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Living in Palm Beach with Horses?

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  • Living in Palm Beach with Horses?

    I might have a job opportunity in the West Palm Beach area in the next year.

    It is 19* F outside where I am right now, and I hate cold weather, so I think my ability to objectively weigh the pros and cons of living in Florida with a horse is non existent.

    I would have to board my horse for the first couple of years I am there, are there places with lots of turnout? Does it really get that hot in the summer? Do the cockroaches really get big enough to carry away small ponies?

    I've heard all these crazy things about how there's no pasture and all the horses just wilt in the summer. I know I need to get out there to look for myself, but unfortuantely when I've gone to that area in the past, I've never really gotten a chance to check out the horsey parts of town.

    So I need the down and dirty scoop on living with horses in South Florida! Tell me the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  • #2
    I honestly don't know much about the horse scene in south Florida, but it does get brutally hot and humid for at least 4 months out of the year.

    From the human perspective, housing costs are very high there, and it is crowded with people. My in-laws lived there for 20 years, and moved up north here with us to get away from the madness.

    I'm much happier in north/central Florida. Yes it gets hot here, but not crowded with cranky people, and not as expensive to live.

    You can also join FlaHorse BB and see if anyone there can share their experiences with the horse scene down there.

    Found this with some listings of boarding stables in the West Palm Beach area:

    http://www.newhorse.com/page/horsebo...10.g.4558.html
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

    Comment


    • #3
      We lived there for 14 years with horses and loved it. The grass grows year-round so as long as it is fertilized and not overgrazed, you'll have nice pasture. There are some very nice boarding barns, but the prices may be more than you presently pay. Look west of Palm Beach in the Wellington area. There is lots of horse activity north of Palm Beach in the Jupiter area. Definitely check in to the Florida Horse Page - a very active Bulletin Board. The weather is hot in the summer, but because of the proximity of the ocean, you always have breezes. I find the summer in North Central Florida much hotter, much more humidity, and more oppresive. All the feed and hay is imported to South Florida, so you will find the prices higher. There are too many people, cars, etc. but they are there because the weather is so lovely. Some of the people may seem somewhat self-absorbed, but horse-people are always fun. There are great horse shows, even greater tack stores, and lots of nice places to ride. The trees don't get very tall, so you won't get much shade, there are big cockroaches, now and then a hurricane, but I think you'll have a great time with your horses.

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      • #4
        Palm trees, year round sun, no frozen water buckets?

        I would pummel you if you didn't go....
        ...don't sh** where you eat...

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        • #5
          Thanks for the Florida BB tip! I just moved to Orlando from the SF Bay Area (without my horse) and am poking around for the appropriate activities.
          *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

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          • #6
            I lived in Jupiter Fl- Palm beach county
            for 15 years before I moved to Gainesville for school. MY horse is still down south. Its possible to find big turnount pastures but most of the barns I have been to have small paddocks. As for summer, yes its HOT! But not unbearable. My horse stands in his stall with his fans on all day and get hosed off whenever he is sweaty. I live in the farms/woodsy part of Jupiter and the cockroaches aren't THAT bad I have houses in tennessee and north carolina and my family owns a dairy center in vermont, so I have ridden in different states and by far Florida is my favorite. I will never leave. It has the best horse shows, best tack stores, best show grounds. Its perfect! I miss being so close to WEF. It used to be a 30 min drive to watch WEF and now I am 4 hours away!

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            • #7
              I just came back to VA from living in West Palm Beach. I never saw any cockroaches. Yes, it is VERY hot in the summer, but its the humidity that kills you. But I loved waking up any time and knowing that when I went outside it would be warm. I'm just grateful VA is making a run of nice weather to help me acclimate back- we're still wearing short sleeves!

              The horse scene is incredible. All through the winter months, going to Wellington was my saving grace. It was incredible, after so long reading about these things, to just BE there, every weekend. If I think too hard about how incredible Wellington is, I will get on a plane right now.

