It’s T-minus three weeks until our annual winter migration to Florida. The packing has long-since commenced, and we’ve gotten smarter over the 10 (10!) years we’ve been heading south, leaving more things there so there’s less schlepping. There are spreadsheets. There are whiteboards. There’s even a Google Doc. But it’s still quite the ordeal.

First, logistics: Hay in Virginia runs between $5 and $7, depending on where you get it and how much of it. In Florida, the same timothy hay we get will run me about $18-22. Grain is relatively comparable, and bedding is relatively comparable, but the hay is a doozy. So instead of hauling horses myself, I load my 2+1 Jamco full of Virginia hay and shove as much as I can into other peoples’ trailers as well. (The horses ship commercial.)

But that means that I’ve got the dressing room of that trailer for the personal effects of 12 horses. It’s quite the game of Jenga, but somehow it works. Tack. Blankets. (It does occasionally actually get cold in Wellington, so we take sheets, ceramic sheets and mediums for everyone.) Supplements. SUPPLEMENTS. And then everybody’s individual stuff: boots and helmets and whatever special things people want to bring. Saddle pads. And neoprene boots—I prefer neoprene in Florida because you can rinse it out and dry it, rather than having to wash after every use like fleece-lined boots. The sand in Florida is really abrasive, and I spend a lot of energy keeping legs clean, healthy and dry.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!