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Moving a Horse To Florida

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Chris 1 day, 13 hours ago.

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  • ShilohsGirl Original Poster ShilohsGirl
    Topics Started: 7Replies Posted: 49

    Hey Everyone!
    I am taking my horse to school next year in Florida, and I need advice! He’s a 24 yo warmblood, no health or lameness issues. I will geta thorough vet examination before we leave, but he is super sensitive to bugs, any reccomendations?

    I am currently in CO, and he has lived here his whole life (except traveiling for shows) and I’m worried about the heat. How do you acclimate a horse to the extreme weather change?

    What are my need-to-knows, what blankets does he need (I assume just a rain sheet and a light blanket?)
    He will be living outside with plenty of shade.

    "Think of riding as a science, but love it as an art" ~George Morris

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    You don’t say where in FL. On the coast is one thing. Inland, you might as well be in Central America–heat AND humidity. The bugs are bad. Add a fly sheet to your list, along with fly masks. As for acclimating him, I would wait as long as possible to ship him to FL, so the weather has started to cool off. Winters are very nice. Good luck to you!

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 13

    Hope you don’t take offense if I suggest it might be much kinder to an older horse to keep him with a trustworthy friend in Colorado than ask him to take on a climate that’s absolutely brutal in the summer. That said, about 25 years ago I moved my 6 year-old horse from Michigan to SE Texas, so a somewhat similar situation in terms of latitude, heat and humidity. Joan is SO right about starting off during the mild winter season (no earlier than late October or into November if possible)! It surprised me that we managed to find a place where even in a semi-tropical climate, bugs aren’t bad at all (look for even the slightest elevation that drains well and catches prevailing breezes). Yes, access to shade is extremely important and the coolest barns here in Texas are mostly open air. I blanket only a few times a year, when we get a blast from the North that can suddenly plummet daytime temperatures into the 20’s-30’s.

    Even if your horse is a hard keeper I’d avoid grain as much as possible particularly during the summer and rely heavily on good forage and minerals/electrolytes. Be extremely vigilant watching for mold/off-smell in all types of feed–you may wish to look into “Cool Stance” which I really like. This may be your first introduction to Coastal hay and my horse never developed a taste for it, but pasture usually stays green year-around (though little to no growth in the winter). No personal experience with it, but I’ve heard Bahia (bah-HAY-yuh around here) grass/hay is not generally a good choice for horses, being low in nutritional content. Prepare to pay a small fortune for imported alfalfa or timothy, and send along as much hay with your horse as you possibly can to allow a gradual adaptation.

    Being a barefoot trimmer, I’d tell you to expect your horse’s hooves to change shape over the first year or so, perhaps quite dramatically when you go from hard/dry Colorado to wet/sandy Florida. Keep on top of the trimming (watch for excessive wall growth and potential loss of concavity) to avoid “pancaking”, since soft sand creates a very different type of hoof mechanism than solid terrain. Hope this helps…

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