Featured Farm: Green River Farm
July 6, 2011
Green River Farm North (Rutherfordton, NC), and Green River Farm South (Wellington, FL) are owned by Jennifer and Roger Smith, lifelong horse owners and riders. Whether it's fox hunting, show jumping, or show hunters, Jennifer and Roger's passion for horses and their health, happiness, and well being is evidenced by the thoughts and details that went into the design, structure, management of their farms and the dedication and care they provide to their horses. Jennifer is also the Chairwoman of 2 Horse Shows A-Rated in Tryon, NC.
Jennifer, can you tell us about your farms Green River North and Green River South?
Jennifer: Roger found the land for Green River North. Initially it was to be a weekend place, but Atlanta was getting so crowded, that we ended up moving to the farm in Rutherfordton NC eight years ago as a permanent base. This farm had an original plantation house, but it wasn't worth saving. We built the horse facility from scratch. Took ideas from other barns we had seen, because we wanted it to be a working and functional facility with a comfortable, casual feeling. I kept a binder of notes on barns we visited.
Green River South is in Grand Prix Village in Wellington. It was previously owned by Acorn Hill Farm. We loved it because it has a sand track, grass field, and pastures. It backs up onto the show grounds so it's a short hack for us when we compete.
Jennifer: We were living in the quarters we'd built in the barn until the house was finished. The house was finished in March 2010. I was still in Florida, and Roger came up to check on how things were coming with the finishing touches on the house. That night he woke up and looked out the window and saw the fire. It destroyed the whole house but no animals or people were injured or hurt. You can replace a house, you can't replace lives. So we are now rebuilding a new house which we plan to move into by Christmas.
Which horses are most special to you?
Jennifer: All of my horses have a special place in my heart. Nick, who is now retired, got me competitive in the classes at Palm Beach. I have a special bond with him.
Randi and I love finding young horses to bring along. It's all about the journey.
My goal is to be competitive in the Ammy Owner ring on a horse we brought along. My horses at present are: Lennart, by Sandro Hit, who is my show hunter; Montecello who is by Rosenthal who is just 2 years old, and Dynamic a trakhener, who is my Adult Amateur Jumper whom I kidnapped from my husband.
How did you come to change the diet of your horses to whole food and BioStar?
Jennifer: Dr. Tim Ober suggested it to us.
We hold Dr. Ober in the highest regard. When he recommended the diet, we thought it made complete sense.
We are conscious of our diet. Whole food is very important to me. I am an athlete and our horses are athletes. Since we started the diet in Florida this year, the horses are happier, their coats are better, and we've been able to cut down on all of the other supplements we were using.
We've even been able to get off some of the pharmaceuticals, particularly one horse with gastro and hind gut meds who has been medicated for a year. Getting sugar and preservatives out of the horses' systems is so important.
Lennart Winning Suitable Hunter Championship - Tryon Horse Show (June 2011)
Randi Goulding, Manager of Green River Farms, is a life long horsewoman herself and, like Jennifer, started riding at an early age. When she was a teenager she worked as a groom for Laura Kraut, and Terry Brown. Her management skills were fine-tuned when she left the equine business after college and eventually became Vice President of the her local San Francisco Flight Attendants' Union, and worked on the scheduling committee for United Airlines. She returned to the horse business in 2003 when she got a job in Newnan, Georgia at a hunter jumper barn, and then met Jennifer and Roger. She has worked for Jennifer and Roger for 7 years.
Randi: Jennifer and Roger are committed to doing what's best for each horse. I love the team atmosphere here. I love that the horses come first.
What do you like about your job as Manager?
Randi: I get to work with nice horses every day, and I work for people that appreciate my knowledge and we all make an effort to learn something new every day. I get to ride 2-3 horses per day which helps me see how they feel.
Do you have a favorite horse?
Randi: My favorite horse would be Lennart. He's six years old now, and we've had him since he was three. He always gives his best effort. I've spoiled him terribly. He is a special horse.
What are some of the challenges of managing horses in 2011?
Randi: Trying to weed through all the products out there: so much information. You can drive yourself crazy on the internet. So much of it is trial and error and so much of it is more marketing than facts.
What inspired you to change to whole food and BioStar?
Randi: Jennifer and I had been talking a lot about how much molasses were in the processed feeds. We really wanted to get the excess sugars out of our horses' diets. Dr. Tim Ober feels strongly about the whole food diet. He recommended we change to whole food and we really trust him.
Randi: All the horses feel better under saddle. One horse who has struggled with colonic ulcers feels so much better now. One of our jumpers was very defensive but he is friendlier now, much happier.
Which BioStar products are your favorite?
Randi: Flex-Well, Tract Bios, Colostrum-38, and Bio Flora. With a new horse or a high stress situation Bio Flora and Colostrum-38 are so beneficial. It helps knowing that what we are feeding is what the horses' bodies needs for health and well being. Now I smell other companies' supplements that used to smell good to me, and they smell too sweet and I think, "Yuck."