Walnut Grove Farm

Baby ‘Vator’s first canter under saddle. #tb #chipintobuymaddieherfourleggedgraduationpresent #vator #walnutgrovefarmhunterteam

Sunny Sunday at the Farm. EAPC prepping for dressage Rally, Jill and Boston jumping away, C-Level Pony Clubbers Lilly and Claire prepping for Winona, and my assistant instructors.

#haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #eastauroraponyclub #ottb #baysfordays #walnutgrovefarmeventteam #uspc

Eight Walnut Grovers competed at Houghton’s Dressage Show, today. Several earned top placings, and many scored in the high 60’s and achieved personal bests.

One Walnut Grover read for us all day when her horse chose to ‘sit this one out.’

Two Hundred Twenty Seven Walnut Grovers babysat small Walkowicz children (or at least there must have been that many, because my children were well-occupied and happy 99.9% of the day with little maternal intervention. #spoiledtrainer)

Four errors (or was it five) were accrued while we shook off the cobwebs (out of 16 tests. #truthinadvertising)

Thanks to Houghton for throwing a great show at their beautiful new facility. Thanks to Larissa for allowing Carlie and Madison to practice their Pony Club Pas de Deux in the back ring. Thanks to @sarahlorax for reading throughout the day. Thanks to Husband Jeff for hooking up the trailer and installing car seats in the truck, saving me an hour, not to mention maintenance in general. Thanks to Cyn B Kwen for making us look so sharp as a group in our new soft shells.

More than anything, thanks to this team of Walnut Grovers and their families who supported their horses, each other, my methods, and my kiddos. Thank goodness for families who are cheerful in the face of horse show chaos.

#walnutgrovefarmdressageteam #wnyda #eastauroraponyclub #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #betterdressagebetterjumping

[04/16/19]   Hi Guys! The coveted 6:30 lesson slot just opened up for tomorrow (Tuesday). Shoot me a text if you want to grab it!

Congratulations to our UBETer @jamiegadd97 for qualifying for, and competing in our IHSA Zones at Lehman Farm April 7th. Jamie took ninth place against riders from such prestigious colleges as St. Lawrence, Skidmore, Cazenovia, West Virginia, Cornell, and others. As Bob Cacchione , founder of the IHSA, told her, “It may be ninth place, but you beat dozens of riders to get here, and you took ninth in the strongest zone in the nation.” Way to go Jamie!
Congrats to our region, one of five in our zone. We were incredibly well represented. Gail Miller, RIT coach and owner of Lehman Farm, went above and beyond offering one of the other regions a place to hold their Regional Competition the day before Zones, when their own region was stricken with EHV-1. Nazareth College is sending their walk-trot rider to Nationals, and Cornell’s WTC rider is also headed there. Cornell took second place in the team competition to Skidmore, and moves on to Nationals as a team for the second time in their history, and Claudia Freeman from RIT was first out of the five Cacchione Cup riders and gets to move on. (In between rounds, she chatted comfortably about our WGF IEA rider who is considering RIT and offered her a tour and stay on campus.) Besides coaching, I was also a steward, and supervised the draw table with wonderful Cornell Alumni who made the long day fly by. I know how lucky we are to have such a kind, cheerful, but competitive piece of IHSA in our backyard, and Zones was nothing if not a reminder of that. #rideihsa #ubequestrian #ubet #ubbulls

Kate and I had a great time eating lunch with the WGF gang and attending the WNYDA Musical Freestyle Clinic. Thanks so much to WNYDA, Dru Malavase, and her son for the countless hours of prep that sharing her breadth of knowledge must have taken. We learned so much, and I can’t wait to tune up our USPC Pas de Deux (how does one pluralize that?) and see what Sarah McFadden and I can come up with for her 1st Level Freestyle this summer. #wnyda #musicalfreestyle #Queenisoursman #wgfdressageteam #eastauroraponyclub

[03/16/19]   Happy Anniversary!

