First Farm Inn
Thinking of an Equi-Tour? Packing List for a Long Ride 29 Jan 2013, 7:11 am
Having just come back from my first international riding trek, I realized that –while I packed pretty well – some of the other women on the ride had some good ideas I want to remember.
In the next few months, several friends and students are heading out on long rides, so here is my list, which incorporates experience from all ten women on my five day ride in Spain. Unlike most Americans, the European women wore the same outfit each day, not wasting lots of luggage space. Temps were perfect for riding 50s-65 each day so we didn’t sweat thru our clothes which would have changed that scenario.
- A comfortable, lightweight, vented helmet made for riding horses
- Two pairs of riding pants -- different styles in case one rubs
- Two very supportive comfortable, well worn bras -- different styles in case one rubs
- Riding gloves – two different styles in case one rubs
- Chaps – half or full, whichever you’re comfortable in – something that will shed brush and briars.
- Comfortable well-broken-in riding boots
- Several different thicknesses of socks in case one rubs or it’s cold. (I was glad to have my SmartWool ski socks days the mornings were below freezing.)
- Long cotton scarf to cover face/neck, protect from sand & dust, wet to cool, or keep warm.
- Padded bike shorts in case you get sore.
- Layered tops: tank, t-shirt, long-sleeved T-shirt, vest, jacket
- Belt pack containing:
- Extra camera batteries
- Lip sunscreen
- Bandaids (for blisters)
- I became fairly popular for having a little plastic pill box that contained:
- Decongestants (never know if you’ll be allergic to something in a different area!)
- Tums/stomach meds (I didn’t take these, but several women would have been much happier had we had some kind of stomach upset aid.)
- Water bottle (We had saddlebags to put this in.)
- Sunscreen for face & body
- Mosquito bite stuff & bug spray (depending on season)
- Poise pads/thick sanitary pads for padding if bruised
- Adhesive pain patches Capasin, Icy Hot, etc. just in case
- Pain relief creams for bruising: Aspercream/Arnica cream/voltaren gel
- Swimsuit incase there is a pool, hot tub or sauna
- Camera battery charger
- Phone charger
- Big shirt or light robe to cover up with in case bathrooms are distant from bedrooms
- Computer tablet for Skyping!
We were very happy to have good firm comfortable beds each night and dinners that included wine each evening! After riding a horse you don’t know longer than you usually ride, sleeping in a tent on rough ground in very cold or hot temperatures would not have made the next day fun.
Be sure to read reviews of the ride before you commit. TripAdvisor.com had reviews that made us think. Make sure the ride fits your ability level.
You will not enjoy the experience if you overestimate your riding ability. I cannot tell you how many people who come to me saying they are “experienced riders” who don’t know what kind of saddle they’ve ridden in, don’t know the difference between a bridle and a halter, etc.
An “experienced rider” is someone who can safely and thoroughly groom a horse, pick its hooves, tack up, mount from the ground, ride over anything, through water, up and down hills. An “experienced rider” can get a horse to stop and start exactly when they want, maintain the speed they want, post and sit the trot, softly cue a canter lead and otherwise become the horse’s leader.
Our ride was rated “intermediate to expert.” I have trained half dozen horses from the start and ridden for 50 years. On the Costa Brava ride, I was terrified several times! The rest of the world doesn’t see the need to “idiot-proof” things like in the U.S.
Unlike First Farm Inn horses, these were “forward.” That means they like to move and move fast, rather than stand around and hang out.
We rode over and through culverts, ducked through brush and woods, rode under and over bridges, walked horses up narrow stairs, in and out of rocky streams and rivers, through walkways so narrow we had to pull our stirrups up, through roads with traffic moving, over sliding rocks, galloped up and down rutted lanes, and galloped in the Mediterranean surf over a sandy beach that rose and fell out from under us.
We booked through www.Inthesaddle.com
There are many others including:
- www.ishestar.is riding in Iceland
Named "Best B&B in the Commonwealth for Farm Activities" 18 Apr 2012, 6:42 am
Bardstown, KY – The Bed & Breakfast Association of Kentucky has selected First Farm Inn, located just off I-275 in Western Boone County, as the top B&B for farm activities in Kentucky. The Annual 5-Star Service Award for 2012-2013 is based upon a qualitative and quantitative review of nearly 50,000 independent B&B guest reviews submitted to TripAdvisor.com and other leading travel review sites.
Industry surveys show 96 percent of consumers consider reviews important to essential when selecting a getaway. Twelve percent will not make a reservation at a property without them. "Clearly, First Farm Inn has earned stellar reviews from inngoers for its quality accommodations, breakfasts, amenities, wonderful hospitality and service," says Todd Allen, Bed & Breakfast Association of Kentucky president.
Here are a few guest comments from the last several months:
4-12 “Absolutely the best B&B! We had forgotten what relaxation felt like. Plans to return are already underway.” Gene & Chris Erlanger, KY
4-12 “This place is like heaven on earth for horse and cat lovers! We have absolutely loved our stay here. Sage is my absolute favorite horse I have ever ridden! Such a beautiful horse! Your hospitality has been outstanding and the breakfasts are incredible. Thank you for a wonderful weekend.”
