The girls and I have settled comfortably into Eastern New York. Snow arrived last week with a burst of energy but has now disappeared under warm sunny skies. Essie and Spirit have prepared for a cold winter like we have in Montana but I doubt they will need the thick coats they are sporting. We shall see.
Greetings from the Lamando residence. Snow this morning, wet, rainy, snowy, slushy day with a heavy mist peering through naked leafless trees. Mystical. I rarely follow a route I have ridden, generally I am doing huge circles. This portion of my route from Fort Edward, New York to Wells, Maine is like rediscovering friends I had met on the westward trek to Maine and I must say it has been great fun. I met the Lamandos while having dinner at the Fort Edward Diner in September. They heard me talking about Granville – the next town I was to ride thru. Cathy and David came over, introduced themselves, and as so many times happens invited me and my girls in for the night. Now here I am once again retracing the same route back to Fort Edward and the Lamando’s have been kind enough to take “the girls in.” Essie and Spirit have comfortable dry stalls with all the fixings.
In my years of equestrian travel I have come across several riding therapy programs and I thought this would be a good opportunity to share these remarkable programs with those who follow my rides.
Cathy owns NIPPER KNOLLS – Therapeutic Riding Program – Hippotherapy Services HPCS (certified clinical specialists there are only 108 registered in the United States) – nipperknolls.com
Cathy Lamando has a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy MSPT and is a PATH Intl. registered Instructor. ( Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) this is from her website page…
… Our program emphasizes the abilities not disabilities of each participant. In a safe and friendly environment, we encourage people to strive towards their individual goals, whether it’s to increase confidence, socialization, muscular coordination and strength or to become an independent rider.
PATHInternational www.pathintl.org came together in 1969 and was formally called North American Riding for the Handicapped Association. “ensuring excellence and changing lives through equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) which promotes health, fitness and socialization for people with special needs.
When I asked Cathy “How do horses help those with physical disabilities, developmental challenges or mental health disorders?” She replied, “The multidimensional movement of the horse is widely recognized by physical and occupational therapist to aid postural control and motor skills. The predictability of the horses rhythm promotes self organization which may lead to normalized patterns of moment. Participants learn to trust through a large gentle animal and builds confidence which carries over into everyday life. The horse gives the experience of walking to a person who is non ambulatory. I have seen amazing changes on children who have found success no where else. The intimate one on one interaction between horse and rider can work miracles.”
Folks coming to the Windsor talk…the presentation will take place at the “WELCOME CENTER”
Coming from Rt. 5 North into Windsor, turn left off of Rt. 5/Main St. onto Depot St. directly before the soldier statue. Straight ahead of you will see the Windsor Station Restaurant. Bear right in front of restaurant. At this point you’ll be in a parking lot. Park anywhere. The WC (WELCOME CENTER) is tucked in the far right corner of this lot, approx. 100 ft. from the restaurant. It’s a light colored clapboard building and will be well lit. The address is 3 Railroad Row. The restaurant address is 27 Depot Ave.
If you come from the Rt. 5 South into town, go through both stop lights and turn RIGHT onto Depot St. after the second light and next to the soldier statue.
I rode from Muster Field Farm Museum as clouds squeezed the remaining rain from its overcast blistery sky. Three days of torrential rains left creeks rushing with delight and lake shores spilling over soggy leaf embankments. Wet pavement is bad enough, add rotting wet leaves and it’s just plain dangerous to ride on, and I would not ride on, if not for the horseshoes Roger Robertson sends from the BlackSmith Shop (www.theblacksmithshop.net) But we safely clip clopped down the shiny black pavement with color still clinging to the Oaks and Maple trees over head. From our 3 day stop at historic Muster Field Farm to the Sutton School where children spilled out the doors like pouring rain from the sky. They’d taken a moment to wish us farewell.
History resounds in this part of the country. It leaps at you from Federal Colonial homes and mossy stone walls. It whispers to you from enchanting cupola’s, narrow twisting country roads and weathered grey barns.
