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Greater wellington area....year round

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  • Greater wellington area....year round

    I am cold.
    What is life like living in/around Wellington full time?
    Are there a lot of "normal" people, or is the "have lots" and the "have nots"?

    What does it cost to keep a horse (covered, real turn out, good are) there?

    do the seasonal people look for people to live on the farm year round to keep an eye on things?

  • #2
    I'm sure there are probably more well to do people living there, but Florida in general is a real mixed bag. I think there alot of all haves, normals, and have nots. Most barns I've found have someone on the premises, and English barns are certainly more expensive than other or mixed horse barns. I pay $400.00 at a mixed discipline barn that has all day or night turnout, excellent food and care, a nice breezy open barn, tons of grandfather oaks, rings, and trails. I'm very lucky. I am north of Tampa.
    Florida has some nice equestrian communities. When the snowbirds leave, it's hot and not many shows if any, but quite a bit of trail riding. In the summer I tend to ride a few hours before sunset. Our rings are completely shaded with oaks.
    And if buying a home, "location" is much more important than "home".

    I am a New York transplant. I find Florida much more horse friendly, lots of riding, and parks allowing horses, riding clubs. More layback. I feel I have traded cold for hot. I have 8 months of perfect weather, and 4 months of hot and humid, but ride anyway.


    • #3
      In Wellington there are a lot more of "haves" and "have nots" than other horsey places in Florida. My horses are just outside Orlando and when my farrier goes to Wellington, he charges three times more there than he does for us!

      Turn-out in Wellington is tough, it depends if a paddock is enough or not. Most of Wellington does not feel rural at all. There are a lot of horsey places hidden amongst three-lane highways with all the small city conveniences, with not much land to spare. The polo ponies exercise down the power line and canal easements, they use every square inch of space!

      If you find Wellington proper to be too expensive, look north not south for more options. I don't think there are a lot of choices as far as horse services go (vets, farriers, barns, trainers) closer to Ft Lauderdale/Miami/Homestead.

      As far as weather goes, the Wellington area is spared a lot of the fronts that affect the middle to northern parts of Florida, so a three hour drive can really make a difference. Good luck!


      • #4
        I'm cold too, and Florida dreamin' ...

        Do those of you in southern FL have hurricane evacuation plans for your horses & critters? How does that work?
        "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince


        • #5
          Wellington is expensive - normal horse costs are doubled or tripled. I never show there even though my horse would be competitive.

          If you're thinking about moving to Florida, and don't need a specific type of "work" (retired?) then consider other parts of Florida. central Florida ( Space Coast/Orlando/Tampa) stays decent weather wise, usually not cold or if it gets cold normally not for very long. Along the coast is better during the summer as you get sea breezes so it doesn't feel as "hot". In-land, like Ocala, tends to be "still" during the summer so to live there you'd have to acclimate to high humidity high heat and no air movement. I live along the coast (about 20 minutes in-land) so less coast than beach side but I still get sea winds so riding during the summer is bearable.

          Living costs in our area, since loosing the shuttle, have declined, so if you can afford to purchase a house good deals can be had now. If you are a "do it yourself" person then purchase an older home with 2 acres of land for about $150K and keep your horse on it and fix it up. I have no idea of boarding costs but found a place south of here advertising for stall rental at $100/month on 40 acres - assume that is self care.

          Link to 20 acres (north of here, sounds like in he boonies, with trailer, fencing and small barn for 300K.

          My farrier is very good and a great price at $245/month for 1 trim, 1 front set and 1 full set of shoes.

          Vet is pricey since they come from Sanford area (local vets in my direct area are not very good in my opinion, so I pay a higher fee for Sanford vet to travel over here.)

          Massage is $60/horse, Chiro is about $90/horse and is very good. Chiro is also from out of town (down south).

          As far as hurricanes - I have a trailer for my 3 horses and is it appears a catagory 3 or above will be a direct hit we trailer a day or so ahead of time to one of the farms on the other side of the state (Tampa, Fox Lea farms in Venice, etc.). You just call ahead of time and make stall reservations. I do NOT haul out of state. I usually try to form a caravan with other horse people so we can take all the non horsey critters - dogs, cats, ferrets, etc... and share the pain. My trailer has living quarters and last time we left we stayed in a local hotel but leant our trailer to other folks who had evacuated and didn't have hotel reservations.

          If the hurricane is a cat 3+ but not a direct hit we make a call to evacuate or stay. If we stay I put tack inside trailer in my barn, my barn is VERY sturdy so horses stay in it, I fill barrels full of water for horses (we also have wells), tank up the generator with gas as we'll have electric, cover hay so if we loose the roof we might be able to save the hay, then sit it out. A bit scary but manageble.
          Now in Kentucky


          • #6
            Central Florida -- Orlando

            I relocated to Central Florida (east side of Orlando) a year ago from the SF Bay Area and find the dressage community much smaller and (so far) more low-key. I haven't been to Wellington yet, but I imagine by its proximity to Palm Beach, that it is quite a bit more upscale than here.

