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Southern California?

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  • Southern California?

    Hey guys,
    DH and I are looking at a possible move to the southern California area, specifically Riverside County. I've done searches and the only stuff that comes up is northern California. So, anyone from around there? What's the horse scene like, specifically dressage? How's cost of living in general? We looked at some houses, and honestly, it seems pretty similar to possibly a little less than around here in MN. So, please let me know the good, bad and ugly! I'm a little worried about the state's overall economy since they are so deeply in debt and DH is looking at a public sector job (deputy sheriff). I don't want an IOU instead of a paycheck!

  • #2
    Riverside County stretches over a very, very large area. Are you asking more about living, or boarding, or both? I live in the southern corner of Riverside close to Temecula wine country. Beautiful but gets very, very hot up here in the summer.

    I am a total wimp in the heat (I've gotten heat stroke in 90 degree weather), so I actually board my horses in San Diego County, and don't die riding all year long. I'm not terribly familiar with boarding in the northern part of the county, but there are great facilities in the Temecula area.

    As for living here, I LOVE it. I grew up in San Diego County, and moved up here when I bought my home. The people, community, great schools, and a very low crime rate. It's also much, much, cheaper than Orange County and San Diego County. If you narrow down where in Riverside you've been looking I can help more (I travel all over the county on a daily basis).


    • Original Poster

      Thanks for the info! We have actually been looking in the Temecula area. My DH grew up there before moving to MN. We don't want to be too far out in the desert. I don't have a horse at this time but hope to again in the future. What would boarding be like? Any trainers with lesson horses? I'm a former YR so have ridden FEI but have been out for the saddle for a few years now due to my horse being retired and life interfering. What about cost of living, so gas, taxes, food, etc? I can deal with the heat. MN is in the 90's through much of the summer with some good humidity, so kind of used to it. We have to show in it too thanks to out winters!


      • #4
        I live in Norco in Western Riverside County. There are several dressage trainers nearby that do lessons. Norco is a horse town with most properties zoned for horses. You could possible keep your horses at home and either trailer or trail ride to a dressage trainer. Norco has homes in from the mid $200,000 to over $1,000,000 depending on the house and the size of the property. There are several feed stores in town for all your horse supply needs. So Cal is expensive in regards to gas and taxes, but is doable. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.


        • #5
          Once you get your own horse, check out Donna Richardson just a bit down the road from Temecula in San Marcos. http://foxrunfarm.com/farm.html My trainer (who also rides GP herself) trains with Donna. I can't say enough good things about my trainer, so I have to imagine that HER trainer is equally fantastic. Unfortunately I can't weigh in on facilities with good school horses. Maybe you can lease something?

          The Temecula/ San Marcos area is a gorgeous area and extremely horsey in all disciplines. One of the premier facilities in the country, Galway Downs, is right in Temecula. they run up to 3* events, H/J shows, dressage, the Santa Fe Fox Hunt is based right across the street at Kingsway Farm, there is a TB training track, and they are working on converting the infield of the TB track into a polo field.

          And did we mention there are wonderful wineries right nearby?
          ~Living the life I imagined~


          • #6
            Temecula is very horsey and you'll have no trouble finding good people to ride with and a nice place to keep a horse.

            However, it's hard to fathom your suggestion that it might be cheaper than MN. I don't think that is likely at all. Housing in general is pretty expensive, and that filters into pretty much any service you buy.

            As for the economy, things are looking up in California in general, but I cannot speak for Riverside County in particular. The outlying counties (such as Riverside) have in many cases picked up significant financial issues when the housing market busted so thoroughly. Typically a sheriff office is last hired/first fired, so you'd need to look closer at the specifics of the place he's looking to get a sense of whether the department is likely to need to lay anyone off involuntarily.
            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


            • #7
              I wouldn't move anywhere unless he has been hired for a job. And don't forget- last hired, first fired. But if he grew up there and still has family there- that's different. Connections means so much in county jobs, at least in my neck of the woods. All best wishes to you.


              • #8
                Temecula and the surrounding areas are very horsey. Like the others said though, the economy here is hurting so I would not move without a job. Keeping horses here is expensive, housing, gas, pretty much everything is expensive. As far as getting a job with a police or sherrifs department, it can be very difficult. DH is going through the process now, the city he is going with had over 500 applicants for 8 spots.


                • #9
                  Sillypony, there is a directory of nearly all things horsey, and since the people who create it are in the Temecula area, I expect it's pretty complete. If you get to a tack store, the printed directory is a free guide with a glossy cover, but for now, there's the website at http://www.cahorse.com

                  You may also find useful:
                  Temecula Valley chapter of the California Dressage Society: http://tev-cds.com

                  and the CDS main site:
                  The CDS site has a trainer listing that may help you find other useful info.

                  Get out a map, get familiar with the various town names. Pretty much anywhere in southern Riverside or north/inland San Diego county would be accessible to you. In the once a month/once a quarter timeframe there's the possibility to access some of the best coaches in the country if you're willing to haul (and pay).

                  Temecula is very hot in summer and it is getting quite built up, but it's a pretty nice place to be with horses, especially if you have a local and secure job. You mentioned DH getting a job; if you need a job too (likely, if you're going to pay for a horse in high end dressage training) you may find that there's not much work in Temecula proper matching your resume, setting you up for what may be a wicked commute. And a long commute in traffic can suck a lot of joy out of your life.

                  Temecula is pretty dry, also. There is open space, but there is not much in the way of grass. Water is hard to come by in sufficient quantity to keep any kind of grazing in the summer. This is typical for most of California.

