People are being brought in on schoolbusses to spectate.
The barn is gorgeous. Luckily, the company that is building the barn has a female employee who understands horses--her daughter was in pony club. She understands the needs of the facility and is doing a great job of making sure it is workable and safe.
There are tons of volunteers, all working together in harmony. I've seen parents of children that ride in the therapeutic program working on the barn and around the grounds. The atmosphere is charged with excitement and can-do attitudes. Very cool.
There isn't a horse named Bobbaloo there now. My friend trims the horses there, and I trim the ones she doesn't like to handle (the big ones that lean and the smaller ones that kick). I'd remember if there were a horse named Bobbaloo.
Kate is still there (retired now), Lucinda, Blondie, Maggie, Nina, Apples (retired), and a few others. If you list the names, I'll tell you if they are still there. Sadly, a few were put down when they became too old and unsound to be comfortable.
The last time I went and rode Bob was probably 98 or 99 - I wasn't driving yet. I guess that has been almost 10 years...
I remember Apples, but I just realized it'd been 15 years since I stopped taking lessons there. Now I feel old!
Thanks for linking to the article. I'm not going to the Clark Turner party, so I was afraid I'd miss the behind the scenes stuff. My husband and I want to watch with our family at home. I'm hoping they kept the clip with two of my horses' butts in the trailer as the shot of "the last horses leaving." It was so hectic the day the horses left that we restaged the last horses leaving the next day, and I brought two of my own (the pony had been used as a therapeutic horse at Freedom Hills). At that point the Freedom Hills horses were all enjoying a well deserved rest at the various places that agreed to house them during construction.
I have to say that all the horse people who showed up to help out were wonderful and very efficient. Each one was sensitive to the fact that the horses were really stressed out from all the heavy equipment, having to rotate turnout and pasture (using a different pasture than they were accustomed to), and all the people, cameras, and general hullabaloo. There were no cross words spoken to horses, and they were quickly and efficiently put onto the trailers and hauled to their temporary homes.
Renee had lined up all the people, the trailers, and the temporary homes ahead of time in case she won the makeover, and everybody pulled together seamlessly. It was uplifting to be a part of such an undertaking and to see how well it worked out and the general air of cooperation. Renee's sister also had to get her horses moved in time for the construction, and she had to be available to answer questions and make decisions all week. It was exhausting for her.
p.s. They filmed me unloading one of the horses upon return, but I doubt that clip will make it in. Instead, they'll probably show Rib unloading Nina (a Norwegian Fjord), who is the hardest-working horse at the center. I had showed him how to work the trailer to take the horse off the front, but I forgot to show him how to properly release a horse in the stall. I was in the next stall feeling embarassed as the mare turned around looking for food while Rib was against the wall. I kept thinking "Renee is going to kill me when she sees this!" She wouldn't, really, but I know she'll be shaking her head if that clip makes it into the show.
Last edited by matryoshka; Jan. 14, 2008 at 11:08 AM.
What did she film? Was it a therapeutic lesson? I know they shot a couple of lessons, but I don't know which one's they'll use or what they ended up doing after all of the discussions. I was only there to help move horses and stayed away from the project other than that. I still had nightmares after it was all over that they were coming back. Not that it was a nightmare, but it was stressful and I was glad when it was over.
I had the pleasure of meeting Renee at the Thoroughbred Charities Auction in November here, I've been waiting for the 20th for this show to air!
It was so interesting to hear some of the behind the scenes stuff that you wonder about (like how could they pull off that they were REALLY suprised when they find out they won? Because they ARE really surprised!) and stuff like that. She said it was just simply amazing, and all of the people (including Ty) couldn't be any nicer. It was way cool!
We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting. www.dleestudio.com
I laughed out loud when I finally remembered where I'd heard Beezie Madden's name. One of the producers had asked where was a good place to film a famous rider riding and talking about therapeutic riding. Not realizeing the scale of the renovations or the sheer number of people, I had suggested the next-door farm. Later I heard somebody say they were gonna use Hilltop, but then I heard the idea was scrapped. I guess they filmed the sequence and then decided to discard it? Bummer.
I had met Clark Turner at a company picnic (they built the office my husband works in) the day before Renee found out they won, and the Turner people did not let on that they had won. They asked me questions about when the horses were going to be moved, since that was my job. They expressed concern that IF Renee won, how would they be able to get heavy equipment into the field were horses were turned out. I called Renee that night and raised the question about what would happen if they won, and did she realize they'd probably need to bring equipment through the mares' field. She had the horses out of that field before then just in case. That's one of the reasons the horses were stressed out: there are usually three separate fields for the horses, and the turnout had to be rotated starting Saturday night, and only one field was available once the equipment moved in. These horses are all accustomed to 24 hour turnout.
I had my suspicions about the Luther's winning when I saw how nervous/excited the Clark Turner people were, but they never said anything that gave it away. Also, the local newspaper knew ahead of time but never leaked it out. That must have been tough!
The producers wanted the horses returned on the Saturday before the Luthers returned, which wasn't in the original plan. That was during the Fair Hill Internationals, and a lot of the haulers and people who hosted the horses were volunteering or working at the Internationals that weekend. It was a scramble to get people to haul for us, and we only picked up about half the horses that day. The horses at Hilltop did not want to leave those gorgeous pastures! We had a little convoy of trailers picking up seven horses from there. They were very kind and the horses came back rested and sassy.
It was cool how the area horse people took time out of their schedules to help at the last minute. I tried to explain to the perplexed producers that most of us horse people are more interested in the Fair Hill Internationals than in a TV show, and that weekens are usually the busiest time for us--hence the difficulty finding more haulers at the last minute. People who were attending or volunteering at Fair Hill had their schedules planned out before they found out about the Extreme Makeover.