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Leaving it all and relocating? Updated post!!

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  • Leaving it all and relocating? Updated post!!

    So, I guess I missed out on OT day for this post, but the DH and I have only just now discussed this with any seriousness. We're both stuck in dead end jobs, we're stuck in a house worth less than what we owe on it, and life just seems like it will be WAY greener on the other side of the US.

    I event my horses, and realize that I've got it made here in the south with access to all the different eventing venues. The west coast is much more spread out i know, but from what I've read, Colorado seems to have a fairly active horse scene. What areas are good for eventers? Any recommendations on a school district? I've got one in elementary school and one in middle school.

    Just for fun, if you could pack it all up and move to Colorado, where would you go? Where would you apply to work? Where would you board your horses? Thanks for playing!

    See page 5 for updates
    Last edited by WideSquareAlter; Jan. 13, 2013, 04:57 PM. Reason: updating

  • #2
    I already live there lol and its awesome always sunny and the people are awesome! I'm not an eventer I ride dressage and I live in Boulder and board my horses at my house, plenty of excellent dressage trainers here and I have friends who event who live in Parker and train with excellent trainers there... only gripe I have right now is that hay is $$$$$$ due to drought I'm paying $15 a small bale... so are most people in the area so decent board is also pretty $$$$ right now lol


    • #3
      I've never lived in CO but dear daughter and her husband lived in Colorado Springs. Big enough city south of the metropolis of Denver with plenty of unspoiled countryside near by. She wasn't able to ride out there but when I visited I saw plenty of horse stuff- english and western.


      • #4
        DH's family lives on the western slope (Glenwood Springs area) and it's a very nice, but very expensive area to live. They've taken a huge hit with the economy, too, so there are some good bargains on houses. Jobs aren't as easy to come by though. As for the horse scene, there are a few nice barns in the area, but not sure about eventing.
        A proud friend of bar.ka.


        • #5
          I would say the south side of Denver to just north of Colorado Springs has the greatest concentration of trainers, competitions, etc.

          This is a map I made with events in relation to where I live outside Durango. It will give you a good idea of where the events are.

          I do not recommend living on the western side of the state if you want to compete a lot.
          Pam's Pony Place

          Pam's Pony Ponderings


          • Original Poster

            Thank you all so much for the input. We've laughed about relocating now many times. It was only this week that we actually ... TALKED about it. Like for real. If I didn't have horses, it wouldn't be an issue at ALL, but I've gotten a taste of the eventing bug, and I want to keep playing the game! So affordability and access is important to my overall happiness.

            Hubs and I have lived on the east coast our entire lives and we're just looking for a REAL change. Sort of throw the dart at the map and go from there, ya know? If we do this, it will be this summer. We're doing some very serious research right now, and the input I'm receiving here is super important!

            Thanks again for the input and suggestions. It's so hard (and exhilirating at the same time) to think that the entire course of your life can change in an instant; throw the kids in the car, the horse on the trailer and go. Wow!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Desert Topaz View Post
              I would say the south side of Denver to just north of Colorado Springs has the greatest concentration of trainers, competitions, etc.

              This is a map I made with events in relation to where I live outside Durango. It will give you a good idea of where the events are.

              I do not recommend living on the western side of the state if you want to compete a lot.

              I am not sure people living where they can drive easily to anything can imagine what the distances mean in miles.
              Maybe they should consider hours of driving, not always thru the best highways, to get to most any place.


              • #8
                It's bigger out here in the west, that's for sure. I used to live 50 miles from town and not think too much of it. Now I live in town but that town is at least 90 miles from pretty much anything. LOL

                I have a family member that lives just north of Denver and has a nice little farm with good pasture and a few cows, old farmhouse. I like it ok but it's flat. It's going to take a few years for the hay crop to come back and then it won't be as expensive to have horses there.

                As for packing up and going-we did do that nearly a year ago and it will make you feel more alive than you've ever felt. It's scary, new, dangerous, exciting-alive. I have friends that just made that move from PA to MT and they are beside themselves they love it so much. If you're for real make a calculated risk, emphasis on risk. I swear I got 10 years younger just making the move, everything is so new and vivid, I love it.

                Be aware that it's cold in Denver a lot. LOL And dry, very dry.
                “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bluey View Post

                  I am not sure people living where they can drive easily to anything can imagine what the distances mean in miles.
                  Maybe they should consider hours of driving, not always thru the best highways, to get to most any place.
                  One of these days I'm redoing that map with hours. I'm convinced when I mapped them out it did them in "as a crow flies" miles. It takes 5 hours to drive to two of those less than 200 miles events. 6-9 hours to get to the 200-300 mile ones.

