Tuesday, September 27, 2011
It's been a couple of weeks since my last post and many activities are underway. As a little treat, I went to visit Field Day of the Past near Richmond, which was a huge event spread over 50 acres! I checked out the tractor pulls, antique engines and milling machines, but I was most interested in the animals (of course). The 4Hers were showing some handsome chickens, though none as good looking as our ladies, and also some stately geese and ducks. The Virginia High School Rodeo barrel racing competition was lots of fun to watch. I took a picture of a special event where ribbons were tied to the tails of little calves, and each ribbon was worth a prize. They lined up all the tiny tykes in attendance, released the calves out of the chute, and let the kids run after the ribbons! It was pretty funny.
Back at the farm we have some returning riders and some new faces, including a couple of grownups. The more delicate riders will be glad to hear that I finally picked up a neoprene "Tush Cushion," so if you think you'd like to use it for your lesson, speak up! Zender and Chubbs got out to a very muddy, and seemingly mostly uphill, hunter pace north of Orange on Sunday. Between the mugginess, the jumps and the hilly terrain, I think Chubbs might have worked off half a pound. This weekend, I'm planning to bring Misty and Wizard to the Fall Festival at Walton Park in Mineral for pony rides. Then Sunday they'll be back at work on the farm for another birthday party!
Friday, September 2, 2011
I couldn't let summer end without reporting on the excellent group of scouts from Spotsylvania who took over EKF for a whole week to get their Riding and Horsemanship badges! These girls worked extremely hard to digest and master a HUGE amount of information in just a few days. Equine behavior, safe horse handling, grooming, tacking up -- there was a lot to get through before we even mounted up. There was a little apprehension about riding independently, but by Day Four they were all off the leadline and steering like pros (see below). Kudos to the mom who put together the supercute collage in the top picture, showing each girl's first experience at the trot -- a classic moment we all can remember: "What is happening? This is soooo bumpy! Am I going to fall off? That was FUN!"
Even better, these young women are returning to continue lessons, so they will make some amazing progress this fall.