September Boarder Spotlight – VEGAS

13096179_632084840273868_712348663822670326_nName: Vegas
Registered Name: Majic S Thunder Cloud
Owner: Alona Harris
Age: 15
Breed: Registered Buckskin Paint Gelding
Brightleaf Boarder Since: Dec 2014
Favorite Treats: Apples, carrots, French fries, chips, gummy worms, mints, pretty much anything yummy!
Barn Nickname: Fatty (as a direct result of all those treats he eats!)

 

Vegas has been loved and ridden by his human Alona Harris since November 2012.  They have a bond that is hard to come by between a horse and rider.  He takes extra special care of her no matter what journey or escapade they go on.  Even if they butt heads with a situation he is always there for her.  Vegas is mostly used for barrels, pole bending, and pretty much all those other timed competitions.  However, he also loves to just take it easy on a nice trail ride.  Alona has also shown him in halter, English, and Western.  Vegas loves to run and has proven to be the fastest horse in the barn!  He is also gentle and quiet for even the littlest of humans to ride, pet and love on him.

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See more pictures of Vegas in our photo gallery page!

Brightleaf Pony Cupcakes!

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These cute little homemade cupcakes made their appearance at one of our recent barn parties!  How could we not share?  They are fun and easy to make!  These are the perfect baking project for the kiddos or a yummy treat to bring to your Brightleaf Stables Pony Party!

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 2016-08-17 12.07.08Cake Mix
  • Frosting
  • Nutter Butters
  • Peanuts
  • Candy Eyeballs (you can find these at most any grocery/convenience store)
  • Cupcake liners
  • Cupcake pan
  • Ziplock Bag/Piping Bag

 

Directions:

Step 1: Follow the “cupcake” instructions on the cake mix.  Line the cupcake pan with liners and insert the amount specified on the mix into each liner.  Bake the cupcakes and allow to cool.
Step 2: Frost the cupcakes using a small spatula or butter knife.
Step 3: Place a Nutter Butter on top of each frosted cupcake at a slight angle.
Step 4: Use a ziplock or frosting pipe and fill with some of the left over frosting.  If you are using a ziplock bag cut a small triangle off of one of the bottom corners.
Step 5: Use the frosting in the ziplock bag/pipe to draw on each Nutter Butter the forelock, nose holes, and smile.
Step 6: Gently put the candy eyes on using the frosting in the bag to help “stick” them to the Nutter Butter.
Step 7: Use a half peanut for each ear and place on top of the Nutter Butter.
Step 8: Share, Eat and Enjoy your beautiful pony cupcakes!

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Brightleaf Beachin’ It!

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This past weekend Brightleaf Stables hit the beach for the second time this summer.  We were once again joined by friends from around the Triangle and fun was sure to follow!

Friday night we grabbed dinner at Sammy’s Seafood House & Oyster Bar and boy was it good!  We celebrated a strangers 60th, ate some crab, and our little Peanut had her first bites of cake ever!

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Saturday we journeyed on over to Beaufort where the entire town had been invaded…by Pirates!  Beaufort’s annual Pirate Invasion is two days worth of fun and excitement.  Over a hundred pirate and militia re-enactors overrun the town.  Sword fighting, cannons, and mock trials are all a part of the fun.  There are several events throughout the weekend.  Our very own Heather got to participate in Captain Jim’s Pirate Magic Show!

 

 

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Check out the video of Heather participating in the magic show!

Later that evening it was all hands on deck as we prepared a feast fit for a pirate crew!  Steven grilled his infamous steaks, Julie made her scrumptious dip, Heather boiled up some potatoes, and the Griffin’s made sure the Pina Coloda’s were blended!

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The next morning Chef Rob made us a breakfast for champions and the gang hit the beach.  It was a hot day but fun in the sun with friends is always worth a few degrees!

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The weekend ending was bitter sweet.  Sweeping up after all the fun – we made lots of memories and had a great time!

