March 26, 2010


Lovely Alex has left us and gone to a new home! We have a feeling that his new owner, Kyle, will see to it that he reaches hi full potential as a riding horse and, most importantly, will take good care of him and love him! Although most of the horses that come here to Cedar Knoll Farm are exceptional, Alex was particularly special. We hope Alex and his new owner, Kyle, will have many long, happy years together, on the trail and in the show ring!

Speaking of Kyle, he is offering his drop dead gorgeous, well trained paint gelding for sale. You can read more about this horse on our website Call us if interested and we will give you Kyle's contact information. We are happy to help Kyle sell his horse (he wanted to "move up" from a light horse to a draft horse!) without commission, so there are no hidden fees for the buyer where we are concerned. This is your chance to buy a professionally trained (Tangletree out of Colchester) Western Pleasure horse, always in the ribbons! Call us 860-376-8110.

Photos: Top two: Kyle and his paint gelding, a show quality horse with professional training. Call us if interested - this fine gelding is for sale!
Bottom two: Kyle and Alex: Alex is not only a good riding horse, but his temperament is exceptional! He is shown here playing with a large ball in an indoor down the street from us.

March 22, 2010

The Hummer Cart on abc News

Click on this link to see the video on YouTube.

Saturday into Sunday

What a time we are having trying to get our F550 fixed. Who would have ever thought, just 18 months since buying this brand new truck, that we would have gone through five radiators and a new engine already? The truck is still on the West Virginia line, waiting for the go-ahead from Ford headquarters to get that new engine. We are beyond the end of our rope at this point, but gratefully, the heavy carriage season hasn't started yet (come beginning of April, though, it will!)

 Neighbor Nichole stopped in with her Percheron, Charley and a friend on Saturday evening, and I felt obliged to put their picture on our blog. Charley is one of the tallest horses you'll ever meet - close to 19HH. On Sunday, we headed to Colchester and, with help from friends Patty, Dale and Karl, took down and cut up nearly one dozen trees, some small, others gigantic. It was a very successful day, in that we spent it doing an honest day's work, with the company of friends and winter fuel as our reward.

Photo: Top: Nichole from Lisbon Country Stables and her friend stopped by with Charley just to say "hi".
Bottom: Dale, Karl and Terry cutting up one of the big oaks we took down at our property in Colchester.

March 19, 2010


Well, Poncho sold today. Such a nice horse. Gentleman came down from up north, tried him with one of his Percherons, watched me ride him, and took him home. He'll have over 150 acres to keep him happy. I am glad for Poncho!

Four Horses

Terry got back late Wednesday night and by 10AM Thursday morning, we were showing the four horses he bought out in Ohio to potential buyers.

The grey team, named Pete & Prince, were really put to the test. Pulling logs, on the busy road with traffic, they are a terrific team for farm work or commercial work, or both. Alex, the one-time stud, is just gorgeous and easy tempered. Because he was just castrated, we won't allow him to be ridden or driven till next weekend, to give him time to heal. The Amish Black, who Terry named Poncho, was ridden in the afternoon. Another sweet tempered, willing horse, for riding and driving.

If you are interested in any of these horses, visit our website for more information (click on the title above on this blog to go there directly) or call us 860-376-8110.

Photos: Top: Prince & Pete
Second: Poncho
Third: Alex
All other photos are Pete & Prince

March 18, 2010

Sharing Wednesday

Wednesday, while waiting for Terry to come home (friend Karl took off and rescued him from the Hinterlands of Pennsylvania), Maegan and I did Winery Tours, then chores together afterwards. It was an exquisite day, both in terms of weather and satisfaction of a job well done. Thought I would share the email we got from a couple that took a winery tour:

"Just wanted to drop a note to everyone involved in a very special 25th wedding anniversary for my Diana and me.
I was looking for a way to surprise her with something unique. I truly found it.
The weather was perfect. Without my wife knowing what was going to happen, we drove into Cedar Knoll Farm, Lisbon, CT., Although we were about 15 minutes early, a horse and carriage awaited my "princess". We gathered our things and the camera and headed out. She was thrilled, it was special...
A horse and buggy ride on beautiful day in a beautiful part of CT.
But wait. there is more.......
If the ride wasn't enough of a special surprise... . After about 20 minutes the carriage pulled into Heritage Trail Winery . Were they had been expecting us. Elaine at Cedar Knoll prearranged everything. A wine and cheese tasting.
On arrival, we were asked were we would like to sit, Since it was about 60F or so outside and beautiful sun shiny day, we wanted to enjoy the outdoors. We sat on the out door patio. Only one thing missing... A fire in the fire pit. Chef Harry to the rescue, he immediately arranged for our fire. It was awesome, the perfect touch.
The wines (6) that we tasted were presented and explained perfectly. I still find whites to be my favorite. Although a few of the reds did perk up my taste buds.
And the cheese plate looked too good to eat. But Chef informed us it was ok to do so, in fact the orchid garnish was even edible. We opted to save them for some unique photos. Diana has an awesome eye, I can show the picts to prove it.
Well, after about 45 minutes or so we climbed back up onto our carriage, parasol in hand and headed off into the sunset. LITERALLY. I was spectacular. Elaine and Meagan were the perfect drivers and we enjoyed learning about them and the their farm. Meagan even showed us around the farm and enjoyed introducing us to the other horses. We already knew Duke and Diesel from our ride.
A great experience. And I even managed to surprise my EXTRA special Wife.
Thank YOU ALL - Ron Johnson"

In spite of the hardships we sometimes endure, times like these make this business very satisfying!