Don’t know how you get it all done! The flowers, decorating, food were outstanding. Thanks so much for a memorable, relaxing, wonderful weekend. First Farm is definitely and appropriately named...wishing to return...” Evan, Greg & Traci Stillwater, OK
“3-12 “We appreciated the hospitality, friendliness & atmosphere of First Farm Inn. The home, grounds, people & animals are first-rate! Oh, the breakfasts also.
Jen’s riding instructions & leadership helped we novices feel like horse people. The grooming & handling the tack was as much fun as riding. Perfect weather helped, but this was a perfect 3-day getaway in the spring. May God bless the First Farm family & future occupants to the 1870s room.” Dale & Carol Marion, OH
3-12 “This was our first B&B ever and it couldn’t have been better. The dog, horses and hospitality were just what we needed to relax and unwind. Thank you so much for good food and riding lessons.” Tyler & Jen Carmel, IN
2-12 “What a wonderful relaxing few days! Jen was the perfect hostess and a great breakfast cook – we did not need lunch the whole time because the breakfasts were so delicious & filling. We really enjoyed the horse rides with Sam and Tommy and Jen riding Bode! Jen is an awesome instructor – I learned a lot in a few days. We will be back.” Susan & Julie Fort Wayne, IN
3-12 “You have a beautiful home. Thank you for opening it up to us. It was wonderful to stay at such a peaceful place away from the city. The breakfast was scrumptious and the trail ride made for a great day activity. We loved the animals and playing fetch with Odo. I wanted to plan a quiet, relaxing getaway for my husband and I and I think this was the perfect place for our vacation...” John & Amanda Ft. Campbell, KY
1-12 “This place will hold a special spot in our hearts forever. We loved it and will return for a longer stay.” J & L Louisville, KY
1-11 We had such a wonderful experience sharing your beautiful home. From the warmth of the fireplace to the warmth of your conversation, we loved every minute. Hope to see you again when we quality as Olympic skiers!!! Lauren & Don TN
6-11 “Such a relaxing time. It began as 1-2 days, but we stayed for three. We celebrated our 32nd anniversary week here on the farm. What a delight! Food was the Best! I enjoyed learning about and caring for horses followed by the daily ride with Jen and other guests.
Our stay was more than I dreamed. The flowers greeted us each morning as did the swings, rockers and hammock. Odo (Australian sheepdog) entertained us with his blue ball game. Our time together with Dana and Jen was so special! They were so real and open with us yet let us have space. Their home was so welcoming. Thanks you guys!” Sugar Grove, IL
7-11 “Thanks for the great visit. It’s fantastic to go on a ride on vacation and feel like you’re on a ride with an old friend. Thanks for the tips on my riding position and for taking photos of me riding. It was great hanging out with you and the horses!” Washington, D.C.
8-11 “Thank you so much for the lovely accommodations. Enjoyed your home cooked breakfasts, the front porch, and your pets. Everything reminded me of growing up on the farm in Central Illinois. May the Lord bless your home and your endeavors for taking care of her creations.” Illinois-Michigan
10-11 “Thank you for taking two weary travelers from Ireland and giving us such fine food and conversation. Such hospitality is hard to find outside our home country, and we enjoyed having a good laugh together.” James Dublin, Ireland
9-14 “We enjoyed our stay so much – great food, fine music by Tatiana on the holiday morning was a delightful surprise, and Odo, the stress reliever. Our riding time and lessons will carry us down the road a bit safer with our horse encounters. I love the art your home is filled with – a mini museum! Thank you for your hospitality and may God bless you beyond your dreams!” Alvin & Linda S Jeffersonville, IN
10-21 “Thank you so much for opening up your beautiful home for us to enjoy! The food was amazing – I can’t wait to try the recipes from your cookbook! The room was so comfortable and homey, we felt like we were staying with friends...” Chris & Marsha N, Spruce Head, Maine
The 1870s-vintage German farm house is set on 21 rolling acres in Western Boone County, where Indiana, Ohio & Kentucky meet. Two spacious and comfortable guest rooms are available year round and include access to the outdoor hot tub, farm ponds, horseback riding and bountiful homemade breakfasts. Check out http://www.firstfarminn.com for midweek discounts, girlfriend getaways, family riding visits and suggestions for creative engagements.
Horseback riding is what sets First Farm Inn apart. “Riding with me is different than anywhere else you've ridden,” says Jen Warner who started the tiny agri-tourism venture 16 years ago with her husband Dana Kisor and daughter Tatiana Warner Kisor.
“During your two hour session, you’ll help groom and tack up, learn how and why your horse thinks the way he does, practice in the riding arena, then ride up and down the hills, around the ponds and through the woods with your new equine partner. Whether you've never ridden before, have taken a series of lessons, or grew up with your own horse, you'll enjoy your ride at First Farm Inn.”
Never expecting to teach riding following a career in government and corporate work, Warner constantly updates her teaching techniques and follows the latest research, focusing on safety, centered and balanced riding. Riding is available year-round to guests who are not staying in the B&B as well. Call to schedule a time. Groups are limited to five people over the age of 5 and under 250 pounds.
If you’d like to visit First Farm Inn before you book your stay, come Saturday, June 30, 10-5 for the Boone County Rural Treasures Farm Tour. You may tour the B&B’s “common areas,” visit the gardens, see the historic barn, walk under the 200-year-old trees, play on the swings, check out the hammock, take pictures with the horses, take a short riding lesson and enjoy some brief seminars on riding safety and balance.
