So many breeds and disciplines, so much to learn.

By Louisa Barton

In “The Horse Capital of the World,” Ocala/Marion County, we know of more than 60 different breeds of horses and a wide variety of disciplines or sports within the equine industry. Perhaps, you have attended a rodeo or one of the HITS shows at Post Time Farm in Ocala. Or maybe you wanted to, but you did not really feel you had enough horse knowledge to do so. Maybe you were even intimidated a bit, because you thought you might be expected to understand the sport and you were afraid to ask questions. Maybe you like to dine at the wonderful World Equestrian Center, and after lunch or dinner you have poked your head into one of the arenas and wanted to watch the equine sporting event that was going on that day, but you do not really know much about the particular breed of horse. Maybe you have young children who really want to ride horses, but you aren’t sure yet what breed of horse or riding style suits them the best. Perhaps, you thought about going to enjoy the outdoors and natural beauty of  the Florida Horse Park to watch a polo match, but you weren’t sure how the game works and did not want to be the only one there who wasn’t an expert. 

We have a solution to all of this! If you join the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership’s Equine Initiative, presented By Pyranha on Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Florida Horse Park, your knowledge will increase considerably.

The Hobby Horse Equestrian Games, presented by Everglades Equipment Group Leesburg, your local John Deere dealer, is an event that will provide edutainment at its most fun for all ages with no admission charge. With stick horse instruction from top equestrians in horse racing, reining, roping, barrels, show jumping, dressage and a polo match, plus a chance to compete yourself on stick horses for prizes, ribbons and medals, you will have an opportunity to learn all about horse sports from the safety of a stick horse. Bring your favorite stick horse with you or use one of ours.

From 2-2:30 p.m., the Parade of Breeds, presented by Invictus Real Estate, will begin around the Park, showcasing a variety of beautiful horse breeds. There will be horse demos and opportunities for meet and greet with horses throughout the day at the Fredericks Equestrian round pen, plus free hay rides provided by Larsen Hay,  a vendor village and food trucks. There will be lots of horsing around all day!

For those who are really interested in learning more about horses, there could not be a more fun way to do it, so come to the Florida Horse Park on Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and enjoy the best in horsing around in the horse capital.  

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