Friday, October 16, 2009

Onward and Upward

" those of you that read my blog know, earlier this year we were suddenly blessed with having our horses in our own backyard! However, as everyone knows, life has a way of placing potholes and plunge pools in front of you and just as fast as we became happy in our new venture, we were then faced with the issue of having to temporarily move our horses until we could re-evaluate our decision to go forward with the purchase of this horse farm. This was our dream property and we watched the deal "go south" because of an unscrupulous seller! And, just when we thought it couldn't get worse, one of our horses suffered with a colic so severe that even with immediate Veterinarian intervention, we were forced to help her cross to the heavens (see the previous post about "Lily"). That left us so low and so heartbroken and also left us with two other horses, her two geldings, the boys that she ruled with an "iron hand, errrrr, I mean hoof" and they were suddenly lost without their lead mare.

So, the days after her demise coupled with having to leave the horse farm we had almost purchased; well, who knew that depression could be so deep! So, while waiting for answers and then the ultimate re-assessment of our decision to buy "that" horse farm, we were fortunate to be welcomed to the home of my dear friend, Liz Wool-Morris but that was so far away that we had to conintue to look for closer accomodations and finally found a barn that's only minutes from the main homestead, a boarding barn that has far surpassed my wildest dreams! So, to those folks that always adopt the cheery attitude of "when one door closes, another one opens", an attitude that never crossed my mind, I admit that all of you were correct! I've found that faith, even "blind faith", helps one to realize that other opportunities exist and that sometimes you have to reach a real "low point" before you can come up again. From there it's the ol' one foot in front of another, even taking baby steps if necessary and before we knew it, the end result had us walking right into that new, "open" door and with a new and even stronger resolve to be happy! So, my blog continues and I will continue to write about my experiences at this new barn, which, by the way, is a completely different discipline than what we are used to but hey, that's the essence of life, change, try new things, rejoice in the fact that we are healthy and alive, all those things and more! I shall return, as always, to write when the mood strikes as "putting the thoughts to paper" seems to have a very soothing effect on me!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rest In Peace - Beautiful Lily

The Three Amigos
(L - R Lily, William & Valie)

The Beautiful Lily
On Thursday, July 30th, we here at Sunflower Meadows Farm (and most importantly, Lindsey and Megan) lost the beautiful, 17.1 hand Thoroughbred Mare, Lily, to a very severe case of colic.....Godspeed Lily, you are truly missed.
The above captioned announcement was all I could write as I posted to other boards about Lily's demise........because what can you really say about the loss of a beloved horse. The heart-wrenching story will be told but it is too soon to recount the facts in writing. In addition to grieving her loss, we also worried about how Valie and William would hande the fact that their 3rd amigo was no longer with them. The reality of the situation was compounded by this worry because these three horses had been inseperable for a long time and as such, our grief was two-fold as we watched our horses realize that their "lead mare" was gone.
...when I finally post the details of "that" day, I will also include an in-depth update about SMF and the lives of Valentino and Sweet William. Thanks to everyone that sent condolences to Sunflower Meadows Farm.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Just Love That Horse!

There are times, throughout the course of a day, when my mind wanders to my horse. I tend to think of his most recent antics or yet another accident he's just experienced (He's a bit accident prone and thank God the accidents are usually minor) and sometimes I just think about him, his facial expressions or what he means to me and well, the list goes on. However, once in awhile I find myself thinking, sometimes out loud, just how much I love my Valie. "Ohhhh, I just love that horse" is what my non-equestrian friends must listen to from time to time and at least, by now, they no longer attempt to pull me into the "Cathy, it's JUST a horse" conversation because they know it's a losing battle. And that is especially true because it is then that I become the best damn, used care salesman that ever lived. They are forced to listen to me as I extol the virtues of my horse, how great he is, how cute he is, what he means to me and most important, just how much he's changed my life over the course of the past three years. True, I never thought that I would be an honest-to-goodness horse owner again especially after so many years and it's also true that his presence did add another dimension to my life, another hobby, an enjoyable activity and one that is healthy for me too! But, the truth is that I have met so many wonderful "horse" people, people I wouldn't have met had it not been for suddenly finding myself a member of the "Horse Onwers Club" again. Many of these new friendships have been and continue to be remarkable and many of these people are now lifelong friends that share an interest with me that many lay-people just don't understand and let's face it, that's BIG!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Valie Hits The Road

The miracle of photography has managed to capture Valie simulating what would have been his gallant effort to run home and be united with Lilly and William, that is if he had been left behind, at another barn, while his "best buds" moved to our new farm without him!