For more information on First Farm Inn call 859-586-0199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For regular updates and to see lots of photos, “like” First Farm Inn Bed and Breakfast on Facebook www.facebook.com/FirstFarmInn
The Bed & Breakfast Association of Kentucky promotes a “Better Way To Stay” representing 100 quality-inspected bed & breakfast inns, boutique hotels, cottages, country inns and farm stays. Membership is limited to certified properties that agree to uphold quality standards. BBAK members work together to educate, promote and support these unique family businesses and historic properties. For a memorable getaway, visit a Kentucky bed and breakfast soon. To find out more about the Bed & Breakfast Association of Kentucky, visit www.kentuckybb.com or call 1.888.281.8188
Romantic family getaways... with the kids? 26 Jan 2012, 10:36 am
MSNBC is planning a story on romantic family getaways with the kids. Sounds like an oxymoron at first, but with some thought I came up with these suggestions. We've just started getting requests for spring break getaways, so you'd be wise to book as soon as your schedule permits.
Fun Family Horseback Adventures at First Farm Inn
Arrive at First Farm Inn Kentucky, 20 acres of rolling hills just 2 miles off Cincinnati's beltline, ready for the whole family (over 5 years and under 250 pounds) to spend two hours with our happy, healthy horses riding around the ponds, over the hills and through the woods.
After the horses have had their treats and been turned out, the kids will have a great time playing soccer with the dog and cuddling kitties. While Mom & Dad take the breakfast menu and list of dinner and entertainment suggestions to the double hammock under the big maple tree in the front yard to cuddle and chat, the kids can climb the big rope, swing in the tire, and play on the swing set.
They will check into the elegant, updated 1870s farmhouse bed and breakfast with two spacious rooms with queen-sized beds and private baths. Kids can stay in one room and parents in another, or a family of four can share the big Treetops room. Everyone can grab a drink to sip on the veranda as they rock and watch the neighbor’s cows. and discuss their bountiful homemade breakfast.
Dad can supervise rowing and paddle boat races in the big pond while mom enjoys an in-room massage or reads one of the many books and magazines available.
Croquet, board games, puzzles, movies and dvds are available as well as directions to Lazer Craze, hiking at Big Bone Lick State Park, visiting Rabbit Hash General Store, free ice skating (in December) or racing mini-cars.
Discounted tickets are available to Perfect North Slopes Ski Area, the Cinci Zoo, Cinci Museum Center, Children’s Museum, Newport Aquarium and more.
Put the kids to bed or in front of a movie, then Mom and Dad can sneak a bottle of champagne to the hot tub for some private time.
Traditional school break times are really busy, so schedule as far in advance as you can. Schools are varying holiday dates a lot, so check even if you’re trying to make a last minute plan! Midweek, multi-day discounts.
Ten Similarities between Horseback Riding and Skiing 17 Jan 2012, 8:44 am
Riding horses and skis are very similar activities, balance in motion – and both often done with significant speed, especially if you have some serious experience. However, I’ve tried to get friends who do well with one to translate to the other. Despite coaching, often they don’t think it’s an easy transition.
Coloradoan Julie Goodnight who inspires many of my teaching techniques does both – and rides a variety of disciplines. Here are some tips from me, a skier for 25 years and a rider for almost 50....
- Be aware of everything going on around you. Whether it’s inexperienced skiers or riders coming up behind or beside you, you want to be aware and prepared to take defensive action at any time.
- Use the terrain to your advantage. Never go faster than a walk downhill on a horse until you’re a very advanced rider. Turn uphill if you’re going too fast on skis and let gravity stop or slow you.
- Sink to stop. Sinking your weight into your seat slows both horses and skis.
- Control the speed. If you’re going too fast on skis or horses, stop, get your position together and regain control.
- Balance your weight. Riding, you keep your weight balanced over your horse’s center. Skiing, you keep you weight balanced over your skis.
- Flex your legs. Legs are never straight. Bend your knees. Shins forward against the front of the ski boots. When you’re riding, ankles are flexed so your heel is below your stirrup.
- Straight back. Shoulders curled forward or chin dropped throws your weight forward and screws up your balance.
- Faster horse or skier should be in the front. Overtaking another skier or rider from the rear is dangerous.
- Leave space between the skier or rider in front or beside you. At least 15 feet is a good safe distance for both.
- Stay relaxed and flexible. Your core is working constantly whether riding or skiing. Remember to breathe. Sing if you’re nervous – it forces you to breathe!
How Horses Learn 5 Dec 2011, 11:57 am
Regular riding by a calm, consistent, thoughtful rider is so important to horses. While we all have hectic schedules and our horses are our pets, it is important that we remind them we are the human with the big brain and they are the prey animal with the little brain with some regularity.
Just ran across some notes from a Julie Goodnight seminar at Equine Affair 2011 when she talked about the stages of learning for animals. She outlined four steps:
- Acquisition – Introduction of skills.
- Fluency – Understands cue and can respond correctly every time.
- Generalization – Can replicate the skill anywhere, anytime. Known as “seasoning” in the horse world. A “well seasoned” horse is more predictable than a young one who is just acquiring the skill. He’s traveled, been ridden in different places, been away from his herd-mates, had a variety of riders, experienced noises and distractions unlike those at his home barn, etc.
