Moving to Alaska

Joined
25 October 2010
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Hello everyone, hope all is well! :)

I've looked at this forum for a while but never signed up before to contribute. Now though, I have a bit of a dilemma for you all.

My parents are looking for a complete lifestyle change and are considering moving to Alaska from the UK.
Its all very up in the air atm, so I havent really started doing my research, and I dont really know much about Alaska. I thought my dad was crazy when he told me!

I have a 12.1 Welsh Pony called Barney, who is rising 5. I've owned him pretty much since the beginning and adore him.

I was wondering though, whether its worth bringing him with me, if we were to move to Alaska. I dont want to sell him if I can help it, but there's no one else who could look after him here for me,so I want him to be happy.
I dont know much about the horse scene in Alaska, and I'm not sure whether the cold or the complete change in environment would send him crazy.

Do any of you have any experience of Alaska? Or relocating horses far away in general?

Thank you :)
 

foraday

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19 May 2006
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Horses are in Alaska! They are fine and adapt!

You can ship out your horse using BBA Shipping or IRT or Luck Greayer Bloodstock or Pedens (Google them all as they all have websites)

They will tell you of the costs and the bloodtests required.
 
Joined
25 October 2010
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Thankyou Foraday :) I will check those websites asap.

I'm a bit concerned after having read articles like 'Natural horsemanship in Alaska' they talked about not rugging and keeping them outside in just a shelter when temperatures are -20 or something crazy like that!
Mine might just be a little prince, but I dont know how quickly he'd get used to it, after being stabled/rugged in bad weather, for the majority of his life so far :S
 

Nicki85

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10 March 2009
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I visited Alaska earlier this year. It really depends on whereabouts in Alaska you're parents are thinking about. If you go as far north as Denali or Fairbanks there are very few yards. I think they struggle with the lack of grazing (permafrost starts at Denali) and the ground is difficult for the horses to walk on, again due to the permafrost. I guess they can cope but it is harder for them!

However, if its further south then they should be fine :)

I loved it over there but I went in the summer so experienced the 24 hour sunlight, not sure about the 6 months of darkness though!!
It really is an amazing country, I would love to spend the Alaskan summers over there :)
 

Enfys

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11 December 2004
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Thankyou Foraday :) I'm a bit concerned after having read articles like 'Natural horsemanship in Alaska' they talked about not rugging and keeping them outside in just a shelter when temperatures are -20 or something crazy like that!
Mine might just be a little prince, but I dont know how quickly he'd get used to it, after being stabled/rugged in bad weather, for the majority of his life so far :S
Just a note about our temperatures, -20C might seem cold, but to an Alaskan it is pretty warm, I have friends in Yellowknife and their kids go to school in -35C, AND play outside in it!! Yellowknife (North West Territorities) isn't anywhere near Alaska, or in America, but temps are comparable. The cold often comes with blue sky and sunshine, and it is different, snow is dry, not that godawful slop that Britain often has.

Barney would be fine, he's a welshie, he might need a bit of time to adapt but he would.
I keep my horses out 24/7 and our winter temperature is permanently in minus double figures. Most of them are un-rugged. Several people on here from North America our horses cope.

As for the surface, yes it's frozen, but horses cope, they have a lot more sense than they are given credit for, and... no mud, generally where there are horses most barns have indoor facilities too. Feeding hay year round is normal in parts of NA.

You might try browsing some of the NA horse forums for info.

Best thing to do is visit, summer AND winter. I hated UK winters, I LOVE winter in North America, no way would I ever consider returning to the UK.
 
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lachlanandmarcus

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29 November 2007
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Cairngorms!
My haflinger is out in -20 at our place last winter with no rug and she loved it. As long as the sun is shining, coblets generally relish the cold sunny conditions I reckon. She was rugged at night cos then she cant move around as much to keep warm and might finish her hay too again making her chillier.

I would def consider taking him with you. Far better cold and sunny than wet mud and rain for months.

Edited to add we are in Cairngorms now but used to be in Home Counties so my girlie isnt used to it from birth or anything.
 

luckylou

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9 July 2010
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142
I'm in a similar position - I've just got my permanent residency visa for Canada and I would love to ship my horses out.

