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Florida Living

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  • Dressagelvr
    replied
    Can’t find the original source, but I think this was originally a joke blog entitled Diary of a Northerner Living in Florida
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    April 30th:
    Florida is fantastic! Just got here and love it already. Now this is a state that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. What a place! Watched the sunset from a park lying on a blanket. It was beautiful. I've finally found my home. I love it here.

    May 14th:
    Really heating up. Got to 89 today. Not a problem, live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun every day like this. I'm turning into a real sun worshipper.

    June 5th:
    Had the backyard landscaped with tropical plants today. Lots of palms and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing for me. NO MORE SHOVELING SNOW EITHER! Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

    July 1st:
    The temperature hasn't been below 90 all week, not even at night. Where are those ocean breezes we heard about, still seems hot. Getting used to it will take a while, I guess. I sure miss my LP collection, though.I'll have to remember not to leave anything made out of plastic in my car. Got one of those fuzzy steering wheel covers, Cheaper than the burn ointment for my hands. I always wondered what burnt flesh smelled like.

    July 15th:
    Fell asleep by the pool. (Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body.). Missed two days of work, what a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though: got to respect the ol' sun in a climate like this.

    July 25th:
    Ocean breezes, my ass. Hot is hot!! The home air conditioner is on the fritz and AC repairman charged $200 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts. Only hope for a break in the heat would be a hurricane.

    July 30th:
    Been sleeping outside by the pool for three nights now. Swatting the swamp mosquitos that are as big as B-52's. $2,500 in darn house payments and we can't even go inside. Why did I ever come here?

    Aug 4th:
    100 degrees. Finally got the air conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature down to about 90. The electric bill is almost as much as the house payment. And two old lady drivers almost ran me off the road. I hate this state.

    Aug 8th:
    If another wise jerk cracks, "Hot enough for you today?" I'm going to tear his head off. Damn heat! By the time I get to work the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like roasted Chicken !!

    Aug 10th:
    The weather report might as well be a damn recording: Hot and sunny. It's been too hot for two #@*& months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. And who came up with the statement "it maybe hot, but at least you don't have to shovel it" should die from heat exhaustion. Doesn't it ever rain in this God forsaken place??

    Aug 14th:
    Welcome to Hell!!! Temperature got to 102 today. Forgot to crack the window and blew the windshield out of the Lincoln. The installer came to fix it and said, "Hot enough for you today?" My wife had to spend the $2,500 house payment to bail me out of jail.

    Aug 30th:
    Worst day of the summer. I'm not leaving the house. The monsoon rains finally came and all they did is to make it muggier than hell and drove the damned roaches out of the ground. I wasn't aware they could fly!The Lincoln is now floating somewhere in the Caribbean with its new $500 windshield. That does it, we're moving back to New York where all you have to worry about is getting mugged, I hope this state breaks in half and floats to Cuba.

    Leave a comment:


  • Milobloom
    replied
    We moved to Florida last summer, we spent about a year looking at different areas and ended up buying near Bushnell. It’s about a hour to Tampa, Orlando and Ocala we chose the area because of the proximity to the cities for work. Prior we lived in the Midwest and the northeast I had always said I would never move to FL due to the summers but between polar vortex’s and increased temperatures in the summer I realized there would be fewer overall weeks of miserable weather.

    We have three horses on ten acers I just started feeding hay about two weeks ago, because we picked up hay in the field the price wasn’t outrageous BUT I have easy keepers with no health issues so that wouldn’t work for everyone. I was told to buy about a months worth of hay at a time due to mold loss and also if you feed any grains that’s prone to spoil to only keep a weeks worth.

    The big negatives so far have been my mare rolled on a fire ant hill (vet visit & steroids), opening my front door and finding a coral snake eating a garter snake there and the armadillos.
    The great horse community, the educational opportunities & shows, and the diversity of people makes up for a lot. Also we are very lucky to have had a breeze nearly everyday last summer which made being outside bearable- not pleasant but bearable. The softer ground means my horses are now all barefoot, I haven’t had any skin or foot fungus issues. We have had no ticks and no horseflies along with minimal other bugs but our horse community is all like minded in horse care, manure management etc which was just luck.
    Re lightning and hurricanes of course I worry but having been in a area with a lot of tornadoes and flooding I decided there’s only so much you can do I take reasonable precautions and then don’t allow my mind to overwhelm me with “what if’s”

    My neighbor works in hotel construction (iirc a job site foreman) he said part of the reason they chose this area was the relatively easier drive to neighboring states for jobs. Idk if that would factor in for you but it also was a consideration for us.

