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February 18, 2013

You Know You Are In Florida When…

Catherine Haddad Staller goes native in Florida. Photo by Julia Wentscher.

Dear Rita,

Now that I’ve moved to Florida after living in Germany for 20 years, everyone wants to know what I find different here. Fair question! It’s taken me a few months to articulate this, but put your tongue in your cheek. Here we go!

You know you are in Florida when…

The orange juice tastes better than the water.

You stop checking for bicycles at street crossings.

You start checking for polo ponies at street crossings.

You think you are getting picked up by a guy in a muscle car at a dressage show, but he asks you, “Ma’am, what sport are you doing?”

You drive ¼ mile to go to lunch.

A restaurant serves you enough food to feed a small African nation for $9.99.

The French fries are battered before they are deep-fried.

You leave the grocery store with 10 items and eight plastic bags.

You can’t decide between 15 different brands of toothpaste in the drugstore at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night.

Horses stick their heads out of trailers to catch the wind while driving.

Your vet shows up in a dually.

Your spell-check corrects the word “duallie.”

Riding helmets look like sombreros.

Buyers ask you, “Why are you selling him?”

You moisturize with SPF 100 on a daily basis.

You go to dinner in flip-flops, shorts and a hoodie.

You teach a riding lesson barefoot.

You eat dinner at 6 p.m. and order the Early Bird Special.

The stables are nicer than your condo.

Your fence keeps the dogs in, but it doesn’t keep the alligators out.

Your horses shy from white birds that walk.

You wear a down jacket at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Your German friends arrive with a spray tan and are browner than you are.

Your moped becomes a saddle carrier.

Your golf cart becomes a communications center.

A bale of hay costs more than dinner with wine.

Your farrier earns more than your lawyer.

Every cashier calls you “Honey.”

Polo is what you do for entertainment!

I’m Catherine Haddad Staller, and I’m sayin it like it is from Wellington, Fla.

Training Tip of the Day: Sometimes life will be different. But life with horses should be enjoyed anywhere in the world.

InternationalDressage.com