There's nothing like exploring the wilds of Florida - and believe me, they're still some wilds left - on horseback. And the weather's just perfect for it now. So a couple of times recently we've loaded up the Windsong Farm trailer with its amenable cargo of Cheyenne, Digger, Teagan et al and descended on the local nature reserves.
First was a foray into Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park a little way east on 1-75 and which gained some notoriety last summer as the site of the police search for Brian Laundrie, who'd murdered his girlfriend out west - a sad story that captured the headlines for weeks. Then it was the summer rainy season and the park was flooded, one huge, practically impassable swamp. Grisly remains only came to light when it started to dry out. Now, in the winter, it turns into a picturesque jungle of palm tree groves and old oak trees draped with Spanish moss, with just the occasional rustle in the bushes to remind you that this is no city park.