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Equestrian Academy

(250) 545-9470
196 Bluenose Road
Vernon, BC

Hilda's Happenings

Blog Post December 14, 2012

Greetings from Aspengrove

With 2012 nearing completion we are getting geared up for the 2013 season. Presently we do not have too much snow and the horses are still managing to get some grass by pawing. With the hay and the extras they are staying fatter than I would like to see them. We tend to always overfeed as it's difficult having all these sizes and shapes and want to make sure that the thoroughbreds keep up their weight. Of course there are the ones that could live on air. I have Smokey and Dez in by the top riding ring, getting grain twice a day and all the hay they can eat. That is the only way they come out of the winter looking decent. After our first snow, I decided to put Peanut, Moose and Rita in the field with the rest of the herd, which is working out well except for most of the snow melted and now they are eating grass as well. Hope that it is not too much for Peanut as I certainly don’t want to go through the foundering issue again. Rita the donkey and Moose the mini don’t have any issue with getting their share. I don't think they realize how small they are. As they can get under the fence they even tried to help Smokey and Dez eat their grain, (which they allowed) until Lorne put up an extra line under the rails to prevent them from getting through.

Lulu, the goat has her freedom now that I have put away all my plants and the flowers are now gone. She seems to like to hang out on the deck most of the time, looking in and smearing up the sliding glass doors and of course pooping. Oh well, those are just some of the minor irritants of having pets.

Before I get ahead of myself, not sure if you heard but we lost a few of our pets this year. Lolita the donkey, Wilma our potbelly pig did not make the winter. Barkley the mountain Shitzu was found by the horse waterer, not sure what happened but, as he could no longer hear we assume it must have been a horse and didn’t hear to get out of the way. He was always touring the 100 acres and never had any fear. Another small animal that thought he was big. He even had a confrontation with a coyote that I saw with my own eyes. I thought that was the end of him, but the coyote just walked away with Barkley going after him barking. I guess his luck finally ran out. We sure do miss all our pets. I have recently acquired another small dog, even though I thought I would hold off for a while. I now have another lap dog. Mandy is a 6 year old Shitzu/Yorkie, who loves to cuddle and is all trained, doesn’t get better than that. Those of you that remember the stray cat who was named Marvolious by the staff, is now a permanent fixture. He was adopted by Alisha, who now has 3 cats, 2 strays and the 1 she arrived with. She started feeding him as he was so thin and at that point he decided he would stay, actually I think he decided to stay already before that because when I tried to relocate him, he was back in 2 days and was not leaving again. One thing about it, strays really appreciate the life here and getting regular feedings.

Our summer camps went very well and were well attended filled up all 4 weeks. Angie did the lessons for me and everyone walked away with more knowledge and better riders. Meagan my granddaughter was in charge of the barn, and Alisha looked after most of the cooking and baking. Our barn helpers Kiera, Sarah, Leah, and Triana did an amazing job, even taking turns with kitchen help. Thanks again to all of you for the good work. Also thanks to Jess, our evening activities coordinator for organizing all the games, camp fires, crafts, etc. I also want to thank all those who loaned us their horses for our camps. Special thanks Linda for Andy and Twist, you couldn’t get better school horses, and Michelle for Cola and this year we also had the use of her other black horse Rum. We couldn’t keep running our camps with a few loaners. If you know of or have any great horses that are not being used much and want get some schooling done on them before and at camp, get in touch with us.

Lorne and I had a lot of help on the farm again this spring, which is the time everything needs repair. We had a real variety of volunteers from all over, staying with us for periods of time and helping out. Thanks again to Lena from Switzerland, jump painter and horse conditioner, Sascha and Romana from Germany, jump repairs, Isaac from the Netherlands and Gregory from France, fencing and farm maintenance, Brandon from Vancouver, Marc & Alyssa from Nova Scotia, and Ryan & Amanda from New Zealand. Ulli and Phil from Germany arrived in the fall just in time to finish our deck. We really appreciated all your hard work and could not have done it without your help. It is very interesting meeting and conversing with all these young people and sharing their travel adventures.

I would also like to acknowledge all the former campers who are keeping in touch and also joining “Friends of Aspengrove” Face book. Thanks for keeping in touch, it makes me feel good to hear of all your memories and it also brings back a lot for me.

The 2013 schedule is now up, and we recommend you register soon as our spaces are very limited.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a good Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year. We look forward to having you join us again for the 2013 season.