dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Location Location Location: ASSFS Blog Hop

A Soft Spot For Stars is hosting a blog hop. The idea is that bloggers share about what life is like in their neck of the woods. So far I've read about California, the mid west, BC and South U.S. I love hearing about other places and thought it would be good to represent the East Coast of Canada.

Cost of Horse Keeping: 

  • Hay is mostly timothy and/or a mix with orchard grass. We pay $2.50 for a square bale of timothy which is a steal I know. The down side is that no one delivers in this area so we have to go and pick it up off the field. It's usually the hottest day of the summer. But it does allow me to reject hay bales that I don't like. At most we can two cuts of hay a season which makes it difficult if the weather doesn't cooperate. Some years (like this one) the hay is fabulous and other years not so much. I've never seen fresh alfalfa as an option- I buy dried cubes for Irish over the winter to help me keep his weight on. 
  • Boarding- it varies quite a bit. I've paid anywhere from $250 to $500 over the years. There are places that charge a lot more (for very good reasons). I would say that $500 would be the minimum for an indoor and for someone to break even on costs. 
  • Property- it does depend on where you want to live in the province. We paid around $145,000 for 20 acres and then added the fencing, barn, garage and riding ring. We also renovated the house. We would sell it for a lot more now (not that it's for sale).
our home. I realized that I needed to take some photos of the property

  • Lessons- they vary. I currently pay $65-$70 depending. Clinics are more expensive because of the cost of bringing clinicians in. I spent quite a few years searching for regular instruction and it was quite frustrating. Fortunately I found someone and I hope she'll keep coming for a few years yet. 
  • Feed is pretty reasonable. A bag of Fat N Fibre costs about $21 and Irish's rolled oats $14. Beet pulp is around $20.
Weather:
Nova Scotia is a small peninsula stuck into the Atlantic Ocean which keeps our weather somewhat temperate. Our summers are usually 20-25. We have some days/weeks that will get much hotter then that but rarely is it truly too hot to ride. Winters vary in terms of the amount of snow. In 2015 we had a ridiculous amount of snow:
the day Carmen came home (in march) you can see her disbelief as to where she landed
Last winter was pretty mild. I don't know what this winter holds. Typically our temps are around 5 to -10. There's a few weeks in January/February where it is very cold. Riding is very difficult in winter here without an indoor. I don't mind taking Jan/Feb off but hate stopping in December and not being able to start in March. I'd love to build an indoor but I doubt that it's financially feasible.

Riding Demographics: 
NS is a nice mix of English: hunter, jumper, dressage; Western: pleasure, games, western dressage; Competitive trail and driving. In my immediate vicinity it's pretty much Western. I'd love to try to build a riding community (where discipline doesn't matter) in our area, I'm just not sure how to go about it.

The nearest tack shop is about an hour away. The local feed store is pretty good for farm supplies and some basic items.

Shows for dressage are not that far away but I wish I lived closer to others who enjoyed the sport. The community is small and pretty supportive which is nice. Recently there's been interest in some fun shows which is nice too.

I love living in NS- I love the beauty of the scenery and the quieter pace of life. My house is 20 minutes from the ocean:

In the end I don't think I would trade my life here but ask me again in February. My answer might be different. 


36 comments:

  1. Prices sound very reasonable in your area! Some similarities but also some interesting differences. I'm jealous of your proximity to the ocean ☺

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    1. I've enjoyed reading about where people are. For some reason I had thought you lived in Virginia! I do love the ocean.

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  2. The prices there sound great. The snow, not so much, but it does look better than some of the other crazy canadian weather I've seen on this blog hop.

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    1. Our weather is not as bad as some parts of the mid-U.S. but our seasons are shorter (except for Winter..)

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  3. Wow, very cool! I guess I always thought you lived on the West Coast of Canada. Really cool to hear about another area that I'm not as familiar with :)

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  4. Wow. First of all, it's gorgeous there. (minus the snow.) Second of all, $2.50 a BALE!? That's amazing.

    I'd heard of a little group in my community that was trying to put together essentially an adult pony club. All disciplines. Just a group of riders who wanted to learn and ride together. Maybe you could host something similar at your house?

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  5. I absolutely love your place. I think I would love Canada in the summer based on this blog hop, but I am too much of a wimp for the winters.

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    1. That is exactly my thoughts as well. I really want to be able to be more south in the winter.

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  6. This was very interesting. I didn't realize you were so close to the ocean.

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    1. Yes, in NS it's hard to be far from the ocean to be honest.

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  7. Its so gorgeous there. Also, proof I need to switch coasts. 20 acres here with a house like yours would be well over a million, add in a barn and garage, pastures and fencing close to ameneties and it would probably be more like 2.

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    1. There are trade offs but yes, a 2 million property would be a lot fancier. I have a friend selling 30 acres with an indoor, large house, all the fields done, ocean view for somewhere between 5-600 k....

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  8. That pic of Carmen is priceless :D

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    1. It's beautiful. I should do some posts of our scenery...

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  10. OMG. That is the best price for hay ever!!

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    1. It is very good. I remind myself of that when what others pay.

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  11. All this time I thought you were in Ontario. I don't know why. What a beautiful ocean shot :)

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    1. Funnily, we did live in Ontario for a brief time (4 years) but our hearts belong on the coast.

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  12. I love Nova Scotia! It's so beautiful there. That picture of Carmen seeing that she landed in snow country is wonderful. You have some great prices there for hay and feed. If I were you I wouldn't trade living there either.

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    1. Thank you! If I had an indoor it would be perfect. :)

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  13. I was friend's with a girl who lived and kept horses in New Brunswick when I was in college. Very cool to read about nova scotia now :)

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    1. New Brunswick is right beside us! It helps when there is a personal connnection

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  14. I did a road trip around the Maritimes a couple years ago, I loved the landscape, the culture, and the house prices! If only there were more jobs.

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    1. yes- that's what Nova Scotian's say too. If you are in health care you would be able to find work. There is more technology too now that those jobs can be anywhere.

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  15. Love this post! I took a family road trip up the east coast of Canada many years ago and absolutely loved it. The landscapes and the farms were stunning, and the coast is very different from what we have down here. Now that I'm seeing your horse-keeping costs, I'm extra jealous! Wow.

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    1. You should come back for a visit....

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  16. I love Vancouver but I'm very curious about East Canada now. I bet you have great fresh crab and lobster. Oh how I miss seafood and the smell of salt water and the sound of sea lions and ferry horns.

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    1. OUr lobster is delicious. and quite cheap too...

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  17. I need to visit that part of the world eventually. I love downeast Maine and it looks like your scenery is just as gorgeous - which isn't surprising considering the latitude/longitudinal similarities.

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    1. I drove through Maine once and was struck by the similarities!

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  18. Wow! So different from where I am! :) Maybe I should do the blog hop to compare... great to read about different places!

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