't think there is anyplace that offers moer beautiful rides than the west. We have the mountain to ride in warmer weather and the deserts to ride during the colder months. Public access is abundant. I wouldn't know what to do if I had to pull into a private campground and pay to camp or ride.

        Good luck on your search


        • #5
          Ocala Florida.

          No winter, no mud, lots of horse people here.

          Yes, we sweat in the summer, but heck, I used to sweat in CT too in the summer.

          We get 10-20 nights with freeze warnings during the winter, but daytime temps go back into the 60's on the "cold" days.

          I don't think anyplace is perfect, but this is pretty darned close in my opinion.
          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


          • #6
            Originally posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
            Ocala Florida.

            No winter, no mud, lots of horse people here.

            Yes, we sweat in the summer, but heck, I used to sweat in CT too in the summer.

            We get 10-20 nights with freeze warnings during the winter, but daytime temps go back into the 60's on the "cold" days.

            I don't think anyplace is perfect, but this is pretty darned close in my opinion.

            What area of Ocala do you recommend? Some more "desirable" neighborhoods than others? I was there in January to poke around...still curious! Is there anywhere to ride off one's own farm (like trails, etc) for a change of scenery?
            Founder & Donor/Account Advisor
            Brennan Equine Welfare Fund


            • #7
              Arizona, 100%


              • #8
                CA is great. You have mountains and some as high as 14,000+ ft, ocean, desert, the lowest point in the US, rainforests, pretty much everything. S cal is real nice especially close to the coast. Now you do have fires -but many stables have a rescue plan and people are used to it. It is still scary to watch a wall of fire coming down at you, but you get used to it. N cal can get cold in the winter(well cold is relative) and very windy. Now you go away from the coast there and you can easily hit 4-8000 ft and there it gets in the minus F -but beautiful terrain.(The Tevis cup runs through there). Then further north you have rainforests and east there mtns and the high desert, as well as volcanic mountains and caves. But you can hit some extremes in temps in the NE CA-just lovely country to explore though.

                You can ride through so much different terrain. I have ridden as high as 9000 ft-which is not much -I am sure the folks in CO ride much higher. But here the next day you can be back at the coast and riding on the ocean or to a desert or just about anything you wan't !

                Me personally I love southern california-mostly beacuse you can go to the beach in shorts and tees and can actually get in the water for at least half the year. Take the fires and traffic away and it is close to perfect. If you are not looking for stuffy folks-well southern ca is just perfect. People may be oddballs-but the culture is very vibrant. I moved even south, but that was too small for me and so now I think I am ready to settle down in L.A. -Just so many things to do and experience. 30-50 mi out of L.A and you can hit real remote trails-well you will have mtn bikers, but my horse does not care. The mountains along the 101 corridor just north of LA are beautiful with beautiful ocean views from 1000+ ft . It is just beautiful on a clear day to see the whole coastline, ships going by all from your horse. Full moon rides are even better!

                N. cal is great too- anyplace from mountain peaks to rain forests to the high desert to beach rides is only a couple of hour trailer rides and the fire danger is much less than down south. It is there, but not like down south. I just love that if you wan't snow and cold, just drive a few hours to the mtns and you are there. I love the weather and the culture. I guess through my explorations, I find I love the big city and the country too, so I found my place(traffic, smog and all-but hey every place has its warts!) Both places have real major airports(SFO and LAX) and you have many other smaller international airports nearby.

                Boarding prices are really not that high-if you are not looking for major amenities. I only trail ride, so I only look for safety, care provided and trail access and pasture and since I don't have to work in the office, it does not have to be close-so I get very reasonable prices.

                Good luck and enjoy the journey!


                • #9
                  Jasper, Texas! Jasper is a small town right on Lake Sam Rayburn. There is a beautiful lake where world class bass tournaments are held. Gorgeous forests - hilly and sandy so even when it has rained buckets you can still ride.

                  Southeast Texas has mild winters - summers are hot! You are within an hour or so of Houston IAH and of course, all that Houston has to offer. Jasper is probably 3.5 to 4 hours away from Dallas/Fort Worth and there is lots of riding there. About 4 hours from Austin and the Hill Country - riding is fabulous.

