Cindy Gilbert of Harvest View Stables shares her approved packing list of must-have items to bring when you leave for shows and events.
In the rolling hills of south central Pennsylvania, you will find a special haven for horse people who use the motto, “We do the fun stuff!” Harvest View Stables is a lesson farm in Manheim, PA focused on helping students grow to be more secure and confident riders while participating in events like horse trials, schooling shows, paper chases, and cross country jumping. The farm’s owner and main instructor is longtime horsewoman Cindy Gilbert. Cindy’s lesson program is one where students can enter into a positive and truly fun environment filled with quality learning opportunities. Read on to see her approved Double D Trailers Horse Trailer Packing List.
Cindy Gilbert and her husband, Dave Garber, purchased Harvest View Stables back in 1999. They transformed a sleepy lesson program with only a few boarders into a vibrant stable filled with laughter, happy horses and more than its fair share of ribbons. The barn itself contains eighteen stalls with an attached indoor arena. Boarders and lesson horses alike enjoy large stalls, heated water troughs, and rubber flooring throughout.
(left) Cindy Gilbert and her husband Dave Garber purchased Harvest View Stables in November 1999 and transformed it into a vibrant lesson facility. (right) One of the many barn critters, Gadget, guards a well-earned stash of ribbons.
Outside, you will find a large outdoor riding arena filled with colorful painted jumps. Then, you’ll see sloping pastures filled with more obstacles. If you were to take a post-lesson ride through the grounds you would find even more jumps located on trails throughout the neighboring woods. There are literally jumps everywhere you look! Harvest View Stables lives up to its name with a gorgeous view of the Pennsylvania farmland complete with Amish plowing mules hard at work in the distant fields.
Cindy rides her foxhunting horse, Patrick, with the farm’s impressive view in the background.
Cindy and Dave share their home with several beloved cats and dogs that wander the grounds greeting guests who come for lessons. Cindy is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College and the main riding instructor at Harvest View. Although she has several talented lesson horses, she focuses her own riding with her 15-year-old Thoroughbred, Delight.
Delight was rescued as a 4 year old and has turned into a talented and faithful companion. Two photos show Delight in competition with Cindy (left) and with a young student (right).
In last month’s blog article, we talked about the value of rescue horses and Cindy can certainly add to this story. Cindy purchased Delight from a slaughter pen when he was just 4-years-old. He had been sold to slaughter to cover a board bill and was still unbroken. Since his time with Cindy, the Thoroughbred has blossomed into an impressive jumper with a very sweet personality. He especially loves Easter peeps as a sweet treat in the spring. Cindy shared, “I have done everything with him, from hunters, to dressage, to fox hunting, to eventing and paper chasing. This season, one of my teenage students used him as a 4-H project and showed him in several hunter shows. Although I don’t consider him a lesson horse, he does enjoy toting a couple of my tiny students around the ring. Five-year-old Madilyn is one of his favorites.”
Cindy feels strongly that there are many good rescue organizations that are experienced at rehabilitating rescued horses. They can evaluate their horses and make appropriate matches between prospective adopters and horses. She continued, “At HVS, we have had several wonderful horses that we adopted through horse rescues, including our first horse, Kish, who was a lame, thin Amish cart horse before coming to us. He became one of the most beloved horses on our farm, and it was very rewarding to watch his transformation from tired, mistrusting, flinching horse, to happy, healthy, friendly school horse. He blossomed from the love and kindness he received from his friends at the barn.” Kish was adopted from the Omega Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Airville, Pa.
Kish was a starved and nervous Amish cart horse when he was rescued and brought to Harvest View. He became a wonderful lesson horse and beloved barn favorite.
The community at Harvest View is unique in the many strong bonds of friendship that connect the riders. Regular social events are held at the stable where students can spend time together enjoying laughs, sharing snacks, or working together to improve the barn. The colorful jumps in the outdoor ring are a product of one of these events. Evidence of their many activities can be found on the regularly updated Facebook page.
Students also participate in a variety of horse activities including horse trials (with dressage tests, cross country courses, and show jumping all in the same day), schooling shows, paper chases, and cross-country schooling. Cindy said, “We host a few fun shows and combined tests here on the farm for our lesson students and boarders.” One of the most popular has to be their annual HVS Halloween Fun Show where riders participate in games on horseback and a very popular costume class.
The annual HVS Halloween Fun Show has a very popular costume class where students and horses dress up in a variety of outfits.
Cindy’s favorite part of being an instructor is working with people who love horses. She said this year has been especially rewarding because she has been able to watch many of her students become more secure and confident riders. “They make me proud, and I love seeing their smiles as they reach and surpass their goals.” Cindy works hard to keep her lessons fresh especially during the challenging winter months when they are confined to the indoor arena. “I try to mix things up, so riders have opportunities to improve a variety of their skills.”
Students at Harvest View also benefit from an impressive list of guest instructors including: US Eventing Hall of Fame Member Kim Walnes, USHJA certified trainer Meg Black, 4-star eventer and Level III ICP instructor Melissa Hunsberger, and 2011 USEF Para Coach of the Year Missy Ransehousen. Each of these talented instructors holds special clinics at Harvest View where they share their expertise with students who are eager to learn.
Several talented instructors provide guest clinics at Harvest View Stables. This image shows 4-star eventer and Level III ICP instructor Melissa Hunsberger working with students.
With all of this activity at Harvest View, it is not surprising that Cindy and her students leave the farm about 3 or 4 times a month to attend different events. Cindy, who is also a talented photographer, especially enjoys fence judging the three-day-event at Plantation Field in September. “I take my camera along and always end up with some very dynamic photos.”
When Cindy and her students pack up to attend shows, they load up a 4-horse gooseneck trailer. She likes her trailer because, “it’s spacious and comfortable to work out of and it’s built with the horse’s safety in mind.” When loading the horses onto the trailer, it is important to use shipping boots or standing wraps. She added, “Make sure someone with experience loads the horses.”
It is very important to make sure you have the right items along when you leave for an event. It is not enough to just pack your regular equipment like riding apparel, grooming supplies, and tack. You will also need to remember horse supplies like water buckets, hay, and sweat sheets. Comfort items like sunscreen, first aid kit, snacks, and folding chairs will help you during a long day of showing. Next, stable items like manure forks, cross ties, and extension cords will be needed. Finally, you will likely need paperwork like Coggins test proof and health certificates. Definitely don’t forget to have a list of emergency numbers in case you need emergency assistance during your trip.
It can be hard to remember all of the items you need so Cindy approved the Double D Trailers Horse Trailer Packing List, which includes items that are essential for every person bound for a horse show. “Many of the items on the list live in my trailer all the time, so we don’t have to remember to pack them each trip.” She emphasized the importance of taking electrolytes along especially in hot weather. This list should be a helpful tool the next time you go to load up your horse and trailer for a day of fun.
Be sure to download your own copy of the Double D Trailers Horse Trailer Packing List here so that you can have it on hand the next time you are preparing for an event.
The motto at Harvest View Stables is, “We do the fun stuff!” They certainly live up to that statement with a variety of fun shows, barn events, and learning opportunities.
If you would like to learn more about Harvest View Stables, be sure to check out their website or Facebook page. If you’re ever in Manheim, PA, be sure to visit the farm where Cindy and her students will continue to “do the fun stuff” for many years to come.
**What items to you never leave home without when you go to a horse show?
**What tips or tricks do you use to make sure that your equipment is ready to go on show day?
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