Best Places to Live with Horses in the U.S.
Last Post 22 Jan 2009 08:50 AM by beam. 56 Replies.
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721461User is Offline
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11 Jan 2009 05:18 PM

    Hi,

    My husband and I are contemplating a big move sometime during the next year. Anyone want to weigh in on where they live and why it's so wonderful or not so wonderful for keeping horses? We are avid trail riders. We are not retired so, unfortunately, a decent job market would be a must as well.

     Thanks so much.

     Karen

    SolarisUser is Offline
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    11 Jan 2009 06:49 PM

     Well, forget decent job market, there isn't one of those anywhere right now, but here's hoping it turns around in a year.

    As for great places to live with horses, they are pretty much divided into two categories:  (1) Money  (2) Us Normal Folks.

    If you fall within category (1), perfect places that I know are Aiken, SC, Lexington, KY or Southern Pines, NC, along with northern VA.  The Carolinas and VA are certainly the epicenter for eventing in the US, KY running close behind.  

    If you fall within category (2), well, lots of places!  I moved to the Carolinas partly because of great horse opportunities available and there are great trails literally from mtns to sea.  Along with mild climate, it works out well for me.  I also grew up in KY and it seems there's a horse farm around every corner.  A little colder and longer winters, but nothing terribly harsh and you get the added bonus of the Horse Park.

     

    amberp11703User is Offline
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    11 Jan 2009 09:20 PM

    Personally I love Texas.  It never gets too cold to rideSmile  But it does get very hot in the summer.  Personally I like that, probably because I was born and raised here.  I dont ride in the worst heat.  I just cut back to mornings and evenings that time of year.

    Where are you at now?

    nikelodeon79User is Offline
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    12 Jan 2009 07:29 AM
    Well, my horses would probably vote for Northern Wisconsin, because they get a long break from work during the winter months!  Some people do ride all winter long, but I prefer warmth.  ;-)  Additionally, the break from flies and other pests during the winter is fabulous.  Additionally, my horses hooves don't really grow much during the winter... a farrier once told me it is because they are concentrating their energy on keeping WARM.  Don't know if that's true, but I do know as soon as it starts getting warm I have to get the clippers out!

    Though it is sometimes frustrating not riding all winter (and I plan to remedy that by building an indoor riding arena), I don't know if I would be willing to move because I positively LOVE riding in the fall.  The leaves are spectacular, the weather is just right (cool, but not too cold) and there are NO BUGS!!
    txspotsUser is Offline
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    12 Jan 2009 02:25 PM

    I'm with you 100% Amberp!!!!!!  Where else can you ride comfortably well into January and sometimes February before it really gets cold (in Central Texas, that is) and where else are you going to find more miles of trail or room to ride?  Texas has more trails and places to ride and room to keep horses than anywhere in the United States, and you can virtually pick your favorite season by which area of the State you live in.  Like it a little colder with more pronounced seasons?  North TX.  Warmer, tropical-like climate?  The Gulf Coast or South Texas.  Mountains?  West.  Green, green pastures and trees?  East Tx.  Or a little of all of the above?  Central Texas.  What more could a horse person want? 

    And as far as the job market, with metroplexes like Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin, Amarillo, Abilene, San Antonio and El Paso just to name a few, the job market here is a little better than many elsewhere because there are so many more, bigger busier cities and towns to work in.  To me there's just no question.

     Oh and horses hooves grow faster in the warmer climate because there's more grazing; thus more natural biotin intake.

    flakemusic_horseUser is Offline
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    12 Jan 2009 02:36 PM
    Nikelodeon79, I agree with you about fall... absolute best time to ride, followed by by spring. I hate the winters up here but I enjoy the changing of the seasons. One thing I really hate about winter riding besides the obvious cold is that snow tends to pile up on the roof of indoor arenas, and even the most experienced school horse will have "OHMYGODWHATISHAPPENINGOVERMYHEADHELPME!" moments when the snow starts sliding down the roof and hitting the ground below. 
    mcostanzoUser is Offline
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    12 Jan 2009 04:43 PM

    I will give you my vote for NM, mainly Albuquerque, although there are some other great towns to live in here as well. New Mexico is a great place to live if you love anything outdoors...especially riding. Because our winters are virtually non-existent (not that much snow, mild temps, etc.) riding year-long is a great perk. Our summers are warm, but not like Phoenix. Talk to anyone that lives here and they will tell you we have the best weather in the country. Mild winters, warm summers, lovely fall and spring. We also have virtually no humidity. And Albuquerque, which is where I am, still has a series of trails along the river and the bosque that are beautiful. On any given day you'll find plenty of trail riders. If you go a little further south of ABQ, which is where my horse lives, the equine community is even more pronounced because it's a little more rural. 

