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Florida Living

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  • btswass
    replied
    Originally posted by Lucassb View Post

    DH and I are spending a "test drive" bit of winter in West Palm this year - my horses are in Loxahatchee at White Fences and we rented a house 35 minutes away in WPB that is a block from the water (DH is a water sports / boating fan and we both love the beach.) We actually had a great dinner out in Jupiter earlier this week! We've only been here a matter of weeks and have already agreed we will be spending winters here from now on. I see quite a lot of both raw land and new (planned) development on my way out to the barn each day. And lots and lots of small horse farms.

    Now, there is obviously a difference between how pleasant it is here in winter vs. August so that is something to think about if you are moving to a new full time residence. We have significant heat and humidity at home so we are used to that, but I'd certainly plan for night turnout in summer if I were here year round. Most barns seem to have the nice big industrial fans running in the stalls and aisles, and many have really lovely covered arenas which obviously helps in terms of protecting from the sun as well as rain.
    Yea we're really in love with that area. Definitely where we plan on moving and both have family in that area as well.

    In terms of summer heat I'm either going to have to hide from the cold or hide from the heat half the year. I'd rather hide from the heat. We don't have the option to spend only winters in florida. Though hopefully one day we can have a place out west (thinking Montana) to spend our summers at.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mersidoats
    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?
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lucassb
    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?
    DH and I are spending a "test drive" bit of winter in West Palm this year - my horses are in Loxahatchee at White Fences and we rented a house 35 minutes away in WPB that is a block from the water (DH is a water sports / boating fan and we both love the beach.) We actually had a great dinner out in Jupiter earlier this week! We've only been here a matter of weeks and have already agreed we will be spending winters here from now on. I see quite a lot of both raw land and new (planned) development on my way out to the barn each day. And lots and lots of small horse farms.

    Now, there is obviously a difference between how pleasant it is here in winter vs. August so that is something to think about if you are moving to a new full time residence. We have significant heat and humidity at home so we are used to that, but I'd certainly plan for night turnout in summer if I were here year round. Most barns seem to have the nice big industrial fans running in the stalls and aisles, and many have really lovely covered arenas which obviously helps in terms of protecting from the sun as well as rain.

    Leave a comment:


  • joiedevie99
    replied
    Big industrial fans mounted inside the run-in sheds and barn also help blow some of the bugs away.

    Leave a comment:


  • mmeqcenter
    replied
    Originally posted by btswass View Post
    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?
    Many keep inside during the day with a fan.

    I’ve seen people fly sheet 24/7. It’s so hot they’re going to be sweaty anyway, so they don’t consider a big deal. Overnight might be not get sweaty if clipped. Luckily mine aren't sensitive and stay out 24/7 with no fly sheet. Lots of fly spray, and my pastures have lots of trees for shade.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nootka
    replied
    I live in Beverly Hills, FL (40min south west of Ocala). My Knabstrupper stallion is actually located in Newberry, Fl near Gainsville. I moved from the DC metro area about 14 years ago.

    Bugs, snakes and humidity. The land is much flatter here too. Gopher holes aren't fun so watch out for those when riding your horses. Hay prices aren't cheap.

    I do like that I live about 30 min from the Gulf but you can't swim there in Crystal River because of the bacteria in the water. However, the springs are nice and that is where we go. They get MAJORLY crowed though because of tourists and not being able to swim in the Gulf nearby.

    Ocala traffic sucks but I can't wait until the WEC is done and that will be a great horse addition.

    Leave a comment:


  • 2tempe
    replied
    You might look on east side of Orlando area - Geneva, Chuluota, etc. A fair amount of horse property over there; close to I-95 making Jupiter only 2 hours approx. Close to Canaveral seashore. I'm on northwest side of Orlando, and I fly sheet my horse all summer - though not that much coverage, lol. (Tough 1 makes a pretty darn light sheet)The key is to be sure you have some shade in your pastures. In summer many people turn out overnight and keep them in during the heat of the day. And Orlando is booming.

