Domnarski Farm Blog Log

The Domnarski Farm is located on 55 acres of beautiful Massachusetts pasture land and woods, abutting thousands of additional acres of undeveloped and conservation land. We offer horse boarding opportunities and will host monthly trail rides welcoming others to trailer in their horses for a day of pleasant riding. Below is a chronological account of the latest noteworthy developments and events!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Sunbject: Had a great ride on Sunday. I wanted to drop you a line saying that you have a great place there in Palmer and it was nice to meet you.

My wife and I had a great time and hopefully we can ride together in the future
If you happen to know of or hear of someone trying to sell a Hay elevator on that I can add extensions onto
Please let me know.

Again thanks for a great time.

Steven & JoAnn Bush

Subject: Thank You for the use of your farm for GRHC Trail ride
Just a quick note to say thanks for a nice trail ride yesterday. Hope to join you again for more rides.
Happy Trails,
Chris and Kathie Remillard
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Monday, August 29, 2005

The east pasture isn't done, but there is plenty of parking.  Posted by Picasa

Signing in.... Posted by Picasa

The "Long Loop" returns! Posted by Picasa

Ready to ride... Posted by Picasa

Its an uphill ride to the trail! Posted by Picasa

Sy Cote starts out on the trail. Sy gets credit for being one of the first heavy machine operators to de-stump our first pasture about ten years ago.  Posted by Picasa "Saw Biscuit" takes Blue Ribbon at the International Ware Grange Fair!!! Posted by Picasa

Ben wins the Blue Ribbon for his Cyclops Scarecrow! That grain bag is filled with hay and he made it all by himself, including the arms, legs and eye. Posted by Picasa

The Springfield Republican Posted by Picasa

Trail ride a success - 22 horses!

Good morning and thank you if you participated in our first group trail ride. I don't have any pictures to post yet but I'd like to mention that we had a great day. If you are reading this, and you have digital pictures....please e-mail them for this blog to Much thanks to the Granby Regional Horse Council (413)467-2913 for promoting the event at our farm.

I see we made the Springfield Republican Local section of the paper. Thanks to William Sweet for coming out and for the accurate write-up. Next time we'll have to get that man on a horse.

I'll wait for all the reports to come in, but from my perspective I had a great time. We got off to a late start (10:45) but we got lucky on impending weather. There was rain to the west of us hampering the Westfield Air Show but we didn't get wet until a light sprinkle late into the long loop 9.75 mile 3 hour 5 minute ride.

In the future, I'll depart promptly at 10 am to reward those that are conscientious. I'm not knocking the late starters (...its supposed to be relaxed and fun!) ...but participants didn't seem to mind if they had a guide or not, as long as the trails were marked.

Also...there was a communication inconsistency where "ready to ride 10 am" got advertised somewhere as "register by 10 am, ride at 10:30 am" Anyway, I apologize for any wrinkles. Everyone seemed pretty laid back and that's what I like.

As we are not finished with our East pasture/parking area, I was concerned that we might not have enough parking but it all worked out. This year the pasture looks like a gravel pit bomb sight and next year it will hopefully look like a flat soccer-like grassy field. The flattening of the area made for a steep departure and I plan to have a more gradual ascent to the trail.

Our goal is to have a free monthly group trail ride, rain or shine, where riders can count on having someone to trail ride with. Its fun to have a horse. Its more fun to have someone to ride with and to meet new people with horses. One of the best things about boarding horses is to care for different horses but not have to pay for them!

I'm trying to collect rider e-mail addresses so that everyone can network and get together. Anyone is welcome to park and ride off our property, as long as they call us (413)262-8432 or e-mail. We just want to know who is out there and we have a problem with litterbugs out in the woods. I want to know if a truck is pulling in to go riding or to dump an old refrigerator out in the woods.

I rode Cocoa while Lisa remained at the Command Post. Of course, Cocoa decided to misbehave right from the start. Generally, we have a love-hate relationship that goes way back. He tries to talk me out of going on a ride for the first 1/4 mile and then he settles in once he knows I really want to go. Sometimes its just a plod along in 1st gear and yesterday, it was some wheeling around and bucking. Once we got onto the main trail, he resigned himself to getting the job done but still checked with me at every intersection to see if we could take the short way home so he could get back to the usual business of lounging and eating hay.

