Blog Post December 19, 2011
Greetings from Aspengrove!
Although it is already the middle of December we have not had very much snow and it has been unseasonably mild. The horses are actually still able to do some grazing to put the day in after eating all their hay.
We held four weeks of camps this year and have decided that this went so well that we are going to do the same weeks every summer for the month of July.
This has turned into a real family operation with my daughters Alisha, helping with administration and in the kitchen, Angie once again teaching, and my granddaughter Meagan doing barn management. With a 15 student capacity we found that the small groups promoted more closeness, thus making it a more relaxed fun camp. We offered stable management lessons only once a day and the students enjoyed watching and learning from the lessons of the other groups during their free time.
We used the remaining horses and leased some, but found that we have to actually buy horses again so we can run the camps at the capacity of 15 students per week. We were able to use Rumour again this year and as she was for sale decided to add her to our herd. Julia let us use Scooter, for those that remember him, and at the end of the camps he was sold to one of the students who rode him for her sessions here. Michelle was kind enough to allow us to use Cola again and the students who rode her really enjoyed her. Linda Mork, who used to own Cheshire Park Equestrian Centre also leased us a couple of the school horses she brought with her from Maple Ridge. Twist and Andy are excellent school horses and we hope to use them again next year. Hanna-Krista let us use Simon, I am sure some of you will remember him. Dez is another horse that is on lease and looks like he is here to stay. Everyone loves that big boy.
As we will be requiring at least 4 more horses I am on the hunt for some reasonably priced, well schooled horses to add to the program as well as perhaps leasing as some for the camps. If you know of any horses that might work for the program, let me know.
We are now offering Aspengrove for workshops, clinics, weekend retreats and have our facility leased by coaches and stables for riding vacations. These are either catered or non catered.
At the beginning of the summer we hosted a surprise 40th birthday/family reunion for the weekend. It went so well, that we have decided to market these kinds of events as well as the riding ones at Aspengrove. Apparently it is not always about horses. We even had a celebrity show up as his parents attended the reunion. Aaron Pritchett was actually singing around the campfire.
We joined an organization called Wwoof and have had numerous workers from Europe helping out with the chores and maintenance of the ranch. These students travel around Canada helping out on farms and ranches, learning new skills and getting to know our culture and how we do things in other countries. Andre stayed with us for approximately 3 ½ months and did an amazing amount of work for us. I could not have done all this by myself, so once again thanks Andre for all your work and effort. He is also very talented with the video camera and did some you tube videos of Aspengrove, the birthday party/reunion, and also filmed a week of camp. For the Aspengrove videos go to you tube and look for Aspengrove. Also thanks to Tanya from Germany, Yolanda from Switzerland and Shane from Taiwan for all their help. We really enjoyed having you stay with us.
The end of August we hosted Amelia Butler, her students and horses from Town & Country Equestrian from Southlands in Vancouver. Amelia held a summer camp for her students and her horses also had a vacation in the country with access to big paddocks and large fields to run and play. Thanks Amelia, we really enjoyed having you and your students stay with us.
Amelia also brought up a horse she knew was for sale and felt he would fit into our camp program. Yes, we bought him. Pepper is a 15’2 well schooled bay quarter horse. He fit in with the herd like he has been here the whole time. We look forward to using him this upcoming summer for the camps. I also would like to promote our reasonably priced boarding. If your horse or if you know of a horse that needs a break from small confined areas, or if you are planning to be away, we have large paddocks also big fields available for short or longer duration.
A reminder that we have started the registration process and as we will have limited spaces available, recommend you register soon to ensure a spot.
I would like to thank Linda Mork with Cheshire Park Creative Website Design for the new look on our web site. I hope this will inspire me to keep my updates more frequent and let everyone know what’s going on.
I will close with wishing you all a wonder festive season and all the best to everyone in 2012. I look forward to seeing you all again in July for our summer camp program.