- Maintenance -- Horses must be worked regularly to maintain their skill level.
People often buy a horse described as “broke,” then neglect it for six months, a year or years and expect it to maintain the skill levels it had the day after it returned from the trainer. This doesn’t happen. Horses that are ignored have no reason to respect humans and often “forget” the horse-human hierarchy, which necessitates retraining and can be dangerous.
An aside: I’m hesitant to trust anyone who says their horse is “broke.” I don’t want a broken horse, I want a trained horse. The words used as a description often cue the process and attitude used. That may also be a cue that you’re “rescuing” a horse from a bad situation – make sure what you’re paying for it reflects that it’s a rescue, not a healthy, well-trained horse.
If you are an experienced, assertive rider and the horse (like most – but not all) is a gentle, kind soul, you can bring that horse back to the point of “fluency.” I’ve had good luck buying horses that have been thru this common situation.
Lisa did this in just a few months of regular riding with our newest horse Tommy who had been neglected at Earlham College in Richmond, IN – even thought he was theoretically part of the “equine program” there.
If you’re thinking about taking a horse to college or taking riding lessons at college, be sure to investigate thoroughly. The pretty brochure about Earlham’s “program” didn’t accurately portray the unsafe, unsupervised situation where Tommy was starved in Richmond, IN. And when we pointed out the situation to the college president – as well as his student’s dishonesty and misrepresentation in the face of the school’s “strict values & ethics policy,” he declined to take any action.
Quiet, consistent riding by a level-headed, calm rider gives a horse confidence.
The “instant reward” of releasing pressure within three seconds of the horse’s response is important too.
Nothing good has EVER happened from hanging in a horse’s mouth after he’s responded to you.
People often treat their horses like cars, pulling back long after they’ve responded and stopped – sometimes to the point the horse backs up, trying to figure out why they’re still pulling when he’s done what he was asked to do!
The quicker you give back to your horse after you’ve pulled on a rein to turn him, after his feet have stopped moving when you asked him to stop, the smarter he is going to think you are. We always want our horses to know from the start that we are the humans with the big brain. And it’s our responsibility to make sure our behavior demonstrates it!
What is Dressage? 16 Nov 2011, 10:12 amIt is so hard to give a quick and understandable definition of dressage, so here's the info from Wikipedia. There are more details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dressage
Dressage (pronounced /ˈdrɛsɑːʒ/ or /drɨˈsɑːʒ/) (a French term, most commonly translated to mean "training") is a competitive equestrian sport, defined by the International Equestrian Federation as "the highest expression of horse training." Competitions are held at all levels from amateur to the World Equestrian Games. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse. At the peak of a dressage horse's gymnastic development, the horse will respond smoothly to a skilled rider's minimal aids. The rider will be relaxed and appear effort-free while the horse willingly performs the requested movement. Dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet". Although the discipline has ancient roots, in Europe, dressage was first recognized as an important equestrian pursuit during the Renaissance. The great European riding masters of that period developed a sequential training system that has changed little since then. Classical dressage is still considered the basis of modern dressage.
Early European aristocrats displayed their horses' training in equestrian pageants, but in modern dressage competition, successful training at the various levels is demonstrated through the performance of "tests", prescribed series of movements ridden within a standard arena. Judges evaluate each movement on the basis of an objective standard appropriate to the level of the test and assign each movement a score from zero to ten – zero being "not executed" and 10 being "excellent". A score of 9 is very good and is a high mark, while a competitor achieving all 6s (or 60% overall) should be considering moving on to the next level.
An Andalusian at the passage
All riding horses can benefit from use of dressage principles and training techniques. However, horse breeds most often seen at the Olympics and other international FEI competitions are in the warmblood category. Dressage is an egalitarian competition in which all breeds are given an opportunity to compete successfully. Therefore, many other breeds are seen at various levels of competition.
There are two sizes of arenas: small and standard. Each has letters assigned to positions around the arena for dressage tests to specify where movements are to be performed.
The small arena is 20 m by 40 m (66x131 ft), and is used for the lower levels of eventing in the dressage phase, as well as for the USDF Introductory tests and the USEF Training Level tests. Its letters around the outside edge, starting from the point of entry and moving clockwise, are A-K-E-H-C-M-B-F. A number of mnemonic devices are used to remember this sequence, such as the phrase "All King Edwards' Horses Can Make Big Fences." Letters also mark locations in the middle of the arena: Moving down the center line, they are D-X-G, with X in the center. Since the combination of Equine Canada (EC) and United States Dressage Federation (USDF) tests in 2003, the small size arena is no longer utilized in rated shows in North America.
Standard dressage arena, 20 m by 60 m (66x197 ft).
