What is wrong with us?——-Saturday, January 21st

Is it an illness…. a disease?  Are we mentally unstable at birth, or does the smell of horse manure over the years somehow disable the normal brain function we should have had?   I have asked myself this question all day long. 

It began late last night as I listened to the sleet bounce off of my bedroom window.   Lying in my bed, I wondered just how bad the roads were going to be and whether or not I’d be able to get my horse trailer out of my driveway in the morning. 

By morning the roads were covered in ice.   At 9am I called Majestic Farm to see if their parking lot was functioning as a skating rink or a parking lot.  The man who answered the phone assured me that the parking lot had been salted and everything was good.   The salt he thinks he put on the parking lot  may have in fact been “imaginary salt”, but that will come later.

 The horse trailers, which we were smart enough to park up by the road, were also covered in ice.  After a few hours of chipping ice,  heating trucks,  and hauling stuff up to the trailers, we were ready to load the horses.  Luckily we didn’t have to leave until 12:30pm, giving the “imaginary salt” plenty of time to work.

We made it to the farm with almost no incident….maybe a few wrong turns and missed exits….but whatever. 

It was what we found when we got there that was the most disturbing.  We pulled our caravan of 2 trailers and 2 cars into the multi-million dollar facility to find that the “imaginary salt” had not actually been working.  The parking lot was a sheet of ice.  I almost fell as I stepped out of my car onto the gravel.  Jeff could not stop our truck and kept circling and circling the parking lot trying to find a place to park where he wouldn’t get stuck.  Great.  When he did finally stop, we realized that our horses were now stuck in the trailer.  We couldn’t safely back them out onto a sheet of ice.  More circling, more circling, more circling….until I finally told Jeff just to drive them into their yard so that we could unload on the crunchy grass.   Perfect.  The horses unloaded fine, and they tip toed their way along the skinny path of sand from the parking lot to the stalls.   Jeff went to move the truck and realized that it was officially stuck.  Nice.  I made my way to the secretary’s office to pitch a fit about the unsafe parking lot and to pick up numbers. 

Elizabeth had 15 minutes or less to warm her horse up for her first test.  Despite the chaos that preceded it, the test was very nice.  Quinn was fancy and cute, and she ended up with a 61%.   The judges loved her, and made some really nice comments about her movement.

Her next ride wasn’t until 6:00pm, so we ended up at Panera for a long lunch and a chance to warm up.

The truck was still stuck when we got back.   Several of us tried to rock the truck while Jeff tried to unstick it.  During that time, Kelli was making her way up to the arena.  No one saw her and Cavalier coming, no one heard her yelling, no one saw him rear because he was afraid of the loud spinning noises of the truck.  We just happen to look up and see him running across the ice covered parking lot with his reins down by his legs.  Luckily, Emily heard the commotion  and was able to step in front of him.  I think Cavalier realized that running on the ice….though thoroughly treated with “imaginary salt”…..could be a really bad idea.  He stopped and Emily grabbed him.   Cavalier went on to prove why it is that we absolutely love him, and put in two fantastic tests.  The pair earned two 2nd place ribbons.  Congratulations, Kelli!   Not too bad for a girl who has been out injured for the last 3 months!

Quinn put in a somewhat crazy second test.   Though still looking cute, she had decided that perhaps she was done with the dressage and ready to move onto something more exciting.  When that exciting thing didn’t happen, she made her own excitement.  The pair did really well overall, and we are looking forward to getting the consistency in her work for spring.  According to the judges, when she gets a bit more submissive in the bridle her scores will be great  (something we are working on daily with the Little Miss!).

Somewhere during the late evening, the management of the Majestic Farm Ice Skating Rink decided to use “real salt” on the parking lot.  Much to their amazement it actually worked.  The parking lot became less icy!!!!  Jeff even managed to get the truck unstuck and park it on a downhill slope for our mass exodus later that night.  He and Wade were finally able to head home.  Thanks, Jeff !!!! 

