May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Picnic....

I decided it would be nice to take the kids out on our first family picnic today. The weather was warm, but a nice breeze and the shade under the trees made for a very pleasant excursion....we unpacked our blankets and goodies and kicked back at the campground area of Pratt Park in Fredericksburg.

The punks stayed put on the blankets for the most part....this was their first real trip outside in the elements....

JR and Randi ventured off for some exploration though...

....and the next thing I know CJ is in hot pursuit! That is, until he realized he was off the blanket...he wasn't too keen on that long, green, tickly stuff all over the ground....

...he wasn't quite sure what to make of it.....

...but I eventually rescued him from it's evil grasps and returned him to the safety of the blankets....

We ended our trip with a stop at the ice cream store downtown...nothing better than some quality family time on a Holiday.....

Best wishes to you and yours on this Memorial Day,


You win some, you lose some....

The results are in! Everyone had a fun and successful showing at VAHA this weekend! Amanda came out take Bo to task on her first year in the adult division....they held their own in the Showmanship, Horsemanship. and Pleasure classes....lots of blues to add to the senior yearbook!

Beth (boarder) hauled her mare Jorga to the event...they had a late start on day one, but ended up with several blues and other top honors for their efforts...not too bad for limited saddle time in preparation!

Rhonda (boarder) hauled her young gelding, Houdini, on Saturday. This was his very first show, although you would have never guessed it....Houdini handled himself with great presence and the judge rewarded them with many top honors....I believe they took blue in more than half of the classes they entered! Considering that this time last year Rhonda was nursing a broken ankle from an unfortunate tumble off of this big guy, they've come a long way and I know she is very proud of their she should be!

Last, but not least......Martin. If you read my blog, you'll recall that Martin came back to us after his owner went off to college....I've spent a considerable amount of time getting him sound over the past couple months.....daily treatments have resolved his thrush and repaired his sheered heals...the vet gave him a clean bill of health, so we were finally able to tack his shoes back on as well....we are using Natural Balance Horse Shoes, as he has some arthritis developing in his front right pastern joint. These shoes offer assistance in the breakover motion, thus reducing the pressure on the joint. He sound for now, but as his arthritis progresses he may need surgery to fuse the joint to prevent chronic pain and inflammation.....the prognosis is good, considering it is a non-motion joint and the procedure effectively alleviates the problem completely.....But enough about his feet, let's talk about the show! Day 1 was a disaster....I am not exaggerating.....wish I could continue the good news after the success stories above, but it's just not the way it goes sometimes....I learned this weekend that martin is extremely ring home he is the perfect, calm, collected and an absolute joy to the show pen, however, I was in for a rude awakening! Martin was dead set on anticipating the announcer's every command...he was nervous and anxious and generally naughty all day....a BIG disappointment is about the only way to describe it I guess...

Day 2 was a little more pleasant. Aside from the fact he was exhausted from day 1, I strategically placed myself in the arena where the least amount of "Martin-eating" monsters were apt to get him...I also sang the ABCs through every class so that the sound of the announcer was not as prominent to him....all techniques in action helped us pull out several blues and a division championship at the end of the day......he definitely made me work for it though.....thinking he may not be so not on the idea of showing anymore....considering placing him in a lesson barn....the consistent exercise at his age (19) is desirable, and a job out of the show pen is probably exactly what he would ask for if he could talk! Hmmmmmmm....decisions, decision.....

On the brighter side, the Little Brat directed Bo through her trail class...these angled poles were challenging, but she handled them well....

A small amount of assistance was necessary as she approached the cones....Bo wanted to turn around and go back to the trailer, but we got his straightened back out and on course....

Last obstacle was poles followed by a 1/4 turn in the box....piece of cake! Good enough for a second place.....

The next class was seen in the image below, Bo gave her a little bit of a fight to stay on the rail....he tried to pull the reins out of her hands and head to the middle (the middle where they go at the end to await the results)....she held him to task though....4th place out of 4 was a disappointment to her, but she knew she could try to make up for it in the next class....

Her final class was Horsemanship/Equitation....this class is judged on the rider....Bo could be difficult if he wanted to, but the Little Brat was determined to give it er best....chin up, heels down, she turned it on!

....and she did it! A blue for her efforts....even Bo was pleased.

She ended up with the Reserve Division Championship!

All in all it was a good weekend....the turnout was decent considering the economy, and the exhibitors as well as the show staff were fabulous, as usual....the next show is in August, and we hope you can make it!

