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Martha’s Journal:

Sometimes amide the hectic life of a breeder of coloured sporthorses, owner of a small farm, mother, wife, and employment as a professional counselor I want to be creative and write! So I am starting an On Line Journal to share with people who visit my web site. If you have comments or ideas you may email me at m_drennan@telus.net

Newest entry is at the top of the page.

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Journal Spring 2016

Spring…well late Spring 2016.
Oh My!!! I have not written a journal entry since Fall of 2015. Me bad.

Lots of news to catch up on.
Bon Batik is sold and leaving June 17 for her new home in Tennessee USA. Tiki has developed into a really sweet filly and we will miss her dreadfully when she leaves. But her new human cannot wait to get her home to her in Tennessee USA.
Tiki had a couple of trailer lessons to prepare her and after discovering there was hay net in the trailer…well getting in the trailer was fine. This girl does like her groceries…LOL

Tiki

 

And….We have a new homozygous Tobiano mare Silhouette

Silhouette (Sempatico X x Blue Blood x Domino) came to us in early April this year. Took her awhile to relax and settle in to our farm routine; however she now thinks life is pretty good and the food awesome!
When she got here she was scared of everything and thought the shelter in her paddock was going to swallow her whole I think, as she wouldn’t go in.
So I hung a hay net outside for her to eat!  Now the shelter is OK…as long as the other two mares she is in-between don’t go too far away. Sila, as we call her now, loves her beet pulp with oats, complete pellets and of course Vitamins and minerals all mixed in.
She and Spring co-exist well together so they are pasture buddies.

Sanskrit (Twiggy) is slowly being backed. We only work her a couple of days a week as she is just three and still growing. 16.2hh is and looks to make 16.3hh at least.  She is less “twig’ like month by month. Giant Oak by the time she finishes!

twiggy

And…ta da…all 3 mares, Silhouette, Spring Silk and Sanskrit are in foal. First insemination too; thank you Dr Kerstin Schwichtenberg.
All three mares are “due” early April 2017, what was I thinking?  I am going to take a week of holidays when they get close to foaling….and maybe a week after to rest up!?

All three inutero foals are for sale, payment plans may be available.
Both Spring’s and Sila’s are guaranteed to be Tobiano, and Sanskrit’s 50% Tobiano.

Bon Bella our yearling filly is so lovely and growing like mad. Over 15.2hh at 13 months and maturing nicely! All legs and a tad ‘ribby’ but that is a typical yearling.


Bella

She is for sale so contact me if interested in purchasing this delightful filly. We expect her to mature to about 16.3hh.
Bella is by Bon Balou and out of Spring Silk (Sempatico M) and a true black and white.

In-between caring for the horses there are fields to mow and harrow, manure to be composted and all the other pesky farm chores to do…LOL
Till next time….enjoy the summer!

 

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Journal Fall 2015

Forget a Spring and Summer Journal….just too busy!

 

Our spring and summer was incredibly hot and dry here on the west coast. Records for lack of rain and heat smashed. Now at the end of August, wind storms and deluge of rain. Oh well we did need the moisture!

Sad News: In March 2015 we lost our old and beloved Standardbred gelding. He was almost 33 years old and had been a member of our family since he was a yearling. He was fine for his evening feed and dead when I went out to feed at 6am. Many tears were shed as we went and said goodbye.

He had a long and wonderful life; he was a race horse, my daughter riding horse, a lesson horse, a therapeutic riding horse and then in his mid 20’s retired to oversee the farm. RIP dear ‘B’…you will never be forgotten.

Happy news:

Spring Silk foaled out a fantastic black and white filly May 24 2015 at the most respectful hour of 8:30 pm. We have named her Bon Bella; not sure if I will sell her or not! This is her 3rd Bon Balou foal and I cannot have anymore as Bon Balou passed away this past spring.

Baby pic was taken when Bon Bella was 16 hours old.

