Harvest Moon Farm

Bucks County, Pennsylvania

The Latest Archives
Dutch beats feet out of a hazard at Elk Creek CDEStepping back in time at the Devon Horse ShowDutch powering through marathon in Southern PinesCaptain & Rally--best buddies!   A beautiful marathon course in Ocala, FloridaMolly Brown (aka "Molly") & KellyOh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!

Katydid CDE...cold weather & water...no problem!Driving cones at Katydid on a sunny fall dayThe farm in fall colorRockin' and rollin' at The LaurelsUp center line for dressage at GMHA CDERally looking quite grown-up in bridle & saddleFull speed ahead in the water at Garden State CDEAaron, Kelly, & Dutch at Devon                                     Rally & Kelly enjoying a March weekendSailor joins the Harvest Moon Farm fleetRally & Dutch out in fresh snowDashing through the snow
A Southern Gentleman ("Rocky") 1989 - 2009
Even the rain couldn't dampen our spirits
Meet Homer--whose ears are only outsized by his bray
Aaron & Dutch in the October issue of Horse News On marathon at The Laurels International CDE

All finished--hard to believe it used to be a corn field

Merlin going for a drive with Marcy & Mark
Welcoming Flower & Cheyenne to the farm
Aaron, Kelly, & Merlin at the Devon Horse Show

Aaron, Kelly, & Dutch at the LSS Schooling Event



June ~ December 2011
Long Time, No See
It's been a long time since we've provided any updates...we'll try to provide a succinct recollection of what's happened to bring the Harvest Moon story up to date. In June, Dutch competed at the Elk Creek CDE in Elkton, Maryland, at the Intermediate level, placing 2nd in his class! He was also the Intermediate Marathon Champion. Toward the end of July, Kelly began the process of having surgeries performed to provide more permanent pain management for her left kidney, which ended our competition season early. However, it gave Aaron the opportunity to break Rally and Captain to harness as well as continue with dressage lessons with Dutch. Not to mention putting up 2nd cutting hay and harvesting 20 pounds of honey--our first honey harvest since establishing our 2 hives last year. 

As fall eased into winter, Kelly recovered from her 3rd and final surgery enough to begin riding again and we both enjoyed trail riding with Rally and Captain, even traveling up to the local horse park. It's been years since we've ridden out together and it's great experience for both boys. Captain was dragging a tire in harness by the end of the year, Rally had cantered under saddle for the first time at his first clinic, and Dutch was developing a lovely topline with all his dressage work. The holidays were quiet and gave us all a chance to relax, enjoy family and friends, and think about the possibilities the new year held. However, the best Christmas moment of all was placing four miniature donkeys in new homes--two of them being Cheyenne and Flower who had returned to us in December. Seeing all the donkeys happy in their new homes warmed the hearts of all involved.

January ~ May 2011
Dutch at Devon
One of our favorite events of the year is the Devon Horse Show Carriage Pleasure Drive, which takes place the Sunday before Memorial Day. Last year was Dutch's first time at Devon and we showed in our black antique reproduction road cart. This year we stepped things up a notch and showed him in our Studebaker reproduction park gate gig; a gig that looks almost exactly like the gig we had for Merlin! Devon is a chance for both of us to dress up for a competition. We had a fabulous time this year, placing 2nd in the Single Pony Two-Wheel Vehicle class--the biggest class of the day with 13 beautiful turnouts participating. Pictures from our day of "traditional" driving can be seen here

The Soldavin Southern Pines Adventure
April found us once again hitting the road to another CDE...it was a last-minute decision for us. Dutch was fit and we had such a good time at Live Oak that we figured why not do another one?! So we headed to Southern Pines, North Carolina, for the Southern Pines CDE at the Carolina Horse Park. It was one of our best shows ever, with Dutch putting in his nicest dressage test to date, placing 2nd in the marathon, and only accruing 1 time penalty on a tough cones course to finish 2nd in the Intermediate Single Pony division! A really big thank you to our trainer, Amie Bauman, for all her help over the past year--it's amazing to see how far Dutch (and Aaron) have come over that time period.

