Riding Lessons and More in Central Virginia

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'm Thankful For . . .

. . . being so busy with visiting family that I haven't had time to update the blog! We all wrote down something we're thankful for and shared around the - overflowing - dining room table. Among the familiar, and important, entries were "grandchildren," "good health," and "good jobs;" somebody snuck in a special nod for "Rascal" (check out his story on the Creature Feature page of the website), and I added "Fresh eggs!" The Speckled Sussex ladies are coming through with delicious, perfect brown eggs and they are frying up nice and tasty. Beautiful dark orange yolks that don't look like rubbery plastic.

And the dining room table was literally overflowing. My mother turned her back for thirty seconds, and an entire plateful of turkey and ham, placed near the edge, disappeared as a yellow blur named Nilla snuck away with a guilty conscience and a full stomach. So we're also thankful for a such a youthful, playful spirit around the house . . . and next time, the plate's going on the center of the table.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Keeping Pace

Last weekend, Team EKF veterinarian Dr. Martha and her cousin (visiting from Canada) traded their dressage saddles and Dutch warmbloods for Shadow, Henry, and a little hunter pace fun near Earlysville. With our matching hunt bridles, breastplates, and purple fleece tops, we were quite a stunning trio. Belle and I set a forward speed, alas, about fifteen minutes too fast for the optimum time in our division. But since our plan was just to enjoy jumping logs, galloping across fields, and munching on the adorable horse-shaped, hand-decorated cookies at the lunch tent -- our day was a success.

The large photo at the top of the blog page features Buck Mountain in the background. Just a little beyond this point, we rode past Harry de Leyer's farm. His name might be familiar as the man who purchased an old gray gelding off of a trailer bound for the slaughterhouse. De Leyer said he bought the horse because its kind eyes suggested it would make a good lesson horse. The gelding, who still had rubs in his coat from working in harness, was trained and sold to a doctor down the road. But no matter how high the doctor built his pasture fences, the horse kept jumping them and trotting home to de Leyer's farm. Finally the doctor sold him back, Mr. de Leyer began to compete him, and "Snowman" went on to become one of the most famous grand prix showjumpers of the 1950's-60's. There's a new book out (and probably many old ones) about this amazing true story.