You are currently browsing the archives for the year 2016.

Holiday Party

Posted on December 11, 2016

Musical rides & games, youth grab bag, Secret Santa for adults, fabulous pot-luck lunch, traditional mulled wine, yummy desserts, renowned Farmer’s Wife horse cookies, Happy Holidays to all!

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Buddy comes to spend the winter

Posted on November 28, 2016

This year, Thoroughbred Buddy went East for the winter – from Thompson-Finch Farm to Cricket Hill! Marnie MacLean – Buddy’s devoted Mom – went South to Puerto Rico with husband Don to harvest their citrus crop. Buddy is perfectly happy making friends with all his neighbors; here, it’s Tate. The photographer had to be quick as Buddy is so friendly, he walks right up…. the next picture was a nose! Welcome Buddy!


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Wonderful color and form even when the leaves fall!

Posted on November 27, 2016

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Bella and Neo come to Cricket Hill!

Posted on November 25, 2016

Please join me in welcoming Brian and Izumi Shepard to Cricket Hill! Both are devoted riders, interested in Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, and Hunter Pacing, and looking forward to improving themselves and their wonderful horses! Brian’s Bella is a 14-year-old Oldenberg mare that’s always ready to go. Neo, an 8-year-old warmblood-Morgan cross, is smart, a wonderful gentleman, and oh so well-loved by Izumi!

“We’ve been driving by and admiring Cricket Hill for years. We’re so happy to be here now!” says Brian. Brian told us he actually started his riding career years ago at Cricket Hill. Well, we are thrilled to have both pairs join the Cricket Hill family, in training with Kira, assisted by Becca.brianizumi-long-web

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Imaginative Costumes highlight the Halloween Show!

Posted on October 30, 2016

Dressage, Jumping, Horsemanship, Leadline – all the basics, but all in costume! A dry run for trick or treating and lots of fun at our fall show!

Five of our six Horsemanship students who competed at the FFA fair earlier this month were back to show their new skills. Bravo to the moms and grandmoms and their extraordinary costumes!

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Fall colors were beautiful, muted by warmth and dryness…

Posted on October 1, 2016

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Regional Championships

Posted on September 21, 2016

Delilah CH and Kira competed in I-1 and PSG at this year’s Regional Championships. It was a tough field of international horses. Happily Delilah’s I-1 go was the pair’s best ride this season!

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Sarika joins the Academy

Posted on September 8, 2016

Please welcome Sarika, a beautiful, black, sweet and perky Andalusion-Friesian who has joined the Academy school horses! Generously donated by Bernadette Szost, Sarika is a quality, show-worthy mare available for intermediate dressage riders. She continues her training with Kira and Becca.


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Shelly Francis Back at Cricket Hill

Posted on September 3, 2016

Just back from Rio, where she was the Alternate to the bronze medal U.S. Olympic Dressage team, Shelly was greeted by old friends and mostly good weather! A great clinic and wonderful stories!

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Cricket Hill BBQ: is it the 29th already?!

Posted on August 27, 2016

Once again, the weather smiled on us. And now, since we put the tents up on the hill for the shade of the black walnut trees, nothing and no one melts! This year’s Drill Team was a first – beginner riders from age 5 to 8 – an introduction to figures they’ll ride on their own next time! Another musical treat, Kira and Delilah performed Intermediaire I!

The Golden Fork Award went to Lyla Andrick this year, recognizing her outstanding volunteer work for Cricket Hill! Lyla is not only quick with the ideas but hard-working and dependable on the follow through. She created and runs the Saddle Club Gazette, a monthly publication filled with imaginary and fanciful stories contributed by kids, adults, and their four-footed friends at Cricket Hill! Lyla also spearheaded the award winning Cricket Hill stall decoration at YDF this year. And with the other two Student Assistants, Lula and Lulu, was Camp Counselor for a session. The tasty horse cookies were also baked and decorated by Lyla – just another great idea shared with all of us!

Of course, the food is always an attraction and a good reason to take a few minutes at the end of the summer to enjoy a day at the farm.

