FL or VA for young OTTB let down in field

How much does a climate effect a horse’s happiness? Where should I choose to send my 4 year old TB for some let down time? I am ONLY asking for opinions on climate / atmosphere based off of experience or knowledge. I have already discussed health risks with my vet in terms of temperature change, risk of founder, laminitis, colic, etc.

That being said - - My horse is recovering from an injury and coming off an extensive stall rest that has caused him to become very anxious & frantic. The vet wants him turned out for 3 months to mentally recover & get back to the sweet baby horse he was before the stall rest. I have the choice between sending him to FL or Central VA for the let down. My vet said “wherever he is happier.” I want to do what’s best for my horse. I don’t know if I should send him with my trainer that I absolutely love- he would be living in warmer weather but it would probably be more expensive than what I’m paying now…and potentially a situation where he is put on the back burner as he is not a sale/competition horse & my trainer is in FL for that reason. The other choice is to send him to a rehab facility my vet told me about…it is owned by another vet. This option’s climate is significantly colder than where I live, $800 less than what I’m currently paying for board, 24-7 turnout aside from coming inside to eat for an hour twice a day, living in a field with another young TB recovering from an injury- this could be trouble as mine loves to run, and the biggest issue is he HATES the cold. I’ve bought him every weight of blanket with & without hoods, but I had to keep a sheet on him until almost May last year because he has no coat & hates the cold.It also means that my horse may not have a spot at my trainer’s barn when he comes back from FL.

**The reason behind moving him is that he needs to be under professional supervision while he’s going back to being turned out. My trainer is splitting time between my barn & FL so my horse can’t stay where he currently is as it is not supervised during the day or overnight. After 5 months of stall rest, he is on the brink of a mental breakdown.

I think you are overthinking the happiness part in relation to temperature (don’t we all do that, haha).

But, I do think climate is relevant in the sense that an anxious, high energy horse rehabbing from an injury will probably be better off somewhere without snow and ice in the pasture complicating the rehab.

Is central VA the other option or NY? I’m a little confused based on the title v. what you wrote.

I know you said you are just asking about climate, but I think the horse’s overall happiness and success are going to be impacted by a lot more than just temperature.



For a rehab horse, the footing will be better, turnout will be more consistent (I doubt he’ll get turnout at all if it heavily snows or gets icey?), and for some horses, being a little warm during the rehab process helps keep them a bit quieter than they would be if it was cold.

Does it matter if he’s on the back burner? If he’s only supposed to be turned out?

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Can you search for another option, like maybe a trustworthy rehab place besides the frigid NY place?
Even if the horse is in Fl. w/ trainer, will another pro be there 24/7 to oversee your horse?
I’d keep looking for another place. Keep talking to people and ask for suggestions as I don’t think any of your places so far are ideal.

Florida. No weather restrictions to impact the rehab.

My cousin owns the rehab facility in central Virginia (you can PM me to confirm name) and I would 100% send him there. They have really great professionals that will keep a close eye on him. Even if he’s just on turnout they can ensure he’s staying sound and happy. They also have so many methods to help his recovery if you want them to get him slightly back in shape before you take him back. They do a lot of in hand walking work with poles, using the theraplate etc. She uses these on her riding horses who aren’t even rehabbing just to help fitness. She took my suspensory rehab horse from a barn who was drugging him and using a chain to control him while he was on stall rest and transitioned him out to a field where he was super happy while I was overseas in Ireland.


All things being equal, if the options are FL, VA and NY, at this time of year I would say VA.

But I agree I’m confused about the options.

I think just price wise… if I’m still paying $1300 a month I would expect them to something besides put him in a field. When I asked I was told that’s the only board they offer… but that was before they left for FL

Sorry I fixed the post! I’m not sure why the title was wrong. The other option is central VA

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To clarify- we aren’t at the physical rehab time yet. He is going to be turned out in a field for 3 months because he needs a mental break after being in the stall for so long. After 3 months the vet will ultrasound again and let us know if he can start slowly easing back into work

Thanks! Central VA is not somewhere where I would worry about winter being too hard on a horse. My horses thrived year long when we lived there. Those fabulous rolling hills do wonder for them. But you know your horse best.


I’d vote Florida - there is still a lot of cold nasty weather left in Va…I’m in Central Florida and its a “chilly” 66 lots of sun.