We finished up our trip with a detour to Georgia to pick up Harvest Moon Farm's newest addition--Captain (Captain My Ship). He was a gift to us from Rally's breeder, Kim Holderfield, and is a lovely dun Welsh pony/thoroughbred cross. We are just so appreciative of her incredible generosity and excited to bring Captain along as one of our driving ponies. He's 4 years old--the perfect age to start training--and has become fast friends with Rally. Click on the following links for pictures: Southern Pines CDE and Captain.

Sorrow & Success
What a month of incredible emotions. On March 20, one of our worst nightmares happened--Molly, our lovely little new mare, tragically dislocated/ruptured her stifle joint walking out to the paddock for turnout. A completely freak injury that resulted in severe pain and one that our vets determined was not repairable; even if it had been, Molly would never have a good quality of life. There was only one option--to release her from her suffering. However, it meant that suffering was transferred to those of us who loved her so much. The heartache is unbelievable.

Just two days after we lost her, Aaron, Dutch, and I were headed down to Ocala, Florida, to compete at the Live Oak International CDE. What an amazing trip...and a way to recover from our sorrow. Dutch was great...definitely in touch with his hackney side for dressage, which put us low in the standings, but just fabulous in marathon and a great boy for cones, allowing us to finish in 8th place in the Intermediate Single Pony division. He's come such a long way in 2 years. Just remember to hug your horses...you never know how long their time with us will last. 

Pictures of our Live Oak adventures can be viewed here.

Meet Molly
As Aaron always jokes, there must be a "Sucker" sign at the end of our driveway! When I received a phone call that there was a pony in need of a home, there was no question in our mind that we'd be happy to give her one. So enter Molly--a 5-year-old, 12-hand Welsh cross mare--who is just the sweetest little thing. We are looking forward to seeing what she'd like to do with her life--hopefully driving--and giving her lots of love and attention. You can read more about Molly and view more photos of her on the Our Critters page. 

Happy New Year!
We may not be in the majority when we wish for snow, but nothing beats heading out in an antique sleigh after a storm has left beautiful snow behind! In addition to enjoying sleighing with Dutch, we also had the unique opportunity to participate in the Pennsylvania Farm Show carriage racing on January 11 and 12 in Harrisburg, PA. It's some of the most fun all three of us have had...Dutch put in great rounds that placed him 3rd both days behind two full-size horses. You can view videos for our rounds on Wednesday on YouTube (First Round & Second Round).

2010 in Review
Enjoying Southern Hospitality
Our trip to Vermont (our first CDE more than 2 hours away from home due to our "new" used upsized truck and trailer) gave us a taste for travel. So the first weekend of November we competed at Katydid Combined Driving Event in Aiken, South Carolina. It was Dutch's move up to Intermediate for the fall. A couple of bobbles in dressage and cones kept us out of the ribbons in the large division, but another amazing marathon (3rd overall at the Intermediate level) ended our season on a high note! Pictures from Katydid can be viewed here.

Fall at Harvest Moon Farm
October was a month to take a breath and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. There are always plenty of projects to complete before winter sets in--Aaron finished his 350-foot stone wall alongside the west side of our property, graded and added gravel to the area in front of the Upper Barn, and set up a Halloween scene at the end of our driveway that had people lined up along the road to take pictures (see one here). October also gave Kelly a chance to spend more time with Rally--after backing him this summer and riding him a couple of times, it was time to go back to ground work until we give him his winter vacation.

The Ups & Downs of Competing
There's a common saying in the eventing world--there are two types of eventers: those who have fallen in the water jump and those who will. A modification of that phrase would sum up our experience at The Laurels at Landhope International CDE (West Grove, Pennsylvania) this year. We'd never been eliminated on marathon and unfortunately we joined the "have" group. Dutch put in another smooth and fast Preliminary Single Pony marathon and we were ecstatic...until we found out we'd been eliminated for missing a gate in a hazard that both of us were sure we'd gone through. Very disappointing, but we had a great time and that's all that matters! Our Laurel's photos can be viewed here.

