Would you bring them? And Ocala boarding question.
I am moving to Ocala, Florida for a year this summer for work and have been debating on bringing my 2 older horses with me. I wouldn't bring them until the fall, we live in Massachusetts and they dislike the heat and bugs here so I don't think they would be pleased with a Florida summer.
One horse is 17 and the other 29. Both are in amazing shape. The younger one is ridden occasionally. They both basically live outdoors with access to stalls. They hardly use the stalls in the winter and are much happier outside. In the summer they like to stay in during the day under fans and out on pasture once it cools down. In the summer they have access to a decent sized pasture and in the winter they have about an acre sized paddock. The barn has run in stalls so they can come in and out as they please.
I have the option of leaving them home and paying someone to take care of them (they are at my parent's house so in addition to hiring someone, my parents can help too). I still hate the idea of leaving them home. They are one of the most important parts of my life and I won't have much time off to be able to travel home and visit them.
On the other hand, it's a long trip. And they honestly are real New Englanders and don't seem to mind the cold/rain/ snow as long as they have waterproof blankets on. I am sure they would love grass in the winter though so it's hard to tell where they would be happier. I was thinking I would hire a professional hauler with air ride to give them a smoother ride down but the stress of trailering is still a factor.
I've been looking for a place to keep them and haven't had a ton of luck. I would ideally love to find a little cottage on a farm where they could live out with a run in and I could just take care of them but haven't really found that yet. If anyone is in the Ocala area and has suggestions on this too I'd really appreciate it.
This whole situation is weighing really heavy on me. I'm wondering if the opportunity is even worth it and know I would hate myself if anyone ever happened to either one of them and I wasn't around.
So what I have so far are: PROS:
I'd get to see them and they would have their mom looking after them, spoiling them, etc.
If anything happened to either one of them I would be there or close.
They would have grass all winter long/ more turnout than they have at home in the winter
Moving them from a situation that they do seem happy in
Big changes in climate/ environment
Always a chance of them contracting something at a new barn
Personally I would not move them. I live in Fl and the air is very hard for horses from up north to get used to especially if they are older and we have had very sporadic weather the last couple of years so it could be very up and down for your horses. Many of the horses I know that have come from other states have taken a coue years to reslly acclimate to the weather and same goes for my TB eventer that was in Fl for 3 years went to Ky for 3 yrs then came back. Took him a out 2 years to really get comfortable here and between that time his weight went up and down a lot due to the weather.
I would take them along. Ocala is beautiful. My daughter took her then 17 year old and her then 4 year old to Ocala for several weeks last winter. The horses adapted immediately and all seemed to have a great time. There are great trails in Ocala.