Moving to SLO County CA - Recommendations Please

We planned on moving up to SLO after retirement but like many others, the last couple years had us reevaluating life and we ended up finding a place that worked for us at the end of last year. Hubs retired this year, started his new job up there this month, I will be moving up from OC with the menagerie once we get perimeter fencing and temp pipe stalls safely in place. We also inherited a sweet kitty with the property. We were told he was an outside cat, but apparently no one told him since he’s been sleeping with my husband every single night. He’s been gifting us on average 2 gophers a week, so I think he wants to keep us. Thankfully he and the dogs all get along.

For my central coast peeps, any words of wisdom or recommendations you would like to share regarding horsey infrastructure? I’ll have my 3 horses on our property in Arroyo Grande on the Mesa. We are about 40 minutes north of Alamo Pintado. One of my vets interned there and is reaching out to find referrals for me, but I can use all the help I can get. I’m leaving amazing vets, the most fantastic farrier I have had in decades of horse ownership (you all know how hard that is to find), and a lovely drama-free barn family I’ve had the pleasure to board with for the last 10 years. SO, as excited as I am about the move, I am super apprehensive too.

I’m hoping some may have suggestions for vets you trust (large and small animal), farriers, feed, etc. My oldest has high/low ringbone in both fronts and requires special shoeing and staying on top of his angles. Part of this move was for him too, so he’d have access to 24/7 turn-out and a safe place to retire when treatment plans are no longer effectively keeping him comfortable for light riding.

Also, any suggestions regarding trail riding in the area. It’s my main go-to and coming from a location with miles of interconnected regional trail systems off property, having some place I could putz around right out the driveway was a must. We can ride off property in my new neighborhood and I think there is a system that gets me down to Trilogy and the trails in Nipomo. But, I also have a 3H GN and can haul out for longer rides when not working. I am joining the Nipomo Trail Riders Alliance hoping to make connections and find folks to ride with. Any other suggestions would be great.

Thanks in advance!

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Oh, and I know water is a huge issue in the area. Especially with our state’s current drought situation. The house is on city water and we have two wells on the property. So crossing all the crossables that this will get us by.

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I’m south of SB so no specific suggestions. I just wanted to congratulate you on your new adventure! Leaving a place you love is hard, but you’ll look back in years to come and know you made a wonderful choice. Please post an update (with pictures of your critters!) when you get settled. Best wishes for a safe move for all.

P.S. Your husband sleeping with the “outside” cat made me smile. So happy the little guy has found “his people.”

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I’m no help with the specifics of your area, but I moved away from my vets, farriers, and friends 18 months ago and I feel your pain. It’s so hard.

I joined the local Back Country Horsemen group and have found a friend who’s interested in trail riding, and we logged a lot of miles last fall. That gave me hope, and also a great guide. So joining your local riding group will hopefully give you new friends. Sometimes those clubs aren’t completely welcoming to newcomers, at least at first. Just keep going. I brought cookies, and that seemed to warm them up!

I still have trailered my three horses back to see my farrier, 2 hours each way. Nuts, I know. It’s hard to leave someone who’s helped me so much, but I’m trying out a new farrier this week after one of my horses threw a shoe. That, and the cost of fuel have made me willing to at least try someone closer to home.

Good luck. I’m a native Californian and love the area where you’re moving.


Thank you for your kind words and support! I am excited for our new adventure, for sure. And looking forward to updating the property and transitioning it from its former glory to our dream home. Doing everything from scratch for the horse facilities, but there is water and power already pulled throughout the property, so I am appreciative of that.

Cat brought a T-Rex sized gopher for his morning offering today. We lost our rat terrier in December but I am already envisioning a new pack of ratties being led by a tabby mob boss. Rodents won’t stand a chance around here. :laughing:

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Thank you @saddleup for your suggestion! I know there is a CA chapter but will see if there is an active central coast group. The trail group I had mentioned above is also pretty active and I signed up for their notifications regarding rides and volunteering. I’m hoping to find a good group to ride with, at least to get my lay of the land. I’ve ridden in my area all my life, so I know who to avoid, which farriers are sketch, which feed stores have the best -insert item here-. I know I will figure this out once we move, but if I can try to dodge some bad outcomes from the start, I’m all for seeking help on this front.

Honestly, I have considered trailering down for my farrier as well. He and my vets have kept my boy pretty darn sound and I really need someone with skills who is willing to partner with my vet. But the more I make the drive back and forth, I realize I would have to haul through LA on the regular and that’s going to have to be a solid no. For my sanity. My 5 year old is barefoot and the yearling, well, he’s a yearling…so there’s more wiggle room there.

Thanks for the well wishes, as well. It’s a beautiful area and we got pretty lucky falling in to this property. I have family close by and it will be nice to live close to them again. Good luck with your new farrier!

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