December 2021 Newsletter

Hello friends!

Things are clicking along here at AAHC. This November marked 11 years since I got the wild hair to start the AAHC Facebook page. No one is more surprised than me how much AAHC has changed in the last year – a testament to our wonderful team and support system. We have a lot to cover in this newsletter so grab a cup of coffee and settle in for a little while – lots of fantastic news.

Welcome to the Athens Area:

Christoph Lensing

First, we would like to issue a few “WELCOMES!” to some newcomers to the area.

Angelika Beutel

Let’s start with a warm welcome to Angelika Beutel and Christoph Lensing. Angelika has her USDF Bronze and FN Silver (from Germany) and completed her instructor/trainer certification at the Hanoverian Riding School in Germany. She has coached and competed through FEI CIC**/Intermediate level in Eventing. Angelika’s partner Christoph Lensing is a highly decorated vaulter both as a competitor and coach. He is a three-time World Vaulting Cup and three-time European Championships Gold medalist. Christoph coached the US Junior team to a Bronze medal at Worlds in 2019 and Silver in 2021. Angelika and Christoph bought Kat Demas’ Four Seasons Farm (near city of Madison) and moved their business Summit Equestrian from Colorado.

Jenny and Waylon Roberts

AAHC would also like to welcome eventers Jenny and Waylon Roberts to the area. We have yet to connect with them but the husband/wife pair bought Idyewild Equestrian (Lake Oconee) from Peggy Allen. Their website identifies the pair as 5* Event riders and their impressive bios contain way too much for me to summarize (and agonize over accidentally misquoting) here. We are happy to report that Peggy is going to stay in the area – moving her lesson business to her farm in Eatonton while continuing to teach existing students.

Claudia Harris

Dressage rider and trainer Claudia Harris is bringing her lesson and training program from Florida to Watkinsville – you can learn more about her at The Joy of Riding. Claudia was certified to teach in Germany and Switzerland and currently trains dressage. She has experience eventing, showjumping, and foxhunted with South Creek for many years. I met her at Heritage Park and she provided some valuable insight about footing and the opportunities for improvement. She told me that as she gained experience, her focus has drawn towards more classical training and using body work to bring out the horse’s best gaits, which of course was music to my ears. Claudia, we are excited to have you in the Athens area.

We are extremely happy to see trainers of this level of competency and scope choose the Athens area to be their home, especially with Jill Hennenburg moving Nirvana Equestrian to Ocala (we miss you Jill!).

{If you know a horse professional who is moving to the area or recently arrived – let us know so we can give them a proper welcome as well. I especially need help with western disciplines – I am not as plugged in to the western world but we want this to be Athens Area Horse Community – not Athens english horse people only community.}

Upcoming AAHC Events

Email us at athensareahorsecommunity@gmail.com if you have questions about any of our upcoming events. Pre-registration required for all AAHC events except Equestrian’s Nights Out.

  • Dec 11th – Local Trainer Showcase – Wayne Hill at Sugar Creek Ranch – a true ranch cowboy trainer will showcase of his training. Cost is $15/adults and $10/kids. Come socialize and learn about Wayne’s training abilities and philosophies. For more information CLICK HERE.
  • Jan 5th – 6:30pm – Equestrian’s Night Out – Loco’s on Timothy Rd. Low key social event. Come hang out with other local horse lovers. AAHC team members will be there if you have questions for us.
  • Jan 28th – 6:30pm. Horse Theme Trivia Night – This is a very low key social event – prizes for the winning team (up to 4 people). No charge for AAHC members (more on that below), $10 for non-members. We will provide non-alcoholic beverages but no food. Location Allison Creek Farm pavilion – outdoor so please dress warmly! Email us team name and names of team members to sign up.
  • Jan 11th – 6:30pm – Equine First Aid Seminar – a seminar taught by local veterinarian Dr. Bliss Swan. Dr. Swan is the newest addition to Covered Bridge Equine’s practice. Location TDB.
  • Feb Vet Health Seminar – Colic – taught by Dr. Bliss Swan of Covered Bridge. Location TBD.
  • March Vet Health Seminar – Cushing’s and Insulin Resistance – taught by Dr. Bliss Swan of Covered Bridge. Location TBD.
  • April Vet Health Seminar – Chiropractic and Acupuncture Demo – taught by Dr. Dana Peroni of Covered Bridge Equine. Location TBD.

AAHC is working on an entire Veterinary Equine Health Care Series for 2022 that we are very excited about – we will cover ulcers, common lamenesses, joint care and much more. If you want to host an AAHC event at your facility, please email us. Stay tuned!

AAHC Website Upgrade

AAHC team members and volunteers – Cathy Micali and Mary Bowers are continuing to develop a new website that will be easier to navigate than our current site. This is a much needed step that will allow AAHC to grow.

