Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us and at George’s Ranch our minds have turned once again to all things love. Well, all things love and horses, naturally.
It goes without saying that we could go on and on – until next February if we have to – listing all the incredible gifts these animals bring to our lives, but anyone who knows anything about horses understands all too well the special bond that can form between a man, a woman, a child and their horse.
So, this blog will look instead at some of the amazing partnerships forged at George’s Ranch.
TEAM GEORGE’S RANCH!
Sometimes you come across great riders, sometimes you come across great horses, and sometimes you come across both at the same time and you’re in the presence of a great partnership.
Over the years, we have seen some of the best pairings pass through our gates to pick up medals at national competition level in both dressage and jumping – Caroline and William (National Champion), Joshua and Curra Covers Cruise (Junior Champion and Senior Champion Runner-up), Jay and Shy Boy (Pan Cyprian Champion) to name but a few in a very long list.
It’s always a thrill to see these partnerships get the recognition they deserve because countless hours of love, commitment and devotion go into the making of them.
TEAM ME & YOU!
Of course, not all great partnerships bring home the silver – for some companionship is reward enough and here at George’s Ranch we have been privileged to witness a number of true love stories.
A few years ago, Jay moved to Scotland and took her boy Monster with her. When the cold proved too much for her pony to handle, she brought him back to Cyprus. It was a tough and selfless decision and it touched everyone at the Ranch.
Then there’s the heartwarming sight of our international showjumping hero William now enjoying life at a more leisurely pace with his adoring owner Lana whose family has had to take out a second mortgage to keep him in the rugs he keeps on destroying.
And let’s not forget Elvis – big, beautiful Elvis – loved by so many over the years, and now truly settled with Nicole who pretty much worships the ground he (extended) walks on. “I honestly couldn’t imagine him not being in my life.”
TEAM THE TWO OF US!
Occasionally in life, a pony boy will fall for his pony girl and if they are very lucky, they will end up living happily ever after, together.
Over the years, we have seen many horses form friendships with other horses. Of course, we’ve also seen horses that don’t want to know, mentioning no names (Defender and Lily)! But there is one partnership that precedes them all at George’s Ranch– and that’s the story of Pinto and Tennessee.
Originally from Germany, these two ponies were destined to be the stars of a new riding school in Polis, but, sadly, that venture failed and the two of them came to the Ranch in a pretty poor state. Once they were in better shape, they were trained and started work. Hard to believe that was more than 15 years ago.
Today, Tennessee and Pinto have taught countless starry-eyed youngsters how to ride and, in many ways, they have been the lifeblood of the Ranch. But the best part of their story? They remain paddock buddies and pony besties.
TEAM THE SHOE OF US!
Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, famously wrote, “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost,” which pretty much sums up the importance of having a good farrier in your life when you own horses.
The proper maintenance of your horses’ feet may be the single most crucial factor in keeping them healthy. A simple mistake can be all it takes to turn a sound horse into a lame one – or worse.
Of course, not all horses require shoes, we have a mix of barefoot and shod at the yard depending on their needs, but they all require the services of a good farrier. Shoddy shoeing can take a year or more to rectify.
Thankfully, at George’s Ranch we have one of the island’s best to keep our horses’ hooves strong and healthy – and he’s done a great job correcting past mistakes. So, our heartfelt thanks go out to Nicos this Valentine’s!
And finally, we have extra cause to celebrate right now because we are full of love for our newest resident, Valentina (named in honour of the month she arrived).
Valentina is a three-year-old Andalusian who was looking for a home after a lifetime spent in a field. We were delighted to offer her one and we’re all looking forward to seeing this sweet, young mare fulfil her potential.
Welcome to George’s Ranch, Valentina!
And remember, guys; keep sharing the love – it’s not only for Valentine’s Day.