Monday, February 28, 2011

First horse show of the season for Linus, and chick update!

Linus went to his first show of the season on February 19th, and took home a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the Low Hunters. For not much winter schooling I was really proud of him. Our next show is 5/5. We're both very excited for the upcoming Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Shows, held at the VA horse center. These shows showcase the off the track thoroughbred, or those bred to race that were in race training that for one reason or another never made it to the track. Both Leo and Linus will be attending.

Chick News! The first eggs in the incubator for 2011 are due in 12 days. So far it looks like I've got about 80% that are developing, so crossing fingers everything goes well for the remainder of the incubation. We've had some extreme weather fluctuations lately, which luckily has not affected the temperature much inside the 'bator, but definitely plays with the humidity a bit.

The next set of eggs I will be incubating are some olive eggers from Texas (black and blue barred) as well as some Black and Blue Copper Marans, and some blue egg-laying true Ameraucanas.

I plan to be at the Gilmanor Swap on May 7th.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Welcome to Shady Lane Farm!

First, let me welcome you to the Shady Lane Farm blog. I will admit, the thought of maintaing a blog at first (and still) seems like a daunting task, as simple as it might have initially been envisioned. I once had a great love for creative writing, less of a love for reading, but a great interest in research. When I first began my undergraduate career, I was convinced my full-time career would eventually be medicine. After my second year, I realized this was not a field I was meant for. I transferred schools and made a big plunge: I would major in Fine Arts, specializing in Illustration. After finding that there was a need for trained medical illustrators, I knew I had found what I was meant to do. This lead me to graduate school, where I was accepted into the Biomedical Visualization program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During my second year I had the great opportunity to intern at the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, where I studied under the great David Williams. Shortly after graduation I took a position in Boston doing educational and training materials for the Pharmaceutical industry. After 4 years I was ready for a change, and accepted a position in Virginia doing defense materials for medical malpractice cases. The illustrations I create are used in the courtroom to help the jury understand the allegations. I'm constantly researching, learning and strategizing, and it's the perfect job for me.

Outside of the office, I have a very active life on the farm. I currently have two Off The Track Thoroughbreds (commonly known at OTTBs) in training. Linus, a coming 6 year old, is a 17 hand grey gelding with a personality just as big, and is by Weshaam. He's a fabulous horse, excellent mover, and is always mistaken for a warmblood. Thanks to a wonderful show scene in the area, I'm able to get out to horse shows most weekends from early spring through late fall. He showed last year in the 2' baby greens and will be moving up to the 2' 6" divisions this year. I also will be taking him to a few combined tests, and hopefully his first trial. Leo (registered name Powerful Storm), my newest acquisition, is a coming 6 year old as well, stands about 16.2 hands and is a lovely bay gelding. He came off the Finger Lakes Track in early December of 2010, after a 4 year racing career. He is by the great Thunder Gulch out of a Turkoman mare, and was bred by Adena Springs in KY. (Of note, he was once ridden by Kent Desormeaux! He didn't win...) He did finally break his Maiden but never really could cut it after that, and he came to me in need of lots of weight (he was thinner than what I would consider 'race fit') and some treatment for ulcers. After 2 months he is finally starting to come around, and is putting on some nice weight. He's an incredibly sweet horse, and will always try to get in front of Linus when it's peppermint time. I'll probably start his official training in a few weeks, as I firmly believe that OTTB's need time to relax their mind and body before embarking on a new career. As I show throughout the year, I will post results and pictures. last but never least, Paddy, my amazing 27 year old QH gelding, has been with my family for 20 years now. He is retired and enjoying his days on the farm with 2 mares and lots of hay and sunshine.

My other great interest is in chickens. I currently have around 15 laying hens, and sell the eggs locally. Among the breeds I keep are Wyandottes, Barred Rocks, Leghorns, Welsummers, Orpingtons, Delawares, and a few others. Chicks being raised this spring include several varieties of Marans (the chocolate egg layers), easter eggers, olive eggers, the true Araucanas (blue layers), RIR's and a few leghorns. Needless to say, my hands will be full. Plans are in the works to add more pens, and if I'm feeling lucky, I might try to obtain a nice incubator and hatch a few eggs from some of the excellent breeders in the area. I always prefer to buy and support local when I can. It makes for a happier healthier bird.

This blog will focus on the training and showing of my thoroughbreds, different farm activities, recipes, and other information of interest. If you'd like to see some of my paintings, please visit Thank you for visiting, and check back weekly for updates and news.