Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mmm Mmm Money

I'm in love. 


Well, to tell the truth, I've been here before and I felt the same way every time I visited.


How could a horse-crazy teen/adult/senior not be in love with the "Horse Capitol of the World", Ocala, FL?


On Thursday we had a bus tour through some of the large horse farms in Ocala. The largest we saw, but not the biggest game in town, was the Live Oak Stud Farm owned by "Mmm Mmm Good" Campbell Soup heir, Charlotte Weber. Our bus traced the boundaries of the farm, all 4500 acres of it! 
Notice the bronze statues of horses running in front of the barn!
We rolled past double-fenced pastures. Some with mares and foals, a few with yearlings, some with mares lumbering toward the fence to see us, with distended bellies, ready to foal any day. We drove by beautiful barns, practice tracks, quarter horse farms, enticing entrance gates, arenas with lovely, colorful jumps, and dressage arenas.


Ocala has more horses, per capita, than any other area in the world. (However, The Lexington area of Kentucky may have more thoroughbreds.) There are farms that focus on breeding, and sell their horses as yearlings or two-year olds, and other farms that focus on training, often buying promising youngsters to train and either race, or sell for others to race. Many of the horses are sold, locally and internationally, at OBS, Ocala Breeders' Sales, a large huge complex in the area. I found it fascinating that the airport, across the street from OBS, is used for private planes. However, there are commercial airlines that come in to fly horses to their new homes!



The bus dropped us off at Kimberden, a show stable in Ocala.  We enjoyed lunch on the patio, between a groomed arena with jumps and an immaculate barn, each door draped with carefully folded horse blankets and graced with lovely, matching tack trunks in front. They have a great boarding/training package, so I was told. I could keep my horse there for $2000 per month. Yes, it sounds steep, but boarding includes three lessons, or three training sessions a week.
We enjoyed a wagon tour of some neighboring farms pulled by matching black Percherons, Duke and Doc.  The horses were stars in Pirates of the Caribbean! 
(Experiencing maddening technical difficulties and can't load pictures of the horses 😜)

7 comments:

  1. Horse crazy teen and preteen, uh, that would be me. What a wonderful tour.

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    1. It was great fun. I've driven it in a car before, but was rather nice to be up so high in a bus. Great views!

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  3. I would have enjoyed that day too! What fun for you! :)

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