PT Cruising the Countryside - Visiting Dressage Farms in the South

We are living the good life in Kentucky this month, while we take a break from the show scene, supervising the construction of our new office, and catching up on web work. But we get restless, and have been cruising in the PT Cruiser visiting friends nearby. This past weekend we cruised to Versailles Kentucky to the beautiful Woodspring Farm owned by Kathy and Gary Priest. Juan Matute was in town giving a clinic, and I sat in total awe as I watched him work with Kathy’s horses and those of her students.

We also cruised to south of Nashville to visit Tami Crawford at her beautiful farm nestled in a Tennessee valley. Tami’s big horse, Markant is in Canada in training with Neal Ishoy, and while she travels occasionally to compete him there, it is her daily life on her beautiful 127 acre farm that is her joy.

Her indoor arena is almost done, and there is constant activity with students, boarders, and horses in training. Tami, the mother of two young boys, has hit her stride with her business, and it’s a happy barn where students can bring their children to play while they ride.

In Tennessee at Tami’s for the summer is Shelley Francis and Sarah Davis with a barn full of horses Shelley trains and rides for Pat Stemple. Shelley and Sarah are having a grand time driving around on their day off exploring the region. Shelley’s wonderful retired partner Pikant has his own miniature horse companion to keep him company while he is turned out most of the day, to graze on the lush pasture. “I couldn’t keep him in the pasture before.” explained Shelley, “he would go nuts by himself, but now he is a happy boy, and in love with his new friend.”

My new friend Jackie Denning is another Florida transplant I met via DressageDaily. Jackie e-mailed me when she read about our new property in southern Kentucky. She lives in a little Tennessee town called Red Boiling Springs, and is hungry for some dressage connections. So when Kathy Priest told us about the Juan Matute clinic, and invited us to stay in her beautiful home, I invited Jackie to join me and take notes. Here is Judy Tudor, Kathy's longtime assistant going through the paces with Juan. Stay tuned later this week, as we’ll be sharing some Matute tips for dressage.

And a visit to Woodspring is not complete without an evening party, where a long table full of food, friends and plenty of wine, topped of a day of great riding and watching. Juan entertained the crowd with his dramatic version of discovering a snake in the guest house. “There is always a dramatic story with Juan” said Kathy who has been training with the Spanish Olympic star for four years. “He never fails to entertain us.”

I also photographed four super horses for sale offered by Woodspring Farm, so be sure to check out HorseMarket for the latest additions. Be sure to sign our mailing list, for our new and improved e-lerts too, as we will be sending announcements on the latest horses for sale, and articles.

We'll be bringing you more photos from our visits as we update Tami and Kathy's Who's Who later this week....