Happy Trails,


May 27, 2011

VAHA Open Breed Horse Show: THIS WEEKEND!

VAHA District IV Open Breed Schooling Show

Being held this weekend

May 28 and 29

@ Rosemount Farms at 9601 Courthouse Rd Spotsylvania Va 22553

Classes start at 9:00 am

Pre-registrations for class entry and stall reservations are now being accepted through Friday, May 27th. Just a reminder if you pre-enter you will not be charged the $3.00 office fee.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Heather:


I'll be showing Martin in the english and western events...we're still working on neck reining, but it's always a good time to get out and spend some time with the good people of this series...Hope to see you there!

Happy Trails,


May 26, 2011

Ladies Only Ride!

The ladies of Westwood ventured out to Lake Anna for a trail ride the other weekend....the weather was FANTASTIC!

After a long winter on the farm, we were all ready to put some miles on these ponies....

Our newest addition to the barn and her mare were even able to attend!

If you haven't had the opportunity to ride the trails at Lake Anna, I highly recommend them....the majority are shaded by the trees, and surprisingly bug-free!

There are small obstacles along the way to challenge you and your horse....just enough to make things interesting....this was Houdini's first creek crossing!

When we finally got to the lake we took turns walking up to the water....we didn't go for a swim on this day...but maybe next time!

Here we are making our way back to the trailers....there were some nice hills that offered a little variety to the ride....also, several more views to the lake.

The trails were well kept and we all had a great time....we'll have to do it again sometime soon...I'd like to come back with the Little Brat and let her take a dip in the lake like last time.

Happy Trails!


May 24, 2011

Peter Rabbit Roehl....

I am a little late getting this posted....Peter has almost doubled in size since the Easter Bunny came! Peter Rabbit is a Mini Rex Rabbit. This breed is known for their velvet-like, plush hair coat and gentle disposition. The little brat just adores her new best friend and has successfully made him into a lap rabbit with all the love and attention she gives him almost daily...

She even brings him in the house to watch TV with her from time to time...the dogs are quite jealous! They should be...this little guy steals the show!

Welcome to the family, Peter Rabbit Roehl!

Happy Hopping,


Sophie's Dance....

This kid LOVES to wiggle....give her any type of tune and she'll feel it in her bones....give her a little wind up skeleton and watch her go! Silly kids....

Happy Dance!

May 23, 2011

A new horse?

Update: Tater's owner has decided to keep him.

The search continues!

Meet "Tater"...

Gma Kathy, Randi, and I went to see a horse tonight....Gma Kathy has been thinking about joining us at the local shows in the All-Around events.....I came across this fabulous horse owned by a friend just down the road and we went to take him for a spin...what do you think?

I think I like him...

Happy Trails!


I am a Phoenix.....FINALLY!

I JUST COMPLETED MY LAST CLASS in the BSIT/MVC Program!!!!! I am so excited to to have finally completed my 15 year journey to this accomplishment! I joined the Marine Corps shortly out of High School to make something of myself. What an adventure life has been since! I spent most of my five year enlistment in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. I took several college courses from Hawaii Pacific University, but active duty always had a way of pulling me away from my studies.

After my enlistment, I registered with Germanna Community College to continue my studies, but was once again drawn away by the responsibilities of work, farm, and family. I realized two years ago that my GI Bill would soon expire, so I figured that was as good a time as ever to get back to the books. I work as a Training Manager and Instructional Designer. Training has been my field of choice for as far back as I can remember. My husband says it’s because I like to boss people around. I say he’s a goober! He is grossly underestimating my unique ability to encourage people to perform the behaviors I wish for them to perform. I am fortunate to have found a course of study at the University of Phoenix that spoke directly to my career in Instructional Design. I am motivated by my clients, mostly active duty service members, who utilize the training I develop to make our country a safer place to be. Another motivating factor for my continued education are my children. I believe in leading by example. I also believe that the key to personal and professional success is knowledge. The more you know, the better prepared you are for all the trials and tribulations life has in store for you....For these reasons, I have greatly enjoyed the learning process!

I must admit though, non-stop classes over the past two years have left me yearning for a weekend without any homework due! I think I'll go to a horse show to celebrate!

Happy Classes,

May 08, 2011

To my punks on Mother's Day....

...a love song for you.

I love you kiddos!

Luv, Ma