    Leave a comment:


  • btswass
    replied
    Originally posted by Belair View Post
    Most of the storms are in the afternoon, but they can pop up at any time. I just have a run-in and my mare always heads inside when the storms start. Eventually, I'd love to build a small concrete block barn. It's a pain each year to make sure I have a place to take her if a hurricane hits.


    We’re planning to build a 32x36 concrete barn. Will be more expensive but I’d rather hold off on an arena and have them safe in the barn and not have to worry about evacuating.

    Leave a comment:


  • Belair
    replied
    Most of the storms are in the afternoon, but they can pop up at any time. I just have a run-in and my mare always heads inside when the storms start. Eventually, I'd love to build a small concrete block barn. It's a pain each year to make sure I have a place to take her if a hurricane hits.

    Leave a comment:


  • btswass
    replied
    So are horses more likely to get hit by lightening at night or during the day? For people that work during the day you can’t just run home to bring them in how do you deal with that?

    Leave a comment:


  • clanter
    replied
    Originally posted by btswass View Post
    Are horses smart enough to go in on their own during a bad storm?
    not really, they often seek shelter in natural settings thus standing next a tree could be hit by lightening ....none of ours have been hit but I have seen horses knocked to the ground by lightening striking pipe fencing

    Also several of the horses that I took care of while in college once they were retired from showing turned out to pasture were kill by lightening when

    Leave a comment:


  • btswass
    replied
    So about lightening. People seem to be saying they don’t turn out at night because of storms but I thought the storms occurred more in the afternoons? We plan on having stalls lead right out to the paddocks. Are horses smart enough to go in on their own during a bad storm?

    Leave a comment:


  • pegasusmom
    replied
    [QUOTE=lorilu;


    You might consider the Palm City area (west of Stuart) or even further north towards Vero, Melbourne or Titusville. . Just a bit further up the coast but there is an equine community and it's probably less spendy.....[/QUOTE]

    Stuart (Martin County) Area is very nice, my parents lived there for many years. It’s on our radar screen for retirement. Growing equine community.

    And I’m paying $600 ish a ton here in Southern Pines NC for orchard/alfalfa.

    Leave a comment:


  • cutter99
    replied
    Originally posted by dotneko View Post
    OK - how likely is a person to do something stupid that everyone who grew up in Florida would know not to do, but someone from New Engand wouldnt think twice about and get themselves hurt or killed?
    For example, I might walk out of my house in the evening to go check on a horse and not think there might be a poisonous snake or an alligator out there in the dark?
    Or scooping up loose hay from a hay shed and maybe seeing a garter snake up North, but a rattler down south.
    Growing up in New England, you have NE common sense. Do you develop Florida common sense?
    I mean my inlaws found a gator in their garage and needed to be careful about pygmy rattlers in their lemon tree.
    Being a farmer in Florida would be too much for me.
    I moved to TN from PA, and while PA has rattlers and copperheads, I don’t think I ever saw any in my 47 years there. We have been here almost 6 years and we killed 2 rattlers this year, and saw just 1 in all the previous years.

    I think it is just like anything else- you learn what the hazards are and learn to work around them. Down here I know that you will see more snakes in general during warm weather, and rattlers particularly in August and September. I was tramping through the woods pretty carefree yesterday, but would have been watching every step in warm weather. Most snakes would prefer to slither off rather than strike.

    In PA, I worried more about things like ice. The last winter we were there was terrible, and my husband always seemed to be working away from home during the worst of it. I was more concerned about slipping and falling on the ice, knocking myself out and dying from hypothermia than I ever have been worried about snakes.

    I think that no matter where you live, there are always positives and negatives, and you adapt.

