And Then There Were Six

April 26, 2009

An otherwise quiet morning at the farm, watering the arena, feeding the horses and prepping for a morning ride was quickly halted when Zita and I walked back up to the house this morning only to notice the koi pond water slushing about WITH a red and back serpent attacking the koi. A long day and longer story later, the snake is still around as I found it while mowing this afternoon and he/she slithered UNDER the deck! I’m just being cautious cause it looked like a viper and NC is known for a plethora of venomous snakes!

I’ve since drained the koi pond with the help of a local fireman (thanks HVFD!!!!), given the remaining 6 out of the former 7 koi to the neighbors who have also said they would take the pond itself and just brought me 2.5 dozen fresh eggs!!

The dogs, horses and myself are unscathed by the whole thing although I’m still a bit shaken from a snake being sooooo close to the house!

Tomorrow?.. returning the 150′ of contractor hose I purchased yesterday that just happens to be the same color as the snake! Gotta love Lowes easy return policy for instances like this!

Here’s a picture of the snake…

Stop To Smell The Roses

April 25, 2009

This should really just be a tweet but Zita stopped to smell the roses this morning and it was pretty darn cute. Now it’s the regular weekend trip to Lowes, final farm functional stuff, riding and back inside for more webisode work! I’ve started journalizing my rides with a great new iPhone app. Check them out if you get a chance as they are desktop (even for you odd PC folks!), web and iPhone friendly and it’s great to synch between the three! They are at and I think it’s 100% free altho I haven’t published that many notes yet.

So back to the topic… here’s Zita stopping to smell the roses this morning!


Back To The Farm And Back To Work

April 24, 2009

It’s back to the farm and immediately back to work of course. Thanks for the reality check Frank & CeCe! “Things slowing down after World Cup.” Seriously…. what was I thinking?!?! LOL!

Let’s see it was digitizing and editing suite stuff at the top of the week locked behind the illumated iMac screen for hours on end, riding my amazing mare and getting her back into form in the afternoons, more editing suite stuff after dark, sleep and back up to start all over again.

Yesterday I’d had enough of computer land and took a break to paint our front gate. Green to red which should match the roof to the barn quite well. Let’s see tho, I painted the gate, my arms and my shirt too! Still, not to bad for a non-pro I must admit!

Below in process:


This morning. Yup, it looks nice in the light of day too!


What Happens In Vegas, Doesn’t Stay In Vegas

April 22, 2009

I had a GREAT time with the girls in Vegas. We went to see Le Rêve the last night in town and it was in true Cirque Du Soliel style, fabulous!


The World Cup was super! I got to finally meet a few of the shows sponsors and talk shop. Latigo Equestrian dressed me in the most stylish riding apparel for my interview with Debbie McDonald. Watching the warm-up, of course, was the best part and it was just terrific to get to see the most talented riders our world has to offer  in one location. To venture into unPolicitially Correct territory, I honestly think Isabel was robbed of the title but it’s really hard to say. Her kur was steady, classic and technically correct while Stefan took a few risks, offered a more modern artistic feel but had two serious mis-steps. Oh well. I’m not an “O” judge. And of course, Anky and Painted were the most talented moving pair! Ok, back down off my un PC soap box.

Bye, bye World Cup and I’m looking forward to getting home to my dogs and pony!


A birthday gift that changed my life – submitted by Cameron Leigh Mosher

April 21, 2009

A birthday gift that changed my life – Cameron Leigh Mosher

I was about to turn 10 years old, hardly a life changing event, but a gift I was about to receive has forever changed mine. My mom asked me if I would like horseback riding lessons, rather than the latest toy that was featured on Saturday morning cartoons. I asked her â how many lessons, and what do I get when the lessons are over?â She replied, â six, and the joy of the experience.â Typical mom response right?

The lessons began early November of 1998 and were held on Saturday mornings â no one had said anything about giving up Saturday morning cartoons. What kind of gift was this? Twelve kids showed up for the first lesson and we didnâ t even get on a horse, it was all about basic grooming and how to saddle them. So far, I wasnâ t convinced this was for me. However, on the way home from the barn my mom and I stopped at a garage sale and we found a beautiful riding helmet and boots that I â would grow into.â I secretly thought to myself that my mom was getting a little ahead of herself, but I thought I would at least now look the part.

As the weeks went by the weather got colder and the class thinned out considerably. It was now down to me and five other girls; and by the last two lessons only Anna and I remained. The temperature outside was 10 degrees, and not much warmer in the arena, but I didnâ t even notice as I thrived on this once a week; one hour gift.

