My Favorite Place
By: Abby J. Phillips
Two gleaming horse barns with horses dotting each pasture are quietly dozing and eating. A long gravel driveway winds through a meadow seeming to put a friendly imaginary border between the lesson barn and the trail barn. The pastures are nestled on the crest of the mountain in a dreamy zigzag of fences. This is one of my most favorite places to be, this is Keezlenutten farm.
Keezlenutten farm is a gorgeous outlay of a horse farm. It sits at the bottom of Massanutten Mountain, and seems to brush the outline of the base. In the fall Keezlenutten is beautiful. When the Massanutten Mountain's trees, change colors all around the mountain you can see far and wide a colorful stream of red, orange, and yellow. In the summer the pastures are green and lush, a slight wind stirs the fresh green leaves on each tree and it sounds like it's whispering to you, which brings a mild hush over the farm.
In the winter everything is still. Massanutten looks like a giant has gently sprinkled white powder over the evergreen trees and sent a magical stillness and peacefulness over the farm. Blanketed horses dot the pastures, while other creatures in Massanutten slumber quietly.
In the mornings many drowsy horses nicker for their breakfast. Morning feeding is one of my favorite things I like to do. All the horses stand impatiently rolling their soft brown eyes and stamping the ground with their solid hooves. You pour all the grain in each bucket and torture the horses with the tinkling sound. Finally you let them in, and soon you hear the soft grounding "crunch, crunch" of their teeth.
During the day the farm is a busy place. At the trail barn, horses are being tacked up to take guests on a trail ride. At the lesson barn Danielle, the riding instructor, calls out advice to the riders in the ring, blending with the soft, rhythmic, "pound, pound" of the horses hooves. When you enter both barns, your nose is bathed with the sweet scent of, leather, horses, hay, and sweet feed.
Even though I live on a farm, Keezlenutten is a happy haven for me. The owner of the farm (Margaret) and her daughter-in-law (Danielle) have taken me under their wing, and have taught me things that I would have never known. There are many hazards to being around horses, even a real gentle one, but at Keezlenutten I feel a sense of security. I am now working at the lesson barn on Tuesdays before my lesson and in return Danielle is giving me a lesson on Thursdays. It is like a dream come true to me. since the first time I was at Keezlenutten I had wistfully dreamed of working there even if it was only for an evening. I am greatly thankful that at last my dream has come true.
I still have a lot to learn about riding and handling horses, and I am willing to work as hard as possible to learn everything there is to learn. Keezlenutten has opened many doors in my life. It is wonderful to have a chance at so many different aspects of horsemanship. I will work my hardest, for my lesson and my education too, and hopefully one day I hope to be an experienced horsewoman.