It has been a busy spring and summer this year– so busy that we have been neglectful of updating our website! We will attempt to compress several months of fun and adventure into a concise summary.
JEF Anna Rose moved back to Cold Moon Farm on April 1 after wintering at High Knoll Equestrian Center in Rochester. The crew there did a great job taking care of her and she returned stronger and fitter than when she left. Anna competed at the Tack Shack I show in June, scoring over 60% at Third Level Test 3, and then went to the final University of New Hampshire Dressage show at the end of the month, scoring in the mid 60’s at Third Level Test 3 on day one and then making her Fourth Level debut on Sunday. We made a number of rookies mistakes which hurt our score but Anna definitely has all the pieces; back to the sand box for more practice! We are grateful for the assistance of Verne Batchelder when we can catch him up north from Florida. I have many fond memories of competing at the UNH show– Weltinus, Tower Hill’s Ballan, Liatris and Parcival have all been mounts of mine there, competing from First through Fourth Level. If people want their local shows to continue, they must support them! We are aiming to head out one more time this season at Longfellow’s August show.
DRF Isabela went to her first clinic in early May, focusing on in hand work with Tik Maynard at Fox Hill Equestrians in Barnstead, NH. She had been feeling quite rambunctious this spring, and it was really a thrill to watch Tik work with her to get her mind and energy engaged and focused on solving his ground work puzzles. We have endeavored to keep up that practice, as well as continue to work on her longeing and long lining. She goes out with her pasture mate Spring Hollow Marquesa about once a week on a pony lead to see the sights, and has been introduced to surcingles, bridles and saddles. Thanks to Joan Guyotte Reidel on her saddle fit advice for Izzy!
Liatris is taking a step down in terms of her intensity and distance on trail; at age 19, she has little left to prove and many miles both figuratively and literally on her frame! After a late start this spring, she successfully completed the 15 mile CDR at Green Mountain Horse Association in South Woodstock, VT, this June. In July, she helped me check off a bucket list item by heading up to Acadia National Park for a week of riding on carriage trails designed and built by John D. Rockefeller, Jr in the early to mid part of the 1900’s. We did just about fifty miles on the trails there, enjoying the low humidity, limited bugs and stunning scenery. Lee is entered at the 25 mile CTR at GMHA in early August and we plan to attend the Warren Tessier 30 mile CTR hosted by Hartland (VT) Riding Club later in the month, pending a successful go at GMHA.
Summer is of course the busy season for farm improvements, and we have our intern Molly Henion, a rising senior at the University of New Hampshire, to thank for assistance with projects including installation of new electric fencing in our front paddock, the development of a drainage ditch for the lower winter paddock, general maintenance and horse care, etc. We have successfully installed another shed from Hillview Mini Barns in Maine (a fabulous deal for the price) with attached mini turn out, which means that we now actually have as many stalls on site as horses. Hooray!
In addition, we have been busy spear heading the efforts of Strafford County Equestrian Trail Riders, a group which got its start in January of this year. We are a group of local riders and drivers who value having equestrian access to trails and lands, and we are working to establish a database of trails in the county, to promote awareness of the needs and interest of equestrian users, and to eventually provide resources for riders who are looking to speak with neighbors or other land owners about equestrian use. We have many ambitions but as always with these sorts of things, light hands, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you would like to become involved! We have a Facebook group (it is closed but should show up on a search) and host meetings roughly monthly at the farm.
Finally, Cold Moon Farm Principal Horseman Christina Keim has been keeping busy teaching at clinics, camps and ship ins, as well as doing some judging. Thanks to the Lake Shore and Virginia Regions of U.S. Pony Club for having her out this June, it was so much fun! Equally thrilling was being asked to judge the beginner ring at the Athletic Equestrian League National Championships this past May, as well as the Connemara division at the Warrenton Pony Show in VA in June. This show is one of the oldest in the country, and it is run by a junior board! They do a fabulous job and had excellent turnout, despite the sweltering heat.
We are looking forward to enjoying the last few weeks of the summer season. It is short but so sweet, truly the best days of the year here in New England.