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Horse life in California???

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  • Horse life in California???

    My boyfriend and I have been talking about the possibility of moving to California. Both of us can transfer to the factory in California that we currently work for here in Ontario, but are also open to other jobs.

    What is the horse industry like in California? Preferably hunter. I have three horses and I would LOVE to bring them with us... I know it would be a hefty bill to get them there but that's something I can figure out later.

  • #2
    as I told you on EMG... expensive!


    • #3
      Where in California?


      • Original Poster

        hahaha! thanks

        just looking for more input haha... together we make just under $130k a year....


        • Original Poster

          Willing to look anywhere in California


          • #6
            It's going to cost you an arm and a leg if you want to board at a hunter barn. Pasture board is fairly reasonable, here in the Bay Area.
            Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!


            • Original Poster

              any chance I can get approximate prices? Doesn't have to be a hunter barn... That's just what I do. Looking at boarding prices, but we are also open to purchasing some land.


              • #8
                Most places in the Bay Area and LA Basin are going to be pricey pricey, primarily because land is so expensive and space is at a premium. OC and San Diego are pretty pricey too, but some spots in San Diego further inland may be more affordable.

                Just speaking for SoCal, Riverside and San Bernardino are going to be more affordable, but...killer commutes unless your company is out there. But there are quite a few training barns in those counties because there's just more available land.

                You say the company has an office in CA but you are looking all over to live? What city is your company based in? That would help is give you a much better price average, because they are going to vary significantly depending on what part of the state you are living in.
                Ulysses- the most perfect all-terrain vehicle ever. Hencho en Mexico

                Mr. Walter Bumblepants - Foster Dog Extraordinaire


                • #9
                  Board in the SF Bay are can run you anywhere from $275 for a decent pasture (our version of decent may differ) to 2-3k at some of the fancier barns.

                  Really depends on location, if you want full training, want amenities you want.


                  • #10
                    Well Cali is a BIG state with many different ways to live. I would first focus on where work is and go from there.

                    I live in So Cali and it's a concrete jungle where I live. Not much horse property and what is there, is surrounded by people, cars and concrete. There isn't much for pasture and it's NOT green because it doesn't rain very much here.
                    Live in the sunshine.
                    Swim in the sea.
                    Drink the wild air.


                    • #11
                      I'm also in Ontario and have been thinking of moving to LA. I started looking around a bit and have found boarding to be around $650-1K, so not that different than nice barns in the GTA. The way barns are set up seem to be really different than how things are in Ontario, though - a lot of really big equestrian complexes with a lot of different trainers working out of the same barn, often in different disciplines. I'm not sure I would like that kind of set-up.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brunswick View Post
                        hahaha! thanks

                        just looking for more input haha... together we make just under $130k a year....
                        While that might be a lot of money in other places, in CA it isn't a fortune, and certainly not enough to keep 3 horses at a hunter barn. Again, CA is a big state and the cost of horse keeping varies from location to location. If you are in a more densely populated area you are going to pay more for all services - rent/housing, gas, food, boarding/training, etc. And if you need to be in a city area for your job then you're not going to find land to buy. Places where you can buy land aren't places where the jobs are, so you'd either need to commute a ways, or telecommute, which would be a great option if that's available to you.

                        I have my horses at home now and can keep 3 at home for less than what I paid to keep 1 in the Bay Area. But now I live kind of in the country so my lifestyle is totally different - no show barn, minimal showing, riding and caring for them on my own, etc. Personally I love it and wouldn't want to go back to boarding if I could help it, but everyone is different.

                        Boarding in the populated areas mostly sucks. Horses are kept in most of the time and turnout is in dry paddocks for just a couple hours a day. You're lucky if you can find a place with large paddocks for the horses to play in, and again, they aren't out for most of the time. Some places don't even feed hay, they feed hay cubes. Not great for the horses, but land is at a premium so it is what it is.

                        If you had any other options, I would choose them over California.
                        "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                        • #13
                          So I love California; it is my home; it is where my friends and family are. However, I encourage you to look long and hard before moving here from somewhere else you like.

                          California is a big state. It takes about 15 hours to drive from one end to the other, and about 5 hours to go across from west to east. Within it you will find extremely expensive urban areas and also relatively poor rural areas. Where land is affordable, either there are no jobs or there is no water.

                          Everything is more expensive here. Not just the horses, but also your housing, insurance, fuel, etc. The cost of housing reverberates through every service you purchase. When I lived in LA, I paid more for the farrier for just one horse than I pay for four horses now.

                          Boarding three horses in a training barn would be unimaginably expensive. By the time you pay all expenses and have a few lessons, you'd easily be looking at $6k a month to keep three anywhere near an urban area.

