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Where would you chose to train/base out of?

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  • Original Poster

    Thanks for all the posts guys!

    Definitely looking to stay state side! So the UK suggestions are out. Even tho that would be totally awesome!!!

    And while Rio in '16 would be a dream come true! Most likely not going to make that one, maybe more apt to try for the Pan Am in '18 or something more like that.

    Not looking for a temp residence, looking to be some where at least in a semi-permemnt way, even if we move back 'home' 10 years from now or something. I would like to make it to Rolex one day! (sigh 'day dreaming') lol
    Not sure if it will be with my current ponies or not but hope to get some good 2* and advance level miles (maybe a 3*) with them in the next few years kinda deal.

    Hope this helps. Hubby has friends in GA so of course that is appealing. Also it seems a drivable distance from both Aiken, KY and Ocala. (keeping in mind that at the moment I am use to a 5-7 hr drive for my closest events! 10+ for others!)

    Also, I know that Becky Holder and the Pollards are in GA. And being in the south already, hot and humid don't scare me so much. (yes I am use to getting up and doing trot sets at 6am to avoid the heat type of thing.)

    Keep in mind too that while area is great - good instruction and support (farrier, vets, etc) is also a huge factor of course.

    Keep the ideas coming and thanks a lot!


    • Original Poster

      Also, guess I should make it clear too that I would want to buy property so that I could keep my 3 horses at home. I love being able to handle and maintain their day to day care and over see their routine. So most likely something in the 10 acre range or a little more maybe.

      Plus its cheaper in the long run I think than board every month!


      • #23
        Plus its cheaper in the long run I think than board every month
        Oh, dear. Better check your math.
        Click here before you buy.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
          Oh, dear. Better check your math.
          Not counting price of land, taxes, etc. Husband and I want some land/space anyway. And 3 horses, full board..... that's kinda expensive I would think in most of the barns that I would want to be in.
          And as I said - being a person who grew up taking care of my own horses, I do prefer to be on top of their day to day care.


          • #25
            If your planning on keeping them at home, VA is going to be your best bet. Unless of course you can afford an indoor.

            While PA winters are nothing like our grandfathers talk about, the ground still freezes and it can get cold.


            • #26
              Nope Ceciltuckey MD close to all dirt cheap, better winters than PA....


              • #27
                If you want a place tO keep them at home then the horsey areas mentioned might be more expensive than some of the other places. Yellow britches I was merely pointing out that one does not have to be in area 2 to compete upper levels. Alabama was a suggestion as they have some beautiful areas, southern, and pretty central to Aiken and Florida and ky.


                • #28
                  I don't understand why Aiken isn't getting stronger recommendations.
                  Boyd, Phillip, and many others have a winter base there, plus, I think just about everyone from the mid and ne spend their winters there.

                  I would pick aiken over SP or any other southern venue. Also, I have been told that MD is as hot as Aiken, if not hotter.

                  Aiken...great vets, decent farriers, great accessibility for hay, tack shops, etc
                  save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                  • #29
                    Another vote for Aiken here! I moved to Aiken last June and absolutely love it. Adorable, small town full of people who love their horses. So much going on, I'm having trouble deciding which events to attend!

                    Bonus was, my house was really affordable


                    • #30
                      If you want to buy land then that changes the map some. In Virginia, land is almost prohibitively expensive in the Middleburg area. You need to be between Warenton and CHarlottesville or east of Charlottesville to find land and the trainers that have been discussed.
                      A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by fivehorses View Post
                        I don't understand why Aiken isn't getting stronger recommendations.
                        Boyd, Phillip, and many others have a winter base there, plus, I think just about everyone from the mid and ne spend their winters there.

                        I would pick aiken over SP or any other southern venue. Also, I have been told that MD is as hot as Aiken, if not hotter.

                        Aiken...great vets, decent farriers, great accessibility for hay, tack shops, etc

                        Only reason Aiken wasn't on my list is to me OP is asking for the Ideal.

                        There are a lot of places in area II and III or VIII or otherwise that are great places to live, and which you can event to the ULs.

