We Bought A Horse! Meet Awesome Ekati

This 12 year old blog that started out as a recipe sharing hub, has evolved into easy crafts, home renovations, house fire adventures, family travel and most recently…introductions of animals! … and not your typical household type pets (like our chickens!!)

If you’ve been one of my early followers – and have stuck through all of my changes – I thank you. Thank you for allowing me the time in your day to share what is going on in my life. I truly appreciate it.

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Our Journey Into Horsehood

In 2020, during the season of covid, my daughter began taking horseback riding lessons at a family-owned Equestrian Farm near our home. I truly have no experience with horses, other than going for a couple of Western trail rides in my day. So, this whole thing was not only new to my daughter, it was new to me.

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While, initially, I was against her taking lessons, due to the cost of the lesson, my husband said she could take lessons. haha! So, I signed her up, attended the lessons and was confused why she wanted to continue.

To be brutally honest, the lessons were rough. Like rough rough. Rough in the sense that her instructor is an acclaimed rider herself, and expects no different from her young lesson riders. She’s tough, and may weed out some, she does produce good, talented riders.

So, a year of lessoning on the different lesson horses once a week goes by and my daughter wants to take her riding to the next level. Without buying your own horse, you do this by leasing a more advanced horse (think exactly like a car lease). While not all of the horses at the 100-acre farm are available for lease, we were paired up with the most amazing 20-year old horse and wonderful owner. (For the record, again, I said no…and my hubby said yes, haha!!)

Our daughter, Tamaroa and our leased horse, Ty, made a terrific pair! They truly bonded and created a wonderful team. We switched her to two private lessons each week and she was able to ride 6 out of 7 days on her own (yes, we were at the farm a lot!!).

She worked chores at the farm during the school year and summer, which involved everything from feeding the horses, to letting them in or out of their pastures, to cleaning stalls every chance she got. Even if it was 0° outside. She truly just enjoyed being at the farm, learning, and being with the horses.

During all of this time, of course our daughter started to explore the options of owning her own horse. You guessed it, I said no…and my hubby made an agreement that if she competed in 5 shows this year, that they would then explore the options in the Fall of 2022. … yep, I said no again!

As fate would have it, Tamaroa and Ty competed in their 5th show at the end of September and had a great season. I can honestly say that I am blown away (and terrified!!) watching my baby girl do all of the jumping that she loves to do. I’m a chicken – so it really is hard for me to watch her on a giant beast’s back going over obstacles.

So, this leaves us in October 2022…the exact timeframe of when my husband and daughter made an agreement that the LOOKING process for a horse could begin.

One day at one of her lessons, we were told that someone at the farm had just told the instructor earlier that day that she was thinking about selling her horse. Honestly, I had no idea who the horse even was, despite the fact that he actually shares a pasture with Ty!! … I’m too chicken to walk out into the pasture of 3-4 horses and wrangle up Ty, so I always stayed back with 911 on speed dial! (I’m only halfway joking!)

When I found out the asking price for the horse, I laughed and said HECK NO! But then…I found myself paying for 2 lessons for my daughter to “try out” the horse to see if they would even be compatible together. Meanwhile, I was also running all of the numbers for the monthly costs of owning a horse that needs to be boarded (because he can’t live at our house!), extra feed, shoes, vet bills, etc…and laughed again and said HECK NO!

Well…let me just tell you this. We bought the horse. HAHAHAHA!

When we really weigh out everything, it truly is an experience that I’m thankful to be able to provide for our daughter. We are fortunate to be able to provide this – and we all know it. Our daughter has aspirations to ride and compete in college (fingers crossed she gets a scholarship of some sort to “pay us back”…haha!) and to then one day build a career out of working with horses. (or at least, I can use this as ammo against her putting us in a nursing home one day! ha!)

So, without further ado…let me introduce to you our new horse!

Awesome Ekati aka “Stuart”

Awesome Ekati aka "Stuart"  foal of Tale of Ekati and Awesome Houdini | Gathered In The Kitchen

He’s a big boy! He stand 16.2 hands (which translates to about 5 1/2 feet at the withers …essentially to where you sit on the horse).

Awesome Ekati aka "Stuart", an off the track thoroughbred race horse | Gathered In The Kitchen

Stuart is a 5 year old, off the track (retired) Thoroughbred race horse born in Kentucky – while he didn’t quite make it as a successful racer (like his dad, Tale of Ekati and his mom Awesome Houdini (hence his name)…and great great great grandpa, Secretariat (which apparently is like no big deal in the horse world – but cool to me, thanks to Disney 🤣), he will now learn Eventing and compete with Tamaroa in the three events of dressage, stadium jumping and cross country.