                          Now, if you truly are flexible and truly aren't tied to any particular place, I'd suggest the northern third. Those are places where land is more affordable (because there are no jobs) and where there is water and where you may be able to find a place that will work for you. Of course, most of those areas don't have the major advantages people associate with California - if they did, they'd be expensive.

                          Salaries are higher in California, but they don't stretch as far. A figure of $130k was mentioned. That's basic middle class money here - enough for a house, two cars, and health insurance. You could probably squeeze out one horse at a show barn if you budget carefully and don't have kids.

                          Showing is pretty much available year round and there are some terrific trainers available in multiple disciplines. However, it's often a bit of a trick to find the trainer you love within commuting distance of your job and at the facility that you like (in terms of turnout, feeding, footing, etc). Obviously, you buy the house only after you pick the trainer.
                          If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                          • #14
                            We're in Los Angeles, and my husband and I make about $120K. It's not that much. We can afford our mortgage, we buy used cars, and take about two trips a year. We don't have kids. I can afford $300 for board (but it's not a fancy place), $300 for training, and that's about it. I'm lucky my horse doesn't need shoes, he's fine barefoot. I don't think I could afford a hunter barn/training. Not saying you couldn't manage it. You just might have to change what you're doing with your horses to afford three.

                            We do have the advantage of good weather all year long. The worst I have to do is layer two shirts during winter. Don't know if your interested in trail riding, but we have excellent trails here. I can go for five hours and still not cover everything.
                            In memory of Apache, who loved to play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjZAqeg7HyE


                            • #15
                              My figure of $2k per horse in a training barn is a pretty good ballpark if you truly consider everything, such as:

                              - board
                              - turnout (yes, it's extra)
                              - putting on fly masks & blanketing (it's extra and you're always doing one or the other)
                              - paying someone to feed your grain/supplements
                              - buying your grain/supplements
                              - farrier
                              - vet
                              - lessons/training (you'll need to commit to 1-2 days a week at least to be in most nicer barns)

                              I have also had to pay extra, at various times, for:
                              - feeding hay instead of cubes
                              - A place to store said hay and/or my grain/supplements
                              - a share of the tack room and/or trainer's office rent
                              - to park a trailer on site.

                              Farrier for fairly normal shoes was running $160 or so when I left.

                              I didn't count carrots and I didn't count the cost of my gas to drive to the barn 5 days a week.

                              There are places where board is cheaper, you don't have to be in training, and you are more a la carte - you are doing your own blanketing, making your own arrangements with the farrier, etc. However, those places tend not to have quality arenas to ride in, if any arena at all, and not much access to instruction. (Hard and dusty arenas would be the default. You'd think it wouldn't be possible to be both hard AND dusty, but you would be wrong. And you're thinking how bad can it be? Pretty bad.)
                              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                              • #16
                                It's expensive. In places like LA, you have top name barns to chose from, but little to no turnout, in brown dirt. CA is green for a few weeks a year. Personally I'd love to board my horse in the Simi Valley/Moorpark/Somis area, you get better turnout for big name barns, but same great expensive price.

                                Btw I live in Santa Barbara, it was $400/month for dry pasture, 2 flakes a DAY, $1/day for grain. Boo.


                                • #17
                                  http://greathomes.org/mls/property/21225540 half a million gets you this.
                                  http://greathomes.org/mls/property/21208462 $360K
                                  http://greathomes.org/mls/property/21226281 750K two houses!http://greathomes.org/mls/property/21300924 800K Adobe soil - that's that rock hard stuff Poltroon talked about.
                                  You can search BAREIS, that's the base site for other North Bay counties.

                                  Anyway. That's the county I used to live in. Sonoma. It's a nice county but I'd suggest you visit first. Get up at 0500 on a Monday, hop in the car and head south on 101 and see how long it takes you to get the 40+ miles to SF. Think about how soul-sucking that commute will be day in and day out. (there is a good bus service though, Golden Gate Transit) 101 in general is sucky, my relatives came out from Utah and hopped on the freeway to go to the Mall - you know, just hop on and hop off, it's quicker? NOT.

                                  Anyway it's a huge state and if there is a factory where you will be employed you need to go there for a week's vacation and do what we did, do a 50 mile radius tour. Drive the commute, if you are in the Bay Area check out BAEN, the Bay Area Equestrian Network, and see what you can see.
                                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                  Incredible Invisible


                                  • #18
                                    Oh yeah, I just put up the low end farms and ranches. I always think in terms of having the horses at home.
                                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                    Incredible Invisible


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Thanks everyone. Perhaps we will just transfer to TBA in Kentucky instead.


                                      • #20
                                        Always visit first. Kentucky is still a bit backwards so not all the trainers are on the web, nor do a lot of them have easy to find sites, not such great search terms on them. Most are around Lex. and Central KY. http://www.khja.org/

                                        If you are comng from Canada don't you need a visa to work in the US?
                                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                        Incredible Invisible