Countryside Adventures

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Jamie on his hols.  He’s up the hill during  the August weather, chasing cows!  A change of scenery does us all the power of good this time of year.   Pets Corner is becoming the place to be for small creatures, I find myself spending way too much time watching the interaction between the bunnies, ducks and tortoises.

The rabbits have a warren hierarchy just like our equine team members, as long as you can remember who is safe to be out with who, we avoid too many punch-ups!
IMG_4129A new baby arrived with a load of hay this weekend, she is so very pretty and called ‘Milky Way.’

Spencer continues to be terrorized by ‘Fudge’ the baby bunny that chased him out of Pets Corner a couple of weeks ago.  The pic below is not good quality, but it proves the relationship.  Trust me, Spencer is not about to pounce, he was chastised up there!

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Smallest newcomer of all, is ‘Nimrod’ (still trying to find a name but I think this may have stuck now), see below.  He is so delicate Colin has designed him is own private terrarium with stone tiled floor…

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So all in all, too hot for all this equestrian energetic stuff, but lazying around in the green grass works!

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Rainy Days and Mondays

Rain is great – our herd drinks hundreds of gallons a week, but it means other issues for horses of course.

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Chippy having a snooze on a sunny morning last week.

Mud is slippery – no riding, mud is wet – sticks to grey geldings!  Mud causes hoof worries especially with barefoot thouroughbreds.  But its great to work on the farm with cloud cover, watch the grass grow and listen to the cisterns fill…

The Funny Farm has a finished  Pets Corner finally.  An enclosed area of lawn where the bunnies can run around freely with the tortoises and ducks.  It allows children (and adults) to go through the gate and watch rabbits hop and skip unhindered by hutches and cages.  Some of the feedback I have had from young Mums however, suggests that it may have been more lucrative to let the bunnies out and enclose the children! IMG_4093

So how do you bring your children to visit Pets Corner and meet the ponies?  I am afraid it’s impossible to be open all the time for people to walk in.  The farm is also our home and whilst we are just about always slaving over 39 furred or feathered permanent residents (with often around 5 more guests), there is just the odd time that I need to go clean my teeth or EAT!!

Children under 4 years cannot ride our ponies but are very welcome to say “hi” to them when they come to Pets Corner, as well as Jamie the donkey who is usually on hand to welcome families through the gate.  So email, or call, or text me (notice no Facebook messages) and we can arrange a time for you to visit.  If you can get together with friends who also have young children (or not so young) then its works great as a morning activity – if I know you are coming!

Spencer the foreman has been overseeing the construction and implementation of the project IMG_4006and I did wonder how his feline instincts would react to small, running, bunny rabbits…  He has not been tempted to exert his predator status at all – in fact if I had had a GoPro pointed  in the direction of Pets Corner one morning last week, I would have had the viral video of the year!  A live recording of Spencer the cat as he hurtled over the grass closely pursued by a very small baby bunny, weighing all of 1/2 pound!!!  See baby bunny (Fudge) above!

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Activities continue into August at Countryside Adventures.  We offer full or half day programs for juniors on Mondays and Tuesdays and Trail riding and lessons for children and adults at the weekends.  So when August gets too much for you on the beach,  come and spend some time at Diamond Estate Farm and Country Centre.

 

 

 

 

 

Summertime and the Living is Easy…

Schools are breaking up, stuff (as always) has moved on, happened and evolved at the Funny Farm.  So much to tell, so little time to type, you just have to be here to witness the highs, lows and laughs-out-load of a centre supporting 33 creatures – great and small.

Mondays and Tuesdays in July we will be open for children 5 years and above (the young ones usually can only manage a morning session) from 9.00am till 3.00pm.

An all day stay at Countryside Adventures gives a little of everything, including the care and management of our members from the smallest bunny to the largest grey (monster) of a horse, through to pony riding and hiking on the hill.

We are very excited about our new and improved ‘Pets Corner’ where the rabbits can run free with the muckducks and tortoises.  Also new strategically placed gates, gives us a whole new area where we can safely have children and parents wandering closer to the barn and ring.

Birthday Parties will be even more fun with the new layouts!

If you would like to book Mondays or Tuesdays in July (beginning 4th) for your child, please call or email

542 2070 or sailonbvi@surfbvi.com to confirm a place.

