Best place to live with horses?

goneriding
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Best place to live with horses?

Postby goneriding » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:11 pm

This winter has about finished me off for the PNW. We've had the most rainy days in 75 years, something like 3 days of sun since October. It's oppressive.

I am fantasizing about where I would go. I'm partial to the west, but I haven't really spent much time on the eastern side of the country. I'm originally from Kansas, which has the worst of every kind of weather as far as I'm concerned lol. Husband grew up in San Antonio. We have aging parents "back home" who we wouldn't mind being closer to, but of course they won't be there forever. We have young adult kids within 30 miles of us here, a big deterrent to leaving. We might even want to keep a pied-a-terre here to come back to if we could swing it.

I think my criteria would be low cost, a dressage scene of some kind (I'm not competitive but I do like having access to training), public land and trails to ride. I think I'd like someplace where grass can grow so horses have pasture. I can't imagine them living in a field of cactus. Ideally not too hot and not too cold... is that possible? I'm totally open to being a snowbird, if I could figure out the logistics of moving around with horses (I have 2).

DHs current job allows him to live in any western state, drawing a line from ND to KS to NM. So we really could move, within limits.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences about living and keeping horses in other parts of the country!

Tarlo Farm
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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Tarlo Farm » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:00 am

Michigan!! Too bad about that line for DH. Especially if you're interested in being snowbirds back to the PNW to visit the kids. Depending on where you are in MI; N-S and/or E-W, you can find a good dressage scene, steady weather without weird extremes of violent weather, lots of affordable land with pasture. And most importantly - fresh water.

goneriding
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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby goneriding » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:28 am

Tarlo Farm wrote:Michigan!! Too bad about that line for DH. Especially if you're interested in being snowbirds back to the PNW to visit the kids. Depending on where you are in MI; N-S and/or E-W, you can find a good dressage scene, steady weather without weird extremes of violent weather, lots of affordable land with pasture. And most importantly - fresh water.


I always thought Michigan got really extreme winter weather with lots of snow and cold?

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Mareless » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:59 am

Another Michigander here, chiming in! As for extreme weather, it depends on your definition of extreme. Do we get tornadoes? Yes, but not as many as Kansas! Lots of snow depends on which part of Michigan (I'm near Lansing, which doesn't get nearly as much snow as the Grand Rapids area--MI's west coast-- or the Northern Lower Peninsula or the Upper Peninsula) and what you consider lots. Also varies year to year; this past winter we had rain more often than snow, but in general if there is more than 3" on the ground in my area people consider that 'a lot'. Compared to more northern parts of MI where anything less than a foot on the ground is considered not any snow. :lol: Cold is pretty much the same; depends on what you consider cold. And varies somewhat from one part of Michigan to another. Yes, our high temps are at or below freezing for most of three months in the typical winter, with spells of below zero in January. But, we also get hot (and humid) in the summer time, although not nearly as hot as Texas. (Mostly it's under 90 degrees). Michigan is actually a very large state, if you look at land area in both peninsulas combined, and there are lots of variation in microclimate depending on how far inland you are and how far north or south.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Tarlo Farm » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:42 am

goneriding wrote:
Tarlo Farm wrote:Michigan!! Too bad about that line for DH. Especially if you're interested in being snowbirds back to the PNW to visit the kids. Depending on where you are in MI; N-S and/or E-W, you can find a good dressage scene, steady weather without weird extremes of violent weather, lots of affordable land with pasture. And most importantly - fresh water.


I always thought Michigan got really extreme winter weather with lots of snow and cold?


Depends on where you are. Being a couple peninsulas give us quite variable weather dependent on your location. Since weather most often moves west to east and south to north, Lake Michigan moderates those cold temperatures along the lakefront, but can give us lots of snow. There are definitely snow belts, but there are also areas of the state that get very little snow, but colder temperatures because of it.

Josette
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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Josette » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:05 pm

Where in the PNW are you disappointed in the weather? I recall you are in OR? I thought there was a "banana belt" area down near Medford and Grants Pass with milder winters. We've visited during a few vacations to PNW but were lucky to hit nice weather conditions.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby goneriding » Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:42 am

Josette wrote:Where in the PNW are you disappointed in the weather? I recall you are in OR? I thought there was a "banana belt" area down near Medford and Grants Pass with milder winters. We've visited during a few vacations to PNW but were lucky to hit nice weather conditions.


I'm in the Portland area. We've had a record setting year, about 50% more rain than usual, and you can count the sunny days all winter (since October!) on one hand. We had snow after ice after snow this winter, for weeks on end, which never happens here.