 

lilly

 

Spring decided to ‘resist’ getting pregnant this year…sigh. Guess she just wanted a year off, as there were no medical issues. In April of 2016 we will start again.

Sanskrit, aka Twiggy is not so twig like now. She is 16.1hh and her ribs are covered and hips filled out. She has grown hugely over the winter and spring…..and become very loving and co-operative. Which is really good as she most likely will grow some more! 16.2 is fine Twiggy, you can stop growing soon.

With the really hot dry spring and summer pasture management was even more work. Luckily here we have quite a high in ground water table, so with careful pasture rotation, mowing and harrowing we keep the fields in reasonable shape.

We did get two days of rain in mid August, that coupled with the down pour at the end of August….we should have pasture until October. Thanks goodness as hay prices have skyrocketed. Below is one section field.

fenc3

I have been busy, mowing, fixing the old barn roof, and replaying a section or paddock/ring fence.

The other section will be done when time and energy permit.

fence1

We also put in a 70 foot piece of new fence with cross gates at the end at the end of the grass alleyway.

tiki

Had a lot of help, (bless you Kevan) without which the post holes would have been impossible and gates wouldn’t have gotten hung!

My 2014 filly Bon Batik is growing and growing and still for sale. So pretty to…this pic was taken early summer.

fence2

 

We put up chute with a very small cross rail, set to trot through. She trotted down and jumped both the ground rail set 7 feet out and the cross rails….guess she thought the X was too small and wanted to demonstrate her talents!…LOL

Lilly was not so foolish, she trotted down, over the ground rail and did a very lovely and tidy jump out! Good girl.

As I was on my own no pics were taken…sigh

 

Fall News:

At Dreamscape Farm Rheinland Pfalz-Saar International Inspection. Sept 21, 2015

Bon Bella received Gold Premium and Site Champion Filly….and scored 8.6 for movement!! Coupled with 8.2 form conformation and sex type this gives her an overall score of 8.4.

 Bon Bella

Photo Credit ManeFrame Imagery

Bon Bella DNA types as Ee aa so is a true black and white.

And Sanskrit my 2yr old filly who was there to have her registration complete received very nice comments from the RPSI Inspector Otto Schalter. He was especially pleased with her size, substance and her mother line’s pedigree!

Sanskrit

 

2year olds are not scored; however Sanskrit was micro chipped and branded, with full brand of course. Next year as a 3 year old she will be scored for breeding approval and entered in one of the mare books. Of course I am praying hard she will score well!

 

Requesting Designs (Lilly) is sold. Congratulations to her new owner.

Lilly will be staying here with us for a few months so she can have company, grass and grow up a bit more.

Sanskrit

 

Fine Gael…aka Dominic who sold last fall, has grown hugely!

Erika, his human, tells me he is about 16.3hh now. Eeeek. Good thing she loves him as she says she will need a step ladder to get on when she starts him under saddle.

Erika promises new pics soon!

My hay shed is full with more waiting to come, expensive but very high quality.

Hay prices are really high here in BC. Oh well horses have to eat!

Fields need mowing (again) and well composted manure and lime ready to be spread. Holding off for a bit as after the very hot dry summer when we started to have rain the grass came back very well and the horses are enjoying it! Soon, soon I will get to it!

Hope everyone is ready for fall, may it be lovely and long and mild!

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Journal Winter 2014/2015

Fall Journal?.... well it got delayed.

Oh dear…it is already winter and I have not written a journal entry. Bad Martha! LOL

Not sure where to start. Some sad times some happy times here.

We lost Simplicity (Emma) late summer 2014 to a weird case of twisted hind gut…I was and am still totally devastated. At 6:00 AM when I went to feed she was uncomfortable …but had eaten all the hay in her hay net (lots and lots of hay) drank water out of her water tub and had lots of manure in her paddock. My Vet arrived and we did the Banamine and rectal palpation. No impaction but not much for gut sounds.

