Riding Lessons and More in Central Virginia

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Click on the Image Below:

Here is a terrific collage of happy faces from the birthday party EKF hosted earlier this month! You can see what a merry and energetic group of young people toured the farm. Many thanks to the birthday boy's mom for creating and sending me this excellent collection of photographs.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am grateful to live in such a beautiful place, with contented critters, friendly neighbors, and lots of family visiting this week.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Trail ride lessons always enjoy trotting or cantering through the farm fields, but recently I conducted an entire lesson in the bottom pasture by Duckinghole Creek. As usual, we began with flatwork, with the fence on one side and the treeline on the other as boundaries, and warmed up over the natural crossrails made from cedar saplings. Then I put together a course using natural and man-made obstacles: Trot down the hill over the Hi-Lo Log, right around the corner of the woods to the oak trunk, canter straight on to the high side of Jeff's Jump, return around the run-in shed and jump across the swale (about three feet wide, full of water from a recent storm), then on to the cedar verticals between the standards. It was a nice change of pace and a good challenge for horse and rider.

I have put decorative pumpkins on either side of the cross-country jumps - and as you can imagine, they have been nibbled regularly by equine (and likely many other) passersby!

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Giddy Up, Pardner!"

It's been such a busy EKF week that I haven't had a chance to update the blog! Last weekend, two girls competed in the Harvest Festival horse show and gymkhana out in the eastern part of Louisa County, and I was so proud of them! Both riders had top three finishes, including the competitive Equitation and Obstacle Course classes, and they also placed in a variety of events such as the Pumpkin Relay, Simon Says, Apple Bobbing, and Eyeball-on-Spoon which turned into Sit-a-Buck. Most importantly, they represented Team Easy Keeper so well, were excellent sports and took good care of Shadow and Henry.

In the middle of the week, Henry again swung into action as he carried our equine vet on her first foxhunt (see the photo of me on Belle, above). The vet's a very accomplished dressage rider, but dodging vines, sliding down muddy hills, and galloping across gorgeous open fields were new challenges and Henry took good care of her.

On Saturday, a five-year-old cowboy celebrated his birthday with fifteen excited friends. This happy event mobilized Ginger, Misty, and Krispy Kreme, as well as the bunnies for petting, and even the sheep were penned up and fed granola treats. The tiny riders were so patient waiting their turns - they discovered the sidewalk chalk and now my wash rack floor is a kaleidescope of colors and shapes - and the whole group was really well behaved and enjoyed meeting the animals up close. Once again, I have to thank our wonderful horses, who were steady and gentle -- especially because the little fellows enjoyed yelling "Giddy up, pardner!" at full volume while mounted!

Also Saturday, our heroine Zenyatta came up a few inches short of a perfect record - but what an amazing race she ran, and finished safely and soundly a champion. Even Man o' War lost one race - also by a head, to a horse aptly named Upset. So at 19-1, a record unmatched by any modern top-tier Thoroughbred, we still say, "All Hail the Queen!" If you need any more proof of her class, just click here.