Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Following Up from Last Week's Reporter

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Today, in Brookeville, MD, it's a gloomy Tuesday. Overcast, chilly and flash flooding expected later this afternoon. Awesome!

Remember that reporter I mentioned last week? Well, she came out and we got a lot accomplished. I wanted to follow up and give you some more details! The reporter is doing an article for The Bay Journal on horse farms and the bay restoration. She came for a little visit to the farm and so I showed her around. 

I showed her where we had done best management practices (double fencing) because we know that it keeps the horses from wearing down along the fence lines and it gives a grass barrier to catch runoff between fields.

I also showed her where the new regulations were going to require us to build fences (at an estimated cost of $50,000) even though we know that horses don’t congregate in streams like other livestock.  I talked about how everyone says there is “cost share” available, but that it only does that for wire fencing and not the cost of board fencing, so it actually covers less than 25% of our cost.  Plus the fact that we will be responsible for the maintenance costs and upkeep.  Board fences don’t last forever and there is no additional help for upkeep.  And, additional costs should the fences be destroyed in a heavy storm, which has happened here many times, they are not covered.

I talked about how we are being put at an economic disadvantage to other facilities around us in neighboring states because they aren't having to bear this burden.  We can’t raise our prices because people will just move to other states where the boarding fees aren't as high.

We (agriculture in Maryland) are being asked to bear the burden when our industry has significantly decreased in numbers in the state over the course of time.  How the equine population in Maryland is 79,100 in 2010 and that number has decreased by 7% since 2002, yet there are 5,773,552 people in the state in 2010, an increase of 9% over 2000.  Where do you think the pollution to the bay is coming from?

Just something to think about! 

Have a great day!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Exciting Things Happening at Rolling Acres!

Happy President's Day!

Although we are in mid-winter, and most of our farm is down south, there are still exciting things happening at Rolling Acres! Today, a reporter is coming to the farm to do a story. We can't tell you what about just yet, but stay tuned to find out later!

Have a great day,

Rolling Acres
Brookeville, Maryland

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Father's Explanation of Why He Had Horses for His Children- by Unknown Author

A Father's Explanation of Why He Had Horses for His Children    
My daughter turned sixteen years old today, which is a milestone for most people. Besides looking at baby photos and childhood trinkets with her, I took time to reflect on the young woman my daughter had become and the choices she would face in the future. 

As I looked at her I could see the athlete she was, and determined woman she would soon be. I started thinking about some of the girls we knew in our town who were already pregnant, pierced in several places, hair every color under the sun, drop outs, drug addicts and on the fast track to no-where, seeking surface identities because they had no inner self esteem. The parents of these same girls have asked me why I "waste" the money on horses so my daughter can ride. I'm told she will grow out of it, lose interest, discover boys and all kinds of things that try to pin the current generation's "slacker" label on my child. I don't think it will happen, I think she will love and have horses all her life. 

Because my daughter grew up with horses she has compassion. She knows that we must take special care of the very young and the very old. We must make sure those without voices to speak of their pain are still cared for. Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned responsibility for others than herself. She learned that regardless of the weather you must still care for those you have the stewardship of. There are no "days off" just because you don't feel like being a horse owner that day.  She learned that for every hour of fun you have there are days of hard slogging work you must do first. 

Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned not to be afraid of getting dirty and that appearances don't matter to most of the breathing things in the world we live in. Horses do not care about designer clothes, jewelry, pretty hairdos or anything else we put on our bodies to try to impress others. What a horse cares about are your abilities to work within his natural world; he doesn't care if you're wearing $80 jeans while you do it.  
Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned about sex and how it can both enrich and complicate lives. She learned that it only takes one time to produce a baby, and the only way to ensure babies aren't produced is not to breed. She learned how babies are planned, made, born and, sadly, sometimes die before reaching their potential. She learned how sleepless nights and trying to out-smart a crafty old broodmare could result in getting to see, as non-horse owning people rarely do, the birth of a true miracle. 

Because my daughter grew up with horses she understands the value of money. Every dollar can be translated into bales of hay, bags of feed or farrier visits. Purchasing non-necessities during lean times can mean the difference between feed and good care, or neglect and starvation. She has learned to judge the level of her care against the care she sees provided by others and to make sure her standards never lower, and only increase as her knowledge grows. 

Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned to learn on her own. She has had teachers that cannot speak, nor write, nor communicate beyond body language and reactions. She has had to learn to "read" her surroundings for both safe and unsafe objects, to look for hazards where others might only see a pretty meadow. She has learned to judge people as she judges horses. She looks beyond appearances and trappings to see what is within. 

Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned sportsmanship to a high degree. Everyone that competes fairly is a winner. Trophies and ribbons may prove someone a winner, but they do not prove someone is a horseman. She has also learned that some people will do anything to win, regard-less of who it hurts. She knows that those who will cheat in the show ring will also cheat in every other aspect of their life and are not to be trusted. 

Because my daughter grew up with horses she has self-esteem and an engaging personality. She can talk to anyone she meets with confidence, because she has to express herself to her horse with more than words. She knows the satisfaction of controlling and teaching a 1,000 pound animal that will yield willingly to her gentle touch and ignore the more forceful and inept handling of those stronger than she is. She holds herself with poise and professionalism in the company of those far older than herself. 

Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned to plan ahead. She knows that choices made today can effect what happens five years down the road. She knows that you cannot care for and protect your investments without savings to fall back on. She knows the value of land and buildings. And that caring for your vehicle can mean the difference between easy travel or being stranded on the side of the road with a four horse trailer on a hot day. When I look at what she has learned and what it will help her become, I can honestly say that I haven't "wasted" a penny on providing her with horses. I only wish that all children had the same opportunities to learn these lessons from horses before setting out on the road to adulthood. 

... author unknown

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A happy goodbye to our dear friend Quincy!

On Saturday Rolling Acres Farm in Brookeville, MD, wished a happy goodbye to Quincy, the horse. Quincy left for his retirement home in Frederick, MD where he is sure to have an easy retirement with lots of treats! Quincy was with us for over 30 years! Although we will miss him tremendously, we are excited to see him in his new pasture life, he sure earned it!

If you are looking for high quality care farm to board your hunter/jumper at Rolling Acres is the place! Feel free to check out our website at: http://www.rollacresshowstables.com/