ASSFS blog hop: Location, location, location
Sarah over at A Soft Spot For Stars has a fun blog hop going right now: Tell me about where you live. Are there any frustrating things about your area? What is the weather like? How does the cost of keeping horses compare to where I live?
I live just northwest of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The areas surrounding Tulsa get rural quickly; I live less than 15 miles from downtown! The proximity to the city is perfect- Johnny and I frequently drive into Tulsa for everything from grocery shopping to impromptu tours of historic neighborhoods. Our property is in the Osage Hills, which are gently rolling hills dotted with blackjack and post oak trees. It’s very scenic and peaceful.
There are several large properties near me: my neighbor has a 30+ acre full-service horse facility, there’s a horse farm across the street, and just down the road is an enormous Quarter Horse operation that specializes in rope horses. (Two farms nearby are for sale if you’d like to live in my neck of the woods! You can live on 45 acres or 80 acres!)
How much does it cost to keep a horse here?
- Trim: $40
- Shoes: $110
- Average cost of a month of full time training: $350 (not including board)
- Average monthly pasture board: $325
- Average monthly stall board: $530
- Average cost of a round bale: $35
- Average cost of a square bale: $6 + delivery
The weather is frequently pleasant, although Oklahoma is a land of extremes. Summer temperatures regularly reach 100+ degrees Fahrenheit, and winter nights will often dip below 10 degrees Farenheit. It doesn’t snow much, but there’s usually a few days of hideous ice every winter. The wind is omnipresent and inescapable. It’s always blowing, making summer feel like the inside of a hair dryer and winter feel even chillier. Tornadoes and earthquakes top the list of regularly occurring natural disasters. Last year, Oklahoma experienced nearly 700 magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes; it’s widely believed that wastewater injection wells (fracking) are causing the seismic activity. The state’s had 49 tornadoes this year, which is typical. Many of the earthquakes and tornadoes occur far west of Tulsa, so I’m not affected by them often.
Tulsa’s a hotbed of equestrian activity. In addition to the Green Country Chapter of the Oklahoma Dressage Society, Hunter Jumper Exhibitors of Oklahoma is very active, the Western Dressage Association of Oklahoma has a number of members, and the Oklahoma Combined Training Association is rising from the ashes of its previous leadership. Tulsa is home to several national-level shows, including Breeder’s Invitational (cutting horses), Pinto World Championship, American Buckskin World Championship, All American Mule & Donkey Congress, National Snaffle Bit Association World Show, Tulsa Reining Classic, American Miniature Horse Nationals, Color Breed Congress, and the U.S. National Arabian and Half-Arabian Championship Show. Expo Square is a top-notch show venue; in all my travels with work, I’ve seen few facilities that match it.
Fellow Oklahoma blogger Allie at Rocking E Cowgirl touched on the state’s beautiful lakes in her blog hop post, but I’ll add my two cents: Oklahoma’s got some fantastic places to trail ride! Many of the state parks have equestrian trails, and several of the sites maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers are open for riding.
There are a few tack shops in the Tulsa area, serving both english and western riders. English riders can shop at The Horse of Course (my workplace!) or at EquiVenture, while western riders can find what they need at Mock Brothers or Allen Ranch Saddle Shop. There are several national and local chains that carry feed, shavings, and barn basics like buckets and muck forks- Southern Agriculture, Tractor Supply Company, and Atwoods are the most numerous. You can also do a lot of damage to your wallet shopping at all those shows- the Arabian show is particularly notable for the quality of the vendor area!
Tulsa has a rich, diverse equestrian scene- I hope you’ll come visit someday!