Willow Tree celebrates its 20th year

It’s really unusual that a horse barn can exist for 20 years under the same management and have the same trainers for around 15 of those years. That was one of the main reasons I chose Willow Tree when I was searching for a new barn…I was also searching for stability after having lost 4 trainers in 5 years to barn politics. So today I documented the big 20th anniversary celebration at Willow Tree, attended by somewhere around 200 folks who had either present or past associations with the place. Wendy, our barn manager, did an outstanding job arranging displays detailing the history and experience of the trainers, celebrating private and school horses past and present, lining up demonstrations from saddle fitting to starting young horses to training your horse to do tricks–and hardest of all, getting all of us together for weeks of cleaning, painting, and tidying up the entire facility. A set of tasks nobody was really looking forward to, but one that was appreciated by all when completed.

Here are a few peeks at the festivities–

The anniversary cake!

The anniversary cake!

Taking advantage of our wide, wide aisles to set up the historical photo displays.

Taking advantage of our wide, wide aisles to set up the historical photo displays.

Spur's favorite trick (with a twist)--smiling to show the gap in his "hillbilly teeth".

Spur’s favorite trick (with a twist)–smiling to show the gap in his “hillbilly teeth”.

Sandy does her signature trick, yawning when the bridle is presented. Oh, I'm just to-o-o tired!

Sandy does her signature trick, yawning when the bridle is presented. Oh, I’m just to-o-o tired!

Our Belgian Dale takes care of even the littlest rider, as usual.

Our Belgian Dale takes care of even the littlest rider, as usual.

Karin gives a saddle fitting demonstration on Breezy, whose main virtue is his ability to stand like a rock for these public things!

Karin gives a saddle fitting demonstration on Breezy, whose main virtue is his ability to stand like a rock for these public things!

Wendy ground drives Dale while the kids have some fun.

Wendy ground drives Dale while the kids have some fun.

Marie shows how she does some basic training on her yearling filly who is still too young to longe.

Marie shows how she does some basic training on her yearling filly who is still too young to longe.

All the kids stood up, yelled "we have the best horses", then dismounted by sliding off their rumps!

All the kids stood up, yelled “we have the best horses”, then dismounted by sliding off their rumps!

About Alli Farkas

Equine and landscape artist specializing in rural Americana
This entry was posted in 4-H, horses, horses and carts, Willow Tree and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Willow Tree celebrates its 20th year

  1. R. E. Maxson says:

    hi there! glad to see this good news. the photos are wonderful. i get the impression you like horses. i tried to leave this comment on your blog, but for some reason it wouldn’t publish. could it be because i declined allowing wordpress access to my facebook info? i do not want wordpress press to have access to all my friends, etc. anyway, maybe you can explain this to me. regards, ron

    Like

    • Alli Farkas says:

      As far as I know, all you have to leave is your email address…that way I can reply to you directly if you’re not on WordPress. Haven’t had any other queries about Facebook, and I wouldn’t allow any outside program access to Facebook either! Anyhow, I got your comment so I guess it did get published after all.

      Like

  2. artscottnet says:

    Wow, 20 years! that’s rare for any establishment these days. I know nothing about this type of business, but it speaks loudly to the quality of management and everyone who participates.. What a great event and the pictures are fantastic.

    Like

  3. munchow says:

    It does look a nice stable. And, yes, it must be great to have found a horse barn that provides stability and consistency over time. Great pictures as always.

    Like

    • Alli Farkas says:

      What made these photos so easy (in a way, at least) was the fact that I pulled them out of a video as still shots. I could get the best shot because I had a skajillion frames to choose from. What wasn’t so easy was going through those skajillion frames in order to make a choice!

      Like

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