RicelandMeadows


Gathering for Summer Fun
July 7, 2021, 10:30 am
Filed under: July 2021 | Tags: , , , ,

July 7, 2021

We have had a busy start to this month of July! We all hosted and attended the North American Suffolk Horse Association summer Gathering, at the Ashtabula County fairgrounds. We had good attendance from our members and the public as well. It was a very hot sticky two days. The weather delayed a few things we did and cancelled others, but we had a good time in spite of it all.

From this Facebook post, you can see Connie and I driving the horses with our two month old filly in tow. Even the baby had a good time meeting strangers who grew to be her friends.

We had friendly competitions in the obstacle course and precision pull. Both events required confidence and trust between teams and teamsters. We all enjoyed stepping out of our comfort zones and just having fun. We had a morning of driving our teams and wagons. We even went to the local nursing home and paid the residents a visit. This visit put smiles on all of our faces.

We had people from 11 states attend the event. The local public too supported us. There were informative seminars held describing hoof care and shoeing , as well as, a demonstration of equine massage. We met many new people and put faces with names we already knew. The young Suffolk owners were well represented, as they worked their teams and laughed along with all of us.

Right on the heels of our summer gathering, came Horse Progress Days, held in Mount Hope , Ohio . We spent two days there too. There were countless vendors and teams of horses who showcased much horse drawn equipment. The horse Progress Days crowd numbered into the thousands, with over 20,000 attending on the Friday of the show.

The events were tiring but very fun. It felt real good to just decompress and relax this week. The weather and preparing for these gatherings has made it difficult, even impossible to get any hay made. No worries, it will all work out.

Our pastures are holding up very well. Our young stallion Hank continues to grow and fill out. He is learning well and has become a good babysitter for our young filly. He is relaxed and easy going, good qualities in any breed.

The rest of the month will keep us busy, as we make hay and will soon harvest our speltz. The job of firewood cutting and splitting is always there, but busy hands are a good thing. It is nice to be getting back into our routine after a hectic start to the month. Enjoy your summer and take some time to gather with friends and family!



Suffolk Punch Horse Gathering

July 1, 2021

The North American Suffolk Horse Association held it’s 2021 gathering at our local fairgrounds. Many folks from states near and far came to see, help and celebrate these wonderful horses. We had unseasonably hot and muggy weather that affected man and beast. The weather cut some of our events short and a few were taken off the schedule. We did however, accomplish quite a few things. We had some seminars in the cool and shade of the big barn. We had friendly competitions in the arena and endless conversations echoed in the aisleways.

My family and I were well represented by our horses. We took them all to make chore time much easier and to introduce our young stock to many strange sounds, sights and smells. We learned a lot! We gleaned ideas and suggestions for next time to boot. My thanks go out to the many folks who came with their horses, the spectators, the vendors and all the behind the scenes people who made this all work out. Our Canadian friends could not make it due to Covid concerns and the border closure, but we look forward to seeing them soon.

In the photo above, photographed by J Nidy and taken from Facebook, you can see the girls and I competing in an obstacle course. There were plenty of tight turns and unusual things for the horses. Mine did not want to step on the tarp, but they handled the spinning pool noodles like pros. Even our 8 week old baby took it all in stride. It was a fun event and I believe we all had fun.

As I was finishing chores last night and reflecting on the hectic three day event, I took a picture that sums it up for me perfectly. I will share that photo at the end of this blog.

We had lots of press coverage for our event. The local papers both covered us. Rural Heritage magazine came and interviewed and shot video and such for their magazine and for upcoming RFD-TV programs. We had a California company called Backyard Green Films attend. They do Podcasts and have a Youtube channel. I was featured in a podcast last night.

We had a get together that lasted several days and were without injuries beyond a scraped hand and a few bee stings. I thank God for the safe travels, our friendships and a safe and comfortable event.

On our last morning, three teams of horses and wagons, visited the local nursing home. The residents lined the big front porch as we drove into the parking lot for a drive by meet and greet. Smiles and laughter came from the crowd. We shared waves and hellos. I had a moment of blurry eyes as I wheeled the horses around to make my second pass by the smiling crowd. Our young filly trotted along by her mother’s side, prancing for the people. My heart filled with pride and thankfulness for being able to bring a bit of joy to a few well loved folks, entrusted to the care of others.

So, last night as I decompressed while doing chores here at home, with all the animals back in their familiar surroundings. I gave thanks for a good time, good people and a bright new beginning for us in our journey with the Suffolk Punch horse. I looked up the lane towards my home, made comfortable, clean and filled with love by my wife and I saw this…

I’d say that says it all