Walnut Grove Farm

Three of our very own Walnut Grovers are working hard to prepare for IEA Zone 2 Region 1 Regional Championships, this weekend. Come cheer them on at the beautiful and historical Buffalo Equestrian Center this Saturday. Congratulations to @the_incapable_eventer @carlie.mahony and Kaitlyn for qualifying. Thanks to the team for a great season, and thanks in advance for horse handling at Regionals while cheering on your teammates. #rideiea #zone2region1 #walnutgrovefarmieateam #thesethreealsohappentobe #ponyclubbers #uspc #eastauroraponyclub

Walnut Grove Farm Middle School IEA Team won GRAND CHAMPION TEAM AND RESERVE CHAMPION MIDDLE SCHOOL RIDER at Alfred University, today. I'm just busting with pride over how far the whole team has come since last year, our first IEA season. Congrats to Abby Mullen for qualifying for regionals with a blue ribbon, Kaitlyn Gallagher for her Reserve Champ Overall-2nd on the flat and 1st over fences. Other Second Places went to Lilly Johnsen in Open Flat, and Carlie Mahony in Novice Fences. Fourth Fifth and Sixth places in sizable groups went to Callie who had some phenomenal equitation, today, Lucy, who looked downright elegant, and Alejandra who rode so intelligently and rode our plan, getting her leads on a horse who'd consistently missed its left lead all day.

The real sportsmen today are the students who didn't get to ride, because of injury or because the show didn't end up inviting 4th-5th graders, and the teammates still showed up to cheer on their team. Thanks Cap'n Madison, Olivia, and Addison. It was a long day and you guys kept it sunnier.

Let us not forget the shining stars, today: We drew Pogo four times, thank goodness. Jig and Spider tolerated us admirably. Desi was a star. We're looking forward to tomorrow!

Thanks to Alfred for accommodating us and to all the host teams. No small feat, 230+ riders.

#rideiea #walnutgrovefarmieateam #grandchampionmiddleschoolteam #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #makegoodchoices #theresnocryinginhorsebackriding

For four Pony Clubbers who all had sleepovers last night, on four imperfectly perfect steeds who don't necessarily condone sharing small spaces, this is pretty good for forty minutes of practice and preparation. Tanya S Gallagher Lori Gmerek Abigail Mullen #EastAuroraPonyClub #IThoughtThereWasaRuleAboutSleepovers #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #hanginthereTweeds #uspc #notieapracticebutalsohappento #rideIEA #proudtrainer

Congratulations to two of our dressage riders, Jen Powell and Sarah McFadden for their huge accomplishments this season. At the recent Western New York Dressage Association Banquet, Jen and her horse Kip won Training Level Horse of the Year Champion, and were Challenge Series First Level Senior Reserve Champions!

Sarah and her horse Sam were First Level Horse of the Year Reserve Champion and Adult Amateur Reserve Rider of the Year. Sarah won WNYDA's Flying Change Award and Joint Upstate High Point. Both of our riders also took home Rider Achievement Plaques.

I think the most impressive thing about their feats this year are that they're both on horses who are atypical in this sport. Kip and Sam are chestnut quarter horses who are by no means the strongest, prettiest, best moving creatures. Their riders set goals and work hard to attain them. They're constantly striving for the best they can get out of their cheerful, willing, safe mounts. I'm a lucky instructor to have four such students (two-and-four-legged).

Thanks to WNYDA for these great awards! #wnyda #dressage #quarterhorses #chestnuts #swagfordays #perseverence #andwine

Dear Walnut Grove Farm Family,

You've out done yourselves. Thanks for all the generosity you've shown to our CFS Adopt-a-Family. Because of you, a Buffalo family's season is surely warmer and brighter, and, our family's Christmas is more meaningful than 'gimme gimme gimme.'

Love to you all,
The Walkowiczes

Happy Small Business Saturday!

Give the gift of riding this season.

