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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

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good reasons for not moving to ocala?

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  • good reasons for not moving to ocala?

    hello! my husband and i have the opportunity to move anywhere in the country and buy a farm. we pretty much decided upon ocala, are there good reasons not to move there? we're looking for somewhere warmer than the pacific northwest. our budget is anything below $800,000, and we don't mind building a house or barn ourselves.

    my husband is from pensacola so he's lived in florida and loves it. i grew up riding hunter/jumper in the tacoma, wa area. my parents are farmers so i'm very familiar with farms. i will be a full-time stay at home groom. my husband will be working from home 100% of the time so he can help me lift the heavy stuff. we're planning to get a couple horses and whatever else needs a home. i'm comfortable in weather up to 90 degrees.

    how often do the wells in the ocala experience salt water intrusion, if ever? are the building rules in the county/city prohibitive to building new structures? what about the horse community? is it laid back or a little edgy? i do plan to find a trainer and be involved with a barn. thank you for your time!

  • #2
    We moved here a little over a year and a half ago (from Ohio) and LOVE it.

    Our well water has never been salty. It doesn't even need filtered either, it's quite delicious. We are on the east side of Ocala and our farm is very sandy. The west side is supposed to be more soily. Which means better grass over there, but poor drainage. Our property drains very quickly; it doesn't so much west of us, and they've been having a lot of flooding issues since Irma and all the rain the last few weeks.

    You'll be able to afford quite a nice place with that budget.

    Huge horse community (horse capitol of the world!). There's barns and trainers everywhere. Can't wait for WEC to be complete!

    It's pretty laid back, IME. Definite small-town-feel.

    Marion county does technically require a permit for "any building that can be used for human shelter," as I was told by someone in the office. However, there is an Ag Exemption for structures to be used for agricultural use. You have to submit an application and pay a small fee.

    If you really need a reason to NOT move here - hay will cost you about a million dollars a month.
    "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM

    http://www.mmeqcenter.com/sale.html

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      this is all great information! thank you so much for replying. it sounds like paradise. my parents would rather we move to western washington, but i can't deal with another cold winter. we are so excited to move. it will be my dream come true. i haven't had a horse for 18 years. it's been a sad time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Isn't there a proposal to cut a highway through Ocala? I saw something about that not too long ago. I don't live anywhere near there, but the locals might know more about that.
        "Do what you can't do"

        Comment


        • #5
          The humidity and bugs is enough reason for me not to want to. I'd go to California, central coast. Or around Sacramento or Lodi or Chico. Warmer than WA, drier than FL, and closer to your family.
          http://trainingcupid.blogspot.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd move back to florida in a heartbeat - especially with that budget! Yes watch for sand colic, hay will be expensive, plan for mosquitos and possibly gnats. Need a round pen? No need to buy footing, it's sand already! We had almost all sand, so no mud in the rainy season. Yes are are Hurricanes, but no Snowmageddons. To me, it was worth it, especially in the 'winter' there. Ocala is beautiful with rolling hills and more real trees than the Cape Canaveral desert I was from. Our well water stunk with sulfur so we had to use city water for barn and home.

            Take your time and choose well, then enjoy!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tbchick84 View Post
              Isn't there a proposal to cut a highway through Ocala? I saw something about that not too long ago. I don't live anywhere near there, but the locals might know more about that.
              The proposed route enters Marion county in Dunnellon, which is west of Ocala, and cuts from the southwestern part of the county to the northern part. It would cut through many historical horse farms in the Ocala area, not to mention disturbing hundreds of areas of conservation lands.
              "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM

              http://www.mmeqcenter.com/sale.html

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                i found a map of the proposed interstate. good to know about that. we plan to rent a place until we find the perfect farm. we're in no hurry. good to know about the well water too. you guys are great!

                we'll find ways to deal with the bug problem. i'm a bat biologist so finding a property with a small pond for bats to drink is pretty important to us. and bat boxes with cameras will go up all around. plus so many of these properties have pools with the scrim house around them. i love this! it will help with my desire to wear next to no clothes as often as i can.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hay prices. Heat. Bugs. You said you're comfortable up to 90 degrees. It's been above 90 since the last week in May. It's only going to get hotter. The "real feel" and humidity make it feel over 100.

                  Hay Prices.

                  Hay Prices.

                  Hay Prices.

                  Though if your budget is $800,000, hay prices might not be an issue for you.