Celine was, as usual, nearly perfect.  She was a champ about the ice, the dark walk back to the barns, and the riding.  She and Jacqui put in 2 fantastic tests!  Celine was relaxed and forward, and Jacqui rode her very well in both tests.  They ended up with great scores and a 4th place ribbon in her first test and a pretty blue ribbon in her 2nd test!  Congratulations, Jacqui!  

Mckinley was an angel from the beginning to the end of the day.  We weren’t quite sure what to expect from this young TB that just came off of the track in August, but we were very pleasantly surprised.   He loaded and unloaded well.  He hung out in his stall quietly.  He made his way from the barn to the arena in the dark.  And though he was really nervous at first in the warm-up ring, he settled in nicely.  Emily’s first test was a first test.  He held his head in the air like a giraffe.  He looked at everything.  He even stopped a few times during his test to check out the beautiful horse in the mirror that seemed to be following him.  I believe he got a score of 49% in his first test, but he completed it with no major explosions.  I told Emily to expect more out of him for the second test.  The pair did a fantastic second test, earning a third place ribbon, a score of 65% and some really nice comments from the judges.  I was really proud of them.  I’m looking forward to seeing what this horse will be become in a few years!  Great job, Emily!

We collected ribbons and headed back out in the dark to load up.   Our horses tip toed back across the ice to the trailers, and we were out of there…..finally.   We got home at nearly midnight.

We had plans to go back to Majestic for another show in February,  but now  I’m remembering why it is that we don’t normally do winter shows in Ohio. 

Kelli and Cavalier ---"Back in the Saddle"
Elizabeth and Quinn
Emily and McKinley----His first ever show!
Jacqui and Celine at their first show together
My family

Check out the updates on the website

I have been updating the website today to include some new information.   Due to the fact that I don’t have a great deal of time, I thought it may help to have a page on the website dedicated solely to upcoming farm activities.  It will contain dates, times, and hopefully entry forms for upcoming clinics and fun shows.  It will also have information about work parties and other events happening around the farm.  Please check this site regularly to keep up with the latest activities.

Majestic Farm “January Blast” Dressage on Saturday

This Saturday I will be headed to Majestic Farm in Batavia, Ohio for a winter dressage show.  It will be a weekend of “firsts” for all of our competitors in some way or another. 

This weekend will be the first time Kelli has been able to compete Cavalier since her injury last fall.  She and Cavalier will ease their way back into competition by doing Intro. B and Intro. C  on Saturday.

One of our new students, Jaqueline, will be competing Celine (Best Sensation) in her first dressage show as a Wetherbrooke Farm student.  Celine and Jaqui will compete in Intro.  A and Intro. B. 

Elizabeth and Quinn will also be competing together in their first dressage show as a team.  The pair has done a horse trial and a combined test but has not yet shown in a  “Dressage Show”.   They are riding Training Level Test 1 and Training Level Test 2 on Saturday.

McKinley will be making his horse show debut this weekend with Emily on board.   They will be competing in the Intro. A  junior and Intro. B junior tests.  We are anxious to see how this baby will behave out in public for the first time.  

Good Luck to all of our competitors!

Pictures and results coming soon !



The biggest loser…..nearing the end of week #2

12 days and many salads and Diet Mountain Lightnings later, I have lost 8 pounds.  Though Jeff has lost 10 pounds as of today, I am still winning as far as percentages go.    It’s a very exciting  and rare thing to step off of the scale with a smile on my face… making all of the running and lack of eating almost worth it.

We celebrated with a small pizza and a Mellow Yellow –they don’t have Mt. Dew 🙁  —at McIntosh’s Pub in downtown Bellbrook.    Week #3 starts on Sunday.  Jeff is still in his boot for 2 1/2 more weeks due to the fractured foot, so I have to make hay while the sun shines………or lose a lot of weight before the boy is able to run and exercise again!

Jumping again…..


