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Thursday, February 13, 2014

February 13, 2014

Hello Everyone!                                                           

Phonephotos244.jpgOh my, this winter has been a cold and wet one!  Today, we are having the second half of a huge snow storm with 7 inches already on the ground and the snow is still coming down.  It’s snowing so hard that I can barely see the barn!  All the horses are tucked-up in their stalls munching hay with no worries about deep snow, slippery ice and power outages.  Hummm…  Maybe I should have been a horse!

The winter weather has certainly put a damper on the lesson program, but the Pony Parties have been very fortunate.  With parties almost every Saturday, we’ve only had to postpone one, and that was just until the next afternoon.  Don and I enjoy every party with all those happy children and wonderful families.  We smile so much on party days that our faces hurt by evening!
PaintingwithGwen.JPGPainting with the horses is always a fun addition toGwenthereluctantartist.JPG any party.  The horses help each child paint a picture that they can then take home as a party favor. 
As you can see, some horses are more enthusiastic artists than others.   But they always appreciate a big “thank-you” kiss for their efforts! 
 Kissesfortheartists.JPG

The Princess Unicorn parties are still the most popular parties.  Bahjah, our magical, black unicorn with the long silver horn, brings squeals of delight from all the little princesses in attendance.  I received a great call from the mother of one adorable princess who celebrated her 5th birthday here last spring.  The mom said that her daughter still talked about Bahjah almost every day.  As an incentive for improved school work, it was arranged for this girl to come for a special visit with Bahjah.  Horses are just so good for children – and adults!

Giselle-1-2014.jpgLittle Giselle, aka Gigi, is doing well and gaining weight nicely.  You may remember that Don and I rescued her from a neglectful owner in late November.  She is strong enough now for a few of my smaller students to take for short rides.  We plan for her to be our granddaughter Mila’s first pony, and also to use as a party pony - the fabulous, tiny, white unicorn.  So far, Giselle has proven to be a gentle, safe pony, especially with our little granddaughter.  Mila just turned 2 yrs. old, so she’s not quite ready to really ride yet, but it won’t be long!

We welcomed two, new boarders to Stonecrest Farm in January.  Tido is a handsome Paso Fino gelding and Daisy Mae is a rare Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse.  Each has a special personality that makes them fun additions to our horse family.  Their two owners are wonderful ladies that we are blessed to now call our friends.

Come see us!

Chris 

::: 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Well, I haven’t done a very good job of regularly writing newsletters!  There just always seems to be something else that needs my attention.  But, July is a slow month, since many of my students are on vacation, so I finally have time to write. 

Life here at Stonecrest Farm just keeps happily rolling along.  We have several new additions to the family, most importantly our granddaughter, Mila!  She is 18 months old and has “ridden” every horse on the farm, except Marvin.  But, even scared, little Marvin is enchanted by her and comes close to have his nose petted. J  Mila riding Lucky DuckLucky Duck has claimed Mila as her own and chases the other mares away when Mila is out visiting with them in the pasture.  Lucky gets this goofy, gentle expression on her face anytime Mila is on her back.  (see photo)
 
We did adopt Bahjah from the U.S. Equine Rescue League, and she has turned out to be a wonderful lesson horse!  She is ever so patient, calm and sweet-tempered, and she just loves children.  What a blessing! 


Teka is another new addition.  She is a beautiful, bay, Arabian mare that we rescued in Sept. 2011.  Teka_flyingFeb2013.jpgShe isn’t part of the lesson program, but she is being leased and loved by one of my former students.  There is nothing that Teka likes better than to be groomed and snuggled and fussed over. 
 

 
Tall, blond and gorgeous, Gwen is our newest addition.  A registered, palomino Quarter Horse, Gwen is 15.1 hands high, which makes her a great size for my adult students.  Gwen.jpgI’m already using her for pre-riding lessons and hope to soon include her as a riding-lesson horse.  She had taken a few years off to raise several beautiful babies, so she is just now starting to get back in shape for riding.
 

Pony Parties are now a big part of Stonecrest’s activities.  I don’t know who enjoys the parties more – Don and me, or the birthday child!  It is such fun to see the expressions on the children’s faces when they pet, brush and ride the horses!  We find it an honor to often be the ones to give a child that first introduction to horses.  
 

We offer lots of Pony Party options besides just lead-line riding.  PaintingCammie2.jpgThe children can help the horses paint pictures, or they can paint pictures on the horse.  The tractor-drawn hayrides around the farm are always popular.  Evening parties – for children or adults – also include a hot dog cook-out (or pizza, if preferred), a bonfire for toasting marshmallows and s’mores, and glow-in-the-dark leadline rides.  In October, the children can also pick out a pumpkin and build a life-size scarecrow.  In December, they can make horseshoe Christmas decorations.   TableSetUp.jpg

We also offer specialty parties for 3 – 5 year old girls.  The Princess Unicorn Tea Party delights any birthday girl with rides on the rare and exotic black unicorn as they go in search of the elusive Meadow Fairy.  The Tutu Divine Tea Party appeals to the little ballerina who never thought that a horse might also enjoy wearing a tutu!
 

