News about life on Castle Farm!

War Horse Event Series, 7/16/17

Permalink 07/17/17 14:31, by Heather, Categories: Background

Castle Farm had a great time at the War Horse event at the Carolina Horse Park this past weekend!  We had 5 horses and 5 riders competing at a variety of levels.  I rode Butch in the Novice level horse trials.  We started with a pretty good dressage score of 30.2%.  We even got a 9 in our medium walk!  Moving on to stadium, Butch felt pretty good, but we did have one rail come down due to pilot error.  Cross country was awesome though!  Butch really galloped well and took all the jumps in stride.  We finished in 5th place out of 16 competitors!  Next up was Ashley Godfrey on her horse Annie in the Maiden combined training division.  They have been working really hard on fixing some jumping issues, and this weekend was a definite success!  They started with one of their best looking dressage tests ever, and scored a 31.8%.  This put them in first place!  They went on to jump double clear and hold on to their placing for the win!  Next up was Katie Hayes on Cisco in the Maiden level horse trials.  They started off dressage with a score of 37% and in 6th place.  From there, they went double clear in both stadium and cross country!  They ended up finishing in 3rd place out of 13 entries!  This was probably their best event to date!  Catherine Collier was up next on Sandi in the Green as Grass horse trials division.  Catherine did the combined training last month, and was ready to move on and add the cross country this time out.  This was her first full event in probably 20 years!  She and Sandi started out with a 36.9 in dressage.  In stadium, they did have one rail down, but everything else looked good.  In cross country, they had some time penalties, but they did jump clear, and finished in 5th place overall!  Finally, joining us for the first time at a competition, was Kellie Cochran.  She had only ridden Patti a few times in lessons, but felt ready to tackle the Beginner Novice horse trials division.  They started with a 34.5 in dressage.  They jumped clear in stadium, although they did have a few time penalties.  However, they jumped double clear in cross country, and finished in 9th place out of 16 entries!  Not bad for their first time out with us, and after only a few rides!  We did have a little trouble with the weather, but nothing we couldn't handle.  All in all, it was a fabulous competition!  Plan to join us at the farm for our annual pig pickin in a few weeks!

Summer Camp!

Permalink 07/08/17 14:43, by Heather, Categories: Background

Castle Farm held its annual summer camp this past week.  We had nine kids attending - Gwen, Natalie, Sarah, Kayla, Dahlia, Isaiah, Lily, Natalyia and Ayla, and they ranged in age from 6 to 14.  We even had two folks that had never ridden at Castle Farm before!  Our theme for the week was to explore other equestrian disciplines.  On the first day, I gave the kids a huge list of equestrian disciplines that they could choose from.  They had to list their top four choices.  The disciplines they ended up going with were Jumpers, Polo or Polocrosse, Driving and Racing.  In addition to getting to learn more about each discipline, they also spent each day learning about the breeds that would be suitable for each discipline, how a horse would be groomed or presented to compete in each discipline, what specific tack was required for each discipline, and what a rider or driver would wear when competing in each discipline.  The first day they shortened their stirrups (or wrapped them many times, if necessary) and "galloped" around a track we made in the arena to learn what it would be like to race a horse.  On the second day, they spent time trying to hit a ball with a polo mallet, er, hockey stick, or trying to catch a ball with lacrosse-like catchers.  All while on a horse.  They soon found that the riding part was pretty easy compared to the ball skills!  On the third day, they learned how to put a harness on a pony and how to drive, some at the walk, some at the trot and some through obstacles.  We also took a couple of the ponies for a swim in the pond!  On the fourth day, they got to try out a jumper course, complete with a jump off, and a "power and speed" round.  Some tried it just over ground poles, and some jumped up to 2'.  Throughout the week, they also had the opportunity to paint a plaster horse that they could take home at the end of the week.  There were some natural colored horses, as well as some pink and purple and glittery ones!  Finally, on the last day, they put together a demonstration, for their parents, on all of the stuff they had learned throughout the week.  All in all, it was a great week to learn about horses!

