Well, poor Dolly, all good things must come to an end, including an extended maternity leave. Yesterday, Terry and I put Dolly in harness for the first time since last winter and gave her and Lincoln the dubious task of transferring carriages and wagons between the storage barn down the street and our farm. Aside from a little jog in her step now and then, and a continuous whinny to horses all the way up and down the street, she did well. Dolly girl, the busy season is upon us, and it's time for you to pull your share!
October 26, 2010
How nice it is to touch someone in such a way, that they actually BLOG about you! Or they send you wonderful, beautiful emails, thanking you for "allowing" them to experience the horses, up close and personal. I would just like to say "thank you" to all of YOU, who visit our farm, care about our horses, and take the time out of your busy schedules to contemplate our love for this unique lifestyle. We appreciate how much you care about who we are and what we do! And remember, you are always welcome here!
"Ok first of all thanks for leting me ride in the front of the carrage I rely like it. And a nother thing that I liked was those cookies I felt like I was in heven." - email from a young boy named Lincoln, received after our "Walktober" open house.
Click on the title of this blog to visit nutmeggernotes.blogspot.com
October 25, 2010
October 23, 2010
This morning's wedding had us up well before the sun rose, but we were home in time for a late breakfast! One of our favorite wedding processions is the Baraat - with its wild drumming, dancing, and loud music. Gillette, as usual, did the honors. Where would we be without Gillette?
To see a video of this Baraat, click on the title of this blog above.
Yesterday was a windy, chilly day here at the farm. Peak color on the trees, surprisingly late this year. We spent nearly all day bringing up the fence from the back pasture to winter the horses closer to the barn. It will be far more convenient for watering and bringing them in once the weather turns brutal.
Another change made yesterday: our little rescue mini, Silver, has been adopted! We marvel at the change in this little man since we brought him in this summer. We never really did blog about him much, simply because we wanted to quietly find him the right home when the time was right. Terry brought him back from PA after seeing him being dragged in to the sale barn by a black cloaked man in a straw hat, skin and bones and scared to death. When he came here, you couldn't touch him without him flinching and cowering. Amazing what a lot of love, a lot of handling and good food and health care will do for a horse. He left here fat, happy, and much better adjusted to human touch. We wish our little Silver a happy, happy life at his new home!
Photos: Top: We knew by the way Silver responded to Mary the first time they met that she was to be his new adoptive mother. Second: Silver, in the rental van Mary brought to bring him home in. He has come such a long way since bringing him to Cedar Knoll, both emotionally and physically! Last two: Peak color at Cedar Knoll Farm on October 22, 2010
October 21, 2010
This most recent trip was a unique one simply because I went along for the ride. 1500 miles round trip from home, to New Holland, to Sanford, back to New Holland then home again. 48 full hours from the time we left home, till the time we got back home, which included some run-around time in New Holland both days.
We were sent to North Carolina to bring back a couple of Mustangs and a burro, who themselves had had a long trip - New Mexico to Sanford, then from Sanford to the western part of the state of Connecticut. They will undoubtably have a very happy home in Connecticut.
When traveling with Terry ("Traveling with Terry" sounds like a very good book title, don't you think?...), it is no joy ride. There is no such thing as taking the scenic route, or sleeping in plush hotels, or stopping at a tourist attraction along the way. Our most eventful stop en route to North Carolina was somewhere off I95 near Washington, DC, when ALL trucks were detoured off the highway (or was it the beltway?) for a massive DOT inspection. Our "tiny" little F550 and it's equally unimpressive stock trailer had only to endure a fuel check, to be certain it was highly taxed vehicle fuel and not home heating oil in the tank. A friendly smile and the assurance of the proper fuel color from the DOT officer, as well as a few jokes between him and Terry, and we were back in business.
The farm in Sanford where the three wild ones were being housed was, on the other hand, very scenic and no small fry. Not certain how many acres, but it was BIG. Each horse there had a sizable paddock to itself (each looked to be a good acre or two, anyway). Rolling country side, big barns, multiple riding/training rings (indoor and outdoor), and proper fencing made for lovely scenery. The equids we were to pick up were contained in their own paddock, and were, thankfully, well halter broke. What we had anticipated being a real effort to load them turned into the easiest part of the whole trip. The burro jumped into the trailer first, and the other two followed. Simple. A little hay to keep them busy, and we were on the road again. By 1AM, we were in a truck stop somewhere between there and Washington DC, sleeping in the truck for the second night in a row. By that point, we had already spent at least $500.00 in fuel.
