Riding Lessons and More in Central Virginia

Monday, October 25, 2010

We've had a couple of chilly evenings and Nutmeg the bunny, along with her little friends Peppermint and Snickerdoodle, are busy grooming as their thick winter coats grow in and their summer fur sheds out. They enjoy snacking on the fallen leaves that drop into their runs, too.

Mostly, though, we've had beautiful autumn days and happily, they are bringing out new riders! Four students appeared for their first lessons this week, and we added a wonderful pair of sisters about a month ago, so Team Easy Keeper is growing. Since report cards came out recently, I suspect that good academic results are being rewarded with long-sought-after riding lessons. If that's the case, everybody: keep studying!

This Saturday, a couple of riders and horses are heading to a Halloween fun show and gymkhana, and next Saturday, the barnyard will be invaded by 8-10 five year olds for a birthday party. I love to see the schedule filling up!

Friday, October 15, 2010

With Louisa schools closed last Monday and Tuesday, a couple of riders took advantage of the opportunity to spend all day at the farm. We couldn't have had more beautiful weather for some early autumn riding and working around the barn. Each day's schedule included a regular riding lesson in the morning (featuring our friends Shadow, Belle, and Chester), plus a bonus ride in the afternoon - Monday was bareback work with Chubbs and Wizard, and Tuesday was trail riding with Chubbs and Henry. Now don't feel bad for Chubbs getting ridden a couple of times, he is living up to his name and needs every step of exercise he can get!

Chores are part of daily life at the farm, so we also cleaned stalls, picked out the ring, tidied up around the rabbit hutches, and managed to get two out of ten sheep dewormed (it's hard to catch sheep when they don't want to get caught). Chester, who must have been reading about the recent World Equestrian Games and tried to imitate a showjumper during his lesson, also got a bubble bath - which ended up with the humans as soaked as the pony.

During winter vacation, I'll offer similar daylong programs every weekday - you can sign up for as many or as few days as you like. Check with your parents (information on the Details page), and let me hear some special ideas or activities you'd like to see. I'm thinking a snowy trail ride would be fun . . . and maybe a special photo day with the horses in holiday gear!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tired Ponies!

Looks like Krispy Kreme and Misty are taking a little rest after that busy day at the Harvest Festival! I hope everyone saw them as beautiful cover girls on the front page of the Central Virginian this past Thursday (October 7), as well as the bigger picture on page A8.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thank You!

Thank you to all the EKF riders who helped with the Pony Rides at the Louisa County Parks and Recreation Harvest Festival yesterday! Thanks also to Misty and Krispy Kreme, who were absolute superstars: arriving at Walton Park in their matching lavender rubber reins and purple saddle pads, unfazed by footballs soaring nearby, fire trucks, tractors, rock and jazz bands, three-foot-long balloon animals, three-foot-long balloon animals loudly popping, and many, many, many children stretching their hands over the fence to pat them as they walked by. I counted 81 signatures on our release forms, and since plenty of parents brought multiple children, I'm sure we had well over 100 little riders. Everyone in the long line was incredibly patient, which I appreciate so much. It was nonstop from 10:00 a.m. through 4 p.m., and I think we were the only folks left in the park when we said goodbye to the last riders.

Nothing compares to helping a timid child up into the saddle for the first time, hearing her shakily confide, "I'm scared," and watching as she starts to smile, then giggle, then wave to Mom and the camera, finally saying, "I wish I didn't have to get off now," after a few laps around the ring. That's what it's all about.