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Moving to Washington State

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  • Moving to Washington State

    Hello,

    I currently live in Southern California and want to move to Washington to be close to my daughter. Does anyone live in Washington State and can give me an idea on how it goes caring for horses with all the rain? Also, can you give me towns or cities where is it best to have a horse on your property with good trails and more sun? I really dont know where or how to look up any information.

  • #2
    Eastern Washington doesn't really get rain like Western WA does, but then you also have to be prepared to deal with real winters. On the plus side, it's a lot cheaper, and there's some great horse infrastructure.

    The area where I live (Tacoma/JBLM) is a bit of a dead zone for riding. Go further south and it gets better. Go further north it gets better. Vancouver is a great area and there are some really good trainers in the area. Snohomish County also has some great facilities if you'd rather be in the Seattle metro instead of the Portland metro. If you're into drill or gaming, it's an absolute paradise no matter where you go.

    There are a number of potential pitfalls for building on your own land. You'll want to take a good look at any parcel for protected wetlands, and some counties make construction very, very difficult.

    The nice thing about trails is that so many are open to stock. They're just not often advertised as such. For example, the whole PCT is open to stock (although I wouldn't really recommend riding some sections), as well as many of the trails in the National Forests. The Olympics, however, are not that horse-friendly.

    As for care, while I'm sure it depends on the horse, the last two I leased were pasture kept year round and didn't really have any issues. That said, year round pasture can be a bit of a luxury (along with covered arenas actually). Runs are more common, and runs in lower-rent barns get ugly. That's actually where I've seen horses have more problems with hooves in particular. Remember it's less downpours (despite what the current weather would have you believe...) and more nine months of overcast and spritzing. I would recommend you spend a long weekend here in the dead of winter before you move. The rain might not kill you, but you don't know how the low winter sun will until you experience it.

    PM me if you want more specific information, especially about trails. I'm big into backpacking, so I have a good handle on conditions.
    Last edited by Standard Bread; Sep. 13, 2019, 02:05 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Standard Bread View Post

      The Olympics, however, are not horse-friendly. There's only one real trail open to stock, and I've hiked it twice. I would not take a horse on it.

      .
      There are a lot of trails, and camping, open to horses in the Olympics. I was in the Buckhorn Wilderness area a few weeks ago.

      https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/oly...7687&actid=104

      Comment


      • #4
        If you want trail access, you might have to sacrifice the more sun, however, there are several barns that I can think of in Sno and Skagit counties that have pasture with paddock board options and some of those have covered/indoor arenas for winter riding. Some have access to trails right off the property and some are a short trailer ride away. Most folks ride in the rain because if you didn't you'd never get out unless you have a covered arena.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Garythesquirrel View Post

          There are a lot of trails, and camping, open to horses in the Olympics. I was in the Buckhorn Wilderness area a few weeks ago.

          https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/oly...7687&actid=104
          I mean, there are trails, but you simply cannot compare the offerings in the Olympics to, say, the availability of trails and horse camps in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, especially around Mount Adams.

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          • #6
            I think it really depends on what you want and what cities you want to be close to. Do you want to be near an urban city like Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia? Are you ok with a smaller, but still urban city like Spokane, Bellingham, Vancouver? Do you want a rural city like Ellensburg, Snohomish, Monroe? Do you want a suburb like North Bend or Bainbridge Island? All of these will be bigger factors as within each subset you can find a location with good board, trails, and horse people of any discipline. Some areas lean heavier HJ, eventing, or western, but all of them can find horse facilities.

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            • #7
              Where is your daughter and how close do you need to be? It's a big state.

              Property prices in the I-5 corridor can be quite expensive, though not by SoCal standards. Most horse properties are in the 5-10 acre range and horses living on pasture is not easy. We almost all supplement with hay year round. As far as horse care in the rain, we build sacrifice paddocks that are mud free, and limit pasture exposure from October to April to save what we do have. Most of us who keep them at home haul out to ride unless we have all weather outdoor rings or access to an indoor. Boarding barns generally have covered/indoor rings. Trail riding can be limited by our wet weather on the west side as many are too muddy in winter.

              In SW WA (Vancouver/Portland) There are lots of trail options within an hour's drive, some of which are on the "dry side" across the Cascades.

              For drier and sunnier, you'll need to live in Sequim on the Peninsula in the rain shadow or east of the Cascades. Cle Elum is just over the pass and much drier. Lots of riding there, and the horse park is also there so showing is a possibility.
              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

              Comment


              • #8


                "The area where I live (Tacoma/JBLM) is a bit of a dead zone for riding. "

                Really disagree with this. I live very near JBLM and ride there every week. The base is over 90,000 acres and many of the wooded and pastured areas are open to horseback riding. There are great systems of trails. There are several stables along 150th (horse farm row) that back up directly to the area 7 of the base and you can ride right out from any of them onto the base. It's a HUGE area to ride. There are also many covered arenas in the area that allow haul-ins at a reasonable price.

                If you like or would like to try fox hunting (scent drag) the Woodbrook Hunt Club is located there and they do hunts most of the winter.

                Of course, pretty much everything depends on how close you want to be to your daughter. As someone else said, it's a big state. Not as big as Cali of course, but it's still a 6 hour drive from Spokane to Seattle with a huge mountain range in between that isn't always the most fun to try and navigate during the winter.

                Good luck with your relocation!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by laureldj View Post

                  "The area where I live (Tacoma/JBLM) is a bit of a dead zone for riding. "

                  Really disagree with this. I live very near JBLM and ride there every week. The base is over 90,000 acres and many of the wooded and pastured areas are open to horseback riding. There are great systems of trails. There are several stables along 150th (horse farm row) that back up directly to the area 7 of the base and you can ride right out from any of them onto the base. It's a HUGE area to ride. There are also many covered arenas in the area that allow haul-ins at a reasonable price.