 

Be sure to check out the photo gallery for more pictures on our trip to the beach!  There are some great pictures in there so don’t miss it!

 

Homemade Horse Treat Toy!

Did you know that horses are naturally curious creatures?  When a horse is a young foal they discover the world by using their curiosity instincts.  When a horses senses are stimulated they react to the source of stimulation.  Initially a horse may respond to stimulus with fear (they are prey in the wild after all) but once they know that the stimulus is not a danger they will explore the source.

Horses that are able to ignite their natural sense of curiosity and playfulness are often happier and more fulfilled.

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Here at Brightleaf Stables we love to keep our horses stimulated.  Here’s a look into our latest homemade treat toy which provides a perfect source for fun.

What you’ll need:
-Plastic Milk Jug
-Scissors
-String
-Carrots

 

 

Instructions:
Step 1: Clean the milk jug out thoroughly
Step 2: Cut small X shapes all around the milk jug (ask an adult for help with this step)
Step 3: Insert carrots into the holes
Step 4: Tie a string on the handle of the jug.
Step 5: Find a good place to hang the treat toy
Step 6: Watch your horse(s) curious nature explore and play!

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Brightleaf Summer Camp Round 2!

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This weekend Brightleaf held it’s second camp of the summer.  While the day’s were hot we found comfort under the shade of the great tree for crafts and fun!

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We had a blast making special treats for the horses – we strung apples and carrots on a string to hang around the barn and in stalls.  The horses had so much fun playing with and eating their yummy snacks!

 

 

 

Camp is not camp without a little bit of paint 20160731_145938and artistic flair.

Jack was quite a sport as campers put on their creative hats and gave him some color!

What better than Pizza for lunch?  And to top it off (pun intended) we made it ourselves!  Our campers are quite the master chefs as they selected their toppings and came up with the perfect pizza which we baked on the grill!  Yum-O!

 

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What a fun weekend!  Stay tuned for dates on our next camp.

Be sure to check out our photo gallery for more pictures from this weekends camp!

We ain’t afraid of no GHOST!

Remember our post about Ghost & Sport the two Arabian brothers that came to Brightleaf for training?  Well, after just 2 shorts months of training – Ghost was picked up and hauled back home this weekend.

Ghost came to Brightleaf a scared and skittish horse who you could barely touch. After several weeks of hard work, patients, and training Ghost turned out to be a wonderful little gelding with such love and personality. His owners came to pick him up this Sunday and Ghost loaded on the trailer like a champ! Shortly after his arrival back home, the owners called saying they could barely recognize Ghost as the same horse he was before.

Here at Brightleaf and forever more – no one needs to be afraid of no Ghost!

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Ghost’s farewell bath!

Ghost’s brother Sport has a bit more work to go before he can follow in his brothers hoofsteps. We’ll continue to work with Sport before he too can head back home!

See how far Ghost has come from our first blog post on the brothers.
Also be sure to check out more photos of Ghost & Sport in our photo gallery!

Brightleaf Stables Hits the Show Ring!

It 3913 (1)was quite an eventful weekend here at Brightleaf Stables as it was the first time our very own Chandler hit the show ring!  Chandler, Alona, and Julie worked all week prepping for the show, practicing and riding daily.  Saturday was a scorching hot day with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees.  Heather got up early and prepped Chief “Tony” for show day.  We all know how much Heather loves to bathe her ponies and she spent ample time scrubbing and grooming him to shine like a pretty penny!  There was a quick trip to the store to make sure Chandler was dressed to impress in the ring.  Julie and Alona (both pros at the this) were rocking with both of their horses Summer and Vegas also bathed, groomed, and ready!  With all 3 horses loaded up we hit the roads to the show ring.