                        But if you are picking and ideal spot to base training (and can only be in one spot) that has a high concentration of people to help you develop your program to ride at Adv...or even 2*....the Ideal IMO would be either Middleburg, VA or Unionville/West Grove PA. That said...for example in PA..if you head out side those areas...further away from Philly...it does get a lot more affordable. Just as if you head further away from DC in VA it starts to get more affordable.

                        Aiken is absolutely a great place to be in the winter. So to me the absolute Ideal is to live where I do in PA (West Grove) most of the year but spend most of the winter in either Ocala or Aiken.

                        But since I have to make a living (not with horses), I live in West Grove in PA and sometimes my horse get's to spend winters in Aiken. My horse has the better deal.

                        FWIW--I've lived in both VA and PA. I would say you can make PA work a bit more easily for buying land than VA (talking 5-10 acres).
                        Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Sep. 20, 2012, 03:06 PM.
                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                        • #32
                          Just as a note, one of my boarders is a real estate agent in this area and she just said that land is much more reasonable in Warrenton and Marshal, which, really, is totally acceptable if you want the Middleburg lifestyle.

                          Aiken isn't IDEAL year round BECAUSE the things that make it ideal in the winter go home to VA and PA the rest of the year. I LOVE Aiken, but it isn't the best place to live, year round, in this particular situation.


                          • #33
                            Finally chiming in here...

                            Our farm is just under 2 hours from West Grove/Coatesville/Unionville and I will echo the others that have said the area is eventing heaven! A bonus is that there is affordable land near that area (within an hour's drive). We live in Bucks County (just north of Philadelphia), which has become rather expensive for real estate, but we bought in an area that was still relatively rural and much less expensive than say, central Bucks County.

                            What I like about southeastern Pennsylvania is that you are so close to everything--an hour from Philadelphia and New York City, 2 hours from Baltimore, and just under 3 from DC. I grew up in Georgia (outside of Atlanta) and it was hours to get to other venues, whereas here, as others have stated, there as so many events (both schooling and recognized) to attend. We live 15 min from Bucks County Horse Park and I've been able to do all my showing with my young horse there because they offer dressage and jumper shows and events.

                            For those of us who have a career outside of horses, this area offers many more job opportunities (and decent salaries/wages) than some other horse-friendly areas. Yes, the cost of living is higher but both my husband and I have jobs that allow us to really enjoy our farm and horses. We would not have those same opportunities in an area, such as Aiken.

                            Speaking of Aiken, we have many friends (carriage driving) that winter down there (or have moved down there permanently). I agree that it is a great horse friendly area but (1) most BNTs winter down there and return home for the rest of the year and (2) it's just too dang hot for me! The weather up here, to me, is perfect! We have just enough snow to get the sleigh out once or twice a year, the normal hot/humid summer weather down south happens for maybe a week or two up here, and fall and spring are perfect.

                            For winter, we haul 10 min down the road to a local indoor. However, we really like to let the horses down from November through January, slowly bringing them back into full work in February only if we're planning to compete down south in March or April.

                            Whether you live up north or south, you're always going to have the issue of BNTs moving back and forth to follow the eventing "circuit."


                            • #34
                              I live in NoVA (30 min from M'burg, 1 hr from DC) and agree it is eventing heaven--millions of events/trainers/vets etc. Downsides are high cost of living (incl land, though just a bit west it gets better), suburban sprawl, traffic. The winters are really not bad--you wish it were warmer and more pleasant a lot of days but there isn't too much snow/freezing to keep you from riding. If I were rich I would go to Aiken in the winter.

                              I didn't get your whole situation from your post (nor are you required to share), but probably some other considerations are your work plans, if you/your husband are horse pros and need horsey clients, or need to commute to a city for work, etc.


                              • #35
                                The Tryon, NC area is absolutely wonderful. There is a H.T right down the road, and currently talk of another. IT is in close proximity to Aiken and SoPines, as well as the some of the other East cost events. Also about 4 hours from Lexington.

                                The scenery is wonderful, with lost of mountains and hills for conditioning, and the price of land is fair. Honestly its a great place to keep horses. The temperature can be hot in the summer, but rarely long spells of dry heat. And the winter ain't to shabby. Outside riding year round type of deal.

                                Trainer wise, there are a few **** riders there, like Eric Dierks.

                                Honestly wonderful place to keep a horse.