                  If you're still considering it, I suggest coming and spending a week, maybe around some sort of event at Galway while you're at it, absorb the environment, see if it works for you. And if you do come, test your commute before committing to a house.

                  Temecula is a place that's undergone a lot of development and is a little different every time I visit there. I miss the avocado orchards.
                  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


                  • #10
                    Here is a link about the new horse park being built in Norco. I don't know what the status is except that ground is being moved around:

                    If your husband will be working in the city of Riverside, you will want to live closer than Temecula. There are some horsey neighborhoods in the city near the Santa Ana River which give access to miles of horse trails. The neighborhood of Woodcrest to the south has homes with large lots and many equestrian properties and nice homes, but less access to trails (it seems to me). In the eastern part of the city is a large park next to the University of California, Riverside called Box Springs Mountain Park. It looks like there might be some nice older equestrian properties bounding that park.

                    To the west of Riverside, the nearby city of Norco has a lot of horse facilities and everything is zoned to accommodate horse owners, as well as offering access to the riding trails along the Santa Ana River. Norco also has the Ingalls Equestrian center with a huge arena for public use and the new horse park which I cited above. The location is good for people commuting west to Orange County or north towards Ontario.

                    Further west are the cities of Anaheim Hills and Chino Hills. Both are bounded by parks and have equestrian neighborhoods, but the home prices go up quite a bit as you head west.

                    South of the city of Riverside is Lake Mathews, a very nice neighborhood with large residential lots, usually a few acres, and very nice homes. It is surrounded by county land and includes a mile square park called Harford Springs County Park. I asked about this park, which is a nature reserve, in another CoTH thread and was told it is very nice to ride in -- no motor vehicles are allowed.

                    Farther south are quite a few semi-rural areas near Lake Elsinore, Perris, Canyon Lakes, Hemet, and others further east which range from very nice to tacky and cheap.

                    As others have mentioned, Temecula and its northern neighbor, Murrieta, have many equestrian areas. One really nice area is to the east of Murrieta, a neighborhood called De Luz, with large estate-sized properties and beautiful horse facilities, nestled in the foothills of the Cleveland National Forest. These homes are large, gorgeous, and expensive.

                    Riverside county includes huge areas toward the east, including Palm Springs. The HITS showgrounds are in Thermal, next to Palm Desert. There are many horse properties in these areas, but boy, does it get hot there in the summer!

                    Good luck! I don't think you will have a problem finding a trainer, a boarding barn, or a horse property. Once you know where your husband will be working, you can narrow it down. Feel free to pm me with any questions.
                    "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


                    • #11
                      Couple places that haven't been mentioned are La Cresta and parts of Murrieta. La Cresta is an equestrian community with parcels typically between 5-10 acres. The closer you get to the more densely populated areas (and honestly, jobs...) the smaller the lot size and the higher the price.

                      I would scratch Anaheim Hills and Chino Hills off your list. I grew up inAnaheim Hills when it still actually had horse property. There are maybe a handful of homes there still zoned for horses, hardly any place to ride, and neighbors that will not appreciate ponies next door to their tennis courts and pools. Chino Hills has just a smattering of actual horse property, and you'll be looking at upwards of 7 figures and over for what is available. Both areas do have equestrian centers though and Chino Hills has a lot of training barns off of English Rd.

                      Before you really can look though, you need to get the job sitch figured out. I work in public sector and work with LE. Earlier in my career, I worked in personnel at a very large LE department in SoCal, so am very familiar with the recruitment and hiring process. If your guy is already sworn and looking to lateral to a new agency,you may have a better shot getting hired on and established more quickly. If he is just starting off on this journey, you are looking at least a year from application through to academy. Think on average 6 months for the background investigation process, 6months for academy (though at least that is paid, unless he is putting himself through without a sponsoring agency), then assignment depending on if he is going county (I.e., sheriff's Dept), or local (city pd).

                      That being said, you will need to figure out where heirs going to work before you even can think about where you want to live. As others have pointed out, SoCal, and the Inland Empire have a lot of living options, great expanse geographically. But, jobs are not necessarily located where the best home prices are and traffic is a serious nightmare if you are commuting from a rural area to a more urban one.

                      My suggestion: rent someplace while you are getting situated. Get your jobs in order. Board your horses (though that can be really pricey too). Then look at buying once you have your employment situation figured out, know what kind of commute you will be looking at based on the job location, are much more familiar with the areas mentioned. Many of the areas mentioned above range from multi million dollar enclaves to my neighbor has a meth lab in the trailer next door.
                      Ulysses- the most perfect all-terrain vehicle ever. Hencho en Mexico

                      Mr. Walter Bumblepants - Foster Dog Extraordinaire


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by UlysMom View Post
                        Couple places that haven't been mentioned are La Cresta and parts of Murrieta. La Cresta is an equestrian community with parcels typically between 5-10 acres. The closer you get to the more densely populated areas (and honestly, jobs...) the smaller the lot size and the higher the price.

                        My suggestion: rent someplace while you are getting situated. Get your jobs in order. Board your horses (though that can be really pricey too). Then look at buying once you have your employment situation figured out, know what kind of commute you will be looking at based on the job location, are much more familiar with the areas mentioned. Many of the areas mentioned above range from multi million dollar enclaves to my neighbor has a meth lab in the trailer next door.
                        UlysMom, I think I have been mixing up La Cresta and De Luz. I see that they are right next to each other which explains my confusion, but both offer gorgeous properties.

                        I strongly second your advice to rent first. Commuting can be a nightmare and it's not necessary if you get the job before you buy the house, so you can be selective in choosing a location close to work.
                        "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina