Tuesday, February 9, 2016

With a logo, it must be official

I have always wanted a cute logo for my farm, but it always seemed kind of silly.  I am an adult amateur and I don't need to "brand" my farm or any type of business.  But geez, with my very own farm, I finally figured I might as well do what I want and create a logo. Honestly, it was my husband who convinced me to do it, as he came home last fall with the name idea of Clover Ledge and had drawn his own logo.  It was a silly spoof of a logo, but we figured we needed one eventually.

I asked a horsey friend, Donna, to design it for us.  She is a graphic designer and I knew she would do a great job.  I basically told her I wanted to incorporate horses and oxen and stick with the green color.  I think her design is perfect.  It took a few tweaks, and she was very patient with me, and I just love it!


We did the horse in a dressage frame, even though I would identify myself as an eventer. Dressage is the basis of all training in my eyes, so dressage it was.  And I love her idea to use the yoke as the way to indicate we have oxen instead of trying to design the right looking ox Plus we would need two of them, since you yoke them together in a pair.  So a dressage horse, jumping horse, and two oxen would be just too much!  The four leaf clover obviously comes from the farm name, but it also is a nod to my husband's years in 4-H and we both feel as though we have been especially lucky in our life together.  So it really is perfect!  :-)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

New Look and Name

I figured it was time to update the blog with a new look and name.  I may still tweak it a bit, but for now I like it and think it needed a change!  It's not just about Standardbred Excellence any longer, but the focus will be on the entire farm and both species of animals hahaha!  :-)  Plus, it was time to change the name of my farm.  I called it Moonstone Farm for many years, having dreamed that up way back when I was in fifth grade.  But it seemed that as my own life has evolved, the name of our farm needed to reflect that.  And now it is not just my farm, but OUR farm.  My husband is just as much a part of it as I am, which is one of the innumerable reasons I married him!  ;-)  Of course, that meant that I had to change my barn/show colors from maroon and gray to green (with a hint of maroon and cream).  LOL I'll always be a prissy horse girl at heart.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Smartpak Success Stories

Back in the late winter of 2015, I was contacted by Smartpak to write "Success Stories" for the two supplements my mares use.  I have Dreamy on SmartBreathe and Snappy on Smartgut Ultra.  They published the stories online last fall and in their little magazines they send out.

This is just kind of silly and fun, but I wanted to document it here.  :-)

Snappy (click her name to see it on their blog)


Dreamy's never made it onto their blog like Snappy's.  And they called her 15 years old, but this year she is turning 25!!  LOL!



Thursday, January 28, 2016

Plans and Goals for 2016

Well, nothing like catching up your very outdated blog to the present time in just 22 posts! LOL!  Things have surely changed since 2013, and I have to say I could not be happier with the changes. Though had you told me three years ago that I would be where I am now, I would have NOT believed it at all!  But life has a funny way of working out and sometimes we need to go through bad times in order to get to the good stuff. 

I was able to ride again six weeks after the little guy was born.  When I say ride, what I really mean is plod around the field trying not to fall off LOL!  My core muscles were pretty much non existent.   
First ride post baby!
Right now, not much is going on with the mares.  We had an unusually warm December which left us with lots of mud, and I was able to hop on and toddle around the yard and fields with them.  Then things froze up and left us with ice!  There is some snow, but the ice is making it tough to ride right now.  It's really not a huge difference that any other winter, where I ride sporadically and wish I had an indoor (haha), but having taken 2015 off from riding is making me super eager to get back into the swing of it all.

This was the BEST December in Maine, ever!
Oh, hello baby!
In the past, I have made a list of goals and plans and calendars, with shows on nearly every weekend.  To be truthful, I am not 100% sure what it is I want to do right now.  A few things I do know for sure are that Dreamy is essentially retired from the show ring and I have no idea what Snappy might be capable of as a show horse LOL!  I don't think I want to do any pleasure ring show, for various reasons, so I think I am going to focus on only dressage and eventing instead.  Maybe Snappy can try a few foxhunts in the fall.  I don't know yet.  

I used to feel such a need to show and prove myself.  I think it was because I was so unhappy with my (personal) life that I needed validation in other ways.  Some people drink excessively, some people cheat on their spouses, but I hit the show ring LOL!!  I guess there are worse things.  I do want to show, but I don't feel that deep need to be gone every single weekend and earn lots of ribbons to make myself feel better about my life.  That's a GOOD thing.  I still have a fierce competitive streak, but it's different now.  And I also want to balance my horse show time with my husband's fairs.  He enjoys pulling his cattle as much as I love to show, so we will find a good mix of venues and dates that ensures we both get to do what we love.