The best part of the trip was back in New Holland, visiting friends, running errands, and relaxing a bit. Our friend Paul, driving by with his horse and spring wagon, saw our truck and trailer in the parking lot of Weaver's Store and stopped in to say hi. I took off with Paul in the wagon and Terry beat us back to Paul's house, but not by much because Paul had that buggy horse flying pretty good. Once to his house, Paul's wife, Mary and I went into her shop to look at some furniture she was painting. Terry and Paul started pulling horses out of the barn, talking about "best broke teams" and "nice little buggy horses". The new puppy, a boxer/bulldog mix, was cute as a button, but already sold to someone for some good money. Pumpkins were in bins, waiting to go to market. Their eldest daughter, Rachel was getting things ready for a yard sale. Down there, you don't need a permit to have a yard sale, and you can make some serious money selling the stuff you don't need anymore. Amish and Menonite ways can be some very smart ways, I'll say that for them.
Photos: Top: Rolling hills and pastureland in Sanford, NC
Second: Terry jumping in the wagon to help Rachel put up some signs down the road for the up-coming yard sale. Third: While in PA, we stopped in to an Amish mule breeder. Fourth: Mules in the mule pen. Bottom: Terry in Mary's shop, with the cute little Boxer/bulldog puppy. Sorry, already sold (and not to us, either!)
October 18, 2010
It seems like just moments ago that I was blogging about Leila being born, sunny weddings and summer carriage rides. Orchard wagon rides, even. But can it be? Are we nearing Harvest Time, with cooler temperatures, shorter days, wooly horses, and the chore of securing our heat for the winter?
The wagon rides at Scott's Orchard are finished. It has been nearly a month and a half since I first blogged about our first day back at one of our favorite venues. Other favorite venues came and went as well - some, which I was not able to be at because of additional carriage commitments elsewhere, I keep longing for! Good friends and business associates develop from these long-term contracts, and when I am not there personally, it creates a void in my heart.
With the colder days we see the Autumn contracts go and the winter contracts line up. And what a line-up it is for the coming holidays! We have some new and exciting venues and projects coming for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Christmas season. Our hard work and dedication to these fine horses we call our family must be paying off in the public's eye! Keep checking back from time to time to see what is in store! We may even surprise you with some big adventures!
Photos: Top: Carriage rides at the Old Mill House in New London. Middle: You know winter is on its way when the ducks, chickens, and pea foul fluff their feathers against the wind. Bottom: Friend Joe helping Terry buck up wood to season for the wood stove.
October 15, 2010
Ten days have past since my last blog. Much has happened/continues to happen, hence my inability to spend time on the computer, outside of work. I re-designed Cedar Knoll Farm's website this past week. (Click on the title above to go to it now). It needed up-dating, and still needs work.
We have been working with Leila and Jessie. They are learning to walk together as a team. When I get the chance, I will upload pictures of them. Meanwhile, this is the busy season for us, and work is overwhelming.
October 14 was also my daughter Maegan's 18th birthday. Tomorrow night (or tonight, really, being after midnight now) we will celebrate!
October 4, 2010
Leila (R) and her half sister Jessie (L), are getting along beautifully! Leila is now weaned from Dolly, and together she and Jessie share the "maternity paddock" and a box stall full time. Aside from her docked tail, Jessie is nearly identical to Leila, with the same shape star on her forehead. Although Leila's dam, Dolly, is considered to have classic farm-horse conformation, Leila does have more delicate legs than Jessie at this point. Jessie, on the other hand, has a very refined face. We are proud of them both. Terry, in particular, is proud to have the progeny of one of the world's most famous Percheron sires, Windermere's King Kong.
October 1, 2010
Leila's half sister came home this evening! Having the same father, this filly is all legs, and is a bit bigger than Leila at this point (she is also a month older). She is lovely, and has a very quiet temperament. Leila seemed a bit taken aback that there is now someone her age to steal some of the attention. She'll get used to it, though! Tonight they are together in the box stall, Dolly in a standing stall next door. Tomorrow, Dolly will go in a separate paddock and these two girls will be together in another. The new filly has yet to be named, but we must do it soon and get her registered (she is the offspring of registered Percherons). Any suggestions?
Photos: Top: Leila's half sister has the same star on her forehead!
Bottom: This filly, one month older than Leila, promises to be tall, with long legs and large bone structure as a dead giveaway!
Leila, at 3 1/2 months, is learning what it is like to be a good little work horse. Well, at least she is learning to "look" the part, with a collar, hames and harness! We put a pony harness on her the other day, to get her accustomed to the idea of wearing something that rubs on her haunches, legs and neck. She had no problem with the bit, nor with the blinders. She walked about beautifully! We anticipate that when the time comes, she will be a willing learner (of course, she won't actually go to work until she is 2 years old or so...the next few seasons will be prep work). Leila's half sibling is being picked up from the breeder today. Already weened, we will start her to accept the harness, as well, once she is settled in.