                  To the east is the forests and state parks in Louisiana. The beach is only about 120 miles at the most. The casino's of Louisiana are just across the state line and Jasper is probably no more than 25 miles or less from the state line!

                  Jasper is full of gorgeous retirement homes on the lake and more modest accommodations. Cute little restaurants, hotels, bed and breakfasts, not too far from Livingston which is also on a huge lake and riding. Toledo Bend Reservoir is just to the east and is also a huge lake with all kinds of possibilities.

                  It is about 60 miles for Beaumont, Texas and about 30 miles from Lufkin which are much larger cities. Tyler is just up the road and that is serious horse country.

                  LOL I love going to Jasper with my horses to ride. They used to run an endurance run up there.
                  Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


                  • #10
                    Vermont or Missouri- I'd be totally happy with either one Either way I would love to live somewhere other than MD as long as it still had mountains
                    "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                    So you might as well have a good time"


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post
                      Vermont or Missouri- I'd be totally happy with either one Either way I would love to live somewhere other than MD as long as it still had mountains
                      Come to Georgia. You still get a full four seasons but in much milder form (rare for snow..occasional ice)

                      Lovely mountains to ride in. TONS of local, county and state parks to trailer out to:

                      --The Silver Comet Trail
                      --Kennesaw Mtn National Park
                      --Hard Labor Creek State Park
                      --Boundary Waters

                      More here: http://www.horsetraildirectory.com/N...gia&unit=state

                      Good, honest horse folks and no stuffiness. Sure a few rednecks chucked in just to keep things interesting, but overall it's great here.

                      Plus you'd be coming to instant COTH family:

                      Just My Style
                      SBT (she moved here from NY)

                      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                      • #12
                        Are you looking for the best place for the horses or the best place for the people who own the horses?!?!?!

                        For the horses you want something that is cooler than warmer, flatter than hillier, and grows decent grass for most of the year (and what doesn't grow "cures on the stem"). You want enough rain to nourish the grass and keep the water holes filled, but not so much that hooves rot in really wet ground.

                        Now you pick applying the above criteria!

                        As for the people, I would never want to live where a shack costs $650,000. Or where the seasons never change.

                        Most assuredly I wouldn't want to live where the toads kill dogs, the fish walk, the trees explode, the cockroaches fly, and the termites eat metal.

                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                        • #13
                          Jeano chimes in that although GA IS great, true horsie heaven is Aiken, S.C.
                          You have to love a town that has equestrian traffic light switches conveniently mounted about 7 feet off the ground so you can trip the light while mounted, stop traffic on the busiest street in town, and demurely cross so you can ride in the Hitchcock Woods. Or drive your carriage ditto. Or hack your polo pony home after a game. Or ride to the hounds. Or race your harness horse. Or your flat horse. Or your steeplechase horse. Or....well, you get the idea.


                          • #14
                            Guilherme, why do you say flatter rather than hilly for the horses? Maybe it's just because I've always lived in mountainous regions, but I've always been taught horses do better on hills and varied terrain--keeps them stronger, fitter, and healthier.

                            As far as my perfect place goes, I have to say NM. You can get pretty much any terrain you want here, from high mountain forests to flat-out desert. Okay, so we're kind of lacking in the grass department, unless you're in a river valley and have some nice irrigated fields. Hay is fairly reasonable--not as cheap as some places, but cheaper than what I was paying in CO.

                            Where I am personally located I can saddle up and ride into the mountains, into the bosque, on rolling plains, into canyons...all within an hour or so's ride from my farm. We have 4 seasons but our winters are mild unless you're in the mountains, and our summers don't get that hot--rarely over 100 and no humidity, and not many bugs either! Plus we have some of the prettiest views you'll ever see.

                            Downsides are that a lot of people who grew up back east don't like the desert. We have quite a few rattlesnakes and prickly plants, too. Trails in the Rockies can be a bit frightening if you're not used to them. It's a very poor state and standards of horsekeeping can be a bit of a shock to some people--there are a lot of very good barns, though.