More pain drugs half an hour later as the Banamine wasn’t helping. About half an hour after that Emma’s body started shutting down with symptoms of shock; cold body temperature, erratic heartbeat and shallow breathing.

My Vet and I made the decision to euthanize the mare as she was suffering and even if we had tried hauling her to a clinic she wouldn’t have survived in both our and the consulting Vet’s opinion.

My Vet did a necropsy and found twists in her large colon. As Emma was healthy, ate large quantities of hay form a slow feed net, had some pasture during the day and was on a regular worming program, the cause is a total mystery. Just one of the tragedies of owning horses I guess.

Very very difficult as Emma was only 5years old and 3 months pregnant with her second Freestyle foal. She was a home bred and I had helped her into the world and had to help her out. The breeding business is tough and heart breaking at times.

 

 

 

Much better news:

 Fine Gael aka Dominic is sold and has gone off to Alberta to be a future dressage star. Big congratulations to his new owner Erika! Everyone here misses him as he is such a ham and loves attention; however he is loved and admired by his new human.

More wonderful news:

Bon Batik (Bon Balou x Spring Silk) was Gold Premium and Site Champion filly at her RPSI Inspection at Dreamscape Farm Sept 14, 2014. I am beyond thrilled. She has ‘pink’ aka full papers and full brand. (The brand was not appreciated by Tiki and she let us know her disgust by kicking the stall wall post branding. LOL)

When loading to go the inspection Tiki was a tad reluctant to follow her dam onto the trailer…but coming home she couldn’t wait to get on. Guess she thought to avoid further indignities of branding and microchipping?

tiki

Tiki was weaned at 6 months of age and has Sanskrit…aka Twiggy for a paddock and weaning buddy. They co-exist really well. Twiggy was very kind and let Tiki eat out of her grain bucket at first then decided after a month Tiki was old enough to eat out of her own!

Tiki is wearing a 64” Typhoon Turn out rain sheet and is quite the ‘grown up’ filly!

Twiggy has grown hugely and put on quite a bit of weight which she was badly in need of over the late fall and winter. She fit easily into a 69” blanket when she arrived in September 2014; but grew out of it quickly. So I did decide to splurge and bought her a 75” Champion blanket in November…It fits superbly and has just 100gm of fill. Perfect for the damp west coast.

But it will have to be handed down to Tiki next winter Twiggy will have grown out of it…sigh

I measured Twiggy when I ordered the new blanket; she is 15.3hh at the withers and almost 16.1hh at the hip! She won’t be 2 years old till mid-May 2015. When she arrived last fall, poor skinny thing, she was 14.2hh Amazing what worming and good nutrition does. <Smile>

 

And ta da… I have a new filly.

Tobiano of course, my belated Christmas present from me to me!<smile>

She is by State of the Art, an Art Deco son, out of a Canadian Warmblood mare by Beach Boy and will be a year in May 2015. Excited to actually meet her as I bought her ‘long distance’! “Should” be here Jan 21 2015.

Lilly, her barn name, is in the process of being registered with Canadian Sport Horse Association as Requesting Designs (State of the Art x Beach Boy x Warkenson). When she is 3years old I will present her to RSPI for breeding approval with that registry.

Pictures will be up on JMR Pintos Facebook page after she arrives and gets a bit of a trim. All one can see at the moment is a cute head and 4 legs. Can we say very hairy!??? She is coming out from Manitoba. Lilly moves really well, with excellent use of her hind leg.

Spring Silk is just starting to ‘look’ pregnant at just now 8 months along. She carries her pregnancies well. This will be her 3rd Bon Balou foal, and is for sale inutero. Contact me if interested. Price will go up once foal is born in May 2015.

Till next time hug your horses and enjoy them. They are indeed fragile creatures.

May 2015 be full of love, laughter and fun.

 

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Journal Summer 2014

Summers here…..Where do I start!

