Wednesday, October 13, 2021

What's Up Wednesday


Big week over here! Guys! I actually left my property for an overnight away! It's been a solid two years since I've gone anywhere that required me to pack. (Other than braiding overnight, that doesn't count since I'm awake the whole time, and all I needed to pack for that was some snacks.) I'm happy to report I only forgot to pack two things- toothpaste and my watch charger. Fortunately, my brothers were both able to supply these needs for me. More on the trip in a few, first we talk horses.

The best part about our little family trip is that we left Sunday and came home Monday, so I only missed one day of riding. Shiny jumped twice as usual this past week. The first day we stuck mostly to some lower fences just working on her listening skills. The second day was a more normal jumping day. She was good, though it took some time to get her moving off my leg. And maybe also for me to remember to count strides and ride at the same time...

Yep. That's what happens when you forget to count. Good girl Shiny. Sorry for the tooth flossing. Once we got on the same page though, she jumped around really nicely. I think getting her to hold her shape out of the turns will forever be a challenge. But maybe some day we'll get there. Her preference is to come up out of the frame, which I'll take that over her pulling down and getting heavy in front any day. 

This is better...

And a little clip because some of y'all like videos. 

Eros is plugging along. He doesn't feel quite 100% yet, but he's feeling pretty good. It's a little hard to judge honestly, because he always comes out a little stiff, and never feels his best until after we've done some loose rein canter. But right now we're just doing a few minutes of trot each direction. Thus, it's tough to say if he's not himself, or if I'm just not getting him loosened up all the way.

Not bad in the stills anyway! I also had my usual lesson this week with Bellino. He was great, and we even jumped a couple slightly bigger jumps (2'6" ish, nothing crazy, and just a one stride, the rest of the fences were still teeny). He felt the most in tune to me this week, not yanking me out of the tack nearly as much as he normally does. 

I think I only get to have one more lesson on him this year before he heads back to Florida. I'm a little bummed he's leaving just as we're figuring each other out. I'll just have to try and fly down to visit him this year. 

Okay, now for my visit to my little brother's place! As mentioned, we left Sunday morning, but not until ten, so I had time to do a couple of chores and visit Pammon before we left. We arrived around 2-2:30 (who remembers) with plenty of time to do some exploring and play with horses! 

My little brother is very much a do it yourself kind of guy. He bought this property in VT several years ago. It's in Worcester, VT and he owns a few hundred acres. For the first while he lived in a little cabin, totally off the grid without running water or anything. He had a wood stove for heat, and some propane powered lights and that was it. He has a forestry degree from UVM, and spend some time just out of college learning to build. Once he has this land, he cleared the space for his home and used those trees to build it. He had some help building since that's certainly not a one man job, but it's impressive nonetheless. 

He now runs a maple syrup from his land called Rugged Ridge Forest.  He has a buddy that uses horses to log, and he thought that was interesting so that is how and why he has horses now. To be fair, my little brother has almost no horse background at all other than being my brother. So I cringe a lot when he tells me about his journey with them. But he's finding his way, and his horses are healthy and happy, so I try to hold my tongue when it's not a safety issue. 

He has two horses, Hildy and Hugo. Hildy was his first horse, and she came broke to ride and drive. She's very patient and was absolutely the best first horse for him and his needs. She's a percheron/standardbred so heavy, but not very big. Hugo is a purchase we all told him not to make... He's a two year old of similar breeding to Hildy. I don't think a green horse person has any business working with a baby horse, but Hugo is probably the most laid back animal I've ever met. My brother already has him ground driving (lightly, my brother does occasionally listen to what I have to say).  Anyway, part of our exploring, included playing with ponies. 

I hopped on Hildie but just walked her up and down some hills. My brother's western saddle had stirrups that didn't adjust short enough for me and he pretty much only has hills to ride on. I'm a weenie on a new horse with buttons I don't fully know (since she's broke to ride western-ish- she's an amish horse) without stirrups, so I opted to just meander. 

My family is lame and didn't take any photos of me actually on the horse. What am I gonna do with them? Once we were done playing with Hildy, my brother showed us what Hugo knows:

We also met his free range laying chicken and did some hiking to see some of his syrup lines out in the woods. It's peak leaf peeping season up north, so it was a great time to be out in the woods! Leaves are first starting to change where I live. So I'll get to see two nature shows this year!

Who knew those turf rails we jump over were modeled after something actually found in nature?

For dinner, we had chicken and veggies from the farm and a fresh from the garden pumpkin pie for dessert. 

It was a really fun getaway, and I even got to stop at my favorite Country Store on the way home to stock up on snacks. 
The Vermont Country Store

I used to always go to this store on the Monday in between weeks of showing when I used to compete at the Vermont Summer Festival. It's been years, so it was nice to be back for a visit!

How was your week and weekend? Do anything fun and exciting? 


  1. Your photos show what appears to be a quintessentially fall weekend, and it was almost 90 degrees here lass weekend 🤣 I think I'd take your weather! The trees are gorgeous! I think we're going to go straight from green to brown this year, which is boring.

    1. It was perfect fall weather! A little warmer than the norm up in VT which was fine by me, but that meant mid 60's.

  2. omgosh what an idyllic fall weekend!! beautiful pictures, and major kudos to your brother for striking out on his own and creating that life and world for himself!

    also, good luck with Eros' continued rehab. not being able to canter was definitely challenging after charlie had his surgery, since he came out of stall rest feeling like he basically had forgotten how to trot completely, whoops...

    1. These big horses definitely need canter to loosen up. At least that's been my experience.
      Isn't it gorgeous up there?! He's done a beautiful job with his property.

  3. What a great weekend. Your brother's place is stunning! Can you trailer your horses there to ride around? That would be fun.

    1. It was so nice!
      I probably could bring mine up there, but it's a little over four hours away and he doesn't have stalls for them. Maybe in the summertime some year!

  4. Yay for getting out of the house!