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Choosing a place to live based on hunts, land But! not going broke?

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  • #21
    If I had it to do over again, for low cost of living and high level of vet/farrier expertise, I'd do eastern KY as Viney suggests.

    Here's a useful map of US hunts from the MFHA: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=U...881ec520010eee
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


    • #22
      I've been living in eastern Kansas south of Kansas City since 1994 and it has been very nice. I grew up riding horses in upstate S.C. and eastern Virginia. Eastern Kansas has a similar terrain to central/Culpeper Virginia, rolling pastures, woods and plenty of creeks. Each season out here is almost exactly 90 days. The horse scene out here is not dominated by hunt seat but hunt seat, eventing and dressage are done at a very nice level. The western scene is also top notch with national level AQHA trainers stationed around the area along with the gaited horses crowd. There are county and state parks to ride on in addition to what landowners will allow you to do.

      There are two hunt clubs in the Kansas City area and they have a great relationship.

      The cost of living goes down as you drift away from the city. Taxes are high in Kansas, on par with east coast states but the current Gov is working on getting rid of some of them. Top notch hospitals and things to do up in the city.


      • #23
        I lived in Fairfax County VA for nearly 20 years and was much spoiled by the proximity of zillions of hunts in VA and MD. I'm now 6 hours one way from the closest meet though I don't let that stop me completely, just finished a week in Colorado.

        If I were to move back to VA it would be downstate- Charlottesville area, or the Shenandoah Valley. N. VA. is just too depressingly crowded and developed, places I hunted in 80s and 90s are long since paved over.

        If I were to move 'back east'- Aiken would be high on my list for the hunting opportunities and climate and footing for year round riding and horse community.

        Ooh- adding based on another post- the WEG was my first visit to the Lexington KY area and I much liked the prospects there as well.


        • #24
          When I win the lottery I'm moving to Warrenton :-). While I'm waiting, I'd think about areas west of Richmond(VA), and second Beverley's suggestions. Any of the areas between Richmond and Ch'ville, down I-81 between Staunton and Lexington. The Lexington area in gorgeous and has the VA Horse Center and a pleasant Dover store.


          • #25
            I love Aiken..........the hunts may be easier than VA, KY and MD.......but it's a great horse community with something horsey always going on. The horse folks are the pillars of the community which I like...........it's a VERY horse friendly community and more reasonable farm prices than VA as far as I know...
            www.flyingcolorsfarm.comHome of pinto stallion Claim to Fame and his homozygous son, Counterclaim. Friend us on Facebook!https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fl...04678589573428


            • #26
              I love Aiken..........the hunts may be easier than the VA, KY and MD hunts I've done.......but it's a great horse community with something horsey always going on. The horse folks are the pillars of the community which I like...........it's a VERY horse friendly community and more reasonable farm prices than VA as far as I know...
              www.flyingcolorsfarm.comHome of pinto stallion Claim to Fame and his homozygous son, Counterclaim. Friend us on Facebook!https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fl...04678589573428


              • #27
                j mho!

                I'm about 70 miles west of DC. It's VERY expensive here. Yes it's horsie but you need to be prepared for the high expense. Not a rural lifestyle but what I call "landed gentry". Land $10K/acre. Full board=$600/mo. Field $350. Hay 5-8dollars/bale mixed grass. Farriers avg $250/4 flats. Caps $150-100. Hunt dues avg $1800 or so on up. Better have 2 fat incomes around here.
                Sooooooo many "city peeples" trying to be horse peeples......
                Mid atlantic yes......but the further from big cities the better. Horrible development going on here.


                • #28
                  If I was a lady of leisure, I'd probably pick eastern KY or Aiken for cost of living and proximity to hunts. If money was no object, i'd be in Loudon County, Virginia!

                  Alas, neither applies to me, so I have to situate near a booming metropolis for employment to fund my horse habit. I agree with the other poster that northern Maryland has the best of both worlds. Specifically Frederick County which is roughly equal distance from DC and Baltimore. Apart from DC not being hit much by the recession by way of job loss (though, admittedly the furlough has hurt), there are several commuting options from western and northern MD into the city.

                  Additionally, Thai, Indian, and every central and south American food restaurant is easily found within Frederick and Montgomery counties. Cultural buffs will find themselves busy at the civil war sites and museums in the area, as well as (free) summer concerts and indie movie theatres. Frederick city was also voted in the top 5 of best small towns to live in by CNN. The C&O canal nearby allows you to ride as long as your heart desires, and many of the state parks and even battle fields (Antietam/Gettysburg) also allow horses.

