Monday, October 31, 2005

A Weekend on Horseback

It was one of those weekends for the ages. The brochure would have read: Escape to New England, relish the brilliant colors of fall, experience the romance!

Or some such nonsense.

I was in New York visiting my sister Cari at her place in Dutchess County. She is about two hours north of the city in the Hudson River Valley across the river from Woodstock, near Millbrook and Hyde Park.

Somehow I hit the jackpot, arriving while the colors were at their peak. This was lucky since the peak is usually closer to mid-October.

Cari’s property is a horse farm and we rode horse after horse all weekend long. One of my mounts was Mash an advanced level event horse and qualifier for the Atlanta Olympics. He didn’t compete due to an injury but is doing fine now and is still quite an athlete.

I found myself surrounded by women most of the weekend. Along with Cari there was her friend Mary from California, Stine (pronounced Steen ah) a ravishing young Dane living and working on the farm for a few months, and Evan a lifelong New Yorker who is doing the unthinkable and living in Connecticut (and liking it). I also saw Cari’s friends Alex and Dean.

Dean and the full time barn manager Cenobio were the only men among this sea of Carrie Bradshawesque ladies. I got my earful of the husband and boyfriend issues, the parents that aren’t there for them, the health and diet issues of upscale women, etc. Oprah's weekend in the country.

We spent hour after hour going in and out of woods glowing with the yellows and oranges of a New England fall. The red foliage already peaked, but what was left was more than enough to take your breath away. I have to admit, if not romantic, it was magic.

Coming from Arizona the evenings were frigid--though it remained above freezing. The days were cool too, making it perfect weather for wool sweaters and coats.

This part of New York is classic New England with small picturesque towns. While walking the streets of Millerton, NY, about eight miles from the farm, I commented to Cari that everything about the town was just a little too cute. It was like the movie set of a quaint 1950s New England town. We stopped so Mary (currently residing in the somewhat warmer West Hollywood) could buy some long underwear. The rest of us grabbed some tea (yes, tea) and I ran over to catch a view of the glassblowers at Gilmor Glassworks.

It was a good visit memorable for the stunning scenery, the world class horses, and mostly for the chance to see my sister who I’d not seen in far too long--her schedule keeping her too busy to stop in Arizona (a not so subtle invite).

For more on Cari's horses and farm visit

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