10 Deep Thoughts from Ocala

In December EN blogger and Vermont eventer Kate Rakowski spread her snowbird wings and flew south to Ocala, Florida with her horse, Kissa. The mission: training with Tik Maynard. Today, with just two weeks left down south,  she reports back with some Ocala life lessons learned. Read Kate’s previous blog posts here

Smiling at sunrise in a great hat. Must be jump judging. Photo courtesy of Kate Rakowski.

  1. MTG and Chlorhexidine are good and you can put Dex in your Desitin for scratches/summer sores/rain rot, but the prescription meds are really the only thing that’s strong enough for Florida crud.
  2. Area 3 eventers are really friendly too and everyone loves my $.65 hat.
  3. When you take it easy for a little while you realize just how busy and frazzled almost everyone is, and you know that’s how you are back in reality. You wonder if that’s really a good way to live and what your animals think about you rushing around all the time. Check out this really good article that came across my news feed recently.
  4. Even when you run away to Florida with your horse and try to escape, your life and all its baggage follows you. You still have to worry about money, and where you want to live and what you’re going to do with your life and how to balance family and horses.
  5. Volunteering is actually selfish — it’s so fun to see who’s doing what and, if you’re as extroverted as me, it’s really fun to chat with horse people all day. Plus you get schooling passes so you and your horse can finally go play at all the places.
  6. Big name eventers are super friendly and real people too. Sharon White invited me to visit her place after chatting all day. Even Jessica Phoenix, when she’s riding her cute but tense mare laments, “Why do we have to follow the big floaty chestnut.” Words that have come out of my mouth. I held the Bad Eventer’s phone and whip for her a few times and I didn’t even go crazy fan girl on her but she was really nice.
  7. New favorites: horse name — Alfredo Saucy Pants (if anyone knows the people who have this horse, I want to meet them); Thoroughbred stallion — Saketini (he’s gorgeous, scopey and soooo quiet and kind); dressage test to watch — Snow Leopard doing Intermediate so relaxed that his lop ears were flapping.
  8. There’s no feeling like that first cross country school after a long break from it when your horse is now more rideable and braver because of the work you’ve done with her.
  9. Eosinophilic Keratitis and eye problems in general suck. If you come to Florida, get your horse insured so your vet bills don’t start to exceed your mortgage for the year.
  10. Everyone is somewhere on the 1-10 “[email protected]#k it, I’m out of here” scale; many people are living above an 8. This number changes daily. And even when you’re in fantasy land, you’ll start to feel this way and that’s how you know it’s time to go home.