The standard arena is 20 m by 60 m (66x197 ft), and is used for tests in both dressage (USEF First Level and above) and eventing. The standard dressage arena letters are A-K-V-E-S-H-C-M-R-B-P-F. (There is speculation as to why these letters were chosen. Most commonly it is believed because the German cavalry had a 20 x 60 meter area in between the barracks which had the letters posted above the doors) The letters on the long sides of the arena, nearest the corners, are 6 m (19.7 ft) in from the corners, and are 12 m (39.4 ft) apart from each other. The letters in the middle of the arena are D-L-X-I-G, with X marking the center line. At the start of the test, the horse enters at A. There is always a judge sitting at C, although for upper-level competition, there are up to five judges at different places around the arena—at C, E, B, M, and H—which allows the horse to be seen in each movement from all angles. This helps prevent certain faults from going unnoticed, which may be difficult for a judge to see from only one area of the arena. For example, the horse's straightness going across the diagonal may be assessed by judges at M and H. Judges in the United States are licensed by the USEF for different levels of competition, depending on the judge's experience and training.
The dressage arena also has a centerline (from A to C, going through X in the middle), as well as two quarter-lines (halfway between the centerline and long sides of each arena).
Dressage competitions may begin in local communities with introductory level classes where riders need only walk and trot. Horses and riders advance through a graduated series of Nationally defined levels, with tests of increasing difficulty at each level. The most accomplished horse and rider teams perform the FEI tests, written by an international committee called the Fédération Équestre Internationale or FEI. The highest level of modern competition is at the Grand Prix level. This is the level test ridden in the prestigious international competitions, such as the Olympic games.
Dressage at the international level under the rules of the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) consists of the following levels: Prix St. Georges, Intermediare I, Intermediare II and Grand Prix. In addition, there are four to six lower levels, occasionally more, regulated in individual nations. The lower levels ask horses for basic gaits, relatively large circles, and a lower level of collection than the international levels. Lateral movements are not required in the earliest levels, and movements such as the leg yield, shoulder-in, or haunches-in are gradually introduced as the horse progresses.
Apart from competition, there is a tradition of classical dressage, in which the tradition of dressage is pursued as an art form. The traditions of the masters who originated Dressage are kept alive by the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria and the Cadre Noir in Saumur, France. This type of schooling is also a part of Portuguese and Spanish bullfighting exhibitions.
Dressage tests are the formalized sequence of a number of dressage movements used in competition. Although horses and riders are competing against each other, tests are completed by one horse and rider combination at a time, and horses and riders are judged against a common standard, rather than having their performance scored relative to the other competitors.
At the upper levels, tests for International competitions, including the Olympics, are issued under the auspices of the Federation Equestre Internationale. At the lower levels, and as part of dressage training each country authorizes its own set of tests. In the USA it is the United States Equestrian Federation and the United States Dressage Federation. Pony Clubs also produce basic walk/trot tests. The British Dressage Federation has similar rules.
Each test is segmented into a number of sequential blocks which may contain one or more movements. Each block is generally scored between one and ten on a scale such as the following:
- 10 Excellent
- 9 Very good
- 8 Good
- 7 Fairly good
- 6 Satisfactory
- 5 Sufficient
- 4 Insufficient
- 3 Fairly Bad
- 2 Bad
- 1 Very bad
- 0 Not performed
In addition to marks for the dressage movements, marks are also awarded for more general attributes such as the horse's gaits, submission, impulsion and the rider’s performance. Some segments are given increased weight by the use of a multiplier, or coefficient. Coefficients are typically given a value of 2, which then doubles the marks given for that segment Movements that are given a coefficient are generally considered to be particularly important to the horse's progression in training, and should be competently executed prior to moving up to the next level of competition. The scores for the general attributes of gait, submission, impulsion, and rider performance mentioned above are scored using a coefficient.
Boundaries -- Who sets them? 16 Oct 2011, 4:41 pm
At a mother’s group when my daughter was very small one mom told of sitting in a hospital waiting room while her husband was having a biopsy.
The parents next to them said their two-year old was having all his rotten baby teeth capped because they put him to bed with a bottle of milk or juice every night. She wanted to warn other mothers about the dangers of giving children anything other than water in a bottle at night.
Another mother in the group said of her chubby three-year-old, “We tried that, but she fusses, even if we dilute it, she knows and throws a fit.”
Who is the adult in your household? I asked inside my head.
Yes, most of us grew up in dysfunctional households. We didn’t learn to set boundaries appropriately. We try to give our kids whatever we didn’t get. Our parents did the same for us, and theirs for them to a certain extent.
But whether we grew up with alcoholism, drug abuse, wife abuse, workaholism or an absent parent, a choice to become parents ourselves is a commitment to be responsible for another person. Being responsible means we must set boundaries – both for ourselves and especially for our children.
So what if your daughter fusses for three nights in a row about not having a bottle of milk in bed with her? I wanted to say to that mother. She obviously isn’t in need of it nutritionally. You’d rather not hear her fuss for a half hour for half a week now even if it practically guarantees she’ll have a mouth full of rotten teeth for the rest of her life. At three she’d be better off using a regular cup or sippy cup anyhow.
That reminds me of the La Leche League mother I heard talk about not feeding her baby solids because she didn’t want him to become less dependent on her.
Are we having children so we can foist our psychological dysfunctions on them?
Our Illinois neighbor constantly screamed “No, Tommy, stop that” at the top of his lungs in a usually futile effort to control and manipulate his six-year old son. We were the ones who picked the kid off the front window of his parents' van before he fell on the concrete drive we shared.
That’s not setting boundaries or appropriate limits either.
