I always love to watch the satisfaction of riders when they overcome a new challenge, have that ‘aha’ moment or a ‘first’ experience. Watching from the sidelines as a parent, must be a bit overwhelming if you didn’t grow up on a horse. I know it can be alarming, even if you did. However, I find an amazing sense of calm when watching my sister teach her students, including my own children.
Recently, while doing night chores, I was lucky enough to see a young student canter for the first time. Her smile said it all. That night, her confidence grew as much as her love of horses. I could not help but watch as Lisa’s voice extended the confidence to the rider as she explained the mechanics. Lisa matched the right school horse with the rider to ensure success and continued learning.
I should assume that after 30 years of teaching, she has a tried and true method but I still remain in awe of my sister, Lisa. She supports riders in putting all the pieces together so they have the skills to recreate, to practice, and to take things to the next level. She teaches equitation and horsemanship and in expecting students to give it their best, instills a lifetime of skills that can be applied to all aspects of life.
For the rider that night, it is only the beginning. She has the bug and natural talent. She is already spending more time at the barn to help with chores. I have no doubt she will soon be very comfortable at the canter and look forward to watching another lesson.
Whiskey, the big draft that joined us at BLF in October, has settled in very well. He has been eating hay and grain and has been gaining weight at a good pace. He loves being around other horses and seems to be very happy. At this point, he shares turnout with the NY State rescue, that is still with us.
Thank you to the many people that have contacted us to see how they can help Whiskey. An extra BIG THANK YOU to those of you that have brought grain and hay for Whiskey. We greatly appreciate your support to get him back to health and happiness. Whiskey’s case is interesting. Before letting his horse get even worse, the owner decided the best thing to do was to hand him over legally and have him placed with us. His care is significant and we are very appreciative of the help we have received. Drafts are big eaters! Next up for Whiskey – he will need his feet done and be wormed.
Picking up Whiskey was a very emotional and hard time. His owner obviously loved the horse and realized that he no longer had the ability to care for him as he needed. This is a very hard decision to make and yet critical for the survival of the animal. He loaded on the trailer with little trouble and traveled well. When we got him back to BLF and he got off the trailer, he was instantly animated at the sight and smells of other horses. Although he had immediate access to food, he was more interested in making friends with those in neighboring paddocks. We should have taken video to share. It was beautiful. People tend to forget that horses are herd animals. They want to be with other horses. It was very clear that Whiskey was happy to make friends.
Throughout our many years of boarding and lessons, we have rescued a number of horses and other animals. Rescued animals come to us for a number of reasons. Most come prior to being neglected, because their owners know they will have a happy life at our farm spending time in our paddocks, not a life in a stall.
At Bonnie Lea Farm, our horses are home raised and trained by Lisa. They are known for their kind and gentle manners, talent, healthy lifestyles and happy demeanor. At Bonnie Lea Farm, we welcome riders of all levels and ages. Our BLF Family is made up of a mix of wonderful adults and youth. Come be a part of our family! For more information on our programs, please visit the links above.
Time Warner Cable News Video Link
Channel 6 News Video
We have added a new Adult Beginner Lesson starting Tuesday, September 23.
Have you always wanted to learn to ride? Do you just want to try a few lessons? Do you want to fulfill a childhood dream? Do you want to find the peace that comes with working with a horse? Whatever the reason, come join your peers on Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30pm. Please contact via this site or bonnieleafarm @ gmail to reserve a spot and learn more about our lesson program.
We have many other opportunities throughout the week for lessons, no matter your level of experience. Weather permitting instructed trail riding is also available.
OPEN HOUSE AT BONNIE LEA FARM
Saturday, September 13, 2014
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
FREE GUIDED FARM TOURS!
Meet our horses, cows, goats, chickens, & ducks.
- Sign up for fall lessons.
- Get details on our lessons, instructed trail rides, leasing, boarding and pony rides.
- Join the BLF Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Team.
