July 2008 *** Summer is Here!
As the saying goes - time flies!! I have been guilty of doing exactly what I said I would not - being one of those people who get a website and then never update it! Many apologies!!
2008 has been a very busy year for us already! In January, the application for NPS America was unanimously approved by the NPS Council. This was a huge step in the efforts to promote Mountain & Moorland ponies in the United States and NPS America is now up and running (well, sometimes, only crawling) as the first ever international chapter of the UK's National Pony Society. And how excited was I to find out that we started a trend and NPS Europe is now underway? Yippee! My work as the Chairman of NPS America is keeping me overwhelmed, but in a good way.
I was incredibly fortunate to travel to the UK in March for the NPS Annual Meeting and Judges Study Day. A review of my trip can be found in the Mountain & Moorland Section of our website.
The girls continue to be busy with their ponies. Emily and Stormy are training with Jackie McCrae in preparation to compete at Beginner Novice level in their first recognized events. Grace and Rocky are having a great time training with Felica Tracey. Grace officially joined Pony Club this year and got her D1 rating in March. Go Gracie! Read more from the girls and see photos on their individual pages.
We added a four footed companion of the canine variety to Free Rayn Hill this year. "Dooley" a Border Collie puppy joined as at Christmas. He is the perfect ranch dog and Emily is learning to work sheep with him and having a grand time.
As I write this, our pony population stands at ... "too many" as Don says! We have nine equines in our care right now - How did that happen? I have been accused of being a collector.
Splash and Mo (our long time boarder owned by Terry Clark) are enjoying the new grass, especially grown and brewed for them, in the back pasture. In the Fall of 2007, we moved our three "riding" ponies - Stormy, Seamus, and Rocky - to our neighbors for the winter. Donna Zacamy and Ross Briskin are wonderful friends who enjoy having the "pony pals" and our girls love the use of their beautiful barn (which, in truth, is closer to our house than our own barn.) The "Boys are back", however, for the summer and may return to Donna & Ross again in the winter depending upon the weather. They are up to their usual shenanigans - all kinds of bickering, escaping, and pony play can always be expected in the pony pasture.
The mares and babies keep us very busy and are a my joys - and at times my true patience testers. Valkyrie foaled on May 4th (in between Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo.). She has turned into a wonderful first time mom and words can't describe how joyful little Percy is. Our whole family along with Donna and Ross were there for the birth. Mist foaled on June 21st and Emily, Donna and I were able to witness that birth - the whole 45 seconds of it! Mist is truly a birthing machine! Little Maggie is a spitfire and will challenge us over the next few months I am sure - but what a beauty she is.
We'll have a slow summer (the girls and Don head to NJ for some "non-pony time" at the beach) but a busy Fall is on the way. In September we have Eventful Acres Juniors Over Jumps and the 3rd year of M&M classes at the Brookside Welsh show, and in October our first trip to the Ram Tap 3 Day event. We are also very excited to have the M&M ponies enthusiastically invited back to the Grass Valley Celtic Festival in September.
We will be downsizing into the Fall. Valley will return to Colorado and it is my hope that Percy and Maggie will find loving, Connemara friendly homes soon after weaning. After five educational years on "Stormin Norman" Emily is cautiously looking forward to moving up to ride Seamus this Fall. Once they get used to each other, I think they are will be an unstoppable team. Grace has already started to "fool around" on Stormy and will move up to him some time in late 2008 or early 2009. We hope to find another "wee one" for Rocky to love and take as good care of as he has Grace. The girls - like are fillies - surprise me in how fast they are growing!
Check out each of our ponies individual pages to see new photos.
Email Comments or Questions: Kathryn@freeraynhill.com