New Mexico: Horse infrastructure and water?

Just adding that you might want to check on how New Mexico ranks when it comes to health care, education, crime etc.


I had family members who lived in Santa Fe for 12 years and we went every year to visit. The horse thing looked like livestock with the exception of the stables at Las Campanas. Have you thought of moving to Western North Carolina, near Hendersonville/Ashville/Maggie Valley/Waynesville? I don’t know the politics of the area.


Oh my goodness, the wind has been driving me bonkers!

To the OP -

We recently moved from Dallas to Albuquerque. I can say I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of vet care and farrier care that I’ve been able to find here. We haul in to Bernalillo for our farrier, and have been very pleased with him so far. For vet care, Albuquerque Equine Clinic was recommended by a farm that I reached out to. So far we’ve only used them for routine care, but I was very impressed with their facilities and services offered. They will definitely be my go-to for any diagnostics or emergencies that may arise.

As others have said, pasture isn’t really a thing here, for the most part. We keep our two (Shetland and a mini) on a dry lot in town with a run-in shelter and free choice grass hay available 24/7. We take them for walks along the Rio Grande, there are miles and miles of trails, and lots of lovely little horse properties near the river.

So far we have been very happy here. It is very dry, which takes some getting used to, and the sun and wind can be intense. But I am loving the lack of humidity, and how it cools down so quickly as soon as the sun goes down. And there are hardly any bugs, which is amazing!! I love that we can drive less than an hour and be in the mountains, or go a different direction and be in the middle of an open desert. Santa Fe is lovely, we hope to spend more time exploring that area now that Covid-related restrictions are loosening.

I find the high desert environment here to be very peaceful, a pleasant change from living in the middle of a major metroplex. Life seems to be a bit slower here, which we are thoroughly enjoying. Regarding culture, I am a member of the LGBT community, and I feel much safer here than I did in Texas. Overall the people we have met are welcoming and kind, with much less hostility than we encountered in most parts of Texas.

We were warned about crime in Albuquerque, but so far we’ve had no issues there. We do live in an area with lower crime rates than what you will find in other parts of the city. I just stay aware of my surroundings, and I make sure to not leave anything valuable in a place where it could be tempting to a robber. Common sense stuff, nothing crazy. So far we haven’t been in a situation where we’ve felt unsafe.

Also, this is perhaps way off topic, but the balloons are amazing! I about lost my mind the first time I saw a large group of balloons up in the sky. Also lost my mind when one flew right over our house, and was so close I could see the faces of the people in the basket.

Anyway, back to the topic of horses, we haven’t been very involved with the horse community here since we don’t own full-sized riding horses at the moment. We bought our Shetland as a driving prospect, but for right now she’s just growing up and being a horse. The mini is basically just a pet and companion. I have kicked around the idea of finding an instructor with school horses to lesson with, but haven’t had the time to make any moves on that yet. Based on what I’m seeing online, there do seem to be options, I expect it might just take a little digging and networking to find the best fit. There do seem to be a lot of backyard horse owners around here… some look nice, some not so nice. But I suppose you find that anywhere.


NM is very diversity friendly, and it was one of the first states to include sexual orientation in worker protections. Also, NM is one of the few places that a child can have more than two legal parents. We are very inclusive (though haters gonna hate) compared to other places.

I too like ABQ Equine, and my farrier is great, but he has his crotchets.

There is a pretty active driving club here, Enchantment Driving, if you do decide to get back into driving.


Awesome, thanks so much for the recommendation! I’ll have to look them up. Our filly is a yearling so it’ll be some time before she is ready to start driving… but it would be fun to get involved with a local driving club and I’d be more than happy to volunteer at any local events.

1 Like

Now, yer talkin’!

I’m glad you get the conundrum. I do like the Mid-Atlantic, though I’m not sure I understand how DC and “The South” as it touches Maryland fit together. And I had thought that Maryland was too expensive. I like some winter and I really like seasonal changes.

So where would you send me in MD?

Oh, and by the “Mid-Atlantic” I think I really mean Bucks County, PA and a tad of Delaware. I worked in both places for different summers.

My problem is that I’m a cosmopolitan-ly educated, but priced-out, 5th generation Northern Californian. The morés I was raised with are gone and/or seem to be very expensive. The divisiveness of the last four years has perhaps worn on me a bit.

Been to that section of NC. Near Tryon is better for horse infrastructure but it’s getting spendy. Also, I found it harder to find a “central” kind of town there since places tend to be small. I’d live in Brevard if there were more horse infrastructure and in Asheville if there were more horse infrastructure and it weren’t already kind of expensive.

1 Like

When was the last time you were in Santa Fe? It may have changed and is changing. Lots of apartment complexes going up, the once strict building codes for style and height of buildings that gave it charm has been done away with. It’s quite spread out now and growing, however, they do have jet service now. The nicest boarding facilities are at Las Campanas Amenities - The Club at Las Campanas. I’m not sure if you have to live at Las Campanas to board there or not, though you may find a house in your price range. Hippico is still listed, all shows for 2021 are canceled but I think they still offer boarding and training and clinics. It has been listed for sale at one time. About Hipico Santa Fe NM Southwest Equestrian Center.

