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Driving down a winding road in Central Tennessee in early December, Billy Lampley points to the empty stalls and field of what used to be a Saddlebred farm. Disappearing horse farms aren’t rare in Williamson County
“In the past 6 months, I think we’ve lost close to 600 stalls,” he says. “Those horses aren’t coming back. Horse farms can’t compete with the cost of land around here.”
Many of the horse farms that were scattered throughout the county have been redeveloped as multiple lots for new homes or purchased by wealthy residents who have no interest in keeping horses on the property. There are still plenty of horses, however. The county used to have the most horses in the Volunteer State, but remains in the top five counties for horse population.
Other than 2 years spent in graduate school in West Texas, the certified journeyman farrier is a lifelong county resident, shoeing since the late 1980s. Growing up with Quarter Horses, Lampley knows the horse history of the area. Having seen the horse culture change with breeds and disciplines falling out of favor, it was clear to Lampley his business plan would also have to change.