Sky is so good about getting treated for the wound above her eye. Not every horse would put up with this!
Stonelea Farm, where people of all ages come to learn horseback riding in a fun and safe environment
Sky is so good about getting treated for the wound above her eye. Not every horse would put up with this!
Friday 6/8/23, we did it!
25 miles of rugged terrain, steep mountain climbs and descents; got a “completion”
“Top 10”, and finished 7th!
Jewel may not have the gene pool for this as a Quarterhorse (the Arabs are definitely made for this) but through careful training and preparation she stayed up with them. I’m so proud of her! The Old Dominion Endurance Ride (held in Orkney Springs)is unbelievably organized and supported by so many volunteers, even months ahead. Thank you to all of you!
For me, I couldn’t have done any of this without the help and guidance of Jeannie Waldron who has been telling me for years that I should try it. And thanks to Jeannie, I was further guided and supported by Sarah Fletcher, Beth Martin, Duane Martin, and Trisha Juerling.
Beth, Trisha, and my friend Marcia Davis were there to crew for me at the first vet check (at 16 miles) and the final vet check at the finish line. They took Jewel and all of her care out of my hands so I could rest. It took a team! Thank you so much everyone!
I used to think it was just a fast trail ride competition. I was so wrong! I now have huge respect for the technical side of things; the vet knowledge needed for my horse, being able to “read” her while out on trail, etc. We get a vet check of overall wellness (heart rate, skin pinch test, weight, muscle) and then a jog test the day before. When we arrive at the first vet check it is done again, but you don’t go into the vet check until their pulse is 64 bpm or less. If you make that mistake you have a 10 min hold until you can try again. After the pulse check you move on to the same vet check/criteria as the original. Then there is a mandatory 40 min hold. That time is used to continue to cool the horse and get her to eat and drink, and give her a dose of electrolytes before leaving.
Upon crossing the finish line, all the same rules for the final vet check, and your finish time is not until your horse has reached the pulse of 64 or less. You have to know your horse and manage your ride throughout so that it’s pulse is close to where it needs to be upon arrival. And the bonus, beautiful scenery through National Forests!
Me— getting ready to go out.
Them— getting ready to go out.
We do what we love to do ☺️
Thank you, Tim Brown for this lovely memorial stone for Scamper!
Perfecting riding skills can be done in numerous ways but one of our favorites here at Stonelea Farm is with the ball game. This is one form of doing it. A rider picks up a ball from a cone (at the trot) and then they start passing it amongst each other, also at the trot It’s a great way to assess your horse’s speed and direction, the main jobs of the rider, no matter what they are doing. It also takes the rider’s mind off of the minutia, and they tend to relax and ride better while accomplishing all of the above. Working on more detail through these fun exercises, goes a long way in developing true riding and horsemanship skills😊
Oh, Darby feels much better! Darby is on medication for Cushing’s. This disease can manifest itself in many ways: loss of weight, overweight, foot soreness, lack of shedding. Darby has the latter and as an owner, I need to monitor her needs and make sure she is comfortable because she will overheat with the sudden rise in temperatures. However, it’s a double edged sword because it might be cool at night and then she has no coat for warmth. I need to be diligent with a sheet or blanket when needed after completely clipping the horse’s coat. You can see how long her coat was to start with, that’s another sign of Cushing’s. The hair itself tends to be 1 to 3 inches long, way longer than any other horse, who’s coat is only about a half inch long. Darby has a wonderful personality and is such a nice horse to ride. She deserves the best care, as do all of these wonderful school horses!
It is with much sadness that I share the loss of Scamper, our farm’s barn cat, born at the farm from a feral mother on a cold night April 11, 2006. He was just shy of 17 years old. Scamper was also feral because his mother took off with him the next day and didn’t return for months. When she did, she always kept him away from everyone, but would come in for the food we set out daily. Scamper was an excellent mouser, and had his routine. He remained feral and would only let you pet him if he was at his feed bowl. The barn was his castle and he rarely left it. He staunchly defended it from other cats, ending up at the vet only a few times.
Scamper was much loved by Tim, a student here, who became his co-owner. Every time he would come to the barn, he would call out and Scamper would come running from wherever he was because he knew Tim had food, treats, and lots of love for him. Tim started sharing pictures of Scamper with a group he belongs to online and soon Scamper became the unofficial coach of the “North Melbourne Kangaroos”. An Australian rules football team. ￼😊
A year ago another cat showed up and became a threat to Scamper, now 16 and moving much slower. Because of this, he suddenly became a house cat, not ideal for a guy who loved to walk around his territory during the day, which included the ring and a lot of the property, but he likely would not have survived with the new cat around.
He adapted to his new digs and would watch out the window from his favorite spot on the window seat or bed. He became much more friendly and enjoyed a lot of petting. Tim continued to visit him every time he was at the farm and Scamper still came out to greet him. Scamper lived a good life at the barn and has now passed the mousing job onto the new stray. Goodbye sweet kitty. We miss you already!
Three barns bird-proofed after the bird invasions the last two years. Thank you so much, Honey!
