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Wiley, My Eastern Shore of Virginia Arabian Horse. The On-going Saga, Part 6. Wiley Lands In “Time-Out”

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
My Arabian horse Wiley working on the lunge line

Wiley On The Lunge Line, Buffing Up Those Abs

Everyone has heard that old expression, “boys will be boys”,  it’s been used for eons to excuse rascally behavior from boys in  just about any age group.   And I’m of the opinion that this holds true for young boy horses as well !   For the first time ever,  Wiley now finds himself in  “time-out”  and he’s missing out on lots of  horse play. It all started when Wiley and my son, Chris,  were continuing  to prepare for the first Region 15 show of the season to be held in Raleigh, NC.   Down on the farm near Cape Charles,  Wiley was working on the lunge line,  doing sweeps of the ring to continue building  up his chest and  hind quarter muscles which lost a bit of their tone over the relaxing winter spent with his buddies in the pasture during the day and horsing around in the barn at night.  But now it’s walk, trot, canter, walk, trot, canter around and around the ring,  buffing up and practicing  voice commands as well.

Wiley my Arabian horse in his new braids

Wiley Sports His New Hairdo

In fairness to Wiley, there were several other  horses around and a fair amount of noise.  And Wiley was feeling pretty good about himself,  sporting his new haircut,  complete with handsome braids,  and  some “six pac” abs from the prior weeks of training,  showing a bit of attitude.  Well, in the excitement of the moment, Wiley lost his good judgement and before he realized it,  his mouth was on Chris’s arm.  Oh,oh, that’s a definite no-no !  And bad horses get put into “time-out” and on  restriction after that.  They don’t get the excitement of traveling to shows, they miss getting to meet  all those  pretty new fillies and the fun of  hooking up with last year’s show buddies.  Yup,  it’s no fun at all being left in the barn while all your stall mates are out of town,  living it up in Raleigh, complete with room service and in-stall showings of  “Seabiscuit”, “Secretariat” and “Black Beauty”. Poor Wiley, but  “no pain, no gain”  and  I’m sure he  has learned his lesson and will be  getting  it together before the next show.   P.S.  For those of our readers who are considering buying a horse property here on the Eastern Shore,  Blue Heron has just listed a beautiful 13 acre waterfront farmette,  with 1500 feet of shoreline with deep boating water, absolutely perfect for horses,  check it out at and click on boating properties.

Wiley, My Eastern Shore of Virginia Arabian Horse. The On-Going Saga, Part 5. Wiley Learns About The Birds and The Bees !

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

This is Wiley’s second spring here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  a 2009 Christmas gift to me  from my son.   He has settled in so well, but then who wouldn’t love life on a huge waterfront farm south of Cape Charles, Virginia,  just grazing on the lush grasses,  cool Chesapeake Bay breezes  blowing through your mane,  dining on gourmet oats  every night in your  comfy stall in a  brand new barn ?    As  the very smart horse he is,  I’m  sure  Wiley  realizes  he’s living the life of Riley.

Week old colt with his mother

Welcome To The Eastern Shore, Little Guy !

Spring has sprung here on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and with spring comes new life.  Wiley now has a brand new stable mate,  a little colt  which came  unexpectedly early,  born  quietly in the middle  of the night  and found bright-eyed and bushy tailed at  Bayview Farm’s  morning feed.   Now Wiley,  being a young bachelor,  had never actually been told about the  “birds and the bees”  or,  in this case,  about the mares and the stallions.   So he was pretty curious.  He knew it wasn’t a pony but was not quite sure if  was actually a horse.  It walks  pretty funny and  looks like it’s all legs,  with a head too big for such a small body.   But all in all,  Wiley thought he was a cute little fellow,  bay with a long white blaze and 4 white sox,  described by one of the  mares  who is  a serious  NASCAR   fan  as having  “lots of chrome” ,  and he has welcomed him as an additional stable mate so long as he  doesn’t  cry a lot during the night and  disturb his beauty sleep.  And he’ll need all the deep beauty sleep he can possibly get because this is the time of year that every horse aspiring to be a show ring star needs to get to work to get back in shape.

