Volume 31, Issue 3 Nov/Dec Newsletter
A Special VMHA Thanksgiving and Christmas Edition
VMHA President’s Letter
These have been challenging times with the pandemic affecting us in various ways. We’ve spent more time at home; perhaps more time with our Morgan horses; social gatherings were greatly diminished; equine activities and events have been modified, postponed or cancelled. In regard to the VMHA operations we’re had several firsts. Monthly Zoom board meetings, a Zoom Annual Business meeting, board member elections by mail, and more frequent newsletters.
During the Zoom VMHA annual meeting members voted to approve the FY 2021 budget.
Mail-in ballots election results were announced. Amanda Ryan was elected Vice President. Nina Quinn moved to fill Amanda’s board director position. Incumbent director Anne Brown and new director, Margaret Gladstone will serve 3-year terms. Incumbents Karen McKnight, Barbara Estey, Kathlyn Furr, Hayes Sogoloff and Cheryl Rivers were re-elected to their respective positions.
Please join me in welcoming Margaret Gladstone to the VMHA board of directors and Amanda Ryan as the new VMHA Vice President.
During the annual awards ceremony Amanda Ryan had the honor of introducing Kathlyn Furr as the VMHA Person of the Year. Kathy Furr recognized the Deane C. Davis Award recipients Jerold and Mary Jane Nau of Meadowsong Morgans. Denny Emerson recognized Barbara Ackley, Windrush Stables, as the first recipient of the newly created Lifetime Achievement award.
Thank you for supporting the VMHA during this year of unprecedented challenges. Together let’s strive to continue to promote the Morgan horse through education, a calendar of events and enthusiastic involvement of the membership. I am confident that with your continued support, and that of the board, we will see to it that the VMHA will be successful in 2021.
With warm regards, Karen B. McKnight, VMHA President
Welcome Margaret Gladstone
We are pleased to introduce Margaret Gladstone as the newest member of the VMHA board joining in November following the VMHA Annual Meeting and election. Margaret takes the reins from Brittany Collins who is leaning into her growing business, young family, and homestead, which this year took on the monumental task of raising a horse barn at her family’s new home in Fairfax.
Margaret comes to VMHA with years of organizational experience including supporting local and state-wide 4-H leadership. Margaret is a lifelong Vermonter and with her husband Walt, the driving force behind Newmont Farm in Bradford. In the intervening years since establishing the farm 30 years ago, it has become a sizable family run operation with 20 employees, large dairy herd, and over 1,000 acres in service to various crops.
Margaret became a dedicated steward of the Morgan breed in more recent history, but in just 10 short years has built an impressive breeding program at Newmont named Newmont Morgans. Her introduction to horses, and later Morgans, is the result of a recognizable and heartwarming story. Margaret has two websites dedicated to Newmont Farm and Newmont Morgans. A virtual visit is well worth the trip. The photos depicting life on the farm and its Morgans are a joy. In 2019 The Morgan Horse Magazine profiled Newmont Morgans and Margaret has made the article available online. Margaret is relatable in her humble beginnings and it will be difficult to not be inspired and in awe of what she has shaped out of her mission as a small breeder with big dreams. Undoubtedly VMHA will be enriched by Margaret’s experience and contributions and we are elated to have her support.
VMHA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President: Karen McKnight…..PO Box 15, Underhill Center, VT 05790.......802.899-4185…firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President: Amanda Ryan..27 Maple Ridge Lane, South Hero, VT 05486..892 578-0353..email@example.com
Treasurer: Barbara Estey………555 Spoonerville Road, Chester, VT….802 886-8223…firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: Kathlyn Furr……....2563 Silver Street, Hinesburg, VT 05461…..802 482-2583….email@example.com
Anne Brown ………..1380 Old Stage Road, Westford, VT 05494........802 878-4128…firstname.lastname@example.org
Denny Emerson…..166 Brook Road, Stafford, VT 05072………....802 765-4049….email@example.com
Margaret Gladstone…440 Mallary Road, Bradford, VT 05033…802 222-9232..firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Hopper……..PO Box 40, Westford, VT 05494……...802 434-6130…..email@example.com
Nina Quinn……1065 Eureka Road, Springfield, VT 05156.......802.885-7281…firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheryl Rivers………2698 Vt Route 107, Stockbridge, VT 05772…….802 234-5803…email@example.com
Hayes Sogoloff……175 McGuire Pent Road, Charlotte, VT 05445....802 425-7200..…bonnieS461@aol.com
Mary (Luci) Stephens…...PO Box 87, Forestdale, VT 05745……802 247-1495…..firstname.lastname@example.org
2020 VMHA Calendar of Events
It is with the utmost safety of our membership in mind that most of the 2020 VMHA Calendar of Events have been cancelled. Hopefully, there will be measures coming that will make personal face-to-face gatherings possible once more. In the meantime, please note that VMHA committees are planning “virtual” horse shows for 2021 if necessary. In addition, Club members will be holding events, or are attending clinics that will be of interest to the membership. Engage, have fun, ride/drive and show your Morgan horse.