                  If you like or would like to try fox hunting (scent drag) the Woodbrook Hunt Club is located there and they do hunts most of the winter.

                  Of course, pretty much everything depends on how close you want to be to your daughter. As someone else said, it's a big state. Not as big as Cali of course, but it's still a 6 hour drive from Spokane to Seattle with a huge mountain range in between that isn't always the most fun to try and navigate during the winter.

                  Good luck with your relocation!
                  Perspective, please. I moved from Southeast PA, and no, there is nowhere near the level of facility, horse quality, competition, or services that I could have obtained back home without even trying. And I know of plenty of other people who moved from the East Coast who feel the same way. I can actually think of several posters on COTH, some local, and some transplants, who echo my sentiments as well. Maybe it doesn't apply to the OP, but if you're like me, and you're an English rider who wants a decent horse, decent tack, facilities that aren't glorified backyard operations, more than limited turnout, and the ability to ride after 4:00 PM in winter without being reliant on trailering all over kingdom come, there are far better places in Washington to move than Tacoma.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You can always move back. The east coast is still there. All lauriedj was pointing out was there are facilities in Tacoma. Might not be EC style, but still.

                    OP- come back and give us more info.
                    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am a real estate agent in the greater Seattle area that sells equestrian properties among other things. I grew up in California and also ride Hunter/Jumpers. Feel free to ask away! We have trails around here but not much sun from October to April. You'll need to head mainly East of the mountains for that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                        You can always move back. The east coast is still there. All lauriedj was pointing out was there are facilities in Tacoma. Might not be EC style, but still.

                        OP- come back and give us more info.
                        The day I'll be able to leave is the day my spouse is buried in a grave...no dice there. Not that I'm the type of person who's into the full service barn lifestyle, but even the backyard barns in my last town (in basically Amish Country, FWIW) didn't fence with barbed wire.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Eastern WA is buckaroo cowboy country. I lived (regrettably horseless) for a couple years in the Columbia Basin, which is sunny durn near all the time. Gazillions of acres of sagebrush desert and the treeless Horse Heaven Hills.

                          Excellent Western tack stores and the Pendleton Roundup just down the road. While its true it gets dark before 5 PM in the winter, its also true that you can ride outdoors in broad daylight til after 10 PM in the summer. Climate in the Basin is quite mild, and theres fabulous wine and produce.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                            Where is your daughter and how close do you need to be? It's a big state.

                            Property prices in the I-5 corridor can be quite expensive, though not by SoCal standards. Most horse properties are in the 5-10 acre range and horses living on pasture is not easy. We almost all supplement with hay year round. As far as horse care in the rain, we build sacrifice paddocks that are mud free, and limit pasture exposure from October to April to save what we do have. Most of us who keep them at home haul out to ride unless we have all weather outdoor rings or access to an indoor. Boarding barns generally have covered/indoor rings. Trail riding can be limited by our wet weather on the west side as many are too muddy in winter.

                            In SW WA (Vancouver/Portland) There are lots of trail options within an hour's drive, some of which are on the "dry side" across the Cascades.

                            For drier and sunnier, you'll need to live in Sequim on the Peninsula in the rain shadow or east of the Cascades. Cle Elum is just over the pass and much drier. Lots of riding there, and the horse park is also there so showing is a possibility.
                            My little island is also in the rain shadow

                            wonderwoman1970 give us more info, Washington weather and facilities can literally change 180* in a 50-100 mile radius. What area is your daughter in and how close do you want to be is really the biggest factor in where you want to have your future home. But like Calvincrowe said, most people who keep horses at home on the "wet/west" side limit horses to a sacrifice area or gravel runs in the winter to preserve summer grazing. On the east side, you worry more about irrigation! There is a big trail riding group in my area called the Backcountry Horsemen I believe. They are what I call "weekend warriors" and you see their trailers at trailheads every winter nearly year 'round. It's very social, they have annual poker rides, potlucks, fundraising rides, they do work parties to keep some area trails nice, etc etc. Several of my neighbors belong and post great pictures all the time, and I'll join if I ever have a horse that would trail ride safely.
                            COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                            "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Like Jenners said, BCHW (backcountry horsemen of Washington) has chapters all over the state. Whidbey island would either be the Island County Chapter, Skagit, or Traildusters (Snohomish county). Yes, they are "weekend warriers" but are committed to trail maintenance and work with the forest service on DNR trails. Some ride more than others and some just do trail work with local rides occasionally. Traildusters is hosting their annual prize ride in early October at the Pilchuck Tree Farm and it's a lot of fun and a chance to win prizes, good ones. Last year I won a free oil change and lube on my diesel truck.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Well depends on where in WA yall are gunna be at!

                                Born and raised in the Columbia Basin myself, still here too!!

                                Our springs summers and falls are amazing, summer is a dry heat. Hay is easy to get (I can always hook yah up lol) the trails are down right endless. I rarely take the same one twice. (Always looking for riding buddies too lol)

                                It really does depend on where at in the state, cause Western WA and Eastern Wa are nearly polar opposites of eachother in regards to weather. Plus Eastern you will find is more conservative politically when as Western is more liberal if that is something that is important to you.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by RoyalRain42 View Post

                                  It really does depend on where at in the state, cause Western WA and Eastern Wa are nearly polar opposites of eachother in regards to weather. Plus Eastern you will find is more conservative politically when as Western is more liberal if that is something that is important to you.
                                  Sadly also very true, and honestly never thought about this being important until recently.
                                  COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                  "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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