                  Property in Frederick and Washington counties are still reasonably affordable, and Washington County has low property taxes and not yet fully developed by the suburban sprawl.

                  Carrollton, Potomac, Goshen, Howard County, New Market Middletown, are all within striking distance for excellent hunting without the super high membership fees that some of the VA hunts require (some even require land ownership).


                  • #29
                    IMO it comes down to what ones idea of a good days hunting is to them. Having grown up in the mid-Atlantic, hunting MD, VA and SE PA with lots of jumps, ditches, river and creek crossing, open to woods, long runs over hill-n-dale. This is my ideal hunting. From what I have seen chasing coyote, drags, wide open spaces with little to no jumps does nothing for me. Though an interesting change of “pace” to experience. But to each their own
                    As an avid skier I would look at it the same. I would rather live in a shack so I could ski at Vail, Breckenridge, Steamboat, etc then live in reasonable comfort and ski the Poconos.
                    FYI having lived in Lexington KY it is not considered “eastern” there are no hunts that I know of in eastern KY. There are only 3 hunts that I know of in KY, Louisville, Lexington and Nicholasville this is considered central KY. Lexington my seem like it has wide open territory it really doesn’t. The Thoroughbred “nurseries” that surrounding the area are not too open to being hunted through. Unlike here, MD and VA. Maybe things have changed since I left.
                    If I had to pick one area it would be northern VA hands down. With an easy ship to MD and SE PA. Lots of Point to Points that anyone with a good hunter can have a try at, Team Hunt trials , Hunter pace, Steeplechase, etc.
                    There are great hunts north of the mid-Atlantic but because of winter weather their season can be limited.


                    • Original Poster

                      Originally posted by florida foxhunter View Post
                      I love Aiken..........the hunts may be easier than VA, KY and MD.......but it's a great horse community with something horsey always going on. The horse folks are the pillars of the community which I like...........it's a VERY horse friendly community and more reasonable farm prices than VA as far as I know...
                      But Aiken will cause one to go broke, no?

                      You mean I'd get to bankruptcy court a little slower in Aiken than in Northern Virginia, or all of Virginia?
                      The armchair saddler
                      Politically Pro-Cat


                      • #31
                        Actually, last time I went randomly googling real estate around the country, Aiken had some lovely places very reasonably priced, far less expensive for equivalent properties than VA (I will say from Charlottesville north). So did Lexington (KY).


                        • #32
                          Maryland (Harford/Baltimore/Carroll/Cecil, Howard, etc) gives you Elkridge Harford Hunt Club, Greenspring Valley Hounds, Carrollton Hounds, and Howard County Iron Bridge Hounds.

                          Lovely territory, friendly land owners, great jumps (mostly 2'6-3'6"). personal experiences with EHHC and Carrollton- I've had a blast, couldn't care less if I returned to the show ring for hunters!

                          Harford County and Baltimore County have lots of possibilities for purchasing farms, some are quite affordable, some will make you go broke! Close to plenty of TB shows, can hack throughout Gunpowder State Park, C&D Trails, Susquehanna State park, about an hour away from Fair Hill, if you want to cross country school/ have access to gunpowder you can go to Tranquillity Manor Farms.

                          As for services: we have access to several very reputable vets, great farriers, and wonderful chiro's/acupuncturists. (If you want names/practices, PM me!), We are also just a little over an hour away from New Bolton Animal Hospital in case of serious emergencies! Leesburg is also not too far out of reach either.

                          Northern Maryland is an excellent place to be for prime hunting, you are in a very horsey area, I've lived here on my farm all my life!


                          • #33
                            Really, WG? :-0 I am surprised!
                            Land goes for about 10k an acre here, too, in smaller chunks. Sooooo, should we sell out and move up yonder???? Oh, to dream :-).


                            • #34
                              I visited Aiken in summer 2010. For my budget, it was expensive. Land that was shown to me by the realtor was at least $20,000 an acre. Some of the land that bordered the Hitchcock Woods was $99,000 an acre (cleared). The places that had homes and barns were also very expensive with primarily very small paddocks for "pasture." Now, I imagine if you move out of town a bit, the price drops.
                              The number of hunts was so appealing, though. Perhaps the real estate will come down by the time I am ready to move.


