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Florida + Southern Living

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  • Originally posted by Gracie's Mom
    To whomever was asking about boarding in/near Tampa.....unless you are a H/J shower, it's pretty slim pickings. Horses are being pushed out, the real estate values are too high to have agriculture. There are some reasonable boarding places on small acreages, but realize that the turnout will be on sand pits, very little grass turnout available in Tampa. Lots of fancy H/J show barns, nice but pricey. If that is what you do, there are some good choices of active barns with good care who frequent the shows. Very few 'wide open spaces" to ride anymore for pleasure/trail riders. Outside Tampa things get a little better.


    Gracie's Mom
    www.julhar.com/
    Who was it that stated they were looking at Tampa, Orlando or Jacksonville? Well, I don't know much about Jacksonville but I have sold three horses to people that live outside of Jacksonville in Middleburg. And they like that area so maybe that can be checked out. And I used to live in Tampa and couldn't wait to get out BUT there are a multitude of towns just outside of Tampa that are pretty decent, like Gracie's Mom stated in her post. Two of the cities I lived in outside of Tampa were Plant City and Dade City and both are within a 30-40 minute drive to downtown Tampa. Dade City is much nicer, with rolling hills and lots of pretty land. Right now the place next to my friend's is up for sale. Three bedroom house on 5 acres. Not sure of the price though. Brooksville is nice, too, and just south of Brooksville is an area called Spring Lake that is gorgeous. But in my experience with Brooksville is that the closer you are to the forest (Withlacochee and Croom) the sandier the soil. But lots and lots of trails!

    I've lived in Orlando, too, the Metro West area to be exact, and kept my horse in Apopka at a beautiful dressage facility very close to the Clarcona Horseman's Park. I might have stated all this before but just wanted to reiterate that outside the city limits, no matter if it's Tampa, Orlando or Jacksonville, will always be much nicer and more horse friendly.

    Comment


    • Hurricanes are unusual up to this time last year. Here's what we did:
      1.) Before June (start hurricane season) trim tree branches (less flying thru air via wind)
      2.) Be sure trailer and truck are ready to haul - fueled up, tires at right pressure, etc.
      3.) When it's coming you'll have a general idea of where several days before it's due. Thats when you start you preparations. Call around and find out where stalls are available - number, size, if pasture can be had, etc. on the opposite coast (for us the Venice, Ocala area). Make tenative reservations in case you need to haul out. Find out if barn is concrete block, etc., if hotels are nearby or if place offers a room, etc.
      Make up a list of items you take for yourself - cell phone charger, Lock box that includes a copy of your insurance policy, contact information for agent AND "800" number in case agent is unavailable, etc.
      Make up a list of items for your critters - feed, hay, lead lines, lunge lines, fly spray, brushes, etc.
      4.) If you deide to leave - do so 24 hours in advance of the storm or earlier OR you'll get stuck in traffic. Nothing is worse than sitting on I-4 in a horse trailer in the middle of a HOT day with horses who don't have water. Yes - the roads become parking lots here - suggest you leave the night before the 24 hour mark - less traffic in the middle of the night.
      5.) If you decide not to leave -
      a.) mark horses with contact info - don't forget your cell phone may not work if all the towers get knocked down and land lines may also be down - an out of state phone number as well as your cell is smart.
      b.) Make sure barn is sturdy enough to hold for predicted winds (Suggest it be no more than a strong Cat 2 or you should leave). Barn can collaspe onto horses if not well built. If you think outside is better - in last storms if my horses were outside chances would have been that they would have stood behind the barn to get out of the high winds. Had they done that when I lost part of the barn roof the steel roof would have damaged or killed them. Rather - as they were inside - roof peeled away from over their heads and they got wet - not a concern.
      c.) Plan to loose water and electric. If you have a well don't forget it takes electric to pull water out of well. Clean and fill up barrels for water - maybe add a pinch of chlorine to keep it from getting green as it may need to last for several weeks.
      d.) Cover hay and feed - even if it's inside - with a tarp. That's what saved my hay when I lost the roof. Feed should also bve protected from rats - I keep mine inside a steel trashcan. Rats will be looking for food after the storm just like the rest of God's creatures.
      e.) Cover your tack. I put mine inside trailer which is inside the barn - double protection.
      Now in Kentucky

      Comment


      • Well

        We just left Fl, we are now in SC we are about an hour away from Charlotte, NC. We haven't dealt with a winter yet, but so far the weather has been wonderful. Land isn't that expensive, neither are taxes or insurance. I've been bitten by 1 mosquito and that was at 10:30 Pm. There are the little black flies and some deer flies down by the lake, but other than that its not bad. I have yet to see a cockroach. My pasture is beautiful, my horses are loving it. I am told winter isn't too bad and any bad weather we get, gets here after it nails Atlanta. If it comes over the mountains its not that bad and that has held true with rain storms so far.


