Oklahoma City Metro has been experiencing our usual brazen summer heat, but this is my first summer actually working in it. 100+ degree weather is no joke, especially when you’re working horses. But lucky for me, I don’t have to carry 200lbs on my back and trot around the arena. Because if I did, I promise I would buck you off. (Thank you Mr. Darcy for not).
Because we opt not to climate control our horses with indoor arenas and stall board – we tend to watch and let them regulate themselves. Let horses be horses. After all, they’ve been regulating their own body temperatures and doing so efficiently for thousands of years without our meddling. But when we do start to meddle, i.e. ask them to perform in a lesson or work them out, we’re meddling, and with that meddling should come some sense of responsibility to understand how to properly care for them in this heat. It starts with understanding how they do it themselves.
RULES OF HEAT ENGAGEMENT
Rule #1: Mist their legs first. First of all, horses sweat to cool themselves down, just like us, but did you know that’s their secondary line of defense? One of their primary lines of defense is dilating their capillaries and pushing them close to the surface so they can...
I’ve been meaning to start this blog for quite some time now… I guess it took being 5 months pregnant to force me off my feet, away from my never ending to do list and spend some time looking back at the past 2 years that seemed to spin by at warp speed. I can genuinely say without reservation this has been the hardest two years of my life. In September of 2015, while working full time in Corporate HR, pursuing my Masters, and enjoying my 1 year old shadow that calls me Mama, I decided to buy a 12 acre junkyard and convert it into a working equestrian facility. It would come to be known as the “Tesorino Equestrian Center.” Tesorino means little treasure in Italian and you can see why we call it that. After having so much fun juggling all of that, I thought I’d take a whirl at quitting my job in April of this year and pursue this full time. Solid timing on the pregnant part, but everything happens for a reason right? Lets take a look back:
In 2015, we used every spare minute we had to get the place cleaned up. It was sold "as is" which if anyone is in the real estate industry means "you've got a lot of work to do." We sent out 4 40 yard dumpsters of trash, broken down cars, scrap metal, miscellaneous items. We brush hogged and mowed for what felt like years. And then we were ready to start. We got the arena put in, cleared an area for the horses to live, and cleaned up the office and built the tack room. Truly, no one will ever know how many hours of work went into simply cleaning, throwing stuff out, and reclaiming the ground.
In 2016, we finished up on the arena, put in the round pen and built the stalls in the horse barn. Separated the pasture into 3 pastures and finished putting in the layover run ins and paddocks. 170 cedar posts were delivered from Arkansas and we used every. SINGLE. one. That little tractor and post hole digger worked harder than anyone ever could. All while maintaining our own day jobs, we spent every spare minute we had working on this place.
In 2017, I quit my job! We officially opened up for layover business. Booked solid for training March through May, we took June and July off to redirect our efforts, we still have SO much we want to do for the place. We finally tore down the dilapidated 1880s house after careful consideration that it couldn't be restored (it really was super cool), but rebuilt it as a shop house with a pretty sweet covered patio still using the hardwood floors from the original construction. By the end of 2017 we plan to finish the house and the barn.
I know that anyone that comes to see the place now, will never understand the journey it took to get it here, but I can't begin to tell you how proud I am to be a part of such a hardworking crew.
I've been waiting for the perfect moment to show off this place, but there is always something I want to do or fix or tweak. September will mark 2 years of literally busting our butts to eventually be able to do one thing: Take care of horses and their people. I've learned very quickly that ranches are a constant work in progress and after everything we've been through in the past (almost) 2 years, done is better than perfect. Its not perfect yet, and it probably never will be - but thats what makes this such an incredible journey. No matter how far you've come, there are always miles ahead of you.
And there you have it. From trash to treasure... Tesorino Equestrian Center.