Wednesday News & Notes from Ocala Horse Properties

Not everyone would buy a horse on the cusp of winter in Britain. It’s probably misguided / naive / just plain crazy / all of the above, but I’m going with it being a pronounced declaration of my commitment to my horse dream. Also, he’s going to take a real pretty picture in the snow.

I’ve had him precisely three days, and here are three things I’ve learned:

  1. What’s in my head can be my worst enemy.
  2. Taking care of my wellbeing is fundamental to being able to show up for him and take care of his.
  3. Celebrate every single win, especially the tiny ones.

Take from that what you will.

Also, if you carry a haynet through the shetlands’ turn-out space, they will chase you!

My guy’s just a seven-year-old and we’re only starting to get to know each other but in my more whimsical moments, there’s the slightest hint of a flight of fancy that one day, my cob will follow in the hoofprints of twenty-year-old supercob Star X and take on Badminton Grassroots, his feathers flying as he gallops along the track and his fluffy ears hunting for the next fence. I’ve got it in my diary for 2036.

P.S. It’s National Go for a Ride day today, which surely means your boss is required to give you the day off work so you can, you know, go for a ride. And please do exploit the ambiguity surrounding this national day…

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Wednesday News and Reading

The eventing community lost a beloved friend on November 15th, Amber Jean Tucker. The loss is felt by all who knew Amber, as well as the wider eventing community, the domestic violence survivor community, and the health and fitness community. Amber was a huge supporter of and local partner to the Event at Skyline, one of Area IX’s biggest events. The event organizers are helping to find homes for Amber’s 30+ horses, and along with other close friends are fundraising in support of Amber’s family and to aid in the re-homing of her horses. Carrie Matteson has set up a GoFundMe, where all money raised, and that from the rehoming and selling of her horses, will be used to create a fund for Amber’s family and two teenage boys. You’ll find the GoFundMe to support Amber’s family here.

Over the weekend, EN’s dear friends Carlos and Sam from Equestly had to face a nightmare scenario: their house burned down, leaving them with just enough time to grab their dogs and get out before the building was engulfed. Sadly, they lost one of their two beloved cats in the blaze, and all their possessions, too — but Kim Tierney has set up a GoFundMe to help them get back on their feet ahead of the holiday season. Check it out and help out, if you can, here.

There’s new – prize winning – research into the management of overweight horses. Described by the judges as “highly relevant to horse owners and the wider industry”, the thesis – ‘Oat Straw in the Haylage Diet: Exploring the effect on equine weight, bowel movements and chewing and consumption’ – was unanimously voted as the winner of the 2023 BETA (British Equestrian Trade Association) Thesis of the Year. The finalists gave presentations to the judging panel, which you’ll find on the BETA YouTube channel, and you can watch the winning presentation here. [Tipping the Scales]

Valegro’s stepping back into the spotlight to celebrate 25 years of British Dressage. He’ll meet up with some of his dancing pals at the National Convention this weekend, where human and equine stars – including riders, coaches and judges – will share their insights into training and education, as well as celebrating the success of British dressage over the last quarter century. It’s said that everyone thinks they have the best horse and none of them are wrong, as Charlotte Dujardin proves in her delightfully soppy post about her main man. [British Dressage National Convention – 25th & 26th Nov – Schedule / Live Stream]

Seeing eye to eye with our horses is a special part of our relationship with them. As a new horse owner, I’ve been doing a whole lot of Googling this week, and I came across this throwback article about using eye contact to communicate with horses. There’s a gentleness to this approach, which I like. I’ve become super aware of where my eyes are when I’m around my future best friend, and what they’re telling him as I gaze at him in awe. [I See You]

#iykyk – They’re never ‘just’ a horse. Another throwback find, this one had me weepy as I contemplated the immensity of becoming a horse owner. Horses are so much more than the sum of their parts – they’re friends, companions, partners, team mates, fitness buddies, muses, therapists, gurus… the list goes on, and although many traits will be shared between many equestrian partnerships, each individual relationship will have its own, unique qualities too. Lauren Mauldin shares the magic of her connection with her special pal in this heartfelt blog. [The Magic of Horses]

Horse wear is hot in the fashion world right now – we’ve always been stylish, it’s just taken a beat for the rest of the world to catch on. From pony prints and cross country jerseys, to bits making an appearance in jewelry other than stock pins and some very cool appaloosa-spotted Stella McCartney boots, top designers are taking inspiration from equestrianism and coming up with some hot looks that probably shouldn’t be worn to muck stalls. [Hot to Trot]

Sponsor Corner

The Ocala Horse Properties team has expanded! Meet their two new agents, Amy Atkins & Stacy Larsson. “These two accomplished agents combine an incredible equestrian passion and extensive experience in luxury real estate.” Read more 👉

Video Break

A bunch of equestrian superstars took to the racetrack for the Parade of Champions on Countryside Day at Cheltenham Races to raise funds for the British Equestrian Team: Mission Paris.

Led out by OTTB Santini, who came fourth in arguably the most famous steeplechase in the world, the English Grand National, and is now going eventing with William Fox-Pitt, there were stars galore at the event. Who can you spot?

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