Sunday, November 27, 2011

2012 Calendar & Feedback Requested

What better way to get over the end of the season blues than making plans for next season?  Today I worked on putting together a schedule of activities at SGF for next year.  There may be additions or changes, but this will get you started on making your plans.  I haven't updated the fliers yet but, other than the dates, last years' fliers have additional information.  The fliers be found on the SGF  website.

I'm toying with the idea having the dressage rings, a show jumping course and the cross country country available for schooling once or twice a month on a weekday/night. I'm thinking of a Wed as it is smack dab in the middle of the week either before or after a competition without being too close. Participants would have scheduled times where they could practice their tests and courses or simply spend the allotted time in the arenas.  It would be controlled chaos so to speak.  Additionally, instructors or Pony Clubs could be scheduled a block of time for lessons.  For those who don't have an instructor who could come with them; Kyle and I could also be available.  So what do you think?  Is that something that you would be interested in? 

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.  In the meantime, here's the Stone Gate Farm 2012 Calendar of Events.


March 17 - 18 – Eric Dierks Clinic

April 21 ~ Dressage Show & Test Clinic

May 11 - 13 ~ Winona Horse Trials (FEH, Starter - Prelim)

May 20 ~ Jumper Show & Cross Country Pace Competition (Sun)

May 26 - 27 ~  Tri-State Region D 3 – C 1 Clinic

May 28 ~ (Mon Memorial Day) Hunter Pace
June 3 - 4 ~ (Sun - Mon) Lucinda Green Clinic 

June 23 ~ Cross Country Schooling

June 24 ~ Stone Gate Farm Mini Trials (back to original date)

July 17 - 20 ~ Eventing Camp (Tues – Fri)

July 21 ~ Combined Test, Dressage Show, & Jumper Rounds

July 28-29 ~ Mock Event / Clinic

Aug 4 ~ Cross Country Schooling

Aug 5 ~ Stone Gate Farm Mini Trials

Sept 22 - 23 ~ Stone Gate Farm Horse Trials (Starter - Prelim)

Sept 29 ~ NEW Jumper Derby

Sept 30 ~ Stone Gate Farm Hunter Pace

Oct 6 ~ Jumper Show & Cross Country Pace Competition (Sat)

Stone Gate Farm is also available for clinics and camps. 
Cross country, dressage, and show jumping schooling available by appointment.

For More Information:

Friday, November 25, 2011

SGF Gift Certificates for Christmas Gifts

So you don’t know what to give your children, friends, siblings or instructor for Christmas ?

How about a Stone Gate Farm gift certificate ?

Gift Certificates can be used for clinics, camp, competitions, lessons or training.


 Gift Certificates

Will be sent via e-mail either directly to the recipient with a confirmation e-mail to the purchaser unless requested otherwise.  Be sure to check out a sample certificate.

Name to be put on Gift Certificate: ______________________________________________

E-mail address where the Gift Certificate should be sent: ____________________________

Name of person purchasing the Gift Certificate: ____________________________________

E-Mail of person purchasing the Gift Certificate: ___________________________________

Occasion for Gift Certificate:
     ___ Christmas                      ___ Birthday                  ___Anniversary                          
     ___ Mothers Day               ___  Fathers Day             ___ No Occasion    

Make Checks Payable to Stone Gate LLC & Mail to:
                       Jackie Smith
                       31407 Schneider Rd.
                       Hanoverton, OH 44423 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Updated Blogs

I've finally had a little time to update some of the blogs.  Check out Jack & Jill's competition debut  and reports and results from the Fall Hunter Pace and the new Jumper Show & Cross Country Pace Competition.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Let the Excavating Begin and ....

