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Sarasota FL Boarding Prices

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    Sarasota FL Boarding Prices

    Can anyone in this area give me a rough sense of what full board runs in this area? Are there decent barns that offer full board without mandatory trainining? I'm guessing due to the geography pasture boarding likely isn't a thing? Is real turnout possible or is it mostly small turnout paddocks?

    Essentially, horses and Sarasota 101 would be great. DH got a job offer and his first question was "can you do ponies there?". I know horses are possible in almost any area if you have the funds and/or willingness to compromise on certain fronts. I'd love to get a sense of the scene, cost, and whether it could even be viable from that perspective.

    Rains every day May-Oct at 3pm. They dont measure it in inches but by time, as in “ we got about 40min worth”. Need a covered arena for rain and sun but fully enclosed indoor too hot.

    Yes they can live outside, most skip any rain sheets, too hot.

    Hay is dreadfully expensive.

    They don't get the deep clay type mud but water sometimes stands.

    Bugs. Bugs, Bugs and most bite.

    Good news is you can reduce your blanket wardrobe to a sheet and a lighter weight. And you wont need silk long johns under your breeches and winter boots.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


      Original Poster

      Buggy, rainy, and expensive hay seem to be pretty universal Florida challenges. Are they particularly bad in Sarasota compared to other areas? Any insight into boarding rates or or facilities in the area worth considering?


        I always find it intriguing what people say is an absolute necessity in different areas.
        FWIW, I've been riding in Florida for 3.5 years now without a covered arena. Sure, it'd be nice to have one, but so far we've survived.

        I'm in Ocala, sorry OP, don't know anything about Sarasota. I recently met the owner of this farm, she was very nice:

        She did lament that there apparently aren't any tack shops in the area. "Nothing horsey" she said, except for farms.

        I brought my horse's full wardrobes with them from Ohio. I've used their sheets about twenty times and the medium on my mare about three times (I clip her, our second winter here had a couple nights in the teens, surprisingly). Probably time to get rid of the heavies, but I don't want to deal with shipping.
        Last edited by mmeqcenter; Aug. 28, 2020, 02:18 PM.


          Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
          Buggy, rainy, and expensive hay seem to be pretty universal Florida challenges. Are they particularly bad in Sarasota compared to other areas? Any insight into boarding rates or or facilities in the area worth considering?
          Florida is a big state north to south so conditions vary somewhat. Sarasota is right on Gulf Coast, Ocala in the center and somewhat “higher”, cattle have always done better there then in coastal areas so it was an early choice for the horses, race industry has been there breeding and running training centers and young stock sales for decades..

          I knew some HJ people with commercial operations around the Tampa area and for sure theres plenty of private places everywhere. There must be a state association or FB page out there, try starting there.
          Last edited by findeight; Aug. 29, 2020, 11:51 AM.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


            It's not as horsey as Ocala or Wellington but you'll find all price ranges and pasture board through full care. You'll have to drive a bit if you live in the city. There's a good equine vet clinic north of Sarasota in Brandon.
            If you like to show, Fox Lea Farm is not far south in Venice, FL.
            It's a nice city with lots to do outside horse life.


              Almost two years ago I moved to Sarasota/Bradenton with my semi-retired trail gelding from Connecticut. I came twice and researched numerous boarding options, all in the approximately $1000/month range. I settled on a lovely stable in the polo club in Sarasota, and his care there was excellent, and the drama was tolerable.

              After a year here watching my sweet boy miserable with bug allergies (that he never had before moving to FL), treating his hooves and skin daily (April-November) to keep him from falling apart, and trying to solve his difficulty sweating and heaviness with the humidity, I decided to retire him. He is looking amazing retired in Tennessee!

              So you can take my negatives with a grain of salt. The reality is that I would still have my horse if we lived somewhere else, but it would have been selfish of me to keep him here, and I miss him every. single. day.

              OK... There are many positives in the Sarasota area! If you are willing to pay for good boarding care, you can find it. Most regions have their difficult weather issues. Yes, the heat, bugs, and wet are very hard on the horses here, but most horses muddle through the summer. If you like your horse in stall, fans and a dry stall will make summer easier. My horse did much better out, not stalled. They are all individuals.

              Possible cons to consider:

              1. Hay does not grow here. Few barns have a consistent source. Some barns just buy hay every couple of weeks or couple of months from local dealers rather than having a big rig deliver from up north. I learned to supplement my horse's hay with Alfalfa cubes. He did fine on hay and supplements in CT but lost weight and muscle when we moved, probably because the hay was not of the same quality. He was and is an easy keeper.
              2. Some less expensive boarding barns ($500-$700) range, bed stalls with sand, not shavings.
              2. Sand is under any grass. It is not just sand colic, but sandy soil and wetness that crumble hooves over time. I was warned before we came that his "hooves would fall apart." They did not, but only because I used Keratex hoof gel daily in summer months.
              3. Sweating can be helped with supplements. We used beer and One AC, which did work, but he still had to be hosed down once or twice a day. The problem is that the night temps never get low enough in the summer for horses to be able to recover before the next "feels like" temp in the 110s with 100% humidity.
              4. Look up summer sores. We never had them, but I groomed meticulously daily and used medicated shampoo every other day.
              5. There are 23 types of no-see-ums. Be sure your horse is not allergic to them. Mine was. The result was that he had hives multiple times and lost hair, and then would sunburn because he is a paint.
              6. People are fearful because horses have been slaughtered in the area for meat.


              There are positives!

              1. If you can purchase a 5-10 acre estate and are willing to face the climate/hay woes on your own, there are gorgeous horsey areas here (ie. Panther Ridge) with nice horse communities.
              2. There is a hunter pace group here and a beautiful place to ride with some trees for shade about an hour away (Alafia State Park), and some smaller places that are closer.
              3. The Venice show venue is lovely.
              4. Ocala is "only" 2 hours away.
              5. Trainers are plentiful.

              Just don't trust someone who promises great care. Look at the details and ask where they get their hay, and how often, and if they have ever run out.

              Best wishes! As I said, most horses muddle through summer. November-April is heaven.


                #1 most important thing about researching keeping horses in Florida: Seek opinions of people who actually live there!
                Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                  I can't speak to the Sarasota area as I'm in Central Florida (north of Orlando / South of Ocala and NOT The Villages). But although Florida horse keeping does have its challenges, there are LOTS of horses that do just fine in Florida -- they adapt (with help like fans in stalls) just like most of us adapt. As an anecdotal example my 21 year old Friesian gelding has done fine staying here year round the last 3 years. We used to go back to Western NY for the summers and I worried about his ability to manage through the heat the first summer we were down here but (knock on wood!!) so far he has done well. Turnout early in the day and with a nice shade tree. Fans in his stall. A excellent farrier and careful attention to his feet. Responding quickly to any skin/summer sore issues that pop up. Short workouts in a covered arena ~ 3 times a week in the summer ... simple WTC to keep him moving and maintain muscle. So it can be done. Focus on facilities with good hands-on care and attention with pastures that don't become swamps in the summer and ideally have some shade. Good luck!! (I have non horsey friends who live in Sarasota and they love it.)