The Horse Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! Im going to be moving to (or near) Bakersfield, California and looking for recommendations of boarding facilities around the area (within an hour away). But it doesn't necessarily have to be near Bakersfield. I'm totally open to moving to a different area if I have to!

I'm currently living in New Jersey, where my 3 horses are on pasture board. I'm hoping to find a similar situation as my frisky thoroughbred mares hate being in a stall all day. I'm not concerned about the primary discipline of the barn, and nothing fancy! My main concerns are the board cost, my horses freedom (does it have pasture board or at least a good amount of group turn out during the day), and is it a fire prone area?

I hear a lot about how CA doesnt really do the pasture thing(cali horses basically live in a stall), but there are some exceptions in the more desert/canyon areas. The problem is, out in the desert and open areas are very prone to fires and that would be my biggest nightmare... Being an hour away from the barn (or worse, being out of the state for work) and having a fire evacuation and not being able to get to my horses in time.
I really want this to work out.. Please let me know if you have any information, names of barns, or suggestions that will help. Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,855 Posts
I know the California folks will come in with boarding suggestions.

There’s a member on here that is from The Tehachapi area but I can’t remember who, or I would tag them.

Pasture as you think of it may be non existent, depending which side of Bakersfield your horses end up. The High Desert portion of Kern County is the SE quadrant -unless someone is watering land 24/7 there is nothing but tumbleweeds in the High Desert area.

Generally speaking, boarding facilities do not have pastures like we are used to. The best you will probably find is a set up with what is called “mare motels”. They are extra large pens with roofs on them.

Hopefully, up there, you could get lucky and find an old barn (a real barn) turned into a boarding barn with the back wall of the stall knocked out, giving the horse a small run-in type situation.

You want to be sure there is continued access to good water for your horses, wherever they end up..

I moved from the OH/PA border with my three horses to SoCal’s Low Desert area in 1998. I bought a house on 1-3/4 acres which folks commented “OH! You own a ranch! No that’s a paddock where I come from.

All that was there for the horses was a roof nailed on telephone poles sunk into the ground. I quickly had. 12 x 24 loafing shed built; it wasn’t what I wanted but was all I could afford.


Fires were a big issue where I lived. I worked 76 miles from the house for the first two years and worried every day about my horses and dogs. My truck was never unhooked from my stock trailer, it was aimed directly at the chained side alley gate, and I did fire loading drills with my horses once a month. They knew when I threw the rope over them and said “get up in there, hurry HURRY!” they needed to hurry if they wanted their reward:)

I was glad to get the hay out of there. Five years was all I could tolerate of that desert life and the vulgarly high cost of living. I moved the horses one more time to 25 lush acres in Middle Tennessee.

I wish you much success in your new life. I honestly hope you enjoy California more than I did:):)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,410 Posts
@COWCHICK77, possibly! I do not board (my horses are at my place) and most of my friends have their horses at their place. But if @Pretentious Pony needs specifics, I can ask people I know ...

1st - why Bakersfield and if not Bakersfield, where? Every area is different with what they have to offer, so knowing a geographic area would help narrow down people to ask.

2nd - Bakersfield certainly has the stall boarding, of course, but there are places you can get "pasture" boarding - in quotes because likely there will be little grazing & most likely more like a dry lot. But at least it's not a stall. It would most likely be at a very small barn or private residence that does boarding.

3rd - Central/Northern Central Valley has better options for non-stall boarding opportunities. If you want a nicer area, look to the central coast. Paso Robles, Buellton, Santa Ynez - nice areas. So, out of the urban areas, you're more likely to file pasture boarding, but it may be shared with other horses.

4th - There are NO non-prone fire areas in CA. Some areas might look like they have less stuff to burn, but the brush & tumbleweeds allow a fire to spread quickly to a more sustainable area (house with nice landscaping/trees). Ask me how I know.