Photos: Top: Maegan helping with chores.
Middle: Duke, and his sympathetic eye.
Bottom: Maegan takes the reins and waits at the winery.

March 15, 2010

One of Those Weeks

It has been an entire week since our fantastic day in Manhattan with artist Jeremy Dean and his Hummer Cart, and all else since seems faded and shabby by comparison. Terry took off for the Ohio sale last Tuesday, and has yet to come home. Partly because he was at the sale until Saturday — partly because our monster truck, the F550, broke down somewhere on the West Pennsylvania line Saturday afternoon, towing the 36 foot gooseneck and a load of horses on. Included in that mix were two horses Terry was bringing home: a black Percheron stud and gelding, as well as a back seat full of Amish men. I won't bother to retell the story about how he got the truck towed to the nearest Ford garage (and how much it cost us), or how he had to hire another truck to take his trailer to a friend's place somewhere in PA, or how he had to hire someone else to take the horses to the New Holland Sales Barn for holding. Never mind finding rides for the Amish men, also all the way back to New Holland. Once he got HIMSELF to New Holland Sunday morning (by way of yet another friend's tractor trailer coming out of Tennessee or somewhere), he went to bed and never woke up until I called him around 6PM. Stressed out, to say the least.

Well, sometimes we must take a bad situation and take advantage of some extra time in PA. The Black Stallion, who, I am told, is every bit as beautiful as the one in the movie, is no longer a stud. I suppose it is good that he lost his "manhood" in PA this morning, rather than waiting to lose it here at the farm. Throw a stud in the mix around here and, no matter how quiet the stud is, we might have problems at best.

Once Terry left last week, so did the sun. We have had heavy, heavy rains here since Thursday or Friday. It is still raining as I write this Monday morning. I have spent most of the last week on the computer, working on websites, articles and promotional material. Horses have been in and out of the barn. Dolly, because her paddock floods so badly, was brought down to the back "pasture" this morning, to get her out of her stall for a change. She galloped and kicked and slid and galloped some more, until she suddenly found her hay pile. Dolly makes me think of Cher, the main character played by Alicia Silverstone in "Clueless". The scene where Cher is giving that dissertation about true love or something and she is suddenly distracted by the Snicker's Bar in the school cafeteria. That's my girl Dolly!

Photos: Top: Dolly
Bottom: Danny on a brighter day

March 10, 2010


Here it is Wednesday, but it is Monday, March 8, I am blogging about. It was, quite frankly, one of the most fun we have had in a long time! Artist Jeremy Dean of Brooklyn, NY, had us pull the world's first Hummer Cart, or horse drawn Hummer, through Central Park and the streets of Manhattan.

Jeremy bought this Hummer H2 off Craigslist. He reconstructed it by literally sawing it apart, disemboweling it of it's engine and placing it on wagon running gear. He added chrome rims to the tires, and 9 inch flat screens to play videos of this project both inside the Hummer and in the driver's seat. By changing this Hummer from fossil fuel powered to horse powered, it lost over 4,000 pounds in the process.

Jeremy's inspiration came from the Depression Era. It took Terry and me a while to figure out why he was calling his four wheeled vehicle a "cart" — then he explained that it was a parody of what was referred to, at the time, "Hoover Carts" — cars and trucks modified, usually quite literally cut in half, and put to a horse or a mule because the vehicle's owner could no longer afford the high price of gasoline. Jeremy brought the modified Hummer up from Florida to an art show in Manhattan, and Duke & Diesel finally had their chance to prove that the Hummer Cart could, indeed, be of good use under true horse power.

So, Monday morning began early for us at Cedar Knoll Farm. Actually, it began Sunday, bathing Duke & Diesel, as we knew we wouldn't be doing that first thing in the morning. At 3:00AM we were up to feed, harness and take off for Manhattan. We anticipated needing to spot bathe the horses again, but miraculously, they hadn't laid down that night. Any concern and trepidation had gone by the way side. I KNEW it was going to be a terrific day.

By 7:30 AM, Terry and I were in Central Park, that sparkling gem right dab in the middle of the city, waiting for Jeremy and the Hummer. We were ecstatic that both Brandon and Maegan could meet us there (Maegan, as you may have seen from my earlier blog, had spent the weekend with Brandon — Brandon was there to take photographs). Our friend Ariel also came by to see the spectacle. Once under way, the Hummer went smoothly, the horses, naturally, had no issue with the traffic once they hit the streets, and photographs and video were taken to prove to the world that this great symbol of greed, excess and waste could be turned into, well, a more logical form of transportation.