New-to-WGF? Buy one $60 hour private lesson and get the second hour private lesson half off. (10 available, limit one per rider)

New Students, or those who have taken fewer than five lessons at Walnut Grove: Buy 10 Private Lessons for $500 (a $600 value). Buy 10 Semi-Private Lessons for $450 (a $500 value). Must be used by winter's end (3/20/20). (Ten Total Packages Available.)

Current Students: Buy 10 Private or Semi-Private Lessons to be used by the end of winter, get one free lesson for a non-WGF friend, and one free group lesson for yourself. (A $100 value)

Offers good 'til 12/15! Quantities limited as stated!

#smallbusinesssaturday #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #walnutgrovefarm

The Walnut Grove Farm Event Cup boasted gorgeous weather, a cup that actually had past winners' names on it, and our largest lead line class.

The WGF Event Cup is designed to be the culmination of our students' past year of learning, and includes a dressage test, a written exam, an optimum time trial around our track, and a derby round on the infield that has a combination of cross country and show jumps.

This year's Senior Grand Champion was Christine Brown @cebuffalo and senior Reserve Champ was @frances__colby, member of the Walnut Grove IEA Team. Our Junior Champion for the second time was Lucy Anstey-Pape @pink_fluffy_horse, a D3 member of the East Aurora Pony Club and teammate on our IEA Team, and Reserve was Kaitlyn Gallagher, also a pony clubber and IEA teammate.

Congrats to all our competitors, and thanks to our more seasoned students for helping the first-timers, this year. Special thanks to our school horses who pulled double duty when Tweeds pulled a shoe and Fiona had an abscess. Thanks to Sarah McGraceAverillFadden for volunteering to judge, and to all our parent volunteers.

Sorry about the hodgepodge of unflattering photos! It's aaalmost like the fences judge and optimum time timer shouldn't also be the photographer.

#wgfeventcup2020 #leadlineforevah #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #haveyouhuggedahorsewithanabscesstoday #formerequitationriderforthewin #uspc #rideiea

Thanks to the Dressage Foundation and Carol Lavell for awarding Walnut Grover, Sarah Averill McFadden with one of their ten Gifted Fund Scholarships.

"The objective of the Gifted Fund is to enable the adult amateur rider to set aside time to work with their horse(s) and a trainer of choice. The recipients will be able to spend a week or more just to bond with their horse; to have the time to feed them, graze them, give them a spa bath, or just stand around in the stall with them, and to give the rider and horse concentrated time with a trainer."

Sarah, thanks for representing Walnut Grove so well. Because of this scholarship, Sam is going to get to spend even more hours with our favorite, John Zopatti, when WGF goes South in 2020.

#dressagefoundation #WGFgoesSouth2020

$10,000 has just been awarded to Adult Amateurs from our Gifted Fund, thanks to the generosity of Carol Lavell!

10 riders from across the country will receive $1,000 to spend concentrated training time with their horses, away from life's daily pressures. Congrats to the following:

Karen Allred (NC), Sharon Sexton (MD), Sally Burton (OH), Anna Cluxton (OH), Carolyn Belcher (GA), Jessica Foschi (MN), Karen Harkin (CO), Lea McCullough (WA), Sarah Averill (NY), and Shannon Strank (TX).

Not only are these riders dedicated to their dressage education, they are also incredible volunteers for their local dressage clubs!

Click through the photos to learn more about the riders or read more here >> https://bit.ly/35zvL9k

Another day of lessons outside, this time with our clinician, Peggy Gauger. Peggy has taken three teams to IEA Nationals and we were so lucky to have her. She offered some great wisdom and insight to our IEA Team on their equitation and horsemanship.

#rideiea #walnutgrovefarmieateam #outsideinnovember #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday @ Walnut Grove Farm

A beautiful, busy day at the farm. Goodbye Party for our wonderful Hetricks, followed by Pony Club. May we please get to ride outside every November 23rd?

Looking to join Pony Club in 2020? No equestrian program I've seen builds better horsemen and leaders. Google: Discover Pony Club.

