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Best Places to Live with Your Horses?

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  • Best Places to Live with Your Horses?

    If money, jobs, SOs, etc., didn't have to be considered and you could live anywhere in the US with your horses, where would it be? Please note your discipline and whether or not you actively compete.
    Patience pays.

  • #2
    I retired in CA and could move anywhere I wanted. I narrowed my choices to Lexington, KY and Tryon, NC and picked Lexington. The cost of living is pretty low (I have a 3000 sq.ft. home with electric heat and my highest bill last winter was about $275), property taxes about $2200 for 20 acres, about 1/4 of which is wooded.

    I used to show h/j in small local shows and just trail ride now. My neighbors are also horsey, for the most part, and we ride across each other's land. In additon, a local hunt (Iroquois) may ride across my property.

    If I wish, I can watch all kinds of competitions and assist in other areas at the Kentucky Horse Park.


    • #3
      Amen - if you include the Lexington area (Georgetown, Paris, & Versailles). Tho I must admit NC and SC (Aiken) are becoming quite competitive.


      • #4
        Anywhere my horses live is a good place for me to live, too!

        -Lexington area
        -Ocala area
        Founder & Donor/Account Advisor
        Brennan Equine Welfare Fund


        • #5
          Aiken or Middleburg. Preferably both


          • #6
            I'm living in Lexington, KY now and I am not entirely impressed with the area as far as horse sports go (other than racing.) Here are my reasons:

            1. Very few boarding facilities that are reasonably priced with decent riding areas.
            2. Have to compete with the huge TB operations as far as getting hay, farriers, dentists, etc. You really have to pay through the nose for decent quality because the big operations can afford to pay the prices.
            3. Not a lot of chances to compete at local or unrated shows; the area seems to have mostly larger shows.
            4. Its hard to find vets and farriers that are well versed in sport horses; most of them seem to specialize in breeding or racing.
            5. Not a lot of top level riders giving clinics in the area.
            6. Except for Masterson Station, there aren't a lot of places to trail ride without driving quite a distance.

            I lived most of my life in the Chicago area, and the things I listed above were easier to come by up there than they are here. I wouldn't want to move back there though; the price of land and the weather brought me to Lexington.

            If I had the chance, I would give Aiken or Southern Pines a shot!! I don't do a lot of showing anymore, but I enjoy retraining OTTBs and doing a few smaller hunter/jumper shows or events in the summer.


            • #7
              I love living in Ocala Florida. No matter what discipline you show or ride, you can find it here, or within a short driving distance. No problems finding feed, vets, farriers, specialists. Several excellent equine hospitals right here. Trail riding all around.

              Farm prices were cheap when we bought our 10 acre bit of heaven in 2004. Especially compared to what something comperable would have cost us up in Connecticut.

              Did I mention - no snow or ice - ever!
              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


              • #8
                Originally posted by caryledee View Post
                I'm living in Lexington, KY now and I am not entirely impressed with the area as far as horse sports go (other than racing.) Here are my reasons:

                1. Very few boarding facilities that are reasonably priced with decent riding areas.
                2. Have to compete with the huge TB operations as far as getting hay, farriers, dentists, etc. You really have to pay through the nose for decent quality because the big operations can afford to pay the prices.
                3. Not a lot of chances to compete at local or unrated shows; the area seems to have mostly larger shows.
                4. Its hard to find vets and farriers that are well versed in sport horses; most of them seem to specialize in breeding or racing.
                5. Not a lot of top level riders giving clinics in the area.
                6. Except for Masterson Station, there aren't a lot of places to trail ride without driving quite a distance.
                Lookee here -- a big hole in the market for someone looking for a business opportunity!!
                Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.


                • #9
                  Southern Pines, NC or Aiken, SC. My two ponies currently live in So. Pines, but I would like to join them someday. I'm an eventer, but I think this area would be great if you were a trail rider, fox hunter, hunter/jumper rider, or dressage enthusiast - we have everything down here. Weather is great - it only gets reaaaallllly cold about a month out of the year, and it still doesn't compare to Michigan winters (dreary, blah, ice storms, yuck). I have Weymouth Woods in the backyard of our farm, Moss FOundation is only a 5 minute trailer ride away, and we had some of the best trainers in the US located here.

                  Downsides - hay is expensive. So is feed. Grass is hard to grow because of the wonderful, sandy soil (which makes for great footing all year 'round). We have to ship in our timothy/orchard grass hay from out of state - waaay out of state. Land is expsensive, especially if you want a piece of real estate next to one of the foundations for trail riding. Job opportunities in the area are scarce - we have no real big businesses, unlike the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area (unless you want to count the Army/Air Force as a big business).

                  I'm trying to get my endurance riding buddy to move down here, but she's also eyeballing the Traverse City area in Michigan, which I hear is great for culture and trail riding (but the snow! Yuck!)
                  "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                  So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."