It’s impressive what Luke Gingerich can do through ￼the relationship he’s developed with his horses. That’s why I enjoyed his clinic I attended in November and ￼ have enjoyed doing this with both Jewel and Santana.
2/18/23 Sunny and Kyrie.
At the beginning of February we lost Sunny, age 33, a marvelous school horse that arrived here in March 2010 at age 20. In 2016, he went into retirement and moved from one nice set of digs to another, finally finishing out his years at my friend, Jo Lacey‘s farm in Philomont.￼ Although these moments of saying goodbye can be hard, I always feel grateful that I have been able to afford to keep them/be their steward until their last breath. I myself started in a lesson barn, many many years ago, and although I loved riding, I was never quite comfortable with some of the treatment or lack of compassion that I saw for the horses. If I would ask a question, so many times the response would be “it’s just a school horse”. I never forgot that and vowed that if I was ever in that kind of position I would treat all my school horses as if they were my own private, singularly-loved animal. When I put up my Christmas stockings this year I counted 29 school horses that have gone on to greener pastures after I took care of them until the end. I’ve been doing lessons for over 30 years and I am proud that I’ve been able to do that. It has been by God’s grace and the love, care and generosity of￼ my family, friends, and students, current and past. Sunny and all former and present school horses thank you!
And now again, thank you to Jo Lacey for recently allowing me to retire Kyrie to her farm to be company for her horse Missy. It’s just the two of them, and they immediately got along together, no fuss whatsoever. Kyrie deserves this after her racing career, then trails, dressage, cross country and hunter/jumpers. She is only 16 but came to me with arthritis in her knees, so she has earned this! ￼
Coat Defense for horses, dogs, cats, and people!
How can this be February? Well, we are certainly enjoying the weather. It’s perfect for horseback riding!
All program dates are up! Voted
Northern Virginia Magazine’s Best Summer Camps 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and now 2023!
Just go to the lessons and camps page and click on your desired program.
It is on a “cart“ system. When you click on the date you want, it will tell you how many spaces are left to purchase. If you try to add more than what is available, it will not let you complete the registration. Currently the first two camps only have one spot left. Feel free to contact me through the website if you have any problems. Thank you!
For horses, dogs, cats, and people! ￼
1/27/23. Just a quick update about Kyrie. She is literally hanging around at the farm, doing nothing. After her great seasons with Kat showing in hunters and jumpers, she was leased out to a local professional dressage barn after Kat and her husband received orders to Kentucky. On 2/22/22 she was diagnosed with a tear of the right Lateral Malleolus of her tibia
(inside of the right hock). I was told it was similar to a person rolling their ankle and breaking it. With complete stall rest, there was a good chance she would be 100% sound. A month ago I had shoes put on her to see if the slight lameness I saw was related to tender feet. At this point in time it looks like she is still not recovered enough to be ridden so she continues her life bossing her herd here at the farm 😊
2018 Shadow 12.5’LQ3 horse. Purchased 2019
6’ slide with couch
Always cleaned during and after use
Gross weight 14,000
Empty weight 8,000
Hitch to tail length 35’
25.5’ on the floor
Dual electric jacks
Large electric awning
Tremendous storage throughout
2 burner stove
Swivel TV at bed/kitchen
Couch opens to full size bed
Good sized shower and bath with more storage.
Walk-thru door to stud stall.
Excellent ventilation in stalls
Screens on windows AND drop down bars
Oversized rear collapsible tack
Extra saddle racks to convey.
Outside access to huge storage under mangers
Outside water faucet at front
Levelers attached to trailer front
Have enjoyed so much, getting larger one!
Located near Middleburg, Virginia
Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings - Football helmets have been tested to evaluate their ability to reduce brain injury risk.
Sharon’s 4* ride with Claus 63. Listen to the comments. She is developing him for the 5* and it’s important to him him come away from this run with confidence, which he does, even with some jumping faults.
Rachael leaves Florida with Kalle and Holden. They were down there for the winter; and Kalle is still a ham for treats apparently 😂
Following the devastating invasion by Russia last week, the EEF has been in regular contact with the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation and the FEI to offer assistance and support. The Ukrainian Equestrian Federation has now created a foundation in order to manage offers of accommodation and accept ...
So now it is Monday morning and here is Velvet all nice and cozy. Now begins the four+ hours of barn work. Feeding 20 horses, dumping all their water in a non-walking area because it will turn to ice, putting out all the hay without getting hurt myself means doing it while they are eating, then cleaning all the stalls but only filling the wheelbarrows halfway because I have to push them through the snow. I typically wait until eight or nine because then it’s less icy and I have a better chance of fighting the elements. If I don’t answer your texts concerning how the horses are doing or asking if there are lessons today (yes we are on) etc. it’s because I will do that once I get inside. Stopping to deal with my phone, taking off my gloves etc. just makes it longer and makes me colder lol!
Facebook won’t let me load more than one video again. Here is Velvet after removing her blanket. Even though she was dry underneath she was shivering like crazy. Not every horse can go without a blanket! I replaced the one she had on with a nice dry one both inside and out.
