A Soft Spot For Stars is hosting her very first blog hop, so naturally I had to participate. Also probably because like Sarah, I’m kind of an internet stalker… no fear though, I only want to meet you when I visit your state! And as a few bloggers can vouch, I’m not (usually) scary.
I live in Central Ohio (and I’ve lived in Ohio my entire life). I would describe my particular area as in between the city and suburbs and the country. There are some farms pretty close to me — both boarding barns and private farms — but I don’t personally own any land. Thus I board my horses, but I would say in the Central Ohio area, there’s a good mix of boarding situations, and single-owner farms.
I’ve always boarded, so I’m not as familiar with some of the individual costs of care (like hay or shavings), since that’s included in my board. But I’ll do my best to break down costs for you:
- Farrier: $40 (Trim) – $100 (4 shoes)
I pay just a hair more for rim pads and aluminum shoes
- Pasture Board: $250?
I’ve honestly never looked into pasture boarding, and I don’t think it’s very common in the area.
- Stall Board: $450-$850
It’s a big range, based entirely on amenities (access to an indoor, and training)
- Board + Full-Time Training: $800-$1,000?
This varies, depending on discipline (we have a mix of hunter/jumper, dressage and Quarter Horse in the area)
- Hay: $5-$6 per square bale of Timothy Grass Mix
Again, this is included with my board, so I’m not 100% sure
Overall, I would say that there is a lot of variety of cost and options within the Central Ohio — it all just depends on what amenities you want, how much training you’re looking for, and what discipline you ride.
Central Ohio gets four distinct seasons, and each can vary a bit year to year in terms of length and temperature. It isn’t abnormal in the Spring and Fall to see fluctuating temperatures within a few days as well. Summer the average is probably around 80-85°, with a typical range of 75-95°. Temperatures do occasionally get into the 100° range, but not very often. The worst part about the summer is the humidity. Winter averages 20-30°, with overnight temperatures into the teens in January and February. While it gets cold and you can see subzero temperatures, that is rare. We get some snow, but almost never more than 4-6″ at a time… and it usually melts fairly quickly. Since Central Ohio is land-locked, you don’t see the big snowfalls that happen on the east coast, or even up in Northern Ohio, where the Great Lakes increase snowfall significantly.
We have a pretty good variety of equestrians here in Central Ohio. I would guess the most popular style of riding is breed all-around, as Quarter Horses are quite common and the AQHA Circuit in Ohio is pretty large. Second would probably be recreational trail riders (especially if you include hunter pace and foxhunters in with that group, despite not really being the same). While somewhat smaller, we do have a really active hunter/jumper community, as well as a very healthy local dressage association. We’re 1-2 hours from the brand new World Equestrian Center, 2-3 hours from Chagrin Valley Farms, and the Ohio Expo Center is within 1 hour (where Quarter Horse Congress is held).
Local tack stores include Rod’s Western Palace, Equus Now!, and Keith’s Saddle Shop — most of which have both English and Western supplies (although Equus Now is primarily English). I shop at Equus Now pretty frequently — they’ve got good selection and an amazing consignment area. Keith’s is on my way to the barn (so dangerous), so for smaller items that I need ASAP, I stop there.
I would say the weather is the most frustrating thing about Central Ohio… probably the Midwest in general: Summers can get hot and muggy, Spring is rainy, Fall is muddy and Winter is cold. That’s not to say that we don’t have some gorgeous weeks, but the weather isn’t why you’d want to live here.
I love the equestrian scene in Central Ohio — it’s small enough where you get to know a lot of people, but big enough that there’s a variety. We have great access to professional services: high-end boarding barns, great trainers in a variety of disciplines, quality farriers, highly qualified vets, state-of-the-art equine hospital, well-run local associations and easy access to state parks. Locally, we have a few good horse show facilities (Ohio State Fairgrounds, Willow Way Equestrian Center and Delaware County Fairgrounds), and within 2-3 hours you have a huge variety of venues (World Equestrian Center, Kentucky Horse Park, Findlay Western Farm, Lake Erie College, Chagrin Valley Farms… and many more).