Monday, September 7, 2009

Home on Labor Day

It is Labor day, Monday September 7. The sky is clear with little wind and I am back home in Forest Lake, Minnesota.

This morning I am doing laundry. I returned from the Otter Creek Horse Show last evening about eight o'clock. It's a sprawling facility and we jump crew cover a very large area.

It is really one of the most spectacular settings.

The Otter Creek Horse Show is easily one of the most beautiful in all mid-America, if not throughout the entire nation.

Located in the northern edge of the driftless zone of mid-west Wisconsin just north of wheeler it is a magically perfect terrain for an equine paradise.

Carved out of the stunning northern hardwood forest, Mark and Lena Warner have created a fantastic wonderland of fields, pastures, jumps and trails.

Be it dressage, hunter & jumper shows, long distance eventing, a gentle ride in the valley or a fun trail ride in the woods, Otter Creek Farms has what you are looking for.

The rolling wooded hills are laced with horse trails and rustic jumps, while the low ground of the valley, also dotted with neat rustic jumps, is a groomed savanna.

The barns are large and roomy, the last one they built from local wood and it is beautiful.

At the one end of this long green shangri-La is the upper sand ring where the ponies and the youngsters did their hunter and stirrup work.

Heading from there down a long gentle slope you pass the schooling area they use.

The cocoon of trees on both sides opens as you continue.

You can now see farther down the valley, and also you are approaching the sprawling main sand ring. It is very large and perfect for the Hunters.

From here the grounds dogleg left another hundred and fifty yards or more, towards a timber-framed, open sided pavilion. It is nice, and seats forty or fifty people.

Here you can sit and have a drink or a bite, you are at the foot of the third ring. We used it for the jumpers.

From here you can see to the other end of the valley bottom.

Easily half of the pastured valley bottom is open for riding and access to the multitude of trails heading into the wooded hills ringing this horse paradise.

When the fall colors change a dazzling display of reds, greens, and yellows envelops the grounds. It is absolutely effervescent.

The owners are nice and aren't afraid of a chainsaw. As a matter of fact there is much chainsaw art all about the grounds, Bears, eagles and of course, otters.

This is the one show I do that is not in Minnesota.

I may do some more work there, they do lots dressage and eventing stuff and the walking is good for my leg.

Today I get organized, tomorrow I go to work at the stable/tree service in Stillwater.

Time to eat.

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