                  Rain, rain, rain. All summer long. Every day between 3 & 6pm.

                  Pretty much every horse I've known to come from any other climate to Florida crashes during their first summer here. It's really brutal not only on us humans, but the horses especially. Sweating issues, bug intolerance, etc. It's hard. It's possible, but it's hard.

                  Best of luck. TBH, I would move anywhere but Florida when it comes to horses, now that I've lived here with horses. Even a state of two north is a good idea. But we do pay a premium to live here. Winters are nice, but remember that only makes up half the year. The sacrifice is great! LOL
                  “Working horses is a little like being married. Sometimes you need to adjust and change your plan.”

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Have you spent time in Florida in the summer? It's a tough place to spend all day outside doing farm work.

                    I'd visit for a couple of weeks, spending all your time outside and see if if feels like it's for you. Many of the people who love Ocala love spending only half the year there.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by One Two Three View Post
                      It's been above 90 since the last week in May.

                      Pretty much every horse I've known to come from any other climate to Florida crashes during their first summer here. It's really brutal not only on us humans, but the horses especially. Sweating issues, bug intolerance, etc. It's hard. It's possible, but it's hard.
                      I brought my thoroughbreds from Ohio with me, they had zero problems their first summer nor this one yet.
                      IMO, the Ohio summers had exact same temps and humidity. Those temps just lasts like five months in Ocala, instead of five weeks.

                      Also, just sayin, my house has shown it to be in the low 80s (real temp) this whole week, not above 90.

                      The rain for two weeks straight we just had was he**a annoying. I don't mind, actually I quite enjoy, the daily summer storms from 3-6pm.

                      Trade off comparison - Ohio has a horrible winter (cold, snow, ice, etc.), horrible spring (wet, knee deep mud, often still cold), hot but short summer, nice fall. So three months of nice vs nine months of various forms of torture.
                      I'll take the 6-8 months of beautiful and 4-6 months of hot (which I highly prefer to cold- I can't function in the cold) instead, no contest.
                      "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM

                      http://www.mmeqcenter.com/sale.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As a Canadian who has gone to Florida in the winters with horses I'll say that we were always happy to head north come March/April.

                        The heat and humidity is pretty brutal when you're trying to ride. We always had at least one or two horses that would have allergic reactions to the different bugs. We were always super careful about washing legs and clipping to avoid fungal issues.

                        And yes hay prices were outrageous. It's been a few years since we were down there but I remember hay being $15-$20 for a small square bale. It was cheaper for us to send the transport back to Ontario, fill it with $4-$6 bales and drive back again.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post

                          I brought my thoroughbreds from Ohio with me, they had zero problems their first summer nor this one yet.
                          IMO, the Ohio summers had exact same temps and humidity. Those temps just lasts like five months in Ocala, instead of five weeks.

                          Also, just sayin, my house has shown it to be in the low 80s (real temp) this whole week, not above 90.

                          The rain for two weeks straight we just had was he**a annoying. I don't mind, actually I quite enjoy, the daily summer storms from 3-6pm.

                          Trade off comparison - Ohio has a horrible winter (cold, snow, ice, etc.), horrible spring (wet, knee deep mud, often still cold), hot but short summer, nice fall. So three months of nice vs nine months of various forms of torture.
                          I'll take the 6-8 months of beautiful and 4-6 months of hot (which I highly prefer to cold- I can't function in the cold) instead, no contest.
                          I'm not sure where you're located, but my location, south of Ocala, hasn't had those temps since early May ;-)
                          Some horses crash. I didn't say they all do, but all that I've had experience with coming through my barn have had issues if they have lived their lives up north. I came from Illinois to Florida, no need to explain the weather differences. Yes, it gets just as hot up there. But you're mistaken on the humidity, I promise you that. Humidity seems to be the killer.
                          “Working horses is a little like being married. Sometimes you need to adjust and change your plan.”

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            the weather sounds great. i can't function in cold weather. we did think about moving to california. they have other problems. we don't want to live anywhere super remote.

