Discovering, fostering an innate love of horses

By Melanie McCaffree
Although my mother will tell you it began long before, I was five years old when I discovered my innate love for horses. All I wanted to do was eat, sleep and breath horses. Fortunately, I grew up on a beautiful, albeit modest horse farm on the blue grass of Kentucky.

To this day I can tell you the names of all the ponies that have come in and out of my life. Frisky, the name of my first pony, came by her name honestly and ultimately led to her quick departure from our farm. Next was Rusty the “Super Pony,” he too earned his title as he did everything anyone asked. I longingly remember the days when my brother and I would harness him to a cart and drive all over the farm, often stopping for a picnic. We hung all over Rusty, sometimes three or four of us at a time. He was usually a good sport but when he had had enough he reminded us of his one vice. Once he spotted the pond, saddled and all he would take off with me pulling, turning, begging him to halt but to no avail. He traveled on, soaking me, the bridle and saddle — PONIES!
It wasn’t until my adult life that I truly realized the gift I was given by growing up on a farm. Although I am no longer galloping across the fields of Kentucky at sunrise in my white cotton nightgown, I feel blessed to be doing so here in the Lowcountry. A beautiful landscape, amidst a pristine coastal backdrop and the soft, sandy soils have become the perfect place for me and the ponies of Short Stirrup Stables to have landed. Please come out and experience for yourself the wonderment of horses and the joy they can provide.

Things I like:
T & M Farmers
A family farm located in Ulmer, SC, dedicated to providing coastal customers with a reliable source of quality hay year-round. Contact Tripp Mathias: 803-541-2065. My horses are eating this coastal hay before touching their Timothy/Alfalfa.
G & G Feed and Seed
Formally known as Burton Feed and Seed has re-opened as G & G Feed and Seed.  A friendly place to find all your pet, livestock and garden needs. Contact Hazel or Daybo at 843-770-1100.
Horse and Farm Services of the Lowcountry
If you don’t have time to leave the farm, Ed Lowther at Horse and Farm will deliver.  He carries quality equine feed from Banks Mill Feed in Aiken. Banks Mill is strictly dedicated to the manufacture of horse feed products and uses only the highest quality ingredients. Contact Ed Lowther: 843-338-3784.

The Island News is pleased to welcome Melanie McCaffree, proprietor of Short Stirrup Stables, to our team of talented contributors. Melanie is an experienced equestrian whose focus is growing children’s love and passion for horses through education and training.
In the first edition of each month, Melanie will aim to tie the Lowcountry equestrian community together and unveil to the rest of us the many fun “horsey” events.
Short Stirrup stables, located on 596 Broad River Blvd. in Beaufort, is a child centered riding academy whereby your little one can learn the fundamentals of riding, horsemanship and competition.
If you have a child interested in learning to ride or you have an upcoming event, please send an email with details to bally.lynch.ire@gmail.com.

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