And it’s soooo warm 😎
We finally made it, and I *think* we have everything unpacked. Kate and I had a fairly uneventful trip down in our Budget rental van, pulling my car on a trailer. We drove overnight, starting Saturday at 8pm, in order to miss Thanksgiving traffic. And it worked! We arrived late morning on Sunday, and we powered through the day, setting up stalls, unpacking all the hay and grain and shavings and taking our time to set up everything just the way we wanted it.
Florida is so expensive in every regard. So in order to make it slightly more reasonable, we brought most of the hay and grain and shavings we’ll need. Nice hay at home can be found for $7.50-$8.50 a bale. Nice hay down here starts around $17/bale!! 🤨 And grain is $5-6 more per bag down here. So, we decided the easiest thing was to pack as much as we could, and hope it doesn’t mold!
I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Why are you going to FL so early, and why are you only staying 6 weeks?!” Fair question. I got this grant from the amazing organization, TDF, and it is for $6000 to use toward furthering my education. By the time you start calculating all the costs of getting to FL, staying in FL, training, etc, that $6000 doesn’t last too long. Coming slightly “pre-season” meant certain costs down here we’re a little lower.
My kids are 2 and 4, and I could never be away from them, so they definitely had to come. My husband is wonderful and supportive and luckily has a job from which he can work remotely. So we discussed the timeline, and we agreed this time frame (Thanksgiving to New Year’s) would mean they would only miss 3 weeks of preschool rather than 6 full weeks, because of holiday breaks. We’ve already paid for preschool, so I’d rather them not miss too much.
The last big factor for me was thinking about really getting the focus of whomever I trained with. Once the season starts up in full down here, things are a bit crazy. There are huge shows to go to every weekend, if you wanted, and they don’t last just Saturday and Sunday. So you often have someone’s undivided attention Tuesday, maybe on Wednesday, and then they’re off to compete. And if they’re smart and take a day off, it’s got to be Monday. All the good trainers I know down here work ridiculously hard, so it’s not that they don’t want to give you their time, they just don’t have much time to give. But with this earlier time frame, folks are less stressed, and things are WAY less crazy. Makes for a much more enjoyable learning experience for me.
The mares all arrived Monday morning at 6 am. Cody Irion from Eclipse Equine Transport shipped them for us and did a fabulous job. He was super to communicate with and said he would arrive at 6am, and pulled up to the gate at 5:58!! When has that ever happened with a shipper?!
Flow is at Haven Safe Farm, owned by Betsy Juliano. (More on that amazing place soon.) And D’Arcy, Frieda, Blush and Lily are all at Centerline Farm, owned by Annette DaVee, which is one mile away. Annette is letting us use her separate 4 stall barn, which has run outs behind each stall and is so adorable!
Today we just hand walked everyone and tomorrow we will walk them all under saddle and see how they feel. Everyone seemed to settle in fairly well, except Flow. She was dehydrated and acting colicky. So I had the vet out right away to check her and give IV fluids. After getting some water in her belly and 10 liters of fluids in her, she perked up and was her usual hungry, pushy self. So I’ll keep an extra close eye on her these next few days. Think good thoughts for us! 😘😘