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Horsekeeping in northern Florida

I am seriously considering moving to northern Florida (between Tallahasse & Jacksonville & north of Gainesville) for health reasons. This past winter was hell and I don’t think I can survive another cold winter. Right now I have a senior pony and 2 minis. They live in a dry lot and get to walk a 1/2 mile circuit once a day, which I plan to increase as things get warmer.

The only things I normally vaccinate for are EEE, WNV, WEE, Tetanus & Rabies. Are there any other disease to be concerned about?

Aside from hurricanes & the heat, are there any other possible environmental problems or hazards?

I used to have a really excellent vet here who was great at doing their teeth, was actually capable of critical thinking and could do chiro/acupuncture. How likely is it that I’d be able to find a good vet?

Property wise, I’ve been looking for at least 15 acres in a safe area. I really much prefer rural life away from other people as much as possible, but all the sites I’ve been on looking at towns seem geared towards sending people to cities. Right now I’m about an hour outside of any city and am very happy here.

Is there anything I should know about living or having horses in Florida? I realize I’ll probably have to clip the minis more, since they’re hairy little beasts. I’ve been in Florida during the summer before, so am very aware of what the heat is like.

I am in Ocala. 9Just south of Gainesville). We have world class vets, dentists, and Chiros here. The Chi Institute is an internationally recognized teaching institute for Chiro, acupuncture, and other “non-western” medicine. And my dentist is also a vet who specializes in dentistry (she is locally famous). Remember our grass is pretty lush (I never lost my pastures this winter, despite some below-freezing nights.) It is a challenge keeping easy keepers here without a real drylot. Weather-wise, pay attention to how the land looks during the rainy season… and pay attention to the soil. If it is really sandy you must be careful with your pasture management.


Scratches can be a problem in the summer. I lived in SE Georgia (St. Simons Island and Brunswick) and Jacksonville for 8 years. Those two areas aren’t very horsey. I wish I could’ve lived closer to Ocala.

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Don’t have a pond.


What would be the issue with a pond? Aside from possibly attracting alligators. Up here the problem would be attracting the state bird…I mean mosquitos. :wink: Same issue?

Gaters! There is an alligator in every body of water in Florida! lol