A friend once advised me to only say no to my daughter when it matters. “Danger, that’s electrical” works for light cords. “You’re hurting him” helps protect the arthritic old cat. National Public Radio ran a feature on Einstein saying as a two-year-old he spilled a quart of milk on the kitchen floor. His mother let him play in it before she made him help clean it up.
Setting boundaries is something we must continue to do for ourselves throughout our lives if we want to be healthy. Yes, I love hot-fudge sundaes, but I value being fit and healthy at least as much, so I don't eat one every day.
Old Fashioned Charm and Bargains in Rabbit Hash and Burlington 20 Jun 2011, 12:57 pm
If you like looking thru odds and ends trying to figure out what they were used for and admiring the ingenuity and creativity of the past, visiting Rabbit Hash and Burlington will be the perfect “cup of tea” to sweeten even the dreariest drizzly day regardless of the season.
On the other hand, if your idea of great fun is standing in line on steaming asphalt at King’s Island with 100 other people, Western Boone County won’t suit you.
“Rabbit Hash is a state of mind” says a bumper sticker laying right next to a postcard of Lucy Lu, the Australian Shepherd who became the new mayor in the Nov. 08 election, defeating Travis the cat. A very busy girl, Lucy is so zealous about stick fetching that she’ll even carry a stick to you inside the little odds and ends shops whose doors are propped open. She brought a 4’ long one up the stairs to the art gallery above the barn too!
You never know what you’ll find at Rabbit Hash – fresh creative art, flowers and plants, things you remember from your grandparents’ homes, Harley Davidson riders, live music, a checkers game by the wood stove, natural foods, hand-made crafts, garden tools and more. http://www.rabbithash.com/
The drive from First Farm Inn to Rabbit Hash follows a “Kentucky Scenic Byway” known as Petersburg Road or KY 20. You’ll overlook the Ohio River most of the way, winding down through tiny Petersburg where the 100-year-old Opera House is now a private home and the old hotels sit empty next to the river. Be sure to pay attention to the speed limit signs on the curves – they’re legit.
Turn right to stay on Kentucky 20 when KY 18 forks left. Watch for wild turkeys and deer. Take Lower River Road to continue your river view then loop back on Upper River Road if you’re heading north or east to Dinsmore Homestead or Burlington.
Turn right on KY 18 to go to the historic Dinsmore farm or Burlington. You’ll see Dinsmore on the left with it’s white picket fence and outbuildings. http://www.dinsmorefarm.org/ Tours are offered by volunteers several days a week, so you can stop in (or call ahead) and see if you’re in luck. The Dinsmore family, headed by five generations of women who always seemed to wed men who didn’t live very long, was very well connected. A moose shot by Teddy Roosevelt hangs in the front hall. One Dinsmore was the first Congresswoman every elected in Arizona some years ago. Hike to the family cemetery up the hill. Peek in the windows at the carriages. Check out the log cookhouse.
Back on Ky 18 go to “downtown” Burlington where Western Boone County’s stoplight resides. The café on the corner serves homemade soups, salads and sandwiches surrounded by memorabilia from the county high schools. Turn left to get to the Opinionated Bookseller, a delightful place to peruse odds and ends. Across the street is great (and cheap) antiquing at Burlington Antiques and its adjoining shops.
For elegant dining at reasonable prices, regardless of how you’re dressed, try Tousey House http://www.touseyhouse.com One group of Canadians returned there every night of their three night stay, offering raves each morning!
Continue your Western Boone County adventure taking KY 338 back to First Farm Inn. As you wind around the curves and up and down the hills, relax and recognize that it’s only six miles.
Zinnias & Riding -- By Sharon Rosburg 4 Jun 2011, 4:49 am
CoolBlueNews --- June 3, 2011 --- Although I closed my business and retired in December of 2010, I still tried to find gardeners for my longtime clients, and took occasional consulting jobs. Thus, when a good client called me and asked me to clue his new landscaper in on what plants I had used on his garden, I was glad to help out. What did you plant that he keeps raving about? , the new guy asked. I've showed him pictures of every flower I use and none of them fit his description. Oh, that's easy, I replied. Zinnias, lots of them and in every color.
Zinnias are an old plant, first seen by me at age four in my Grandma Sprouse's garden in West Virginia. She grew them in a row next to the corn, and they were huge things, much taller than me. As a child, I loved the pink, orange, gold and red flowers but, as an adult, the sandpaper-like leaves turned me off, and I didn't grow them for years.
Then I got a client who wanted big colorful flowers – all colors – all summer. They had to be good for cutting, withstand heat attract butterflies, and most importantly, deer resistant. Hello zinnias, come on down!
Zinnias are a hot weather annual from Mexico. The largest of them, Zinnia elegans, now comes in many colors –- bi-color gold and orange, white with rose center, reds, pinks, and purples. Two new cultivars are popping up in garden stores, a red and white beauty called 'Swizzle Cherry and Ivory,' and its gold and orange counterpart 'Swizzle Scarlet and Yellow. Friend and good gardener, Barbara Powers, who loves old flowers, turned me on to a green Zinnia – Envy.