    Leave a comment:


  • btswass
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • The Centaurian
    replied
    Jacksonville area might suit. Has a few rated h/j and dressage shows every year, not far from Ocala/Florida Horse Park, and its a straight shot down 95 to where family is in South Florida. I don't know a lot about construction management, but that's what my brother in law does for a living-- he lives in the sticks, but commutes to Jax for work.

    Leave a comment:


  • Equisis
    replied
    I am in Ocala, so I can’t speak for the southern part of the state. For the most part, I really like the horse keeping here. For ease, my pros and cons...

    PROS
    - Horsey area means very easy access to feed stores, tack stores, shows, vets, farriers, etc
    - Winter weather is miles better than Northern winters
    - Pasture year round (this is very dependent on your individual property and your pasture maintenance)
    - Footing- ride on grass year round, hack wherever- so easy. I spent a year with no arena at all, just a spare pasture to ride and jump in, and didn’t miss it one bit.
    - Summer weather, at least in central FL, isn’t terrible. I do my riding in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat/thunderstorms and have no issues.

    CONS
    - Hay prices are unreal. I love alfalfa and don’t feed coastal, and my hay bills suck
    - Bugs year round. We still have mosquitoes and it’s January!
    - Skin issues, like sand fungus and summer sores, can be a real b**** to deal with.

    In more general terms, be prepared for the kind of home maintenance that comes with living in a sub-tropical climate: mold control, hurricane proofing, and check the flood plains before you buy. Sinkholes and burrowing animals (armadillos) can cause issues for your home. That said, you won’t have to deal with snow, winterizing, ice dams, etc- it’s a trade off.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bluey
    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!
    I was thinking, if your DH will be working in construction management, maybe he ought to go down there and stay for a while and see what the culture of those kinds of business is, find some prospects to work for/with.
    Those in some areas may be cornered by some companies, be more open in others to need the kind of work he can provide to them.

    That would narrow the area you want to live considerably.
    Being close to his job would make it easier for him to be happy.

    Leave a comment:


  • mroades
    replied
    are you ready to pay 25 a bale for hay? I would look at an area like zephyr hills. Beautiful high ground, still rural but close enough to all major highways. The closer you are to the beach the harder it will be to keep horses

    Leave a comment:


  • mmeqcenter
    replied
    I've been in Ocala for a little over three years, moved from Ohio.

    Hay is stupid dumb expensive. My farm is very sandy, so the grass isn't the best, but it's there. A lot of people on the west side of the county say t hey don't feed hay through the summer because their grass is plentiful. I don't have the kind of horses that can hold weight without a fair bit of supplementation (hay and grain), so I have zero cares about my pastures being "lush" and I feed mine free-choice hay. If I had enough for 3+ acres of grass per horse, maybe I'd feel different, but I don't, so here I am. The one-acre-per-horse rule re: grass quantity I always heard in Ohio definitely does not apply here. I also have mine out 24/7 and wouldn't have it any other way.

    Grain can be a bit more expensive, but there's also local options available. I fed Tribute in Ohio but, since it's made in Ohio, it's $6+ more per bag down here. I feed Seminole and am very happy with it.

    There's about a billion options for any service type you can think of (farrier, vet, chiro, dentist, trainer, PEMF, etc.). Tons of places that allow you to haul in to school, some with cross country courses. A lot of us ride on grass, don't have sand arenas, year round with no problems.

    Because my farm is sand, and well elevated (I even have a nice little conditioning hill in the back), it is wonderfully dry. Any standing water we might get from a torrential downpour is gone an hour later. The west side of the county is more soily and has more clay, which is why the grass is better, but they hold water more too. Some places were still flooded 6+ months after Irma.

    I made a leap and just moved here. Didn't rent first to figure out the area, didn't know a single soul. Just flew down twice to look at houses, bought one, and moved. If I had to do it over again, I'd do the exact same thing. Zero regrets, I absolutely love it here.

