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From Dream Horse to Cherished Foal: A Member’s Equine Adventure at The Ford Field & River Club

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Amidst the backdrop of our breathtaking coastal setting, The Ford Field & River Club emerges as a true equestrian haven. In this interview with Mrs. Hamilton, a cherished member who found her love for equestrianism at The Ford, we uncover the extraordinary connection she formed with her horse Shiner, and the magical arrival of Primrose, Shiner’s first foal.

As the tale of horse ownership unfolds, Heather’s profound appreciation for The Ford and the unwavering care from our dedicated team shines through. This is where The Ford thrives—a sanctuary for horse lovers, offering state-of-the-art facilities and fostering a supportive community for riders of all levels.


Let’s start with the story of how Shiner came to be part of your family.

Shiner is actually the second horse I’ve owned here at The Ford. Before her, I leased a horse named Cooper to make sure horse ownership was for me. Shiner was my “dream horse.” I wanted a Palomino horse and looked at several before finding her. I just didn’t connect with them. Then, my trainer saw someone post a photo of Shiner on social media and knew I’d fall in love with her. She wasn’t for sale at the time, so we decided to negotiate for her. It turns out that her owner wanted to start her own horse training business. She used the payment for Shiner as seed money for her business. It all felt very serendipitous!


Witnessing the birth of Primrose must have been a profoundly emotional experience. Can you tell us about her birth? How did you and the team at The Ford handle the challenges?

Primrose’s birth was actually quite traumatic. She was her mom’s (Shiner) first foal. Shiner had an extremely difficult labor, and Prim was what is called a “red bag” baby. That means there was blood in the sac. She wasn’t breathing when she was born. Luckily, The Ford’s Equestrian Manager Lindsay was there to save the day. She jumped in right away and got that little filly breathing! I’m so thankful Lindsay and the rest of The Ford’s equestrian team were there to guide me through the process. They’ve taken such amazing care of both Primrose and Shiner.


Tell us about Primrose and her growth so far.

Primrose continues to grow and thrive here at The Ford. She has learned to wear a halter and lead. Right now, she’s learning manners, like not biting or putting things in her mouth. Essentially, she’s like a toddler — and she needs the same guidance and patience as one. Lindsay has been a tremendous help in that arena. Her expertise and nurturing spirit are truly invaluable.

Do you have any plans for Primrose’s future?

Prim will be leaving The Ford mid-August to go to a trainer. She will be learning things like how to get on and off of a trailer, how to stand tied, how to get her feet trimmed, and how to start to use her body. It takes years to train a horse to ride, but ultimately, I would like her to be a show horse.


What makes The Ford such a special place for horse enthusiasts like yourself?

Owning Shiner and Primrose has given me such a deep appreciation for the amazing staff we have here at The Ford. I’ve always been fascinated by horses, and living here has allowed me to explore that passion at my own pace. It’s a wonderful place for horse enthusiasts. You can find miles of beautiful trail rides through the Lowcountry and lush pastures to meander through. The Equestrian Center itself is incredible. Lessons and horse care are available to members, and the team can even help you with leasing and purchasing. If you’re a member who is considering equestrianism at The Ford, my advice would be to just do it! Leasing is a great way to see if the lifestyle is for you.


Can you share the ways in which owning and connecting with your horses have brought fulfillment to your life, both as a rider and on a personal level?

Equestrianism is such a fulfilling sport. The benefits are unparalleled. Connecting with a 1200 lb animal is an amazing experience that is difficult to put into words. You form an extreme bond. Your horse will love and take care of you. Not to mention, it’s just so much fun — especially in a setting as picturesque as this one. This barn is my “happy place.” I can’t imagine my life without Shiner and Primrose, and I’m so grateful to live in a place that connects me so easily to my passions. The Ford, and the equestrian staff, have added so much beauty and purpose to my days.

The Ford’s Equestrian Center

With state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor facilities, acres of paddocks and extensive interconnected bridle trails that meander under groves of century-old oaks, Heather, and so many others, have found an equestrian sanctuary right here at The Ford. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or eager to embark on your first equestrian adventure, The Ford’s Equestrian Center is ready to help you explore your passion.

Interested in ownership at The Ford?

Schedule a Discovery Visit today and explore all the equine adventures this Lowcountry retreat has to offer.


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