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Leaving NYC.. Looking for suggestions for horsey areas to live in CT, RI, or MA

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    Leaving NYC.. Looking for suggestions for horsey areas to live in CT, RI, or MA

    Good afternoon!

    I am a 30-year-old female who has been living in Manhattan for almost 4 years. It's never been my cup of tea honestly, and I am looking to leave the City. I have been working remote since March due to the virus. Now that my employer has seen that we CAN work successfully from home, I am planning to ask to become a permanent remote employee. Living in NYC will no longer be a necessity. My lease on my apartment expires in October, so I am trying to make plans for my next move now.

    I grew up in coastal MA and prefer to live in calm, more rural areas. I have been riding hunter/jumper for over 20 years, although I have not been able to ride while living in NYC. It was just way too expensive and too difficult for me to drive to and from a barn with such relentless traffic. I am looking for a lower cost of living area where I can buy a small home with a yard. I would like to start riding hunters again and lease a horse from a nearby farm. I do not have children so schools are not a big concern.

    I lived in Providence, RI years ago and loved it. When I lived there I rode in Portsmouth and the drive to and from the farm everyday was beautiful. I liked the equestrian network that is in that state and nearby MA.

    I wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions for towns or areas in CT, RI or MA that are pretty low-key but have a vibrant horse scene with access to good instruction, shows, trails, and even fox hunting.

    Thank you for your time!

    What about west central MA, outside the 128/495 beltway - Harvard, Ayer, Groton? Or further west - Pittsfield, Stockbridge? I haven't lived in MA for decades, but last I was back, some areas still seemed relatively rural (especially in comparison to Manhattan).

    Even the Lower Hudson Valley closer to Saugerties, NY? A H/J trainer that was in our area (northern Michigan) several moon ago, relocated to Wappingers Falls, NY. I think she grew up there and is still active there now from the snippets that come thru our local grape vine.

    SIL and her girls, who are eventers and keep their horses at home, live in the Canton, CT area. I'm not sure, but that area may be pricey when it comes to buying real estate.

    Everything in the MA, RI, CT area seems so close to many options compared to the hours of driving we have here to get anywhere. Although, I have to say it's much nicer driving; far less traffic and generally scenic. I'll take it any day over the wretched NE traffic congestion.


      Are you ruling out New Jersey? There are a ton of beautiful farms in New Jersey in more rural areas but still with good proximity to less rural areas, many are hunter jumper and there are good places to show in the state. I have good memories of showing at Briarwood, I've heard good things about Duncraven shows and also the Princeton Show Jumping facility shows.


        I have lived in MA, CT and RI. I find RI to be the most live-able. It is plenty rural in much of the state outside of Providence and Newport, and both more convenient to necessities and more affordable than western, central, or eastern MA in my experience. The rural parts of MA are beautiful, but near most barns, you'll inevitably experience the famous and relentless MA traffic and growing suburbs that creep well outside the Boston metro area, even outside the 495 line. I found it untenable.

        There aren't a plethora of farms in RI with active hunter or lease programs but Annie Dotoli's Tibri is in Chepachet, which is well within driving distance of a number of towns that might match what you're looking for. The property has beautiful trails and fields for riding. I believe Newport still has active stables as well, and the state has an active horse community.


          Consider the Berkshires in MA (Western Mass). Beautiful area, plus it's close to the Old Chatham Hunt Club just across the border in New York. You're also relatively close to the Mid-Hudson area and HITS Saugerties.


            I grew up in Old Lyme, CT. It's small. It's beautiful. It's far enough away from NYC and Fairfield County not to be a bedroom community, but it's on Rte. 95, so you have easy access to NYC and Boston. If you like to ski, it's only a few hours from the best mountains in Vermont up Rte. 9 to 91. While there's not any barns in Old Lyme, there's a lot of barns in surrounding areas. Shows are everywhere in Connecticut, and it's not that far to ones in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or even Westchester County. It's such a bucolic little place. If you have or are going to have kids, it has a wonderful school system. Even if you don't have kids, it helps with property values. It's on the River and the Sound. There's also golf and tennis. Geez, do I miss the place!
            You hate that, dont you? Do you like oysters? You have to acquire a taste for oysters and the deep distance.
            -- George H. Morris on learning to love the deep distance


              I'll put in a good word about NJ (yes!) There are lots of options in western and southwestern NJ and lots of shows of course too. Hunterdon County, Sussex County. Many hidden gems in a state that gets a bad rap about a lot of things (taxes first on the list) but it is also, as I read not so long ago, the most horse-dense state in this country. Downside: western NJ has lousy to non existent public transit to NYC but it's beautiful and affordable.