Autumn certainly did cooperate for our Fall Fun Day in more ways than one. Beginning as a cool but pleasant fall morning, the annual riding event held here at Pompositticut Farm had parents and riders cheerfully assembling at the various riding rings to watch our fall riding participants engage in a small equestrian show.
Now at approximately the mid-way point in our 10-week lesson program, these riders were able to decide if they wanted to share their skills with family members by competing in both dressage and jumping categories. Beginners, intermediates and more advanced riders alike completed their specific mounted tests upon a chosen pony.
What makes this Fall Fun Day special though is not so much the competition, but the camaraderie that develops during this event. To make it all work efficiently, riders must cooperate with each other in preparing their pony as well as in sharing their mounts. It is during this time that friendships are strengthened and the real focus becomes the social aspect of the day. One parent even commented that she had not been able to speak with her daughter very much during the entire day because her daughter was so happily engaged with friends!
It was the friends of Pompositticut as well who set aside their personal time to be our judges for this event. Our sincere appreciation goes out to Lauren Surowiec and Christina Lombardi who were our jumping judges; Bob and Diane Koopman, our dressage judges and Cindie Bryan who was our Walk-Trot judge. All of these people, along with our barn support team, made this event a successful day: Nikki W., Allison C., Shelbee M., Lindsey G., Caitlin M., Shannon M., and Nancy G. A very special thank you to Dawn from Linguine’s for always providing us with spectacular lunches! And we cannot forget all of you parents who helped us not only yesterday but throughout the year in so many different capacities but mostly for sharing your children with us! Thank you!
Be sure to check out or have as a keepsake the beautiful photos from this Fall Fun Day at:
When Summer officially ends, camps take on a new life and role! For Pompositticut Farm Day Camp, we shift gears slightly and become a “farm” again where the focus is on the horses and ponies who have devoted their summer to the campers. Like people, they too must keep in shape, eat properly and exercise. It’s a win-win situation for them and the children who continue with horseback riding lessons into these autumn months. In fact, we begin receiving requests for Fall Riding Lessons during the camp season. Families are already anticipating those beautiful autumn days when it is ideal to be involved in outside activities. Gone is the summer humidity, replaced with breathable air, bluer skies and mild evenings.
Afternoons find the farm filled with children who have registered for Fall Riding Lessons. These lessons begin the week of Labor Day and continue right up until Thanksgiving. There are no limitations in age or skill levels for taking lessons, just a desire to learn. Our licensed and skilled instructors are capable of teaching the first-time rider right through to those who are confident in their jumping abilities. Many of our participants are past and present campers who are eager to continue riding those horses/ponies they have been riding during camp.
Apparently, parents are finding they too can enjoy what their children have been experiencing on horseback by taking part in riding lessons themselves. One busy, working mother said she had taken lessons many years ago and this was something special she was “doing just for herself”. She had specifically adjusted her work schedule to take part in these lessons. Along with a friend, these two ladies are exercising, relearning a past skill, sharing time together and setting goals for themselves!
As summer officially ends, so many opportunities abound! The riders are not only learning how to ride but they are learning responsibility, commitment and caring for a living being. They are building upon personal confidence, independence and maturity. They are strengthening friendships, meeting new people and conversing with adults. Summer may have officially “ended”, but for many it’s a new beginning!
Each summer provides us with opportunities to capture the real essence of camp via photographs. Having been in operation for 36 summers, we often peek back at some of our earlier photos to see what the camp and our campers looked like. Many of these campers are now treasured staff members and it is fun to see how much they have grown and matured. We are also now beginning to see the next generation of campers or children of our previous campers!
I was recently asked if I could find a photo of a staff member when she was a young camper. When I began looking back through the hundreds of digital photos I have on file by years, it was then I realized it has only been 10 years since we have relied so heavily on digital rather than film cameras. That means most of our campers do not even know what 35mm“film” cameras were!
With film you seemed to be more selective in what you photographed because you only had 36 chances to get it right, unless you had another roll of film handy. Today you can shoot endlessly, and plan to keep only a few perfect shots. Even then, there are photo editing capabilities right on your camera or phone that can make pretty much any picture worth saving.
With this advent in electronics we have made our photographs of your children readily available to view and purchase. Through our online service called Smugmug you can sort through your child’s session and choose that perfect photo that captured his/her summer experience. Be it the cross-country jump trail or a cannonball off the diving board, we have tried to capture the essence of camp so you can see for yourself how much enjoyment the children experience here at Pompositticut.
See all the excitement at: https://pompositticutfarm.smugmug.com/
Any ideas who these two cuties grew up to be????
Hint: Project Soar & Swimming!
We are officially into the fall season as of September 22. The date alone, coupled with the sudden change in temperatures both during the day and night, certainly reminds us of this. I for one really love the fall and all it brings with it. Living in New England you cannot help be rewarded with all that encompasses an autumn day: apple picking, corn husk decorations, pumpkin everything, harvest fairs, colorful leaves. . . and even horseback riding.
Our camp equestrians were eager to start right up with their fall riding lessons soon after camp concluded. Parents were sending emails during camp so they would not miss enrolling their child in our sought after lessons. As a result September began with one of our largest group of equestrians ever! So many were excited to get back in the saddle and continue with all the progress they had made during the summer and have committed themselves to riding right up until Thanksgiving. Indeed, with the exception of just a few, the majority of these excited riders were part of our camp programs including the Day Camp as well as our specialty programs, Short Stirrup and Heels Down. They also had been part of our Spring Riding Lesson Program so these participants have truly committed themselves to the sport and all it has to offer. Some are as young as 5 years old and already have an interest in pursuing this technically challenging sport.
What a testament to our instructors who worked so diligently throughout the hot summer days to instill in these young people the love of everything equestrian. Both Allison and Nikki who headed up Short Stirrup this summer, are teaching these fall lessons along with a couple more recruits who assist in making sure everything runs smoothly and on schedule. They should both be complimented on their own accomplishments of obtaining their MA riding instructors’ licenses! Allison, who obtained hers a couple years ago and now Nikki who more recently passed her technical written exam with just one error. This, along with Nikki’s degree in Animal Behavior and Welfare and Allison’s master’s degree which she utilizes as an elementary school teacher, make for a talented duo of instructors.
Did we comment on how we also have a few adults/parents who are back in the saddle? We won’t mention any names, but these brave riders have put their all into relearning past skills. Although a couple have admitted to being sore after their first couple lessons, each are always smiling and seem to enjoy using this special time just for themselves. It will be interesting to see if they all will be willing to participate in the Fall Fun Day on October 16th where they can display their skills along with our other younger riding enrollees here at Pompositticut Farm. Who said fun is wasted on the young?!