The following statement is an excerpt from my most previous post, "I have chosen to stay on here, in Milford, Massachusetts, with my horse boarded nearby. I'm staying here because I'm commited to living in the family home with my elderly Mom and Aunt. However, I will travel back and forth on weekends until such time that it becomes necessary for me to move to the farm!" and since I promised to keep everyone apprised of our happenings here "on the farm" and the above situation has changed, I suppose that constitutes an update! So, I will tell you what I'm doing and why I had to modify my original plans!
I decided that it was in my best interest (due to some behind the scenes issues) and that of Valie to make the move to our new home. I believe that it's possible to maintain two seperate residences, spend the weekends on the farm and the work week at home with my Mom and my Aunt! Plus, when I thought about it, I felt that it would be extremely unfair to separate Valie from his "Amigos"; so with that said, he ended up at his new home - finally! I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the photo Lindsey took of Valie in our round pen, making a "mad dash" for William and Lily, all I could imagine was Valie breaking out of some boarding barn (as it was we were going to be at Azrael Acres which is not far from our farm) and....he would have waited until feeding time and then slipped out of his stall door as he was getting fed and off he would have gone, traveling down Route 16 through Douglas, MA and then into Pascoag, RI at the speed of a Kentucky Derby contender and....just so he could get to his "best buds" as fast as possible! You know, that horse of mine is a real character!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

When One Door Closes....

....after months of speculation, tension, negotiations and finally "failure to launch", it is now official, Sunflower Meadows Farm (herein known as "SMF") has closed its doors in one location and is in the process of moving to a new out-of-state location! The weeks leading up to leaving our North Grafton, Massachusetts venue was nothing short of horrible. Many boarders that came with us over to what was originally known as Dragonfly Equestrian Center and then SMF, did not want to stay without us and new boarders, that were acquired over time, didn't want to stay unless we were there. So, with that said, there was a mad scramble to find new homes for all the horses because our new farm won't be operational until May 1st or even later. Some boarders opted to find temporary backyard boarding barns while others settled into small and even big, show stables. As for Lindsey and I, our dear friend Liz Thacker of "Elizabeth Thacker Performance Horses", kindly made room for our three Thoroughbreds (Valie, William and Lilly) in her small but very beautiful, clean and safe barn and Lindsey's colt, Jack, is having a temporary sleep-over at another friend's barn. And, if all goes as planned, Lindsey will move into the home on our new farm with her horses and we will begin the business of getting SMF off the ground again at this new location. Even though this endeavor will be a three-jointed-effort, with myself, Lindsey and our other business partner, Cathy Fleming, I have chosen to stay on here, in Milford, Massachusetts, with my horse boarded nearby. I'm staying here because I'm commited to living in the family home with my elderly Mom and Aunt. However, I will travel back and forth on weekends until such time that it becomes necessary for me to move to the farm!

Anyway, we were very lucky to find an incredible property with 40 acres of land and at a cost that is far less than market value too! The farm has two barns with stalls, a round pen, a riding ring and a covered arena and a home so beautiful that it was featured in a state magazine! I feel confident that this was meant to be and there is no doubt that "things" will be different this time because rather than leasing the property, we will soon own the property! So, as the title says, "When one door closes", in our case, "another one opened almost immediately" and to say that we are blessed is a true understatement! As we begin to make headway toward the "Grand Opening" of our new farm, I will post progress reports, updates, etc. as they happen!

Monday, March 2, 2009

New Ventures

"....another photo of my handsome Thoroughbred, Class Always Shows."

Well; here it is, a little over several months of being at a new farm and now it seems as if there is a possibility that I might become a bit more than just a boarder! Of course, an undertaking like this could not be accomplished without the help of the best Barn Manager on earth and that's my very good friend, Lindsey Canesi!

Lindsey continues to amaze me with her expertise and her ability to manage a barn of such proportions, she is calm and cool under pressue but explodes with energy when the moment calls for such an action. Further still, even though she is quite young, her equine knowledge far surpasses many other people that are much older than she is. All in all, you could not find a better caretaker for your horse if you are in a situation wherein
boarding is your only option.

So, should this venture take place, you will soon see our website change, ever-so-slightly, to reflect that she and I are now partners here at Sunflower Meadows Farm in North Grafton, Massachusetts. SMF is a wonderful facility that is "home", in more ways than one, to all of us that board, ride and train there!

Please "click on" the following link to see our farm:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Other Passion

Smooth Line Gun Dogs

"Brittanys and German Shorthair Pointers
....the breeding, training, game bird hunting, performance testing, trialing and showing of these beautiful pointing breed hunting dogs."