October 31, 2011

Cold Climate Baraat

This freak snow storm has created a big mess here in Connecticut, nearly as bad as Hurricane Irene did. The utility companies say over 800,000 are without power. Luckily for us, UNLIKE with Hurricane Irene, our corner of the state wasn't hit as badly, and we never lost electricity. 

Sunday we went to do a Baraat in Plainville, and found the highways to be a gauntlet of obstacles to get past. The wedding venue was up and running — with generators. If it wasn't for his red and gold costume, Gillette would have blended right in with the landscape. All went well, however. It's hard to put a damper on such a special celebration, even when all the guests are accustomed to the heat of India!

Photos: Top: Gillette and Terry in front of a snow pile in the parking lot. Bottom: Statues and candles greet guests in the grand entrance way.

October 29, 2011

Christmas...um, Halloween...in Connecticut!

Two days until that fabled holiday know as All Hallows Eve, and the State of Connecticut is feeling not the wrath of wicked ghosts and goblins, but of Mother Nature! A nor'easter is blowing through, bringing with it wet snow and power outages. Obviously, we haven't lost power — yet. The horses are all snug in the barn, the dogs are laying with us by the fire, and home-made chicken soup is bubbling on the stove. We are once again feeling pretty darned lucky to be living this good life!

October 28, 2011

Snow in October!

It's October 28th, Halloween is just around the corner, and our little corner of Connecticut looks like...Christmas??? That's right, it snowed here last night! We are looking forward to a nor'easter on Saturday, too, with the possibility of up to SIX INCHES of snow in the northwest hills. Wow. Can you say "sleigh rides", anyone?

October 26, 2011

Jessie Gets a Driving Lesson

The babies are coming up on high yearlings soon, and we are starting to involve ourselves in more intense training with them. Yesterday we put Jessie and Gillette together, to let Gillette drag her around a bit and teach her what it meant to "walk on", "whoa", "come gee", etc. Of course, Gillette was feeling particularly grumpy and so did not take too kindly to Jessie. He dragged her about the barnyard, chomping at the bit and pinning back his ears, as if to say, "damn fool kid, youth is wasted on the young". Poor Gillette. Truth is, Jessie did better for her first time "driving" then Gillette did as a seasoned old man. Well, we still love the ol' grump anyway.

Photos: Although I have them improperly sequenced here, the pictures from bottom to top shows you how the training advances: Jessie being harnessed and paired with Gillette at the hitching rail. We have already gone through the process of acclimating her to harness, blinders and snaffle bit, so that is of little concern to her. We start off with three people - a driver, and a handler to each horse. Once the filly is accustomed to keeping up with Gillette, the handlers back away and the driver keeps them walking in circles and figure eights. Gillette, of course, says he would rather be hang gliding than trying to teach THAT kid the ropes. Grump.

October 24, 2011

Rockwell's Annual Breakfast Ride

For a few years now, our good friends Diane & Jim Rockwell have organized a most enjoyable "Breakfast Wagon Train". This year, ten teams and numerous outriders took to the streets (most of which are dirt roads through state forest) for a 10 mile drive through Hope Valley, RI. Before the ride, we all partake in some of the most scrumptious food you can imagine at the Rockwell's farm, only to return hours later to a pot-luck dinner. As can be imagined, this wagon train makes quite the spectacle in Hope Valley's neighborhoods. And as can be imagined, it is a grand time!

October 19, 2011

Autumn Under Way

Haven't had much chance to write anything here. We are in the midst of our busiest seasons (Autumn through winter Holidays) and things won't slow down now till after the New Year. Orchard rides, weddings, fall festivals, you name it. Soon the holiday strolls, light parades, and merchant festivals will start. Horse logging starts in a couple of weeks, too, and there a few fields to plow under. So don't get discouraged and think we have dropped off the planet or anything. We are just doing what we do best - living the draft horse way!

Photo: A recent wedding in Pomfret, with Danny & Dakota on the surrey-top wagonette.

October 12, 2011

Grey Day in Autumn

The day started off sunny and bright, but the clouds have rolled in and our bones say rain is coming. We took Diesel, Gillette and Dolly down to the back pasture and put the two fillies in an electric fenced paddock for the first time. A zap to two curious muzzles taught them that the single white rope means too much of a tingle to bother with it. Yesterday, the girls had an exercise in being loaded into the horse trailer and going on a "trip" - to Walmart, to be exact. They will be going through more and more training from the ground to prepare them for more intensive training in early spring.

Our newest addition, Trigger, is becoming acquainted with Buttercup. Trigger will be going into training over the next few weeks, in harness. He is already a superlative riding pony. 

The landscape around here is changing, and no matter how much we are in denial of it, winter is on its way. Blame it on Hurricane Irene, but the leaves in our pretty neck of New England woods aren't particularly spectacular this year. My pond garden is dying back in some areas, blooming in others. The goldfish are quite visible and the frogs still hang out. For now.

The carriage rides, weddings, and orchard hay rides are coming at us fast and furious. Winter contracts are coming in like a fast moving snow storm. This is all good, and every able horse on this property is working like a busy bee to store away provisions for the winter. Of course, some of you less poetic readers can interpret that as doing their share to "put up hay and corn" along side us stewards. I love this time of year — when there is hardly a moment to sit idle, when the world shares its technicolor beauty, and the earth smells of the preparations for winter.

Photos: Top: Dolly, Diesel and Gillette sharing the back pasture.
Second: Jessie and Leila are learning to respect the electric fence.
Third: Trigger and Buttercup — looking forward to a fine pony pair!
Fourth: A view of the pond garden.
Last: Bumble bees are plentiful here at Cedar Knoll Farm.

October 9, 2011

We Have an App for That!

Do you enjoy keeping up with Cedar Knoll Farm, here on our blog? Want to see what we have been doing, where we've been going? What we have for sale? Well, we now have an app for that! Simply copy/paste this url into the browser of your iPhone, Blackberry, Droid or other smartphone, download the app, and keep up! http://mippin.com/app/cedarknoll

October 5, 2011


"Death is very likely the best invention of life. All pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."
- Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011

October 4, 2011

The Orchards

Just a few pictures from the Orchard rides in Deep River and Glastonbury we do every weekend, including a couple of shots of some cute "hitch hikers"!