                  • #10
                    I currently go to school in London, and my parents have a farm in New York. So basically my dream (once "real life" gets going) is to live anywhere I can have my horse! But I would LOVE to live in Virginia. Somewhere around Leesburg (which is GORGEOUS) or The Plains would be ideal.

                    I'm an eventer, so I like the open space and the availability of schooling and coaching!
                    The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~ Arabian Proverb


                    • #11
                      I am pretty much where i want to be, i've lived in several states and pciked va to settle down, i didn't make a mistake, i love it here


                      • #12
                        If money was not an issue... 2 places then. One in CT and a nice year round facility in So Cal (Temecula maybe...) I'd like CT because of family and New England scenery. I do enjoy the year round aspect of So Cal however. Temecula I can mix the wine country with the horses. I am not competing (did as a youth and young adult though) but I'm starting to point an eye towards showing for driving.

                        Ocala is nice but I'm so not a Florida person. It seems half my family is in Fl while the other half remains in New England. My mom is actually moving from FL next month after living there for over 15 yrs. She's not in Ocala but in the vicinity. I used to visit FL 2x every year until moving out to the west coast. Now that I live on the west coast- I can't even fathom any reason to want to live in FL. Not bashing FL at all but it's certainly lost appeal to me

                        Kentucky would probably be a second pick for the east. It is certainly beautiful.


                        • #13
                          I currently am located in CT and im just happy here. land is getting more and more expensive to keep becuase of the rise in development and the farms are slowly starting to disappear because of it...but theres nothing like it here. I live in the hills, far away from the city. its a quiet town, lots of corn and hay fields. While the winters can be bitter ( as two storms in one weekend just proved), i think we have the best of the world here in terms of seeing all four seasons.

                          I dont have an indoor and i find myself riding in snow gear in the snow in the winter time and im fine with that. We have a very competetive hunter/jumper circuit here, along with the local show circuit and plenty of western/x-country etc shows around. Everything is relatively close since the state is so small.


                          • #14
                            A week ago I would have said right here, Western Washington. With 20 inches of snow outside, frozen pipes, no water, no sign of a plow, and no way to get to my (borrowed) horse for the past 9 days, I am starting to think that the central California coast (Bay area, redwoods, etc.) is sounding pretty darn good!
                            My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

                            Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives


                            • #15
                              Orange County, CA. Sigh


                              • #16
                                If money were no object, I'd have a place in Middleburg or Upperville and spend the winters in FL at WEF.

                                Unfortunately, since money is very definitely an object... for the next few years at least, I will be stuck in CT (otherwise known as arctic H*ll) which is ridiculously overpriced and very cold for far too many months a year. I am just not cut out for weather that includes snow and ice.

                                My young horse will be spending the winter showing at WEF, lucky bugger, but my older horse and I will be braving the freezing indoor for the next few months until the weather becomes more civilized again in the Spring... which is when I actually find living here pretty nice. I have to admit that I do like spring and summer in this area; you can't beat the number of good shows within easy driving distance and there are lots of good clinic opptys, etc. That is when I do the majority of my showing; I am as competitive as the next person but I am now way too old to enjoy standing around some frozen indoor huddled under three coolers waiting to have my minute and thirty seconds in the ring ...!! Give me a nice outside course and a bright sunny summer day anytime.
                                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                                • #17
                                  Well, I left Aiken for a job in NYC that relocated to Lexington. Now land in Aiken is crazy because it's been discovered, first by the polo folks and then by all other disciplines. Horsey "communities" everywhere. Caryledee, I find the same, that there are larger shows here, mostly at the horse park or Masterson, hardly any clinicians, lack of riding without indoor arenas, everything you said. Back in SC we might want a covered for the summer, not for the -10 it was this a.m. when I got up to feed horses. I do laugh when people here talk about heat and humidity though! I don't miss the threat of hurricanes. I miss my friends and family greatly and visited Aiken, Charleston and Columbia when home last month. I don't miss the coastal, but seem to always have easy keepers so don't think I'd miss the grass here that rarely goes away, maybe a bit with the drought. I love the number of places with big pastures. The rain in the winters here is gross. The heat hitting you in the face at 11 p.m. opening your door in SC in September isn't great either though! Thought about Asheville or Tryon or areas of Virginia, but don't know if I could've afforded the latter, certainly not now being out of work for 6 months.


                                  • #18
                                    I'm in the Montgomery County, Maryland, agricultural reserve and I think it's wonderful. It's close enough to DC to get a job, but far enough out to be rural. (Frederick and Howard counties are also nice.) There are lots of hunt clubs, easy hauling to shows in Va and Penn and some very good vets and farriers. Land isn't cheap, but nothing's perfect. And you need an indoor, but it's not horribly cold (and this coming from a Californian), except right now it's 20 degrees and I'm not happy . . .