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Western North Carolina horse areas?

I hope this is the right forum for this post. My husband and I love the Asheville area and have visited many times, always staying in Weaverville. I would like to start looking at some properties up there. We live in S. Florida. Are there any areas that have a higher concentration of horses and horse activities? I’m currently training my two OTTBs and my husband only does trails with his Percheron. In FL, we obviously have very flat trails. Are the trails in Western NC pretty rigorous? Ideally, I would like a property with hiking and riding trails attached. Is this feasible? Any direction is greatly appreciated!

Not sure about Weaverville area as I am more south west of the city. Around here we do have DuPont State Forest which offers both human and horse trails. Properties adjacent to it are really hard to come by (not many of them and seldom come up for sale). That being said, there are several large trailer parking areas. We also have the Pisgah National Forest, which offers an expansive trail system though some do not allow horses and trailer parking can be limited.

Trails around here offer varying degrees of difficulty. You’d want to go out with a knowledgeable guide until you get the feel for the trails and terrain.

Asheville is a beautiful area with lots of offerings, but I will warn you that depending on what level of horsemanship you are used to to may be disappointed. Lots of backyard type boarding, very little in the way of nice facilities and quality training. Sure there are some, but limited options.

If you were looking for a more serious horsey area look south to Tryon. Tons of nice facilities and trainers in a variety of disciplines. Also lots of great (and not so mountainous) trail systems. Property values are much more reasonable as well.

FYI I’m an OTTB girl myself! Feel free to PM me with any other questions.

Hi dicuf-your post made me bother to look up my password for the first time in ages!

I live in the Tryon area, and it’s pretty close to horse heaven. We have great riding all year, protected trails, excellent vets, your choice of good feed stores, good trainers in in English and Western disciplines-and a built in community of horse people. Small horse farms on trails can still be found for less than a king’s ransom, though that may change in the next few years.

Our weather is more horse friendly than the folks north of Asheville have. The winters are much shorter. Summer is harder, but we are close enough to the mountains for the mornings to be nice any time.

Hope this helps!

Thank you for the info! We have driven through Tryon, but never actually visited. I plan on doing some light (English) showing down the road (it’s been about 11 years since my last show. Lol), but I don’t necessarily need top facilities, showgrounds, etc. right around the corner. I’m more interested in a nice horse property and lots of trail options. Excellent vets and trainers would certainly be a plus. We have been to Dupont, it’s gorgeous there.

Ideally, I would like to be within an hour or so of Asheville, which it looks like Tryon is.

Lesson junkie, are most properties there already set up with a barn, fencing, etc. or is there a lot of vacant land?

P.S. Love them name, AllisonWunderlund!

I think there is everything from open property to fixer uppers to turnkey showplaces.

Check out Sheelah Clarkson Real Estate. She is based out of Asheville but specializes in horse farms/property in both Asheville and Tryon. Her site will give you an idea of what you can get in both areas.

I also live in Tryon. We have 3 decades-old trail systems here that are all on privately owned land, with neighboring landowners sharing access; they total more than 200 miles through beautiful woods, pastures, along rivers, etc. - rolling hills more than mountains. Many horse landowners have put permanent trail easements on their land to ensure that the trails won’t go away later. And the two main trail areas - Hunting Country (with Foothills Equestrian Trail Assn, aka FETA) and the Collinsville Old Farm District (with Collinsville Equestrian Trails Assn, aka CETA) are largely zoned “very low density” with minimum 5-acre lots so that high-density developments can’t get a toe-hold.
To learn more about the Tryon area, sign up for the free weekly e-newsletter, “This Week in Tryon Horse Country.” Go to http://tryonhorsecountry.org and scroll down the righthand column to find the subscription info. Everything horsey is included from shows, to clinics, to accomplishments of local riders, etc.

(This may be more than you want to know right now, but FETA membership is open to everyone in Polk County and slightly beyond (into neighboring SC towns) but CETA is only open for membership to landowners who actually live along the trail system. Best idea is to buy in CETA area and then join FETA also so you can belong to both.)

Anyway you should visit the Tryon/Landrum area next time you’re in Asheville; cute little towns, very artsy and scenic. If you need corporate type jobs, we’re within an hour of Asheville and closer than that to Spartanburg and Greenville, SC. If nothing else you’ll learn about a cool place!