Monday, April 25, 2011

Cowboy Dressage Clinic

This weekend we had the privilege of hosting a "Cowboy Dressage" clinic with Eitan Beth Halachmy, who resides here in Grass Valley.  Eitan has been a two time exhibitor at the prestigous World Equestrian Games, both in Germany and in Kentucky, as well as a many time champion in the show ring.  He shared with us his "Light Hands" techniques of riding and training.  

Eitan brought with him his gorgeous and talented Morgan stallion, "Santa Fe's Renegade".  Santa Fe is an incredibly well behaved stallion - it is breeding season, but he mingled with the crowd of geldings and mares without a single misstep - what a good boy.

The barn courtyard was all decked out..........

And, as usual, Dude was a big help - this time helping Sam at the sign up desk.

Eitan shared his pearls of wisdom in a very clear method..........

the riders listened intently............

well, most of them listened ................. :))

Questions were encouraged, such as Jan's.

Following are some varied images from the day............

Oodles getting supple.

Susan's horse working on lateral moves.

Laura and her "Todd" softening and bending.

"Maggie" in a soft frame.

"Maverick" falling asleep in class.

Mike's boy getting a well earned reward.

I've got a terrible itch!

"Maverick" and Laura showing that you can be a big boy and still be light!

Eitan and Santa Fe put in a long day in the saddle, and it was appreciated by all.  Be sure to check out his web site to see more about him, and to find out more about his upcoming clinics at other venues.  We will be hosting another Cowboy Dressage Clinic here at Blue Fountain Farm in August, but, before that, we will be having a Western Dressage Show on June 4th, along with our Dressage Show on June 5th.  Check out my ranch site for more information on these events (under Happenings).  There are many, many more photos from the day on my photo site   (under Proofs), so be sure to check them out!


Thank you Eitan, Debbie and "Santa Fe" for a great day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Join me on a morning stroll around Blue Fountain Farm

Yesterday morning was one of those perfect mornings - the air was crisp and clean and smelled of freshly mown grass from the workday the Saddle Pals volunteers put in yesterday weed whacking and mowing (many thanks to everyone for all your hard work!)  The fickle weather had decided that Sunday was going to be a beautiful day, so - since I woke up much earlier than I needed to (hate it when that happens), I decided to take a walk around the ranch, with my camera and my trusty dogs and cat in tow.  Below is a little photo journal of my morning......

The roses off my back deck are going crazy!

Dude is always ready to be a part of things around the barn.

Jackson in a moment of repose.

Jake saying,"Why don't you go for the walk and I'll just say I did?"

The trail around the north end of the property.

Along the east side next to the vineyard.

I let Lil Bea and Jasmine out for awhile to follow me around as well.

Herbert was on the roof of the covered arena.  We love watching him stalk and then catch gophers every day!  He has something wrong with his left leg, but seems to be getting by just fine.

"Galan" taking his morning nap in the sun after breakfast.

"Maverick Blue Eye"

I call this a "Smiling Panda Cow" from next door!

Our beautiful fountain.

The courtyard looks so inviting this time of year.

"Benchely" the concrete bench next to the fountain.

Everyone should have a reading frog on their fountain!

I played around with shutter speeds with the water on the fountain.

I love my little fountain next to the tack room.

Assorted flowers from in the barn courtyard............. daisies....



...I can't remember - coleus??.....

....and another vine I can't remember the name of.

Nothing fancy, just a door bracket.

From the '48 Dodge Farmer's Market truck

Hood ornament from the truck.

The upper arena as seen from the mirror on the truck.

Is this a statement, or what???

Oops!  People are arriving for their lessons - time to put the camera away and get to work!

I hope you enjoyed the tour - there is really so much more to see, but this was a glimpse into my world............more later! 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Musings on a(nother) rainy day

I'm sure that most of you here in Northern California probably got about as much sleep as I did last night due to our extremely windy and rainy storm!  We clocked 50+ mph winds here at the ranch, and there were several times I thought for sure the roof was going to blow off the house!  Luckily, I awoke to find that there was no damage anywhere on the premises - the shingles were still on the roof, the horses hadn't blown away, the garbage cans were all still where they were supposed to be, and the trees had most of their branches intact.  Amazing!  It was still windy and rainy this morning, but not  as bad as the previous night's tempest.  Like clockwork, Jake was waiting for me to come out the door this morning so we could go to work together.

I need my bone, then we can go down to the barn!

No one was going to be tying their horses in these cross ties today!

I worked a few horses, gave a lesson to the one soul who braved the weather conditions (Pat), then decided to grab my camera and roam around (under cover, of course) to see what was going on.  I walked down the aisle to go out the side of the barn, and there was Tristan - having his lunch in bed - a daily ritual for him.  There's nothing wrong with him, he just likes his lie-down times!

He ate awhile, then he started to get sleepy.

He let me come in and snap away....I love "shooting" parts of horses.

"Dude" came to pay a visit in the stall - he wanted some of the attention that Tristan was getting.  He looks pretty good for an 18 yr old cat, doesn't he?

Pretty soon, Tristan got even more tired, and used the hay as a pillow - oblivious to me being right in his face.

Sam couldn't wait to come in and cuddle with Tristan, so I said, "Sure!  He won't mind."  He loved getting pets and scratches while still lying down!

You're getting very, very sleepy.

More "intimate" shots.......

I love whiskers and guard hairs.

If you click on this image, you'll see his stall door in his eye.

I love the freckles on his lips.

Don't you just want to pet the soft part of his muzzle?

After about 20 minutes, he decided it was time to get back up - nap time was over!

Meanwhile, the dogs and cat were trying to figure out what to do with their boring day......

Feed me!

Jackson is forever trying to get Dude to run so he can chase him, but Dude is too smart to fall for that game.

"If I can't get the cat to play, I'll amuse myself with this toy."

Jake says he'll just sit there and look regal.

And then there's Draco!  He tried begging for peppermints, but didn't get a reaction from me on that, so he decided to amuse himself by playing with his fly mask.

"Not me!  I didn't do anything wrong!"

As I looked up the aisle, I saw that "Leo" was taking his nap standing up.

It's tough being an "indoor" horse, nice and dry in a stall on a rainy day.  

I thought about going out in the rain to get shots of the horses in the pastures with the wind whipping their manes, but......well, that never happened.  From the extended forecast of the week's weather, there will be plenty of days that I can do that if I choose to do so!    

This shot started out as a mistake, but I like it anyway!

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