                            Albuquerque has an international airport (although it's small compared to most), and there are a lot of beautiful places to live within a couple of hours of it.
                            exploring the relationship between horse and human


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lindasp62 View Post
                              What area of Ocala do you recommend? Some more "desirable" neighborhoods than others? I was there in January to poke around...still curious! Is there anywhere to ride off one's own farm (like trails, etc) for a change of scenery?
                              I'm up in the NW part of the county, that is the #1 section for horse people, although there are nice areas in the SW part of the county. Oh heck, there are good parts in all 4 sections, depends on what you are looking for in the way of terrain, neighbors, etc. If you are looking, get a good agent that knows the area. My farm has nice rolling hills, good live oak trees, drains great (no mud or standing water), and good grass. Some areas are flood prone, or more sandy, and a good agent can tell just by what trees are growing in that area.

                              As to trail riding, oh yes, we have the National forest, complete with a land bridge that goes over the I-75 interstate, there is Paynes Praire, Goethe, Florida Horse Park. . . .just to name a few.

                              Here is a link to a trail guide that might be helpful:


                              Prices on farms are pretty reasonable right now, for those of you that are considering the area, if you shop right. Some folks still have unreasonably high prices, but I have seen some good bargains too.

                              CosMonster, I lived in Albuquerque when I was young, that is where we had my very first horse (jug headed, roman-nosed barrel racer that I loved), and I agree that NM is a good place to live with horses also. My only drawback there were the rattlers and other venomous creatures that we learned to keep an eye out for. But you are correct that dessert living is not for everyone.
                              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                              • #16
                                Hey Gothedistance....just went to your website....are you going to be at the Purcellville Parade again this year?

                                Also -- who is the grey in your top photo? I have his/her twin!

                                Okay -- back to the OP. Virginia is a great horsey state...but I have my farm on the market because I REALLY want to go back to Ca.

                                I LOVE Ojai and points north up through the Central Coast -- and then Wine Country! I guess we need to narrow it down in case the place actually sells!!
                                Cold Spring Farm
                                German and Arabian-related GOV sporthorses



                                • #17
                                  In case anyone wants a peek at what equestrian living is like in the NW part of Marion County (Ocala) Florida is like, here is a photo album of my farm (best to view in slideshow mode).


                                  The pictures were taken in winter (early and late), so the grass is not as green and lush as it is all summer.
                                  There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                                  • #18
                                    Try this website:

                                    I loved it when I live in NoVA... but I also love the TX Hill Country (wish I lived there right now instead of Houston!)... just my suggestions!
                                    View my photographs at www.horsephotoguy.zenfolio.com


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by texang73 View Post
                                      Try this website:
                                      www.findyourspot.com !
                                      Well, it looks like I am moving to Arkansas, Louisiana or Maryland!
                                      Somebody ought to come up with this quiz with a horsey slant! Something like;
                                      -Cowboy hat or riding helmet?
                                      -Riding all day on the range herding cattle, or riding through forests and fields chasing a fox?

                                      Founder & Donor/Account Advisor
                                      Brennan Equine Welfare Fund


                                      • #20
                                        yep! So Calif!

                                        I like it here in S. Calif cause I can ride out of my home, go 22 miles east to the nearest paved road, go 20 minutes by trailer to the Angeles Nat. Forest, or 1 1/2 hours to the beach. Yeah, we have only two real seasons where I am at,
                                        ( Palmdale CA. No. of L.A. ), they are blazin hot, and freezin cold. BUT, we are also at almost 3000 ft altitude, and can see every star and satellite that passes overhead. The shuttles land 25 miles away, the folks are really laid back, and no snooty prim riders in funny archaic costumes and funny hats from England. We DO all wear helmets when riding, but that is only common sense with the lava flow buttes and steep trails in the mtns. We have LOTS of roads and trails to drive your buggies and carts, and lots of folks who drive. We grow 11,000 acres of alfalfa and grain hays here as that is what we feed mostly. Someone mentioned Ojai as the place they would like to live, I can say that is a fine place and only 20 minutes to the beach, and 15 minutes to some very beautiful mtn trails in Rose Valley or Wheeler Gorge. Yep, no mud, no bugs, and lots of room to explore.