Hemlock Lane at Valley High: A Stable 25 years in the Planning!

Posted on May 16, 2014 by Rebecca | 1 comment

As you know, Derek, Lizzie and I moved two years ago to our farm and have been renovating it ever since.  Despite the fact that this was originally a horse farm, the barns were all too small to accommodate the size of the Percheron girls. In addition, we found that all of the outbuildings, as charming as they are, were way too far apart to have animals spread out over 35 acres. Just bedtime check on everyone was an event!  So, we decided to bite the bullet and build a new stable that would house both our English Setters and the Percherons.


Both Derek and I have spent a lot of time in both barns and kennels throughout the years so we wanted to build a smart building that accommodated all of our needs.  Frankly, when Derek and I first started dating (we met riding equation for Miami of Ohio), we used to spend evenings sketching what our dream barn would look like.  I know - we were (and are) certainly a little dorky!  However, as our relationship went along and we got married, we kept designing on paper - we are probably both frustrated want-to-be architects!!  


So, when we finally were faced with a clean palette and the necessity of putting in a new building, we were able to realize our dream.  The entire project commenced in October of last year and stretched through one of the worst, coldest winters on record; we lost weeks of construction time due to the below 30 degree temperatures.


But I am very pleased to announce that 9 months later, we now have the most gorgeous dream bar! We wish we could spend every waking hour in it!!  Builder Bob (whom I've introduced you to in earlier blogs) has done it again and we are so excited.  We moved the animals in last weekend.


We splurged on our stall fronts from a wonderful company called Rockin J' out of Oklahoma.  They custom-made all of our fronts and even created matching smaller fronts for the pony stalls. The center aisle is reclaimed road brick while the center hunter green "Gas Station Lights" are an antique find.  The entire building is done in dark hunter green, copper, brick and dark walnut colors.


The tack room has a walnut floor plus other equestrian details and antique finds.  

The dogs plus all of the tack and feed rooms are on radiant floor heat, which the dogs adore - I find them on the floor soaking up the heat instead of their dog beds.

The kennel floor is done in a grey slate-like product that our good friend John Fabelo helped us find.  Our kennel runs are all Mason Fencing and the covered outdoor runs are done in a "Doggy Astroturf". These first pictures are hot off the press - I'll continue to update you as we continue to move in!






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The Percheron Girls Step Out at The Geauga County Fair!

Posted on October 04, 2013 by Rebecca | 1 comment

This year's Geauga County Fair was the debut of our Percheron girls in their driving classes. As you can imagine, it is a monumental event to move our big girls (2000 lbs each) and, of course, their side kick, Licorice (300 lbs) as well as Lizzie's bunny brigade to the fair for a whole week! It took us three days to pack all of the equipment, harness, carts and food needed to take this show on the road. Fortunately, the girls' biggest fan, Marvin Decker of Ridgewood Transportation, provided a large semi, so it was a one load operation. We just needed the Moreland Hills Police Department to help us stop traffic to move the semi in and out.

Once we arrived, we broke camp. The girls had standing stalls and Marvin helped us arrange for a box stall for Princess Licorice, who is now the official mascot of the Percheron barn at the fair. Derek insisted on spending the night with the girls, as they surely couldn't manage alone by themselves. Good thing, too- the first night Tammy woke Derek up at 3:00 am to tell him that her buddy, Camlyn, had untied herself and was standing in the barn aisle, checking out the competition!

Our good friends, Emery, Rachel and their daughter Tessa came to help us on Game Days. Emery taught us how to braid an 18 hand horse on Tammy, with Lizzie and Derek's help.

We spent a lot of time running between the bunny barn and draft barn; Lizzie was also competing in the Jr. 4-H rabbit activities, including showmanship, where she won third place out of at least 50 kids!! Lizzie was so excited to dress up in her Beatrix Potter/Peter Rabbit outfit for the costume class. Once of her English Lops, Flopsy, also went Best Doe and Litter, which was exciting as well.

The Percheron girls competed in the conformation halter classes as well as Ladies and Men's Pleasure driving. I won third place in a huge, highly competitive class which was really thrilling for me as it was my first Ladies Pleasure Drive. I couldn't have done it without Emery as my "wingman" and Camlyn in the lines - she was absolutely fabulous!! We found out that this sport requires a ton of people and support to do it well - by the time you get these horses harnessed, hitched and to the ring, it is truly a group effort.

We are also really proud of Lizzie who showed Licorice in several driving classes against much larger ponies- they rocked! Lizzie is becoming quite the driving enthusiast as well as quite accomplished. This is a great family sport for us; we feel so fortunate that we all share this interest!



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