              It is very expensive to live in West Palm, although not to live in some other parts of Palm Beach County. There is traffic, but I don't find it as bad as NOVA. Mind you don't put yourself in a position to commute on 95 during rush hour! That will do you in.

              I'm guessing from the lack of mention that kids are not in the picture- if so, be very careful about the school district you choose in PBC.

              When I flew into the Palm Beach airport, I could see my roof, right on the water. Oh, WPB....
              <><

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              • #8
                Sorry to hijack, but how hot is northern Florida? I always hear about how hot southern FL is, but never northern FL! I can't take another IL/WI winter .
                "I think animal testing is a terrible idea, they get all nervous and give silly answers."
                -fry & laurie

                Comment


                • #9
                  Born there, left there, came back with horses, left again, wouldn't go back if someone paid me. Blecchhh.
                  In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                  A life lived by example, done too soon.
                  www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spaceagevalkyrie View Post
                    Sorry to hijack, but how hot is northern Florida? I always hear about how hot southern FL is, but never northern FL! I can't take another IL/WI winter .
                    Moved from Live Oak (near Lake City) as it gets too cold in the winter there for these old bones. Highs in the mid 90s in the summer, lows in the low 20s in the winter.

                    My farm will eventually go into foreclosure up there (10 acres, house, pool) so keep an eye on Bank of America's web site. It's pretty grown up now and the pool is so green you can walk on it, but BOA refuses to work with us and we've already discharged it in bankruptcy.
                    Everybody lies - Gregory House, M.D.

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                    • #11
                      I'm in the next county south of Pam Beach - Broward and have many friends in Palm Beach. Lots of good info so far. More turnout is available in Palm Beach as there are some pretty rural areas - Loxahatchee, Jupiter, Caloosa Equestrian Center, Deer Run, White Fences and of course Wellington.

                      Tons of horses in Fla in fact it ranks 3rd in the Nation especially in the winter time. I just went camping this past weekend and ran my AC Sat night as it was a bit hot.

                      Summer is brutal but we all have AC and fans for the horses. But from Nov - early April we have the BEST weather in the world... while the rest of you are freezing your patooties off!

                      I'm in an active trail riding club and we day ride year round and camp from Oct - April. Ocala is also very nice and I would prefer to be up there, but work keeps me down here. someday

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by spaceagevalkyrie View Post
                        Sorry to hijack, but how hot is northern Florida? I always hear about how hot southern FL is, but never northern FL! I can't take another IL/WI winter .
                        It gets a little chilly up in N. Florida, but not excessively so. No snow (except on the rare once-in-several-decades minor flurry). Average winter temps for the Gainesville area, for example, are around 50F to 30F. Summers in the 90F to 70F range.

                        It'll always be cooler than the W. Palm/Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area, which is basically sub-tropical.

                        Personally, although I'm stuck in central Florida, I far prefer northern Florida. The woods are absolutely beautiful, the weather is a little milder, and there's a touch of elevation to the terrain--not as flat as the more southern portions of our state. Plus, there are some absolutely amazing springs and spring-fed rivers (the Ichetucknee was always my favorite--an ex of mine grew up within walking distance of it). There's a better attitude up there sometimes, too.. people are more Old Florida, with the slow, calm country courtesy which is lacking in the more touristy areas in the central-to-southern parts of the state.

                        Also... N. Florida has easier access to the excellent equine veterinary facilities in Gainesville.
                        The Western Adventures of Loki, a Florida Swampdog in Los Angeles

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Our winter barn is in West Palm Beach- I'm there twice a year to drive the horses down in late November and to pick them back up at the beginning of April. While its pretty for those couple of days, no way would I live there! Last April 2nd, I flew down to bring the horses home and it was 90 degrees when I landed (at 9:00PM!!!!!!!) The pasture is nice, green all year round- but there doesn't seem to be that much of it.
                          I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
                          If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            90 at 9 pm at night in April? Bit of an exaggeration there.... We did have a beastly summer 95 for many days and it only gets down to 85 at night, but that is from July - Sept, not April.

