Riding Lessons and More in Central Virginia

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hot Fun in the Summertime

What an amazing group of campers this week!  They have been the best team to start off the summer season at EKF.  Considering they have dealt with a cold, rainy first day -- then had to survive near record heat the last two days -- I am impressed with their excellent positive attitudes!

Of course, we still rode on Monday, despite the rain.  The girls bundled into a few extra fleece tops of mine, which made it look like an army of small Marthas was riding around the ring! We also met Dr. Martha, and observed her giving Pungo and Henry their shots of Legend, a medication that helps treat arthritis in these two 20+ year old horses.  Seeing a bit of blood come back into the syringe during this intravenous injection was either gross or interesting or both, depending on which camper you asked!

Then Tuesday, Mr. David Bourke, the farrier, appeared and we all appreciated his hard labor on a warm day.  You can see from the body language in the photograph, below, that the campers were not entirely convinced he could trim Chubbs' hoof without hurting him -- but of course, he did.

The rest of the week has included setting up a pen and moving the sheep to keep them cool, collecting eggs from the chickens, riding every day (just a little slower on the hottest day), bareback riding, creating clay keepsakes with our favorite horses' names, and getting excited for Big Horse Day.  And Ginger and Clio especially loved getting their baths when the temperature hit over 90 degrees!
THIS JUST IN . . . Martha and Belle, along with two other teammates, won first place in their division at the Farmington Hunter Pace last weekend!  Go Belle!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Here Comes Summer Camp

The first week of EKF summer camp gets underway Monday!  I am in busy busy mode, swinging by the crafts store to pick up materials, ordering special items from Hodges Badge Company for each camper, taking note of where the wildlife is most active (TONS of baby frogs out by the far pasture waterer), and planning some rainy day programs too.  So far, four solid weeks are enrolled, with just a couple of spots left for next week, only one spot July 2, two left for July 16, and still five open places the week of August 6.  I can also run a session the week of July 30, a very special date, but I'll need at least three campers to pre-register.  Please let me know soon if you are interested.

The action doesn't stop with camp.  Two birthday parties are already on the calendar for July, a very special month, and the More Than a Pony Riders have come out of the woodwork -- I think lots of grandparents around Lake Anna are treating their grandchildren to a visit to the farm.  The regular lessons are continuing too, including the Parks & Rec sessions (now on Tuesday afternoons), and for the most advanced students, there's a few chances to participate in the scenic trail rides offered by area hunt clubs.

Looking back at my last post . . . oh, dear!  It was disappointing that I'll Have Another strained his tendon and couldn't run in the Belmont Stakes.  Good for his connections for doing the right thing and not letting him race-- he could have badly hurt himself.  And the winner, Union Rags, is a Virginia-bred horse, so we're happy to cheer for his terrific down-to-the-wire victory.  His trainer, Michael Matz, was also the trainer for the beloved Barbaro, and before that, he was an Olympic medalist showjumper who rode one of my favorite celebrity horses, Jet Run.  There was even a Breyer model horse made of Jet Run, a beautiful American Thoroughbred.  Michael Matz even once helped save four children from a crashed airplane, so he has had some interesting experiences -- you can look it up!