9/16/22 Snow started late today and then turned to freezing rain. At 9 pm I went out into the pasture to check the horses to see if they were sharing the sheds, and they weren’t. I brought them in so they can each relax in their own space. Velvet was shivering under her heavy Rambo! I’m so glad I checked them! She was dry under the blanket but I removed it and replaced it with another heavy blanket that was completely dry on the outside as well and she finally stopped shivering. Interestingly this just proves the point that not all horses can be left to fend for themselves in nature. Some will require blankets while others will not.
1/5/22 Sunny, at 30! He really looks good, and still very lively!
This is why I struggle selling any of my horses and try to place them instead. And also why I retire my school horses to fields where they continue to be taken care of until they pass on. The second picture is the first owner getting the poor horse back but unable to save her. I can’t wrap my brain around how anyone with a conscience can let this happen to their animal. What suffering she went through . . .
She was 7 years old and had gone to the APHA World Show and had great bloodlines.
12/1/21 At a little over three weeks being treated for Lymes, Jewel is
11/21/21 I’m excited to show you Jewel’s progress after two weeks of treatment for Lymes. She’s been on doxycycline twice a day and colostrum for the first seven days. In the beginning it was as if her skin was on fire. She was biting the air, pinned her ears flat, and was clearly uncomfortable during grooming. Look at her now!
Sharing to spread what I learned. Jewel had started being cranky when I was grooming her and I just thought maybe she was in season but it persisted when she should have gone out. Almost daily the crankiness was increasing to the point where I thought she might actually connect and bite me.
I had blood work done and she has Lymes. I had no idea it could look like this. Apparently her skin is so sensitive from this disease that she can’t stand being brushed right now. Lesson learned and she’s begun treatment.
Skeeter’s passing leaves a huge hole in our horse community. He was a self-taught, extremely knowledgeable horse person. I first met him when he had his shop in the Dart Chantilly mall on 50, next to my Dad’s Real estate office. They used to “shoot the bull” when things were quiet in their respective businesses. Who knew that years later I’d be into horses and doing business with him! He always turned things around fast and had nothing but kind words to say. He built his business, bought his farm, built his house and stable, everything, never afraid of hard work, loved his horses and his customers, and had a lot to show for it. You’ll be missed Skeeter ❤️
Rest In Peace Skeeter. You will be dearly missed by our entire horse community.
Scamper, ever vigilant, while Béla has her opinion about things!
10/14/21 Hi everyone, I’m currently in Portugal doing a riding tour. To see what it’s like, please go to my personal FB page as I’m recording it all there with what little time I have left at the end of each day!
Lucia Di Benedetto.
9/25/21 Santana did his very first trail ride, out in open fields and with cattle. Cassidy said he was a champ! He actually liked leading almost the whole way!
9/24/21 wow, now Cassidy has Santana jumping at the canter! Once things made sense to him he just keeps moving forward in his learning!
Look at this, about Santana’s breeder! Incredible, I feel honored to have a Sutton Ranch quarter horse!
View the American Quarter Horse breeders who most recently hit their 50th cumulative or consecutive year of breeding the world’s most versatile horse.
9/20/21 Santana gets his first set of four shoes and he was super!
Cassidy Cain has done a beautiful job with Santana’s training these last 30 days! You saw the video of the first canter she did with him under saddle when he was so unbalanced at the beginning of the month and now look at him, impressive! He is confident, balanced, and most of all, happy! He really trusts her and it makes my heart happy! He is definitely a people horse. He has bonded with her but he also clearly remembered me when I showed up! If you know anyone who needs to have a horse trained, I highly recommend her! She’s working under Olin Armstrong in Verona, VA, and beginning to take outside horses herself. She has such a wonderful foundation for doing this because of the years she has spent working under this iconic horseman!
Since I was still on the waiting list for Petey Wright to get Santana back in there, and he and Brooke knew how badly I wanted him back in training, Brooke recommended fellow trainer Cassidy Cain, who works with Olin Armstrong in Staunton, VA. Santana is relaxed and happy and only thinks about doing his job. These photos are of him going around the outside track of their convoluted training ring. They have a lot of stuff in the middle of it and it serves to desensitize the horses. Then they have the horses go around the outside edge. He did that for a couple of weeks and then today she added the barrels for him to figure out how to place his weight for jumping without the weight of her being on him. Look at those knees!
Previously, she used this to help him learn how to balance in a much smaller area while cantering. Then she cantered him in the outside ring for the first time. It is very large and he was good, carrying her weight, but he doesn’t turn very well! Anybody who rides here and has seen the younger horses go, and hear me tell them that if they want to turn at the bottom or top of the ring they need to start their aids at B or E, know what I’m talking about!
Here it is again, in a nutshell, with great commentary.￼￼
Ok, let’s talk about this whole modern pentathlon thing shall we? This Olympics was not my first introduction to it. I remember watching parts of it during the London coverage and cringing th…
39953 New Road
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