    Leave a comment:


  • lorilu
    replied
    Originally posted by btswass View Post
    Thanks for all the replies! We’re struggling with the job first or house first scenario. Think we might be leaning toward job first. DH can stay with aunt in Jupiter while both job and house hunting. Though we’re leaning more toward land and building. Any decent houses are too big and expensive for us. Building from scratch was always our original plan.
    Seems like some decent land closer to Okeechobee. 20 acre lots going for around $250k which isn’t terrible. 20 acres would definitely cut down on the amount of hay we’d have to buy if any.
    He’s adamant he doesn’t want to be further than an hour from the coat. Both for beach access and job opportunities.

    In NY its hot and humid in the summer and cold rainy and miserable in the winter. I’d much rather hide from the heat in the summer and actually be able to enjoy the other half of the year.

    For those with super sensitive to bugs horses how do you deal with that? Mine wears a full fly sheet with neck and belly plus mask plus leg wraps. Obviously it would be too hot in summer to do that. But I’ve never seen such a sensitive horse. A single fly near him and he’s throwing a fit. And when he stomps he angry stomps. Would it be cool enough at night In summer for fly sheets?
    Just want to say that the land near Okeechobee was probably everglades (read: swamp/marsh) before it was drained. Pretty much all of the middle of FLorida south of Orlando is part of the historic Everglades. The higher land is actually closer to the coast. Be very careful about the land you buy - look at the plant communities. Cypress or skinny pines? It floods occassionally. Rich black soil? It was Everglades and that's muck soil. BIg pines and sandy soil? be cautious with your pasture management - or you will have a sand pit. Loxahatchee WAS everglades within my memory,and Wellington did not exist.....

    You will still buy hay. The types of grass Florida grows in pastures is not very nutritious (bermuda grasses, and I have seen St Augustine grasses in some pastures further south). Growth slows considerable during the winter, and you really need to be careful IRT pasture management.
    Edited to add that no one I know buys a year's worth of hay at a time. You will lose it to mold. And no the price stays pretty steady year round - between $550-$650/ton for T/A, O/A, or straight A.

    Ocala is about an hour from each coast.

    Fly sheets? hot and humid even at night in the summer. So it depends on which fly sheet.... some are more breathable.


    You might consider the Palm City area (west of Stuart) or even further north towards Vero, Melbourne or Titusville. . Just a bit further up the coast but there is an equine community and it's probably less spendy.....

    Leave a comment:


  • 4horses
    replied
    Yes lightning is a killer. A friend just lost a horse due to lightning from a small line of rainstorms. I didn't hear much thunder and left mine outside because it was such a small line of showers... Same storm killed her horse.

    Expect to lose several trees from lightning strikes. My dad was hit by lightning twice and survived. I try to get my horses in early if it looks like a storm is coming because it's not safe to be out there. Some of those storms pop up fast and it's hard to get everyone in the barn in time. Even worse if you are on a trail ride far from home and a storm hits.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sancudo
    replied
    Originally posted by btswass View Post

    I've been reading about the lightning. That doesn't sound fun.

    Odd about the fact that horses stop sweating. Honestly I've been struggling a lot with my horse. I'm hopeful I can turn things around but at this point it wouldn't kill me if Florida isn't for him and I have to sell him.

    Anyone know about donkeys in florida? He doesn't sweat much but they are desert animals so it has to be very hot for him to sweat.

    Definitely planning on a concrete barn. Even if it means it has to be smaller than I would have liked. Just not worth it any other way.

    Question about hay. I know its expensive. Does price go up in the winter or is it pretty consistent? Here I have to get a full years worth of hay at a time. But I'd prefer to not have to store that much hay. If its not a big price difference I'd rather just get enough for say 4 months at a time and not have to build as big of a barn.
    I knew 3 mini donkeys in the neighborhood, all seemed ok, two lived out 24/7 with a shelter next door to me.

    I bought hay bi weekly, didn’t have a large space to store, and the price was the same pretty much year around, and within a dollar to two for the same bale (3 string Timothy) at all feed suppliers. In the winter rush sometimes they ran out, and you might have to try a different cutting, but it wasn’t a huge deal.