            One thing of note: even though my horse is still in California, I am paying an extra 2% for her mortality/medical insurance because the policy is purchased by an address in Florida.

            There's lots of vets and farriers around ... I like the vet quite a bit and find prices comparable to the Bay Area.

            I pay $50 for two front shoes in addition to about $30 per trimming.

            A good chiro averaged $150 / visit which is a lot more than I'm used to, but the horse also needed lots of attention.


            • #7
              I moved to NC about 4 1/2 years ago from Loxahatchee (town that borders Wellie World to the north). Most people that travel to WEF for the winter either stay in Wellington or Loxahatchee.

              Unless you have serious $$ you will live on a super small farmette...mine was barely 2 acres. You learn to make the most of every inch of land. Loxahatchee tends to be a bit more relaxed than Wellington proper but not significantly cheaper. When I lived there undeveloped wooded land was 200K/ acre. Turn out is available is smallish paddocks, but no mud b/c of the sand. Downside is risk of sand colics.

              It is fun there during the show season and really empties out the rest of the year...but I think more and more people are staying year round.

              I found the people similar to that of Los Angeles...lots of plastic surgery, pretentiousness, and a real who's who type of place. People attended the horse shows in their Ferragamo heels! All the kids showing are mostly trust fund types.

              Everything is super expensive...farriers, vets, hay, grain, land, insurance (home, car, horse), etc. I thought when I moved from CA that it would somehow be cheaper but it was just tho opposite. Building my barn down there was crazy expensive b/c it had to be built to hurricane standards and highly inspected (not only for hurricane safety but also had to fit the community design). There are some serious Taj Mahal barns...seriously Taj Mahalesque. I paid $600/ month for a dry stall (off season) when my mare was in training at nice private barn in west Wellington (Rustic Ranches) with nice arena and turnout paddocks, $200 set of shoes, $15/ bale of T&A hay, $8.00/ bag shavings, $150/ chiro.

              The summers are rough. You are only inland about 10-13 miles but the ocean breezes don't really get there. The bugs are horrendous and the horses can get incredibly bothered by them. Fungal scratches & rain rot can be a problem.

              There is no trail riding in Wellington or Loxahatchee other than riding along the canal roads. The roads are nice, a bit boring after a while, and watch out for the alligators....really. They sit super quiet and then quickly rush into the water. Horses love that!!

              I was directly hit by 3 hurricanes while I lived there. We stayed for one (Cat 2) and left for the other two. Once we stabled at WEF (stronger barn and Cat 2) and the other left to Ocala (Cat 3). Glad we left but leave enough time as there are only 2 roads out (95 and turnpike) and traffic is horrendous. Pack multiple extra gas cans. We were out of electricity, and hence water, for almost a month after Wilma. What a PITA as we had to go to water stations with garbage cans in the back of the pick up to fill and bring home. That Cat 3 (Wilma) hurricane tore Wellington apart.

              I am soooo happy I left. I think it is a fabulous place 4 months out of the year but not so much the rest. Financially it is a bear. I rather deal with 3 months of coldish weather here in NC and just visit Wellie (I still have family there so still have a place to go).
              Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:


              • #8
                I lived in Wellington year round for 5 years before I moved back down to Ft.Lauderdale for Law School (my parents still live there), and I loved it! It really is a horse lovers dream. And I am by no means a person of "have lots". There are a lot of normal people in Wellington too. People are finally starting to realize that Loxahatchee is literally minutes away from Wellington, and it is even closer to the show grounds then some parts of the outskirts of Wellington. We have world class vets, and the clinic I use is NOT expensive at all compared to the ones "in" Wellington. I still trailer my horses from Ft.Lauderdale to Loxahatchee for that vet.

                The barn I was at was in Loxahatchee about 5 minutes away from the show grounds. I paid $550 for full board. They fed whatever grain I wanted. She got turn out every day in either a smaller paddock alone or in a large pasture with other mares everyday, whichever I preferred (There are about 35 stalls and 10 pastures). We had a huge riding ring with stadium lighting, a smaller ring for beginner lessons or for extra room which also had stadium lighting, a club house with a full kitchen and bathroom, a 60' round pen which was also lighted, matted stalls with fans, 3 acres of wooded trails ON property, hot and cold water wash racks, plenty of tack stalls, individual tack lockers, I can go on and on. I was the nicest barn I was ever at, and you can't beat $550 for full board. They also offer partail board where you provide everything but they feed morning for you, and you could add on feedings/turnout for an additional charge if you were out of town or couldn't come out a few days a week but still didn't want full board. PM me and I can tell you the names of the barn and vet clinic I use.

                I kept my horses there thoughout all the hurricanes since the barns were built to cod, and the most damage we had was a few of the rails from the fences being blown down, but not a thing happened to the barn. It was a pain the first year bringing water back and forth from other places for the horses, but the next year the BO installed a generator for the water so we never had to worry about that again!

                I can't wait to graduate law school next year and move back to Wellington!
                Samantha Werner

                There is something about riding down the street on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain't a thing. ~ Will Rogers