        Karen

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Lily5453
          yeah, I've experienced humidity, just because we don't get the weather in Pa that you do year round we have had our share of humid dayS! I rememeber one year going to bruces and it was 107 with a head index in the 120;s... yeah, we were riding... shortly... gatorade is awsome.
          Humidity... you really have no idea. You just think it is humid in PA. Or it is humid but then it breaks.

          To put it in perspective I spent 20 years in South Florida (west Broward back when it really was the glades ) and did tolerably well in the heat. I could be counted on to wear my jacket in the SFHJA Tropical Park show in August and not need immediate medical attention.

          About 10 years ago I moved to Atlanta. The place they call "Hotlanta"? Hah! They don't know shit. I moved up here right after Thanksgiving. By Dec 15th I was slathering on moisturizer like crazy because my skin felt like parchment (bear in mind Dec/Jan would be FL's "dry" season). First I had the humidifier set up in the bathroom which opened to the master bedroom. In short order I had it set up on the nightstand. Within another week I had it set up on the floor and I had to sleep with my head hanging over, breathing in the warm moist air from about an 18" range. Otherwise I was just going to die, I am sure of it. I was also freezing until late June because it was so "brisk" and "breezy"...

          There's a whole 'nother level of humidity going on down there. When we moved down there in the 70's, my mother gave up baking christmas cookies. Even if you put the cookie dough in the freezer and iced the house down with the A/C, the dough would still melt right out of the mold. I might also mention there is nothing quite like having a fan on in the bathroom, the a/c on and have to take "face in front of the fan" breaks to help "dry" your face so you can put on your makeup without it melting. Not that it matters. It will melt before you make it to your car, but still you persevere. To quote Dave Barry (who you will get familiar with should you move to SFL), I am not making this stuff up.

          But it's all relative. Now 10 years later in Atlanta, I think I am about to die when we have our humid moments. But I fully understand I am a Total Weenie by SFL standards. Still, it's a tradeoff. Now I think "65" is quite pleasant, whereas at WEF, way back when, I used to think of it as a reason to buy massive amounts of overpriced artic wear.
          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by DMK

            There's a whole 'nother level of humidity going on down there. When we moved down there in the 70's, my mother gave up baking christmas cookies. Even if you put the cookie dough in the freezer and iced the house down with the A/C, the dough would still melt right out of the mold. I might also mention there is nothing quite like having a fan on in the bathroom, the a/c on and have to take "face in front of the fan" breaks to help "dry" your face so you can put on your makeup without it melting. Not that it matters. It will melt before you make it to your car, but still you persevere. To quote Dave Barry (who you will get familiar with should you move to SFL), I am not making this stuff up.
            I hear ya, sister! Trying to dry off after a shower and then putting on makeup on your still damp face without it caking in an instant takes talent. Of course, you can succeed but all of that hard work goes to waste the minute you open your front door. You think to yourself "did I just take a shower or was I dreaming?" because, all of a sudden, your skin is damp and icky and sweat is cascading down your face! The only solution is to get in your car and blast your a/c, hoping to dry your sweat streaked face and fluff your limp hair, so that by the time you get where you're going you don't feel like you need another shower! But finding your car proves to be difficult now that your sunglasses are fogged up and you can't see.

            As a child, the Florida humidity didn't quite bother me as much as it does now. Of course, as a child I spent most of the summer months splashing about in the Gulf or on a slip-n-slide in our front yard But alas, as I've gotten older I've come to the conclusion that I abhor Florida summers, not so much because of the heat, but because of the awful humidity.

            Comment


            • We are leaving!

