Riding Lessons and More in Central Virginia

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Shortest Day

The lesson children this week are just crazy excited looking forward to Christmas morning. But their instructor, while also anticipating family and food on Sunday, is psyched for tomorrow. The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year. For those of us without lighted or indoor rings, and anyone who works outside, it's definitely time to celebrate when we know the days are getting longer again! Even though it will take four weeks to get back to the hours of daylight we had at Thanksgiving, and even longer to really make a noticeable difference, it's a huge psychological boost. I should mention that the Speckled Sussex ladies have been laying their delicious fresh eggs quite reliably, even during these shortest days. My neighbors stopped by with a gift of delicious, aromatic FFA fruit and I was able to reciprocate with some beautiful brown eggs.

Barn business continues through the winter. Lesson sessions with Louisa County Parks and Recreation begin in January, and their latest "Leisure Times" catalog includes EKF's first-ever Spring Break Horse Camp. I've already posted the Summer Camp schedule on the Details, Please page of the website. June seems far off, but with the days getting longer it's not too soon to plan ahead.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Good Times with Old Friends

The week after Thanksgiving is always fun because my friends from the Norfolk Hunt Club in Massachusetts bring horses and hounds down for several days of foxhunting and visiting. Owen, the MFH and my former farrier, John the huntsman (who honored Pungo by naming a Norfolk puppy after her last spring) and a great new member named Kevin enjoyed riding with Farmington, Rappahannock, and Keswick. On Thursday, the Norfolk hounds followed a dragline through the beautiful open fields near the Farmington kennels. Then Friday, the guys all trekked out to Louisa to get the grand tour of my farm, which Owen and John had last seen in the dark, and before the barns were built. The bridle cleaning rack in my tackroom -- made from two of Pungo's shoes -- was a gift from Owen when I moved to Virginia, so I wanted to be sure he saw it hanging above the sink.

Here's a link to a wonderful article written by the young woman who, as a child, owned our little bay pony, Rascal. Everyone knows that Rascal is a fuzzy bay rocket under saddle, but this story about his early life shows how many naughty behaviors his former owner corrected before he came to be a lesson pony (thank goodness). And a few of his charming habits that we all love still (like singing his aria at feeding time). Click here!