More late coverage of my adventures at Hollins University this summer...
Hollins Summer is for prospective students to come and get a taste of the culture and wonderfulness that is Hollins University. Tracy Roberts was their wonderful guide this year. Remember when I spoke to them about Jack Tales? Well, as a closing camp activity, Tracy had them all out to her farm up high on a mountain in the Appalachians. (She runs Sinking Creek Land & Cattle - grass-fed beef.)
Ruth Sanderson and I drove up to join them, partly because Ruth was to give the girls a demo on drawing horses (can you imagine learning that from Ruth!?), and partly because, well, y'know...horses!
The first thing that hits you when you arrive at Tracy's farm is the house. Built in 1865 (right?).
It is flanked by the largest Norwegian Oak (I'm hoping Tracy reads this and corrects me if I'm wrong) and the second largest Norwegian spruce in the state of Virginia. The house also has ghosties as it was a stopping point during the Civil War. Some of the house was built by slaves and I'm wondering if this was one of their cabins...
Inside the main house, where the floors roll and the doors are barely tall enough to walk through upright, I signed the underside of the dining room table which Tracy had made from local boards. How cool is that? The underside was covered with signatures from friends - what a treasure!
The farm itself is pristine. Southern Living magazine - you need to do a story on this place!!! Here are some shots of the surrounding gardens (and trust me, they don't begin to do this place justice).
But we weren't just there to gawk. A local musician friend played for the girls.
And then I helped hold one of the horses (Ris) while the students got their lesson from Ruth. (Tracy is holding Romeo.)
Then Tracy talked to them about leading a horse through subtle movements and energy. She let me get in the ring and try it. I was so nervous, there wasn't much connecting going on, but it was such a cool thing to see Tracy do it. She can make a horse walk, trot, run and stop all without any leads.
Remember when I told you her cutting horses are just the right size for hugging? Yup. That's me hugging Romeo. Gotta luv it.
Tracy's farm is a little slice of heaven and I hope I get to visit again soon!