I think they would cope fine with the colder winters but it's the cost of shipping them over that's stopping me, to the point of not wanting to go cause I don't want to leave my babies behind :confused:
 
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17 September 2010
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I don't live in Alaska, but on the West Coast of the US and it gets COLD here. It was -37 last winter. Horses do fine, esp if they are anything other than one of the finer breeds, TBs come to mind, Arabs to a lesser extent. I have a donkey and a QH filly thats native to the area and a big QH that just came from California via Montana.

A horses comfort zone is 5 to 55 degrees F. They are a cold weather animal, and alot of people don't know that or overlook it. When the weather gets REALLY cold, a rug does help, especially out in bad weather. Fresh water in a heated tank is a requirement. While they don't need special feed in the harsh cold, they do need MORE of it. This has worked well for me and the horses come out of winter looking fine. They seem to love the snow and cold.
 

Enfys

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I'm in a similar position - I've just got my permanent residency visa for Canada and I would love to ship my horses out.

QUOTE]

:D Where are you planning on going? We got our PR three years ago.

Transit is frighteningly expensive, I dithered about bringing a horse out, didn't in the end because we had nowhere to put him. I hated leaving him behind, but nothing, and I mean nothing, was going to stop me leaving the UK. I'd given up half a dozen opportunities to travel, leave Britain, before and didn't because of horses and/or men :confused: and regret it so badly.
 

luckylou

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:D Where are you planning on going? We got our PR three years ago.

Transit is frighteningly expensive, I dithered about bringing a horse out, didn't in the end because we had nowhere to put him. I hated leaving him behind, but nothing, and I mean nothing, was going to stop me leaving the UK. I'd given up half a dozen opportunities to travel, leave Britain, before and didn't because of horses and/or men :confused: and regret it so badly.
We were thinking Kamloops, BC till we went there last year and have now decided against it. I quite liked Vancouver but I think we may have to make a few more trips to decide on a final location. I'd like to visit Victoria too. We've got to validate our visas by April and then I guess we have 3 years to decide what to do. It's going to be a tough choice :confused:

It's an awfully scary prospect of leaving everything you know - how did you manage? Whereabouts are you?
 

Enfys

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We were thinking Kamloops,We looked there too, OK if you like semi-desert, my best friend grew up on a small ranch there - 60,000 acres near Cache Creek;) BC till we went there last year and have now decided against it. I quite liked Vancouver but I think we may have to make a few more trips to decide on a final location. I'd like to visit Victoria tooGorgeous, but VI is quite expensive we found, although we still fancy going there, we have a fair sized boat up in Campbell River already, haven't seen it in years mind, one of these days.... We've got to validate our visas by April and then I guess we have 3 years to decide what to do. It's going to be a tough choice :confused:

It's an awfully scary prospect of leaving everything you know - how did you manage? Oh easily, had the interview, paid our agency - they did everything, sold the house, every stick of furniture, packed some stuff in crates and six months later got on a plane! Huge fun! Haven't been back since, not going to either. Made easier for us by the fact that our family is not large, both OH and I are military/gypsies by nature, and we rarely saw the families anyway, my parents live in France so hardly next door, and with communication and transport as it is today the UK is only 10 hours away at most Whereabouts are you?I am the other side, Ontario (the warm bit), not by choice, but the job was here, I asked my realtor to find a property around Paris, so she did, well close, ish, it takes my daughter an hour on the bus each way to get to High Scool there.
I still spend hours on MLS.ca looking at properties, just for the heck of it! :)
 
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Joined
25 October 2010
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Thankyou so much for all the information so far, I cant tell you how relieved I am its possible!
Bringing him with me would make us all a lot happier to be honest.

Shipping fees are ridiculous expensive - I've told my dad that our housing budget will shrink to affording something like a shed with no bathroom, but it'll be worth it to have barney with us!
 

Enfys

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11 December 2004
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- I've told my dad that our housing budget will shrink to affording something like a shed with no bathroom, but it'll be worth it to have barney with us!
Yes, but have you seen the sheds in North America! Did you read the thread by Prosefullstop about a property she was looking at?! The horse barn would have been fit for human habitation!

Have a browse through these, have something handy to mop the drool up with though.;)

http://www.landsofalaska.com/alaska/
 
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