1 After two full weeks of dreary, nasty weather, I was so happy to have a Sunday like this one. The sky was such a lovely shade of blue and the clouds were big and puffy. It was a perfect morning for a horseback ride!
2 A view across a paddock towards the stable complex
3 Rinze, like all my horses, is a Friesian. The breed originates from Friseland, Netherlands. They are large but quite agile.
4 Betsy, my stable manager, and Ramon - her choice of Friesian for this ride
5 Friesians are quite tall, averaging five feet to their withers, or shoulder blades. A mounting block makes things a whole lot easier getting into the saddle.
6 Here I am about to mount my horse, Rinze. Carmine, my stone mason found this great block for me.
7 With so much rain, the paddocks are so verdant for this time of year.
8 Riding down the boxwood allee - The boxwood are also quite green and will need a good pruning.
9 The Friesians we weren't riding, were enjoying the sun on their backs.
10 Did I say verdant?
11 Horses eat small amounts of grass throughout the day, so they love grazing in the paddock.
12 The roosters in the chicken coops were crowing away on this beautiful morning.
13 Riding along the lower carriage road - a view looking towards my house
14 This is another storage barn on the property. We will soon be building a second hoop house on the far side of this building to store tropical plants for the winter.
15 Betsy riding towards the lower gate where we will exit the property
16 Carlos passed us in the Kawasaki. Francesca, Sharkey, and G.K. love driving around the farm.
17 Exiting onto Maple Avenue - This dirt road is a popular route for joggers.
18 Because it's dirt, it's also popular for horseback riding.
19 The ground was very saturated from recent downpours.
20 There was standing water everywhere.
21 There was also a good deal of erosion, which the town will need to repair.
22 The ground is just too wet to absorb anymore rain.
23 Riding along towards the Cross River Reservoir
24 You can see how thin the leaves are on the trees overhead from the winds of Hurricane Irene.
25 A bit of sculpture along the way
26 There will be very little autumn foliage this season.
27 So many leaves are already on the ground, having blown off the trees. Betsy needed to make a saddle adjustment.
28 This rushing stream feeds into....
29 The Cross River Reservoir
30 We ran into a neighbor walking her dog.
31 This basin, approximately 3.2 miles in length, holds 10.3 billion gallons at full capacity, which it certainly is!
32 Another stacked stone sculpture called a cairn
33 We ride at a leisurely pace so Betsy and I can take in our surroundings and chat a bit.
34 Between Hurricane Irene and the recent rainstorms we've been experiencing, many trees haven't fared too well.
35 You may fish in the reservoir if you have a valid public access permit.
36 We turned and headed back towards the farm.
37 On our return, we rode past the other horses again, who were still contently grazing.
38 Back down the boxwood allee
39 At the end of the allee is another block for dismounting - This great stone is from my previous home on Turkey Hill in Westport, CT. I had a feeling I could use it here.
40 Time to groom Rinze and Ramon