Well, it was the late fall 2017/early winter 2018 when I started this blog to keep track of the creation of Hedgerow Farm. I really thought we would live there forever… it was such a beautiful, peaceful place and we we absolutely loved it. It was an amazing refuge during the acute phase of the pandemic, and we were very, very fortunate to have that sanctuary. So much has happened since then!
Like a lot of people I suppose, we made some lifestyle changes during that time, and one of them was moving to a new state.
We had started spending winters in FL a number of years ago, and in fact there are some pictures and thoughts from the beginning of that adventure in the chapter called “The Hedgerow Team Heads South.” A bit later, we bought a condo in Wellington, right across the street from the Global Dressage Festival, and really enjoyed having the opportunity to watch world class competition all season long. Of course, that meant boarding the horses during the winter months – the condo didn’t come with stalls!
I had a good bit of fun renovating the condo – I went very modern and monochromatic. Here are a couple pictures that show how it turned out. We did it “all at once” before we actually moved in, so it was easier than doing the piece-by-piece renos we’ve done in other homes.
It was really different from living at the farm. We felt like we had a “city condo” – but one that was literally steps from the horse show, and of course, being anywhere in Wellington is horsey heaven. Everyone is walking around in riding gear, there are tons of tack shops and feed stores and so one… my idea of heaven on earth. Getting to watch the very best riders in the world, day after day… there is just nothing like it!!
But geez, boarding.
Through the years, before we had our farm, I was fortunate to board at some really lovely facilities with some truly fantastic people. And of course, if you are a busy professional (or busy parent, etc) then having the convenience of boarding is truly a luxury.
But it is just.not.the.same as having your horses at home.
We did fall in love with Florida, and with the Wellington area in particular. We kept pushing off our return date and started looking for small farms with palm trees. As you can imagine, they are a bit of a hot commodity here. We looked at the half dozen properties that were in our price range. We had a number of substantive conversations about whether some of the properties we looked at could be renovated, or needed to be torn down so we could start over. Since we work at home, this was, er… not optimal.
We didn’t find anything that worked for us, so we went home. Back to beautiful Hedgerow and our life in GA. It was lovely, but we kept half an eye on the FL market.
And then one day, a new farm for sale popped up. It was only 5 miles from our Wellington condo, in Loxahatchee Groves. Six stalls, nice paddocks, and a huge arena with mirrors!! And the house was a ranch style, similar to what we had in GA. We were smitten, and decided to buy it.
The new Hedgerow South:
It was much smaller than the property we had in GA, and I was a bit worried about having enough paddock space. But shortly after we moved in, the land next door became available and we were able to buy it and enlarge the farm to have more paddocks, and space to hack outside of the big arena.
The arena, complete with GGT footing and full set of mirrors:
The skies are gorgeous.
The view toward the expanded paddocks/hacking field.
The barn is literally steps from the house/pool!
And so here we are, at Hedgerow South. The barn has lovely big stalls with big windows and a wide aisle. In the evening, when we sit out by the pool to enjoy the sunset, the horses are right there with us!!
And so a new adventure begins.
We spent the late summer and early fall getting the barn set up and the horses settled in. We are (mostly) unpacked and organized; the plan is to enjoy the holidays and then get started on the house. It’s got lovely bones and I am really looking forward to it … and to picking up this blog to chronicle our progress again. So much has changed, but the heart of Hedgerow is still the deep love of the horses we are so lucky to have in our family. More on the horses next time!
For now, happy holidays from the sunny south!!