    You can get anywhere in the city within 30-40 minutes, depending on traffic. We have a wonderful mountain which provides you with more trail riding options if you like to trailer your horses around too. Besides our weather and landscape, the job market here has not been as effected as most of the other parts of the country. Of course, it depends on the industries that you and your husband work in too. Same with the housing market. Our cost of living is much cheaper than some of the major cities of our neighbors (AZ and CO). The food here is phenomenal....I could just go on and on. If you want to check out what other locals say, and find more information on Albuquerque you can check out www.dukecityfix.com.  It's actually a great resource for people that already live here or are thinking about living here. I check it all of the time! Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

     

    Grace and LilaUser is Offline
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    12 Jan 2009 05:54 PM

    I live in New England, and I have a problem with the winter. I think that New Mexico sounds good! In New England we have 4 seasons- Spring (mud!!!!!) Summer(bugs, warm to hot) Fall(really pretty, ticks) and winter. I hate winter. Right now we have ice covered in snow, fun, fun, fun. Fall is pretty and summer can be nice, but there are too many bugs here for Lila and my liking. Winter is just cold and snowy enough to be anonying. Then sometimes it'll rain and freeze and we'll have ice. Big Smile As you can tell, I'm pretty sick of winter!

    But we have beautiful trails and lakes and beaches. Winter riding can be fun if you like that sorta thing. There are a lot of horse people were I live. Oh, and hay is pretty cheap in CT beacuse there are a lot of farmers.

    If I were you, I go somewere were there is no winter. Good Luck!!!!Big Smile

    Equestrian1990User is Offline
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    12 Jan 2009 06:17 PM

    I live down in Albuquerque and love it. (I moved here form Colorado) It is nice year round. It does get hot, but not as hot as TX and it is dry here. Also, a lot of places to trail ride. :)

    721461User is Offline
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    12 Jan 2009 08:35 PM

    Thanks guys. Great information.

     Equestrian1990- whereabouts in Colorado did you live? Colorado has always appealed to us, but I've heard there you have to be careful buying property- something to do with water rights. Any info?

     

    Karen

    Equestrian1990User is Offline
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    12 Jan 2009 09:16 PM

    [quote user="721461"]

    Thanks guys. Great information.

     Equestrian1990- whereabouts in Colorado did you live? Colorado has always appealed to us, but I've heard there you have to be careful buying property- something to do with water rights. Any info?

     

    Karen

    [/quote]

    I lived in Boulder and Erie (weld county) It gets very cold there though in the winter. I am not sure what is going on with the water rights, I know one thing, and that Boulder County DOES NOT like horses, if they could they would shut down every barn there. So it is very hard to find horse propersites for sale. Sorry don't know anything about the water though

     

    mcostanzoUser is Offline
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    13 Jan 2009 08:27 AM

     Equestrian1990, where in Abq are you? Do you board your horses? Do you show? I didn't know we had a fellow New Mexican on the forum. How exciting! Whyis this writing in bold? Haha

    mcostanzoUser is Offline
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    13 Jan 2009 08:30 AM

    [quote user="Grace and Lila"]

    I live in New England, and I have a problem with the winter. I think that New Mexico sounds good! In New England we have 4 seasons- Spring (mud!!!!!) Summer(bugs, warm to hot) Fall(really pretty, ticks) and winter. I hate winter. Right now we have ice covered in snow, fun, fun, fun. Fall is pretty and summer can be nice, but there are too many bugs here for Lila and my liking. Winter is just cold and snowy enough to be anonying. Then sometimes it'll rain and freeze and we'll have ice. Big Smile As you can tell, I'm pretty sick of winter!

    But we have beautiful trails and lakes and beaches. Winter riding can be fun if you like that sorta thing. There are a lot of horse people were I live. Oh, and hay is pretty cheap in CT beacuse there are a lot of farmers.

    If I were you, I go somewere were there is no winter. Good Luck!!!!Big Smile

    [/quote] 

    I have a friend from New England that moved down here and she said the same thing about the winters. We do have four distinct seasons in NM but the winters just aren't as bad as other places. In Abq, it'll be snowing in the morning and then by 2pm it'll be 50 degrees and the snow will all be gone. The one thing that we don't have is a lot of water and beaches, which some people that are used to that sort of thing really miss.

    txspotsUser is Offline
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    13 Jan 2009 08:48 AM

    New Mexico really is georgous - especially Ruidoso in August and September (All American Futurity time).  I'd have to say it is my 2nd favorite place.  My husband's best friend lives in Hatch and my best friend spends the Ruidoso Downs meet season at her Dad's in Ruidoso, so that's when we like to go visit.   And it's so easy to get from the valley to the mountains, much shorter trip than in Texas.  Y'all cross state lines like we cross counties!

    mcostanzoUser is Offline
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    13 Jan 2009 08:52 AM

     Ruidoso is pretty. And I do recall seeing a ton of TX license plates the last time I was there. Wink If you ever get a chance try Taos or Red River too. Very pretty.

    txspotsUser is Offline
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    13 Jan 2009 09:07 AM

    Yep, lots of Texas racing quarter horse money gets spent there, especially during that time of year (at the track AND in the casinos!).  And speaking of license plates, I feel sorry for those natives that live there because it's virtually impossible to get anwhere in that town on race day for all the traffic.  Have not been to Taos or Red River yet, would love to.  I do enjoy snow mobile'ing in Cloudcroft (don't ski, too much work)!

