Riding Lessons and More in Central Virginia

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lots of riding this past week! Jeff the contractor kindly took on the additional role of Cross-Country Course Builder, and we're having a blast with his new additions to the front field. Part of the fun is coming up with descriptive names: the High-Low Log, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and one I'm calling Jeff's Jump (that may sound familiar to eventing followers, who know that every course designed by Jim Gornall includes a "Jim's Jump"). Zender sees the new obstacles and knows exactly what his job is - yehaw! - and students followed his lead over all three fences with Chester, Wizard, and Chubbs. My favorite is the High-Low Log, which is made from a single, long, curving cedar trunk, so you can pick your height between Itty-bitty and Adventurous.

This morning I had a nice quiet session in the ring on Clio, my young horse, and then opened the gate off her and rode around the gravel loop in the paddock. She'll be ready to take out through the back fields next month.

The big local excitement is the upcoming Louisa County Agricultural Fair on July 30-31st! Easy Keeper Farm will have a booth with a slideshow, brochures, and information, so if you're a potential rider interested in learning more, please stop by. It'd be great to meet you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm thrilled to report our busiest week yet with riding lessons - of course the hottest week of the summer! This morning, before it became too muggy, Shadow had a terrific workout over a few crossrails with an athletic young rider. But I think Shadow's favorite part was the nice cold hose-down afterwards. A number of younger siblings were present, so the sheep, bunnies, Gretchen the dog and Peanut Butter the cat all received plenty of attention (well, maybe Peanut Butter got more than he wanted, and ended up hiding under the bathroom sink)!

The ring footing, which was delivered and spread last spring by Mr. Boxley, is holding up just great under these dry conditions. During all the mud and snow last winter, I never thought I'd be worried about dust again . . . but "if you don't like the weather, just wait and it will change."

A new addition around the house is a hummingbird feeder, and there's already a repeat customer, pictured below. What a beautiful, fragile little creature!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our Louisa County riders really impress me with their work ethic - the girls who came for lessons this week volunteered to give Ginger a bath, to clean stalls, to help with other chores around the barn . . . these are not kids who will spend all summer staring at a video screen! I also appreciated their interest in our farrier, and of course, David Bourke was so gracious to answer questions, explain different types of shoes, and hand out a couple as souvenirs. Somehow we got Ginger and Pungo ridden in the ring, Zender shod in the aisle, and a full load of gravel delivered into the paddock - all at the same time!

On Tuesday, Dr. Kate Hussman of Louisa Veterinary Service arrived to vaccinate the sheep. She came recommended by Will Coleman, our wonderful neighbor who sells us such top-quality hay. Dr. Hussman was as professional and patient as she could be (corralling, catching, and restraining ten sheep while they are each given three injections is not easy). I really appreciated her advice about deworming the flock here in Virginia, as the conditions are very different than their prior home in New England.

Here's the answer to a future trivia question: The good-luck horseshoes above the doorways into both barns are Pungo's; the shoe above the lesson tackroom belongs to Rascal!