Learning Something New Every Day

Being Secretary of the Maryland Horse Council is not always that secretarial. Take for instance, this past weekend’s Maryland Horse Council Annual Barbeque, when I had the opportunity to play polo on the Maryland Horse Council Executive Committee’s team.

Valerie Ormond (left), Grace Fulton (center), and Jaime Navarro (right). Photo by Sue O'Donnell.

Valerie Ormond (left), Grace Fulton (center), and Jaime Navarro (right). Photos and videos by Sue O’Donnell.

Capitol Polo Club graciously provided us the horses, mallets, and brief instruction, so we could provide half-time entertainment in the form of a “celebrity” polo match. Yes, it was a test of my nerves to hop on the most expensive horse I’d ever sat on, ride left-handed, swing a mallet, not get hit, and not fall off in front of 200 spectators. I think the visuals tell a better story.

First, getting acquainted with the pony (um…not a pony at all, a horse) and instructions on the appropriate use of the mallet.

Getting instruction

Jessica from Capitol Polo Club helping with the Argentine polo pony, Sondra, and the mallet.

A very brief practice session with a member of the opposing team in black. And yes, that also happens to be my husband, Jaime Navarro. He was a natural and scored the first goal.

Then to the action.

Team Maryland Horse Trials @ Loch Moy (in black) triumphed over Team State Farm Insurance (in white) in a 2-0 victory. A big thank you to our team sponsors Carolyn MacIntosh and Dale Clabaugh!

The teams in the field

From left: “Celebrity” players Grace Fulton, Jaime Navarro, Guillermo Warley, Dave Taylor, Steuart Pittman, Dr. Peter Radue (DVM), Valerie Ormond, and Stephen Fulton.

It was all in good fun, and goes to show we all can learn something new every day.

The End

The End.

Inspirational Young Horse Saver

I reconnected with a childhood friend recently whose daughter, Nicole, volunteers with Freedom Hill Horse Rescue. My friend mentioned Nicole was preparing her end-of-year book report and diorama on my book, “Believing In Horses.” When I saw her diorama and read her report, I found it so touching that I wanted to share them with others. In times when children are often criticized for being self-centered and lazy, I’m happy to highlight one who is not.

So, from my youngest contributor to this blog, I bring you 10-year-old Nicole Cavanaugh, an inspirational young horse saver.

Nicole Cavanaugh's diorama for Believing In Horses

In this scene from “Believing in Horses” Sadie is going to Freedom Hill Horse Rescue for the first time. Sadie is visiting Freedom Hill to sign up as a volunteer and to show them her presentation about the horses that need to be saved. She is hoping they will help her save the horses that are going to be auctioned. This is an important moment for Sadie because this is the first time she asks for help to achieve her goal. (Nicole Cavanaugh)

Summary

The Navarros are moving to Bowie, Maryland, because Sadie’s Dad is in the military and is being reassigned for a few years. One of those years he will be in Afghanistan, which makes Sadie sad. Her reward for being so good about the situation is a horse. Sadie’s grandmother sends Sadie a horse. His name is Color Me Lucky but they call him Lucky. One day Sadie learned about 10 horses that needed to be saved because they were going to auction. Many horses that go to auction are killed for meat. Sadie decided she [Read more…]

Fun With Freedom U.S.A. Tour

 

Billy meets Freedom at Loftmar Stables, Bowie, Md.

Sometimes we just have to have fun. Last week, all the way from Vancouver, Canada, Freedom the “Spokes-character” for Voice For The Horse Foundation Children’s International Writing Competition made his first U.S. stop in Bowie, Md. I’ve been fortunate to work as a volunteer helping coordinate the Voice For The Horse annual writing competition for the past three years and serving as a judge.

I had the honor of being the first to host Freedom Flat Stanley to help promote the horse-themed children’s writing competition. We began the tour at Loftmar Stables ,where our Maryland horses welcomed him. [Read more…]

Riding Invisible – Book Review

Riding Invisible
It’s been awhile since a book review, and since I found this particular book so interesting, I wanted to share “Riding Invisible” by Sandra Alonzo with you.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved “Riding Invisible” and had a hard time putting it down. The story begins with young Yancy running away from home on his horse, Shy, and the journal of his adventure. [Read more…]

One-Liners

One of my virtual friends, Charlie Bray, began a new series featuring one-liners from novels.

http://theindietribe.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/10-one-liners-from-10-novels-collection-one/

I’m pleased to announce that Charlie chose a one-liner from “Believing In Horses” as one of the top ten in the first collection.

“Ten pairs of eyes in various stages of fear, desperation, and sadness, all watching Sadie, seemingly pleading for her to do something” [Read more…]

For You. For Your Horse. From Love.

Today I’d like to bring you a guest post by Nick McFarland from the United Kingdom who explains to us how he became involved in the horse industry. Nick is the owner of HM Equestrian, a retailer: “For You. For Your Horse.” Please join me in welcoming Nick and hearing his story.

In November 2012, I started HM Equestrian, a business built on a family love of horses. But people frequently ask, how did we get here?

Two of Nick McFarland’s horses. McFarland’s love of animals and his family helped drive his business decision.

Well, I first got into all things equestrian through the love of animals and a desire to spend time with my daughter. As a single father, I wanted a common hobby, so we could have a reason to spend time together.With this in mind, and no previous experience of horse ownership, we went out and bought our first horse…who turned out to be pregnant! So after only five months of horse ownership, our first foal was born. Suffice to say this was a very steep learning curve for the entire family. But those first few months of looking after a foal and his mum taught us a huge amount about horses and the way they think. [Read more…]