VMHA ANNUAL MEETING 2020
The 2020 VMHA Annual Meeting was a “virtual” meeting this year, with many Association members phoning in. Karen McKnight, VMHA President, Nina Quinn, VMHA Vice President, and board members made an effort to have a meeting as welcoming as possible under the circumstance. Nina created a slide presentation of the agenda, which was saved and e-mailed to the club members following the November 7th ZOOM meeting.
Briefly, the following officers were elected by mail ballots prior to the meeting date. Assocation members voted in Karen McKnight as VMHA President, Amanda Ryan as VMHA Vice President, Barbara Estey as VMHA Treasurer, and Kathlyn Furr as VMHA Secretary. Anne Brown was re-elected to the VMHA Board of Directors, and Margaret Gladstone, a new Board member is welcomed as well.
2020 Award Recipients:
VT.Photo credit: Stephanie Tanner
A new Lifetime Achievement Award, was introduced by Denny Emerson during the Annual Meeting. The first recipient was Barbara Ackley.
Photographs provided by Nina Quinn
Congratulations to the 2020 award winners. Their quiet contributions and efforts on behalf of VMHA helps to make the Association successful, enjoyable, and grow. The Association has many committees for members to join in on the fun too.
VMHA Youth News
Maddie Hopper, VMHA Youth member, on “Misty” (Heyday Molly Stark 1996, Heyday Independence x Rohan Celebrian). Taking Saturday morning academy lessons October 2020 at Cedar Spring Morgan Horse Farm, Charlotte, VT.
Photo credit: Bonnie Sogoloff
VMHA Members News
Nancy Magnum – Dressage News
On Nov 7th and 8th I had a great time riding in a dressage clinic with Cindi Rose Wylie who is a long time Grand Prix rider, trainer and USEF/USDF judge from Georgetown, MA. The clinic was hosted by Jamie Fell of Fell-Vallee Dressage in Colchester, VT.
I brought my 25 y/o FEI gelding Canequin’s Local Hero (Roman Elite x Equinox Locomotion) as I needed more tools for developing piaffe and addressing the one time tempi changes. Cindi had fun exercises to help me with my goals.
I also brought my new young 5 y/o SWP Giordano (Newmont’s Belmont Stakes x R-Leigh Cassidys Command) I’ve had him about 4 months and we are slowly building muscle & endurance so my goal was basically to take him on a “field trip.” We are simply working on the beginning of the German Training Scale, which is rhythm & relaxation. We focused on the basics which are so important. We introduced some leg yielding and we came away with some fun exercises and clear goals. He was a gem and seemed to enjoy a change of scenery.
Fall clinics are super helpful to give us goals to work on during the long, Vermont winter months. Luckily, we had a weekend of gorgeous weather so it was a very enjoyable time.
Thanks to Stephanie Tanner for the excellent photos.
By Nancy Magnum
“It Ain’t As Easy As It Looks” – Driving 101
“Don’t let go of the outside rein,” advised Stephanie Tanner to me. “OK,” I replied. Fancy, Raynyday Fairytale Fancy, my Morgan mare, went “Well, that’s much better – but you let go of that rein then I’ll just take over again, hahaha.”
Learning to drive a novice horse like Fancy is not as easy for a beginner driver like myself. In fact, Stephanie heard me muttering “It ain’t as easy as it looks” more then once. We, as in Fancy and I, made a lot of progress with guidance from Stephanie. And it was fun. I wore a smile hidden under my Covid mask. 🙂
With practice some day we just might make a good team with me as the in-charge driver and Fancy as the in-front motor.
Photographs by Stephanie Tanner.
Thank you Stephanie for the lessons and photographic proof that keeping a feel on that outside rein does really help the steering!
Thank you to Jerry and Mary Jane Nau for the use of their outdoor ring at Meadowsong Morgan Farm, Shelburne, VT.