I guess I can console myself that all this is record setting and really doesn't usually happen. But it's happening this year, and it sucks lol.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby LeoApp » Mon May 01, 2017 8:35 pm

"Low cost" pretty much rules out the Northeast (the part that doesn't get the harsher winters). :)

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby highoctane » Mon May 01, 2017 8:42 pm

I'm sick of the rain as well; a record-setting 45"+ since October 1.

I have my eyes set on NC or maybe northern Texas. Hubby and I can't wait to get out of here, but our jobs have us stuck here (which makes it worse).

Can you take mini-vacations to possible new locations?

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Kelo » Mon May 01, 2017 9:40 pm

I mean....what about Oklahoma?

No one ever seems to want to live there, so costs are pretty reasonable. Lots of grass. The winters are pretty mild. Lots of great places to trail ride. Good dressage scene with lots of clinics and other horsie events.

Look around the suburbs of the OKC and Tulsa areas. You can get a really nice setup for under $400,000.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Tarlo Farm » Tue May 02, 2017 11:58 am

Tornados.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Tarlo Farm » Tue May 02, 2017 12:00 pm

Seriously, if any of you are interested, my 40 acre farm is for sale, I've downsized to eight + acres. Fresh water, indoor arena...PM me.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby texsuze » Tue May 02, 2017 3:53 pm

Texas is the best place to live, period, IMHO ;) I am biased. Lots of horse property up around Dallas/Ft.Worth, but lots of people, too. Near College Station (home of Texas A&M University!) there are open properties, ample rain (mostly), grass, etc. I'm in central TX, no snow to worry about except maybe 3-4 days in the winter, if that. Summers can be hot, but I prefer heat to snow/ice/constant rain. This state is huge, with extreme variations in soils, microclimate, rainfall, etc. I'm noticing the weather extremes have been amplified over the last several years.

The problem is, everyone wants to live in Texas, so our open spaces and water are being scoured up by folks who don't understand water conservation or land ethics. Folks bring the big city mindset and expendable capital and, rather than embrace what makes this state unique, force their heavy hand upon the land. Again, MHO.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Rockabilly » Tue May 02, 2017 4:04 pm

texsuze wrote:Texas is the best place to live, period, IMHO ;)

The problem is, everyone wants to live in Texas


Yes, they do! I loved Austin when I lived there. If I were to seriously think about moving from Tennessee Texas would be my first choice.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby redsoxluvr » Tue May 02, 2017 6:49 pm

texsuze wrote:Texas is the best place to live, period, IMHO ;) I am biased. Lots of horse property up around Dallas/Ft.Worth, but lots of people, too. Near College Station (home of Texas A&M University!) there are open properties, ample rain (mostly), grass, etc. I'm in central TX, no snow to worry about except maybe 3-4 days in the winter, if that. Summers can be hot, but I prefer heat to snow/ice/constant rain. This state is huge, with extreme variations .


How is the job situation in Central TX? We used to live in Round Rock, way back when it was a cute farm town. I would really like to return but need to make a living wage.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Tarlo Farm » Wed May 03, 2017 12:11 pm

Fresh water in Michigan. Good economy. Droughts, wildfires, tornados few and far between. Oh, and lots of fresh water. ;)

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby kande50 » Wed May 03, 2017 2:44 pm

texsuze wrote:Folks bring the big city mindset and expendable capital and, rather than embrace what makes this state unique, force their heavy hand upon the land. Again, MHO.


They do that everywhere. Move to a rural area because it's so open and beautiful, and then when they find out that their new community comes with some drawbacks they commence trying to turn it into the suburbs they were trying to escape.

One of the many reasons we don't want to move somewhere where the living is easier is because too many want
to live where the living is easier.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Josette » Wed May 03, 2017 4:30 pm

I keep wondering where we will end up after retirement. The taxes here are simply too high to stay in central NJ. Yes - it is extremely over developed much of the open areas and farms are gone. The flip side I admit to being very sheltered by not being near puppy mills or seeing livestock not being cared for. Horrible sights I recall from youth when there were backyard setups and no enforcement for animal welfare/protection. Now my equine vet is literally about 1 mile away and the pet hospital we use is 10 minute drive and open 24/7 for walk in emergencies. I sadly heard from someone living in Port Townsend WA whose dog got seriously ill after 5 PM one evening. She had to drive over an hour to get help at an emergency vet office and then had to PTS. So these are the things I wonder/worry about when we move that I can access to animal or human care if needed.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Rockabilly » Wed May 03, 2017 4:49 pm

Nashville, Tennessee might be a good place to check out. I know for a fact there are kind compassionate vets and people in Nashville, Also there are no state taxes. You just might be able to find the farm with some land you're looking for outside of Nashville. Vanderbilt Hospital is excellent from my own personal experience. I go to St. Thomas Hospital now because my doctor moved there. It is also excellent and the people are so kind.