                  Ha! I just looked, one of the 200-300s is actually 371. Time to remap!

                  And of course any events we go to in Colorado requires hauling over Wolf Creek Pass. That's why we mostly go to Area X.
                  Pam's Pony Place

                  Pam's Pony Ponderings


                  • #10
                    We generally talk about travel time in terms of time.

                    Wolf Creek Pass... thanks for the ear worm!
                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                    • #11
                      Eventing out here is NOT big. Maybe 200 or so regular competitors and maybe 15 who go out of state. There is only 1 OI course. The next closest is Greenwood in Weatherford, TX.

                      Trainers? Maybe 5 good ones spread along the front range. Only 2 courses to school. I actually go to Santa Fe, NM to school for a change of pace.

                      Figure you will drive on average 1-2 hours (at 70mph highway speed) to get to most courses around here and then it jumps to 8-18 hours to get to the rest (AZ, MT, OK, NM, CA). Most serious eventer a here compete out of state because there just isn't a lot, especially in terms of good quality courses. The horse scene is predominately about an hour south of Denver in the Parker/Elizabeth/Franktown area. Again, I can only think of 1 event trainer in that area. And there is only 1 course to school (when it is open).

                      I live in Golden, CO. My advice is to have a truck and trailer and be ready to drive, ALOT, if you are serious about riding. I have to board at a dressage/low level h/j barn because it is close to work and open space for conditioning. I train with John Staples out of Kansas (did I mention there are few good event trainers around here). I travel to all of my lessons, except dressage.

                      Also board out here averages close to $700+ a month. Hay right now is almost $20 a bale because of the drought.

                      As for school districts, Jefferson County is the state's largest. Not a big horse scene in terms of H/J and eventing. The Cherry Creek district is very good but that is in the upper class enclaves in Denver. Generally, Colorado is in the BOTTOM half of education funding in the US and they keep cutting.
                      Last edited by RAyers; Nov. 18, 2012, 01:03 AM.


                      • #12
                        Well can't help you with the eventing but went to grad school in fort collins. Had a condo in steamboat. I would say thsoe areas are definitey expensive,certainly more expensive than montana,but the weather is fabulous! Riding is great (again, not eventing) traffic in and around Denver is nightmarish, truly. And anything along the I-25 corridor (south of wellington, north of colorado springs) will have traffic problems, and yes, pretty much going anywhere else you will be heading over some pass or other, but they are stunning! Skiing is fantastic (but expensive). Good hospitals, good schools(around fort c anyway). I greatly prefer the western slope. Head out and drive around the state! Alamosa, pagosa springs, buena vista, VERY different from steamboat or craig, which are different from Fort c and denver. I would NOT under any circumstances, live in eastern colorado- flat prairie, tornados, and by flat....i mean...wow, could make iowa look like the friggin alps. places like sterling. No. Definitely worth a fun road trip to go look though!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lilitiger2 View Post
                          And anything along the I-25 corridor (south of wellington, north of colorado springs) will have traffic problems
                          Pfft. Come on...traffic doesn't get painful until you get to 120th or so Traffic in Fort Collins is WORLDS better than traffic in the Denver metro area.

                          OP, the horse community south of Denver is stellar. Anything else, and you're going to be making compromises. Expect to PAY for the privilege of having your horses south of Denver.

                          Water is also a premium in Colorado. It is quite rare to have pastures that support your horses for any portion of the year. Feeding hay year round is not unusual. Water rights are often not included with property, and if you DO get any water rights, expect to pay a LOT of money for them.


                          • #14
                            I uprooted and moved 2000 miles to CO last year from NC. It is a HUGE difference. Everything (IMO) is cheaper out here; boarding, feed, hay, etc. Costs of living in general are also cheaper. My area (Greeley) has a lot of jobs due to the booming oil industry. SO is making $$$$$ working in the oilfields and is actually the reason we moved out here. Greeley has lots of cowboys, but only 1 english barn. I drive to the Berthoud/Longmont area where my horse is boarded (30ish minutes).

