Sunday, June 27, 2004



This is the time of year that folks from down south of us head for the mountains and the fresh COOL air! For those of you who have discovered the lands I love and where I am active in equine property transactions, this information may be of interest.

Madison County, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, is a rural county with steep terrain and large rolling pasturelands. Only half an hour or so from Asheville, it is home to approximately 3,500 small family farms. Agriculture is the largest industry in the county. In fact, agriculture accounts for half of the gross income in the county. Here in Madison County, where streams and pastures and hollers and coves abound, you may look out your window as you drive the scenic (excellently maintained) country roads and notice, out one window, horses grazing happily on the best grass you can imagine, and out another window, the neat rows of tobacco crops. (Madison County is the largest burley tobacco producing county in North Carolina.) There are approximately 2,350 farms with burley tobacco quotas. A decade ago, burley tobacco accounted for $10 to $12 million for agriculture income annually. But recently, the demand for tobacco has been on the decline, and so our local crops are changing.

Farmers are diversifying! If you are a nonsmoker or a smoker, you still will be able to enjoy the new crops, because with the recent decline in burley tobacco, farmers have been cultivating the most amazing ORGANIC crops. Vegetable, organic and nursery crops have increased dramatically since 1998. Stop by the family-run vegetable, fruit and flower market just as you come in to Mars Hill, and you will see what I mean.

The small family horse farm with riding ring and stables is popular here. In fact, Western North Carolina horse farms in the greater Asheville area offer equestrian living at its best. All across the rolling land here you will discover wonderful horse property, equestrian communities, and exceptional estate properties such as THIS one:

Horse Farms and Equine Properties For Sale Around Asheville Are Magnetic!

Here in the Asheville area there are many excellent properties for horses that are on the market, and if you start looking, you will not be able to stop until you find the one for you. These beauties have rolling pastures and bubbling streams and barns with electricity and water. In case you haven't guessed it already, I have such a property for sale about half an hour north of Asheville myself right now. The owners of this small horse farm live in Florida. They really didn’t want to leave Western North Carolina, but their business carried them south and now they are homesick for their farm and looking for the “right” folks to buy it. They love their farm…the remodeled farm house that they put so much effort into, the water feature that they built, the 20+ acres with PRISTINE views where they thought they would build their retirement home on one of the three building sites near the springs …

Their caring for the land and their love of their horse farm has inspired me.
I have been thinking about horses a lot lately. I have been wondering what happens to old horses.I started doing some research online and I found this:

“ When you have a horse that you want to have a good life and you can't guarantee that you can provide it for the horse's entire life, train it well! Give it an all-purpose base of knowledge, not just training in a certain field. Teach it to calmly accept screaming children and barking dogs and fluttering plastic and all other manner of scary things so that it will not hurt people by accident and get a bad reputation.
Teach it to lead with respect, not pulling you around and eating what and when it wants because somebody else's solution might be to beat it or use a harsher leading technique that could get the horse hurt. Teach the horse to accept you throwing the saddle on and jumping on and going riding, killer buyers that are testing out whether or not horses are broke do not take the time to longe the horses first. Teach your horse to tolerate even the most beginner rider and that horse will be valuable to someone as a first horse for their 8 year old child, even when the horse is 25 or 30.”

As I read the above, I could see my grandkids riding at the riding ring at the little horse farm I have for sale just north of Asheville. If someone doesn’t come along pretty soon to buy it, I am getting more and more inclined to do so myself! Here are a few details:

Updated country horse farm home. 21 acres .w/riding ring, round pen, barn, trails, fruit trees, stream BUILDING SITES, mountain views. Daylight basement SPA with whirlpool, 2 bonus rooms. 20-25 min to Asheville

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