To the North We Go
What's a good solution when the weather is hot and humid? Why, go to the cooler climate of Vermont! We left on an early Wednesday morning and spent five amazing days enjoying the beautiful weather (jackets and stable blankets at night), staying at our favorite B&B, having a great time with friends and, of course, competing at a fabulous CDE--Green Mountain Horse Association's (GMHA) Combined Driving Event in South Woodstock, Vermont. Aaron and Dutch had a great show--placing 2nd in the Preliminary Single Pony division. The highlight was marathon day, with amazing views from the mountains and a marathon that was smooth as silk. Check out our Vermont adventures here

CDEs & Bees
Aaron's been wanting bees for quite some time and now his first hive is up and running with 5000 bees! In addition to starting our first apiary, we also put up our first crop of hay--180 bales of first cutting orchard grass. June marked Dutch's first two CDEs of the year--Garden State CDE in Stone Tavern, New Jersey, and Elk Creek CDE in Fair Hill, Maryland; Dutch placed 6th and 2nd, respectively, in the Intermediate and Preliminary pony divisions! Last but not least, Kelly rode Rally for the first time--a moment we've long waited! Photos from Garden State can be viewed here
; pictures of Rally under saddle can be found in his album

Hit the Road & Show
That's exactly what we did this May! Our first show of the season was My Lady's Manor Driving Club's Spring Show in Spring Valley Park, Pennsylvania. This was Dutch's first pleasure driving show and Aaron showed him in the Novice Horse/Pony division. They placed first in the working, reinsmanship, and cones classes, and won the division championship. Just two weeks later, we headed to one of our favorite shows of the year--the Devon Horse Show. Black and yellow were our turnout colors and the judge complemented them by awarding Dutch 3rd in the Single Pony Two-Wheel Vehicle class! Pictures from the shows can be viewed in these albums: Dutch's album & Dutch Goes to Devon.   

Spring Comes to Harvest Moon
Everything is coming into full bloom here at the farm. We kicked off the beginning of the month by having a birthday party for Rally...hey, you never turn down the opportunity to have a good time! Rally is also officially long lining/ground driving, which means the next step in his training will be getting on him ...probably early this summer. Check out spring pictures here; pictures from Rally's party can be seen in his album.

When Horses Break Your Heart
We are so sad to say that we had to put Sailor down in early April. He was exhibiting mental issues that were getting progressively worse and seriously endangering himself and those around him. The only right decision was to let him go peacefully but it was incredibly heartbreaking for us. He was only here a month but during that time he knew love and kindness. 

If Winter Comes...
Can spring be far behind? The words of poet Percy Bysshe Shelley certainly echo our hope that spring is near. We're driving Dutch regularly to prepare for spring driving events and Rally is starting "back to school" with his training (check out a short video clip here). Rally's 2nd birthday is this month--it's hard to believe that he was a wee thing not long ago. We've also welcomed another four-legged family member--Daisy the dog! Meet lovable Daisy here.

Sailor's Story
On Thursday, March 4, a lonely pony was in the "kill pen" at an auction in New Jersey, bound for slaughter that coming weekend. On Friday, March 5, he was headed to his new home at Harvest Moon Farm. We have no name (only Hip #386) and no information about his life before he came to auction, but this shy little guy has a face that anyone would love (and lovely white eyelashes!). We've christened him Sailor's Story ("Sailor") and look forward to giving him a new lease on life. Pictures of Sailor can be seen here.

Greetings from the Snowy North
After a snow-free January, we were worried we wouldn't be able to sleigh again. Wrong! Multiple February storms made it the "snowiest" winter in a long time. We enjoyed sleighing and riding in it, and the "ponkeys" (ponies & donkeys) made their own versions of snow angels in the fresh fluff. Click on First February Snow, Second February Snow, or Third February Snow to see all the pictures of a frosty Harvest Moon Farm.  

2009 in Review
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
All of us here at Harvest Moon Farm would like to wish you a happy & healthy holiday season! We've gotten in the Christmas spirit by sleighing...with a turn-of-the-century Kimball Brothers (Boston) Portland cutter. Needless to say, we're hoping it's a snowy winter. You can view pictures of us sleighing here (as well as pics of the critters enjoying the snow); a short video clip is available here.                    

Farewell to Our Friend Rocky
We are so sad to say that we had to put Rocky down early in December. It was one of the most difficult decisions we've ever made--Rocky had been battling heaves (similar to asthma) for eight years and it began severely affecting his quality of life late this fall. He's buried in our back hay field, under the trees, and will always be with us at Harvest Moon Farm. You can read more about Rocky's life on The Critters page. Godspeed Rocky--the farm will not be the same without you. 