I live in the upper desert/mountain area. We have little trees around us (there are some around my house), but we are prone to fires as is anyone. You just need to have a fire escape plan in place and LEAVE when they tell you LEAVE. There is a group, I think it's called Cowboy 911 (they have a FB page - they are national) and other local groups that works to help with livestock evacuations during fires/other natural disasters. Of course, you also have to make sure your horses will load in a very high charged, stressful situation.

Finally - if a pen is the only option, what is the smallest you need. I know one place (not taking boarders) that have nice runs; the horses could probably lope a few strides, but that's about it. Still, it's not a stall and is sufficient for them (most get ridden every day). How often would you ride?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I am in Lancaster CA (about an hour from Bakersfield). I board at Sweet water ranch and have been very happy with the care my boy gets. You might want to contact them and discuss options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,410 Posts
I am in Lancaster CA (about an hour from Bakersfield).
Per Google Maps, Lancaster is about 1-1/2 hrs. from Bakersfield (87.1 miles on the 58 & 14).

However, practically Bakersfield (where I work) is about an hour from Tehachapi (where I live) (give/take a few minutes depending on traffic) and Lancaster is about another hour (45-60 minutes) from me. Plus from Bako to Tehachapi on the 58 is a 4-6% uphill grade for 14 miles, which will slow you down with truck traffic. Plus in the winter, the 58 can be closed at any time if there is snow in the forecast. And Lancaster is/can be very WINDY. Personally, I would not want to drive from Bako to Lancaster to see my horse. Plenty of closer options in the Central Valley. IMO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I am in Lancaster CA (about an hour from Bakersfield). I board at Sweet water ranch and have been very happy with the care my boy gets. You might want to contact them and discuss options.
Thank you! I just googled them and sent them a text. May I ask you how much do you pay for board, and is there a multihorse discount by any chance? Also what is the living situation like - do they live in a small pasture/dry lot? And about how big is it? One more question - have you ever had to evacuate your horses from a fire there? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
@COWCHICK77, possibly! I do not board (my horses are at my place) and most of my friends have their horses at their place. But if @Pretentious Pony needs specifics, I can ask people I know ...

1st - why Bakersfield and if not Bakersfield, where? Every area is different with what they have to offer, so knowing a geographic area would help narrow down people to ask.

2nd - Bakersfield certainly has the stall boarding, of course, but there are places you can get "pasture" boarding - in quotes because likely there will be little grazing & most likely more like a dry lot. But at least it's not a stall. It would most likely be at a very small barn or private residence that does boarding.

3rd - Central/Northern Central Valley has better options for non-stall boarding opportunities. If you want a nicer area, look to the central coast. Paso Robles, Buellton, Santa Ynez - nice areas. So, out of the urban areas, you're more likely to file pasture boarding, but it may be shared with other horses.

4th - There are NO non-prone fire areas in CA. Some areas might look like they have less stuff to burn, but the brush & tumbleweeds allow a fire to spread quickly to a more sustainable area (house with nice landscaping/trees). Ask me how I know.

I live in the upper desert/mountain area. We have little trees around us (there are some around my house), but we are prone to fires as is anyone. You just need to have a fire escape plan in place and LEAVE when they tell you LEAVE. There is a group, I think it's called Cowboy 911 (they have a FB page - they are national) and other local groups that works to help with livestock evacuations during fires/other natural disasters. Of course, you also have to make sure your horses will load in a very high charged, stressful situation.

Finally - if a pen is the only option, what is the smallest you need. I know one place (not taking boarders) that have nice runs; the horses could probably lope a few strides, but that's about it. Still, it's not a stall and is sufficient for them (most get ridden every day). How often would you ride?
Hey! First of all I want to say thanks you guys for reading my post, and thank you fot taking your time to write such a long helpful message!

1st, why Bakersfield? A few good reasons.. Because its where my boyfriend and his brother live, and bakersfield also has great trucking schools which is what my boyfriend and I plan on doing together once I get there. The apartment he lives at seems nice and very affordable (only 500 a month which I bet is hard to find) and they also have nice, cheap trailer parks to live at in case I decide to bring my camper trailer to live in.)

