May 30th, 2016
Spring Down continues to get thank you letters from all of the organizations it supports. Here is one recent letter from NCEFT:
Dear Carol – thank you again for your generous sponsorship of NCEFT’s Spring Fling Riding Showcase. It was a wonderful success! The looks of joy on our 25 riders’ faces were amazing. The shirts that you helped us to purchase looked great, and everyone appreciated you sponsoring them! Gratefully, Cherie Hammer
The Portola Valley Horse Fair occurred on Sunday, May 29th – right near Spring Down up at the Town Center. It was also a great success – lots of locals came with their children to check out the many events that were offered. Spring Down hosted a table where children could paint horse shoes. A local vet, Gary Hanes, offered his expertise to help folks hear a horse’s heart beat. There was a petting zoo, and even a horse that children could paint! A wonderful time was had by all, and a great big thank you goes out to Ellie Ferrari and her team for all of their hard work in organizing this event.
Don’t forget – SIGN UP FOR CAMP!! There are still spots left in all sessions (just a few in the first week, June 13th). Do get your applications and payments in NOW to secure a spot for your child. Our camps are a wonderful way for kids (and adults, too to learn not only about riding, but also about all of the aspects of horsemanship.
April 12th, 2016
Although it is still a bit rainy outside, I am confident we are going to spring into Spring any time soon. This is the time to think about summer schedules - so do sign up for one or more of our fabulous horse camps this summer. The first session, starting June 13th, is filling up fast, so if you are interested in that session do get your application and payment in to our Spring Down office ASAP. Here is an overview of the summer camp schedule:
Session 1: June 13-24
Session 2: July 4-15 (yes, there is camp on the 4th)
Session 3: July 18-29
Session 4: August 2-12
Session 5: August 15-26
During the gap week of June 27-July 1, there will be another Nick Karazissis Clinic on June 28,29, and 30. Sign ups for that are in process as well.
On May 15th, Kelly McKnight, the arena one judge from our March horse show, will be coming back to Spring Down to do a judge's clinic. There will be both flat and jumping classes available, so do sign up now (non-refundable payment is necessary to secure your spot) and get some brilliant and useful feedback from a very experienced horse show judge. Kelly will not only critique your riding, he will explain to you what the judges are looking for, how the judges make decisions about who places in what order, and he will give you tips about how you can be a successful horse show participant. There are still many of our great horses available for the June show as well, so do sign up to show one of your favorite horse friends and companions.
This blog entry would not be complete without paying tribute to Stan Goodstein, Carol's beloved husband, who sadly passed away on March 5th. Stan was one of the sweetest, most wonderful guys one could ever hope to know, and he was truly a gentleman. I feel honored to have known him, and Stan will be sorely missed by everyone in the Spring Down community.
Feburary 5th, 2016
Hello Everyone! I am going to go with the Groundhog, and hope that we will have an early Spring this year:) I am not sure if the Eastern and mid-Western folks would agree, given all the snow they are getting, but let's hope:)
We get some lovely letters at Spring Down, and I would like to share parts of them with you all. Here are a few that are outstanding:
Dear Carol -
Thank you so much for ensuring that Steffi had such a wonderful riding experience during her visit to Portola Valley. She was so happy with her progress! And, of course, she fell in love with Dina. It was a wonderful experience for me, too. It took me back 40 years to the days when YOU found my horses and trained them. Thanks for all you did then, and thanks for the memories.
Fondly, Lina Swisher
Dear Diane -
I wanted to write to thank you for the wonderful opportunities I was provided with during my time at Spring Down. A few months ago I ran into one of my former campers. Immediately a rush of fond memories from the summer camps I worked came flooding back to me. I wanted to write to thank you for allowing me to work in the summer camps, and let you know how much I appreciate the memories I have from being a camper, and eventually a counselor. I learned so much from attending and teaching those camps and I still use and remember everything that I learned today.
