Winter Practice – Almeda Farm – 11/10/19

November 14, 2019

We started our winter practices back up this past Sunday at Almeda Farm in Boyce, Virginia.

For our kick off of the winter season we had four of our regulars; Val, Carly, Jenny, and myself. Joined by sometimes participant Carol Ann.

Carol Ann brought her new pony Dash who is a complete natural and did not appear new to games at all. He is a handy little pony.

We rocked through some races and enjoyed the morning. Here’s looking forward to another winter of practices.

Video:

Gamblers Choice Fun Day – November 2019

November 13, 2019

Photo: K Brookes

The first weekend of November we had a Gamblers Choice one day fun day at the Woodstock Equestrian grounds in Maryland hosted by Stacey Calhoun. These are always way fun and make an excellent training day.

Photo: K Brookes

For the first session Kim W and I drew each other. I rode with Kim maybe 10+ years ago at a similar event and had a good time. This session was just as fun. She’s very laid back and easy going and was a joy to play with.

Photo: K Brookes

Possum is learning to move out more and was working hard and doing an excellent job all session.

Photo: K Brookes

We had a 30 minute break while leadline rode and I made a point of sitting on Possum in the back of the arena and having him stand and wait. This is a huge challenge for him and tends to spoil his mood. Since we do a lot of standing and chilling in games this is a skill he needs to learn. He started off good but started to get rather agitated towards the end. He tossed his head, pawed and started to cross his legs and do turn on the forehands.

Photo: K Brookes

We went right into session two from standing around which tested his lack of work ethic. He was a bit grumpy, as I expected, but he worked right out of it and was an excellent pony all session. This is a huge improvement for him.

For session two, Ashtyn and I drew each other. I was lucky enough to draw her at the last gamblers choice so I knew this would be another fun session. Ashtyn is a joy and we spent a lot of time laughing. We are also signed up to ride together at the first Popsicle pairs at the end of the month. Good times!

Photo: K Brookes

So I managed to have two excellent sessions and possum was an good pony. He is starting to move out and keep up with the pack. We are losing them on our end turn though. We have to get that right hand lead and balance to get that improved. Work work work. But he is turning into a rather nice games pony.

Photo: K Brookes

I also enjoyed both of my partners. They are both skilled and solid players so we got to work on handoffs (which were perfect all around) and general skills. What more could I ask for?

Photo G Arens

Pizza. Pizza is what I could ask for.

One of the nice things about these events is we fit in a social pizza lunch with time to chat and catch up. Side note, the veggie pizza is probably the best veggie pizza I have had. Amazing.

Photo G Arens

So a fun day with improvements with the pony. Yea.

Photo G Arens

Mid-Atlantic Pairs 3 – October 2019

November 3, 2019

Two weeks ago we had the third and final leg of the Mid-Atlantic Pairs Series. It was held at Diamond 7 Arena in Dillsburg, PA. Leigh Anne and I organized it together and added in a super fun Halloween theme and an end of the year pot luck party Saturday night.

Friday night we set the arena without Carl. We had some excellent teamwork getting it done. Fred was the leader with Leigh Anne and Matt assisting with measuring and lines. A few of us others helped as well, including Jaise and Lidia. Without the help it would not have gotten done. We did a pretty good job but Carl did have to fix the C line Sunday morning.

The costumes were awesome. We had a lot of riders in onsies, some super people, tutus, a roaring pink unicorn, Leigh Anne and I glittered our ponies, and the Campbells painted some of our ponies hooves as pumpkins. The big winners were Jenny as Evil Knievil and Carl and Fred as photoed above as Step brothers.

For this event we also decided to give some new up and coming refs a chance to try their hand at the job. Everyone that took a session did a fantastic job.

(Photo above: Genevieve Arens Photography)

This was Leigh Anne and my second time doing pairs together. As previously she is so fun to ride with. We had a really good time. And she was awesome to organize with too. So a weekend of doing it all as a pair.

Saturday nights pot luck party was a lot of fun. Amazing food as expected and lots of costumes. Leigh Anne and I pulled on our dragon onsies for this one.

We awarded the end of the year “bragging rights” awards that were hosted on the Facebook page by member Eliza. And we awarded everyone who dressed up for riding prizes.

Lastly I was honored with a surprise thank you for my years of service to MGAA. I am leaving office at the end of the year, after 13 collective years on the board since MGAA’s inception, 9 as president. I was so honored and remain so grateful. I was gifted a giant mum and a basket (feed bin) of gifts including a gorgeous leather halter with engraved plate. I love it.

Sunday brought rain. Yea. Really it was not that bad, the weather remained excellent, and the rain was mostly light. Everyone managed to ride and we completed the day safely and happily.

(Photo above: Genevieve Arens Photography)

(Above photo: Genevieve Arens Photography)

(Photo above: Genevieve Arens Photography)

(two photos above: Genevieve Arens Photography)

(Photo above: Genevieve Arens Photography)

(Photo above: Genevieve Arens Photography)

(Two photos above: Genevieve Arens Photography)

Trail Report: Slate Lick, Fulks Run, 10/11/19

October 12, 2019

I have not managed to fit in a trail ride since June when I broke my finger. I got off early today so I shot off to the woods for some quality trail time with my main-man Simon and my dog-of-all-dogs, Daisy.

The weather was perfect and it was just a lovely ride around Slate Lick in Fulks Run. There were some campers out and I passed another group of riders on trail.

I noticed the road in has been patched up since the last time I was here, which might have been last fall. And the area had been recently mowed and cleaned up.

It’s bow season so Simon and I had on our high-viz. I couldn’t find Daisy’s though.

I saw sad to see a lot of very bright graffiti near the parking areas. So disrespectful.

A Good Evening

October 11, 2019

Here is a quick snap from my hack out on Simon the other night.

Nothing better than some relaxing time with you pony and your dog.

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