So here we are in the depths of winter– icy, wind driven pellets are sprinkling my windows, the chimes on the porch are twinkling their melodies and the horses are (reluctantly) pulled into their stalls while we wait for the weather to turn in a less tumultuous direction. Therefore, it seems like a perfect opportunity to offer a long overdue update on the activities at Cold Moon Farm!
2018 was a light competition and heavy training year for us. After completing the 25 mile August ride at GMHA, Liatris sadly did not pass her final jog out, leading us to officially conclude that after nearly 1,000 competition miles and countless miles of training rides, years in the jumper ring etc etc that it is time for her to step down from competitive distance riding. The good news is that for normal, every day riding, Lee is 100% sound and happy, and she will be looking for a working student companion to help her to stay fit into her third decade. She will be 20 this June!
JEF Anna Rose also showed lightly in 2018, earning her best scores at Third Level in June before making a debut at 4th level, just for fun as were totally not ready, at the final University of New Hampshire Summer Dressage Show (the competition is going off the calendar for the foreseeable future). I have many fond memories of the UNH show– it is where I have debuted all of my freestyles–but its conclusion will perhaps encourage me to try out some new venues moving forward. So many wonderful one day shows have popped up in the area within an hour to hour and a half drive, and we have been to very few. We spent the remainder of the season in training, continuing our sessions with Verne Batchelder when he is in town but also working with Jessica Freiman, really focusing on improving the quality of her connection and throughness. The other big change for Anna is that she is currently barefoot– I am not a total barefoot groupie, but in her case the shoes just seemed to be making her feet worse, and so far we have been very satisfied with the adjustment. Anna is wintering at High Knoll Farm in Rochester, where she is the lone dressage horse in a sea of hunter/jumpers and western mounts.
DRF Isabela is a rising four year old, and after participating in a groundwork clinic with Tik Maynard in May, she spent the summer ponying with her friend Marquesa, longeing, learning to long line and playing ground work games. Izzy was lightly backed in late August, being led by a handler, and seemed to take it all in stride. She has had the winter off to grow and mature. It is our hope that this summer, Izzy will be ready to start to try mounted hacking and the basics of walk, trot and canter under saddle. She is as sweet as ever and more and more has been showing us a calm, sensible Connemara temperament.
And newly joining the herd this past October is Spring Hollow Or Noir (Spring Hollow Statesman x C-My Sandalwood Dolly) is a rising two year old Morgan filly. She is a stunning smokey black color, has a sweet, in your pocket personality and is growing like a weed. She comes from a line of outstanding sport performance Morgans, and while our goal is to aim her towards distance riding we can already tell that she is likely to be a versatile, fun mount for many disciplines. This summer we will play with her on the ground, introduce her to cross ties, equipment and trailers, and allow her to continue to grow and mature.
Farm improvements continue– we acquired some surplus arena footing this summer which will be the base of our round pen, there is a new loft storage area in the barn, and we are applying for a grant this spring to hopefully fund the construction of a three bay manure composting system. The front field has been re-fenced and electrified, with a small shade shelter, to create one additional grass paddock.
Finally, we are continuing to grow and expand the Strafford County Equestrian Trail riders group-– we are always looking for new, enthusiastic members– as we work to promote and protect equestrian trail access within Strafford County and beyond.
Thanks for your continued interest in the work of Cold Moon Farm.