Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ringing that bluebell, caught up in sunlight

Guess what we did on Sunday to celebrate Maizie's 11th birthday properly? We took Maizie on her first real trail ride!!! Prior to this, she has had short little rides on ponies at fairs and on friends' horses. Last year for her birthday I led her around our farm on Baja. Of course, she does occasionally hop on Sovereign, but I am always right beside her. This was her first opportunity to actually ride without anyone assisting. add to the fun...her Grandpa Ernie and Grandma Eby rode too!!! I think that it is so great that my mom and Brian's dad are both fit and energetic enough to join in the fun. It really made the day special. Last month I tried to think about how I could plan some sort of ride for her birthday and then it hit me - Brian's cousin, Phil and his wife, Lisa, have a stable in beautiful Lancaster county and they offer trail rides! Here is a link to their facility, Flying M Stable. We kept it a secret from Maizie and waited for the perfect day, weather-wise. With all our rain, lately, that was quite a trick, but Sunday ended up being so sunny and pretty. We really lucked out! Above is a perfect shot of the whole group heading out. (Click on any photo to enlarge.) Lisa is leading, with Grandpa Ernie next, then Maizie, then my mom, then Brian and me last. Phil graciously served as our photographer while he rode behind on a lovely Palomino aptly named, Trigger.

Here is Maizie right after she first got on sweet, little Sugar. Phil is adjusting her stirrups and Grandpa Ernie is waiting patiently (with his helmet on) to get on his steed.

Here Lisa is reviewing the basics with Maizie of holding the reins and saddle horn.

Maizie is concentrating on the task at hand. The western tack is new to us!

Here is an adorable picture of Ernie and his "horse", Shadow!

And here is my mom on Sophie. Lisa said Sophie is a Haflinger. Mom couldn't hear her, and said to me that Lisa said that Sophie was "half-thoroughbred". I got a case of the giggles every time I looked at mom on her little tiny sweetie-pie. Sophie was clearly "a half-cute mixed with a half-cutest!"

Flying M Stable is happily situated beside the Conestoga River and is part of two farms that once belonged to Brian's grandmother. Her name was Maisy (we named our Maizie after her). In honor of the original Maisy, Lisa and Phil have a horse named Maisy and Brian rode her. She is an absolute angel.

Here the group heads around a picturesque grove of trees. What a delightful day! Thank you so much Lisa, Phil and family!


  1. What a wonderful birthday! I love all the Maizie/Maisy names - as you know, my big mare is named Maisie - I have no idea how I came up with it but it just came to me.

  2. What a great birthday present to have and share with family!

  3. What fun! What memories for Maizie! And what adorable little "horses" - I love ponies and small horses - they remind me of Hobbits. I never outgrew that pony stage of my life, I guess! :)

  4. I am at work sneaking in a peek to your blog and now I am STILL laughing over your mom on that haflinger thinking that the guy said halfThoroughbred! That is soo funny--I am laughing so hard! I love your family!

  5. What a wonderful Birthday present!! Looks like you all had a great ride, and the weather was perfect! I am so jealous!
    That is a cute story on the Haflinger. The barn I sent my horses to for training raised Haflingers. They are really neat horses!

  6. Oh this looks like so much fun, Juliette! I used to choose to go trail riding for my birthday every year as a child. I haven't been since I got my own horses, and this sounds like fun! Glad you guys had a great time.

  7. Kate - I love that your mare is named Maisie. And she is a good girl like our Maizie.

    Cowgirlwannabe - It was a great day with family. Thanks for visiting. I am popping over to your blog straightaway.

    Hosanna - Your Hobbit comment cracked me up. I don't think we outgrew the pony stage here either. Could one be in our future?

    baystatebrumby - I keep laughing about the Thoroughbred comment too.

    Paint Girl - We did have fun and it was nice weather, but don't be jealous of our weather - it is usually raining! We have been looking at a webpage of people doing amazing things with Haflingers and they raise Haflingers out your way. It probably is the same stable.

    Michelle - It was great. You were smart to choose trail rides for your birthday. We had horses when I was small so I never went on a trail ride until I was 18 years old. I think Maizie will remember this day for a long time.

  8. What a wonderful birthday outing. Congrats to Maizie on her first official trail ride. She looks great on that sweet Sugar pony. Looks like a beautiful ride and what great fun that grandparents rode too. And I'm very impressed how appropriately spaced you all are in that first picture.

  9. What a beautiful day it seemed to be, how sweet of you to think of a memorable bday surprise! Your daughter will cherish that forever! :)


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