                            we wanted to get a couple of small cows but maybe we will need to rethink that because of hay. is the grass that grows there not very nutritious? do you have to limit their time on grass in sand?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by One Two Three View Post

                              I'm not sure where you're located, but my location, south of Ocala, hasn't had those temps since early May ;-)
                              Some horses crash. I didn't say they all do, but all that I've had experience with coming through my barn have had issues if they have lived their lives up north. I came from Illinois to Florida, no need to explain the weather differences. Yes, it gets just as hot up there. But you're mistaken on the humidity, I promise you that. Humidity seems to be the killer.
                              ::shrug::
                              I'm NE Ocala

                              The sun is the killer for me. The humidity is manageable, if I'm in the shade I tend to ride after 6pm
                              "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM

                              http://www.mmeqcenter.com/sale.html

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by mmeqcenter View Post

                                The proposed route enters Marion county in Dunnellon, which is west of Ocala, and cuts from the southwestern part of the county to the northern part. It would cut through many historical horse farms in the Ocala area, not to mention disturbing hundreds of areas of conservation lands.
                                The COunty COmmission came out against this earlier this week. There is a massive fight against it...... watch and wait.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Oh, and no salt water intrusion. WAY too far from the coast - and we are a recharge area for the aquifer, and we have springs that push fresh water OUT into streams and rivers.......
                                  BUt hot hot hot.

                                  THings to watch out for:
                                  1. too-sandy soil. Hard to maintain good pasture.
                                  2. Gumbo grey clay in soil.
                                  3. Sink hole prone areas.
                                  4. Cogon Grass, an invasive tall grass with serrated edges. Horses won't eat it and it is VERY hard (almost impossible) to get rid of.
                                  5. The Ag exemption is only for properties that are "working farms". Must be over 5 acres and actually produce a product.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    A good friend of mine has her farm in Citra and loves it there. Close enough to Ocala to get in for the shows, far enough out (15 minutes) for peace and quiet at home. Check the real estate if you are purchasing a farm.
                                    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

                                    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Chief2 View Post
                                      A good friend of mine has her farm in Citra and loves it there. Close enough to Ocala to get in for the shows, far enough out (15 minutes) for peace and quiet at home. Check the real estate if you are purchasing a farm.
                                      I don't know anything about FL but decided to look at real estate for the OP. I propose this farm :


                                      https://www.trulia.com/p/fl/citra/16...13--2092538904

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        The mild "winter" is the best thing ever in Ocala. However, you pay for it with a brutal summer that begins in late April and doesn't end until late November. Hay and grain prices are high, and for most sport horses, the grass isn't enough nutrition and they will need good supplemental hay year round. Coastal is a vet's best friend, many northern horses will get impaction colics as they don't chew and digest the fine stems very well. (Local horses born & raised here can do just fine on coastal, but I won't touch it with a ten foot pole... I stick with alfalfa and orchardgrass, or any good northern grass mix).

                                        I've had two horses quit sweating their first summer here. Anhydrosis is very real and affects many horses here. I try to ride very early morning, and be done by 10am at the latest. Any poor sweaters start on OneAC, SweatAgain, or Perspire (whatever works for the individual) as soon as it gets above 80 consistently.

                                        The good things: you can keep quite a few horses per acre here, comfortably, if you provide enough hay. I have 7 on 5 acres, and have had up to 10 here. I don't have good grass, but I feed free-choice hay inside and out. We're in sugar sand in the Rainbow Springs aquifer...there is no mud, and the worst rain storms will puddle about 2" in the yard and be dry in an hour, the drainage is excellent! My horses don't stand around in wet mud making their feet soft. Our well water is terrific, like drinking bottled spring water straight from the tap. My horses absolutely drink more here at home than they do anywhere else. Troughs do get nasty very quick, so either dump them every day or throw a small chlorine pool tab in the big tanks to keep the algae at bay.

                                        Other areas of Ocala, with the "gumbo clay", do grow better grass....but they also flood every time it rains, and you'll have "ponds" in your fields up to several feet deep that can take weeks to disappear in the summer. (There are STILL some areas that haven't drained since the hurricane last September...!)

                                        My area is not pond-friendly, which I really prefer as any open water source here is mosquito heaven. They are vicious, and mosquito-borne diseases are not rare (vaccinate 2x year for EEE, WEE, and West Nile).

                                        Fencing here is also expensive, and it doesn't last long (7 years on average). Wood deteriorates quickly (compared to, say KY) with the UV rays, humidity, and bugs.

                                        There are several good vets and farriers here, but also a lot of questionable ones. Ask around for good references. Good ones aren't cheap!
                                        “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                                        ? Albert Einstein

                                        ~AJ~

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