Happy New Year!
The last year and a half was kind of a blur, so we're starting fresh with 2022! We've already hosted our first Riding Academy session of the year, along with our first long-lining and dressage clinics. Next Friday we'll kick off our Frostbite Fun Show series...always fun with lots of games on horseback for all skill levels. You can find info on all of our activities on our Events Page, so check back regularly to see what's happening.
October is over
After a busy summer, we still have plenty of fun things on our agenda.
If you haven't yet thought of a Halloween costume for a pony, you still have time! We won't be judging the costumes till the end of the day on Saturday. You may either dress up a horse at HVS or send a photo, if you're out of town. Check out details on our Events page.
On Sunday, November 1, the Beaufort Hunt will hold its annual opening meet in Middletown. In lieu of our usual pot-luck hunt breakfast, we'll have a food truck. We plan to hold some junior hunts during the season, and if you're interested in coming out, just let Cindy know. We're happy to have Erin Riley and Rhian Hoey as our newest junior members.
Jenn Hoffman will be here for long-lining next Friday afternoon. If you'd like your horse to be on the list, let us know by Wednesday. We've found that sessions with Jenn have been very helpful for our horses, young and old.
On Sunday, November 14th, Missy Ransehausen will be teaching at HVS. We're hoping for good weather and a great turnout, as this will be one of our last opportunities to ride with Missy before she heads south for the winter.
The following Sunday, Kim Walnes will be teaching. Space is limited, so if you'd like a lesson spot, please let us know sooner vs. later.
Here are some photos of some of the fun stuff we've been up to over the past few months...enjoy!
Mid-July wrap up
We're halfway through July, and we feel like our season is just getting started. Last weekend, Anna, Erin and Meg took Neo, Truffles and Lariat to the Windswept Jumper Show in Boyertown, and had a great time, bringing home some good ribbons and even better experience.
This past week we held our first Riding Academy session of the summer, and it went really well. One bonus was the berry picking...the woods is teeming with raspberries, so our after-lunch activity was a trip to forage for dessert!
Our activities included our traditional first-day scavenger hunt--a great ice-breaker to get everyone familiar with one another and with the barn and the horses. We had bareback obstacle courses, visits from the equine dentist and the farrier, games on horseback, equitation demonstrations, trail rides and a craft, just to name a few things. We had such a good time, and we're looking forward to our second summer session the first week in August. Here are some photos from the past week:
We finished up our week with a clinic with Missy Ransehausen. Missy usually starts coming to us in May, but due to COVID, she remained in Florida for a bit longer. Eleven riders enjoyed lessons with her, and we look forward to having her back. In the meantime, we'll try to schedule a cross-country schooling outing. Also on our agenda: dressage with Ashley Minea this Friday, and a clinic with Kim Walnes on Sunday. Ashley has room for a few more riders, and we have a waiting list for lessons with Kim. If you're interested in either, please let us know. You can always check the calendar on our Events Page to see what's coming up.
Well, we're into the summer, and we've added a day of lessons as the ponies have gotten fitter, so we're teaching Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. As has been our history, we have reserved Fridays for clinics with outside professionals. This month, Jenn Hoffman came for a long-lining clinic on July 3rd, and Missy Ransehausen will be joining us on Friday, July 17th. We also have Kim Walnes slated for Sunday, July 26th.
We'll also be moving forward with our two summer Riding Academy sessions. You can click here for more information, or you may pick up a registration form at the barn.
We've added some fun, new jumps to our collection, purchased from our friend, Lauren, who runs the EZGO show series. The flowers, the saw and the wagon wheel fences have really perked up our outdoor arena. We've also added some fun options to the jump field, and we've been enjoying some shady hacks through the woods. This is especially welcome with the current heat wave.
Last week, a few riders participated in the Cross Road jumper show at Twin Brooks and had a great time. Anna and Neo, Chandra and Mnm, Erin and Truffles and Carly and Annie all came home with some good ribbons, and we're looking forward to getting out to some more shows in the near future.
We've been happy to see everyone, and so far, our new social distancing, masking, separate grooming supplies, bit dunks and tack wipes have been working well to keep everyone as safe as possible. Thanks to everyone for helping with this!
Reopening after COVID shutdown
Well, 2020 has started off a little differently than we'd planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 19th, we closed the barn to everyone per the Governor's guidelines, not really knowing when we'd be able to reopen. The horses got a break, and we scrambled to make a plan. After a little over a month of total shutdown, we began to have boarders come, one at a time by appointment, to care for their horses. We continued with this protocol until Pennsylvania moved into the yellow zone two weeks ago.
Happily, we have resumed lessons three days per week while we get the horses reacclimated to their jobs, and beginning the week of 6/22, we'll welcome new students to join us. We have a few new routines, including separate grooming buckets for each lesson horse, a bit dunk bucket for cleaning bits, and a tack wipe bucket for cleaning tack after lessons. (Things we should have been doing all along, but better late than never!)
Regarding masks, we are leaving it to your judgment. You may want to wear yours if there are multiple people in the grooming area or tack room. They are definitely not required while mounted. In order to reduce traffic in the barn, we ask that unless your child needs assistance tacking, parents remain outside. If you are running a fever, not feeling well or if you or anyone in your household has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please stay home.