“Its Raining Bluey!”

Just in case we don’t notice that it’s raining, my African Grey Summertime lets us know.  She chats away most of the day, although will go deathly quiet if there are strangers close by.  Like a lot of Greys she is a ‘closet talker’.  I am sure that people just nod and smile when I occasionally boast about my talking parrot, thinking to themselves that I have far too vivid an imagination…

Summer calls my name if she wants my attention – just like you would.  She asks for the food she fancies at the time, if desperate will occasionally put “please” into the request! Occasionally I also get a “thank you”.

She tells the dogs off and knows who is who.  If Beach barks too long she will tell him in a very stern voice that she will put his vibrating collar on!  She sends Spring the Jack Russell out of the room, when she knows it’s her turn to sit on my lap.

It fascinates me that she also knows who’s who on the farm.  If the donkey brays she say’s “ok Jamie” she also knows Mento and will call him by his nickname ‘Mennie’ just as often.IMG_3838

This morning both Mento and Shuffle were being worked, in two different areas within her view of the world.  She referred to both by name, several times during this time.  She has said nothing about them since they have been released to wander up the hill again.

Blue the Macaw, has a greatly scaled down vocabulary of about 4 words, but that doesn’t seem to matter, as he gets his feelings across fairly successfully.  When you hear two birds speaking to each other in plain English – well there are no human words to describe that!

Guests continue to come and and go from the ‘Funny Farm’, especially lately.  We had to sadly say goodbye to the 5 ‘Hillbillies’ who returned to Oil Nut Bay last month.  I miss them still, badly, and so do lots of others, both children and adults that spent time with them.IMG_3872

Tortoises every now and again wander over a gap in the wall and head off for a sabbatical.  They invariably come back, so I have learnt not to panic and of course as long as they avoid large trucks and similar sized dogs, they stay pretty safe.  The latest MIA member of the gang made his way to Horse Path over the past couple of months.  Not a bad effort for someone who’s cruising speed is soooo slow!

We have been honoured to look after two Necker Island residents over the past few weeks – Marley the Umbrella Cockatoo has been hanging out (!) while he is treated by Canines Cats and Critters and this weekend we are also playing host to a gorgeous Toco Toucan.  She is a little under the weather, but a wonderful guest never the less.  Both birds will be returning to their own island in the next few days.IMG_3907

I wonder who we will welcome to the Funny Farm next…

Valentines Week at the Funny Farm

Our herd dynamics are difficult enough to keep up with nowadays, with 14 horses and ponies mixing together, the soppy, gullible, geldings falling in and out of love with various mares depending on the hormones of the day.

I so am glad horses don’t do ‘Valentines’, as I suspect there would be one almighty punch up!!

Some pics below of this weeks activities.  Its been a long week. Lots of annoying little extra breakdowns, ‘meds’ to issue, blood tests to do, low appetites to pander to and just high maintenance team members.  Must be the change in the season…

But some fun too as always…

Winston and Owen practicing their skills.IMG_3625

Sometimes mechanical transport is best for the girlies.IMG_3649

 

Spencer has been spending rather extended periods IMG_3644
meditating at the top of the hill.
Not sure why, but then I have never been sure of
anything with that cat!

 

 

 

The pic below is of junior riders out on their own on the trail – that’s a big thing you know! IMG_3631Real Texan’s from Texas rode out on the Hillbillies this weekend – thoroughly enjoying themselves. I wish we didn’t have to forgo our stetsons for riding helmets, they are sooo not cool!!IMG_0310

 

New Junior Sessions for February 2016

Monday February 1st 2016, brings the opportunity to get involved after school and on Saturdays as we recharge our groups and offer more sessions to children from 4 years old.

If you would like your child to take part in our horse riding lessons either for the first time, or to continue on, I encourage you to get in touch to ensure that you have your space booked for the coming month.

Mondays 3.30 / 4.30 / 5.15pm
Tuesdays 3.30 / 4.30 / 5.15pm
Wednesdays 4.30 / 5.15pm
Saturdays 9.30/  10.30 / 11.30 / 12.30 / 3.00

Either email or call us as Facebook messages don’t guarantee a reservation.

sailonbvi@surfbvi.com             Tel: 542 2070

See you soon Alison

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Coralie and Kid (and a shovel!)