Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Location, Location, Location

I figured I'd jump on the location blog hop from Sarah.  I know there's a few other bloggers from my area so you might end up seeing this more than once but it'd be fun to see their spin on things.

I'm in the central Willamette Valley in Oregon, roughly an hour and a half south of Portland. My part of the valley is mostly rural, but it's become more urban in the 12yrs I've been here.  It's a lot of flat grassland with mountain ranges on either side, and the Willamette River in the middle.  The county I live in is know as the Grass Seed Capital of the world; as in rye grass, bent grass, fescue (not THAT type of grass!!)  My barn is set in the middle of grass seed fields and after they harvest in the summer (late June-early July) we can ride out in the fields.

As far as barns, there's a mix of general boarding barns, a few discipline specific barns, and a lot of people keep their horses at home or board in the winter for access to an indoor arena.  

I'm currently on self care at my barn so my costs are slightly different that average.
  • Trim $40
  • Fronts $90 (I haven't had a set of full shoes on my horses in years so I have no idea what they cost)
  • Training:  I'd say lessons start at $35/hour and go up from there.  As far as full training $350 on up.  Again, I haven't had a horse in full training ever so I don't know. I do know some of the h/j barns and eventing barns in the area have requirements for lessons or training to board in the barn.
  • Pasture board $100 on up
  • Stall board: A lot of places around here offer self care, partial care, and full care.  I'd say self care is $150, partial $250, and full care $350+.  
  • Hay (everyone else's hay that I've seen has been way cheaper than mine, lucky!) Depends on if you get local valley grass, or eastern hay.
    • When I did the math (I buy by the ton), my eastern hay, which tends to be nicer than valley grass, was $11 a bale for 110lb bales, delivered and stacked in the barn.  I could go to my hay guy's place and pay $14/bale but then would have to stack it myself. 
    • I bought some valley hay last year and I think it was $12/bale for an 85lb bale. 
    • My BO gets eastern alfalfa delivered for about $12/bale

Weather: It rains, A LOT.  Pretty much October-May is the wet season. This October was the second wettest on record, and we got 11in of rain. We usually get a couple days of snow or ice a winter, but we have gotten over a foot of snow and down to 0* a couple years ago.  It usually stays in the 30s-40s during the winter but can get colder.  Summers are dry and in the 80s-90s but I've been at shows in July in the pouring rain and it was 48* and then a show in August at 105*. 
Demographics: My area is mostly western...gaming, cows, trail riding. In my immediate area there are a few dressage and eventing barns, but no h/j barns within a half hour. The closer you get to Portland, the better the h/j scene gets.  There is a healthy local/rated circuit up in Portland, a few nice rated shows in Central Oregon, but I find it sad that World Cup and Olympic rider Rich Fellers who is based just outside Portland rarely shows in his home state. I know there's not the $$ or demand for top shows and classes here but it would be nice to see him show on his home turf. A lot of the bigger barns travel up to Washington and Canada and/or down to California to show. 
Frustrations: For me, lack of h/j barns in my area.  I love my barn and my trainer, but I do miss being at a show barn and showing with a group. My trainer works a full time non horsey job, and is a single mom, so sometimes fitting in lessons can be challenging. I'm not a fan of the trainers at the two closest h/j barns (each over a half hour away) and I couldn't afford them.


  1. It's really interesting to get an in depth look at people's areas! I do find it interesting where the big dogs all seem to go to and those trends shift and change as well. I know more NorCal people started heading up to Bend for the show there, maybe Rich will mosey on over too

  2. It's funny how just about no matter where you live the weather isn't ideal LOL.

  3. We buy our hay from your area. The price is much more expensive by the time it gets here! Your area sounds lovely.