As anyone who owns  equestrian property here on the Shore knows,  the gorgeous Eastern Shore of  Virginia’s  spring weather also brings the need to shed any excess  winter  pounds  as  the 2011 show season is just around the corner.  No more lazy short winter days  just lounging around in a warm blanket,  chatting with friends in the pasture  or cozy evenings playfully horsing around in the stables.   No,  now it’s time to work,  work, work to get his  boyish figure back.  Wiley is currently evaluating what meal plans and work-out routines he’ll use to get the most from his efforts and he  wishes there was a  TV  set up in the barn so that he and his buddies  could look at a  few  YouTube videos from leading health and fitness experts on  the most  up- to- date  methods of  slimming the flanks,  firming up  the withers,  toning neck muscles, etc.   Wiley knows that the time to get serious about fitness is upon him,  his first show appearance of the season is coming up in Raleigh, North Carolina  in just a few weeks.   Oh,  the price to be paid for being a beautiful horse !     ( P.S. If  you’re  thinking of a farm or farmette here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  equestrian or otherwise, please visit our website, , and click on the listings link– we currently have some outstanding  farm and farmette real estate opportunities.)

The On-going Saga Of Wiley, My Eastern Shore of Virginia Arabian Horse. Part 4

Monday, January 31st, 2011

It was a very happy holiday season for this Virginia's Eastern Shore horse.

I just can hardly believe that Wiley,  my beautiful Arabian horse,  first arrived on Virginia’s Eastern Shore one year ago last month,   my most unique Christmas gift  ever from my son !   As they say,  how time flies !   Wiley really, really  loves it here on the Shore,  romping around with all his new friends, soaking up the cool breezes off the water,  enjoying the Eastern Shore’s temperate climate,  munching the delicious pasture grasses, visiting friends on other farms because the Eastern Shore really is an equestrian paradise.   At Wiley’s cosy anniversary party,  the guest of honor calmly munched carrots and sugar cubes in his stall while my son and I  toasted his good health with some pretty nice champagne.   But truth be told,  Wiley’s first Christmas in his new home,  a brand-new and spacious barn on a large waterfront farm just south of  Cape Charles, Virginia,  was just about more than the poor little fellow  could handle.  Just trying to figure out which stall buddies to give apples and which stall buddies would prefer carrots was pretty taxing,  plus having to decide whether it was truly necessary to put a bow on them all.  And then having  to decorate his  stall because he didn’t want to seem like the barn Grinch !   Not to mention that the older horses were all  party, party, party  into the wee hours,  keeping Wiley and the other colts up half the night.  It was enough to give a young horse dark circles under the eyes.  Although he loved  all his Christmas gifts,  including a  new  halter and a beautiful new green plaid blanket,  soft and warm as a down comforter,  ( nicely gift-wrapped for him by  Dover Saddlery ),   Wiley still insists that  it’s  lucky that Christmas comes only once a year !   He  thinks the craziest thing is that the barn is already looking forward to the Christmas holidays next year.   But I let him know not to worry,  come next December,  he and I will  face it together.  P.S. If you love horses and are thinking of a move to the Eastern Shore of Virginia,  please    call me at 757-678-5200  and I will e-mail you some data sheets on our great  “horse-friendly”  properties.

The Life Of Wiley, The On-Going Saga Of An Arabian Colt On Virginia’s Eastern Shore– Part 3

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Watching the Breeder’s Cup last week-end made me think about just how much animals are very much like humans in many respects. Some have the heart to win and give it their all to the very end.  Others are happy with making just enough effort to just get by.  Very much like our human race.   Now I’m not comparing my little grey Arabian gelding,  Wiley,  to the great race horse Zenyatta but I do see a similarity in the hearts of both animals.  Wiley was purchased last Christmas from a horse farm in Tennessee that was going through very hard times.  In distress situations like that,  owners usually do not have the funds to continue to feed their horses the grain and hay supplements they need.  Instead,  the horses are turned out to grass pastures  to live on the land so to speak.  So Wiley only got a minimal amount of care,  he and his buddies being left very much to fend for themselves.

