I’m happy to bring you this guest blog from fellow equestrian blogger Reese from Horses of the Ozark Hills as part of our new series. Reese is a teenage girl who loves living on a farm in the Ozark Hills with her horses and dogs. She has been riding western pleasure since age seven. She shares her experiences and insights on caring for seven horses and a pony on her blog Horses of the Ozark Hills. You can follow her on Instagram here to keep up with the shenanigans of her herd!
The Journey of a Horse Crazy Equestrian
What little girl doesn’t dream of having a horse!? Her room filled with stuffed ponies and horsey picture books; she fantasizes of the day when she can ride into the wind! I definitely was that horse obsessed youth whose day dreams were filled with magnificent mares and good-looking geldings! Yet as a young girl, I never could have imagined the path my equestrian journey would take! I didn’t end up with just one horse friend, but have been blessed with seven horses and a pony as well as the opportunity to care for the many beloved horses who live on in my memories.
Let me introduce you to the horses who have taken over my Instagram as well as my heart. Max is my horse boyfriend, he’s a pure sweetheart! Phoenix & Spartius are Rocky Mountain half brothers who really are more puppy than horse! Chestnut is a retired buckskin cowboy, and Tatum’s the cutest little pony! Those are my boys! Princess, Jasmine & Rosemary make up the girls. These three Haflingers are all related and literally the friendliest horses I know! I am currently training Jasmine and Rosemary to team drive, aka pull a carriage! Let’s just say my equines are definitely a handful! Nevertheless, they’re a beautiful, messy bunch that I’m happy to have in my hands! We spend our time trail riding through the Ozarks and enjoying each other’s company. Horses really do make the best friends! Juggling high school, sports, horses, *oh and a life* makes for one exciting ride! One I thought was worth blogging about!
Last year I started my very own blog so that others could follow my equestrian journey! It turns out that I not only LOVE blogging, but that I have really been able to grow as an equestrian via my blog. Before I started my blog, I was NOT AT ALL in touch with the equestrian community. I had barely any equestrian friends, wasn’t even on social media, and didn’t participate in any equestrian activities even on a local level. *Yes, I’m a bit of an introvert!* Now I have several online equestrian friends and a better connection to the horse owners I previously knew. In starting my blog I was becoming a part of the online equestrian community, and I didn’t even know it! Luckily for me this community is overflowing with kind horse loving individuals! I have learned so much about horses, people, new disciplines, and all things equestrian over this past year! I have gotten to connect with so many equestrians and been able to encourage and be encouraged by so many fellow horse lovers & owners!
Owning horses is definitely not all that I thought it would be. By that I mean it’s not a whimsical fantasy where everything is perfect. But I’m not disappointed. I have come to enjoy the hard work, challenges, and even the mistakes & mess-ups that prove I’m only human. Horse manure, flies, wacky tan lines, and early morning chores don’t appeal to everyone, but they do to me! I’m so thankful to have an online equestrian community to share my triumphs and mistakes with! A community that can relate to the ups & downs of horse ownership. Training my Haflingers has not been an easy process, but no matter if I’m sharing my progress or writing about a rough patch, it’s so encouraging to share with fellow equestrians and to hear their words of wisdom & encouragement!
Whether you’re already a part of this equestrian community or not, it’s definitely not something you want to miss out on! It has helped me grow as an equestrian and horse owner and I can’t wait to see what else is in store! Are you a part of the online equestrian community? I would love to know how connecting with fellow equestrians has impacted your life?