Well, with the heat last week and the rain this week, my working of Chewbacca has been sporadic at best. I did drive him on Saturday this past weekend for drive #4, and again on Tuesday for drive #5. I have to say, he’s officially a driving horse. On drive 5, I actually had a passenger join me for a short part of the drive, so Chewie has officially given his first “taxi ride” lol. He’s doing well. Fantastically well. I hope to have some picture soon, and maybe more video in the next few weeks.
In the mean time, today was a nice day, which ended up being sunny and beautiful. My husband and I took the day off our work to have a mini-vacation of a long weekend, and we started out the morning with a drive down the road with the ponies.
Here we are sporting our matching colors. Color coordination between horse and driver is so important, don’t you think? Helps the “good horseman karma” I believe. LOL.
Dixie is happily sporting her new hot pink biothane reins. Thank you Big Black Horse. I’m happily sporting a 35 pound less frame and Luke and hubby are in perpetually in their orange 🙂
And, as if working 3 horses isn’t enough for me, I’ve also started working with Jesse. Remember Jesse? He’s the other mini.. the one I body clipped last month and broke my clippers on – the hairy fuzz that he was…
LOL. He knows how to drive, just hasn’t done it in years, so I’ve recently started him into a driving refresher course. I’ve worked him twice in the round pen and a next session coming up this weekend. Keeping with the trend of positive experiences, he’s also doing quite well after only 2 work outs. I am learning what he knows, which is quite a bit, I am quickly realizing. I think he’ll be a breeze to re-start and he’ll be quite fun to drive once he’s polished up a bit, too.
And, not everything is good for everyone. I was floored today when my dad texted me and asked if I remember Over the Hill Farm. I said of course I did! It’s where I started English riding lessons when I was 15. It’s the barn about 25 minutes from home that I rode at for lessons when I could, first learned what “tall boots” were, and later showed there with one of my own horses. It was a beautiful, fancy barn. It was an eventing barn, and they even had cool steps for the horses to practice on in the front field. Beautiful horses, beautiful barn, and one of the most expensive and fanciest boarding facilities my neck of the woods had to offer. At the time I rode there way back when, the owner’s daughter was short-listed for the Olympics as I recall. It’s the barn where I took my first bad fall that rattled my confidence as a rider forever. I was a beginner, and when I got stepped on after falling over and under the bolting thoroughbred, I had a hoof print on my right thigh for weeks. Shortly after that, I actually never went back there for lessons. It wasn’t until years later that I showed there once I finally figured out how to stay on a horse 😉
So anyway, I was SHOCKED to read my dad’s next text.
“It burned down”
The picture of what’s left of the barn, the knowledge that 21 horses died, and my memories of the place as a beautiful facility with it’s lovely indoor arena, put me into tears.
I read articles from time to time about barns burning down, and I saw a hay barn go up in flames faster than I ever realized possible, but I’ve never personally known a place where I rode to have burned. My heart goes out to the Race’s and any boarders whose horses did not survive. I cannot believe that a barn as stunning and beautiful as Over The Hill is gone. Sure it may have been since 2001 that I last rode there or even saw the place, but this *was* the barn where my English riding started. What a tragedy. I’m just at a loss for words, I truly am.