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Old 12-23-2012, 06:19 PM
 
Location: So Cal
8 posts, read 10,041 times
Reputation: 11
Default Horse friendly towns in northeast TX

This is a copy of my question posted in the Dallas forum in case anyone outside of Dallas has any helpful info.

We are a CA family of four moving to the Dallas area in a few months, and I have not been able to find a thread that addresses our specific needs. Where are the best communities for small farms? We plan to have a few meat livestock, dairy goats, and a couple of horses. My kids are 6 and 7 and we want to be in a farm-type community where streets are horse-friendly and neighbors won't be mortified when we process a few chickens for the freezer. I want my kids to grow up around other kids with outdoor lifestyles and more traditional values.

We want to stay East of Lake Ray Hubbard, up as far as Leonard, down as far as Heath, and no farther out than Tawakoni. Specific info about Caddo Mills, Quinlan, Terrell, and Greenville would be appreciated.

We are pretty familiar with real estate values and property available, but I need to know where all the animal people live and that is something I think only the locals can tell me. We are a christian family and we home school, but our kids are going to be doing 4H, Tball, etc. so we want to stay out of high crime areas and poor school districts. Safe, quiet family life is most important to us.

Also, there are lots of apparent "trails" visible behind and around properties. Is it safe to assume those would be available for horse riding? Are there dirt bikes that tear down those trails and make it unsafe for horses? Or are there no public horse trails through towns? Do drivers respect trail riders, or do they fly up from behind and honk like they do out here?

Any info is appreciated. We have been researching this area for over a year and the time is finally almost here when we can make our move.

Thanks!
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
6,580 posts, read 10,464,280 times
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I posted a longer response to you on the Dallas forum.

It's probably safe to bet that those trails you see are for dirt bikes or 4wheelers. In all of the years that we owned horses, I was never able to ride on trails except on someone's private property. All of the public ones had dirt bikes on them which scared my horse. We usually just rode on the side of country roads, or hauled to an arena.

Drivers in most rural areas know how to approach a horse. When you get more into the suburbs, you might experience drivers who behave like the ones you mentioned!
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Texas State Fair
8,567 posts, read 4,931,786 times
Reputation: 4121
Try this link for properties....

Horse Farms for Sale Classifieds in Texas. Equestrian Real Estate for Sale in TX. Horse Farm Property in TX.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
16,234 posts, read 22,143,012 times
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You might want to contact TETRA (Texas Equestrian Trail Riders Association). You could also contact 4H to find out what communities in Northeast Texas have the biggest 4H presence.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:27 AM
 
845 posts, read 998,663 times
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No trail advice, naturally but I wonder how much experience the OP has rasing and caring for livestock?
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
6,580 posts, read 10,464,280 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skelaki View Post
No trail advice, naturally but I wonder how much experience the OP has rasing and caring for livestock?
Me, too...
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:48 PM
 
Location: So Cal
8 posts, read 10,041 times
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Thanks, Texashorselady for the link. I have seen that one, but our budget is below what most of the equestrian-focused sites have. Looking for something 170k max with 2+ acres and not a mobile or prefab home. We have a few properties chosen to see (I'm on the realtor site daily), but we won't have more than a few days to check things out and make a decision when we come out next month, so I'm trying to save time. We also don't want to rent for 6 months before we buy if we can help it.

As for livestock ownership, we have had horses, a small herd of dairy goats (nigerian dwarf) that we milked, and layer chickens (would like to do some meat birds next year). Goal is to raise a steer or hog next (we know nothing about either yet). It would be good to be in a place where we can call on a neighbor or friend for advice. This is the one area of our research we overlooked 10 yrs ago when we moved to our current home. Knowing what I know now, I would have chosen a different area..
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
6,580 posts, read 10,464,280 times
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Ok...I'm glad you have owned some animals before.

The budget is going to be a major problem. It's really low...especially when you are wanting enough acreage for animals and not a mobile home. You have a couple of options: decide how far your husband is willing to drive every day, and look even further out. Celeste, Leonard, Trenton, etc. Or, you can get a mobile home. Either way, that budget is going to be very tough to work with. As you said, horse properties can be very pricey, and buying a property that doesn't yet have fencing/buildings is a lot of work!

Be careful about planning to own hogs. You will need to read the deed restrictions on all land to make sure they are allowed. Most small developments, towns, and even some counties do not allow hogs. They tend to smell VERY bad, and Texas already has a very bad feral hog problem. (The community where my parents lived did not allow hogs.)

