Monday, May 30, 2016

Wendover Place Open House

For my students and friends:

If you couldn't make it to the horse barn open house in April 2016, I thought I'd share some pictures, a link to a video and some words.

Wendy Trocano, the owner of Wendover Place, hosted the open house. It was the first one. There's no date set yet for the next one.

Wendy is one of my trainers at Wendover Place. She teaches anyone who is 6-years-old and above.

The open house was designed for children and adults. There was a face painter and an exercise trainer, Sean, who brought a fun exercise. I got to try it out. You had to balance on a board that was round on the bottom. I managed not to fall. The kids were having fun leaping onto it. I didn't get a chance to try that but I wanted to!

There were several groups of barn tours where some of the horses got treats from the visitors. Pictured above is Gaston gently taking a treat from the hand of a visitor.

Leslie, Gaston's owner, is also a trainer along with her sister Wendy. She's in the picture on the right leading a tour group. Leslie is my other trainer. She is also the coach for the UCF Hunter/Jumper IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) team.

The IHSA team trains at Wendover Place. In addition, Wendy is the coach for the IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association) team for students in grades 6-12. You don't need a horse to be on either team! I wish I was in school again.

There was food and popcorn. I was supposed to be in charge of the popcorn, but once old "Blue" arrived I was completely distracted.

She arrived in a horse trailer. I can't imagine what other drivers were thinking when they saw this on the road.

Daryl, the farrier, brought the life-size real horse skeleton that she built. She said it is the second one she has ever made from real horse bones. She takes Blue out for demonstrations and lectures.

I did some sketches and one of my students also took the rare opportunity to do a sketch. She did an excellent job on her first sketch-from-life of a horse skeleton. You can see a picture of her working on her drawing below.
Then later, her husband Mark brought out his video and sound equipment. He wanted to do some recording while at the open house. I helped as much as I could and learned a lot just by watching him work.

The result is a wonderful video where he interviewed Wendy and one of her students. He also got a chance to record Alicia, the newest addition to the Trainer team at Wendover with one of her ponies named Archer. The video is called "Horse Show".

By the end of the day Donnegal (aka Donnie) was giving pony rides while the event wound down.

I hope you can all come to the next open house. Bring a chair and just enjoy the time to sit and relax. Make plans to spend some time in the fresh, clean air and make some new four-legged friends.

Keep in touch and I'll post information about the next open house as soon as there is a date set.


Sunday, May 01, 2016

St. Augustine Suggestions

I was recently asked for suggestions on where to go and what to do in St. Augustine, Florida. Following is the result. As you can see I like to write!

On King Street, The Brilliance in Color gallery is a must. When we were there they had works by Dali, Miro, Picasso and Degas on display (and for sale haha like I could ever afford one!) It’s sad to say it’s a  better collection by sheer numbers than anything ever seen in Orlando.  And a walk through the Grand Bohemian off the lobby of the Casa Monica  Hotel is always nice.

Other galleries to make sure you visit are on Aviles Street. It’s off the main path but much more charming. There are many restaurants there, too. I had time to visit the Georgia Nick Gallery in particular. She is very nice and if you are there at the  right time, that’s when Chief or one of the other carriage horses stop  by for a treat.

Aviles Street

A street away on Charlotte is the P.A.ST.A.  (Professional Artists of St. Augustine) gallery. It’s another with work  by local artists. The St. Augustine Art Assoc. also has a gallery another street over on Marine.

We ate at several restaurants, but  of particular note we’d recommend Pizza Time on St. George. They also  have ice cream and gelato right next door! Of course, the Columbia  restaurant is always good. But if you’d like to visit some others I  recommend the Athena restaurant where they serve breakfast, lunch and  dinner. They serve Greek dishes but there are regular breakfast offerings as well.

In addition, there’s another nice restaurant called Gaufre's on the corner of Artillery Ln. and Charlotte St. (picture right) that serves both Greek  and Polish dishes. Plus, they sell imported chocolate!

And if you  have a refrigerator in your hotel room and need some milk, you don’t have to go  all the way down King St. to the gas station. We found a mini-store inside the place where you can buy tickets to the Black Raven Pirate  Ship! On our next visit, we are going to purchase tickets to this  attraction and ride on the ship while they carry on and fire their cannons.

"Otto" at the Lightner Museum
Take the Flagler College tour, visit the Castillo de San  Marcos (fort), tour the Pena-Peck house and when you purchase entry to  the Colonial Spanish Quarter they put a wrist band on you. This band  means you can go inside at any time while you have the band on! And the  Lightner Museum is fantastic but is only open 11-3 p.m. so schedule accordingly.

Pictured is "Otto" (a semi-resident of the Lightner Museum). He sometimes poses in wedding photos taken in the central garden. (picture left)

Another great museum is the Villa Zorayda. It's a house built in the fashion of a 12th century moorish alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. We didn't get a chance to visit this museum on our last visit but I've been there several times.

There’s also the oldest school house and  drugstore with a wax museum inside. And if you get a Trolley pass make  sure to stop at the Old Jail and go through the History Museum.

There’s lots more to do in St. Augustine than in this small list. Have fun!

Oldest Store and Wax Museum
Matanzas River