There’s a NMHJA show at HIPICO this weekend. Just sayin’…

It is with great disappointment that we announce that the 2021 Santa Fe Summer Series will not take place. While we were optimistic about our ability to produce the Summer Series, the long-standing COVID-19 shutdowns and lingering uncertainty in New Mexico surrounding large-scale events created an environment that severely hindered our ability to secure the capital necessary to underwrite the substantial infrastructure and staffing required for the 2021 Santa Fe Summer Series.

Though the Summer Series will not take place this year, we invite you to join us at one of the many upcoming equestrian and non-equestrian events taking place at HIPICO Santa Fe in the months ahead.

They are still allowing other to be held there just just not there own series of shows. Maybe you can clarify if the show grounds is listed for sale anymore.

I would love some names of places in Maryland, too!

It looks like they are searching for investors. I don’t see it listed for sale anywhere, but that’s all I can find. They are attempting to fundraise enough to hold the summer series this year.

What kind of horse infrastructure are you looking for? The NC real estate is increasing in value fast, so look now! But there is a good horse infrastucture here and the triangle area mostly doesn’t have typical Southern politics. The greater triangle area gives you access to larger cities and small cities. My vet has here horses in Ashboro and events.

See the first post. If I can only spend $750K, I think I’m already priced out of the horse-rich areas in NC.

I guess the thing I keep considering is what if you find the 'right place that ticks all or most of the boxes only to find a few months in that the neighbors are nuts? Or there’s something you’re allergic to in the area, or whatever. I say this because I’m a pretty blue dot in a deeply red state and worse still, a relatively poor county in the south. There’s a lot about this state’s leadership and culture that is just backwards. But…my home is where I want to be. I love the geography and seasons and food and our music and rivers and so many other things that Alabama being Alabama is just something I don’t sweat too much day to day.

Do you love where your feet are? Like the barn and farm and such? Maybe you’re in the right spot already.

1 Like

You should look at what is available in tack and feed stores in SF and ABQ. There are a few but not sure how they rate for good English tack etc. In the Southern part of the state they are lacking completely, except for western stuff, its all mail order and no saddle fitters within a days drive.

1 Like

Most of MD is going to get some snow. I love most everything about Southern PA, except that. Both Harford and Baltimore County would check all your boxes but not unusual to get at least 2 6+ snows which is how I classify “more than a nuisance” snow.

1 Like

@mvp and @SharonA1 Basically anywhere! Far western MD has less access, although you’re not too far from NoVA horse resources there.

For $750k, basically anywhere north or west of Baltimore will have properties with a ton of horse resources. The area west of Baltimore in the center of the state is very horsey but pricey (Clarksburg/Damascus/Mt Airy). It gets cheaper farther north. There are areas south of Annapolis that are still relatively affordable, too. Southern MD, too, but southern MD is a bit more of an island with the major cities cutting it off.

Eastern shore is where I live. It’s different from the western shore but it still has good horse access. But life over here is more of an acquired taste. It’s more “southern,” but the nice thing is this is still a wildly democratic state, so even in a red pocket there is a lot more diversity in mindset.

1 Like

You have to really take time to look. $750K can take you a long way in NC. There’s a ton of land for sale and maybe you can build up from that. I’ve known people who purchased functioning barns and people who built up. None of them paid $750K. We have a vaquero-style person training out of our barn. Just saying! I don’t know how far from a city you’d like to be, but NC has lots of options.

Also originally from ABQ. I’ve been gone almost 11 years, but my family is all still there and I have a retired mare at my parents’ place.

Most has been covered well here, but I’ll say… compared to other places I’ve lived, the training/instruction was not nearly the same quality. I didn’t know better when I lived there, but I look back now and cringe a little bit. There are some newer A/AA h/j people these days I believe, but it’s definitely something to be aware of. And if you don’t like your local options, it’s not like Aiken where you can haul to someone else within an hour or two.

I grew up in the North Valley and my family has pre-1907 water rights, so we didn’t worry about that piece quite as much. It was definitely a whole new world to move somewhere with real pastures and turnout when I left. My horses had stalls that opened into dry lots and have done just fine.

There is a definite lack of tack stores with English options. There’s one decent one in Albuquerque but even their selection is limited. A few good feed type stores though. We’ve been lucky to have great vets and farriers over the years. You don’t have the option of a big vet school within close range for an emergency or consult, but there are surgical options and our vet (Meddleton Equine) is one of the best lameness vets I’ve ever used and I’d highly recommend him to anyone.

The weather has been mentioned and I’ll concur with everyone who says it’s amazing - I frequently tell people NM has the best weather in the country. That said, prepare for WIND from May-late June like you have not known. And in NM with wind, comes sand. Sand everywhere.

For me, I won’t go back permanently because of lack of economic opportunity/growth, the distance (everything out west is just SO FAR AWAY after living places you can get places in 2-3hrs instead of 8!) and the fact that these days I event and there just aren’t enough resources locally for me to do it there. It can just be a little slow paced, so be prepared for the way of life; there’s a reason it’s called ‘the land of mañana’. NM is truly unlike anywhere else in the country culturally and it’s hard to explain to outsiders. I agree wholeheartedly with the person who earlier said along the lines of ‘it fits some people perfectly, others can’t wait to leave, but long for small pieces from afar’. I miss it (and the FOOD I MISS THE FOOD) but it’s not the place or fit for me.