I have had the priveledge to travel with some friends to Florida. It has been a great experience and in a word what I feel is -it is “doable“. If you want to that is.
When I thought about riders going to Florida I thought about the professional riders with strings of horses and bags of money to invest in such a venture. But the reality of what I saw was different. There are professional riders, but there are also riders who have stretched their growth and include their trip to Florida as part of their athletic development.
Where I come from, the great white north called Canada, specifically Ontario, was experiencing the coldest winter on record an riding was difficult due to the EXTREME cold. These riders were benefiting on many levels. They are developing their horses, their riding, their networks and they miss the minus thirty Celsius weather for 5 weeks while they are here.
When Ruth Allum of Oakhurst Farms invited me I thought, OK I’ll do it. It has been something I had been thinking about for a while. Well, dreaming about more like but never actually pulling the trigger on it. Arriving in Florida After an early morning snow storm which lead to delayed flights we arrived safely in Florida.
The first thing I noticed, beside the beautiful temperatures, was the Spanish moss which hung so elegantly from the branches of the huge trees. Something from the covers of those trashy paperbacks.
As we wound our way through the suburbs the landscape opened up into brown rail fencing. This was horse country. There were humble stables with horses dotting the lawns to magnificent manicured fields, jump courses and dragged dressage rings. Something for everyone! That is the point isn’t it.
You can, if you have the means, greet to Florida if you chose to.
My issue is I always thought it was something everyone else did. Not something which I could do but rather for people who were better than me. What I see now is it is obtainable. It is doable and it is for people exactly like me!
The problem is I waited about 20 years before I realised I could do it. So I’d you are oh the fence about taking the plunge to go to Florida… In those words by that famous show company… Just do it. And for heavens sake don’t wait for ever,like I did. Know you are good enough and you do belong and by taking these steps you are moving out of your comfort zone to grow your experiences and improve.