#EastAuroraPonyClub #USPC #busybarnday #oldfriends #newmembers


Check out my list on Amazon

Hello Barn Family! Once again, we've adopted a family from Child and Family Services for the Holiday Season. Because of the specific nature of some of their wishes, I've made them an Amazon wishlist this year. While the toy requests were very specific, things like plates, silverware, towels, and baby clothes were more generic, so if you're in the spirit, feel free to go 'off list.' If you go 'off list' or find one of the items elsewhere, please mark it as purchased on the Amazon list.

Thanks in advance if you feel like contributing. We love this program! 🌲💗

Our drop off date is December 8th, so items must be at the barn prior to that (unwrapped please).


Congratulations to Kaitlyn's Uncle Mike S for winning the Walnut Grove Farm IEA 50-50 Raffle! Thanks to everyone who participated!

Sherlock, Boston and Fiona say 'Hi!' from Skaneatles, where they've settled right into work at the wonderful Heritage Stables. Thanks so much to Deb and Mike for hosting one of our region's shows, and special mega-thanks to Lindsay Lindke for entrusting five of her horses to us so no cuts had to be made from the show. Really proud of my Walnut Grovers and their families for all the hard work thus far! #ittakesavillage #rideiea #walnutgrovefarmieateam

Happy Halloween from "Cherry" Potter and friends, an 'Ever'gorgon and a couple of Elevens, Sherlock the Hippie and Boston the Cow. Thanks to Walnut Grove Farm's IEA Team and our horses for being good sports, and for all your hard work prepping for our show in Skaneatles this weekend!

#halloween #halloweenwithhorses #walnutgrovefarmieateam #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #cherrypottercracksmeupeverytime #bostonsblueudder 😂

Always a pleasure to see these eager-to-please chestnut Quarter Horses come into the ring, and especially on a day such as this!

Sarah was recently made a WNYDA Board Member, and both she and Jen are working competently towards their Bronze Medals.

#dressageisforeveryone #wnyda #autumn #walnutgrovefarmdressageteam #andoneoftheirdogs #andmaybeastraytoddler @ Walnut Grove Farm

Earlier this month, the Walnut Grove Farm IEA Team had their first and second competitions of the five show season. My phone was...indisposed...for most of Sunday but I snagged a few pics of this cheerful team of great riders, teammates, and horsewomen.

It is truly an honor to be their coach. I heard @frances__colby ask the horse handler extra smart questions about her draw. Kaitlyn's ride on Sunday was such an improvement from Saturday, that I asked her mom about it and heard Kaitlyn watched her round over and over and made a plan for how to improve upon it. @eventing_with_style 's IEA membership was inexplicably delayed, and she had to sit the show out. She came and started a Horse Book for the team, interviewing each teammate about their mount so we have a running record of the mounts in our region. Teammanship and good sportsmanship to the nth degree!

@claire_maywalt stayed at my side all weekend to help get her teammates into the ring when I was busy coaching, and @lillyjohnsenn was right with us all day Sunday.

I hate listing the kids individually, because I'm not going to get to all 15, but those were the things that stuck with me from the show to now.

Congrats to our highest point earners, Abby Mullen and Carlie Mahony, each with 9 points, and Lilly Johnsen and Kaitlyn Gallagher, each with 8. The first show of the season was a 'cobweb brusher-offer' for some, and I was even more impressed with their grace and cheer than their teammates ribbons.

Thanks to Cyndi for...retrieving...my phone, the BEC for hosting at their gorgeous and historic facility. We couldn't have possibly had a better collection of draws. Thanks especially to @kkarrer14 for a well-run intro to the season.

#walnutgrovefarmieateam #creepycat #FifthoutofTen #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #rideiea #sportsmanship @ Buffalo Equestrian Center

The Walnut Grove Farm Event Cup is this Sunday! Our in-house show will begin at a luxurious 11:00, and includes 4 phases: Dressage, Show Jumping, Optimum Time, and a Written Exam. We'll have a mid-day lead line class. I'll accept entries through Friday. Keep me posted if you want 'in!'

We had a blast schooling XC at Black Points Farm, last Sunday. Olivia and Kaitlyn shared Sherlock, Abby and Lucy shared Fiona, Fran brought Darby, Payton piloted Cherry, Madison rode Ever, and Lilly captained Wilson. Everyone had a successful and educational outing!