Riders, Your Bucket List Just Got Longer
This fall I unwittingly rode into what would be the greatest moment of 2020. School had recently started and my 2nd and 4th grader were invited back for part-time in-person schooling. Re-habituating my role as mother and teacher had taken a stranglehold on my schedule and my thrice weekly riding dates had slowly dwindled to zero. As many of you can relate, this was a sad state of affairs. Instead of riding I lived vicariously through Facebook posts of my fellow riders, who despite everything were getting out to ride. A favorite virtual stop is Log Cabin Stables owned by Phil Pearo and his wife Aileen in Alburgh.
They are great champions of the Morgan breed and wholesome enjoyment of everything horses. Log Cabin Stables is also the home of Hoss Equine - Amanda Hoss’s banner for her lesson and horsemanship programs. Amanda and the Pearo’s and have made Log Cabin Stables into one of the happiest places on earth and so keeping a lifeline to them via social media was a daily quarantine habit. I noticed Amanda was seeking sponsorship for the Annual Champlain Adaptive Mounted Program (CHAMP) trail ride. The annual ride takes place in my backyard in South Hero every September. Though all of its programming was paused due to Covid, they were able to safely offer the fundraiser ride.
I enthusiastically submitted a sponsorship to Amanda and wished her well admitting to my jealousy. Amanda is someone you want to be around. Her love of horses is so earnest and she is endlessly creative, organizing rides on Vermont’s most magnificent sand beach for barn members, moonlight rides in the fields surrounding Log Cabin Stables, or professional photo shoots with your lesson horse to name a few. So I shouldn’t have been surprised, yet was dumbfounded, when the return message asked if I’d like to join her. Despite owning unexercised jelly legs, I agreed to join Amanda on the 18 mile ride aboard Bently, Phil’s incredibly talented barrel horse, so good in fact, he has a cover page on the American Morgan Horse Association’s brochure advertising the multi-disciplined Morgan.
Phil purchased GDT Bently some years ago as a coming three-year old from the Tatro family and is now a talented performance mount, lesson horse, and seasoned trail hack. He had been putting miles on all summer and was well prepared for a multi mile ride. Me…well not so much. With caution thrown to the wind I rose before the sun and met Amanda in South Hero. The day was proving to be absolutely glorious, reaching a sunny just below 70 degrees with a slight breeze, just enough to keep from overheating. After a socially distanced ready up with safety instructions and guidelines, approximately 30 riders set off. I am a native daughter of the Champlain Islands. I thought I had seen it all. I hadn’t. The next 18 miles would send us across some of the most exclusive vistas, breathtaking landscapes, and uniquely island environs. There is something particularly celebratory about the ride too. As we traversed through backyards, public trails, and farm fields, people came out to see the horses. They are masked and enthusiastic. It felt like a trail parade at moments. There were plenty of opportunities to greet on lookers and ask, “guess what kind of a horse I’m riding, I’ll give you a hint, it’s the Vermont state animal!” By this point I had already pushed the ride to bucket-list worthy and then we reached the crescendo. Popping out of the woods we crossed over to a little cove on the west shore and were permitted to walk our horses into a crystal clear sandy bottomed lakeshore with an unobstructed lake view looking toward the Adirondacks. That’s when I began to feel the warmth of being in the company of 30 other intensely happy people. During a year with so much difficult news and worry I can not express the catharsis of this moment. So elated by good vibes I extracted my phone from my pocket despite imminent danger of dropping it into the water and rapidly snapped as many one-handed photos as I dare.
We lingered there wading in the water watching some braver souls head out deeper for a swim. Eventually we broke away lured by the smells of a hot lunch. CHAMP volunteers had driven ahead to this meet-up point with a drove of volunteers with halters and lead ropes who held our horses while we feasted on comfort food favorites and prepared for the final miles home. Its here I must give a nod to my mount. He’s not even broken a sweat under his saddle. I’ve done nothing more than hold the buckle while he’s kept a steady forward and surefooted pace at the front of the pack. Horses have galloped at us and away from us and he continues at the same level pace ears pinned forward. He’s happy too! Since this day I have experienced many random moments of intense gratitude; for Phil and Aileen, their horsemanship, their generosity, and enthusiasm for Morgans. For Amanda who inspires me with her clear-eyed determination to enjoy the life of an equestrian and to support others who want to achieve the same. There have been some difficult and frustrating days since, but all I need to do is revisit this photo and I’m right back there, sun on my back, as my happy horse gazes with me out over the placid waters to where the big mountains rise up in the distance, and that’s when a big, very big, happy grin crosses my face.
Put this ride on your list and I’ll meet you there next year! https://www.vtchamp.org/events
Happy Trails To All….and a Very Merry Christmas
Best wishes to all for a better 2021, Sincerely, Kathlyn Furr, Editor