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I'm trying to see where I want to live after college, any ideas?

So, my goal is to go to college and study equine, though I'm still not sure where I'll go. I want to be a horse trainer and a riding instructor, and after college my goal is to eventually get a horse farm where I can board horses, train them, and teach riding. I just have no idea where I want to live.

Right now I live in Michigan, which I’m definitely not opposed to in the future, but the weather isn’t too good (very extreme a lot of the time, gets super cold in the winter and super hot in the summer). I have a couple things to put in consideration, so it’d be great if anyone knows of any places that fit my needs.

Some things I would like the place to have:

- Good Weather Year Round - I like it to be around 50s - 70s. Snow is bearable but I’d rather it not be super cold half the year. If it gets hotter/colder, it’s fine, but I want to have pretty nice weather for the majority of the year since I'll be outside a lot.

- Safe from Natural Disasters - I know all states have some natural disasters, but if there are super common disasters, I’d prefer to stay away. I want to live there long-term and I’m going to have horses, which would be a hassle to get moved in the case of a deadly disaster. The ones coming to mind are hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, and huge ones. If it’s just severe thunderstorms, it’s fine.

- Cheaper - I plan on working with horses, which is super expensive, so I don’t think it’d be easy to live somewhere super expensive. I just want somewhere fairly cheap so I don’t have to worry and live pay check to pay check.

- Job Availability/Demand - I want to live somewhere where horse trainers and riding instructors are needed, that way I’ll be able to start making a living faster and it’ll be easier.

- More of a Rural Area - I want to live in the country since I’ll be working with horses. I don’t want to live in New York City where there isn’t any good property that will let me do that.

If the places don’t have all of these, that’s fine, I just want some ideas. It can also be states or cities, I just want it to be in the contiguous US, so any states besides Hawaii and Alaska. Also, sorry this is kind of long, I’ve just been thinking about it a lot and wanted to know if anyone knew of any good places.

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Karim’s Answer

I'd start by finding where these opportunities are in most demand, and begin from there. The more demand, the more pay obviously, and the more you can make up any increase in cost of living, which is the largest expense for most people. According to the following link (https://www.zippia.com/horse-trainer-jobs/best-states/) Mississippi, Ohio, and Kentucky (the derby here would make for a lot of job competition I'd imagine) rank pretty high up with okay salaries. Ocala, Florida and Aiken, South Carolina are also well known for their horse populations, and I can attest for Florida weather as I live not too far from Ocala (although not as cheap as living there).

As someone who also moved from the Midwest, some things to consider other than rent are things like car insurance (which when I moved to Florida skyrocketed to almost double what I used to pay) so before committing to a specific state, see how they compare to each other for those kind of costs.

Karim recommends the following next steps:

Find the states with highest demand for equine jobs
Compare cost of living between states, even an excel sheet with mock-up rent costs, car insurance costs, etc.
Use those costs against the average salary you can reasonably expect to make sure your budget aligns appropriately
Thank you comment icon Okay, thank you so much! I will definitely research those places more deeply, thanks for the advice! Cera
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Naomi’s Answer

Hi Cera,

There's lot's of great advice here already!

I live in Colorado, and I would recommend looking into career opportunities here with horses. Colorado is an awesome place to live. We have very few natural disasters, with great weather most of the year. There are several parts of Colorado that don't get a lot of snow, and the sun shines almost every day of the year. (There are also many lakes and rivers. No lakes as big as in Michigan, but there are still places to enjoy the water.)

There are plenty of ranching and rural communities, and many are much more affordable than the cities.

Colorado is not one of the top states for horse trainers, but it may be worth exploring. I looked on Indeed and see jobs in your industry.

You could try contacting Colorado State University's (CSU) veterinary school, they are one of the top vet schools in the country and may be able to give you information about opportunities in equine jobs in the area. (They have several equine programs so they can probably provide good advice as well.)

Good luck!

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the answer, very helpful! I hadn't really thought about Colorado, but it seems really nice, and I'll definitely do some research about it and CSU. Thanks! Cera
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Jill’s Answer

Cera,

A couple of things to think about, when I took a look at salary ranges within this industry they are fairly low compared to other industries. So that means that the cost of living where you live will be an important factor.

As for where to live due to the other factors, my recommendation is while you are in college to look for internships in places like Kentucky so you can experience what it's like to live there. I also live in Michigan, I work in Supply Chain and have traveled quite a bit. I can tell you that different areas of the US as well as the world have different cultures.

A couple of interesting articles I found in regards to careers in the "equine industry:"
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/equine-career-list-125770
https://www.aqha.com/-/modern-careers-in-the-horse-industry
https://post.edu/blog/top-jobs-in-the-equine-industry/

Jill recommends the following next steps:

Check out the articles in the links above.
Research internship locations using indeed.com or linkedin.com
Thank you comment icon Okay, thank you so much for answering! Cera
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Mark’s Answer

Hi Cera,

Kentucky. Somewhere close to Lexington. If you've never been, it's beautiful. I've lived in Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana and Florida. In addition, after 30 years in telecom, I'm now a professional truck driver. I've been in just about every state. There are so many beautiful areas all around the US.

I have a lot of family in Louisiana and Texas. Beautiful!

We lived in Murray, KY for 12 years. Very Rural. It's in Western Kentucky. Close to Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana.

I guess my question is... Have you ever heard the phrase, "Fast Horses and Beautiful Women?" What state claims that phrase?

Kentucky!

Hope this helps!
Mark
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! I knew Kentucky was known for horses, but I didn't really know much other than that. I'll definitely look more into Kentucky! Cera
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Bright’s Answer

l recommend Lexington, Kentucky to be your preferred choice for horse farming. it suit 80% of the unlisted conditions you've highlighted.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Multiple people have suggested Lexington, or at least Kentucky, so I will definitely look and research it! Cera
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Darius’s Answer

Hi Cera,

I'd consider the following;

California, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! I definitely will look into all of them! Cera
Thank you comment icon Hi Darius! Thanks for leaving these recommendations for the Student. Could you add some more details to your answer about why you recommend these places? Thanks in advance! 😁 Alexandra Carpenter, Admin
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