Last year, I grew many kinds of zinnias – all of the above and lots of the little 'Profusion' strain, small zinnias in bright orange, red, yellow and peach. Living here in Mt. Lookout, also known as Deer Central, for the first time I had continuous color. It seems that the things that I didn't like about zinnias were also the things the deer didn't like, which may be why we now find these lovely upstanding flowers in six-packs everywhere. Hey honey, when you go to Biggs, would you mind bringing me back some zinnias?*****
Although I have retired to other endeavors, I have lots of names of good people who will be glad to come out and make your gardens beautiful.
Please contact me by email – email@example.com and I'll kindly pass their names on to you.
As I said, zinnias can be purchased everywhere nowadays. They don't like what T&M calls "root disturbance," so if you are transplanting them from starts, they may look like crap for the first couple of days. Here is what I've planted.
Zinnia 'Old Mexico' -- From the source, an heirloom plant with gorgeous pinwheels of gold and yellow downward curving petals. From seeds, from Thompson and Morgan.
Zinnia grandiflora – Perennial to Zone 5 – Here is Zone Hot and Muggy, Z. grandiflora may do well. This is my first year as I finally have a little more time to experiment with varieties I only once read about.
Description reads "dwarf plants with large orange-centered, sunshine-yellow daisies. Drought and heat tolerant – sound like a winner to me!
Zinnia 'Parasol Mixed' – Short but with same large flowers as any of the giant mixes. This flower is available at the Reading Feed Mill, if you can find anything after my cherry picking. It's a great flower for the veg garden.
Ride a Healthy Happy Horse at First Farm Inn
First Farm Inn, Idlewild, KY --- After years and years of taking care of family, clients and employees, I needed something just for me. I had tried my hand at handicapping race horses, and while I didn't lose money, I didn't make much either.
At some point, I realized just how much could go wrong with a horse. But in the process, I found just messing around with horses quite relaxing. I loved their beauty, size and strength, their personalities, and ultimately, the thrill of the ride.
First Farm offers horse rides like no other. You are matched up with one of nine of the most interesting animals on earth and begin by grooming and thus, bonding with your ride. While you brush down your horse, since it can't be ridden dirty,
Jen Warner, the owner, walks the stable explaining the ins and outs of horsemanship. Your horse is saddled, you mount and you ride out to a large ring, where she instructs you in posture, reining, trotting, posting and other command beyond my ability and understanding. After about 45 minutes of "horse class, " you head out to the pastures, woods and roads for wonderful riding. Jen is an expert teacher.
When I first started riding, I panicked, losing my stirrups and my cool. Sharon, she said, I'm going to tie a lead rope from your horse to mine and help you. So there I was, tied to Jen's horse along with an eleven year old who was doing much better than I.
Jen has a way of making you feel secure and I've made progress since then, can now ride, trot and even sometimes canter on my own.
If you don't believe me, check out my FaceBook page, Sharon Rosberg, and there I am, having the ride of my life. Oh, did I mention, First Farm Inn is a B&B too. Great accommodations, great breakfasts, and great, great horses.
First Farm Inn, 2510 Stevens Road, Idlewild, KY 41080, 859-586-0199,
Lessons from the Farm for my Baby (Written in 1996) 4 May 2011, 2:27 pm
Growing up on a farm and raising animals has helped me parent, at least as much as the volumes of parenting books and magazines I’ve perused in the last three years.
The youngest of all the cousins on both sides of the family, I wasn’t around babies. Living on a farm, neighbors with kids weren’t nearby. I didn’t baby-sit. I was never around kids younger than my sister, who is just 18 months my junior. Yet I was surrounded by baby animals –cats, pigs, calves, rabbits, chickens and one spring, even a pair of orphaned raccoons. From each experience, I learned things that have been of value in the first two years with my daughter.
From “helping” many dairy calves enter the world, I had an awareness of the birth process, signs of eminent birth and what can go wrong. Knowing that, when I realized my breasts were leaking colostrum within a week of my daughter’s birth, I hoped the doctors would be wrong and she would come on the date we’d expected. They were and she did.
From feeding young dairy calves from the time I was six, I learned the necessity of hydration, frequent feedings to keep fluid levels high in the young. Too sick and miserable to pump milk from the bucket, I’d work the nipple for them, waiting for it to trickle down their throats.
From mixing eggs into cow’s milk to feed orphaned baby pigs, I learned that the smaller the animal, the more protein it needs to survive. With patience, I returned to the barn many times throughout the first days, coaxing the less-than-month-old pink piglets to drink from a tin pie pan.
From handling fierce and fiery wild barn kittens, I learned gentleness and patience makes a loving, receptive creature. Hours of lying on the barn floor twitching a straw brought curious kittens out to tussle with the toy and gradually submit to more and more petting and cuddling.
From breeding Chinchilla rabbits with California rabbits, I learned the flukes and variations of crossbreeding. Their colors ranged from all white or all black to spotted, but never the mottled gray Chinchilla color.
From raising the raccoons, I learned that regardless of my beliefs, some traits are sex linked. Although they were treated identically, the female raccoon became friendly and enjoyed playing with us, the male consistently bit anyone who handled him. After they were released, only one came back to visit.
From watching white rats grow in a fifth-grade, I learned the value of nutrition. The one fed milk, vegetables and fruits, with a few treats mixed in, grew big and sleek. The one fed chips, candy, soda and other junk food (donated from school lunches) grew mean, angry, thin and ratty looking.
