Here I propose two ideas and most likely only one will be accepted.
The First Idea:
Before choosing to have a pony in Appleloosa I suggest an event be held where all prospective settler ponies meet at the Ponyville train station. Once we board our ponies will have an opportunity to socialize and meet each other on the ride to their new homes.
Instead, some settler ponies could form together for the mutual cause of building a new home together i.e., a new town. Everypony would chip in for the cost of food and building supplies (new settlers would have a set cap of 100 bits). We could then RP out the journey on hoof toward the piece of land to settle, or could just arrive on the site and then immediately start the building construction, laying down the infrastructure, and experiencing the hardship of settling. I like this option in particular because the only ponies that would be around would be our own, there would be no worrying about how to contend with the Mane 6, or show side characters.