I'm happy to take what I can get..A dry lot would work, especially if it can fit a few horses in it together. I dont care if it has grass in it, I just want enough room where my horses can socialize together and play around a bit.
Since Im going to doing truck driving, Im probably only going to get to ride once or twice a week at very max.(and that's if I come home on the weekends.. every trucker job is different but I hope to get a job with that kind of schedule) My most energetic mare has health issues that prevents her from being ridden, so she normally burns her energy being on pasture 24/7 here in Jersey.

I'm pretty clueless as to what happens during fire emergencies? Do barns usually have a fire escape plan that involves evacuating all of the horses, regardless of whether the owner is there or not? Or do most owners have their own trailer and end up hauling away their own horses, and some get left behind? Meaning like if your not there to save them, oh well? I know that fires like that come very sudden so its hard to imagine that every owner would have enough time to drive to their stables (especially those far way) and evacuate their horse.
And if Im driving across the country in a truck, there's no way I would get there in time. Which is the sole reason why Im worried to bring my horses to Cali.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
722 Posts
I'm pretty clueless as to what happens during fire emergencies? Do barns usually have a fire escape plan that involves evacuating all of the horses, regardless of whether the owner is there or not? Or do most owners have their own trailer and end up hauling away their own horses, and some get left behind? Meaning like if your not there to save them, oh well? I know that fires like that come very sudden so its hard to imagine that every owner would have enough time to drive to their stables (especially those far way) and evacuate their horse.
And if Im driving across the country in a truck, there's no way I would get there in time. Which is the sole reason why Im worried to bring my horses to Cali.
I’ve only ever had to evacuate my horse once for a fire and that was in 2008 when it started at the top of the canyon where the ranch I board at is. Every other time there’s been a fire, we’ve never had to leave because of location, topography and the sundowner winds. (knock wood though) in fact, a fire a few years ago was literally a few canyons west, but the high school down the road was the command center for the fire crews and they were between us and the blaze so I chose to stay. Last November, maybe 3-4 miles east was another pretty big fire that a few barns had to evacuate from, but because of how the fire was moving (east, upslope during the day, and downslope in the night) we were outside the evacuation warning zone and even er had to leave or deal with smoke. I’ve probably used my trailer more times to haul out for trailer rides than I have for fire evacuation (although I’ve hitched up every time just as a precaution).

What will usually happen in regards to a barn plan for evacuating horses, is there are organizations that are geared towards equine evac. I’m in Santa Barbara county (on the coast, about 2.5 hours from Bakersfield) and we have a really good evacuation team of volunteers with their trailers that will go in and evacuate horses within the mandatory or evacuation warning areas, and they’ll bring them to the local showgrounds which is their staging area. They’re the ones who came in and evacuated my barn in the middle of the night back in 2008. A lot of people will usually have their own rigs, but not everyone does. I have seen people just come get their own horses and take off and be pretty much “you’re on your own”, but I’ve always liked to stick around as long as I can to reassure those without trailers that I’m not abandoning them. Besides which, we’ve never been in an evacuation warning zone or mandatory evacuation zone since 2008 and our equine evac team will not let just anybody show up at the showgrounds if they are not being warned or are not on mandatory (it happened a few years ago and things got a little ugly) so again, that’s another reason for staying put.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,966 Posts
walkinthewalk I think that we can agree that all areas have their good and bad points. I live farther south, but can second the fact that fire is a reality in this state. Most of the time a fire will not cause a problem, the problem is when there is a fire during a wind event, like the sundowners mentioned above. When that happens there are groups that will evacuate livestock. They are usually very well organized and the animals will be put in a fairgrounds or something like that. You can do things to make life easier, for instance making sure you have good identification of your horses, and making sure they will load easily in any type of trailer.

That said, Bakersfield as I understand is growing, which should make things easier for you. Bakersfield itself is a bit "blah" and summer heat an smog can be bad. But the location is great, it is kind of in the middle of things. You can do a day drive to the beach, you can drive up to Lake Isabella or Tehachapi, both stunning areas, you are not to far from LA or really any parts of the state that are not to far north. I hope you enjoy living here in California.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top