We all know how difficult it is to find a place for our equine friends to call home. It has to be the kind of place where both you and your horses can feel at ease. It’s so difficult that many of us give up and build our own happy place where our horses get exactly the care they need. Hey, if you want something done right….
I got lucky when I came down to Florida. Before I made the move I flew down for a week in August to check out homes and farms. I wanted a place that was reasonably priced, well maintained, clean and offered dry stalls. I wasn’t ready to hand the reins over to someone to care for my horses and I rather enjoy handling the care myself. A farm within hacking distance of the WEF showgrounds was a plus.
I used a number of different sights to find a facility. I had numerous correspondence with potential farms. Many of them were quite beautiful and fit most of my needs. I had almost settled on one in Palm Beach Point. It was within my budget, well maintained AND hacking distance to the showgrounds. However, there was no one occupying the farm in the summer and I was coming down with 2 three year olds and a stallion. All of which were very well mannered, but still, not the best idea to be riding alone. So I decided to take a drive around one morning and see if I couldn’t find a barn that appeared to have some activity. If you are at all familiar with the Wellington\Loxahatchee region I feel this is really the best way to find your dream barn since we have 5 acre farm next to 5 acre farm everywhere you go. The summer months are quite dead, however, so although I passed dozens of stables, I only found one where I caught a single horse being exercised.
I immediately pulled over and googled the address to find it was named May Faire Oaks. I clicked on the link for the website and called the contact. I asked if they offered annual dry stalls, she said yes, and I scheduled an appointment to check it out.
Upon arriving at the farm the next day, I was greeted by a number of boarders, including a few I had met the year before as a seasonal boarder at another facility. People I had also shown with in Michigan during the summers. I felt like this barn had been tucked away just waiting for me to find it.
When I met Kim Jackson, I felt at ease. We shared many of the same ideas and I could tell she was also a snob about horse care. A compliment in my book. She had a great deal of knowledge about horse breeding and caring for young horses as they mature. I felt like I could sleep sound at night knowing my fur babies would be tucked in tight at night check – and I was right. Kim’s attention to detail has never slipped in the last 5 years and it’s rare that I notice even the slightest scratch before her or one of her grooms. The care is so good, in fact, that my horses are now on full care with Kim’s grooms handling everything from feeding to tacking up. All I have to do is show up and ride. While I miss some of the work, I ride 5-8 horses a day at various barns and time is limited. It’s a blessing that I have found someone I trust with my best horses to ease my workload.
Aside from the attention to detail, the impeccable maintenance, and the brand new covered arena put in last summer, the camaraderie at May Faire Oaks is what I can never replace. I might be able to find another barn with great care, but I will never find another farm with the May Faire Oaks Team. We’ve been working together for years. We understand each other. We help each other. We compliment each other. It’s rare to witness a group of professional equestrians working under the same roof without ripping each others eyes out to earn a buck, let alone working together to cultivate each others development. We genuinely enjoy watching each other flourish. Don’t get me wrong, we are all women, so we have our ups and downs, but at the end of the day we want nothing more that to see each other succeed.
I’d like to give a big THANK YOU to Kim Jackson for providing such a wonderful home for our beloved animals and for somehow managing to pick the cream of the crop in South Florida that is the May Faire Oaks Team. But most importantly, I can’t finish this without recognizing all the hard work you put into making sure our horses are happy and healthy. You have gone ABOVE and BEYOND to care for my horses in sickness and in health. From trailering my horse to the vet in the middle of the night, to attending vet calls when I can’t be there, to putting up with my slightly possessed chestnut mare attacking ghosts in the middle of the night. I’ve watched you go out of your way providing care to boarders horses whenever they need special attention or medication. Not many farms come with a vet tech on call.
Kim Jackson, YOU ARE APPRECIATED.
A big thanks again to Carmen Franco for the wonderful photos. You have made my blogs 100% more interesting. You too are appreciated!