                            Fla is very humid and that is what makes it much hotter and uncomfortable. I do hate the summers here, but I think I would hate winters more up north dealing with the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. It all depends on what you are used to and can adapt to.

                            From Nov - early April, the weather is wonderful. Yesterday it was a high of 77 in Wellington and a low of 71. How nice is that?

                            We have grass year round, however many people put too many horses on too little land, good pasture management makes all the difference.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              for the OP,

                              are you a hunter/jumper type or dressage type ? either, I can recommend some barns in Loxahatchee, that is where our barn's winter barn is. Good turn-out, less expensive than Wellington (I would think; especially if you want to buy a place), just 15-20 minutes to WEF, and very easy drive to West palm

                              considering just horses, I would live there is a heartbeat.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by dixiedolphin View Post
                                It'll always be cooler than the W. Palm/Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area, which is basically sub-tropical.
                                Actually, the southern part of the state is tropical, not sub-tropical.

                                Personally, although I'm stuck in central Florida, I far prefer northern Florida. The woods are absolutely beautiful, the weather is a little milder, and there's a touch of elevation to the terrain--not as flat as the more southern portions of our state. Plus, there are some absolutely amazing springs and spring-fed rivers (the Ichetucknee was always my favorite--an ex of mine grew up within walking distance of it). There's a better attitude up there sometimes, too.. people are more Old Florida, with the slow, calm country courtesy which is lacking in the more touristy areas in the central-to-southern parts of the state.
                                Ditto this. If ever I moved back to FL, it would be in the north. Better show experience than down south - Ocala and Jacksonville are better and less expensive than WEF - and the topography is much, MUCH more appealing. Also a great jumping-off point for the Gulfport series of shows.

                                Also... N. Florida has easier access to the excellent equine veterinary facilities in Gainesville.
                                This, too.
                                In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                                A life lived by example, done too soon.
                                www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by ESG View Post
                                  Actually, the southern part of the state is tropical, not sub-tropical.
                                  Well, technically the "tropics" are bounded by the Tropic of Cancer & Tropic of Capricorn. The Tropic of Cancer passes just below Florida, so we don't count as tropical, strictly by the book.

                                  But it's still hot as heck here!

                                  Ditto this. If ever I moved back to FL, it would be in the north. Better show experience than down south - Ocala and Jacksonville are better and less expensive than WEF - and the topography is much, MUCH more appealing. Also a great jumping-off point for the Gulfport series of shows.
                                  Absolutely.. there's some beautiful land between Gainesville and Ocala along I-75 that would be easy access to all the good equine venues in the state. Ahh... I can dream.
                                  The Western Adventures of Loki, a Florida Swampdog in Los Angeles

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Heart's Journey View Post
                                    90 at 9 pm at night in April? Bit of an exaggeration there.... We did have a beastly summer 95 for many days and it only gets down to 85 at night, but that is from July - Sept, not April.

                                    Fla is very humid and that is what makes it much hotter and uncomfortable. I do hate the summers here, but I think I would hate winters more up north dealing with the snow, ice, and freezing temperatures. It all depends on what you are used to and can adapt to.

                                    From Nov - early April, the weather is wonderful. Yesterday it was a high of 77 in Wellington and a low of 71. How nice is that?

                                    We have grass year round, however many people put too many horses on too little land, good pasture management makes all the difference.
                                    Maybe it was just a ridiculously warm day- but you know how when you land and the pilot gives the "you are now in blah, blah, blah" speech- they definitely said it was 90
                                    I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
                                    If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      i live near tampa, just moved here from chicago a year ago. it gets really hot from july to october so be prepared. it was 83 here yesterday. my horse has adjusted pretty well already. i board at a small barn with lots (well a lot for my area) of pasture. it's easier to do all night turnout then during the day. daytime is too hot. in july/august/septemember i tried to ride very early morning or at night after dark. just be careful after dark b/c the mosquitoes are like hummingbirds! cockroaches you learn to deal with. just make sure when you get done hosing your horse off, hose yourself off too!
                                      be kind to your horses mouth!

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