Deciding to build an all weather show jumping arena was the easy part especially after the flooding rains we had at the Winona Horse Trials this spring.  After moving ALL the jumps to the dressage arenas so we could do Show Jumping my husband finally agreed that an all weather show jumping area would be useful.  Finding a location was a little more challenging.  The plan was to buy  a couple of acres from the neighbor whose land boarders ours near the stabling area and the cross country warm up but no such luck' they wouldn't part with any.  Then Dave was talking about taking the top off one of the hills in the pasture, but I nixed that one for many reasons.  So we went back to the area that my husband has been calling the new show jumping area for a few years now.   I kept telling him that it wouldn't because the area was too small and hilly and that's why we were trying to buy some land that adjoins it.  But that area was only place put the arena which would be close to the stabling, not cutting into the pasture (although we had fenced that area off for additional pasture) or Dave's precious hay fields ;)

I went back to that field and starting pacing things off to see if there was enough room for a 250' x 150' ring while still having enough room for warm up and / or derby field.  We could have enough room if we could get the ground level.  Now that was going to be the  trick.  I can remember when we used that field this spring for the Lucinda Green clinic, here first comment was it was rather hilly.  Originally we were going to build another pond to get the fill dirt but the area where we would be getting the dirt could qualify as a wetlands and it had a lot of gray clay so we decided instead to dig into the hill and push the dirt into the low spots.  Before we could do that the top soil had to be removed and it was moved to the north to level up the grass warm up area.  It became apparent that Dave's little dozer wasn't going to be able to get the job done so we had to hire someone with a bigger dozer.  It probably took about a week to move all the dirt, compact it, and move more dirt.  Unfortunately it there were some delays due to the weather.

When all the dirt was moved, compacted, and leveled it was time to start bringing in the screenings to make the base. But before we could do that, we had to make improvements to the drive to handle the heavy truckloads of base material. The guy who was suppose to haul for us canceled because he had a bigger job so we found someone else who was actually less expensive.  Unfortunately he had to fit hauling between other jobs and the weather so it's taking a lot longer than it should.  But by bring a few loads a day it gave Dave the time to spread it out with his little dozer and compact it some with his tractor. By the time he's done hauling the screenings he will have made approximately 45 trips to bring approximately 1,000 - 1,200 TONS of material just for the base!!

We're getting real itchy to get this phase of the project over so we can get it leveled so that it can settle over the winter so we can see if there are any areas that need to be tweaked before adding the sand in the spring.  We're planning on using the new ring for our spring event!

Below are some pictures of the process.  It's a little difficult to get a feel for the magnitude of this project from the pictures.

Moving topsoil
Cutting into the hill to get fill dirt
Dirt waiting to be pushed to the low end

The 'Sheep's' Foot' used for compacting
Final prep before bring in the base
Gravel added to the drive do the truck wouldn't get stuck
First load of base material
Two loads don't go very far

Time to bring in the BIG truck

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Let's Give Thanks

With Thanksgiving just around the corner and the competition season officially over I have a little time to reflect on what I'm thankful for in regards to Stone Gate Farm.  So here goes... I am thankful for:
  • living on a beautiful farm with a beautiful family
  • all the friends old and new that we got to share time with at the farm this year 
  • a successful season of competitions at SGF.  The competitions were well subscribed, no one was hurt and hopefully everyone (horses included) learned a little something and had fun! Even the weather disaster in the spring was a blessing in disguise as it gave us the nudge to bite the bullet to build an all weather show jumping ring
  • clinics and camp that were a success.  See above for the definition of success ;)
  • the riders who choose to come to SGF
  • the volunteers who help to 'make it all happen' especially the Western Reserve Pony Club members and their families.
  • the animals who came into our lives this year which include Jack and Jill, Bandit, Rugby, Sadie, and Wie.  Each one in their own way has enriched our lives if only for a short time; we miss you Bandit.
  • finding Tintin the 'best family' ever!! 
  • finally... I am thankful my family, which includes our adopted daughter Laura, for not only putting up with me but for going above and beyond to help us not only run all the activities at the farm but help with whatever  improvement projects we have going on to make the farm an even nicer facility to come to for whatever reason. I love you all and appreciate each and every one of you more than you will ever know!!
Happy Thanksgiving all and I hope to see you at our farm some time next year.  Enjoy some of the pictures.

Jack & Jill when they first arrived

New Jump made by Kevin & Laura
Dave's Gazebo Project
Patty Keim & Eric at Camp
Cooling off at Camp
'Bandit' - the summer's entertainment

The beginning of the new Show Jump arena 
Sadie - Kyle's new pup