farm
Catching the view

Hi everyone,

My name is Esmarelda. In case you don't already know me, I am the esteemed mascot of the Equestrian Social Media Awards. Ever since the beginning of 2013, when the ESMA awards were announced, I've been very busy meeting and visiting with award winners and finalists all around the world. I've had an action-packed yearlong adventure, stopping in at some of the most renowned venues in equestrian sports.

You can imagine my excitement when Kathy from Horse Listening invited me to meet the horses behind the blog pictures! The timing was perfect as I was looking toward slowing down the hectic pace for a few days to have a short vacation.

lounging
Lounging amidst the shrubbery

Before long, I found myself driving through the beautiful rolling hills of the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario.

Beautiful drive
Beautiful drive

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When I arrived, the horses greeted me like I was an old member of the family! Cyrus was so pleased to see me that he even did the horse "breath exchange" (see picture) with me - and so I felt completely at home.

Kathy says that it is very important for her to use original pictures for her blog posts, so her horses have agreed to pose and model for the many topics that she writes about. Although I knew them from their photos, it was really nice to meet them in "person" to learn more about their past accomplishments, and hopes and dreams for the future.

sniffs
Bonding

Here are brief notes from our visit:

Roya

Roya is an eight-year-old Canadian Warmblood.132

Working on: She is proudly the most advanced horse in the herd, working on second and third level movements in dressage.

Quirks: Roya likes to manage the horses in her field. Her job is to be the "mover" of the herd. She tells everyone where to go, what to do and who to speak to (whether they like it or not)!

Favourite Food: The new "candy hay" (second cut) at the barn.

Favorite Thing To Do: Flying changes. She says that she especially likes the flying part of the changes!

Most Proud of: Coming second behind one of Canada's Olympic riders (in a Training Level class), achieving an all-time personal best score during that national level show.

Future Aspirations: Heading to the shows at third level and above.

What does your horse's expression tell you?

Cyrus

Cyrus is a seven-year old Canadian Warmblood.

Working on: First and Second level movements in dressage.

Quirks: Loves putting things in his mouth (speaking from personal experience)!

Favourite Food: His daily "midnight snack" (evening grain).

Most Proud of: Trailer loading. He LOVES going places!

Future Aspirations: Going to a show with Roya one day.

Annahi

Annahi is the dam of both Roya and Cyrus. She is a twenty-five year-old appendix Quarter Horse.

Annahi

Working on: Living the life of retirement luxury.

Quirks: None!

Favorite Food: Apples.

Most Proud of: Her "kids". Secondly, she is most proud of showing Kathy why dressage is so good for horses.

Future Aspirations: She says she is quite happy to "hand the reins" over to her kids and let them shine in the show ring the way she knows they can. 

Kayla

Kayla at 30Kayla is a 31-year-old Standardbred mare. She is the adopted "aunty" of the kids, as she has helped Annahi to raise, babysit and otherwise keep Roya and Cyrus occupied (especially when they were foals).

Working On: Eating.

Quirks: She is a natural free-legged pacer. She used to be able to rip out a 12-mile-an-hour pace at will (yes- under saddle!), secretly smirking at the horses who would be cantering just to keep up.

Favorite Food: Anything, really!

Most Proud Of: Her accomplishments in endurance riding and competitive trail in her younger days. The highlight was successfully completing a 55-mile ride at 5 hours and 5 minutes.

Future Aspirations: Eating.

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Well, folks, as you can see, I had a barrel of neighs with my new friends. It was really nice to stand around and ruminate over their many experiences and the meaning of life. 

mutual grooming
Studying the art of mutual grooming

Alas, I had to say goodbye too soon. But we exchanged social media pages so we can keep in touch for years to come!

I hope you keep track of my adventures, and be sure to check out the Equestrian Social Media Awards coming up for 2014!

Kind regards,

Esmarelda

ride
Going for a ride

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