There is high regard for heritage,how could it not be so? After all, did it not begin here? The concept of democracy took shape here, the foundation set, the lines drawn. The pot got stirred, the cake got baked, America’s beginning took place here. I think what so surprises me is how much has been preserved. How great the attempt has been to retain the natural beauty of the countryside, to keep small farms intact. Living in a 200 year old home is not uncommon. To me I see a high level of citizenship, a concern for the “welfare of community” and less on the individual. Although people are very tolerant and deverse. But I do see a greater effort to find a “common good for the all” that I have not seen anywhere in my travels. Historical events are pressed between the cracks like ghosts that keenly remind these New Englander’s, again and again, of OUR heritage.
Muster Field Farm is like a jewel in the community of Sutton and Sutton is a jewel in New Hampshire both wrapped in layer after layer of precious history.
Robert S. Bristol, the founder of Muster Field Farm, stipulated in his will that a working farm always be in operation and that the museum work to support and preserve the agricultural traditions of rural New Hampshire.
Today’s farm produces vegetables, flowers, hay, eggs, and fire wood. Ice blocks are cut from Kezar Lake in the winter and stored until summer in the farm’s ice house. Over 200 of the museum’s 250 acres are under a conservation easement with the Society for the Protection of NH Forests, and a program of selective cutting and sustainable forest management maintains diverse stands of mixed hardwoods and softwoods.
The large, flat and open fields, where militias mustered during the 18th and 19th centuries, are used to demonstrate farm operations and equipment during Farm Days in August. They also produce a large amount of hay that is used on the farm to winter-over the cows and other animals.
Steve Paquin, the farm manager and seasonal helpers are always hard at work. The farm specializes in vegetable production, with the best fields producing a wide range of vegetables (including Steve’s specialty, sweet melons of all varieties). Extensive flower beds exhibit an ever-changing display of texture and color.
The farm’s produce stand is open daily during the summer from noon to 6 pm, generously supplied with all types of vegetables, herbs and a beautiful array of cut flowers. It sells to both local visitors as well as supplying neighboring restaurants and food markets, and is open on event days for our visitors.
The farm also maintains a small but varied population of farm animals which round out the farming operation. Pigs, cows, and chickens are always to be found on the grounds.
Agriculture is alive and well at Muster Field Farm in North Sutton, as it has been for parts of the last four centuries. We hope you come and see for yourself what a “working farm” really means.
Nearly one hundred years ago as my grandmother Francis taught in a one room school house on the wild and windy eastern slopes of Montana’s Rocky Mountains her sister Linda graduated from Harvard. The first woman to graduate from Harvard with a certificate equal to that of a man. Adventurous women to say the least.
When asked the other day, “what has been the most interesting ride you have done?” I replied, “this one.”
We are nearly finished with our first year out on this “husky” 8000 mile journey, hard to believe.
Saint – Gaudens National Historic Site is in Cornish, New Hampshire’s back Yard!!
U.S. National Park Service
Pam Mills whom I met in Sunapee, N.H. gave me a memorable tour through the gardens. It is breathtaking to say the least….Please if you have time check out the website.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), created over 150 works of art, from exquisitely carved cameos to heroic-size public monuments. Works such as the “Standing Lincoln” monument and the Shaw Memorial, continue to inspire people today and his design for the 1907 Twenty Dollar Gold Piece, is considered America’s most beautiful coin.
Over 100 works of the sculptor are exhibited in the galleries and on the grounds at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. park.
Belgian Meadows offers wagon rides for all occasions, a pumpkin patch, an off beat guest cabin a place for ANY festivity be it weddings or birthday parties, it will accommodate your needs. But what the card/brochure will not tell you is the old world charm and hospitality you will meet at this farm. Owned and operated by Steve Collins for over 20 years Belgian Meadow Farm is very, very busy this time of year. I came thru North Rochester riding north on old hwy 125 when I sensed my position was off I had missed a turn and stopped to ask for help…at Town Line Pizza, umm I thought ” maybe they’ll have a slice of pizza?” I met owners Brenda and Lynn – had a fabulous sub-sandwich instead of the slice of pizza. Well an hour later I meet Steve Collins who just happen to stop in to say hello…. Belgian Meadows was on my route across Maine. And so here I had a much needed place to gather myself for the ride over to the Atlantic and regain my composure coming back as it was very emotional and very hectic in Wells, Maine. I’ll be giving a talk this evening then heading out in the morning. MORE FRIENDS, oh my goodness I do like the people over in this part of our country, the accents and casual flair to them they are as colorful as the leaves falling in the fall breeze.