First class of our day, first successes. We have a Jamie Gadd going to Zones! More to come! #ubequestrian #ubbulls #ubet #rideihsa #walnutgrovefarm

The UB Equestrian Team had its strongest showing on the flat all season at their last Alfred show of the year. Junior Jamie Gadd brought home a third place on the flat, as did Freshman Heidi Fragoso. Lizzie Hughes, Katie Mahar, and Nina Melanson all took second in their flat classes (Lizzie was ournpersonal high point rider of the day earning a second over fences, as well), and Junior Katie Kelly took first place. One of my favorite ribbons of the year was first place won by Nikki Marandola for her last IHSA ride of her career on Wyatt. It is always hard to say goodbye to the seniors. This year, the team is losing some wonderful ones: Maddie Broad, Serena Nichols, and Nikki Marandola have been such an integral part of the barn. Maddie pointed out to me that she started team while I was pregnant with Kate. Amazing what those four short years can bring and the attachments that can be made! Lizzie, Maddie, and Jamie are traveling to Cornell for Regionals, this Sunday, where all three will be competing on the flat and over fences. The top two from each class will go on to Zones. So proud of all of these UB Bulls, and the tremendous improvements they’ve made throughout the year! Thanks to The Show Trunk for the wonderful senior gifts. #ubbulls #universityatbuffalo #hasanequestrianteam #rideihsa #ubequestrian #ubet #theshowtrunkii

I’ve only known this stellar human for a couple years, but I’m very, deeply proud of her. She has an unmatchable work ethic in the classroom and in the saddle. She is kind and coachable, forgetful and brilliant, honest and brave, and honest about when she isn’t feeling brave. She is a joy. She is going places. Thank you for captaining our first year’s IEA team. Thank you for a memorable trip to regionals, between sharing your horse, Vinny, with the region (he had a ... memorable .... warm up, yesterday, and gave people phenomenal rides, today), and doing a polished simple change through the walk with no stirrups in your class. Your riding memories have really just begun, and I’m privileged to be a part of them. #walnutgrovefarmieateam #rideIEA #offyougoto #rideihsa #theresalwaysUBET #butseriously #sunnybuffalo

Thanks so much to these guys, and the ones who couldn’t make the banquet, for all their hard work this week prepping the horses for IEA Regionals and being great teammates, students, and horsewomen. Thanks to the Gallaghers for enabling me to shower fifteen minutes from the banquet and for feeding us. Thanks to #theshowtrunk for the nice prizes and gifts, today, and for being open when I had needs throughout the warm up. Best of luck to Cathleen, tomorrow, in the IEA Regional Championship! #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #eventheoneswhohatefansandballoons #wgfieateam #rideiea

UB Equestrian Team had a really great show at Alfred this past weekend. Highlights included Heidi earning fourth in a big, tough flat class, Nina, Katie, and Jamie placing second in their flat classes (looking so polished and ‘in it to win it’). Sam took home the blue ribbon in her flat, ending her first IHSA season with a bang. (It’s her last show of the season because she graciously offered to sit out next show so the others in her division could ride.) Senior Maddie Broad won her Intermediate Flat class and took second in her Open Fences class, which put her in a six way tie for High Point Rider for her second to last IHSA Show. I was so proud of all the riders for their teamminess throughout the day, and those of them who didn’t have a highlight-ridden day were good sports, eager to learn and improve for next weekend’s last regular season show. #UBBulls #rideIHSA #UBEquestrian #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #auequestriancenter #UBET #mentaltoughness

I was so very proud of the Walnut Grove Farm IEA Team in their last show of the regular season at Alfred University, last weekend. Everyone was cheerful but seemed a bit rusty on Saturday. Sunday saw some more success, with Fran taking 5th out of 8 over fences, Charlotte taking fifth and Alejandra taking 3rd out of 8 in Beginner Eq on the flat, and Cathleen and Claire placing first and fifth out of ten in their Open Flat, which solidified Cathleen’s qualification for Regionals. #walnutgrovefarmieateam #rideiea #proudcoach

We take showing veeery seriously. #walnutgrovefarmieateam #rideiea

Hey ‘Vator, let me get your 6 month update pics for #FLTAP while you’re kind of clean and the sun is kind of out. #vengeyellow #thatswhathethinksaboutthat #fouryearold #baysfordays

January 19th and February 9th

WGF Slightly Rumpled Ribbon Dressage Show, Combined Test, Jumper Show, and Adult Games (Open to All WGF Students)

Dressage Ride-a-Test
Hunt Seat Eq U/S x rails, 2’, 2’3”, 2’6”
Jumpers 2’6 2’9 3’
Adult Games

If doing CT, ride USEA BN Test B and jump 2’6”, or USEA Novice Test B and jump 2’9”, or USEA Training Test B and jump 3’.

