This morning I loaded up 4 horses and 3 kids and headed up to Goddard Park in RI. Rob is underway on a submarine and could not join us today. The West Greenwich Horseman’s Association had their annual turkey trot and we rode a 6 mile loop. Amanda fell off in the warm up ring when Huey decided to catch up to Dakota with a canter, but otherwise it was an uneventful ride. She got back on and immediately wanted to trot so no harm there. Goddard is located on the Narragansett Bay and offers a little beach riding out of season and beautiful views of the bay. All the horses eventually went in the water at the beach. I rode Mojo today since Teddy blew out an abcess last week, and he was good, albeit a bit of a brat when he doesn’t get to lead. We will have to work on that. Lunch, turkey and trimmings, was great and we came home with raffle prizes like cookie cutters, sweat scraper, grooming block and a safety led light. Good day.
Roseland Cottage is a step into the Victorian era of Connecticut. Saturday September 24th was National Smithsonian Day and several museums around the area were offering free admission. The kids and I took advantage of the opportunity to go see this museum I’ve been thinking about for a while and went to visit Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, CT. Alexis came with us as well. Situated not quite 45 minutes from our house, this house is on the National Historic Register and proved very interesting , even to the kids. I believe Alex could count this day as a school day field trip!
We showed up a few minutes late for the one o’clock tour, so we had some time to kill before our two o’clock tour. Turns out the old horse stalls of the barn and carriage building have partially been turned into rest rooms, which the kids got a kick out of.
The kids enjoyed playing some Victorian games while we were waiting, such as the game of graces or french hoops, trundle hoops, ball in cone, spinning tops, and croquet.
There was a civil war reenactment camp going on with a collection of dressed up soldiers, muskets, and a cannon. To Alex’s dismay, the cannon was not usable, but he got a lesson in how they loaded it.
They had a kids activity set up to learn how to build a bridge for the soldiers and their wagons to cross rivers and the kids worked on this project for a while.
At two, we started our tour. The gardens have the original boxwood gardens with 600 feet of hedge in a parterre style.
We had to put on booties to enter the house, except Amanda who went barefoot, since the booties were so big they were a trip hazard. Roseland Cottage was built in 1846 as a summer house for Henry and Lucy Bowen. They entertained important guests, including three presidents at this house. It is built in a gothic revival style, but later redecorated in a more Victorian style, including massive stained glass windows, fancy wall coverings and dark elaborate carpets. The house had 5 bedrooms, and we also saw the dining room, conservatory and sitting room.
After the house we got to see the indoor bowling alley. Roseland Cottage has one of the oldest bowling alleys in the US. It is not part of the house itself, but rather a section of the barn and carriage house. Tucked into the bowling alley was an old carriage, which drew more attention from the girls than the bowling alley itself.
After the house tour the kids returned to the now finished bridge project and got to walk over the finished bridge.
We finished off our visit by talking to one of the soldiers and he showed Alex how the muskets worked and Alex and I were surprised to find that they were so slow to reload.
We had a great visit, and I would definitely recommend this field trip to others, although young kids may not enjoy the house tour. Amanda was getting pretty restless at the one hour mark, but perked up when we went to the bowling alley and loved playing all the Victorian games.
If you are interested in more information about Roseland Cottage, here is a web site to get you started: http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/roseland-cottage/roseland-cottage-history
May 18 is Amanda’s birthday. This year she turned 6. She is still a petite little girl at a whopping 35 pounds, but she certainly holds her own.
Wednesday morning Amanda opened up her presents from mormor and morfar. She got a Breyer winged horse and story, some riding pants, a shirt from us, and a doll riding outfit. Then we told her we were going on a field trip to the American Girl doll store in Boston. There she would get to pick out her own doll and an accessory from grandma and grandpa. She was very excited!
After chores we all headed out. Amanda is not very patient in the car, too say the least, and I believe she asked every ten minutes if we were there yet. An hour and a half later we finally arrived.
Alex sat down on a bench and started reading. He finished two books during the day!
The girls explored the store and made plans of what to bring home. They brought McKenna and Saige and I treated the girls to hair styles for their dolls at the doll salon.
Then we headed to the bistro for lunch. The dolls get to sit at the table in their own hang-on-the-table chairs. The dolls got their own tea cups. The food was kid-friendly.
