Suggestions for places that are horse/budget friendly?

I will be relocating this year, for one year, and I am looking for a place that has good, rated shows (hunter jumper) but is budget friendly.

I am interested in Tryon area (worked there, before the new horse park and the area is beautiful) such as Charlotte or Greenville, anywhere close to Wellington or Ocala, Washington DC/Baltimore and Los Angeles. I would imagine Los Angeles is not budget friendly but would like some perspective. I also prefer East coast set ups that include good pasture and turnout. I know that Florida isn’t known for that either.

Any other suggestion of major cities would be appreciated. We are limited to where we can go for one more year based on my husband’s job. We can make several suggestions to his company. After that we can focus on settling down.

have you looked at/considered the PNW?

I have heard that it was a nice place to live and my husband and I are interested in Seattle or Portland in particular. Is board affordable? Is there a circuit up there that is good?

If i were you I would put Atlanta, Charlottesville and Louisville/Lexington, Kentucky on the list.

Hm, having lived/worked/boarded in the Seattle area (Kirkland) for a few years, I would not say it was budget friendly… that was several years ago, but as a right-out-of-college young adult, I really struggled financially out there.
You want to avoid VA/DC/MD/NY/CT/MA for the most part too.

I lived in TX for awhile, it was fairly affordable, but too hot, and the H/J availability around where I was was pretty much 0 --we had to haul 3-4 hours for even a schooling show.

I live in NC now (southern pines area) and it’s not bad penny-pinching wise, and wonderful in all other regards. Board wasn’t the cheapest when we scoped out commercial options (ended up buying a farm and doing it ourselves), but there are so many shows and horse things around; the accessibility to good vets, farriers, shows, clinics, etc is unmatched and wonderful.

Probably the most bang for my buck was Ohio (Dayton area). Board was very reasonable, especially considering every facility needs an indoor. Several shows at all levels (A, C, and schooling) every weekend all season long within an hour or so, and KHP and Rood Riddle still very convenient. You have access to some great trainers and show barns (David Beisel, Lindsay Yinger, Lochmoor, etc) and some smaller, decent mid-level barns as well. Winters suck, but I really felt like my paycheck went farther there than most other places I’ve lived.
I didn’t love Ohio, and we LOVE NC (enough that we bought our forever home, and plan to retire there permanently in 12-15 years when I’m done with the military.)
I think it can be tough to find a balance between affordable and still have access to good programs, qualified vets/farriers, and access to good shows. Remember to research things like average seasonal temperatures and rainfall. Also commute timelines are important to look up. It’s no good to have the perfect, affordable barn 30 miles from the city if it takes you 2 hours Each Way to get there (ask me how I know).
Try to spend some time in an area for awhile before you commit to it – or at least visit for a week, scope out properties and barns, and talk to the tack store clerks --and make sure you have a convenient Whole Foods or Trader Joes nearby :-).

I would say Atlanta because you have Conyers, Wills Park, and Chatt Hills - all great horse parks and all close by. There is a range of barns and circuits to suit all budgets. It might still be possible to get a bargain living situation in Atlanta if you are flexible.

Actually, depending where in VA you go - boarding is very reasonable in most areas unless you are close to DC, etc. We have a fantastic show circuit for both local and rated shows. From Winchester, Virginia - HITS Culpeper is 1 1/2 horse, Lexington, VA is 1 1/2 hours, Warrenton is one hour, Upperville is one hour, Devon is 3 1/2 hours, etc. There are TONS of local shows every weekend and you can find Field Board starting at $200 and stalls starting at $350 at average type facilities. Of course, if you want an “A” show barn, the sky is the limit.

Atlanta but only if you get a job and live outside the perimeter. Aiken, SC. Parts of Florida (Gulfport). The non DC parts of VA (i.e. Charlotesville). See a trend here? The South, nearish to a major metro area but not THAT near.

E. TN is great…4 hours from KY, Tryon, Atl, Franklin TN…Call Le Renard, Chloe Desjarlais for details on training and the farm. 865.603.9582.

We live in Louisville now and while I like larger cities, I LOVE my barn (best barn ever!) and I love the Kentucky Horse Park being so close. I don’t know if we can find another project here. I hope so as it would save us money on hauling 2 horses and I already know that I love the horse scene here. I grew up in Atlanta, on the north side, OTP. Alpharetta is way more expensive. If we were to move back I would try and settle south side, especially since Scott Armour just moved there. I would really like to buy a truck and trailer and board at a cheaper pasture situation and haul into lessons and shows. I spend so much on hauling that it would save a lot, long term, to just have a decent truck and two horse trailer.

Thanks for all the advice. It’s wonderful hearing what is and isn’t expensive. I love the Internet!

i live in Portland, OR and board at a wonderfully run facility that’s probably right in the middle of the cost spectrum for the area. it’s certainly possible to have affordable board, training and showing in Oregon.

Yes, the big cities are just not budget friendly. My budget in DC ran $1k a month for board and expenses (shoes, vet). Not at a trainer facility, no indoor, great care about an hour from downtown. I was thrilled with it because I could trust to leave my horse there when working long hours and know he was fine…but not cheap. To get cheap you have to drive pretty far and/or sacrifice care, unless you get really lucky and find something amazing.

I ride north of Los Angeles in the beautiful Moorpark/Somis area. There are acres of citrus trees, top show barns and cool ocean breezes. My barn has grass pastures, two jumping rings, a Grand Prix field, an exercise track and a dressage court. It’s heaven for riders and horses. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to ride 2-3 times a week. The rest of the time, I’m working at a high stress job to pay horse bills. Think 2,000-3,000/month for board, grooming and training. Crazy but worth it!

Stay away from Greenville, SC. The horse community is lacking. You would have to drive up to tryon area for anything legit. The shows were lacking.

Living cost is cheap, but be prepared to not get paid a lot. My friend who worked in retail made more than her husband who was a cop.

I second Virginia. Richmond and areas west of it are quite reasonable in terms of both living and board expenses. But it’s still plenty close to haul to the fancy horse areas for shows. Most boarding facilities have plenty of turnout and good pasture.

Many years ago I was trying to solve the same problem and ended in central Virginia and have never regretted it. Land is still relatively cheap, most boarding offers lots of turnout, you can find a wide range of boarding options, trainer availability and showing venues.

Winters aren’t too awful, you can get by without an indoor if you have to.

Portland will be in the $1500 range for full B/T. Seattle is around $2200. Housing in either place is not cheap either. I come from Northern CA. I find the rated shows up here to be expensive for what they are/offer.