A Unique Schedule

Jodie Kelly
Dressage Rider, Trainer, Clinician

Living in Destin Florida creates a unique set of circumstances for any horseperson.  However Jodie has learned how to work with the weather that Florida gives her.  "I live in Florida year round, and the building codes in the subdivision where our farm is prevents us from putting up an indoor or covered arena,” Jodie says.  “So, during the summer months, my schedule is completely reversed.  
Photo:Jodie Kelly and Derby with "the night shift" Caroline Adams, Gaby Collins, Kristine Lundblad

I ride all night and sleep a majority of the day.  In the past, we had a lot of trouble with horses developing anhydrosis (a condition in which horses don’t sweat) from the continuous heat, day in and day out of being in such high humidity.  Our solution, in order to keep the horses all working throughout the summer, is to ride them at night when the sun isn’t beating on them and let them rest during the day.”

On any given summer night, you will find Jodie’s barn in full swing at midnight or 1 a.m., but go out early in the afternoon and you won’t find a soul while the majority of the horses will be sound asleep in front of their fans.  “My day starts at 4:30 in the afternoon, and I start with all of my lessons,” Jodie states methodically.  “I am usually on my first horse between 8 and 9 p.m., depending on the day, and typically rolling into my driveway around 4 a.m.

Photo: It's never all work and no play in Destin, some of the advantages of the night shift, is a day off on the beach!

On the weekends I do my lessons in the morning as a lot of people that work or have school like to have their Friday and Saturday evenings free.

And the Kelly's know about hurricanes too. After many years of evacuating 35 horses from the Florida panhandle to safety, the Kellys' have a definite plan of action. Jodie has contributed to DressageDaily their evacuation plan which has helped many other stables manage their disaster preparedness program.

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