    I think my biggest recommendation would be to visit farms after a huge deluge when farm shopping. Best way to see how the property drains! This is almost daily June to October.

    Leave a comment:


  • BigMama1
    replied
    Originally posted by btswass View Post
    purlsnponies
    I actually have a tack shop up north but before we decided to move already planned on converting it to a new style of business that will be remote. DH is in construction management so will need to be near a larger city for the most job opportunities. Ocala seems really nice. Just wanted to be closer to the ocean. So many little details about a town I’m not sure how we would figure out where to live without living there first. Although boarding is so much cheaper than here that we could afford to board. I’d just prefer not to...I’m a little ocd about their care since they’ve been home. I feel like I couldn’t trust someone else to take care of them!
    The bugs, hurricanes and humidity are a fact of life anywhere in coastal Florida. It’s the price you pay for no snow. If you have family in Jupiter and want to stay involved in the horse industry, then the Wellington area does seem to make the most sense. Have seen a number of nice looking, reasonably priced properties in Loxahatchee advertised recently. If you have room on the property for a guest cottage or barn apartment, seasonal rentals are always in demand there - potential income generator for you.

    Leave a comment:


  • btswass
    replied
    Originally posted by Sancudo View Post
    Night turnout works if they are not too sensitive to bugs- the mosquitoes are voracious at dusk, one of mine couldn’t handle it. The lightning can be a problem, I knew a couple to lose horses. I had lightning alerts on my phone and had countless midnight pajama runs to the paddocks.

    a vet quoted that 25% of horses that move to south Florida stop sweating. I had 4 horses, 3 struggled with sweating, one so miserable it was hourly alcohol bathes just to be able to breathe in the stall with 3 fans on.

    Hurricanes. Get a concrete barn or worry yourself ill 4 months of the year.

    Hay $$$

    pros: no mud! Sand drains fast (Flip side- sand clear! Friend lost a horse to sand colic). Rarely need to blanket. No ice to break. Loads of vets, farriers, horse shows, people dining in breeches everywhere. Grass year round. Kind of a ghost town after April, but that cuts down on traffic.

    signed- someone who was not a beach or a hot weather person, and sold the farm (Wellington) after 2 hurricanes and a job transfer. I miss it this month, but definitely not most of the year.
    I've been reading about the lightning. That doesn't sound fun.

    Odd about the fact that horses stop sweating. Honestly I've been struggling a lot with my horse. I'm hopeful I can turn things around but at this point it wouldn't kill me if Florida isn't for him and I have to sell him.

    Anyone know about donkeys in florida? He doesn't sweat much but they are desert animals so it has to be very hot for him to sweat.

    Definitely planning on a concrete barn. Even if it means it has to be smaller than I would have liked. Just not worth it any other way.

    Question about hay. I know its expensive. Does price go up in the winter or is it pretty consistent? Here I have to get a full years worth of hay at a time. But I'd prefer to not have to store that much hay. If its not a big price difference I'd rather just get enough for say 4 months at a time and not have to build as big of a barn.

    Leave a comment:


  • dotneko
    replied
    OK - how likely is a person to do something stupid that everyone who grew up in Florida would know not to do, but someone from New Engand wouldnt think twice about and get themselves hurt or killed?
    For example, I might walk out of my house in the evening to go check on a horse and not think there might be a poisonous snake or an alligator out there in the dark?
    Or scooping up loose hay from a hay shed and maybe seeing a garter snake up North, but a rattler down south.
    Growing up in New England, you have NE common sense. Do you develop Florida common sense?
    I mean my inlaws found a gator in their garage and needed to be careful about pygmy rattlers in their lemon tree.
    Being a farmer in Florida would be too much for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sancudo
    replied
    Night turnout works if they are not too sensitive to bugs- the mosquitoes are voracious at dusk, one of mine couldn’t handle it. The lightning can be a problem, I knew a couple to lose horses. I had lightning alerts on my phone and had countless midnight pajama runs to the paddocks.

    a vet quoted that 25% of horses that move to south Florida stop sweating. I had 4 horses, 3 struggled with sweating, one so miserable it was hourly alcohol bathes just to be able to breathe in the stall with 3 fans on.