Photos: Top: The Hummer Cart, also called the CEO Hummer Cart after those overpaid individuals who helped cause our current recession, makes its way through Central Park.
Second: Artist Jeremy Dean poses in front of his Hummer Cart on Central Park West.
Third: A Central Park carriage horse looks over at Duke & Diesel going by. This horse and carriage is owned buy our friends Anita and Alex at Chateau Carriages on 48th Street — the article I wrote for the Pedlar about Central Park carriage horses included them.
Fourth: Terry and Ariel, laughing it up while waiting for the Hummer to arrive by truck. Karl & Sue Lado (K&S Farm) loaned us their small horses trailer so we wouldn't have to bring one of our big trailers into the city this time.
Bottom: Maegan takes a quiet moment and braids Diesel's mane.

All these photos were taken by my son, Brandon Taelor Aviram

March 7, 2010

Sam's Logging Arch

Terry spent the better part of this morning helping friend Sam Rich log in the woods. Some of the logs they pulled out were measured at 65' - a good sized tree for this part of the country. The logs will be used as beams for a house he is building on the same property. Above are some pictures of Sam's logging arch as well.

Hay Diaries: the round bale in the grays' paddock was completely gone by this morning. Barely lasted three days. No monetary savings with these bales! Will have to find another source, although that is no easy task. Danny & Dakota are still going strong on theirs, as would be expected since there are four grays and only two of them.

March 6, 2010

Maegan's Journey

Following in her brother's footsteps, Maegan took a train to Grand Central Station yesterday for a weekend in Manhattan. She'll shadow her brother in the photography studio in the Village, trying her hand at hair and makeup as her brother photographs models from a modeling agency.

Standing on the platform at the train station in New Haven, I was transported back 25 years. How many times did I take the train to and from my place in New York City to visit family in Connecticut? How excited I am to know Maegan can take steps, no matter how tentative, to a world full of creativity and wonder, just a few hours away on a magical train.

March 5, 2010

Hay Diaries

The weather has been very strange here in Connecticut the last few days. Snow, sleet , drizzle, nothing that amounts to much but just blah. Horses have been in and out of the barn, eating square bales. Last night, taking our cue from the weather man, we left six drafts out, and added round bales to their paddocks. These are the bales we are not particularly happy with, as they aren't baled tight and the horses eat right through them.

My little girl is spreading her wings today. Taking flight after her brother in Manhattan, she is taking the train to meet up with him and spend the weekend, doing what real New Yorkers do, I suppose. Tomorrow is a fashion shoot, and Maeg will get a taste of the industry through her brother's eyes. I hope she has fun.

And speaking of bejeweled birds taking flight - I would like to share one of the blogs that I, personally, am very fond of following: Beautiful, soulful, and inspiring.

March 2, 2010

Tuesday is Fuel Day

Tuesday, March 2 - the thermometer hit 50 degrees in the shade! Terry spent the entire day, from morning till sunset, cutting and splitting wood for the wood stove (the pile on the right is from an earlier day, and is still green. The pile on the left is waiting to be split, but seasoned enough for burning). The chickens in their condo seem happy and bubbly. I don't know why, but the only hen that is laying, lays her eggs in the bottom of the feed pan every morning. Moses, my red bone, loves the outdoors on warm days, but because Poof Chicken is still recovering from domestic abuse in his dog house, Moses spent some of the morning watching Terry cut wood from a tether.

Just Another Busy Weekend

This past weekend brought the end to Frigid February with relatively warm temperatures and a schedule almost as busy as an October weekend. Saturday we had better than 50 people here, mostly kids from the Rhode Island 4-H, to learn about draft horses. What a terrific bunch! We love passing on knowledge to our youth, in the hopes they will someday protect the breeds of draft horses we care so deeply for.

Sunday was to be hectic and downright crazy, but a last minute postponement left Terry and me with just one job - a birthday party at the winery. We won't talk just yet about the incredible "assignment" that was supposed to happen first on Sunday, then Monday. We are hoping it happens next week. We'll tell more when it finally happens!

Hay Diary: Saturday morning, February 27, the four grays got a round bale. Really, it was just Gillette and Lincoln that got it, as Duke & Diesel were not put back out until Monday morning. Meanwhile, Danny & Dakota still have hay from their original bale from last week. I anticipate both paddocks will need new round bales Wednesday morning. We are pleased with how long Danny & Dakota's bale lasted, but very disappointed with the grays'. If my calculations are correct, that bale was costlier to feed than square bales. Dolly & the sale horse continue to eat square bales, since they are in separate paddocks and when horses are in the barn, square bales are fed out, too.

Photos: Top: Danny & Dakota get a power wash in preparation for Sunday's jobs.
Bottom: At the winery - carriage rides for 70 guests.