Best, Chloe Feingold
Dear Carol -
I wanted to properly thank you for the opportunities that Spring Down provided me with during my younger years. I had the chance to do things that I never would have dreamed of doing, such as working and teaching at the summer camps, showing on a regular basis, riding a fantastic bunch of school horses, and making a lot of close friends. Some of my best friends today are the friends that I met through Spring Down. I have also had the chance to connect with a number of people through our shared opportunities at Spring Down whether recent or long ago....and it was the place where most remember beginning to ride or finding their love of horses. For me, it was the beginning as well. I learned so much during my time at the barn and enjoyed every second of it. I have been an event rider and pony club member for a few years now, and always look back and reuse everything I have learned. Spring Down provided me with a strong foundation in riding and horse management skills that have allowed me to be able to compete and achieve what I have today. I couldn't be more grateful to have had the chance to start out and learn at Spring Down, and I can't imagine where I would be without it. To this day, I still remember my first ride, first canter, first jump, and most of the horses I rode. These are memories that I cherish and I just wanted to let you know how much all my time at Spring Down meant to me. Thank you.
January 14th, 2016
Happy New Year to the wonderful Spring Down community!! Due to the amazing generosity of you fabulous folks, the grooms fund came to over $6000 this year!! I believe that was the largest to date - and ALL of the grooms are extremely thankful to everyone for their incredible generosity.
Our camp seasons will be starting up, beginning with the Winter Camp, then the Spring Camps, and then our incredibly popular Summer Camp. Please see our web site for dates for these events. Currently, the Winter Camp and Spring Camp applications are available on line, and the Summer Camp application will be available by the end of January. Do sign up EARLY as our camps - especially the summer camps - fill up quickly!!
Congratulations to our High Point winners from the Winter Horse Show December 6th:
Beginner High Point - Maria Danilak riding Angel
Reserve - Karina Wade riding Sunshine
Junior Advanced High Point - Samantha Zagha riding Frankie
Reserve - Hallie Dugar riding Paddington Bear
Senior Advanced High Point - Kate Cameron riding Magic
Reserve - Caudia Kister riding Tango
Congratulations, also, to the 2015 Spring Down Medal winner - Rachael Howard riding Colorado!!!!
Our next horse show will be on Sunday, March 6th - sign up NOW because there are still many great horses available to show at all levels. Nick Karazissis will also be coming back to Spring Down in March for one of his fabulous three day clinics - do check our web site for details and sign up early so we can get the schedule out early. Remember, we can not make the schedule until people actually sign up, so the earlier you sign up, the earlier the schedule will come out.
November 24th, 2015
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! This is a good time to give thanks for family, friends, and our wonderful equine companions. Let us remember, this up and coming Holiday Season, who are the folks who work so hard every day to take care of our amazing Spring Down Stars.....our staff of grooms:) These guys work all day, every day, very quietly and behind the scenes, to take excellent care of the horses. They are always willing, no matter how busy they are, to help anyone who needs help with their horse - especially the small children. Please take a moment to ask in the office about the Holiday Grooms fund! This is a fund, spear headed by Diane Allison, to raise some extra money for all of our wonderful grooms during the Holiday Season. Please donate whatever you can to this fund - there is an envelope in the SD office for your donations. Cash is best, but if you need to write a check, please make it out to "Diane Allison." She will then take the checks and cash them, adding those monies to the cash already accumulated. At the end of the Holiday Season, each groom will get a special card with their gift, along with a complete list of whoever contributed to their gift. Spring Down is such a special community - let's all come together and support our grooms!!
Please remember everyone - we are ONLY CLOSED on Thanksgiving DAY, Christmas DAY, and NY Day. We are open all all other 362 days of the year!!!
Come one, come all to our fabulous December Horse Show!! This show is the culmination of the year 2015, so we will be announcing the winner of the 2015 Medal Prize during the show!! It's always very exciting to see who wins!! Come and support all your friends who are getting out there and showing - best of luck to all of our Spring Down competitors. We DO need more folks to be in our Lead Line Class - if you have a little one who is just starting out to ride, this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce them to the world of horse shows. See the SD office for more information.
Sign up NOW for our Holiday Camp. Our Holiday Camps are super fun, and because the camps are smaller and more intimate, it is possible to sign up by the day if desired. There is no camp on Christmas Day, or New Year's Day - but there IS camp on Christmas Eve and NY Eve!