              I own a nice farm (as in have nice grass turn outs and pretty barn) but taxes in some counties will NAIL YOU. It is one thing to pay high taxes for good services, but roads and schools in FL really SUCK IMHO.

              We are looking at SC, NC and SW Virginia.
              Beth Davidson
              Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
              http://blackdogconnemara.com
              visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com

              Comment


              • tehehe

                Originally posted by FLAbreds
                As a child, the Florida humidity didn't quite bother me as much as it does now. Of course, as a child I spent most of the summer months splashing about in the Gulf or on a slip-n-slide in our front yard But alas, as I've gotten older I've come to the conclusion that I abhor Florida summers, not so much because of the heat, but because of the awful humidity.

                You're just PO'ed that at our ages it is just not becoming for us to be out there on slip-n-slides.

                Comment


                • I vote for SC or even NC. The weather is just about perfect. It does get hot July and August but the rest of the year is awesome. Still have the seasons and although it does occasionally get cold and gasp, every few years we get some snow, it might last for a few days and then it is 60s and 70s again in Dec, Jan or Feb. On my wedding day, Feb 6, it was 70+ degrees.

                  Depending on where you want to be land can be extremely cheap. The most expensive areas where you would want to have horses (suburbs on out, as in not in the city obviously) you are probably looking at 30-40,000/acre, but on average it ranges from a few thousand to 15,000/acre.

                  We have beaches and we have mountains. I can get to either in three hours or less. We have Charleston (one of my absolute favorite cities in the world). Taxes are cheap compared to Florida and the NE. Jobs are a plenty.

                  Most of us ride more in the winter than in the summer but if heat doesn't bother you, then the summers are not bad at all. Asheville area is beautiful and if you like the weather a little cooler, it averages about 10 degrees colder in the summer but not so much in the winter. Plust it is absolutely gorgeous in the fall!

                  One of the biggest negatives for the carolinas is that we do have winters but you have to realize that while we might have a few days of cold very rarely does it last long and then it warms right up. In florida it is summer all year long. Even in Jacksonville it stays warm. My brother and sister in law lives there and it can still be downright hot in the winter.

                  Good luck!

                  Jenn

                  I've lived in a few different places and

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Chanter
                    You're just PO'ed that at our ages it is just not becoming for us to be out there on slip-n-slides.
                    I dunno. Maybe in the privacy of my own backyard? Although I cringe thinking about sprinting and then hurling myself on the ground. I'm afraid I might pull something.

                    Comment


                    • acottongim, you mean there are more than two 2nd generation Floridians in the state?? My sister and I are both 2nd gen Florida girls (actually my young niece is 3rd gen) - my Mom was born and raised in Winter Haven and my sister and I were both born and raised here in the Orlando area. I actually have never lived outside of the Central FL area. I was hoping to move out of state for grad school, but ends up I am not even leaving town

                      I do really like FL (though I am a California girl in my soul) despite the heat and humidity. Though I could do without snake season right now. Sure the bugs are annoying - having to wash your car every time you leave your driveway during lovebug season, the big old rock bugs bomb diving you while riding (those suckers HURT), the mosquitos, the ants and spiders that the spray men can't kill...but I can handle all of those. But I HATE snakes! Right now it is the black snakes which are harmless I know, but I still hate them!

                      In the Orlando area housing prices are crazy, but there are some nice areas. Horse areas are becoming more and more limited (unless you like a commute) due to the never ending development.

                      Comment


                      • huntjump - YEP, there really aren't many of us around (1st gen or more!) LOL!!! We have a couple of 3rd gen kids in the family too (not mine though)!

                        I'm with you on the snakes - they scare me everytime I see them. I currently have a black snake that likes to sleep in my hay (now that is a fun surprise at night when I come home! ) and a king snake - he lives on the back of the property, and I have a heart attack everytime I see him since he looks so much like a diamond back rattler.... And even though they are non-posionous, they still bite and those bites hurt!

