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I am so amazed at So Cal horse "farms"

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  • I am so amazed at So Cal horse "farms"

    Just wanted to say that with the couple threads that have come up recently regarding horse boarding, lessoning, etc. in the SoCal area, that I am completely amazed at how different things are from the East Coast. Not saying this in at all a derogatory way, I mean I am completely enthralled by it. I've been Googling satellite images and facility names all afternoon! I love that there are entire horsey neighborhoods, like Rolling Hills Estates, with interconnecting bridle trails, and city parks with riding rings, and MEGA boarding facilities on tiny acreage. How cool! It sounds to me like something out of a tween's horse lover novel I might have read way back.
    My OTTB mare who is turned out in a 10+ acre pasture full of grass right now might beg to differ, but I think it's pretty neat that there are so many horsey people in a rather urban area that they go to such great extents to keep horses.

  • #2
    Great lengths, indeed - when everyone wants the land, there isn't much to go around and you have to pay for whatever you can get. I'd love to have the space other areas have, but then I'd have to give up my California weather. :wink:

    If nothing else, we are creative with our space!
    If the pony spits venom in your face or produces a loud roar, it is probably not a pony. Find another. -The Oatmeal


    • #3
      Yes, My OTTB came from Northern Ohio with a very large grass pasture. He was fed buckets of sweet feed and all the timothy hay he wanted (they grew their own hay and made their own grain) He was happy!

      I moved here and he got stuck in a 24x24 pipe corral with a shade, no "shelter" really from the elements like rain (high winds blew rain everywhere, you need 4 walls to protect you from it) wind, dust, and So. Cal fire smoke, ash and debris.

      Food???? two flakes bermuda hay a day THATS IT! I had to buy extra, and pay them extra to feed it!

      Now that's just one stable, but quite a shocker for us.

      we live in a neighborhood where there are horse trails going along the road throughout the town, and horse cross walks at rider's reach at each of the intersections. Busy roads now have to yield to horses that may be crossing. you can walk into the grocery store in breeches, clogs and tall funky socks and people ask where you ride ;-)

      feed stores are big enough you can walk your draft x through...and they don't mind.

      every weekend you lose count of how many horse trailers you see coming or leaving for horse shows.

      there are 3 tack stores within 10 minutes of where you live.

      heaven for horsey people, but not so much for the horses I suppose.

      But then there is the 100+ degree summer you have to think about too.


      • #4
        i moved from CA to PA 6 years ago. at first i was freaked out-you want me to put my horse in a huge field with 10 other horses all day unsupervised?? it was just so different than anything i'd ever experienced before! now, i can't imagine ever moving back to CA because i wouldn't be able to stand being around hundred of horses in 24x24 pipe corrals all day, unless the owners have time to turn them out for an hour in a sand ring!
        My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE


        • #5
          You're so right! When I moved to Texas I was all excited about the trail riding and open spaces...then I actually got here and realized that we had WAY better trails and more "open" spaces to ride in California, amongst all the traffic and houses nonetheless. I boarded in a community like you are describing...lots of trails and farms all interconnected in the middle of a mostly urban area.

          My horses have more room here, but the only "trail" riding we have is riding down the road unless I trailer somewhere, and even then, it's usually through pastureland.


          • #6
            Thats LA area folks! Here in central CA, we have beachy weather (and beach riding access), pasture land abounds, city maintained trails, etc. I frequently run in to others in breeches at the grocery store, Pier 1 or restaraunts. Of course, we can barely afford the mortgages, but board is much cheaper than LA. My girl has a private 1/4 acre with a 3 sided stall, 3 meals a day, lighted arena, trails, amazing footing, warm water washracks...all for under $400 a month. Not alot of trainers in our area tho-have to travel for lessons usually. Thats a bummer. Well, there are people who say they're trainers...
            Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


            • #7
              I second thatsnotme-Central Cal is where it's at! I managed to find an awesome trainer, but there definitely are less of them.


              • #8
                Where is a good area in Central CA? Something close enough to find a place to work?


                • #9
                  Pasture? What's Pasture? Being a California girl, I don't think my mare has ever seen a grass pasture, so I try not to talk about them too much so she won't get jealous

                  At my mega-barn we don't have pasture, but I would say the majority of horses do just fine. It's just a way of life, but yeah, it does scare people from other parts of the country, just as it scares me to think of how things would be different if I moved!