We’ve got lots more ideas for fun parties, also.  Let me know if you have a special request.  Hope to see you here soon at Stonecrest Farm!







::: 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer Newsletter

Sizzlin' Summer Is Here!  June and July sure have been uncomfortable, but life onBarnswallow.jpg the farm just keeps going.  Don and I are slowly working on more fencing, riding trails in the woods, the new riding arena, and a daylily garden in the front yard.  We are preparing to get our second cutting of hay, which is sorely needed.  The barn swallows are on their second and third batch of babies, so the barn is filled with their happy chattering.  I counted over 70 swallows early one morning as they perched on the wire behind the barn, waiting for the sun to rise.  Their aerial acrobatics are so beautiful to watch as they swoop and plunge to catch bugs on the wing.  In a few weeks they will begin to leave on that long journey to Argentina where they'll spend the winter.

 

Lesson Program:  The pre-riding and the riding lessons have certainly kept me and the mares CammiePhoebeJuly2011.jpgbusy!  I have such a wonderful group of ladies and children taking lessons - I look forward to each one of them!  Students in the pre-riding program have given the mares lots of baths during these hot days.  I don't know who ends up wetter, the mares, the students, or me!  What fun!  First-time riders always enjoy sweet Cammie.  She may be big and tall, but she is oh so gentle with only one forward speed ... slow!  That suits first-timers just fine :)  Lucky Duck does a good job of teaching how to ride the trot, and riding Emma Pony bareback does wonders for a child's balance and determination.

 

Please Welcome Bahjah:  Don and I rescued Bahjah in May for the U.S. Equine Rescue League.  She was living in a 20' x 40' pen with no shelter, dirty slimy water, and poor quality hay and feed.  She was very thin, her hooves were overgrown and cracked, and she had skin sores from standing out all winter in the rain and snow.  She also had several problems with her teeth that made chewing very painful.  After two months of good food, good grazing and visits from the farrier (blacksmith) and equine dentist, Bahjah has now gained about 200 lbs. and her coat gleams with good health.  She has a lovely, kind disposition and is fast becoming a favorite with the students.  We are seriously considering adopting her so she can be a Stonecrest Mare forever :)  Please consider supporting the USERL so more horses like Bahjah can be saved.  Donations may be sent locally to:

USERL, PO Box 157, Wingate, NC 28174

BahjahBeforeMay2011.jpg

 

Bahjah in May, 2011

Body Condition Score of # 3

 

 

 

 

BahjahAfterJuly2011.jpg

 

Bahjah in July, 2011

Body Condition Score of # 5

::: 

2014.02.01
2013.07.01
2011.07.01

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Stonecrest in the Snow - 2011
Winter2010.JPG


Spring Newsletter
April 2011  
                                      
Happy Spring Everyone!  It was a long, cold, miserable winter (see photo), but spring is finally here.  The horses’ hair is flying as they begin shedding their heavy, winter coats.  All sessions of grooming seem to leave the groomer with as much hair on them as is left on the horse!  Of course, the birds are making good use of that soft hair to line their nests.  We recently welcomed our annual visitors, all the way from Argentina – the barn swallows! 
Newsletter #1:  This is the first Stonecrest Farm Newsletter.  I hope to send one out at least every quarter.  So many new things are happening that a newsletter just seems necessary. 
Riding Lessons:  Due to popular demand, I am now offering basic riding lessons for beginners.  We will concentrate on learning balance, establishing a firm, independent seat, and developing light hands.  I’m working on my schedule now, so call to reserve your spot.  Cost: $40 per lesson, or save at $150 per month for 4, individual, hourly lessons - usually at one-per-week.
“Hello Horse!”  This pre-riding, lesson program is still the foundation of my teaching.  All potential riders must first learn to handle horses safely on the ground before riding lessons begin.  By learning how a horse thinks and communicates, students have a real advantage as they progress.  Cost: $25 per 45-minute lesson. 
New Horses:  Please welcome Lucky Duck and Cammie!  Lucky Duck is an adorable, Quarter Horse mare that joined us in Feb.  She is LuckyDuck.JPGtrained both English and Western and is a solid citizen for ground work. Cammie is a big, gorgeous, Paint mare who is retired from a successful dressage and jumping career.  Cammie has that mellow, been-there-done-that attitude.  Both mares are gentle, affectionate and fond of children and nervous adults ;) 
U.S. Equine Rescue League Fundraiser:  Saturday, April 9, 2011, found approximately 60 Girl Scouts here at Stonecrest Farm earning their Horsemanship Badge.  All the participation fees were donated to the USERL to help rescue and rehab abused, starved and neglected horses in central and western NC.  The Scouts learned about the breeds of horses, tack, care and feeding, grooming, the language of horses, and much more.  Emma Pony joined Lucky Duck and Cammie in providing each Scout the opportunity to groom a horse. 
Visit the USERL website at:  www.userl.org 

The Girl Scouts begin to arrive.
GirlScouts.jpg

Stonecrest Farm
Mint Hill, NC
704-753-4297
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Click here to visit the United States Equine Rescue League website.