There are certain times in your life that you will always remember as a high point.  This past weekend was one of those times for me.  Our horse show was amazing!  I’m so overwhelmed that I’m not sure where to start or stop.  I’ve listed some of the things that I am thankful for.

Thank you to my family.  Lee, Luke, Izzy, Jacob and Beka, I really could not do this without you. Thank you, kids, for getting up at 5:30am to help feed the horses, so that all of our students can ride.   Lee, how many husbands would spend 2 days helping with a horse show?….. you don’t even like horses!!  You continue to humor and support me in my, more than full time,  job that makes no money.   For those of you who I have not told.   We did our taxes for 2011 and the final “income” for the year was negative $100.    While that sounds awful, we (I) feel so blessed with the time that I get to spend with horses and people who love horses.

Thank you to my boarders.  It was so fun to see you enjoy your horses.  You all work so hard to keep your horses fit, continue to educate yourselves and work to pay for your “habit”.   Some of you work outside jobs and some of you work here at BrownHill.  Thank you for sharing the ring with our lesson students, and the wonderful way that you great and welcome everyone who comes thru the front doors of our barn.  Thank you for being an important part of our/my family.

Our Students,  you are wonderful!   You all rode well!  Yes, there were mistakes, but you all did your very best and were wonderfully supportive of each other.   And, no one fell off!!!  Results will be posted, in the barn, within the next week

 There were 44 students riding this year, not counting parents and siblings in the leadline classes.  This is the most students we have ever had show.  There were 17 of our regular students who were unable to show this year, we missed you and hope that you’ll join us in the spring for our Dressage show.   A special note of thanks to the students who were willing to switch horses so that no horse was overused and everyone got to ride.  There were at least four riders, who I can think of (I’m sure there are more) who rode horses on Saturday for the very first time.


Family’s and Guests of our Students,  I’ve had years where parents have yelled at me!  You all supported your riders, sat for hours waiting for their classes and cheered on other riders.   Thank you to every parent &/or child who helped hand out ribbons, park cars, move jumps, hold horses, running after food that we needed, clean up afterwards and the many other jobs that need to be done to make our show successful.

My heavenly “weatherman”,  what wonderful weather.  Yep, I agree, it was cold.  But in the past, we’ve had shows where it rained the entire time, we’ve gone to outside shows where it was so hot that we thought we’d pass out, we’ve had days where we couldn’t see from one end of the ring to the other because of the dust.   We’ve raced to the barn because of lightening and we’ve shoveled for days to be able to ride in a small circle.    Really, this was wonderful weather for a show!!

The Raffle is always fun.  Thank you to those folks who donated items.  (I thought the items were really great this year) thank you also to those who purchased tickets.  We earned $243 to be used toward our Club House for 4-H, pony parties, and camps.  The results of the raffle are posted in the barn.

Our Judges, Jennifer and Deb, sat over in the shade for hours on end.  It’s not easy to choose a winner sometimes and since we group students together with  other riders at the same level, sometimes it’s just a matter of what they see in the few minutes that a class is in the ring.  Thank you for giving it your all, I know it’s exhausting, you did a great job!

The food stand;  thank you so much to all who donated food and drinks and to those who purchased their  meals here.   We appreciate it more than you may ever know.   We were able to raise $337 to be used toward the Club House.

Thank you to my Parents, Paul and Margaret Allison.   My father sold a gun to help my mother and I purchase our first horse, Dexter.   He recently loaned me the money to purchase Mr. Darcy.   My mother supports BrownHill Stable in more ways than I can count.  We have been riding together since 1985, starting together at Bridge Acres Stable in Lancaster and later purchasing our first 3 horses together.  Mum (Grandma to all the BrownHill Students) cleans all 8 stalls every Wednesday and then takes a lesson.  (All in 3 hours)  She supports the raffles, food stand, name-a-trail and numerous other “brain storms” of mine.  All of this while hunting with my father, visiting my other 4 sisters, and caring for her mother.

Staff here at BrownHill Stable.

First thank you for everyone who covered the work that needed to be done to keep the horses fed, stalls clean and show prep done as our family mourned the loss of my maternal grandmother, Zelma Hoar.  She passed away late last Friday (5th) and the viewing and funeral were Monday and Tuesday of this past week.  While she lived many happy years (almost 97), her husband, George passed away 5 years ago and she was very ready to join him.   She passed quietly as my mother (Super Grandma) sat holding her hand.

Thank you to our Instructors, Amy, Mindy, Paula and Jr. Instructors, Beka and Brianna.  You are amazing and I’m so thankful for all that you do.  You stand up in that ring in all kinds of weather for hours on end to insure that our students stay safe, have fun and learn lots.    If we take students to a show off the property, Amy and I have 3-6 students to help.  Imagine the huge job of insuring that 44 riders are mounted properly and in the ring at the right time!!!  I love to watch how protective and loving you each become with your students.

When is last place not losing?

Ribbons tell stories, some good, some bad.   This weekend I had the privilege of receiving a 3rd place ribbon.  Last place, actually, but a ribbon that will hang in my office so that I will see it every day.   I had the honor of riding in a family class with my mother, Margaret Allison. (Riding CC for only the second time), my daughter, Beka Brown, riding Dixie (a horse who had been ridden for a total of 30 days and had sustained an injury due to a fall on ice prior to Beka purchasing her a year and a half ago).  My niece, Sarah Houck, who has ridden for a whopping 3 months and my niece Libby Falcone who joined us for camp this year for two weeks.   Five of us trying to stay together….it was interesting!!

What stories do your ribbons tell, did you move up a division this year, was it your first canter class, your first jumping class?  Was this a class that you remembered  to check your diagonal?  Write on the back of your ribbons, how many were in the class, who you rode, the date, the class name and a high point of the class.   We joke, in our family, that some of Beka’s ribbons cost $75-$100. (In the outside shows if you’re not in the top 6 places you don’t get a ribbon.)  But what is the real value of those ribbons, in life lessons, education, sportsmanship????


Heading into Fall:

As we head out of our super busy time of the year, we look forward to the cooler weather (ideal for riding) and the coming Christmas season, please  see your instructor with questions about winter riding.  While there are some challenges with winter weather, fall, winter and spring are wonderful times to ride, don’t miss out on these delightful seasons.

 HOW LONG IS MY LESSON?  All lessons are 1 hour long.  For leadline students (age 6 and under) and new students in their first or second month of lessons, that hour includes learning how to groom, tack up and untack your horses or pony.

Current students over the age of 6 need to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of their lesson and remain for 15 minutes after their lesson.  This will give you the time that is needed to get your horse tacked or untacked.

If circumstances do not allow you to do this, we will need to have someone tack and untack your horse to keep the lessons fair for all of our riders.  In order for us to have someone do this for you, we will be charging an extra $5. per lesson, to be paid with your lesson block.

There are times when the horse/pony that you are riding is being ridden before your lessons.  In that case, use the time to figure out if there needs to be a tack change. (There is usually someone to help with this or a note left for you by your instructor.)  Or come up to the ring and watch the lesson before you.  (There’s always something to learn.)   Or do some stretching exercises (there is a poster with suggestions on the tack room door), trampoline or ball work.

If you are dropping off a child (under the age of 9) and there is no one in the barn, either stay until someone arrives or come up to the ring and find the instructor.  Please always feel free to come ask your instructor!!!