I first arrived in Pennsylvania in November, 2000, after a very long ride in a large trailer and a 3 day stop along the way near Nashville, where I had a chance to rest. My home here was Greenmoor Equestrian Center, at the time leased by Kristin Hermann who also owns Coventry Equestrian Center near Washington, PA. I was glad to see Virginia when I arrived, because I sure was wondering how long I was going to be travelling. She told me it would be a long way, and she was right!
I spent 6 months here and encountered snow for the first time. It is very cold and slippery - I found that out the hard way!
During some our rides through the woods we saw deer - there are a lot of them around our barn and in the surrounding woods. Riding in this area is very challenging - all those hills! There is a bluebird house on our paddock fence and Virginia was very excited to finally see a bluebird. Such pretty little fellows!
In May I said good-bye to Pennsylvania and we returned to Arizona. Virginia laughed about this, saying we are doing it backwards -we should be going there in the fall!
Well, now it's October and I have been back in Pennsylvania for about a month. I'm getting to be an old hand at travelling across the country! This time I am living at Coventry Equestrian Center. Since I know Kristin from Greenmoor, settling into Coventry was much easier and much to my surprise, I discovered some of my Greenmoor friends are here, too.
Some of my friends from Greenmoor, Tracey and her horse, Flash, are here. They were the first ones to show us the trails there, and it was good to see Flash when I arrived. Virginia led me into the stable, and I was surprised to see Pacino, Flash, Arch Angel, Somerset - all who I knew last winter! I was stabled next to Arch at Greenmoor, and when I walked into the barn, he was surprised to see me and gave me a hearty greeting! What a wonderful welcome!
Kristin has given Virginia permission to post a couple of pictures of the Coventry Equestrian Centre on our webpage.
Just look at those hills! Oh, my goodness!
I am the smaller horse...Virginia says she learned something this day - stand downhill from your horse to take a picture if you don't want it to look like a mini!
Here's another view, this time in the late summer...
There are are 8 pastures for turn-out, many trails to ride on, and an outdoor arena as well as the indoor arena where we can work on our dressage skills or ride in inclement weather. Kristin is planning a number of outings for her boarders and their horses to enjoy, one being a "Ride for Rescue" which is a fund-raising ride to aid a no-kill animal shelter, and she hopes to arrange monthly dressage clinics.
In the composite picture below, we are participating in the Ride for Rescue which raised $3,000 for the shelter. One of the riders made the comment that God obviously loves his animals because he gave us a beautiful day for the ride! Virginia took the first picture by turning around and snapping this shot. The other picture was taken of us, with our camera, by one of the walkers.
At least once during the weekend we go out on a trail ride. Not too long ago some more trails were cleared so we have even more trails to ride along!
We spent the summer and early fall working on our basic dressage skills, so that in the spring we can come out riding Level One. Then, we had a little accident and Virginia broke a couple of bones in her foot, so we have both had about six weeks off. She is riding again now, and we have started to work on getting our condtioning back. We have also been on a trail ride and it was so good to get out on the trails again!
Well, it looks like my little "talk" worked. Virginia tells me I am returning to Arizona! Wow! - no more white slippery stuff, no more cold blustery winds, no more slick, slippery slopes when the snow has melted... Oh, no! That means another long trailer ride!
(Virginia's note: Taffy is going back to her former owner and I will miss her very much, but I know she is valued and loved by them as much as I value and love her. She is a wonderful little horse and has given me countless hours of enjoyment and companionship.)
Another note from Virginia: My husband and I have returned to Arizona and Taffy's owner has asked that I keep riding her to keep her exercised and happy. Obviously that is a request which I accepted with great enthusiasm since Taffy still regards me as hers!