October, 2011

In the Hampshire, IL area

visiting at the Morning Light Stables.


We arrive at Eric & Diane's Morning Light Stables.
A 30 horse (with a waiting list) stable.
This view shows one end of the stable.
 

To the left - the 30 horse stable. Behind, at right angles the indoor arena.
to the right, the hay barn.
The cars belong to horse owners, who come almost daily to work with and care for their animals.
 

A few horses in one of the paddocks
 

More horses, more paddocks.

 

Life is good at the Morning Light Stables.
 

A general layout of the property. You can see the size of the operation.
Each paddock is reserved for specific horses.
At times, 'cause they get along with each other.
 

The outdoor arena
 

Looking up at the house from the north, along side the horse barn.
 

An Instructor is working on Control. Slowly guiding the horse.
 

Note the mirror on the wall, just beyond her. So the rider may see how her posture is while riding.
 

The owner is watching while the Instructor is working with the horse.
 

Easy does it. Note the mirrors on the side wall, and on the end of the arena.
This permits the riders to critique themselves on their posture and bearing as they ride,
along with their horses stature.
 


The horses are still out to pasture, but the barn is ready for them.
This is one of two aisles.
 

Scotch, Diane's horse lives here.
 


We found this clever horseshoe name plate at a craft show in Tennessee several years ago.
 

Brandon's pride & Joy - Charlie.
 

Before the horses come in, the each stall's water buckets are filled, and hay is distributed.
 

Danny filling the water bucket.
 

It's birthday time for one of the owners today.
 

This room allows the owners to catch up on the latest, and to see into the arena in comfort.

 

Some of the feed, and specialized diet information and food is kept here.
 

Their property is located on Tower Road.
Any guess as to where the name came from?
The 103' cement structure is a a former AT&T (Long Lines) Type 2C microwave tower from the 1950's.
A link in the first trans-continental telephonic system.
 

It's time to bring them in for the day. Here is Diane starting the process with Brownie.
 

Clancy, obviously enjoys having his head scratched.
 

The interior of a portion of the hay barn. The large bales to the left & rear contain
21 of the smaller bales you see to the right.
 

Inside the horse barn, they always keep a supply of hay for easy access.
 

As the horses are eating, so must we. A stack of onion rings to start.
Facing: Danny, Diane & David
Back to us: Brandon, Eric & Jean.
 

We dig in at Red Robin. Michelle is at school (Augustana College in Rock Island, IL),
but will be home this weekend.

 


Thursday morning we came upon some Ferrier's at work on Lou Lou
 

Horse shoe bending, adjusting to fit.
 

Close up, hard work.

 

Eric and I went out to do some errands and came upon one of his neighbors (Dezeri) at work.
Here he is unloading his soybean load from combine to grain truck.
Eric is watching to make sure it's done right - right?
 

These guys are BIG,
and cost about $100,000 give or take.
 


 

This is what they are cutting - soybeans,
 

One of two tack rooms, where owners keep their gear.

 

A new acquisition since we were last here - a larger and more efficient manure spreader.
An essential part of the business.
 

Several of the owners exercising their mounts on the outdoor arena.

 

For dinner this evening, we went to one of our favorite places.

Art & Alma's Restaurant..
"Quenching thirst since 1908, Satisfying appetites since 1981
(125 Main St., Burlington, IL)
Unfortunately, David had a school choir function to attend, so he missed out. (More for us)
 

The evenings are busy. Lessons are often held.
Jasper is waiting, waiting.
 

Getting Sam ready.
 

All Graham can do is watch this evening.
 

An evening chore for the family - Night Check.
Making sure the horses have what they need for the night.
Here adding water to the "Hay Cubes" (See below)

Which provides them with both liquid and nutrition.
 

In this container, moisture and heat is applied to hay.
It kills any mold spores, and reduces the allergy problems that some horses have.
 

A good wash down is always good for Boo.
Some of the photos will be fuzzy - as a flash was not used in the barn for obvious reasons.
 

David is preparing "flakes" of hay for some of the horses.
 

A Flake is carried over to Charlie's stall.
 

David delivers a flake to Scotch as Diane gets ready to ride him.
 

Often, the evening is the time for some intense instruction. Here are
Hawk and owner Sue, with Trainer Rob.
 

Enjoying the evening ride are Amy & Rowan
 

A word to the wise.
 

Easy does it.
(Remember, no flash should be used, hence the fuzzy.)
 

Yvonne prepares Sam for a ride.
 

Sam is a pretty special horse, retired race horse.
Quite high in the rankings - 5th place in the National American Eventing Championships this year.
 

Stretching out his limbs prior to riding.

 

Going for a ride. Note the mirror image as well.
 

An every day evening at Morning Light Stables.

 

An every day occurrence, the cleaning crew takes care of the stalls
and walkways so that area looks spic & span.
 
On Friday, their daughter Michelle came home for the weekend.
She brought with her a copy of the school weekly Newspaper.
A front page feature article was of particular interest....

 


 

To welcome Michelle home - another favorite family place ...
Nick's Pizza
 

Family picture time, with Michelle this time, next to Jean.
 

Somehow, Brandon's hat ended up on my head - and Brandon took the photo to prove it.
 

And the Pizza was great - 'specially my Pizza with Anchovies - GREAT!
 

Good food all around.

 

No Green Flash, that we sometimes see with our Imperial Beach sunset's but very nice indeed.
 

Aunt (Erica), neice (Marley) with Grandma (Barb) on Danny
 

Marley petting Danny
 

Brandon getting ready to saddle Charlie
 

In position, Charlie being very patient during the process.
 

Working on the cinch, making sure it's tight.
 

Brandon putting on Charlie's leg wraps.
 

Now the halter and bit...
 

Giving Charlie a warm up
 

Diane on Scotch, Brandon on Charlie.
 

Michelle joins us, with Scotch.
 


Brandon with Charlie - loping around the indoor areana.

 

Whoa Charlie!
 

Charlie wanted to check out the camera.
 

Brandon again working on the quick stop with Charlie.
 

Two photos taken by Eric (outdoors) of Brandon of Charlie - WHOA CHARLIE!

 

Brandon working with Diane and Charlie on how to do a 360 turn ("Spin")
 

Diane on Charlie.
 

Diane, Charlie, Michelle & Scotch.
 

Taking a break - looking out the west indoor arena door at the retention pond.
 

A view from inside the indoor arena at the horse barn, and their home across the outdoor arena.
 

On one of our last evening, we enjoyed attending a night at
Medieval Times.  Interesting.
 

Michelle practicing jumping with Scotch.

 

Looks easy, right?    Wrong.

 

Charlie & Scotch came up for a portrait shot.
Oh yes, Brandon and Diane as well, of course.
 

Diane, aboard Scotch.
Makes it all worthwhile, right?
 

We have come to the conclusion of our stay at Morning Light Stables
with Eric, Diane and their four children, two horses, and a great boarding stable.


So, to follow along, move back to the top, and re-join our trip "On the way home."