Dressage Scene in NE Florida (St. Augustine/Jacksonville)

Nearing semi-retirement and thinking about moving to the sunshine state. Husband wants to be near-ish to the water and good golf and I want access to good quality horse boarding. Looking around online it’s hard to tell if there are instructors or much in the way of boarding. Anyone know?

St. Augustine is in St. Johns County, which is growing very fast. Boarding is becoming more rare there and I’m not aware of much in the way of dressage competitions. Jacksonville is in Duval County, which has some rough areas (rural rough). Clay County is south of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, which does have regular dressage events (just south of I-10). There is boarding available nearby, but one place to avoid. There is boarding not far from the Clay County Fairgrounds. There seem to be more hunter/jumper type events there. One important note, a new toll highway, 23, should be complete within 5 years. A big portion is already finished. It will connect I-10 to I-95 in St. Augustine. Essentially, the JEC is at one end of 23 and St. Augustine is at the other. It will really cut back on the commute time between Clay County and St. John’s County, thus, the World Golf Village and the equestrian center won’t be nearly as far away from each other. Pick a spot off of 23 and you should be good. Of the three counties, I’d say Clay is friendliest for boarding right now, although, development is really picking up, so don’t wait too long. Might even want your own farm. As far as water…it’s everywhere, lol!

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There are two Group Member Organizations in the Jacksonville area - Northeast Florida Dressage Association, and the First Coast Classical Dressage Society. BOth groups offer schooling shows and NFDA hosts recognized shows, The Jacksonville Eq Center also has recognized shows scheduled throughout the year. Ocala is within easy driving range, and between the Florida HOrse Park, the new World Equestrian Center, and Grand Oaks in Weirsdale, there are lots of recognized shows and schooling shows. Ocala is the home of STRIDE, another large Group Member ORganization of the USDF.
Boarding is easier found here in Ocala, and between Jacksonville and Ocala, but our water is fresh… does hubby care? We are just an hour from each coast for salt water.