After lunch we picked up the doll Amanda picked out- a truly me doll with long wavy red hair and green eyes. I guess she secretly wants to be a redhead! She also used her money from grandma and grandpa and some allowance money to get a new doll horse (the girls play horse with their dolls-duh), It’s an appaloosa.
Vicki used some of her allowance money to purchase a few new things for her dolls.
I had promised Alex a trip to the LEGO store inside the Natick mall, a whopping two minute walk from The American Girl Doll store. He had been patient all day while the girls browsed and quickly set his eyes on a big LEGO Technic truck. Lucky for him, his allowance account still had enough funds in it. He was happy. He started building it the minute we got home. The instruction book has 471 pages. It might take him a day or two to complete.
Vicki made Amanda some cupcakes and decorated them with Rarity, Amanda’s favorite My Little Pony. It was supposed to be a cake, but Amanda agreed Vicki could make the real cake for her “friend” party.
Amanda was tired and happy at the end of the day…
Today we rode in the last of the West Greenwich Horsemen’s Association hunter paces. It was 11 miles long and the hunter division ideal time was 1:49:50. IT WAS HOT!!! The temperature was in the upper 80s breaking 90 after lunch. These hunter paces are held at Arcadia in Rhode Island and are a convenient 20 minutes from home.
We rode in the Hilltopper division and the ideal time was 2:09:50. We rode 2:06:23 which was good for 6th place.
Alexis and Vicki rode with us and that time was good for 1st place in the junior division.
Vicki fell off in one of the fields when Devil spooked sideways at the canter, but got right back on. Rob had a hand full of horse today, but stayed on through rearing, bucking and other excitability issues. At the 5-6 mile point she settled down. Apparently i should not feed her electrolytes. Dakota was a trail rock star as always.
We had a good time and enjoyed lunch afterwards, tacos, salad and desserts.
Alex went with us to the ride and hung out reading while we rode, then had lunch.
After Vicki finished her home work this morning she begged me to help her make some blankets for her Breyer model horses. So we used some left over fabric from the pillow case project and some bias tape and sew on velcro to make some fabulous blankets. Vicki did ALL the sewing. I helped with some of the pinning and taught her how to make a pattern. She’s really happy with the outcome.
Today we spent some time enjoying the snow instead of shoveling it. The sun was shining and the kids rode the ponies bareback in the snow. Then I got King out and drug the kids around on a sled for a while. He is such a good boy!!
Tomorrow we will be back to shoveling as there is another storm approaching.
This afternoon I (Anna), Alex, Vicki and Alexis took the ponies on a trail ride. Living next to Pachaug State Forest really has its advantages. It was a perfect not too cold December day for a trail ride. The ponies were all feeling good and walking through the brooks and puddles from the recent rains. We went a little faster too…and everyone stayed on. It’s kinda fun now that the kids are older and can stay with their ponies a bit better and handle the occasional frisky moment. Fresh air, the sound of rustling leaves, filtered sunlight, really can’t beat it. Now with two 9-10 year olds it wasn’t quiet but enjoyable.
Today was Vicki’s 9th birthday. She left with Anna early this morning to go to the Big E in Springfield MA for a dog show with Turbo. There was a special 4-H class: Vicki got 4th in 8-10 year old showmanship. They got to participate in an AKC agility clinic and a junior handling clinic. They also watched some showing, obedience, and agility trials.
After she got home, it was time for presents. Dinner was her favorite: venison steak and mashed potatoes. And of course cake for dessert! Enjoy the pictures
Last fall Vicki met Alexis on her school bus. It was kind of an accident as Vicki had been left off the schedule for some reason and ended up riding the #10 Jewett City bus. Alexis was a fourth grader and Vicki was sitting in the back of the bus with all the older kids…As always Vicki makes friends easily and about a month later she was invited to go to six flags with Alexis’ family. At six flags Vicki had some spending money and bought a beanie baby shire horse or maybe a clydesdale. Alexis did too. They called them Hershey and Kisses. Since then whenever they play together the ponies come with them. They are pretty worn at this point both feature stitches and have been debeaned and washed multiple times. Today the ponies went swimming at Hopeville Pond.