Keeping Horses in Northern California - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-17-2017, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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Keeping Horses in Northern California

I am considering a job offer in northern CA and am hoping to get some info on keeping/caring for horses in that region.

I'm currently in the mid-Atlantic region on the East coast (Maryland) with deciduous forest, 4 seasons, and complete familiarity with the flora and fauna. Northern CA is foreign to me.

Job would be in eastern Alameda County (Livermore). House/land prices in that region are jaw-dropping-expensive. Would be willing to do a 1-hour commute each way (ugh).

1. Any particularly good areas for keeping a horse out there? (Meaning communities with horse amenities (feed stores, farriers, hay vendors, etc.). Any particularly good places to target for trail riding?

2. Am assuming that we could keep the horses outside 24/7 (with run-in shelter) (that's what we do now in MD). Is that a valid assumption?

3. Anyone know general prices in that region for feed, hay, farriers, etc? What about board? (Ideally we want our own land and the horses on our property. However, I'm information gathering in case the price tag makes that impossible.)

4. What are the special no-nos for horse keeping in that region? For example, I only recently learned on this forum that avocado plants are deadly to horses. We don't have avocados out here, so that data was not on our radar. What are specific things in that region (flora/fauna and others) to watch out for when combined with horses?

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks to you all.
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-17-2017, 11:50 PM
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Arg!!! I had a whole thing typed up, then the computer deleted it!!! Livermore is BOOMING, I grew up in the S.F. Bay Area, moved 10 years ago to the 'real' Northern Calif. You may not find much in the way of horse property you can afford, developers are buying up everything, and putting in condos and homes. But, you may be able to find something, maybe rent for awhile, before you buy anything. I lived in San Ramon, we had a house at the end of Bollinger Canyon Road. San Ramon is about 20 minutes from Livermore, but it is opposite of the major commute. Also at the end of Bollinger Canyon Road is Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, there is a boarding stable there, Las Trampas Stables here is their website: Las Trampas Stables - Home I LOVED riding in Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, good, sometimes tough, trails. And, Las Trampas Regional Wilderness connects to Anthony Chabot Park, and a few others. You can do a 6 mile loop trail or a 60 mile loop trail, riding from San Ramon to Castro Valley, Oakland, Berkeley, Moraga and back to San Ramon. We got our hay from "Finta Hay" He was just starting out, had been in business for about a year or so, before we moved. Looks like his business has really grown, here is his web site: Welcome To Finta Hay Service- Hay Products, Grain & Feed Products, Manure Removal, Trucking, Horse Supplies, Livestock Panels

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post #3 of 9 Old 03-17-2017, 11:59 PM
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So, I recommend, see if you can find a place to rent in San Ramon, board your horse at Las Trampas Stables, and commute to Livermore. Then once you've been there for awhile look around and see if you want to buy a place. The town of Danville is right next to San Ramon also, you may be able to find a place to rent in Danville which would still be close to Las Trampas Stables. Yes, if you do find property, a run in shelter would be fine, once in a great while it gets below freezing, but not often. Good luck, if you have any questions post them, and I'll try and answer them.

First rule of endurance riding: If you know ANYTHING, know your horse.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-18-2017, 12:08 AM
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Another thing, when we moved to San Ramon from Oakland our realtor was CLUELESS. I told her I wanted a home where I could ride out my gate onto trails, FINALLY, my daughter and I got in our car and drove around to the park areas where we could ride. I found my house, so don't rely totally on Realtors. Once you get to the area and have a free day, go drive around to see if you can find something, sometimes on Bollinger Canyon Road, North of Crow Canyon Road, places are for sale, and they usually have acreage. Another place too look may be Cull Canyon Road in Castro Valley, there are places with acreage there. Gets nice and muddy, clay like mud where we used to live. Usually had to wait a day or two to hit the trails, they get REAL messy. Alright, I've got to get going, best of luck to ya.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-18-2017, 01:11 AM
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As a Realtor I would have to say if you do decide to end up buying something I would get a Realtor who is familiar with the area and horses. OldEnduranceRider is right some are so clueless when it comes to what you want and if they're not equestrians it makes it that much harder.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-18-2017, 04:01 AM
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Zoning in this state varies . You should find a realtor that is familiar with horse property in the county /town . You should also try to find hay that is similar to what you are feeding. The hay in this state varies from NorCal to So Cal.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-18-2017, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseylover1_1 View Post
As a Realtor I would have to say if you do decide to end up buying something I would get a Realtor who is familiar with the area and horses. OldEnduranceRider is right some are so clueless when it comes to what you want and if they're not equestrians it makes it that much harder.
You're right horseylover.
Even then, you have to be careful. We had a Realtor who was familiar with the area, and claimed she had horses, but, I do believe if she had horses she was strictly an arena rider and did not venture out onto the trail. Nor did that Realtor muck stalls, nor buck her own hay. I'm sure there are good 'horsy' Realtors out there, but you still want to do some of your own ground work.
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-18-2017, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenson View Post
Zoning in this state varies . You should find a realtor that is familiar with horse property in the county /town . You should also try to find hay that is similar to what you are feeding. The hay in this state varies from NorCal to So Cal.


I was able to get a variety of hay, Alfalfa, beardless wheat, oat, oat/barley mix, grass......... We once got a load, had to go get it ourselves, from Jack Tone Ranch, if I remember correctly it may have been a wheat/barley/oat mix, it was some GREAT stuff. That was several decades ago, don't know if they still grow and sell hay.

First rule of endurance riding: If you know ANYTHING, know your horse.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-18-2017, 03:43 PM
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Also might want to consider changing the title. "SF Bay Area" is a lot different from the rest of Northern California, which in itself is quite diverse.
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