One rule of thumb for Texas: you need at LEAST a FULL acre of land per horse/cow, and 2 acres per animal is even better. Sure, you can put more than that on your land, but then it will become an overgrazed dirt lot that will be a horrible quagmire in the spring and winter when we get a lot of rain, and it will look like a moonscape in the hot summer. Oh, and don't count the land that the house sits on in that acreage. You will also need to have a place under cover where you can store hay. With the droughts we've been experiencing the last few years, hay is a very valuable commodity!
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:09 AM
 
845 posts, read 998,663 times
Reputation: 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXbound13 View Post
Thanks, Texashorselady for the link. I have seen that one, but our budget is below what most of the equestrian-focused sites have. Looking for something 170k max with 2+ acres and not a mobile or prefab home. We have a few properties chosen to see (I'm on the realtor site daily), but we won't have more than a few days to check things out and make a decision when we come out next month, so I'm trying to save time. We also don't want to rent for 6 months before we buy if we can help it.

As for livestock ownership, we have had horses, a small herd of dairy goats (nigerian dwarf) that we milked, and layer chickens (would like to do some meat birds next year). Goal is to raise a steer or hog next (we know nothing about either yet). It would be good to be in a place where we can call on a neighbor or friend for advice. This is the one area of our research we overlooked 10 yrs ago when we moved to our current home. Knowing what I know now, I would have chosen a different area..
Great! That means you know what you're getting into.
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Tejas
1,816 posts, read 1,699,486 times
Reputation: 1618
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXbound13 View Post
This is a copy of my question posted in the Dallas forum in case anyone outside of Dallas has any helpful info.

We are a CA family of four moving to the Dallas area in a few months, and I have not been able to find a thread that addresses our specific needs. Where are the best communities for small farms? We plan to have a few meat livestock, dairy goats, and a couple of horses. My kids are 6 and 7 and we want to be in a farm-type community where streets are horse-friendly and neighbors won't be mortified when we process a few chickens for the freezer. I want my kids to grow up around other kids with outdoor lifestyles and more traditional values.

We want to stay East of Lake Ray Hubbard, up as far as Leonard, down as far as Heath, and no farther out than Tawakoni. Specific info about Caddo Mills, Quinlan, Terrell, and Greenville would be appreciated.

We are pretty familiar with real estate values and property available, but I need to know where all the animal people live and that is something I think only the locals can tell me. We are a christian family and we home school, but our kids are going to be doing 4H, Tball, etc. so we want to stay out of high crime areas and poor school districts. Safe, quiet family life is most important to us.

Also, there are lots of apparent "trails" visible behind and around properties. Is it safe to assume those would be available for horse riding? Are there dirt bikes that tear down those trails and make it unsafe for horses? Or are there no public horse trails through towns? Do drivers respect trail riders, or do they fly up from behind and honk like they do out here?

Any info is appreciated. We have been researching this area for over a year and the time is finally almost here when we can make our move.

Thanks!
Texas is 96% private land, that means a LOT of fences. There are a few large trail systems in the state, big bend national park and big bend ranch state park - they are a very remote destination though. Also Caprock Canyon and Palo Duro. That's about it. In central texas also McKinney Roughs, pedernales state park, Guadalupe River State park (about 5 mile trail) and around Bandera the Hill Country Natural area (about 5,000 acres with overnight camping). Many of these places except for the very remote ones (in other words, anything that a working person would trailer to within reason to do a short ride) experience HIGH pressure. State parks and areas also close for a few weeks each month to everything but hunters (yeah, they are more important). For example, the Hill Country SNA and Guadalupe RSP were each closed 2 weeks recently and will be again in January.

Other than that there are a few ranches that are open to people and their horses, one of them is near Fredericksburg and is called Sisters Creek ranch. The fee is small per day, something like $15 per rider.

Texas sucks that way, for a state that prides itself on the working horse, there sure ain't many places left to ride.

And I am saying that having moved from South Florida, which when I lived there I thought it sucked but in retrospect Palm Beach county and all surrounding counties were much more horse friendly and had much more public land available to people to ride. Locally we do not even have a public arena (something we had back in SoFL), we have a VFW arena but the old geezers are not interested in renting it out per day.

TETRA - they organize a ride here and there BUT you have to be ready for a lot of people and their horses. Just realize that not everyone may have the same safety standards around a horse as you and that some people can get downright dangerous to others on their mounts. That's why I don't do group rides, too many crazies and I have a 25+ year old been-there-done-that-very-well-behaved horse.

My $.02
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