Weekend In New England

Sunday, October 3, 2010

This weekend I didn't get as much brumby time in because my dad (Tom) and his wife (Joelyn) were visiting from Illinois. Have I mentioned I grew up in the midwest? Not exactly the midwest-farmer's-daughter that David Lee Roth was crooning about in the 80s; my dad is no farmer. But he is a self-proclaimed city slicker. In any case, we gave him and Joelyn a weekend in the New England countryside.

First we went to Stockbridge where there is a Norman Rockwell Museum. On this particular Saturday the museum had a "The Coaches Are Coming!" day, which meant that several historic coaches from the turn of the century arrived, driven by teams of gorgeous horses. Here is a groom with one of his hackneys.

I think these guys were were Oldenburgs.

They even had hornblowers!

I felt very touristy snapping pictures of the horses as if horses were a total and foreign novelty to me. I felt like a fake. But who really cares? I loved seeing the coaches and the early 20th century clothes.

Back in the center of Stockbridge I snapped this photo of Brandon next to a giant squash.

Closer to home, we stopped to show Tom and Joelyn some Belted Galloways. These are actually owned by Brandon's employer's family. Joelyn said she had never seen anything like it. (You should have heard her exclaiming when she first met Bill's pig, Louise!)

There are the guests of honor!

We also took Tom and Joelyn to Bill's so they could meet Lilly for the first time. Actually, they got to meet all the farm creatures, including BonnieBelle, Rudy, and the horse whisperer himself: Bill! Down in the ring, Brandon decided he wanted me to show them how Lilly and I can jump...which I haven't done with her in a very long time. And in a western saddle? Lilly was a good sport and gracefully leapt over the tiny jump we set up.

I even got Brandon to get up on Lilly for some picture taking. My dad and his wife are photographers. They have a small business taking pictures for weddings, and they also take photos for some local galleries near them. So their cameras were clicking all weekend. But both of them refused the opportunity to sit on Lilly!

Then we dragged them to the Conway Fall Festival which is the next town over from where we live--and the town that Lilly lives in. When we got there, a skillit toss was going on which I think befuddled the city slickers! This guy in the photo is very cool. He lives in Conway and is a rehabilitator for birds of prey. I love this guy. Here he is with a great horned owl. (Who is 12 years old and unreleaseable into the wild because of his injuries). I got to pet the owl. He had a very piercing stare.

Pony rides, anyone?
I am sure my brumby did not mind not having to do very much this weekend. But she better get ready. The next several weekends, weather permitting, will be all about her. As you, Christine, Bill and I ride all winter long. I have just gotten out all my winter riding gear. I'll need long underwear, more toe and hand warmers...and maybe this year I will get a bit warmer for Lilly's pleasure!
What I want most of all? One of those jackets that come with batteries so they are warm for hours!
Tell me your winter riding gear wish list!


Frizzle said...

Oooooo! So much to comment on! Giant mutant squash! Adorable grass-munching Oreo cows! Falconry! Cute chunky pony! Cuteness overload!!

(Just a quick note that you shouldn't jump in a Western saddle, as it is bad for the horse's back. That jump looks pretty small, though, so probably nothing to worry about.) :-)

Oh, and for winter riding, buy some silk long underwear/sock & glove liners, fleece-lined jeans, wool socks/sweaters, down, Thinsulate...hhmmmm, that's all I can remember. Down here, winter riding gear consists of summer riding wear with the occasional light jacket!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh! Four in hand - I've always wanted to drive one - read too much Scarlet Pimpernel when I was younger, I guess! Looks like a fun weekend!

juliette said...

I love this post! First off, your Dad is just the most adorable thing ever in his photo. He looks like he is cute enough to fit on the pony in the last photo. Jolene looks nice too. Are they going to share their photos of the weekend with you? Can you post them? How about Brandon up on Lilly? I thought he wouldn't get on for anything! You made me laugh with the picture taking of the coach horses. I had a similar experience on Wednesday of this past week...we went biking on a rails-to-trails and two women were riding horses. I stared at them and talked to the horses and oogled the horses and never once did I say that I rode or owned horses. I am sure those women thought I was horse crazy and never saw one in person before. It was funny like you taking photos of horses!
Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend...I didn't know that you were from the midwest! Did you say that before? I thought of Brandon from Montana (?) but you - I thought you were from Mass. all along! Your weekend (and life) in New England seems pretty fabulous to me!
I am not looking forward to winter riding. No matter what new items I get, I just am never warm enough. And...I lay awake already worrying that the horses are cold. Please ask Horsewhisperer Bill to tell me that they are warm in their shelters.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Gag-Frizzle I cant stand that your winters are so warm! :(
My winter riding attire makes me look like I'm hiking Mt Everest.
I wear cuddle duds from Target that are a silk undergarment-tops and bottoms, then jeans, then a ski thin fleece long sleeve, then a wool sweater then a puffer vest then my ski coat. It's very padded so if I fell I doubt I would feel anything! Of course a hat and gloves and my fave artic muck boots (too big for stirrups though).
Your pics are fun! LOVE that little Shetland at the end ..die over ponies :)

Anonymous said...

Love your blog...love your Brumby...

I live here in PA so I know all about trying to keep warm during our winter rides. Some people we meet on trail rides are shocked to hear that we ride all winter long on trails. We look at THEM like THEY are nuts when they say "we put our horses away for the winter"...um, you what? We just laugh and say "well our horses have four wheel drive and can go anywhere in the snow!"

We always dress in layers with thermals and wool socks. Last year I bought a pair of mountian horse polar riding pants. They look like snow pants but also have a full suede seat. They kept me very toasty last year. This year I need to find a pair of good, warm riding boots.

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