The show was a Central Carolina Western Horsemanship Association (CCWHA) event held in Roxboro at the Person County Saddle Club.  Julie had all the bells and whistles with a nice tent, a much needed fan, and chairs to boot!  Heather made sure to pack lots of drinks and chips and cheese dip (which quickly got consumed).  We took time to review the show schedule and selected the classes they were going to compete in.  Chandler, Alona, and Julie saddled up the horses and began warming up for the events.

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There was quite a crowd to cheer on Brightleaf Stables as we were joined by many friends.

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We took home several ribbons on Saturday including Blues and Yellows!  We are proud of you Chandler and Alona!

It was a fun time and quite a learning experience for those of us who are new to the horse showmanship world.  We are looking forward to the next one!

Check out our Photo Gallery for more pictures from Brightleaf Stables First Show!

Brightleaf Beach Bums!

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Last week we packed up our bags and made the journey to the beach – and Oh what fun we had!

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Harkers Island is Steven’s old stomping grounds – with a population of just over 1200 residents, the island makes a perfect little getaway.  Heather describes the island as your timeless southern charm town.  Most residents ride bikes around the island, doors are never locked, and granny will come out on the porch and keep the kiddos in line.  You will surely get an arm workout waving hello back to passerbys.

 

 

Just a short drive down Harker Island Road is a launch site where you can make a short boat trip into the Back Sound to head toward Shackleford Banks.  Shackleford Banks is a barrier island located in the southern most point of the Cape Lookout National Seashore.  It is the home of more than 100 wild horses.  While no one knows for sure how the horses ended up on the island – it is hypothesized these descendants of Spanish Mustangs survived (and thrived) after a shipwreck sometime in the 1500’s.  Check out the Foundation for Shackleford Horses Facebook Page for more information on the great organization that preserves and protects these beautiful creatures.

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We had the rare opportunity of seeing the newest addition to the Shackleford Bank herd.  A foal no more than a few weeks old, bathed in the afternoon sun.

 

 

We visited several other nearby islands as well including Beaufort and Morehead City – where we ate some good food at the Sanitary Fish Market & Seafood restaurant.

 

Steven and Chandler caught some fish!

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We had quite a few visitors come join us at the beach house this week and I think it’s safe to say that we all had a great time!

From the Brightleaf Beach Bums to you – we hope you are having a happy summer friends!

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We are heading home…

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Check out more pics from our trip in the Photo Gallery – Brightleaf Beach Bums

Sunflower Power!

Brightleaf Stables sunflowers are in full bloom here on the farm!  They have grown to 8 feet tall and counting!  Come check them out and say hi to our horses!

 

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Ghost & Sport – Brightleaf Stables Horse Training

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Ghost and Sport, two beautiful Arabian brothers, arrived at Brightleaf Stables in late May.  Both horses were skittish and shied away from human contact.  Steven and Heather worked with them for weeks.  Over a short period of time they learned to trust and respond to people.  Steven’s tireless efforts and patience yielded amazing progress in these cautious creatures.

 

 

 

GHOST

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Ghost is curious and playful.  He is a beautiful dapple grey with the signature Arabian confirmation.

 

 

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Over the past few weeks Ghost has learned to approach when signaled and has become almost effortless to catch.  He responds to directional cues, can stand tied, and now has a stable groundwork foundation.  Steven introduced Ghost to saddle and bridle and when Ghost was ready Heather and her years of horsemanship and confidence rode on his back for the first time.

Check out some videos of Heather riding Ghost:
Riding Ghost – Video 1 (first time on his back)
Riding Ghost – Video 2 (first solo ride)

SPORT

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Sport is much more cautious and inquisitive.  Finding what motivates and drives Sport took a bit more time because he is not food motivated in the least.  He is a gentle soul and is extremely smart.

 

 

 

 

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Sport takes some time to warm up to you, but once he does he is ready to work.  He knows what his job is and is willing to do so when he’s being handled by a confident individual.  He has also been introduced to the saddle.  Steven and Heather will continue to work with him, and I for one look forward to seeing his continual progress!