Stuart did race a handful of times at Churchill Downs and Oaklawn Park but wasn’t amazing. So he was listed for sale online and purchased by whom we bought him from. He was then brought to the farm in Wisconsin where he currently lives. He’s been in training for about a year…but needs a lot of work! A 5 year old horse is essentially a toddler and well…behaves like one!

Awesome Ekati aka "Stuart", an off the track thoroughbred race horse | Gathered In The Kitchen

Stuart lives at the farm our daughter rides at, and where sweet Ty (the horse we leased) lives (they are pasture mates 💜💜💜).

Awesome Ekati aka "Stuart", an off the track thoroughbred race horse | Gathered In The Kitchen
vAwesome Ekati aka "Stuart"

I can’t say I ever thought I’d own a horse, but Tamaroa’s passion for riding is something fierce. So, this is truly a blessing to be able to provide her.

Awesome Ekati aka "Stuart", an off the track thoroughbred race horse | Gathered In The Kitchen

We’ve got our work cut out for us, because a 5 year old in the horse world is like a toddler who needs lots of authority, discipline and love. Hoping they can make a great team!… and one day go off and compete together in college!

Awesome Ekati aka "Stuart"  foal of Tale of Ekati and Awesome Houdini | Gathered In The Kitchen

But this smile says it all…she’s one happy girl!

Awesome Ekati aka "Stuart" son of Tale of Ekati and Awesome Houdini | Gathered In The Kitchen

Tell me in the comments…

Do you own or ride horses? Know someone who does? Do you want me share more about our horse-owning experience?

As always…thanks for allowing me to share what is important in my life with you!


  1. Great story. And yes, please continue. There’s valuable life lessons to be learned in the lifestyle your daughter has embraced.

    1. Thank you! OK! I will! These first couple of days have been super fun and filled with LOTS of learning experiences!

  2. Congratulations! This is so exciting. I can’t wait to follow along and see where this beautiful partnership goes…woot woot!!

  3. Beautiful daughter and horse! I rode when I was in high school and loved it and my horse Honey who I did not own:) When college time is near- come to Auburn University, a great equestrian program here! Meanwhile enjoy!!

    1. Thank you so much Barbara! That is so neat that you used to ride! I have only ridden Western a few times in my life – and had a lot of fun! I took a lesson with my daughter 1 time, riding English, and…wowza! I was a sore chicken afterwards! haha! I may have to give it a try again now that we own a horse 🙂
      Thank you for that college tip! She’s in 8th grade…but I honestly have already been trying to learn about Equestrian teams, etc in college (because this is a whole new topic for me!)

  4. Joy Martin says:

    I started a comment before but went to look up a good book on barefoot horses for your daughter and yes horses with out shoes are allowed in some competitions. I did not find the book I was looking online for, but have her investigate the health advantages, and greater freedom of movement advantages of horeses not weaaring shoes like nature intended and there is even a police horse patrol in a large city in California who only use unshod horses and find that their horses are much healthier. Horse shoes were invented in the dark ages because most work horses and army horses were stabled in muddy enclosures and it cuts down on circulation through the leg and foot. Wild mustangs never need shoes because their hooves have been made hard enough through proper grazing for a horse. In short it would be nice if she could read up or go to some seminars about how horses who are kept in the way horses live in nature in terms of food and grazing make a happier and much healthier horse. I was moved to tears about your daugher getting the lessons and her horse. I have been moved to tears reading and watching online how horse owners have respected the horses natrual way of life and treat their horses this way and are profoundly happy they discovered the best way to treat a horse.

    1. Hi Joy, I’m so glad you said this. I truly don’t know much about horses but have always felt that shoes were not super natural for horses. The horse that we just bought, does wear front shoes – and I actually asked his farrier if he one day he could stop wearing them. They didn’t really have an answer. They said that our horse shows lameness when he doesn’t have his front shoes on. 🙁 I want to do research to find out more about shoes and ways to develop heathy feet. If you come across the book, I’d love to read it!

  5. Cheryl Gatyas says:

    Our daughter also has a passion for horses. Yes it’s costly but we just cannot put a dollar value on what she gained from her experience. We had the same pattern as you. Lessons on a lesson horse. Leasing. And then owning her very own horse. AND … eventually I bought a horse for myself to truly share the horsey experience with her. We boarded at the same barn as you & had the same chocolate stars loving “rough” instructor. (Hint… bring a bag of Brachs Chocolate Stars for the instructor & the lesson goes smoother!) Fast forward. My “baby” is now 34 and a mom. She had returned to live in Plymouth & can still be found “at the barn”! And she is this moms prude & joy. The amazing strong woman she has become was nurtured by her horse world!

    1. Hi Cheryl! Ohhhh that is funny! Sounds like we are living parallel lives! That is hilarious about the chocolate candy tip! So true! 😂

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