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Wentworth Hunter Pace - June 6, 2021

After Margaret and I had such a fun time at the fall hunter pace, we opted to go again this spring! This time, while I rode Rejoice again, Margaret rode her horse Jester and had a friend ride Ladyhawke. All Kennebec Morgans!! Jester and Rejoice have the same dam and Jester and Lady share the same sire. Unfortunately instead of a lovely late spring day, we had one of the first intensely hot and humid days of the year. It was definitely a bummer, but the ride was mostly in the shade of the woods and we had a great time!  most of the fences were 3' coops but we found a small log and this hay to jump haha Until we didn't. 😑 We brought along a third friend who rode Margaret's older mare, Ladyhawke. She's a good rider but hasn't known Ladyhawke for very long and didn't realize how much of a cranky boss mare she could be at times. She kicked Jester right in the front leg just about halfway through the ride, and while the cut itself ended up not being a big deal in the

Camp Denny 2013

Dreamy and I were lucky enough to attend adult event camp at Denny and May Emerson's Tamarack Hill Farm in Strafford, VT this past August 19-23, 2013.  It was an amazing experience that I have always hoped to try one day.  I sent in my application in February, praying that I would get in and praying that I would be able to save my money to pay for it all!  LOL!  It was expensive but so worth it!

I left on Monday around lunch time.  It was a pretty straightforward two and a half hour drive to VT, almost directly across the state of NH and just over the Vermont boarder. 

Yup, we are in Vermont!  
When I arrived, I pulled into the driveway and stopped when I saw a girl come running over to tell me where the park.  OMG it's Daryl!!!  I laughed to myself when I realized that meeting Daryl Kinney, Tamarack's barn manager, was like meeting a famous person.  LOL!  Denny posts about her on his Facebook page all the time and she has a position to literally die for.  She has obviously worked hard and made good choices in her life to be in the position to ride such cool horses and show at Intermediate.  The best part about Daryl, besides the fact that she is a superb horsewoman, is that she is super friendly and down to earth.  She is definitely someone I was pleased to finally meet!


It was easy to get Dreamy settled into her stall for the week.  We were in a small shedrow, which was perfect for her.  There was a barn close by that had stalls both up and down, but I am glad for her breathing sake that she was outside in the shedrow.  The main barn was up the hill a bit, attached to the indoor and next to the outdoor.

I stayed in a wonderful B&B just five minutes down the dirt road.  It was perfect and Marge was a wonderful host!  I had three housemates for the week, two of whom were riding in camp with me.  It was great to have fellow riders in the house with me.  I could not have asked for better accommodations, despite the fact that I left by 7AM each morning and was not back home until after 9PM!  I wish I had more time to enjoy the gorgeous porch and grounds, but maybe I can go back again another time.  

Marge's B&B - I snapped this shot just after I checked in on Monday afternoon and was headed back to Denny's.
Gorgeous round barn at Marge's!  It is called Round Robin Farm for a reason!
The shedrow where Dreamy spent her time.  You can barely see her little star.

Part of the beautiful jump ring (I snapped this on my way to feed on Tuesday morning.)
Jump ring to the left, main barn/indoor in the middle, paddocks on the right.  

Hand grazing on Monday night after dinner.  Dreamy was totally checking out the XC jumps.  Haha!

This is one of the big fields where Roxie, Rosie, and Jumbie hang out.  The cows are much further up the hill at the very top.  One of the campers was from Maryland and I nearly peed myself when she heard a groan/mooing sound and said OMG it is a moose calling!  *SNORT*
Doing what she does best!!  LOL!

Campers had a tack room which we promptly filled.  My two saddles are the ones with blue covers.
Cleaning tack!  I cleaned my tack every day at Tamarack!  So luxurious to have that kind of time!!
Night check 
Monday night was exciting, as we had a lovely introductory dinner and got to meet everyone!  We were from all walks of life: a veterinarian, stay-at-home mom, professional barn owners/instructors, and business owners, just to name a few.  We ranged from a rider who had never been on cross country to Training level riders looking to move up.  It was a wonderful group of people and I felt so excited and at home.

Tuesday morning was our first real day.  We were not allowed to feed until 7AM which was TOUGH for me!  LOL!  Dreamy seemed to settle in fine overnight.  Our first order of business after chores was to meet at the jump ring for a demo with Denny.  Sue Berrill was also our instructor for the week

I had my first lesson that morning with Denny.  I had hoped to start out with a dressage lesson first, as it seemed less scary (haha) but obviously whatever I was signed up to do, I was going to do!  

First demo on Tuesday morning  - This is Denny on Atti

Cross Country Day!!
This was such a fun day!!  We started the day with a cross country demo with Lila and Daryl.  Then Dreamy and I were in the first XC set of the day.  We warmed up in the ring and headed on a short hack out to the cross country field. We had a great XC school and Dreamy was bold and honest to absolutely everything! We even did a jump down into the water which was so fun!   We had a yummy lunch and tack lecture at Strafford Saddlery, got to watch the other XC sets, and then had a cookout and lecture by the pond from Ann Getchel of Huntington Farm.  As I wrote on my Facebook status that night: "I'm pretty sure I never want to leave Tamarack."

Here comes Lila on Skybreaker
Riding back to the farm, with Daryl and Lila behind us.
Cross country started in the ring with a little warm up

Sue and Denny changed her bit and Sue got on for a few minutes.

I love this series of photos because I can HEAR Denny instructing....

Up the bank...
...and over the log!
Heck yeah!!!

Dreamy got to spend a few hours each day in the little dirt paddock.  She was clearly miffed at not being turned out for 14 hours a day on grass pasture like at home, but this was a nice break from being stalled or ridden!

We had another stadium jump school in the morning with Denny and a dressage lesson with Sue in the afternoon. With Denny we did a little jumper "show", which was two rounds of jumping and a jump off.  It was timed and Dreamy and I had no faults to earn first place!  Whoooo!  

Standardbreds represent!
Last Day :-(
I was filled with so many emotions as I geared up for the last day of my Camp Denny experience.  I took a long hack with a fellow camper, did a simple jump school with Denny, and then once last practice over the ditch and water jumps.

And the coolest part??  Denny hopped on Dreamy, and I got to ride his mare Atti (Bealieu's Coll Attitude).  SO MUCH FUN!

Mostly I was so sad to leave this beautiful farm, my wonderfully supportive fellow campers, and the wisdom and guidance of Denny, May, Sue, and Daryl. I am so glad I had the guts and determination to go. My riding improved and my vision of my riding future was shaped.  How can I ever thank my beautiful mare; while she is not a "suitable event horse" by conventional standards, she tries so hard and is so honest for me. I am deeply thankful I had this experience with her. I know I'll always be trying to find ways to come back to Tamarack Hill.  

Leaving, but I will be back!! 


  1. Denny's brilliant-I'd kill for the chance to ride with him again. His 'toes up' vs. 'heals down' is one of the most useful expressions. I use it all the time, as I find it prevents people from jamming their legs out in front of them.

  2. Awesome to hear of your experience Liz! I so want to go someday. :)

  3. I have put Denny's camp on my bucket list, even though I can't imagine affording it anytime soon. My very first horse is a standardbred off the track--- 16.2hh bay gelding who will jump anything you point him at. He is retired now, and enjoys bossing the herd around and being fussed over by little kids and visitors-- he has the best human manors of any horse I have ever met, so I often use him to teach little kids how to lead/groom/pick feet. We used to joke that his best gait was the "working halt"-- he's beautiful to look at but not at all sure how to keep all of his legs in line. Nice to see someone promoting standardbreds for eventing and more.


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