I was able to convince my parents to continue my lessons; now twice a week. Of course, like every girl I sprinkled hints of a horse would make a great present. They just laughed at me and the thought. My mom said I needed to see first hand how much horse ownership involved and volunteered me to work at the barn 2 days a week. The only pay I would receive was a free lesson once a month and the opportunity to win the coveted â Student Worker of the Monthâ award. No trophy, no ribbon, just a chance to win another free lesson. I worked my butt off â I swept the barn, I tacked the horses before lessons and more importantly learned to care for something more important than myself. I won that awardâ ¦. alot. Along with riding, that first job enabled me to help the vets that came out, see farriers work their craft and learned to love every part of horseback riding.

Eventually, I got my wish and my parents bought me a horse; a thoroughbred too slow for the track. Dante, is an amazing animal and we have done well together as a team. He has also gotten me through some tough times; serious illnesses with both of my parents and typical teenage angst. Naturally, it wasnâ t because of any sage advice he could give, but it was knowing Dante was there and needed to be cared for.

After nine years of riding my room is packed with proof of my riding prowess â ribbons, medals and trophies. But the biggest source of pride I have from riding is now earning a living by teaching others to ride at the Danada Equestrian Center. How many people do you know that can say a birthday gift from their childhood taught them responsibility, fun, a sport and a paycheck? Now thatâ s a gift that keeps on giving.

Watching A Living Legend Retire

April 18, 2009

Friday afternoon at the World Cup in Las Vegas was a heartful one as Debbie McDonald retired her mare, Brentina. I am very much looking forward to interviewing Debbie today as I’d like to know just what was going through her mind as Brentina piaffe and passaged her way (in-hand) out of the arena to that fabulous well know tune for the duo, Ms. Aretha Franklins “Respect”.

Here’s a few pictures of the event…

A Friend Of Mine Is Hosting Michael Barisone

April 14, 2009

A friend up in VA is hosting Michael Barisone at her facility. I’m quite bummed we’re shooting and too busy to attend the event!!!! I wanted to share as it sounds just too neat, I hear he’s a fabulous rider and trainer and she has just a beautiful facility!! Check it out if you have a chance! Here’s the info…

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Dressage Clinic with Michael Barisone
April 25th and 26th 2009

Barisone and Neruda solidified their place in the international dressage ranks in 2006 with two Grand
Prix wins in Florida, then they traveled to Europe and gained valuable international experience against some
of the world’s best. They returned to the U.S. and won the CDI3* Del Mar in April 2008. They were sixth
overall at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions in June. The pair had excellent finishes at
the Saugerties CDI3* and at Dressage at Devon during the summer of 2007.

Barisone was a member of the 1999 USET Developing Rider Tour, and earned a Team Silver medal at the
Nations’ Cup in Hickstead, England. In 1997, he earned a Team Gold medal aboard Comanche at the
CDIO Hickstead in England, the first time the U.S. had ever won a dressage Nations Cup, and finished a
strong second in the Grand Prix Special behind teammate Susan Blinks.

Barisone is a U.S. Dressage Federation (USDF) Bronze, Silver and Gold medalist. He is also a former
winner of the USDF Junior/Young Rider awards at the First and Fourth levels. He was a traveling
altenate for the 2008 Olympic US Dressage Team. Come join us, either as a rider or an auditor, for two days
of clinic with Michael Barisone. Forty-five minute private sessions are $190 each. Auditors are welcome for $30 per day which includes hot lunch.

Please contact Shannon if interested in attending either as a rider or auditor. Email:
Phone: (703) 431-5663.
Please send check to: (your check holds your space)
Shannon Pedlar
ATTN: Michael Barisone Clinic
41793 Tutt Lane
Leesburg, VA 20176

Indicate which days and the time of day you would prefer. We will do our best to accommodate your requests.

Riverside Equestrian
19267 Foggy Bottom Road
Bluemont, Virginia
Please see website for directions.

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Yes We Can Have Nice Things

April 12, 2009

The barn is functional. The perimeter fence set. The dressage court ready. All it took was moving a few simple potted plants around to make the cute little barn a tad bit elegant.

Oh and check out those FABULOUS mats. They’ll be appearing in a future webisode and dang they were soooooo easy to install!!


HorseGirl Bucks Hay

April 10, 2009

I know most think of dressage and/or horse gals as typical prima donnas who’s nails are manicured and shirts starched. Well I’m here to tell you that most love horses so much they will do everything and anything it takes to make their passion a reality. That doesn’t stop with bucking hay. Here’s the 16 bales before and the nicely stacked and organized 16 bales after. It was actually a great working out and with proper lifting fabulous for my lower back which are muscle we use to ride so win-win situation.