In the meantime, I will keep obsessively writing down show dates and dreaming about warm early spring days to start getting all of us back into shape!  :-)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2015 in Photos

2015 was a big year!  In order to catch up to present time, here are the highlights...


We started with this...
And ended up with...
A gorgeous home built by my father!  :-)
We moved in during the month of April 2015.
It has little horsey touches, of course!
And we needed a barn...
So Dad built us a barn, too!  
Horse stalls on the right, oxen stalls on the left!  
This is the horse side!
The mares like their new place!  We have a lot more work to do, but we are loving it so far!  The animals moved in during December 2015.

He asked and I said YES!  (That's Sparky's old horse shoe, of course!)
We were married on July 4, 2015.



Our cake had us with my son, plus Dreamy, Snappy, Andy & Jack!


And then we welcomed this little one in September 2015...
He was a good reason not to ride or show horses in 2015!  ;-)
My boys! 
See, I told you 2015 was quite the year!  LOL!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Snappy's First Show

Even though I had decided not to show in 2014, taking Dreamy out to one last dressage show made me miss the entire thing.  So, I decided to take Snappy to her very first horse show on October 11, 2014.

It was a perfect venue (local show grounds) and the perfect show (tiny little show that benefits a local Mustang rescue).  The classes were bigger than I had remembered from years past, but Snappy was still quite good.  She was perfectly behaved, had a super warm up, and acted like an old pro in the show ring.  She did NOT want to stand still in the line up and was not convinced that standing quietly in an in-hand class was a good idea, but that is easy stuff to work on.  

Snappy earned:
5th in Fitting and Showmanship out of 16
1st in Adult Walk/Trot out of six (her first ever riding class - I wanted to cry!)
3rd in Open Walk/Trot Equitation out of 11 (I was totally ok with the two adorable children who pinned higher than me LOL!!)
1st in Open Walk/Trot Command out of 9

I was SO HAPPY with her!  In our riding classes, we beat some horses who have been in walk/trot classes with adults (meaning horse and rider pairs who really need to/ought to move up to walk/trot/canter classes!!!!!!) for five+ years, so that was awesome.   I wish I wanted to continue showing in these type of classes, because it is so hilarious when an adult on a green horse beats the adults riding career walk trotters hahahahahaha.  And besides a tube of Gastroguard, she had ZERO drugs!  Drugging your horse to show seems to be the rage nowadays around here........

So anyways, Snappy's first show was a huge success and now I have a better idea what her brain will be like at future horse shows.  If I show her again, I plan to do dressage and eventing with her.


Getting glamorous the night before
The mare's first ever ribbon!!

Snappy's first show haul.  Not bad for testing the waters to see where her brain would be at a show! 
Hanging out at the trailer

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dreamy's Last Show

I chose not to show during 2014 because I felt it was more important to save my money for building a house (more on that later...).  In the end, I did two shows and my honey did a few fairs.  It wasn't a huge year in comparison to the last decade, but I was pleased that we both got to do a little something.

When I saw a Facebook post that the local dressage club was having trouble filling their fall show, I figured I might as well give First 2 and 3 a shot with Dreamy.  On a whim, I sent in my entry and we showed on September 14, 2014.  I knew this could very well be our last show, as Dreamy was 23 in 2014 and First Level was tough for her.  We had spent the summer with one lovely ride and another, so I knew she could do the movements.

First 2 we won with a 64.3% out of four riders.  I was pretty excited.  It was a great test and we beat a fancy young horse that had been undefeated all season at First level.  He is now doing Second Level and will probably climb the levels quite easily.  So I felt satisfied with that!

First 3 we had never ridden at a show.  I had ridden the movements at home, but I knew this was a stretch.  I just wanted to break 60% and feel as though we had ended our show career together on a high note.

At First 3 we placed second with a 60.1% out of four riders.  I seriously cried I was so proud of the little mare!  The fancy young horse beat us, which I didn't care about because we broke 60%!  Who cares if it was just a schooling show.  I am proud of all the hard work I have put into this horse since I started showing her in 2006.

On a side note, in 2014 this same club changed their name to the State of Maine Dressage Association and started a new year end program etc.  I sent in my needed scores and earned my GMO bronze medal, all with scores I earned with Dreamy.  She is now officially retired from competition!


Last two ribbons of her show career!  Super mare!!