The new site will be easier for community members to:

  • Add events to the shared calendar
  • Submit new local merchant listings and classified ads
  • Sign up and pay for AAHC events
  • Purchase AAHC Merchandise (coming soon!!)
  • Sign up for AAHC memberships (also coming soon!)
  • (this wont be in the initial new launch but have big dreams for) a large land conservancy wing of the website, divided up by county, where locals can learn about programs to preserve farmland, and find resources to fight unrealistic and irrational land development.

AAHC Memberships

We are excited to be working on memberships for you. These will be affordable ways to support AAHC while providing discounts to members to events and merchandise. Please stay tuned as we will likely launch this with the new website here in the next few weeks.

Please support our Corporate Partners – because they support us!

Our Featured Corporate Partner this month is Bar G Horse and Cattle Supply in Bishop, GA. Our Corporate Partners make it possible for AAHC to continue to serve the community’s needs and fulfill our mission. We encourage you to consider Bar G for all your feed and new tack needs so that they can continue to financially support us.

Bar G is a locally owned feed and tack store. Donna and her team are horse owners and riders who share our passion for horses. And a valuable resource to the local horse community that understands your and your horses needs. They have a diverse supply of feed options, hay, farm supplies, horse care products, rider apparel, tack and more!

Through decades of owning horses and a feed and tack store they have a trove of knowledge, but more importantly, they are enthusiastic about helping their customers. Please support this local small business who is committed to investing back into the local horse community. Stay tuned to see what exciting opportunities this partnership brings. If you are interested in a Corporate Partnership with AAHC, please email us at athensareahorsecommunity@gmail.com.

It is exciting to have so many fabulous equestrians joining the area! If you know someone who recently moved here or WANTS to move here, please let us know so that we can be a resource to them! My cell is 706-338-1358 (Amanda McCoy) and I am happy to chat with horse people of all disciplines. We want AAHC to be inclusive of all types of riders and horse people, so send us your western-ers too!

Heritage Park Update

Heritage Park is slowly and steadily moving along. I say often that I am just a farm girl trying to figure out how to do AAHC and this proposal is a fine example of that. Jessica Hayslett Moseley (owner at Legacy Oaks in Watkinsville) has joined the AAHC volunteering to help us move it further along. I (Amanda) am now sitting on the Citizen Recreational Advisory Committee for Oconee Parks and Rec (OCPRD) that meets every 2 months. This positions me to move the Heritage Park proposal along in a way that partners with the county parks and rec. Oconee residents Karen Czarick (Dancing Horse Farm) and Kathy Jones (Spring Break Farm) have signed up to help Jessica and I as we think about how to be smart about phases of growth at Heritage Park.

To be perfectly honest, I had to get some revenue flowing for AAHC before I could dedicate more time to this land conservation project. Now with just the two Corporate Partners signed on, more to come, and the membership program set to launch soon, we are able to look at this previously stalled project again. I am thankful the community is willing to come together so we can say with one voice – we want this facility to be usable… and then we can move on to the next project. Please support our Corporate Partners and sign up for a membership when it comes available so we can continue to work on this project and others like it.

– Amanda McCoy, AAHC founder and editor

We now have some estimates for the footing to attach to our written proposal and a meeting later this month with the head of OCPRD Lisa Davol where we will review the proposal and make a plan to move forward. I want to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to the community – We welcome feedback and suggestions about Heritage Park. Additionally, you can SIGN UP HERE to get on the email list for Heritage Park- this is especially helpful if you are a resident of Oconee County.

GIHP Development Rumor

We were alarmed to hear a rumor that the City of Conyers was planning to sell/develop GIHP. Happily, we were relieved to learn that the confusion came from 300 acres that shares a property line with GIHP is available for commercial development that was deceptively included “Georgia International Horse Park” in the parcel title. The 300 acre tract is available for commercial development if you know someone who might be interested in developing it.

Cindy Thaxton (High Point Farm), Beanie Crowe (Crowe Equestrian), Realtor Kathleen Miller, and many others helped us get to the bottom of the rumor. Cindy chatted with some of her contacts who assured us that GIHP brings so much money to the city of Conyers that selling the park for development was not in the works.

See You at the Barn!

Whoever is in charge of the weather has an annoying sense of humor. It has been hard to force myself to sit at the computer and work on AAHC stuff when the weather was gorgeous all week plus I have amazing horses to ride and work with… and now it is RAINING and COLD. Such a bummer – I feel like all of you can relate.

And this is all we have for this newsletter. We are excited and energized by all of you – everyone we talk to is enthusiastic about the mission here at AAHC. We understand that everyone has different motivations and values for the local horse community but there are some things that we can unite around. We all want the best care and learning opportunities, and green space to ride in for years to come, and a well educated upcoming generation to continue our passion and sport! Y’all please shop with our Corporate Partners and sign up for an AAHC membership when it launches. We will put your money/support to very good use.

– Amanda McCoy and the team at AAHC