                            I LOVE Colorado. Wide open spaces, fresh air, and mountains suit me well. I'm happy as can be out here
                            Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                            My equine soulmate
                            Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                            • #15
                              I recommend Douglas County, south of Denver. Good schools, beautiful country, lots of nice places to board, good trail riding and places to school/condition your horse. Dawson's Butte Open Space has CC jumps and trails. as does Spring Gulch. Colorado Horse Park hosts all kinds of shows and events. A bit north of that and you're in Arapahoe County. Cherry Creek schools are also good, but more urban. (Back when I was a kid, Cherry Creek High School was on the edge of civilization!)

                              Colorado's a fantastic place -- remember your sunscreen and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!


                              • #16
                                I didn't realize eventing was so ho-hum here... I think if you are just an average adult amateur you would most likely find plenty of good training (I can throw a rock and hit two trainers).

                                As for work, IT/software is very big in this area, and jobs are plentiful for people with good technical skills.

                                The air is thin. The ground is HARD. The scenery is priceless. Maybe you should come for a visit.


                                • #17
                                  I'm In Colorado Springs. There is an eventing presence as well as dressage and H/J. I have access to 2 very good coaches for dressage. The barn I board at is an eventing barn complete with trainer.
                                  School wise, the north part of the Springs to Monument have better schools, IMO. Our son is a senior in HS and we are very pleased with the HS he is attending.
                                  Land is more expensive close to the mountains and closer to town. If you go east of CS 10 to 15 minutes land gets less expensive.
                                  Climate wise, we are very (dangerously) dry. There was another small fire around the Falcon area a couple of days ago. If you buy land you need to make sure that the land either has a well or a permit. The temps the week of Thanksgiving will be around 60 for the highs. It's crazy. We are expecting the bottom to drop out at anytime.
                                  I agree, you need to come out and see for yourself.


                                  • #18
                                    Or you could have a REAL adventure and come to Montana! We have this http://www.rebeccafarm.org/Home which creates its own H/J, eventing community (not a part of that community but they are hugely publicized and BAck Country Horsemen, where I am a member,volunteers at a lot of their events). We have good schools, decent medical care, lots of land to ride on! No big traffic problems (yay!) It is a community you need to line up employment before you get here as basic labor jobs are in short supply! But...a wonderful place to live!

                                    Greeley...the smell alone.....no. I remember driving through there on my way back from Kersey one summer day and wow....I bet land is cheaper there but there is a good reason for it! On the I-25 question, it actually was a big consideration for me when deciding if I wanted to stay in the area, that while sure, from Fort C (a nice, kind of whitebread, pleasant place to live) to a little north of Denver, Thornton usually, it wasn't USUALLY too bad, but its only two laned each direction and badly overused, so any tiny hiccup, a flat tire, a fender bender of any kind, a slow car even, and you will be parked. For hours. Was stuck for THREE HOURS hauling my horses up from ABQ north of Denver. Which is why the western slope is so attractive! My theory is that life is too short to spend in traffic!!!

                                    But, front range, while being pricey, does have things to recommend it-a good airport (controversial one, though!!) that makes it easy to get in and out, lots of stuff to do, fabulous scenery, good universities so interesting people attracted there, really good hospitals. Still hope you get to do a road trip (and really, don't rule out Montana! lots of people reinvent themselves there!!!)


                                    • #19
                                      My cousin is stationed in Colorado Springs and has every intention of staying there when he retires in 4 years. My mom lives with him (nanny) and absolutely loves it there. She's been trying to talk me into moving my family there. From what I know, I would go in a heartbeat if it were practical.
                                      "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by LarkspurCO View Post
                                        I didn't realize eventing was so ho-hum here... I think if you are just an average adult amateur you would most likely find plenty of good training (I can throw a rock and hit two trainers).

                                        As for work, IT/software is very big in this area, and jobs are plentiful for people with good technical skills.

                                        The air is thin. The ground is HARD. The scenery is priceless. Maybe you should come for a visit.

                                        And it looks like eventing is going to get even worse. We have lost 2 courses due to oil drilling and another is under threat. The course at the horse park is also close to being lost due to lease issues and the lack of competitors. It is the largest competition in CO and it drew less than 200 in the Fall.

                                        As for places such as Dawson Butte, they may have XC fences but they are not maintained sufficiently.

                                        So it comes down to how serious the OP is about eventing. She may be OK given she has kids etc. BUT don't expect anything extensive or special.

                                        I am offering my first hand impression as to eventing in CO. My goal is to get my horse sufficiently trained it makes traveling to TX, AZ, CA worth it. There is just nothing here anymore. And it looks to not improve for awhile.