Late this spring…”Spring the mare"…delivered a tobiano filly on May 25th 2014. Quick and easy birth, attentive loving mare. I am ecstatic with ‘my’ filly!

Dark bay and white…about 80% bay… and sassy and healthy. She has from day one easy to teach and handle…guess she knows she is adored.

Of course I was there…’helping ‘Spring. Cheerleading her efforts was all that was needed. She, like her mamma Jen, needed no actual help. We have called the filly Bon Batik…Tiki for a barn name.

Tiki

I put in the barn camera last year and I wish I had done it years ago.

Between being able to check the mares on the monitor at my bedside coupled with regularly checking each mare’s milk I have gotten way more sleep the last two years.

 

Emma is back in foal to Freestyle. I really want a tobiano foal …come on Emma you can do it. She is due early April 2015.

Spring has been bred back to Bon Balou as of June 23...so we will know in about 14 days or so if she conceived. Timing according to my Vet was “perfect”. Check back on JMR Pinto Face book page in a couple of weeks or so.

 

Dominic has developed into a tall lanky full of beans yearling. As of June 27th he is 15.2 ½ hh and quite balanced for a yearling. He really needs his own human….so email or call me. Will entertain a bit of an offer on him price wise if he sells this summer. He is so good for a yearling…ties, awesome to trim, worm and work with. Eager to learn and responds well to bribery…LOL

I have decided to get Emma approved for breeding with RPSI as I really appreciate that registry and what they do for their members. Inspection is Sept 13 2014 at Dreamscape farm in Langley. Spring will go as well as her filly Bon Batik needs inspection for her papers.

Around the farm?

Well busy as usual. We have a partial Government grant to build manure storage/composting facility so that will happen in August. This will be a 3 bay concrete building with metal roof with a front concrete lip. Fancy!! The rules here for storage and handling of manure are getting quite strict in the Lower Mainland of BC; and my daughter, with whom I share our farm, is an environmental biologist so I have to listen to her directions…LOL

Actually it will make the composting of the manure much easier; thus quicker to spread on the pastures in the late fall and early spring. As a bonus we have people wanting it for their gardens so it becomes easy to get rid of. And with horses there is that never ending supply<grin>

Pastures have to be mowed regularly, fence lines trimmed with the weed eater, and paddocks cleaned daily. We don’t leave the horses out on pasture at night so morning and evening horses are let out and brought back in to their paddocks. Time consuming for sure! However with a smaller acreage this keeps the pasture usable all spring summer and fall, and the horses from being too plump.

Speaking of ‘plump’, poor Emma is on a diet. As soon as she got pregnant this year she began to pack on the pounds, sigh. She is only 5years old this June and was still growing so she got quite a bit of feed. She has actually put on ½ inch in height this spring/summer.

Now the poor mare is limited to a couple of hours on pasture and much smaller portions of hay. She isn’t happy but we give the hay in a slow feed net so she is kept busy for several hours pulling it out. I did tell her that next year in the last few months of carrying her foal and while she is nursing it she can have way more food. She thought that was very good idea.

 

I am looking a replacing some portions of fencing and putting in a wee bit more. There is some board fencing that was here when we bought the place that is just way to low and I would like is a ‘leap proof’ as possible. That means putting in new posts and replacing a bit of the boards.

 

There is always that one more project to do on this farm.

Till next time stay safe and enjoy your horses.

 

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Spring 2014

After a bitter cold and wet start to 2014 I think spring is around the corner!

 

While by eastern Canada standards…(they had an ugly cold winter this year)…. we in the Lower Mainland of BC got off easy. However we did have two snowstorms in February which were not at all nice. Harsh wind, deep snow drifts so we had to plow our way down the ally way to the horse shelters and out to the road…love my tractor…LOL In-between the snow storms everything froze solid several weeks in a row. Heated water tubs had to be hauled out and plugged in and hoses drained after each use. Bletch.

