Horse Training Tale of Threes

Today’s horse training success story came in a trilogy.  No small wonder, God kinda favors threes 🙂

Got the kind of call midday every trainer dreams of: “you probably don’t remember me but…”  “Of COURSE I remember you, you’re Cassidy’s dad!”  Cassidy was our first student when we incorporated KinderRide into our lesson program:  offering horseback riding instruction to the 2-4 year olds as a preamble to our “big kid’s” program.  Cassidy progressed on through the Big Kid program until we sold the farm and went our disparate ways.  Cassidy’s dad tracked us down via Google.  Turned out Cassidy had just won the National Junior Morgan Dressage Championship.  And it turns out that my mom, who was Cassidy’s first leadline instructor, was visitiing and out on the tractor at that very moment.  Congratulations Cassidy!  All the best of luck at World’s this fall!

Part two:  a typo in the Valley Trader had us calling on a 4 month old colt.  Turns out he is the son of a mare I fell in love with while training many years ago on a Friesian farm in VA. I’m still under the spell of that electric shock.  More to follow….

Last and most….  They say to find the answer you need to ask a question three times.  Long after Mom and I should have gone to sleep I was pestering her with questions.  We were talking about the Thoroughbred Rescue Foundation, a charity near and dear to both of our hearts. We’ve both volunteered time and skills.  Mom was multi day a week regular for several years.

It came out that several years ago she had fallen in love with Lake, whom everyone claimed was incorrigable, yet he pressed his face deep against her belly for comfort in the face of vets and chiropracters and Things That Go Bump In The Night. Shortly after that, he had been returned to the prison sytem, because no-one wanted to adopt him.  “Mom,”  I told her, “if you love him, find him! We’ll bring him home”

She went to sleep, I hopped in the shower.  A while later she showed up with the look of a kid at Christmas.  “Did you mean it? I’m gonna look for him, I’m gonna find him!”

And when you do, he’s gonna have a happily ever after home in Almost Heaven….

Southern States’ Amazing Response

Incredibly, after Saturday’s devastating fire, the Ranson/ Charles Town Southern States has mobilized to open on Monday without skipping a beat.  From what I understand, they will be selling feed out of tractor trailers.  Farm delivery will continue as normal.

Thank you Southern States!  Your commitment to all of us who depend on you is extraordinary!

Fire at Southern States Feed Co-Op

The leading edge of the storm raged violently enough to wake us around 3:30 am. The sky glowed like daybreak and thunder rumbled and crashed continuously. We marveled at the window as the storm grew more powerful. We had no idea that at that moment, our feed store burned. The Southern States Feed Co-Op had been struck by lightning.

We drove by today. The cinder-block exterior appeared deceptively untouched. Apparently, behind the now-boarded up windows, the store and warehouse had been gutted. All we knew was what the marquis told us: Closed Due to Fire.

Nothing more. No further details on the damage, nor reassurance that no-one was hurt. No hint as to a reopening date. No “we have arranged for your feed delivery to be covered.” And what of that feed delivery, which appears faithfully every Tuesday? What of our 29 horses, who line up just as faithfully along the fence at feeding time?

This may seem off topic on a horse training blog. However, horse people know that what happens in training sessions is inseparably entwined wiith the fabric of our daily lives.

Despite the influx of commuting Washingtonians, our area clings to its rural roots. Horse farms, cow farms, crop farms and the local racetrack rely on Southern States to nourish and care for our land, our animals, our businesses and our families. What does this fire mean for the community? The more we think about it, the more we realize the vital importance of that one store. The ripple effect reaches far.

We’ve no doubt that the community will pour its resources into rebuilding the co-op, just as we know the co-op will mobilize quickly to provide for the community. During this time our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the fire, from the owners and employees to farmers finding feed for hungry horses.