Trot, Trot, Trot For The Judges

Then overnight this little fellow’s life completely changed.   Being  loaded onto a horse trailer for the first time is  pretty traumatic  for a colt like Wiley — first you’re out in a sunny, wide open pasture and the next thing you know someone is pulling you up into a small dark box,  no buddies,  no mother,  then the door is slammed shut,  leaving you totally alone and scared.   And the unfamiliar noises and motion,  thumping and bumping,  starting and stopping,   down hundreds of miles of highway to a  new home,  all that is  pretty traumatic for first-timers as well.   And once he got  to his new home  on a large waterfront farm owned by a friend who boards horses near Cape Charles, Virginia on Virginia’s Eastern Shore,   being in his own stall with a less than friendly mare as a next door neighbor wasn’t a picnic either.   No doubt he missed his old buddies down on the farm but there was a big  upside — good food and lots of love, care and attention.  After a couple of months  of  good food  and being turned out during the day to graze in the large green pasture,  things seemed pretty easy to Wiley.   His new  life produced weight gain and a beautiful healthy coat.  Still had to contend with the old mare next door at night but,  all in all,  life was definitely good.

Wiley Puts His Best Foot Forward

Little did Wiley realize that with the coming of spring came the beginning of the summer Show Circuit and that his relaxed, comfortable life was now about to change once again.   Loaded on a trailer for only the second life in his young life,  Wiley was off on another trip, this time to Wolf’s Training Center in Georgetown, Delaware  ( .  Now it was time to leave the comfort and security of his new home,  now it was time to grow up and go to work.  Time to learn how to stand ( with his best foot forward),  to use  his neck and ears with positive attitude,  to learn to keep his undivided attention on his trainer and  to stand perfectly still to be judged in the ring without moving  a muscle.   These lessons aren’t the easiest to accomplish with any two year old and were  hardest of all for Wiley to achieve.   But when Wiley returned home to the Eastern Shore of Virginia after two months of intensive training,  all bathed and clipped,  sporting his brand new shoes,  he was no longer the little grey duckling  that left the farm  but rather a proud and beautiful Arabian swan !  Now Wiley can’t compare to a great race horse but he does have miles of heart.   Upon return,  the first thing he did when he saw me was to call out and nuzzle my neck to say it’s  OK,  I’m growing up,  I’m ready now for the show season.   Bring It On !

Shopping For Wiley– The On-going Saga Of An Eastern Shore Horse Part 2

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Harkening back to my July post on my overwhelming surprise at  receiving Wiley,  my Christmas gift horse….  It wasn’t just a huge surprise,  it was also a bit of a shock.   A little hard to take in,  some quick figuring was needed about what to do next.   Easy solution.   I always say,  when in doubt,  go shopping !   So that’s what I did.

A quick visit to Dover’s  website  (  )  to look at the latest and greatest in equine  equipment and fashions was in order.  Wiley was in need of a lot of stuff  if  he was going to keep up  with his stall buddies. ( Wiley hangs out on a beautiful 400 acre waterfront farm near Cape Charles, Virginia and I didn’t want him to embarrassed in front of his new friends.)  A new rolled leather halter with a monogramed name plate seemed like a good start.  Of course, every self  respecting young colt has to have a cool coat for winter.   A  handsome  burgandy blanket piped with gray and a charcoal gray blanket to contrast with his light gray coat  seemed to be the perfect fashion statements  for stepping into the upcoming show season.  

Apparently  Wiley thought so too.  New halter,  new blanket — now he  held his head high when people passed  in front of his stall.   Not just some  horse turned out in a field,  Wiley’s demeanor changed.    No longer when you opened the stall  did  he  turn and face the corner.    No,  now he looked  directly at you and walked  forward to meet you,  ready to shake hoofs.    He was ready for some R-E-S-P-E-C-T  !        Women  have always known that a new outfit and a makeover  can make you  feel great but who knew  that it was the same for horses ?    Wildfire was  now on his way  and show season was just around the corner !   Next post —  Wiley’s first show.