$20/test or class
$35 for combined test or two dressage tests
$50 per eq division (one u/s two fences)
$25 adult games (21 and over)

Jumping into winter break like...
Have a wonderful vacation, UBET! Cheers to a great semester. Three of you are qualified for Regionals, a bunch of you are nearly qualified, and all of you have improved tremendously. We’ll miss you around the farm! Send me your schedules, and we’ll see you the last week in January. #ubequestrian #ubet #rideihsa #tandemjumping #synchronizedjumping #oreohorses #barontweedmouth #majorleague @maddieebroad @lizzieehughess @serenanichols @jamiegadd97 @katiemahar7 @epic_watermelon @nmarandola @h.eid.e @katiee_kelly Nina and Sam

Thanks to my Walnut Grove Farm clients for providing our Adopted Family with a wonderful Christmas. Your generosity of spirit is inspiring, year after year. #toddlersnotincluded #childandfamilyservices #adoptafamily #merrychristmas #ittakesavillage #haveyouhuggedabarnparenttoday

CONGRATULATIONS to our No Stirrup November Champions, Carlie Mahony and Maggie Saia! As a group, Walnut Grovers (including the UB Equestrian Team) completed over 1350 minutes of no stirrup work at the trot and canter in November. 💪💪🏾🐎💕 Went shopping at The Hunting Horn for our prizes, today.

#thankshorses #strongriders #bothchampslovepink

I might have understated it in the last post when I said the Walnut Grove Farm IEA Team was ‘steadily figuring out’ these shows. I knew when I started the team that my crew would be solid over fences and have a hard time figuring out their angles for hunt seat equitation on the flat. The first two shows confirmed that, and in our IEA practices since October, the ladies have drilled and drilled on the flat, both with stirrups and without. They’ve worked hard, and it was so rewarding to see that hard work pay off, today. Charlotte took home a blue in her first ever IEA show as a sixth grader, and was a cheerful, chatty, happy addition to the team. Callie had by far the most improved round between her first IEA flat class and today’s, placing second out of eight in her class. Madison, Claire, and Carlie had their angles all figured out and placed fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively in very strong classes, and many of the unmentioned teammates here showed amelioration but had a missed lead or a break that just made the judge’s decision too easy. The ribbon highlight for me, today, was having our only seasoned IEA rider, Cathleen Krabak handily take the first in her Open Flat class (the highest and most competitive level), and Lilly Johnsen place second in her very first IEA show in the same class. Because I wasn’t glowing enough, in the last class of the show, Fran just plain rocked, and won our third blue of the day. Go Walnut Grove! #walnutgrovefarmieateam #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #mentaltoughness #rideiea #haveyoufedahangrycoachtoday

The Walnut Grove Farm IEA Team had a blast at Alfred, this weekend. Everyone’s over fences round showed vast improvement in their equitation, but all had one bauble that left us with several ‘watermelon color’ ribbons. The team excelled in their flatwork, which was our main goal and focus after our double header at the BEC, and managed to climb up to fifth out of thirteen teams. I was so proud of how the ladies all worked together, rooted for one another, and genuinely enjoyed the team aspect of this sport that they’re steadily figuring out together. #braggierpostpending #walnutgrovefarmieateam #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday #mentaltoughness @ Alfred University Equestrian Center

Walnut Grove Farm's cover photo

Thank Goodness for Horse Show Moms who are more on the ball than I! Thanks for the banner, Cyndi. #horseshowmoms #walnutgrovefarmieateam #walnutgrovefarm #haveyouhuggedahorseshowmomtoday

