Wednesday, October 28, 2020

farm tour: fall edition

Idk about you guys, but this year has aged me. Like, physically haha. I have emotionally reached straight up 'old lady status,' esp after I crippled myself last week rolling my ankle (yes, that ankle) by stepping on a friggin stick.

Because, apparently it can get dumber than breaking your leg stepping out of a horse trailer haha. And apparently, yes, I am that fragile now. Siiiigh. Luckily tho, rads were negative and it only took a couple days of rest before it was more or less comfortable to walk (gingerly!) again. 

maryland's sudden burst of fall foliage always makes my heart so happy!
And honestly, it worked out anyway since Charlie's been nqr with one thing or another for like... weeks at this point haha. We had some tough hoof weather with lots of horses abscessing, and a couple foundering too, in this region over the last month. Charlie did neither of those things... but felt just iffy enough on his tootsies that I didn't want to push. 

lol poor fluffy chuck wishes it wasn't still in the mid 70s tho!
Then of course, everyone got scurffy and puffy skin and leg funk while growing in all that winter fuzz, and Charlie thought maybe his skin was actually killing him. And then... naturally, he went ahead and got kicked too. Which also, obvi, was a bruise like no other for his poor delicate constitution. 

honestly wasn't planning on riding, but those colorful trees were too irresistable!
So ya know. We've been taking it easy haha. 

But.... This past weekend, I drove in for my oh-so-important Charlie time, with plans no more ambitious than petting him, brushing his hair, telling him he's pretty, and stuffing him full of treats while smooching that irresistibly squishy schnozz, and.... Idk. 

c'mon, just try to tell me you wouldn't want to get out for a wander too!
Driving down the driveway, snatching views of all the bright pops of gorgeous Maryland fall foliage in those big open cross country fields... Idk, I figured, what the hell, let's get out for a ride!!

took wayyyyyyy too many pics haha. so enjoy the slide show of our xc fields ;)
Because what could possibly go wrong with taking your giant thoroughbred, who hasn't been ridden in like two weeks, out alone into the big open fields --- all while wearing just jeans and loafers?!?

who remembers way back when charlie was gate-illiterate?? not any more!!
Lol, obviously, nothing. Charlie is the most perfectest horse. And I'm pretty sure he loves these field strolls as much as I do. 

moar xc fields!!!! makes me hungry for a school!
We kept it pretty simple tho, heading out from his barn to the furthest back reaches of the cross country course. And, by "furthest" I mean the most interior, compared to the front fields facing the road and driveway entrance. 

this driveway gate is still our nemesis tho... see how low it attaches? that's like, a solid foot beneath my stirrups, i basically have zero hopes of even being able to reach the chain
Charlie's basically a gate-opening savant now, so we just sorta slowly moved from field to field, pausing to enjoy the scenery (and mildly spook at some geese and brightly painted fences bc ya know, Charlie at least has to pretend to be a wild TB).... 

legit the prettiest driveway (dressage court to the right)
The footing out there is freakin perfect right now too.... We're slated for some rain this week but I'm really really hopeful that both Charlie and I will be sound enough to actually play around out there a little bit sooner rather than later. Wish us luck on that haha....

could stroll the driveway forever
The cool thing about this farm, tho, is that there's so many different and varied areas for strolling. Once you've made your way through all the fields and back to the driveway, there are even more options!

charlie likes cruisin the back paths between all the various barns sheds houses and outbuildings
Charlie personally prefers to go back where all the Shetlands live -- back beyond the main house in an area that's almost invisible if you stick to the driveway. 

always gotta keep your eyes peeled for the dignified grand dame Whoopie, Matriarch of Olney. this pony has been ancient for as long as i've known her, and can be found peacefully roaming free throughout the back lanes (and only occasionally sneaking into the barn to steal grain haha)
Because it turns out, the farm is friggin giant. I honestly don't know how many horses live on the farm -- it's actually entirely possible that nobody knows exactly. There are like.... 6-7 different buildings where horses live, depending on how you count. And a couple more herds on top of that living entirely out 24/7.

more of the back lanes and various barns!
Then you add in the Shetlands and.... Yea, wow. So many Shetlands. They're actually literally everywhere. Around every corner (literally, including in every picture in the gif above), there could be even more Shetlands haha. 

And obviously Charlie loves them all <3 <3

charlie likes to pause to sniff the flowers, and check in on his pony friends
These kind of rides are honestly some of my favorites. Especially in a year that's been as challenging and tumultuous as 2020, it's been so important to just get out and enjoy the scenery and my horse's company. 

good boy chuck!! we'll get you clipped soon, sir <3
Tho ya know. It'd be nice to get a little more action in before the season's over too haha... Here's hoping that we both can get our shit together soon!! 


  1. Beautiful! And the best way to enjoy autumn. Though I am struck by how green it still is there when all of our leaves are...gone. Like, I know our seasons aren't exactly parallel in their timing, but it still surprises me to see every year lol.

    I love that the little matriarch gets her run of the place.

    1. little Whoopie is 100% my favorite shetland <3 <3 and yea the amount of grass we still have is obscene....

  2. Wandering oldsters are awesome - there was one at the barn where I first started riding; old guy was 26 when I met him, and he just kind of schlepped around mooching hay and on one memorable occasion eating most of a bag of deworming feed (he was fine) when they didn't need him for lessons.

    Also... go(?) team "I did what to my ankle while doing a theoretically normal and non-harmful activity". lol My last major sprain was stepping off a curb at Home Depot and rolling my ankle; I feel your pain.

    1. ugh yea these freakin ankles.... turns out it's pretty easy to straight up destroy them. who knew?!

  3. I'm glad you rode, even if it's not pony club approved! What a stunning place to ride.

    1. lol apparently even just plain old walking is enough to wreck myself, so i might as well enjoy myself while i can ;)

  4. It looks so lovely there! I'm sorta jealous of your later fall weather. We are starting into the sn**! Boo.

    You need a hunt crop (not sure that is what it is called) with a metal handle - that might be able to help you reach down and open that chain! lol Maybe not, but I thought of that when I was looking at that gate.

    And I have major flashbacks when anyone mentions ankle injuries!!! Glad yours was a mild sprain and no fractures!

    1. ugh yea, no fracture this time, thank the lort! was pretty sure that would be the case since i could walk on it (unlike last time) but still had to go through the rads etc just to get crutches....

  5. I love how huge your farm is with all those different places to ride and adorable ponies everywhere!!

    1. the ponies really just make it so special <3 <3 seeing them is worth tangling with rush hour traffic!

  6. What a beautiful stroll! I enjoyed living vicariously through your photos with my cup of coffee

    1. fall pictures are definitely my favorite <3

  7. It's so great to have a place like that to wander with Charlie! Sounds like a lovely day!

    1. definitely -- esp during those times when maybe for whatever reason the horse can't do much else, it's nice to have room to roam!

  8. It looks beautiful, and it must be so nice to have so much space to wander about it!

  9. Ok, well that looks amazing.

  10. Oh gosh, sorry to hear about your ankle D: But glad it wasn't anything that a few days of rest couldn't fix and you are feeling better enough to ride (I hopped on mareface with sneakers/"wrong footwear" a lot this past summer...oops LOL)

  11. Looks like perfect weather! I lost about a week and a half when my delicate flower of the desert FLOOFED his winter coat right before the temps shot up above 75. I didn't have the heart to ride him when he was panting while *eating*. (He needs his floof as a live-outside delicate flower of the desert.) Today, with temps in the 40's and no rain... we revisited our winter worksheet of stuff. I wore gloves. :) And I routinely ride in *mumble* sneakers, so... I will not judge.


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