Fall Fun Shows
While we might feel like we're being followed by the rain curse, it hasn't kept us from having lots of fun at two driving events this month--an "Almost a CDE" fun day at Nearaway Farm in Millstone, New Jersey, and a horse driving trial (HDT) at Chapter One Farms in Pedricktown, New Jersey. Dutch was great at both, and we were very pleased with his first Intermediate level performance at Chapter One Farms. Soon we'll be battening down the hatches for winter, with dreams of sunny, warm driving days dancing in our heads. You can see pictures from both events in this album.

Homer is Here
Harvest Moon Farm welcomes our newest addition--Homer the donkey. We're not quite sure how old Homer is, but figure his sway back speaks to his status as a super senior. His new friends are Buster & Rally; you can see pictures of the three of them meeting here.

More from The Laurels
Aaron & Dutch were recently featured in the October issue of Horse News, a publication distributed in the mid Atlantic area! Select the October issue here and then go to page 10. You can also view a video of the Preliminary ponies tackling Hazard Two here on YouTube (Dutch appears around 4:47).

The Laurels International CDE

Dutch competed at his first combined driving event (CDE) September 11 through 13. He was fabulous, laying down a steady dressage test, the fastest marathon of his level, and a clean cones course to finish 3rd in the Preliminary Single Pony Division! In addition, he and Aaron, along with Dwayne Pash (2nd in Prelim Single Pony) and Judy Canavan (1st in Prelim Single Horse), placed 2nd in the Hunt's Harness Preliminary Team Challenge. To see all our pictures from the very wet, but fun, weekend, check out this album.

The Girls Are Off to Maryland
After spending the past 3 months getting Flower & Cheyenne looking beautiful (full figured & glossy!), we found them a great new home with Janice & Bob at Doubletake Farm in Olney, Maryland. The Girls are a neighborhood hit and quite pleased with their new digs. We love happy endings!

The Fencing Is Finally Done!
Last year, Aaron converted 4 acres of corn fields into new pasture. This year's goal was to fence it in, so at the end of May, Dad & Aaron began fencing, putting in the first 2 of 4 paddocks. The other 2 paddocks were completed in July and the fence across the front of the property was finished at the beginning of August. To see more pics, check out the
Fencing Project album.

Merlin Heads to His New Home
Due to our busy schedules, we haven't felt like we've had enough time to devote to giving Merlin all the attention he deserves. He'd watch longingly as we took Dutch out for a drive or worked with Rally. So we found him a wonderful home with Mark & Marcy of Mt. Airy, Maryland. He'll be the center of attention once again, and they plan on competing with him in pleasure driving shows and horse driving trials.

The New Donkeys!                        
Harvest Moon Farm welcomes our two newest additions--miniature donkey jennies Cheyenne (spotted) and Flower (gray dun). The Girls are best friends, but tolerate Buster and Rally when needed. You can almost hear them saying "those stupid boys..."

The Devon Horse Show
Memorial Day Weekend only means one thing at Harvest Moon Farm--the Devon Horse Show and the carriage pleasure drive that takes place the Sunday before Memorial Day. Merlin placed 2nd this year in the Single Pony Two-Wheel Vehicle class, the largest class of the day with 11 entries. Both of our parents were able to attend and Aaron's mom Mary Ellen won the tailgating contest with her summer-themed spread. Pictures from our Day at Devon can be seen here.

Lord Stirling Stables Driving Trial
Early in May, we took Dutch to his first driving event. Instead of trying to do all 3 phases, we choose to just do the marathon schooling that was offiered. There were 4 to 5 obstacles over a course that was about 6 kilometers--a perfect introduction to marathon. Dutch took to it like he'd been a CDE pony all his life. He quickly figured out what he was supposed to be doing and pretty soon we felt like we were just along for the ride. Over the coming summer we'll continue to do conditioning work and dressage and cones schooling with the hope of competing at a CDE this fall. You can follow Dutch's progress by visiting his photo album. 

Horse Show & Event Photo Archives
>Merlin: 2008 The Laurels International CDE
>Merlin: 2008 Gladstone International CDE
>Merlin: Pleasure Shows & CDEs (2006 to 2009)
>Traveler: Horse Trials & Events (2003 to 2006)

 

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