                  • #10
                    I grew up in Long Beach, CA. There were stables along the Los Angeles River between Willow Road and Del Amo, on both sides of the river. All horses were kept in either pipe corrals or make do stalls....none of them had actual enclosed barns....most were shelters with runs. There was "some" turn out areas but you had to pay extra for it. There were trails beside the river and along the rail road right of way that we used to ride on. Those trails, while remembered fondly because they are part of my childhood, are nothing compared to what I have now in rural central Georgia. My horses have 5.5 acres of pasture where they enjoy turn out all day. They get to live in a herd not a warehouse. I can literally ride all day from my back yard along dirt roads, farm fields, pecan groves etc. I have no desire to ever move back to Southern California...not even for the weather. Heck, especially for the weather. Hot, dry, smoggy, fires when it's dry, mud slides when it's wet, dirty, 8 lanes of bumper to bumper freeway traffic each way, people stacked on top of people...still can't figure out what's so damn special about it.
                    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


                    • #11
                      The whole California style horsekeeping amazes me, too. I have one pasture that's about an acre in size, which from what I've read is a fairly big lot in CA. I can't quite imagine cramming a house, garage, small barn and a riding ring in that amount of space. But then, I read some city lot sizes and think OMG, my barn is bigger than that, LOL! I live on 45 acres, surrounded for the most part by farmland, but I really don't have anywhere to ride other than my ring or around my hay fields. It would be fun to have miles of bridle paths, even if you did have to cross some roads here and there.


                      • #12
                        If anything, these threads have proven that there are many different ways to keep a horse, and keep it well. My dh argued with me when we first got married that a horse needed a big pasture to be healthy. I told him no, not always, but it does help. I have it drawn out exactly how I would do it, and do it well, with happy healthy horses, a good yard, arena, turn out and a house and workshop on a 2 acre lot--of course, as my girls tell me, it would have to be the perfect 2 acre lot...

                        She may not have changed the stars from their courses, but she loved a good man, and she rode good horses….author unknown


                        • #13
                          Even tho horse keeping here in Los Angeles is not ideal, the one thing I really do like is that maintaining one acre is alot less work then maintaining huge acreage.

                          I am not constantly out fixing down fences, mowing fence lines, repairing piping etc. When my husband is not home, I can fully maintain our acre property myself, and I think that allows me more time with my horses, and more time for other things in my life.


                          • #14
                            Once you have seen the East Coast, it's hard to go back.

                            Or rather, once you have seen parts of the East Coast were land isn't just as expensive as the SF Bay Area and LA, it's easy to turn into a rabid Oliver Wendell Douglas, the hero of Green Acres.

                            I loved private barns and trail system in Woodside, CA. You could also ride at the CTETA Horse Park, formerly known as the Guernsey Field. You could also ride on Stanford land, some of it public and some of it held by ranchers through 100 year leases. Good times!

                            But having seen grass, softer ground and larger TO as SOP on the East Coast, I don't think I'd ever go back to NorCal. For myself, I have decided I wouldn't own a horse if I had to live in the land of paddock/shelter living with no TO ever. My family is bummed.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mypaintwattie View Post
                              Pasture? What's Pasture? Being a California girl, I don't think my mare has ever seen a grass pasture, so I try not to talk about them too much so she won't get jealous
                              My horse actually lives out in the Rolling Hills area of CA and has a huge area all to himself. But it's all dirt really. A few years ago we did a clinic at El Campeon Farms in Hidden Valley, CA (kinda by Moorpark) and they had these turnouts that were lush with grass. I couldn't resist sneaking him in and it was hilarious. He used to live in Oregon/WA and probably had much better pasture up there. He could not believe his eyes. He was totally manic, trotting around the pasture and stopping to chomp the grass before trotting to another place before the grass disappeared into dirt again. It was really funny (or depressing, depending on how you look at it).


                              • #16
                                Lol... I live in Central PA and moved my horse last year from a large boarding facility with rocky drylot paddocks to a smaller facility with actual GRASS pastures. The change in him has been unbelievable-- thanks to the grass, he's getting half the feed and looks better now than he probably ever has in his life. Seriously, almost an unrecognizable difference. I swore that I would never move him to a grass-free place again if I could possibly help it!
                                *friend of bar.ka

                                "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


                                • #17
                                  All you naysayers, get over your fine selves. While you're shoveling endless snow or whirling around in tornadoes, we're out riding!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Coreene View Post
                                    All you naysayers, get over your fine selves. While you're shoveling endless snow or whirling around in tornadoes, we're out riding!
                                    You said it!

                                    I live in Northern California, so it's not as crowded, but there are plenty of barns, trails and turnout space - and much, much less traffic. It's pretty easy for people to pop in, ride their horse, and then go home for a spot of dinner.
                                    Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Tobias View Post
                                      heaven for horsey people, but not so much for the horses I suppose.


                                      • #20
                                        My horse was pasture raised in Sweden. Maybe he misses the pasture but he definitely likes the SoCal sunshine. He spends almost all of his time in the unshaded part of his pipe corral. Standing in the sun, laying down in the sun, rolling in the sun... Winter? what's winter?