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Cricket Hill Wins for Originality at the 18th Youth Dressage Festival!

Posted on August 14, 2016

While this marked our 18th trip to this wonderful show – we’ve been there since the beginning – it was the first time we went as the Cricket Hill Correctional and Training Facility!

The four hardened criminals were locked up ….. most of the time.

Let out only to ride into the sunset!

Everybody moved up a level and got a ribbon in their new division! Bravo, and thanks Kira & Jami!

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Congratulations! Sharon brings Enna to Cricket Hill!

Posted on July 8, 2016


Sharon and Kira had been looking for a horse for Sharon for about a year. Several super mounts were found but, as is unfortunately sometimes the case, none passed the vet check. Happily, as part of the process, they found Enna, at home with owner Bernadette, and available for lease!

Enna settled in right away and began her conditioning and schooling with Kira. A lovely, black Irish Sporthorse, Enna is experienced, kind, and is a wonderful schoolmaster for Sharon. A former eventer, Enna enjoys her refreshing trail rides with Kira, especially the jumping!

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Our Summer Garden in glorious color!

Posted on July 4, 2016

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Annual ‘Dressage Day’ Schooling Show – our ninth!

Posted on June 5, 2016

Dressage Day is one of our favorite shows. It’s a wonderful way to get the kinks out for the show season on excellent footing, and a great opportunity for youth to try showing and qualify for Lendon’s Youth Dressage Festival in August. And the weather was with us again!

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Welcome to Sarah’s Etienne, a.k.a. Lincoln!

Posted on May 30, 2016

We were all thrilled when Sarah Morgan’s new 17 hand Dutch Warmblood walked off the trailer at Cricket Hill today! She and Kira had been looking for months to find the “forever” horse for Sarah to enjoy and progress with up the levels. “He’s a bit greener than we were looking for, but such a willingness and gentle accepting personality, he and Sarah are perfect together,” says Kira.

“He needs a more fitting stable name,” says Sarah. “After all, he’s tall, from Illinois, and very honest! So I’m calling him Lincoln!” Sarah was hoping Linc could hangout with her other horse, Shakespeare, in turnout, but they are both too playful! So Bandit gets the duty! We wish Sarah and Lincoln many happy returns of this wonderful day!

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GoldStar I awarded to Ava!

Posted on April 2, 2016

Congratulations to Ava on the completion of GoldStar I! Ava is the first of the Ambers – a new Saddle Club group for beginners under the guidance of Instructor Cecelia Edwards – to finish the first module. The other five Ambers are well on their way, so watch this spot for their awards coming up! Ava received her award at this week’s Saddle Club meeting, and was congratulated later by Amber chums! Thanks to the keen eye of Joe Bore.


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Old-fashioned Egg Hunt welcomes Spring!

Posted on March 26, 2016

The eggs were everywhere – in the grass, in the trees, around the outdoor arena and round pen – everywhere! Each egg had treats nestled inside, and several golden rabbits were found.

Dads and Moms were in the swing of it, too!

Egg-and-spoon races were next, with lots of cheering and laughing. The weather really cooperated, and some were down to shirtsleeves!



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Three new riders sample Centered Riding at our Mini-Clinic

Posted on March 12, 2016

Three new riders joined three returnees for Jami’s Centered Riding Mini-Clinic held in the spacious Gathering Room. Participants learn and practice the 5 main techniques: soft eyes, breathing, centering, balance and grounding. L to R below: Lois Russin works on breathing; Laurie combines breathing and balance in motion; Cecelia and Kristin paired up to apply the techniques to rein work; Jami helps Amy Wilson find her ‘unbendable arm’, an exercise in grounding; Claire finds her balance using building blocks.


“I’m coming to the 3-day clinic in April,” said Lois; “I wish I knew about this a long time ago!” Laurie was going to try her new unbendable arm to stop her horse from pulling. Welcome to all three who are planning on trailering their horses to Cricket Hill for lessons!

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