I have an itch. And while I am fully stocked with antihistamines and Calamine lotion, none of those will satisfy this nagging sensation: I want my horses at home. I want to look out my window and see their eager, perpetually-hungry faces and hopeful pricked ears.
But I also have a problem: my husband and I live and work in Los Angeles County, one of the most densely populated areas in the country. I grew up in a state with a total population of 6 million; I now live in a county with a total population over 9 million. All those bodies need to go somewhere, and lately, it's being squeezed into every free space available.
The latest trend is to take properties on large (that is, large for SoCal) lots--an acre or so--and divide them up into smaller lots, build homes (yes, plural) on them, and sell them for profit. Profit, profit, profit!...at the price of space. I have seen local horse properties and their facilities converted into townhomes, guest quarters, tennis courts, and multiple-vehicle storage. I have seen horse communities slowly disappear as owners move on, and non-horsey folk move in. Eventually some folks become essentially an island of equestriandome, and often with nonhorsey neighbors offended by the presence of the horses that were there long before they were.
Horse properties and communities are more common if I go about 15 miles east, but then the problem becomes the wicked commute it would create (an hour a day each way) as well as the dust and high heat that comes with moving into the desert areas. It just isn't feasible.
There are horse properties out here, but they are limited. Beggars can't be choosers, and all that. Problem is, dangit, I'm picky. Double-problem is, so is hubby. Compromise is an inevitability.
But, what do we need to be willing to compromise on, and what are definitive lines in the sand?
Heckifiknow. At least, for now.