Mar. 2, 2012, 02:18 PM
What can you tell me about Jacksonville, FL? Is it a good area? Lots of things to do? Good horse scene? Seems like there's quite a few reasonably priced horse properties in the area. DH could have an option of going to NAS Jacksonville so I was just curious what the area was like. I haven't been to FL in probably 15 yrs and never to Jacksonville. Thanks!
Mar. 2, 2012, 02:29 PM
It's a pretty decent horse I'd say. For showing there are a couple of good local circuits in the area and in January there generally a couple weeks of As at the same facility in Clay County. There's also a dressage circuit at the jax equestrian center which is a nice newer facility. It's about 2ish hours to Ocala for HITS, about an hour and half to Gainesville, and about 4 hours to Tallahasee and Tampa. So you can get to lots of horse shows in relatively easy distances.
Where were you looking at horse property? Jax is very spread out, I also thought of everything being 30 to 45 minutes apart. That was a very average manageable drive in Jax.
Mar. 2, 2012, 03:29 PM
Lived in Jacksonville for 15 years and my family is all in Clay Co., so I pretty much consider it 'home', even though I've been in MD for 25 years. It seems the horse community has really kicked into gear in the last several years. Nice A show at Green Cove in Jan. NAS Jax is right up 17N from Clay Co., but I don't know what the commute times are like anymore, lots of new development and roads since I lived there.
The nicest areas are south on the other side of the St. Johns river in Mandarin, Julington Creek, and St. Johns Co., or south of NAS on the north side of the river down Rt. 17 in Clay Co. Orange Park has gotten kind of nasty from what my family tells me.
My sister is in the Keystone area of Clay Co. and she is surrounded by horse farms, but that's a bit of a hike to NAS, maybe 45 minutes to an hour thanks to traffic in Orange Park. Land is affordable, but stock up on Sand Clear.
Its also not typical FL weather. They can get some pretty serious cold spells with temps below freezing from Dec-Feb, so you'll need winter gear. The upside is that the cold spells don't last long and are mixed in with beautiful 70 degree weather. Jacksonville proper (Duval Co.) is over 900 square miles, so it is definitely spread out. But if your DH is going to be at NAS, you'll have everything you need if you focus on the Mandarin, or Clay County areas, with more horse property probably concentrated in Clay Co.