Sharon Oaks Dressage and Combined Training show, 6/24/17

Permalink 06/25/17 16:19, by Heather, Categories: Background

Castle Farm has been spending a lot of time at Sharon Oaks Stables lately, but we really love that venue!  We were there this past weekend for their dressage and combined training show.  I rode Butch in the Training level CT, Ashley rode Annie in the Maiden level CT, Catherine joined Castle Farm for her first show with us on Sandi in the Green As Grass CT, and Lois showed her own Patti in the Training level dressage test 1.  Butch and I started the day off with a score of 33.096% in our dressage test.  The jump course was a bit tough - jumping 3'3" in a small ring is no easy feat.  But, we managed to come away with only one rail down and first place!  Next up was Ashley and Annie.  They had a lovely test, and scored 35.25%.  They went on to have a wonderful jump round - going clear and picking up 2nd place out of 5!  The next person to compete for Castle Farm was first timer (at least with us) Catherine, riding Sandi.  They put in a nice test, despite a few baubles, and came out with a score of 39.688%.  They went on to have a great jump round, jumping double clear to finish on their dressage score in 4th place!  Finally, Lois rode Patti in Training level test 1.  They have been working hard as well, and their hard work paid off big time.  They scored a 61.086% and won their class of 5!  Definitely a great weekend was had by all!  We'll be out and about next at the Carolina Horse Park for the War Horse show in July!

Sharon Oaks Hunter Schooling Show, 6/11/17

Permalink 06/14/17 07:06, by Heather, Categories: Background

Castle Farm had a great turnout and a great competition at the Sharon Oaks show this past weekend!  We took four horses and six riders to compete in the hunter classes.  Liv rode Duchess in her first show ever.  They competed in the leadline classes, and came home with blue ribbons in all three!  Gwen rode Cisco in the Mini Hunter division, and also added an extra class from the Hopeful Hunter division, to try out her first time cantering at a show.  She ribboned in all her classes, earning first in her Hunter Under Saddle class!  Ashley and Annie rode, unjudged, in the Open Hunter division at 2'3".  Ashley is usually an eventing competitor, but she wanted to get some extra jumping practice in.  It definitely paid off - she had several lovely rounds!  Heather and Butch also competed in the Open Hunter division at 3'3" for the same reason as Ashley.  They have been tweaking some of their work at home, and it is definitely starting to work out.  The ribbons weren't so high this weekend, but she definitely felt a difference in her horse!  Jenna and her horse Duchess also competed in the Open Hunter division at 2'3".  They have also been working really hard at home, and they looked great!  They came home with ribbons in every class, including a second place finish in her Equitation Over Fences class!  And finally, Gracie rode Cisco in the Baby Hunter division and the Beginner Hunter division.  This was her first time doing a full division that included the canter, and she rocked both divisions!  She placed in every class, winning every single one of her jumping classes in both divisions!  She also came away with the championship honors in both classes!  The weather may have been hot this weekend, but Castle Farm riders were hotter!  Look for us to show up again at Sharon Oaks in a couple of weeks for the dressage and combined training show!

Welcome summer and new students!

Permalink 06/02/17 07:04, by Heather, Categories: Background

Summer is finally here!  My son is already out of school, and I'm sure others are soon to follow.  Now is the perfect time to start riding, or to get back into riding.  Castle Farm has had several new students in the past few months - Lauren McLane, Lydia Chellman, Erin Sullivan, Alivia Penardo, Blaine Beckwith, Isaiah Carratini and Taylor Fischer; and one returning student - Danielle Greco.  Lydia, Alivia and Isaiah are all brand new to riding.  They range in age from about 6-15.  They are very excited about all the new stuff they are learning, and about getting to spend time with these lovely animals!  Lauren, Erin and Taylor are all adults with prior riding experience.  They all had to take a break from riding for a bit, but are now getting back to it.  They are finding that most of what they remember is still there (like riding a bike), but they are learning and working on new things as well!  Blaine is a young rider, who also rides Western.  He wanted to try English riding, so he came to Castle Farm.  There are many similarities between English and Western, but, as Blaine is finding out, there are many differences as well!  Finally, we would like to welcome Danielle back to Castle Farm!  She had to move away about a year ago, but has recently moved back, and is very excited to start riding again!  Castle Farm has several more new students signed up to ride, and several competitions coming up as well, so stay tuned for more news on all this!

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