                        As for the poster that said it never gets cold... I beg to differ! This winter alone for example: there was over a week of sub freezing days/nights (like highs close to 20 - 25 degrees, lows in the teens (my heater/ac runs off a geo thermal system and I had GREAT ice shows!), and while we do occasionally get warmer days (there are even some days close to 80) it is rare, normally it is in the 40's - 50's during the day and in the 30's to 40's at night. Some areas stay a little more "temperate" because they are closer to the water - Jacksonville will get cold occasionally too (they had freezing temps for a couple of days every year) but you are right it will stay a little warmer there than say, the area around Tallhassee which is not only further north, but also inland. Shoot, in the 70's and once in 89 we had SNOW (such as it was) I think even Miami got snow that year??? But it is RARE that this happens (we do get frost/ice though almost every winter at least once, even closer to the beaches.
                        Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!

                        Comment


                        • In the hay - yuck. I came home yesterday and just as I turn the corner into the garage to go into the house I am met by a giant black snake My parents and our contractor can't find him and are now trying to convince me he is gone - sure. Supposedly snakes come out during the wet season - so somebody needs to tell the darn snakes that we are in a drought and they can go back where they came from This is the fourth or fifth one I have crossed paths with in this month

                          Comment


                          • now now

                            I'd rather have a black snake than RATS. I was at a barn in the Tampa area that was over run with rats, they'd almost fall on your head they were so bad. One boarder got mad when I tossed out bait. I made sure it was the kind that wouldn't hurt another animal if it got a hold of the rat, but she was afraid of finding a dead rat in a water bucket. She'd rather the disease carrying rodents run amuck. These weren't little mice they were large ugly rats that had fleas. I had asked BO before I put them out, but she made me stop due to the other boarder that was there before I was, I promptly left. YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!! Rats and cockroachs.... I'd much rather have a black snake or two, they eat both of those. Now a poisionous snake its bye bye time buddy, but I have a rule with the black snakes they don't bother me i won't bother them as long as they do their job.



                            Karen

                            Comment


                            • Oh I agree Jetiki, but man, I wish he wouldn't surprise me when I go to get a flake of hay for my animals.... It is not a pleasant surprise early in the am, or in the evening when it is dark... LOL! But I have NO vermin (knock on wood!).
                              Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!

                              Comment


                              • I keep getting mixed thoughts from the equine farm owners in Marion County regarding bad weather. Evacuate or ride them out at home?? Please give it to me staight... how scary is it near Ocala during the hurricanes? Thanks

                                Comment


                                • Hit it

                                  Hit the hay with something first before you grab it that should send him off on his merry little way. Or just make a lot of noise coming into the hay area.



                                  Karen

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by ForeverHorses
                                    I keep getting mixed thoughts from the equine farm owners in Marion County regarding bad weather. Evacuate or ride them out at home?? Please give it to me staight... how scary is it near Ocala during the hurricanes? Thanks
                                    I'd say ride it out at home. We moved to Ocala after the hurricanes of 2004 and the former owners of our farm lost power for a few days but did not sustain any damage to the farm. Other farms in the area were hit harder but mostly from downed trees, powerlines and street flooding. Prior to living in Ocala we lived in Dade City and we lost power but suffered no damage. Both cities are far enough inland that if you are not in the direct path of say a Cat 3 or 4 storm then it wouldn't be necessary to evacuate.

                                    Comment


                                    • Alberto

                                      I hope everyone down south does ok with this nasty weather. It's predicted to bring heavy rain to New England too.

                                      When you aren't busy if anyone knows anything good/bad about the Lady Lake, FL area could you please post your thoughts?

                                      Stay safe

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Meadow36
                                        Well I for one love it. I'd rather suffer through the heat then the cold. You can still ride in the summer, you just have to wait until after dinner or ride early in the morning. I ride after dinner anyway so it works for me. There aren't too many shows in June/July/August, but there's the best showing in the world all winter long!!! Also, there are some Friday night shows under the lights in the summer, and they are a lot of fun.

                                        During the day I'm working anyway, so I don't care if it's hot. The horses stay inside under the fans, and go out late afternoon and at night.

                                        There's so much to do in Florida, and I love the beach. So it works for me!!
                                        DITTO! I lived in Illinois for 40 years and I LOVE Florida. The summers aren't much hotter they just last longer here. The bugs depend on where you are located. We don't have many mosquitos where we are because there isn't much lowland for water to stand in. Proper management of your manure will keep the flies to a minimum. If you go just north of Marion County into Levy County near Williston then the property taxes are much cheaper. The convienences of Gainesville and Ocala are 20 miles away in opposite directions and you are about 10 miles from HITS.

                                        Comment

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