Riding Lessons and More in Central Virginia

Monday, September 27, 2010

Out and About

EKF riders loaded up the trailer and explored the central Virginia countryside over the past two weekends. It was exciting to get our horses off the farm to participate in hunter paces, which are competitive trail rides sponsored by local hunt clubs. Last weekend, Henry and I ponied a seven year old student, riding Wizard, at the Commonwealth Foxhounds' event in Caroline County. This was held at a beautiful farm, with lovely sandy footing winding through open fields and hilly woodlands. Both geldings behaved perfectly throughout: negotiating a steep, narrow downhill trail, waiting calmly to let slightly faster teams pass, and ultimately trotting proudly through the finish markers. After we tended to the horses, we enjoyed the club's excellent, complimentary buffet luncheon - with more than enough chicken, salads, and desserts to go around. You can see a happy photo at our homepage.

Yesterday's hunter pace was hosted by Bull Run Hunt in Culpeper County. A teenager rode Chubbs and I took Zender ("Robin" and "Bat Man" as we call them, because they are best buddies) and entered the Junior/Senior Division. We started from a huge equestrian facility with rolling hayfields full of jumps, followed by fantastic trails through a neighboring forest preserve. Zender had a moment at the top of the first hill when he thought the two photographers sitting on an ATV were monsters - but once we got past the monsters, he settled in to lead the way. Reliable Chubbs kept up (he often has to canter to match Zender's trot) as we maintained a forward pace, jumping logs and clearing a couple of inviting coops toward the end. We also exchanged stares with a curious deer, saw some spooky abandoned barns, and appreciated the thorough flagging of the twisting course.

There are additional hunter paces this fall, so hopefully more riders will take the opportunity to have fun and represent EKF to the greater equestrian community!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A new family joined our program, with all three children enthusiastically participating! The oldest already has a good basic position and is working on cantering with Ginger. The two younger gentlemen will take turns following their sister's lesson, and since they're less experienced, I am getting lots of exercise walking and trotting around the ring. Each sibling is eager to care for the horse before and after riding - I think Ginger was sponged and scraped three times last lesson (not a bad thing with the late summer heat)! Hopefully they'll be on hand to help with the Pony Rides at the LCPR Harvest Festival in a couple of weeks.

As autumn approaches, I'm busy getting ready for the winter ahead (yuck). I picked up a load of beautiful hay from Will Coleman, dewormed the horses again, and the vet visited to perform annual dental checkups. The bunny hutches have moved into the barn aisle for a little extra protection - and the sheep, well, as I watch their fleecy coats lengthen, I know they will be just fine without any help from me!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Looking Ahead

Here Clio and Arrow remind us that while a good friend's got your back, a great friend has got that itchy spot on your rear end!

A few special dates are coming up: On October 2, EKF will be giving Pony Rides at the LCPR Harvest Festival at Waltons Park in Mineral from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., so plan to come and help out, or come and ride! It will be a great chance to meet our ponies and chat with folks from Team Easy Keeper.

There are no classes in Louisa County on October 11 and 12, so let me know if you'd like an all-day program then - sort of an Indian Summer mini-camp!

And plan to sign up for the vacation program during Winter Break in December and January. Every weekday that school is out, I'll offer a full day of riding and farm fun. You can do as many or as few days as you like. Check out the Details page on the EKF website for all the information.

If you haven't seen our nature blog, click on over and enjoy some late summer scenery around the farm - it's called Easy Keeper Farm and Field.