Friday, April 24, 2009

Gardening in April

With unseasonably warm weather this weekend, gardening is now underway at Kearsarge Meadows.   Our 2 year old hops vines are already breaking through the ground and the wine grapevines of the same age are budding out.   It's a good sign.

This weekend, early crops are already going into the ground.   Snap peas, onions, garlic, and strawberries.   Frost sensitive plants will be started indoors.

With temps expected to hit the 70's this weekend, little milestones will be reached.   For example, the baby chickens will see sunshine and grass for the first time.   Horse baths will take place.   Garden weeding and ground preparation will take place.   And the first motorcycle ride of the season will have to take place.

Spring with summer temperatures!   No problem!   Bring it on!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Big Ben is 3 Years Old Today

Today was Ben's 3rd birthday.

As planned, it was a Milestone Day, with Ben being ridden for real for the first time.   He has been sat upon a couple times in the past and led around with a rider.   But today was a different.   Today, Ben stood on his own to be mounted and then walked around a bit without being on a lead.

While he is still learning about steering and "Go & Whoa" aids from the ground, he did a super good job nonetheless today.   And the best part, he was never stressed out by the session.

Sigh.   Late at night 3 years ago, a tall leggy foal entered the world and our lives.   Tonight, a young riding horse sleeps in his stall.   We could not be prouder of our big KWPN Dutch Warmblood boy.

Freestyle Debut - The Movie

Mystic Valley Hunt Club
April 18, 2009
3rd Level Freestyle
Score: 70%

Monday, April 20, 2009

The First Show of 2009

The first USDF dressage show of Spring 2009 took place this weekend, April 18 2009, at Mystic Valley Hunt Club in Connecticut.

Jeddien and Kimberley competed there, contesting the 3rd Level Test 3 Open Qualifier and the 3rd Level Freestyle Qualifier. Both classes were won with qualifying scores of 64.884% and 70% respectively.   Having already earned one qualifying score for back in September, they have now finished qualifying for the 2009 USDF Region 8 3rd Level Open Championships.   To finish qualifying for the Freestyle Championships, one more score of 65% is needed before mid August.

While at MVHC, they competed at 4th Level, contesting Test 1.   In this, they earned 62% and came 2nd.

The first show of 2009 and truly a great start!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Then & Now

In New Hampshire, RSA (Revised Statutes Annotated) 79-D starts with the following information:
79-D:1 Declaration of Public Interest. – It is hereby declared to be in the public interest to encourage the preservation of historic agricultural structures which are potentially subject to decay or demolition, thus maintaining the historic rural character of the state's landscape, sustaining agricultural traditions, and providing an attractive scenic environment for work and recreation of the state's citizens and visitors.   It is further declared to be in the public interest to prevent the loss of historic agricultural structures due to property taxation at values incompatible with their preservation.   The means for encouraging preservation of historic agricultural structures authorized by this chapter is the acquisition of discretionary preservation easements by town or city governments to assure preservation of such structures which provide a demonstrated public benefit.
Now, I don't know if our old barn qualifies, but today, I submitted an application to find out.   While doing the required paperwork, I found the following comparison of photos kinda cool.

Estimated to be at the turn of the century, more than 100 years ago.

Aside from a few pasture sheds, a one car garage, and the annex being extended out and up in the 1970's, the picture is pretty much the same.   I wonder what things will look like in another 100 years...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Chicks

Easter.   Aside from a big holiday, it brings to mind several wonderful memories...   Beautiful church services.   Visiting Nanny & Pa.   Spring flowers.   Newborn lambs playing in the pastures.   Visits from the Easter Bunny.   Tons of chocolate.   And chicks.

Watching healthy happy chicks can only bring a smile to one's face.   They jump, run, "fly", roll, scratch, eat, drink, fluff, and snooze.   All in the same few minutes.   Then repeat it again.

After the local fox (who, by the way, is still at large) got three of our hens, we obtained some new chicks.   Black Australorps and Araucanas which are also known as the "Easter Egg Chicken" as it lays really cool blue-green eggs.

There is something wonderful about new beginnings.