One of my favorite things about the South Carolina lowcountry is the abundance of majestic trees known as Southern Live Oaks. In fact, the Live Oak tree pictured on the left is one of the primary features that originally “sold” me on the property where my horses and I have lived for the past 17 years. It’s this same live oak that ultimately determined where I would locate the corral I now use for my equine-assisted learning sessions through Unbridled, LLC.
You see, I know from personal experience that peaceful, beautiful natural settings can inspire us. And a tree like this also provides excellent, cooling shade in the summertime. It even provides almost umbrella-like protection from passing rains. This special tree, which grows more magnificent every year, has overseen countless inspired moments for me and my horses. Under its branches is where I practiced daily as I was learning to properly trim my horses’ hooves. It’s where my horses and I frequently escape the beating summer sun for grooming, massage sessions, and even visits from the vet or farrier. My friends and I have shared countless long, winding conversations at the picnic table under this tree and I’ve enjoyed many naps in a hammock there too.
This morning I spent several hours planting 25 young azalea bushes around the base of this tree. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I’ve been almost paralyzed with indecision about what variety and color(s) of azalea to use. Then yesterday my boyfriend surprised me with a literal truckload of azaleas from one of the local historical gardens! It includes a wide variety of types and colors. Some of these azaleas will bloom only in the spring; others will offer a second blooming in the fall. As I planted each of the azaleas I thought of the special people in my life who are supporting and inspiring me to follow my passion, and live my dream.
I can’t wait to watch these lovely new additions grow and mature along with my business. Undoubtedly they will be appreciated by the clients who spend time here at my farm and with my horses under the “Inspiration Oak”. What a beautiful spot it is (and will be) for self-discovery and growth!