For the first time since fall I put my jumping tack on Gus.  He has been doing fantastic in the dressage, and today was the day to slowly start him back over small fences.   I was fully expecting him to be a bit wild when he realized it was a jumping day, but he was great.  We trotted a bunch of cross rails, cantered some small fences, and ended up with a few 2′ fences.  I was thrilled.   We did some trot sets and ended with a nice long walk.  Perfect.  I am anxiously awaiting spring…..and Gus being fit enough for some bigger fences.


Today was a gamble.   Gus ended on such a great note, that I almost hated to put the jumping tack on Rhyland.   We started out with some light flat work and proceeded to jump some cross rails at the trot.  Wow.  Maybe he has grown up a little bit over these last few months.  I cantered up over a few small fences and finished up with a few 2′ fences.  Other than some rotten moments on the landing side of the fence, he did extremely well.  I ended the ride on a good note……just as it started to rain.

Panty Crickets……and other such nonsense.

If you’re like me, you have never in your life heard about the likes of  “Panty Crickets”.    I had the good fortune to be enlightened about the mysterious creatures during our farrier appointment Monday.  Our farrier, who is also a master storyteller and one of my all-time favorite people, had been busy talking to Jessica as she held horses for him on Monday.  I’m usually around on farrier days to hear the latest commentary on current events, politics, hunting, cadaver dogs, and guns.  Due to my recent contest with Jeff, however, I was out on a run during the morning and missed out on some crucial information. 

Dave and Jessica were still busy working on McKinley, so I started tacking up Gus.  While I was standing there I figured it would be as good a time as any to trim the top of his tail with my scissors.    Thousands of short little tail hairs (like 1/2 of a cm long) got stuck all over my breeches.  If you know anything at all about horse hair, you know that those little suckers can go right through most materials and feel like tiny needles poking your skin.  I proceeded to try to pull some of them out, picking at my breeches in an almost obsessive attempt to rid myself of the annoyance.  Minding my own business, I happen to glance up as Dave and Jessica began snickering.   Then Dave says….(in a fake southern accent)….”she must have a case of the Panty Crickets”.  Both he and Jessica proceeded to laugh themselves silly.  Feeling a bit on the lost side, I said “What did you say???”  Killing themselves laughing, they began to tell me a story that basically involved a woman who constantly plucked at her pants to rearrange her underwear ….or as Dave says…..had a bad case of the panty crickets.   There is much more to the story, but in order to keep from getting myself into trouble, I will leave it at that.  So, the next time you think about rearranging your underwear or  plucking sharp horse hairs off of your breeches, remember the panty cricket…….and maybe invest in a panty cricket motel for your back pocket.

The biggest loser…….let’s hope that’s me!

This is perhaps the ONLY time in which I would like to be called “the biggest loser”.  It all started a day in December when I stepped on the scale and nearly had a heart attack on the spot!  What the heck????!!!!   I do realize that I gave myself a little down time after show season ended, and over the holidays……but COME ON!  It was then and there that I decided I needed to have a serious change in something before I turned into the Pillsbury Dough Girl.  DANG!

I roped Jeff into starting our very own “biggest loser” contest on January 1st.  The prize for the person who loses the biggest percentage of weight, as of March 1st,  is a weekend away from home doing whatever he/she wants to do while the other one stays home with the kids.  Sounds like a plan to me.  So it began on January 1st with our first official “weigh in’.  I was disgusted with myself to say the least.  So began week #1 of the biggest loser.

I started running, eating less, drinking NO MOUNTAIN DEW, and got back in the saddle after a few weeks off.   Jeff and I were actually starting to train for a half marathon together.  It was after a 3 mile trail run last week that he fractured a bone in his foot.   There went his running, his half marathon, his basketball season, our manure path engineer, and so on.  But it did give me a slight upper hand on the whole weight loss thing………or so I thought.  Even with his foot in a boot, and being able to do a slightly modified version of pilates as his only exercise, he still lost 6 pounds in week one.  Nice.  I worked my butt off (literally), ate very little, drank a lot of water, and NO MOUNTAIN DEW, and lost 5 pounds.  I was actually pretty happy with that, and now the second week begins.