Many have asked if we'll be holding our Riding Academy sessions this summer, and the answer is yes. We will do our best to maintain social distancing and offer activities that will be both fun and safe. Registration forms are available on our Events Page.
We've been having a busy season here at Harvest View, and we've got some exciting happenings coming up. Firstly, we want to announce that Melanie Schaefer will be joining us as an instructor on Saturdays. Melanie has been with us since she was knee-high to a grasshopper, and now she's returning to help out after getting some great experience as a working student for Clasing Eventing in Kennett Square. She has competed her own horse and many others, and we're excited that she'll be available to teach our riders here at home.
Melanie will start teaching next Saturday, October 26th. Lauren will continue to teach here and will be available some Sundays and also to help out as needed during the week. We're happy that this will give us the ability to expand our weekend lesson program a bit, which is helpful especially now that we'll be losing daylight during the week. We have the indoor, of course, but it's nice to be able to ride outdoors as much as we can.
In other news, this Sunday we'll be hosting our annual Halloween Fun Show and Costume Class. If you haven't already signed up to play, please get in touch with Cindy as soon as possible. We play games on horseback first, then adjourn to dress up the horses for our costume parade. As always, we have fabulous prizes for the best costumes. Here are a few great ones from last year:
Two weeks after our Halloween show we'll be hosting our 20th Anniversary Combined Test and Dressage Show, Saturday, November 9th. As always, we'll offer divisions from Tadpole through Novice levels. You may pick up an entry form at the barn or download it from our Events Page. The event is open to all current and former HVS lesson students and boarders.
Lastly, we'll be doing a Reverse Advent Calendar to benefit The Caring Cupboard, but we'll do it during the month of November instead of December. That way we can get food to our neighbors before, vs. after the holidays. I'll have a collection box at the barn, so if you'd like to contribute, please bring your items along to your lesson. Just replace the December dates on the graphic with November dates, and we'll be good to go!
HVS Spring Combined Test
We're looking forward to tomorrow's Spring CT for our lesson students. Here's the tentative dressage schedule:
April HVS Schooling Show Results
Thank you to everyone who came out to our first-in-a-very-long-time HVS Schooling Show on Sunday, April 14th. We took a break from our usual games on horseback shows and featured equitation classes, followed by a jumper division. From the pre-show prep to the help the day of the show, everyone joined together to make things run smoothly. We had been watching the forecast all week, and fortunately, aside from sporadic drizzle and misting, the weather was kind to us and allowed us to hold the entire show outdoors. Here are some photos from our fun day, as well as the results.
(To view the results, select web view vs. mobile view.)
Say hello to Scooter Bug Blues, aka Cricket, the newest addition to our lesson staff. Cricket is a thirteen-year-old Palomino Quarter Horse. He most recently was in the lesson program at Ramblewood Farm with Cindy's sister, Betsy. He came from the McGuinn family, who also sent Bailey to us. Cricket has lots of experience eventing and Pony Clubbing, and he also has experience doing hunters and jumpers. He'll hack out quietly alone or in company, and he's an all-around good little horse. He and Shorty have swapped places, and Shorty now lives at Ramblewood and is helping out with Betsy's program. We look forward to having lots of fun with this guy, so stop by to say hello.
Neo has gone out hunting and trail riding with the Beaufort hunt this season, and he's proven himself to be a level-headed, smart and fun guy. He's happy to lead, follow or go in the middle of the pack, and so far he hasn[t put a foot wrong. He's proving himself to be a worthy understudy for Patrick. Here's a video of when we went out in late March:
Cindy and Neo and Meg and Lariat headed to Watermark Farm for a cavaletti clinic with Ellie Rawle on Sunday, March 17th. It was good to get the horses off the farm, and the exercises were just what we needed to help clear out the winter cobwebs. Both horses really seemed to enjoy the work, which included lots of bending, some transitions and attention to foot work. Lots of fun!
Sierra and Vin had an outing to Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue where they participated in a jumping clinic with well-known hunter judge, Melvin Dutton. It was a brisk and windy day, and even though she was fighting some nervousness, Sierra did a great job with Vin, who handled the atmosphere like a seasoned professional. We were very proud of both of them.
On Friday, March 29th, we hosted our Frostbite Fun Show Finale, playing a variety of games on horseback and celebrating our riders. We topped it off with a quick game of Chase Me Charlie, where both Erin and Melanie topped off the jump standards and called it a tie. Teagan and Fynn were series champions, and Erin and Truffles were reserve champions. Thank you to everyone who came out and participated...it means a lot to us, and it helps make HVS such a good place to be.
Below are the final results from the series.
We capped off our month with a great afternoon with International Hunter and Equitation judge, Meg Black, who will be heading to Scotland to judge a few shows later this year. Meg worked with 15 riders and gave helpful pointers to each, focusing on proper position and using aids properly in order to get the best from our horses.
We're looking forward to a busy April, and we'll start out with a Long-Lining Clinic with Jennifer Hoffman on Friday, followed by a clinic with Kim Walnes on Sunday. You can keep up with our activities on the Events page of the HVS website. Stay tuned for the fun!
Cindy Gilbert is the owner/manager and head riding instructor at Harvest View Stables.