    stoneponyUser is Offline
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    13 Jan 2009 09:13 AM

    Some things to think about in moveing is the price of feed and if you have to get permints to go places and land prices and taxes.  My husband lived in Tx for a while and he had to get a permit everytime he wanted to move his wifes horse even across the street.  Even if you owned the land you were moving to.  He said you had to get a vet inspection and a permit.  Do you have to do that in NM?  In Iowa we don't have to have a permit to go anywhere in the state.  But Mo says we have to have one to bring a horse to Mo.  And Ill says the same but you can freely move arround in those states.  I could buy a horse in Ill or Mo to take to Iowa and it would not have to have a permit/health papers.  Also I have been told no one checks anyway out here.  I know people who go to Ill or Mo to ride all the time and never get health papers.  We are in the SE corner of Iowa and so it is closer to go to Ill or Mo than to many parts of Iowa.  I like Iowa as far as spring and summer and fall but I hate winter. Too much cold and snow and ice.  But the land is not too expensive and the feed and hay is not too much.  I have lived in Chalston SC and in Virginia Beach VA, nice weather but too expensive.  I did not get to live in the country and have my own land there so I don't know about that.  What about taxes in the different places?  What are the taxes like in TX , NM, AZ and SC etc to own your own land?   One of the cheepest places to live I think is southern Mo. There are the Ozark mts there and it is beautiful.  It is not as cold there as Iowa.  We have actually thought about moving there.  Here in Iowa the land taxes are not too much if you live away from town.  I pay less land taxes for 13 acres a 4 bdrm house and a barn than people in town pay for a 4 bdrm house on a small lot.  There is not much boarding for horses in my area but lots in other bigger towns.  There are  some places in southern Iowa where the land is cheep. Mostly timber but no industry.  People have to drive 20- 30 mi to go to work but that is not bad.  In some places I have lived you have to drive that far to go to work and never leave the city.  This would be 30 mi of paved country roads and beautiful farmland.  I would love to go to NM sometime and check it out though.  I don't know if I like the dry part.  Co is dry too and pretty but not very green.  I like green.  Things grow in Iowa, Ill and Mo without much watering and hay just grows without human help.  It is cheaper that way. Bottom line: there is no perfect place for everyone.  And that is good or all people would want to be on that one spot.  You have to choose the place that is most compatable to your needs.  Mo has a lot of forests to ride in and it has ST Joe and ST Louis as well as other big cities and the land in between is not too expensive.  They have winter in the northern part with snow but not so much in the south.  But each state has its drawbacks. Some have scorpions and some have snakes and some have a nasty thing called a blister beetle that can kill your horse if it is in their hay and they eat it and some have bad winters and not many bugs or snakes.

    mcostanzoUser is Offline
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    13 Jan 2009 09:30 AM

    Good points, stonepony. As far as bringing horses into the state, I can't speak to that because I have never had to transport horses between states before. I imagine that a health certificate and Coggins is needed at the least but I have really have no clue. If you are moving with the state, I don't believe you have to have anything...just just move them. We moved my trainers barn full of all of our horses and we didn't need anythinglike what you speak of.

    I think our state taxes are a little high, personally. Especially since we aren't the richest state in the nation. But our property taxes are relatively low, depending on where you live. I can only speak to Abq and Santa Fe. Stay as far away from Santa Fe as you can get. It's stupid expensive and no matter how much they try to be the "city different" they aren't. What they are is touristy and cheesy and they have started to drive out people that have lived there all of their life because property taxes are insane. Parts of Abq have high property taxes but that's normal for any city. If you want to own land here, you'll pay a nice premium because land in the city is scarce. Now, if you look a little south, like in Bosque Farms or Los Lunas, or you go into the east mountains area, you can get more home and land for your money. 

    Stonepony mentioned green, well we really only have green in the mountains and the bosque area down by the river. We aren't a desert wasteland that some people might think, but we don't having rolling green hills either. 

    mcostanzoUser is Offline
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    13 Jan 2009 09:32 AM

    [quote user="txspots"]Yep, lots of Texas racing quarter horse money gets spent there, especially during that time of year (at the track AND in the casinos!).  And speaking of license plates, I feel sorry for those natives that live there because it's virtually impossible to get anwhere in that town on race day for all the traffic.  Have not been to Taos or Red River yet, would love to.  I do enjoy snow mobile'ing in Cloudcroft (don't ski, too much work)![/quote] 

    Yeah, I tried snowboarding twice....no thanks.

    Equestrian1990User is Offline
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    13 Jan 2009 09:34 AM

    [quote user="IrishRider"]

     Equestrian1990, where in Abq are you? Do you board your horses? Do you show? I didn't know we had a fellow New Mexican on the forum. How exciting! Whyis this writing in bold? Haha

    [/quote]

    I am currently living on campus., but hopefully by this summer I am moving out of it and into an apt. I haven't shown in awhile, as I do not have my own horse, but I am looking for some clients that do have show horses. I'll send a PM to you with my email and stuff.

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