Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Run for cover (or at least walk)

We built run-in sheds for some of our paddocks at Sally Run primarily due to my lack of sleep when an unanticipated storm would hit during the night and the horses were turned out.  While researching size, shape, and placement, many experts warned, "Don't be surprised if your horses don't use them."  What amuses me is that I see them in the sheds all the time during perfectly beautiful days - sunny skies, low- to-mid 60's - catching a little snooze in the shade; then on mornings like this one, I look out my kitchen window to see them standing in a downpour, sometimes eating grass, but more often by the gate asking to come inside the barn.  The run-ins are almost two years old now, the horses live outside much more than in, and yet they still want me to schlepp out there and get them when it rains.  Do they know I'm watching them from the house and just want to mess with me?  And typical of kids and horses, after five minutes inside, they change their mind.  They decide outside was actually better, and Barney especially starts banging around, wanting out.  Too bad big guy - you wanted in, you're staying in (and saving your legs and my grass in the process)!  If I were a horse, I think I would head for cover before my coat was rain-soaked, but soaking up the sun has always been my preference.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Trails to Beau!

Our cute little cutting horse, Beau, moved in with the Goforth family yesterday.  We will miss his sweet sorrel face (especially since he was our only non-black horse), but I know it is time for him to go be a perfect packer for another family of kids!  Luckily he's just down the road, so we'll be able to keep up with him and his fun new life!

One Month and Counting . . .

We are just about a month away from welcoming back our long, lost Lauren - I know she hasn't really been lost, but I bet a few of us have been since she left for Florida an eternity ago!

So far I have riding:

Elaine Flory
Michaela Bethard
Molly Watson
some assortment of Stephens riders & ponies

Molly Watson
Kim Huffman
Dawn Gifford
Michaela Bethard
Sydney Stephens

If you are on this list in the wrong place, please let me know. If you are not on this list but want to be/should be, please let me know that as well. If you need a stall for any or all of the clinic, you know the drill.

Also, if anyone is planning to work on a freestyle - either bring your music on an ipod or just email me the file, and I will stick it on mine and test it before you come.

It's a new year, so I need new forms.  Email me for a clinic participation agreement if you don't already have one.  If you are going to ride in multiple clinics, just put all clinic dates on the form and initial so that you do not have to send in a new one each time. Even if you end up not riding, at least your waiver is signed and on file for any future dates. Also, I need a new copy of everyone's coggins.

Please send the agreement, coggins, and payment for your ride(s) and stall by May 1st to:

Sally Run
PO Box 541
Wytheville, VA 24382

Fees can be found under the Dressage Clinics tab.  The stabling fee went up just a bit to cover extra bedding since I will need to add more shavings to the new stalls. Please note that you will need to bring buckets with hooks/straps for the stalls as well. We have preserved the parking/turn around area, so don't panic - still plenty of circling space for your truck & trailer!

I will send out ride times as we get closer to the date. If you need a specific ride time and have not told me already, please shoot me an email asap.

Thanks so much, and we can't wait to see everyone again next month!

Take care,


Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring has sprung!

We have been enjoying the warmest, earliest spring we have ever had since we moved to Wytheville 11 years ago!  The horses cannot shed out fast enough, and the grass is threatening to take over, but we are enjoying every minute of it!  The pony B&B has run into a temporary standstill as we work out stain issues, but if you have ever built a house or barn with wood siding and then built another one more than 4 years later and tried to match the stain, you know what we're dealing with.  Products change, colors fade, and matching existing structures becomes an exercise in frustration!  However, the stalls, windows and doors all arrive on Tuesday, so we will hopefully start to see some progress again soon!

On the horse front, I would love to list our horseshow plans and goals for the year, but for now we are  in a wait-and-see mode.  Glory continues to be her fantastic self, Caruso is gradually getting back in shape, and Barney - well, Barney is still a little bit of an unknown, but he looks awesome on the lunge and is thoroughly enjoying his life in the field.  I am amazed at how much happier my horses seem when the weather cooperates, and they get to spend their lives outside.  As much as I love to watch the super fancy dressage horses, I don't think I could ever have a horse who was either too valuable or too hot to turn out, and since I am not aiming for the Olympics here, I don't think it will ever be a problem!

On the cow front, we are down to just a handful of heifers left to calve - woohoo!!  The weather has made for an awesome calving season, and the kids have thoroughly enjoyed bottle feeding the two calves who were each the small ones out of two sets of twins.  Shockingly, I think our alfalfa is almost ready to cut - which is a little bit insane, but hopefully this great grass and growing season will continue!

So, that's what's happening around the farm.  We are getting ready for our baby girl's birthday this week and the arrival of family and friends to celebrate number 12 along with Easter!  Hope everyone has a blessed holiday weekend, and we'll start gearing up for the clinic series in just a few weeks!!