Ocala And Surrounding Area Horse Community

Anyone live in Ocala or the surrounding area? Can you tell me about the horse community there and horse care expenses there? How is the vet/blacksmith/trainer situation there?

We’re thinking of buying land near there in the future so we are looking at the surrounding area too.


Good luck buying land :slight_smile: I purchased right before the market went crazy and I’m now getting cold calls from people offering me 4x what I paid.

It’s an insanely horsey area. Just check out WEC :slight_smile: i haven’t had the pleasure to live down there yet, but the area is very horse centered. I’m sure there’s more feed stores than grocery stores.

We have the best vets and farriers - a wide selection of expenses. SOme farriers charge $430+ for a set of shoes, others $120.
LOTS of trainers, of all disciplines. Go to some shows and watch the ones you like.
The community is strong. I am most familiar with the dressage scene, and I can say the local USDF Group Member Organization, STRIDE, is the second largest in the region (after Georgia), and we also have western dressage and driven dressage members. LOTS of driving in this area. Eventing is growing leaps and bounds - there are three facilities I can think of off the opt of my heard. There are recognized Dressage shows within 1 hour virtually every weekend of the winter and most weekends in the summer. The H/J world is huge, between the shows at WEC and HITS. and LOTS of western.
SO, yeah, there is a big horsey scene here.
Prices are WAY up. You will be shocked at land prices. 10 AC about 3 miles from the FLorida Horse Park with a 3 stall barn and nice-looking house recent sold for 1Million. Youwill be shocked at Hay prices.

I live about an hour+ south of Ocala in Central Florida. As others have said, it’s a very horsey area. Lots of vets, access to a great equine clinic (Peterson & Smith), lots of farriers, trainers, etc. Outstanding Showgrounds with WEC. The combination of WEC’s opening in Ocala and the general pace of development in Florida has led to a significant increase in the prices of property in the area … from small “backyard farms” to larger farms/estates. Hay is expensive as most owners of sport horses choose to import hay rather than feed local “coastal” hay (which is also going up in price). All that being said the area is still way more affordable than Southern Florida (Wellington and vicinity).

Thx! We would buy after the prices normalize - hopefully they do!

Awesome! I’m a dressage rider as well.

How much are you paying for non-coastal bermuda hay? Thx.

Don’t wait too long or count on dramatic price drops, there has been no reduction in number of new residents in Central Florida every month for the last 2 years, fact that number goes UP every month. And its creeping closer to Ocala as we speak. One of the fastest growing areas in the entire country and fastest in Florida is The Villages. Just Southeast of Ocala.

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I agree with “findeight” re not counting on dramatic price drops. At best I think you can hope for stabilization as interest rates go up and the economy cools. But Central Florida is growing rapidly and developers bid up the price of undeveloped land.

non-coastal bermuda? Or do you mean other hays like timothy, orchard, etc? Depends on where you get it. I buy hay from Larsens because the quality is always good (and they stand behind it). Right now my horses are out 24/7 and arent getting much hay, so… sorry I dont know.

There are many types of Bermuda grasses. All of them originated in Africa with Giant Bermuda being high on the feeding scale in regards to digestibility.

Giant Bermuda grown in California that is locally available here in the Fort Worth area is currently $510 per ton

We have “coastal” and “Tifton”, a type of coastal developed in Georgia. Still Coastal, as far as I am concerned.

I’m fairly far NW of Ocala, but I pay $6.50 for Alicia Bermuda (picked up in field) and $12 for Timothy/Orchard mix (delivered and stacked). Both in two string bales approximately 50lbs per bale. Neither of my suppliers have indicated price increases for this year at this time. Ocala prices may be a bit different than my area, Pensacola.

Yes, hays like orchard and timothy. Thx!