Monday, June 20, 2016

A Weekend in Gooding

Our three-day private colt clinic in Gooding, Idaho with Virginia and Bob was awesome. The weather was even relatively cooperative with nothing worse than some rather hot temperatures and a brief session of windstorm. Ted and Beth were both there to coach Bob and Virginia and two colts. I was there to provide moral support (code for I was there to enjoy the weekend!). The rest of the crew was taking care of home base.

A one to one student to teacher ratio qualified this weekend as working vacation status for Ted and Beth.

If it wasn’t a working vacation just from that ratio the following factors definitely land it in that category. Things like;

Ted and I staying in Bob and Virginia’s lovely LQ trailer. For Beth, a large guest area all to herself.

The hot tub.

Virginia’s cooking.

The horses and students did absolutely awesome! Both horses reached the laydown by evening of the first day and both were saddled before lunch on the second day. First ride on Bliss was textbook perfect as was the first ride on SeeMe (short for Now You See Me Now You Don’t). Bob and Virginia both say they had a great time and feel that they made huge progress. For me this was absolutely a vacation weekend. I was watching colt starting lessons, taking pictures, playing with Caleb, enjoying Virginia’s delicious meals (and yummy homemade Sangria) and in general having a great time just hanging out there!
Here are some pictures of colt starting lessons. I didn’t even take all the pictures this time. Virginia and Beth both helped with that!

Bob's first ride on Bliss.

Virginia getting ready for her first ride on SeeMe.

Virginia on her first ride on SeeMe.

Another view of Bob on his first ride on Bliss.

Beth doing Jeffrey's method on the bay colt. I get a kick out of the fact that she has a mounting block to do it. Note; Terrence usually covers this exercise at home without one but he has over a ten inch height advantage on Beth!

Caleb even got some Daddy time.

Bliss during her actual very first ride, Beth on board.

Virginia getting some help with follow me.

SeeMe's first ride, again Beth on board.

Caleb enjoying all this one on one Mommy time!

Caleb, exhausted by all this. 

I certainly enjoyed the mini vacation at this end of the road retreat. Bob and Virginia bought this hundred-year-old (or so) house and have put vast amounts of work into converting it into a comfortable and functional home for them.

Some of the highlights – the period piece powder room. 
Beth and I love how cute and coordinated this very retro bathroom is!

Here is Caleb enjoying the antique bathtub. 

The wood paneled wall Bob put in himself. Quite the work of craftsmanship to make it symmetrical when paneling a wall in a very old (and thus far from straight and square) house!

Here is a cute little collection of decor, Virginia's indoor 'Owl Haven'.

According to Virginia, Bob harvested enough firewood to supply all the residents of Gooding for years as he cleaned up the grounds.  One of the features now is a lovely walk on a little trail through ‘The Enchanted Forest’ between the house and the horse area. These first two pictures are from opposite ends of the trail. This is near the house side of the trail heading into the Enchanted Forest.

This is on the horse area side heading into the Enchanted Forest from there.

                                         This is in the middle of the Enchanted Forest.

On the other side of the house there is ‘Owl Haven’, as I walked through this shady grove I could hear many types of birds calling, including great owls! I never saw one of the great owls or the screech owls but each time I walked this way I did see a barn owl. I even managed to get one picture of him. 

 Bob has plans to install seating and tables out here to make it yet another nice place to sit with friends and enjoy the beauties around us.

This picture is the entrance into 'Owl Haven' from the driveway.

The vast majority of the Owl Haven area is screened in from the sky with arching tree branches. I had a hard time capturing that in photos but here are my feeble attempts. The branches make a sort of roof over the open clearings in Owl Haven. It's really cool. (and the only reason the owl couldn't get out of sight before I could snap a shot!)

Outdoor Owl Haven decor.

This might be technically outside the bounds of Owl Haven but at the very least it is close to Owl Haven and you can see how the branches arch! Just imagine the top all closed in and that's what walking through Owl Haven is like.

There are a wide variety of trees on the property (as you can see!) and they attract lots of different birds. I have only seen one mulberry tree before coming here. Here there are several, one of them is huge! This one is dropping hundreds of berries onto the driveway where they are picked over by the incredibly well fed looking doves, quail, robins, squirrels, etc.! 

The trees are also obviously home to a large squirrel population. We wondered where they are nesting, as Bob has removed many of the dead trees which one would expect to have hollows, etc. in them. Virginia says they actually use empty magpie nests as their dens. Here the squirrels are enjoying their morning gift of peanuts from Bob and Virginia. It is quite fun to watch their antics as they collect this offering! 

It is very clear that one of the daily joys of this home is just appreciating what is here; the views, the wildlife, the plants. The home is fully surrounded by deck, on the driveway side of the house it is extra spacious with seating for many and is such a nice place to be. Here is the view.

Here is Virginia enjoying the view and relaxing at the end of a long day two!

The same view is on display from the dining table through two huge picture windows, so even when it is too hot or too cold or too windy to be comfortable on the deck you can still watch wildlife activity and enjoy the scenery. The nearby river (the trees are lining it) is the Malad, which Virginia informed us is the very shortest river in the state of Idaho.

This area is the sort of back lawn, adjacent to the back porch/hot tub/ barbeque area. Beth was fortunate to see a little buck with tiny antlers in velvet grazing here on Sunday morning. 

That's a wrap, highlights from a collection of colt starting photos, plus some views of Bob and Virginia's cool place.

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