Wiley, the Christmas Horse

Friday, July 16th, 2010

I thought that after thirty years of being asked by my only son  “So, what would you  like for Christmas this year ?”  or  “If I give you money would it be better if you chose your own Christmas present ?”   that something was really rather strange this past year.  In the weeks leading up to the big day,  not a word  did  he say,  not one question did he ask about my Christmas gift  preferences.   Knowing that he usually felt a lot of uncertainty when shopping for  my present  I  assumed that he had decided to skip the shopping part entirely and just slip money into a  Xmas stocking.   I should mention that I,  on the other hand,  love to shop for Christmas.   Trying to decide on a really meaningful  gift  for family and friends,  one I think they will truly enjoy,  is a passion with me.   Since Virginia’s Eastern Shore is home to so  many artists and artisans,  I always  scour the Shore for some interesting  art  type gifts before I shift into what I think of as “high gear”.   “High gear”  is my annual Christmas shopping pilgrimage with a friend or two, usually  to Washington DC, sometimes to New York.  One of the  things I  love about living on the Eastern Shore of Virginia is how easy it is to get to interesting  nearby  areas such as Williamsburg, Richmond, Washington ,  Annapolis,  Charlottesville, etc.,  as well as points north including Manhattan, Cape May, maybe even that den of iniquity, Atlantic City.    This past year we made the 4 hour drive  from the Eastern Shore to Washington,  laser focused on unearthing  some great deals over the next few days at  Tyson’s  Corner and  treating ourselves to lunch at Neiman Marcus.  Splurging  by staying at the Ritz , we parked  ourselves by the cozy fireplace in the evenings,  toasting  the season with hot toddys and cold  champagne.   So much fun, so little time and all  too soon we were on our way home. 

Still no  gift questions or comments from my son.  Then, on Christmas Eve, a  festive  dinner and presents after.   And  I must admit,  after  all of  the presents were opened and he  didn’t have a box or even an envelope  for me that I felt rather  disappointed.   About 11 pm he kissed me goodby, saying that he had to leave to meet some  friends.  No “sorry I couldn’t find anything I thought you would really like”,  no  “please use this to buy something nice”.   Just “Merry Christmas, Mom”.   At that point my first thought was that I should have had more than one child.  Although I am a firm believer that it is better to give than to receive,  truth be told, I was feeling rather disappointed.   Then, on Christmas morning  I received a call asking  if  we would possibly have the time after Christmas lunch to  join  him  at a friend’s  big waterfront horse farm south of  Cape Charles.  We  would and we  did.   And when I got there  he said  “Come look at this.”    We walked into the barn and there  in  a stall was a beautiful grey Arabian colt,  dressed  in a red halter with  a red Christmas bow in his mane.  After 20 years since I last had  a horse I was looking  into the eyes of  one of my  sweetest Christmas presents  ever… Wiley, my Christmas horse.

Thinking About Buying Property And Living In Virginia ? I Love the Eastern Shore’s “Town & Country” Lifestyle

Monday, May 10th, 2010

The Eastern Shore  of Virginia is one of the last areas on the East Coast where you can buy a property which offers a  relaxed, rural coastal  lifestyle  and yet is only 20 minutes to an hour  from the cosmopolitan amenities in Hampton Roads.  The 32nd largest metropolitan area in the U.S.,  Hampton Roads is  a catch-all term for the contiguous  cities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth.   From the southern tip of  Virginia’s  Eastern Shore , the city of  Virginia Beach is only about 15  minutes away, separated from the Shore by the famous Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  Making that trip is like moving  from yesteryear to today in 15 minutes.  

Having  moved here from Virginia Beach more than 20 years ago,  my only regrets are that I didn’t move to the Shore sooner.  I’m  always struck by  how I enjoy my  relaxed  life here on the Eastern Shore  yet how easily I can slip over to Virginia Beach  on the spur of the moment and partake of  the myriad of cultural events and other  opportunities only available in a metro area.  It’s  like having  my cake and eating  it too.  I still have many friends  in Virginia Beach  and it’s always fun to slip over for the day and  have lunch with a friend at Saffron  ( my favorite Indian restaurant and home to the best ever chicken tikka masala plus Kashmiri bread stuffed with coconut, cherries and pastachios for dessert) or maybe indulge at Aldos’  (with their scrumptious penne with vodka sauce followed by a freshly made Napoleon ) .  Afterwards  maybe a  little look-see at Macy’s or Nordstrum’s,  a quick stop at Trader Joes  for  fresh pressed almond butter or maybe their nice feta  and then I’m ready to head  home to the Eastern Shore.   Home is a casual  farmhouse  on five spacious acres, out  in the country yet just 15 minutes from all the activities  and shopping at Cape Charles.  My horse,  Wildfire ,  AKA Wiley, is boarded on a several hundred acre farm less than 20 minutes from my house.   I love the convenience of being able to slip down and see him anytime.  So it’s great to visit Virginia Beach but I know for sure where “home,  sweet home”  is located and that is on the unique and beautiful   Eastern Shore of Virginia.