From the turtle my brother carved his name into in 1966, I learned most creatures stay close to home. An outdoorsman brought the turtle back to visit, with the name and date still clearly evident, nearly 20 years later. It had been found less than a mile away.
From my two Australian Shepherd dogs, I learned that the breed doesn’t make the dog and to be cautious of in-breeding. One, a farm dog from a local family, was bright and sharp with many untapped skills. The beautiful one, probably bred for her color, was sweet but an absolute dingbat, barely able to come when she was called.
From watching a friend teach my dog to roll over by feeding her chunks of apple pie, I learned the value of rewards to reinforce desired behaviors.
From showing pigs in 4-H, I learned the value of hybridizing. A pig with purebred parents of two different breeds won reserve grand champion, over 300 other pigs. The judge described it as nearly perfect in conformation, just about ten pound overweight. Later in a college class, I learned about the genetic superiority of crossbreeding, getting the best characteristics of both parents while leaving the undesirable characteristics behind.
Raising foals from Quarter Horse and part Arabian mares taught me that personality traits are, at least to some degree, inherited. Though treated identically, never scared, injured or roughed up, the part Arabian stud colt fought, bucked, whirled and reared when mounted. The Quarter Horse colt merely continued his stroll through his pasture with the rider up.
From training a young Appaloosa as a teen, I learned attention spans are short. A well-researched article proved true when I began a riding session by repeating old skills for about ten minutes, to introduce one new skill in the next ten, and then to practice for a few more minutes – and quit before either of us was too tired or too frustrated.
From that same horse, I learned that correction must be immediate to have an effect. Before working with a profession trainer, the gelding pretty much did whatever he wanted when my 14-year-old body was in his saddle. At the time, I thought whips were cruel and I didn’t want to hurt him by pulling on his snaffle bit. The trainer’s instruction never to ride without a whip served me well with him and all subsequent horses I’ve trained. A whip is not to beat an animal, but simply to remind it of its manners, immediately (within three seconds) of its misbehaviors. The more often it’s carried, the more seldom it’s needed.
Particularly from horses, dogs and cats, I learned the value – for me as much as for them – of talking openly. They became more comfortable with me and better understood what I wanted or needed from them – as well as when my patience was thin. When asked verbally to trot, my horse responded without any other aids. When I apologized for leaving for the weekend, my cats seemed to accept it.
From all of the animals, I learned the comforting value of touch. Grooming seems to bond horses to their riders. Dogs show their obvious love of any kind of touch. In 1996, I held my 15-year old part Siamese cat, in misery from the sudden onset of diabetes, as the vet injected him with an overdose of painkillers. He fell asleep knowing he was loved. He had used his soft warm body to comfort me through a very difficult decade and a half.
Now that my daughter is nearly two, she reflects the value in my carefully balanced prenatal diet. The raves she receives about her vocabulary and other abilities seem to indicate the high-protein diet I forced myself to eat during the last trimester did help build brain cells, as promised.
Although it wasn’t modeled for me, I know cuddling, positive feedback and telling her that I love her daily is very important. And in return, she is as snugly as my cats have ever been.
I occasionally catch myself being inconsistent in setting limits and think, “If she were a horse, she could kill me doing that.” So, I return to the previous restriction and catch myself quicker the next time I vacillate.
And like rewarding a dog with treats to repeat a trick, I realize when I reward her with attention or affection, she will continue that behavior. We used that to encourage singing the Barney song, counting to 15 at 21 months old, saying the alphabet, using good manners and more.
I know “punishment” must be immediate. Going through a stage when she likes to pound her skull against my breastbone when I’m holding her, I thought about what she wants to get out of it (attention, usually when I’m reading or otherwise distracted) and what “punishment” would get it to stop. The punishment is immediately putting her down off my lap. She cries. I know it’s made an impression, without damaging her self esteem, without causing me to do something I find inappropriate, without responding in like by hurting her. The first few times after I realized the problem and the solution, I gave her a warning. Inevitably she did it again, so I put her down. Now, I know better than to issue a warning if it happens again.
As Tatiana began eating solid foods, she has maintained a balanced diet with plenty of protein while she’s growing quickly. Also from the animals, I know that most creatures eat what they need, if food hasn’t become a punishment or reward or otherwise an emotionally linked experience. So, on days she seems to eat primarily protein, I encourage some fruits and vegetables, but don’t worry unduly about it. Now she gets tastes of everything we eat, but meals never include junk foods. She’ll get enough of that when other kids begin to influence her eating habits. She loves ice cream and yogurt, but seldom eats a whole cookie.
Recognizing her attention span is short, I fill a diaper bag with puzzles, books and small toys when we go out for dinner. On long car rides, often eight hours, she looks at book after book from the huge stash behind the driver’s seat, when that wears out, Cheerios and raisins maintain the calm temporarily until sleep overcomes her.
When I see a mood coming on that isn’t prompted by hunger or tiredness, I pick her up, cuddle and change the scenery.
From remembering that as a six-year-old, I was capable of measuring milk replacer and whisking it into the right temperature and amount of water before carrying two buckets to the calf shed, I hope that – like most American parents – I don’t underestimate my daughter’s abilities and expect little from her when she is capable of so much.
And to help ensure that, our family is moving to our own – albeit small and outside a large city where mom and dad will work – but a farm nonetheless, yet this year.