Now I think it gets cold here, but you probably won't. A dusting of snow and the whole state shuts down. :lol:

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby texsuze » Wed May 03, 2017 6:44 pm

Redsox, Austin and its 'burbs might be the only place in this part of the state where you could make a living wage, but I doubt you'd recognize that area now. Same fate as San Antonio: rampant expansion and development by companies who don't live in the area. Although S.A. has been implementing some pretty good forward-thinking policies lately. BTW, we're west of Fredericksburg on acreage.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Kyra's Mom » Wed May 03, 2017 7:43 pm

What about the other side of the Cascades? Eastern Oregon or SW Idaho? Much dryer and brighter. Yes, we have had record water this year but still nothing like Portland/Seattle. We had 2 crummy months this winter but things have been relatively dry despite continuing rain since then. Once the snow melted in February, I haven't had to work in the indoor. We still have good trail riding around here. It is high desert so you won't have the green after early June but when we get heat, it is a "dry" heat :D . Hay is still plentiful and most is grown by irrigation around here so usually easy to cure properly.

Not a big dressage scene but several local instructors that are good.

Something to think about.

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cb06
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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby cb06 » Thu May 04, 2017 12:26 pm

I live in Horse Country, Virginia (30 minutes from Middleburg). It is lovely, tons of resources and opportunities (barns, trainers, vets, shows, international clinicians, etc). I love it here, but it is not inexpensive, though I manage by being just over the county line from the seriously high dollar real estate. There are many lovely horse friendly areas in Virginia (Charlottesville), but still not inexpensive.
For another option, the Tryon area of North Carolina/South Carolina seems to be an up-and-coming horse area. I know of one very good trainer/instructor from this area that moved there recently. I think land/housing is much more reasonably priced (for now)...and Tryon is hosting the WEG in 2018.
http://tryon.coth.com/

eta. forgot you needed to stay west...if that changes, I'd look in near Tryon, NC.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby redsoxluvr » Fri May 05, 2017 1:01 am

texsuze wrote:Redsox, Austin and its 'burbs might be the only place in this part of the state where you could make a living wage, but I doubt you'd recognize that area now. Same fate as San Antonio: rampant expansion and development by companies who don't live in the area. Although S.A. has been implementing some pretty good forward-thinking policies lately. BTW, we're west of Fredericksburg on acreage.



May I pick your brain on this as we are trying to sort out viable options? I've perused Indeed.com for the Austin area and money is enough.
The challenge is that I don't know the ag laws in Texas so I would need some questions answered as to what areas as good for what we want, etc..
Like here, we can have 4 horses per acre. There, it seems to vary by zip code! Very challenging to get good information.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby texsuze » Fri May 05, 2017 3:38 am

Redsox, you have a PM.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby Saddlebum » Sat May 06, 2017 1:32 am

I live in Michigan. Although, I have traveled in every state except S. Dakota. I was born and raise, lived in Michigan for most of my life. Spent 2 years in CA (Santa Barbara Ca - the most beautiful city in CA imo).

Except for the far N.E. Coast (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont) I would choose MI.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby goneriding » Tue May 16, 2017 9:55 pm

I love hearing about what you all love about different places in the country. DH is from San Antonio and spent most of his life trying to leave lol, I don't think I could get him to go back to Texas. I'm originally from Kansas and don't miss the extreme weather, especially tornadoes. I actually kind of like Texas but I haven't spent much time there in the summer. We will be visiting in June so I'll see what it's like. We are visiting Arizona this month and I'm going to visit a horse friend to see what horse-keeping is like there.

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Re: Best place to live with horses?

Postby redsoxluvr » Wed May 17, 2017 4:30 am

Horse keeping in AZ is far different from anywhere else. Irrigated land is at a premium, but it can be found.
Most horse properties are an acre or so at best. A 5 acre place in civilization is easily a million dollars or more. Of course, outlying areas are less expensive but the commute can be brutal.

Our show season is the winter and spring months. Basically October to April. There are plenty of great trainers here, and we get
clinicians in here like Steffen Peters, etc.

Board at a nice facility with an indoor is around $650 per month. Hope this helps.


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