    Leave a comment:


  • happilyretired
    replied
    I'm in Central Florida -- north of Orlando, south of Ocala (and The Villages) --in Lake County. I moved from Western NY (so WAY upstate) -- first just in the winter 9 years ago, and then as of 2014 year-round. I really like this area -- still rural enough (although getting more crowded every day it seems), but close enough to show venues if that's your thing. Weather -- cooler than South Florida in the winter, but warmer than Ocala (yes -- the relatively short distance does make a difference). Summers are indeed hot and humid with frequent (often daily) afternoon thunderstorms -- but most of the SE US is hot and humid in the summer. Winter is great although its been warmer and wetter than usual so far this year. A couple years ago I built a 16 stall concrete block facility with covered arena which I lease to my trainer and his wife, who operate it as a dressage training facility. We wanted concrete block for safety in hurricanes, and built it for maximum ventilation so it really stays quite cool (relatively speaking) in the summer. Having an covered arena for riding is, I think, important -- makes riding in the summer bearable as you're out of the sun, your footing isn't constantly swamped, and you can ride in the rain until the thunder/lightning gets bad. It's less than an hour to Orlando International Airport so convenient for traveling and for visiting friends and family. And -- not as pricey as being on the coast. And if you want to get down to Palm Beach / Wellington its just a few hours away down the turnpike. And -- there is LOTS of construction activity in this area so should be a good area for your DH's employment prospects.
    Last edited by happilyretired; Jan. 16, 2020, 04:36 PM. Reason: Add update re construction activity

    Leave a comment:


  • btswass
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • purlsnponies
    replied
    btswass - awesome about a concrete block barn!

    After college at Univ of Florida (Gainesville), I spent several years in Maryland. Loved it up there, but was brought back to Florida for family-related stuff. I ended up outside of Gainesville because of the balance of job availability in my field and affordable property. I do love my little farm, and not having to break up ice in buckets, worry about blanketing, shovel snow, stress about ridiculous traffic.... Definitely has its upsides.

    Will your job fields limit where you may be able to settle? Will you need (or want) to stay closer to a larger city? Knowing the types of jobs available (or not) in particular areas might help you narrow your search further.

    Leave a comment:


  • btswass
    replied
    Originally posted by purlsnponies View Post
    I'm in the Gainesville area. The things I dislike the most for horsekeeping here are bugs and heat/humidity. We haven't gotten a freeze yet, so mosquitos are still out in force - and my elderly Welsh Cob mare is just miserable from June till temps drop (usually Decemberish), despite shade, cross winds, and fans.

    I'm also on 'the wrong side of town' so vets, farriers, etc. are in short supply.

    That said - if I were to do it over, I'd consider the Ocala area, and would look for something high n' dry, and as far from any wetlands as possible.

    Oh, and hurricane prep SUCKS. Not such a big deal if you have a concrete block barn and/or younger horses.. but if you have seniors, lots of beautiful trees on the property, etc.. have a plan A, B, and C.
    We’d definitely be building a concrete block barn. Both because of hurricanes but also I’ve read they stay cooler.

    Did you move to Florida from somewhere else? Why did you pick the Gainesville area. We want to take our time and do this the right way. Not sure if we search for a house first and then a job or vice versa.

    Leave a comment:


  • LPG
    replied
    I would’ve thought Wellington, or nearby, would be the place to be. Although I’ve only ever visited, so I know nothing about what it’s like for locals to live there! I would LOVE to move to Florida and get out the the cold, snowy, Canadian winters!

    Leave a comment:


  • btswass
    replied
    Well thats depressing. Our family is in Jupiter and Delray so we wanted to stay near them plus no more than an hour from the coast

    Leave a comment:


  • purlsnponies
    replied
    I'm in the Gainesville area. The things I dislike the most for horsekeeping here are bugs and heat/humidity. We haven't gotten a freeze yet, so mosquitos are still out in force - and my elderly Welsh Cob mare is just miserable from June till temps drop (usually Decemberish), despite shade, cross winds, and fans.

    I'm also on 'the wrong side of town' so vets, farriers, etc. are in short supply.

    That said - if I were to do it over, I'd consider the Ocala area, and would look for something high n' dry, and as far from any wetlands as possible.

    Oh, and hurricane prep SUCKS. Not such a big deal if you have a concrete block barn and/or younger horses.. but if you have seniors, lots of beautiful trees on the property, etc.. have a plan A, B, and C.

    Leave a comment:

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