Thanks to Madison for getting some footage of my ride on Rumi, this afternoon. One year ago, today, Ruby One raced for her last time. It was the fourth time over the fall I’d gone shopping at the track. I’d met her in her stall the first visit, and been smitten with her personality, but couldn’t get to see her move for a few weeks. Luckily, other horses fell through, and she finished wooing me when I saw her beautiful, three-beated, uphill canter to the starting gate. I snuggled with her some more, watched her politely jog, and picked her up the following Tuesday. I’ll write more about the last year’s journey on her ‘gotcha’ day, but for now, this’ll do. #ottb #rumiandbeth #lastraceanniversary

Hi Walnut Grovers! Doing any Black Friday shopping today? Here’s the list from our Adopted Family if you’re feeling like spreading some more joy than you already do! Please let me know if you’ve gotten anything and I’ll scratch it off the list. 🎄 🎁 ❤️

Two blondes and two gingers walk into an indoor...

Congrats to the UB Equestrian Team for a great double header at Nazareth College. We ended up co-hosting again, due in large part to the generosity of horse owners Deb Spearing (Darby) and Cathleen Krabak (Vinny), and due in equally large part to the helping hands of Walnut Grove Farm teenagers Cathleen, Anna, and Madison, who endured early mornings, and cold days handling horses and only getting about ten minutes riding time. They were infinitely helpful and cheerful.

Team highlights, to me, included Serena ‘going for it’ in her second fences class, and looking as confident and polished as I’ve seen her, Sierra breaking her streak of seconds with a first, Nikki pointing into 2B, Nina rocking it with her first second place, Sam continuing her streak of seconds, Katie Kelly maintaining her new-found confident appearance, Heidi looking as tall and professional as possible in her first flat round, Katie Mahar winning her first IHSA fences class, Maddie placing second on the flat in a tough class, and Jamie and Maddie having confident, polished Open Fences rounds their first weekend at Open.

It’s not always acknowledged with ribbons when you have your personal best rides, and we had a lot of personal best moments that didn’t result in ribbons, because there was a single glitch, or it took a lap to find the groove, or others in the class were having even better days, but I’m seeing the progress. Now we have two and a half months to practice practice practice before the last two shows of the season.

#rideihsa #ubet #ubbulls #universityatbuffalo

I’ve been remiss in my posts about the UB Equestrian Team, just because we’ve been so so busy cohosting RIT’s doubleheader show at Lehman’s, competing at Cornell, and prepping in between! Highlights include: The team tying for fifth place out of fourteen teams at the first RIT show. (The shows where 98% of the team participates make us so much more competitive than the ones where we can’t complete our point card!) Lizzie Hughes placed second (on Darby! Thanks for sharing, Deb Spearing!) and third at that first RIT show, helping tremendously with our point card. A fifth place round over fences the following day pointed her out of Novice fences and into Intermediate, which qualified her for Regionals. Jamie Gadd also qualified for regionals with a great trip the second day of the RIT shows, placing second in a competitive class. Sam Brosius and Sierra Zacharias have gotten second place every single time in the ring, this semester, their first competing in the IHSA. Katie Kelly and Maddie Broad earned us our first blue ribbons of the season at the Cornell show, which boosted Maddie into Open Fences. Our walk-trotter Nina Melanson wins the #mentaltoughness award for rebounding fearlessly from a scary fall at Cornell and is chipping away at her points towards W/T/C. Teammates Serena, Heidi, and Nikki have all had great rides overshadowed by better rides, and are due for some serious recognition this weekend at our Nazareth double header, the last two shows of the semester. I can’t thank the team enough for all their hard work when we brought Darby, Boston, Sherlock, and Fiona to RIT. They were cheerful, hard-working and impressed me to no end with how well-oiled they seemed despite most of the team being fairly new! Let’s go to bed, wake up super early, and show ‘em how the UB Bowls do it. Woot!!! #UBBulls #UBEquestrian #ubet #rideihsa #haveyouhuggedaschoolhorsetoday

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