                              • #35
                                I am fairly new to Virginia, and I am not sure of your budget, but, as you go further from Warrenton, prices do drop dramatically. For instance, a quick search showed a home with 20 acres in Front Royal (45 min from Warrenton) for 160K. That same property would easily be in the hundreds of thousands or into the millions in Warrenton. Horse board also drops dramatically. Just wanted to mention that in case you were on the fence with Virginia due to cost. It can be done, just depends on your location.

                                Historically, Fauquier County, in which Warrenton is located, has only allowed for a small amount of growth each year. I hope that trend continues.

                                Here is a link for VA hunt clubs:


                                • Original Poster

                                  Can we talk about the upper mid-West?

                                  For reasons beyond hunting (and even horses), I think I could deal with Wisconsin.

                                  Oh, and let's be clear: I won't be a lady of leisure. I will work (mainly from home). My pocket book and proclivities mean I couldn't live in a resort-like area. I need some dough and some grit in my life.

                                  Think of it this way: I want the opposite of what a HO in Los Angeles might have: Way-high cost of living, great conditions for people and crappy conditions for horses (the dry-lot "sun paddock" thing as stall/TO combination with 400 other horses boarded on the place). No offense LA. I'm a native Californian and I won't go back to SF or LA parts of it because-- at bottom-- the luxury isn't there for someone who values horsing.

                                  So I want the opposite of that: I'd live in a double-wide, so long as there was land, water and good services for horsing.
                                  The armchair saddler
                                  Politically Pro-Cat


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by mvp View Post

                                    For reasons beyond hunting (and even horses), I think I could deal with Wisconsin.
                                    My brother lives in Wisconsin (industrial engineer).

                                    Yes, land prices are cheap. The job market is HORRENDOUS (see a correlation?), so I am not sure that would be a great place if you want to earn $$. The weather is FREEZING - he still has snow! Based upon his experiences, you couldn't pay me to live there except for late May-early Sept. Doing horses in snow/cold in VA and PA (where I used to live) was enough of a PITA, let alone adding in a sub-arctic climate.

                                    Now, obviously that is JMHO, I know some people love it there. I am not sure how much hunting they have in WI, though?

                                    If I were going to live in such a cold climate, I would move to VT, instead.
                                    Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by SidesaddleRider View Post

                                      If I were going to live in such a cold climate, I would move to VT, instead.
                                      Well, I'm moving to southern New Hampshire this year, there's a couple hunts there (Guildford and North Country Hounds) so I'll have a hunt to call home. I'll still ride the Amtrak Vermonter down to Virginia in the deep winter to hunt with Bull Run, because I am so spoiled from riding in the nicest hunt country in the US. Culpeper-Warrenton area is just so perfect.
                                      Last edited by Major Mark; Apr. 23, 2013, 01:21 PM. Reason: typo


                                      • #39
                                        I admit to being biased toward Charlottesville. Many hunts to choose from, near mountains, UVA, good schools, wineries, hiking, great music scene and local arts scene. Pretty highly evolved population. Great restaurants, two large hospitals and the city consistantly makes everbody's top 10 places to live.
                                        Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
                                        November 11-13, 2016


                                        • #40
                                          Lynn Lloyd of Red Rock Hounds has a certain way of talking people into moving to Nevada and out near her... The years I hunted with her I saw many people leave LA and other parts of the country to come live in BFE Reno to hunt with Lynn, and they loved it.

                                          Economy in Nevada? Recovering.
                                          Houses? Cheap. Cheap. Because the economy isn't great.

                                          Hunting? Amazing. Lynn is amazing. And she travels to many different areas. They are in Montana right now, I believe hunting. It's a great experience and a fun place to associate yourself with. There is always something going on at RRH. They also hunt 3 days a week during hunting season, and once a month they go on an "away trip". During the summer months, she does a ton of lessons and training, and she will take a group of kids and adults to local shows. Red Rock is a little town within it's own (minus a gas station and grocery store, gotta drive into town for that) but it really is an amazing place to live. I lived a couple miles from Red Rock Hounds for years and would ride my horses to the barn to go work.

                                          Reno itself? It's okay. RRH is in the outskits, in the high desert away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are a lot of restraunts (many different kinds) and there is shopping. Of course there are not so great parts of the city, but there is nothing that I would be absolutely terrified of going into.

                                          I don't make a very good bid for Reno itself, but if you are looking to move onto cheap land where a hunt never cancels, then look no further than Red Rock Hounds.