    Hurricanes. Get a concrete barn or worry yourself ill 4 months of the year.

    Hay $$$

    pros: no mud! Sand drains fast (Flip side- sand clear! Friend lost a horse to sand colic). Rarely need to blanket. No ice to break. Loads of vets, farriers, horse shows, people dining in breeches everywhere. Grass year round. Kind of a ghost town after April, but that cuts down on traffic.

    signed- someone who was not a beach or a hot weather person, and sold the farm (Wellington) after 2 hurricanes and a job transfer. I miss it this month, but definitely not most of the year.

    Leave a comment:


  • btswass
    replied
    Originally posted by Mersidoats View Post

    I sympathize with you. I moved here from NYC. My first thought was “everything is on sale in Florida!” Board in Wellington area is still cheaper than board near the city. Once you and your horses adjust, it really is like living in paradise. Sweating beats freezing.
    Right?! Board here is crazy. We won't be boarding but looking forward to the cheaper cost of living in general in a much more enjoyable environment.

    I loved the cold and snow when I was a kid. Now each year the winter gets harder and harder. My body does not do well in the cold. I will happily sweat

    Leave a comment:


  • Guilherme
    replied
    Around the Knoxville area you will find a bunch of "half backs." These are people from colder states up North who move to FL, find that FL weather does not suit them, and then move half way back up North. Thus, the term "half back."

    Most of these folks in our area come from MI or OH, but I understand you'll find them in the Carolinas, too, coming from NY and New England.

    Having live in in Pensacola, Jacksonville, and Key West I would not move back to FL (even my wife from Jacksonville likes it better here). We get four, real seasons (biased towards summer) and housing, along with general cost of living, is less than FL. So consider your desires before you make a big move.

    G.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mersidoats
    replied
    Originally posted by btswass View Post

    I'll definitely be spending a lot of money on bug control. Will have a fly spray misting system in the barn plus fans and will be using supplement fly control and any other products I can find to keep the flies down. In summer he'll go out at night wrapped up in his fly gear and spend his days inside where I'm confident flies will be minimal in the barn. He'll adapt. And yea we will definitely not be in land. Looking at places about 30 minutes from the coast. I actually already have a trainer in the area too. A friend from back home we rode together in high school. She's now a trainer in the area.

    We live in one of the most expensive counties in the state. And in a lot of places in the country. West palm area won't be cheap but it will still be cheaper than where we are.
    I sympathize with you. I moved here from NYC. My first thought was “everything is on sale in Florida!” Board in Wellington area is still cheaper than board near the city. Once you and your horses adjust, it really is like living in paradise. Sweating beats freezing.

    Leave a comment:


  • btswass
    replied
    Originally posted by Mersidoats View Post

    Horses that are sensitive to bugs are miserable here. My coach bubble wraps her stud - he's always in a fly sheet/mask/boots, fans in his stall, stall picked multiple times per day. He's still miserable. He's more miserable without his fly gear. The flies never die here. They just hibernate when it gets a little colder at night, and come roaring back during the day.

    Other fun things we deal with: summer sores, anhydrosis, fungus, mold. Humidity in the summer means you have to ride early in the morning. It doesn't really cool down at night - by the coast you get a breeze, which helps. Inland is different. I'm between Ocala and Gainesville. There's a reason they call it "The Swamp".

    Winters are great, though. And you're never too far from a show or a good trainer. And Florida is still relatively cheap on other fronts (not hay, though) - depending where you live. And no state income tax - thumbs up from me.
    I'll definitely be spending a lot of money on bug control. Will have a fly spray misting system in the barn plus fans and will be using supplement fly control and any other products I can find to keep the flies down. In summer he'll go out at night wrapped up in his fly gear and spend his days inside where I'm confident flies will be minimal in the barn. He'll adapt. And yea we will definitely not be in land. Looking at places about 30 minutes from the coast. I actually already have a trainer in the area too. A friend from back home we rode together in high school. She's now a trainer in the area.

    We live in one of the most expensive counties in the state. And in a lot of places in the country. West palm area won't be cheap but it will still be cheaper than where we are.

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