The Owner Experience: Making a Dream Come True With Leah Lang-Gluscic

“So the very coolest thing about having my new owner is that my village has gotten just a little bit bigger with another fabulous, hard working woman! It was wonderful to spend time with Meagan DeLisle this weekend, getting to know her more and helping with dressage and cross country! This sport is really about support in every direction, up and down the ladder, laterally, diagonally, and heck if you can figure it out, into an entirely new plane. It was fabulous to turn the tables and help and support her in her 3rd place finish at her Novice move up!” – Leah Lang-Gluscic

As a competitor in both jumpers and eventing, I am no stranger to the peaks and valleys that come with owning my own horses. One thing that has always interested me, however, was the idea of owning a horse for a professional to campaign. Ownership is something that is often chatted about, but rarely are the details publicly shared. I know the names of many popular owners, and I also know that many of them outrank me financially in ways I could never imagine. Honestly, ownership seemed like something I would never be able to afford or enjoy, so I tucked that bud of a dream in the back of my mind and kept on trucking.

Enter Leah Lang-Gluscic.

Leah is a staple in our eventing community. A five-star eventer who isn’t afraid to speak her mind on important issues, this veteran has competed in some of the country’s most prestigious events including Kentucky.

I connected with Leah through my trainer, Jen Robertson, and while scrolling through social media one day I paused over one of Leah’s posts. She was looking for an owner, but not any ordinary owner, she wanted an “honorary owner.” This honorary owner would serve as an educator to the public about the importance of owners in the sport and the many ways a person could be an owner. This owner would travel with Leah to the major events of the 2020 season and be a part of the entire experience just like a real owner would! And the best part? This person would get all of these benefits at no charge. All Leah wanted in exchange was that this owner would be an advocate for ownership in the eventing world.

I was sold. I knew this was a great way for me to dip my toes into the head of the lake of ownership. I like to write (and talk … and use social media) and I love horses, so this seemed like a great fit for me. And Leah seemed to think so as well, because the next thing I knew I was the honorary owner of 5* eventer AP Prime and her up-and-coming 2* mount Mightylee.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join Leah and the boys on their first outing after the announcement of my ownership, but Leah didn’t let that hold back. As she, AP and Studly navigated each phase at Stable View, Leah kept me in the loop with frequent, in-depth updates. I heard all about her course walk, received updates after their evening hacks around the grounds, and received Leah’s play-by-play on every round. I wasn’t there, but I felt like I was sitting in the stands every step of the way.

Leah kept me in the know the entire weekend while she was at Stable View. Photos by Leah Lang-Gluscic.

Since then, the horses are enjoying some downtime before heading off to Florida for the circuit. While this may seem like a dull time for some, Leah has kept it exciting with frequent updates, training tips and more. Being an owner, I realized, came with many perks other than owning some fabulous horses and getting to enjoy some behind-the-scenes action at top shows.

A few weekends back both my trainer and I moved up at Windermere Run (Jen to Prelim, me to Novice). Jen wanted some help prepping for the cross country while she was there, so she called up Leah and asked her to tag along with us as an honorary member of Team Altamonte. I expected Leah’s time was to be dedicated to Jen, but as her honorary owner she spent quite a bit of time working with me. She helped me conquer dressage, accompanied me on my course walk and cheered me on the entire way. Here I was just some Novice rider from southeast Missouri getting some coaching from a five-star eventer! Needless to say, it felt great!

Our partnership as rider and owner may have just begun, but I am so excited for what is in store. We have a huge list of amazing shows on our radar for 2020, plus tons of exciting clinics and opportunities as well. In this blog series, you can expect my real, unfiltered experience as an owner. We plan to break down the barriers between owners and riders and educate the community on what being an owner really looks like. What most people don’t realize is that ownership isn’t always one person owning the entirety of the horse and footing the bill 100%. There are many different ways that a person can be involved as an owner, support the riders in our industry and enjoy what eventing is all about: teamwork.

So stayed tuned ladies and gents, this is going to be an exciting ride. I plan on being the most involved honorary owner that I can be, and who knows, maybe after this I can find a way to be an owner for real. And maybe so can you.