Riding Lessons and More in Central Virginia

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Patsy, Loretta, Dolly, Tammy and Emmylou

On June 7, the post office called to let me know that a cardboard box full of these little ladies was waiting for pickup!
We carefully prepared a safe area for them in the tackroom, with a heatlamp to keep them at 95 degrees for the first couple of weeks . . . then down to 85 for the next couple . . .
These girls are Speckled Sussex pullets, and they will provide tasty eggs and keep the insect population around the house and barns under control. They were chasing and catching flies by about two weeks of age.
More recently, at about six weeks, they enjoyed dining on a nice juicy tomato. They'll be getting most of the table scraps from now on (at least, the scraps that make it past Nilla, Gretchen, and Peanut Butter).
When people ask whether I have children, I reply, "All my kids have four legs and and a tail." Now I suppose I'll have to add that a few have "two legs and wings!"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Best. Week. Ever!

The July session of Louisa County Parks & Recreation Down on the Farm Fun Camp was an absolute BLAST! Nine campers arrived with energy, enthusiasm, and excellent attitudes which created an awesome week. A highlight was exploring the sandy banks of Duckinghole Creek to find beetles, tadpoles, freshwater shellfish, evidence of beavers, and deer tracks.
Each day began with riding lessons in the ring. We rode Wizard, Henry, Ginger, Chubbs, and Misty. All the riders were trotting by Friday's lesson! Thanks to those patient school horses!
After a particularly warm hike to the back field, we rested in the shade before discovering some tasty wild blackberries growing out of the coops, which made a refreshing snack.
In the afternoons, we brought back Chubbs and Wizard, along with Rascal, for bareback rides. On Thursday, Pungo, Webster, and Belle gently carried all the campers around for Big Horse Day.
Additional activities included pressing objects, such as a horseshoe, pinecones, and acorns, into clay and then printing our names to create a keepsake; making designs on photosensitive paper from flowers, sticks, and other materials; and uncovering nearly an entire skeleton of a long-deceased horse or cow in the woods.
These campers were terrific at weed-whacking (I mean literally, whacking weeds with long sticks) and no whacks were directed at other campers, or me! We also fed the sheep and met the month-old Speckled Sussex chicks. More on those little guys next time!