Thanks to Lucy's dad for driving!

#rideiea #eastauroraponyclub #walnutgrovefarmeventteam #xcschooling #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #needmoresynonymsforrode

Lucy and Fiona, and Liz and Jack competed at Larkin Hill Horse Trials, today. Lucy had three sevens and an eight in her dressage test to start their day in the ribbons. Despite having added four points to that with a wee lost moment in SJ, she ended in seventh out of 17 starters.
Liz ended on her dressage score, showing steady progress in all three phases and really showing how fun Jack is to take XC. She also brought home a purple ribbon.

#usea #larkinhill #walnutgrovefarmeventteam #princessfiona #bellamybrother #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #ottb #uspc #eastauroraponyclub #homecomingisforsuckers #soarefifthmetacarpals

So proud of the Walnut Grovers who competed at Saddle Up for Roswell. Our Beginner Novice riders led the charge. Liz Schaab placed 2nd in her division, Jill Wener and Boston had a parting of ways after a successful first two phases. Lucy and Fiona had a wee miscommunication, but still came in the ribbons, and Madison Matuszewski and Ever took home first place!

In the Intro divisions, Callie ended on her dressage score in her first ever event, taking home 5th place. Carlie piloted Diva beautifully all day, but the light-to-dark XC element had their number. The event host was kind enough to let her go out with friend, Callie, at the end of the day and they went clear. Kaitlyn Gallagher had to ride a pinch hitter because her horse came up lame this week. She and Sherlock won second place! Abby competed Fiona for their first outing together, and came in second place, too!

Jen Powell used the show to test out whether she and Kip are ready to tackle 1st-3 in public. They did well, placing second and receiving lots of good tips for next time out.

In the leadline division, Walnut Grove sent their best and brightest soldiers into the fray. Lainey and Darby, Kate and Misty, and Arlo and Sherlock were all so good, they ended in a five way tie with the other two children. Special thanks here to everyone who made leadline happen smoothly while I was off coaching!

Speaking of which, thank goodness for the parents who watched my children and especially for Claire Maywalt, who when I saw my proposed schedule, I immediately called and asked for help. She came.
#itakesavillage #walnutgrovefarmeventteam #saddleupforroswell #fourfirsts4secondslotsoflessons

Walnut Grovers had a truly special time in Kentucky at the Horse Park, this week. Jayne, Lilly, Claire and Kristina were all in divisions of over 45 riders. Jayne was just a half a point out of the ribbons! Claire was a ‘should’ve hit start on my watch for xc’ out of sixth place. I would bet Lilly was on the youngest horse in her BN Junior division. At 8, Wilson impressed us but was also very much 8 in his dressage. And Kristina and Ever were a rail out of 7th place. The bottom line was, each rider had mainly fabulous rides with just a small thing that took them out of the ribbons. Such is life in big classes filled with people who qualified for Championships, and such was life for all but the top 15 in each division of the show.

Thanks so much to my students, their families, and Madison for their support with the horses and kids. Lilly’s mom, Margaret, went back to our Airbnb every single day from 3:00-5:00 to be with the small Walkowiczes while they napped.

The horse park, the volunteers, and the organizers of the show did an absolutely phenomenal job. It couldn’t have been a more ideal setting to have nearly 1000 competitors, and how they ran it as smoothly as they did is so far beyond my grasp of organization that I’ll just plagiarize what Jayne said: WOW.

I’m always blown away by the friendliness in this sport, and this was no exception. I was especially touched by the camaraderie of our Area 1 eventers. Every trainer for Area 1, and especially those in our very own #GVRDC, was rooting hard for every Area 1 eventer.

Four Walnut Grovers at AECs this year, Eight in 2020? Heeeere we go!

#walnutgrovefarmeventteam #aec2019 #eastauroraponyclub #walnutgrovefarmieateam #rideiea #uspc #kentuckyhorsepark #thankyouvolunteers #wheresJaynesOldLadyhorse

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