- Learn about Williams and MCLA riding opportunities including the College IHSA program.
- Find out about our Adult lesson schedule.
- Take advantage of our FALL Lesson Package Special. (10 group lessons for $400)
- Meet our horses, cows, goats, chickens, ducks. Come see this year’s foals.
- Discover how you can buy grass fed beef.
- See our fall calendar.
- Don’t forget to wear your boots!
For more details about our farm, visit
511 North Street, Williamstown, MA 01267
Located at Route 7 bridge, 1 mile from rotary
We have had a very busy summer!!! Summer Horse and Farm Program participants had tons of fun and we enjoyed meeting so many new kids and their families. It is always great to see our regulars, too.
We have been so busy that we are going to give the horses a vacation. Starting August 24, the horses will be taking a break from lessons, pony and trail rides through Labor Day. Our regular lessons will start again on Tuesday, September 2.
It is important for the mental and physical health of our horses to give them a break and let them relax. You know how you feel after returning from a few days away from the norm? That is what they need. At BLF, we strongly believe that horses need time to out of the ring to just be horses.
The fall is shaping up to be full of fun as well. Keep posted for our upcoming Open House in mid September. We will be providing information and scheduling our fall lessons. Of course we will also be introducing new comers to the farm. The Open House will also be a great time to stop in and see this year’s babies and how much they have grown.
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend! See you soon.
We have barn family members selling trailers. One is a standard 2-horse with front centered people door, while the other is a lovely 2-horse goose-neck with tackroom/sleeping area. We can put you in touch with them if you are interested.
We just wanted to keep everyone posted on availability of the summer programs. We will continue to update as needed.
We still have some space in the following weeks, (with kids already registered and the programs running).
July 14 – Horse Program and Farm Program
July 21 – Horse Program/ Full Day Farm Program (No half-day Farm)
August 4 – Half-day Farm Program (FULL – NO SPACE)
August 11 – Horse Program and Full Day Farm or Combo Only (No half-day Farm)
August 18 – Horse and Farm Program (Full & Half Day)
Please contact us through this site or via email at BonnieLeaFarm@gmail.com. Hope you can come join in the fun!
NEHC C-Rated – MHC C-Rated – WNE-PHA Recognized
Sunday June 29, 2014
Judge: Betsy Joyce (R), Ballston Spa, NY
Steward: Jocelyn Molitor (C1), Hatfield, MA
Submit entries prior to 5pm Friday, June 27 to be eligible to win a free day of showing!
BLF Horse Show Entry Form 2014
Manager & Course Designer: Lisa DeMayo
Secretary: Carin DeMayo-Wall
Vet on Call: Arlington Equine (802) 375-9322
Farrier on Call: Matt Reopel (413) 330-5633
EMT Provided by Village Ambulance Service
Food Truck: Paris & Ty’s Just Wicked Good Food
Secretary and Stable Phone: (413) 458–3149
Love animals? Love horses?
Want to get your hands dirty ?
Want to sleep well at the end of a busy day on the farm?
At Bonnie Lea Farm, children and teens are compassionate, responsible, confident leaders who learn the farm work ethic.
We believe the true farm experience teaches important values and life skills while having fun. The summer experiences at Bonnie Lea Farm allow complete immersion in the care and nurturing of the horses and other animals that depend on us for survival. For over 40 years, kids have grown up at BLF and love to “come home” as often as possible to reconnect. We look forward to your family joining ours. See our Summer Program Page for more general details and the links below for summer program documents.
Horse Program – Farm Program – Registration Form
BLF has had several requests for expanding our summer programming. We have added a week (7/14) of the regular Horse Program
in addition to the special week for teen and adult beginners. BLF is also offering half and full day Farm Program
throughout the summer and a full day Horse & Farm combination.
We are excited that in addition to the younger participants there are teens and preteens that want to spend the summer on the farm.
Hope your family can join us!