Ruth rode Roger. It didn't take her long to realize that Roger likes to bully Chance. Bonnie almost ended up tumbling in the ferns under Chance when Roger tried to take a bite out of Chance (...who is actually terrified of Roger).

We got that sorted out so I led, Ruth on Roger, Danni on Nikki to provide a buffer between Chance and Roger and then three more riders, Steven, Joanne and Teresa. One great surprise for me was to get to ride with my former MSP Colonel's wife, Teresa Hillman on her horse Apollo. Chance no sooner got away from Roger and then decided to kick Apollo. The first fifteen minutes of any ride seem to be the most interesting while the horses all get used to their new "friends" and decide what kind of mood they are in. Bonnie was a real sport because her Chance is like her baby, and no one likes to think their child is not behaving!

I think the group would agree that the short loop was mello and the long loop had some good challenges. I didn't want the long riders to be bored so we scaled our way up to Palmer's highest peak, Pattaquattic Mountain. The trails were dry and rocky, with some low branches, but nothing we couldn't handle. I told everyone when I finally finish my fences and get everything the way I want it on my farm then I'll groom the trails. Everyone got the joke that I'll be unlikely to ever get out there to the trails!

At the second excursion from the short loop, Danni, Ruth and Bonnie skipped round 2 of the adventure and rode back for a total of 7.7 miles. They did the first excursion of 2.7 miles plus the short loop of 5.0 miles. Steven, Joanne, Teresa and I did the whole ride, plus an extra 1/4 mile atv trail for a total of 9.75 miles. I guess Teresa doesn't care for the rain, but I didn't want to cheat her on a good trail ride before she's back teaching school tomorrow!

It seems that cutting the ride shorter revealed that Ruth likes to ride fast! I wasn't there but it sounded like Ruth thought she was Paul Revere and was worried that the Red Coats were coming!

Steven was thrilled that his quarter horse actually waded into the pond at Lazy Acres. I guess the horse hates even looking at water but there's nothing like three other horses in water to convince yours that its OK.

As the pictures and reports come in...I'll post them. Feel free to add your report on this Blogger. Feedback will only make the rides even better for next time so let us know where we can improve.

Happy Trails!

Matthew J. Domnarski

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I just got done marking the trails with my mountain bike last night and tonight. I like to do that part last minute to decrease the chance of some joker pulling them down. Everything looks good.
The short loop is 5.0 miles and takes 1-1.5 hours to complete. I'm skipping excursion #2 because the long loop is 9.5 miles and I think will take 2-3 hours to complete. (Pattaquattic is 2.7 miles extra and the Lazy Acre excursion is 2.5 miles but cuts out 0.7 miles of the short loop). The distances should be very accurate from my calibrated mountain bike computer.
The excursions are a good challenge (single track, change in pitch, vegetation...) so I don't want to make things too long or difficult. If riders want more then they can do the short loop after the long loop or check out some other areas on the map. If riders want less there are a few short cuts on the excursions.
Its real dry and rocky out there. Not too many puddles but there should be enough to keep everyone refreshed. At Lazy Acres, there is a good place for a horse to wade in to cool off or swim.
The forecast is:
Saturday night: Mostly clear skies this evening will give way to mostly cloudy skies overnight. Low 63F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday: Variable clouds with scattered showers in the morning followed by showers and a possible thunderstorm in the afternoon. High 77F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Sunday night: Partly to mostly cloudy skies with a few showers possible. Low near 65F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
I'm not worried about possible showers. If it rains it will only be a short shower (I'm not bringing rain gear) and will help to keep things cool. I'll post this e-mail on the website in case any last minute riders are hedging. You can forward this e-mail to your riders. I think it will be a great ride. Thanks to Granby Regional Horse Council for the support!
Matthew J. Domnarski
p.s. I hope the participants bring their digital cameras so I can post pictures on our "current news" blogger. It would also be great if they would add their commentary/reply when pictures are posted (good and bad) so we can share everyone's individual experience.

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Chance and Hopper feeling "the love". Posted by Picasa

Cocoa and Nikki enjoying the pasture. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Girls headed from the barn to the trails... Posted by Picasa

Chance and Hopper....good grazing friends. Posted by Picasa

Girls Day out for a morning ride. Lisa, Danni and Bonnie. Posted by Picasa

Benjamin Domnarski the resident kitty tamer at the Domnarski Farm. Posted by Picasa