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Old 07-04-2013, 05:33 PM
5 posts, read 14,163 times
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I've lived in Colorado's northern mountains for 35 years. I'm looking to relocate somewhere that's an attractive environment for horses, i.e., properties with enough good grazing pasture for 2 horses , plus trail riding within an hour's haul, and other residents who form a horse culture. My other criteria are to be near good food stores (15-20 minutes' drive is fine) and cultural activities, as I'm leaving the mountains primarily because of the isolation. Also necessary: proximity to a small airport used by private planes is a must, as my husband is a pilot. And then there's weather : something reasonably sunny, as I know I would not do well with weeks of gray. I'm considering the Petaluma area, but know nothing about it. Can anyone give me the inside scoop on the area, perhaps with suggestions of other towns I should consider? It's be great if I were w/i an hour's drive of SF. All ideas are welcome!
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:59 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
18,814 posts, read 30,152,758 times
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Really depends on your financial resources.

A cheap place to have horses with good horse culture, is Cottonwood or other surrounding towns around Redding, CA. Summers are brutal, but mountains are very close, and Redding has all the shopping options you would need within short drive.

Walnut Creek, CA used to be a horsey place when i was a kid living in San Leandro. Not sure if it still is, but if it is, I'm sure it would be expensive. Of course, you'd have to be outside of Walnut Creek proper for acreage, but it would have shopping, proximity to SF, etc.

I'm not familiar with Sonoma, so can't comment on that.

Hopefully, horse owners will respond. I haven't had one since I lived in WA. Never had one in CA. I just know about the Redding area, because I've been researching moving up there, and read all the Redding threads :-)
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:18 PM
Location: Sonoma County
845 posts, read 1,889,226 times
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It rains here for weeks at a time between October and April. If weeks of gray bum you out, I don't recommend Sonoma County (making you the first person I have not recommended move here, I think ever).

May to September, however, is exactly what you're looking for. Bright, hot wonderful sun all day, almost every day.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:17 PM
Location: Under the Redwoods
3,751 posts, read 7,306,332 times
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Both Petaluma and Sonoma have open areas and have all the shopping convinces of a big city. Petaluma has a lot of dairy and eggs (it's been called the egg capital of the world) and Sonoma is wine and turkey country. Lots of horse people all throughout the rural and right outside of the city areas. The weather is temperate for the mot part, at times it can get a bit hot, but not days on end hot. Though right now we are having a long heat wave with record breaking temps- but who does not have those occasional extremes. Charles Schultz (yes, as in Charlie Brown) Airport I believe is a public/commercial airport. But there is also several other municipal airports in the area.

With traffic, these are in miles, an hours drive from SF, but you will never get there in that time if you are on the road during 'normal' hours. 101 through Santa Rosa (if you lived in Sonoma) is a slow go, then opens up until you get to Petaluma and then it can be slow going for most of the way into the city. Other areas around Santa Rosa that can accommodate horses would be Sebastopol & Healdsburg.

To the south of San Francisco where horses and horse people are found (which is where I used to ride when I lived down there) is the hills of San Mateo, Redwood City, Woodside, and especially Portola Valley. Last weekend my daughter rode in a trail competition with a girl from Los Gatos.
..and of course there all the smaller communities in between that all use the same shopping locations. And a municipal airport, I believe one of them for the area it is Moffett Field, which has quite a history.

Either North or south will be about the same price wise, north may be a little cheaper. Weather is basically the same, but the southern locations may get the occasional morning fog from the coast, the type of shopping is the same as well.
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