Spring Silk is due her 2nd foal by Bon Balou in late May…and she is ‘expanding’ on schedule. It will be tobiano, and I am really hoping for a filly. Think filly for me please.

Emma…aka Simplicity went off late last fall to school to be started and did very well. Many thanks to Wendy Stad who does awesome work with the young horses for the excellent work she did. This is the third horse she has worked for me and I am happy to have her train my youngsters. By the end of 2 months Emma was out on trails hacking over bridges and into creeks, and going nicely w/t/c with simple changes in the ring. This mare currently is 16.hh ½ inch, and looks as if she has grown a touch over the winter as she is a bit high behind again, and won’t be 5 years until June this year. She will finish at 16.1hh I would think.

At this point I am not sure if I will breed her again, she has a lovely yearling by Freestyle, or put her back in training. Pondering on this decision, but heck we might do both! Working mums are pretty common these days.

Dominic

Both our yearling geldings are doing well. Dominic, aka Fine Gael, my Freestyle boy is a very even 15hh and still a ‘pretty’ boy. Cian, aka Bon Ami, the tobiano gelding is looking like a multi-colored yak! He is 14.3hh at the withers, and very butt high at 15.1hh; all legs and head and needs to be hidden behind the barn for a year or two. He does make up for his rather strange stage of growth by being a sweet and friendly fellow that takes strange human behavior in stride.

And my can those two pack away the food! I buy top quality orchard grass with 10% to 50% alfalfa depending on the cut, and they have hay bins that are seldom empty. Of course there is well soaked beet pulp with oats, complete pellets and a vitamin/mineral supplement fed each day….they polish it up and look for more.

I do have to go and take their buckets out afterwards, as they like to rip them off the snaps and play ‘stomp the bucket’. Ark…gets expensive replacing buckets so out they come.

Boys

Well the boys are very full of themselves and play really hard. Touch wood both remain sound and healthy.

Both are for sale, and both will mature to 16.2 hh or more.

Cian

In the ongoing building saga we are in the initial stages of planning a manure composting building. By now I thought I understood the intricate demands of building anything…nope.

With our smallish land mass and large amounts of rain here in the Lower Mainland, manure piles have to be covered and kept well away from water ways. Granted this is wise environmentally but makes for more and more work. At least well composted manure can be spread back on the pastures, and there are many gardeners who are happy to take free truck loads away to grow their veggies.

My daughter Rachel is handling most of the details, which is a very good thing. I loose patience fast with regulatory bodies and contractors…sigh

In a year or two we may have it complete….I hope!

Spring, the season is on its way, new grass will grow, and yes we have robins back and singing.

All is good.

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Fall 2013

So….as I write autumn is almost here and we have been busy!

Both colts are now registered with their respective registries. I find myself heaving a deep sigh of relief now all the paper work is done, one inspection, quantities of forms filled out, documents provided, pictures taken and emailed off, and hair samples for DNA sent in as well. (To say nothing about the quantities of money paid out!)

Phew....sure is a process.

Cian, our Bon Balou x Spring Silk x Sempatico) colt has been inspected and branded and registered with RPSI

His registered name is Bon Ami, meaning 'good friend'

Heather & Cian

His dam Spring Silk is now approved for breeding with RPSI as well. Spring is back in foal to Bon Balou for late May 2014. I have ordered a filly this time...sure hope the mare paid attention to me! <smile> So we will be repeating the bath/haul/paper work again next fall.

After a soaping, scrubbing and multiple rinsing the day before, both Cian and his dam were load up at 7:30am and hauled off to Dreamscape Farm in Langley who hosted the Inspection.

Spring 'suffered' her scrubbing and scouring and rinsing in her usual stoic way...just waiting to get back to her favorite activity...eating! ...and her son stood for his very first bath like he had been doing it for years. No fussing, no panic, just a dream to hose and soap and rinse from head to tail, ears to hooves! I was doing it by myself and I could drop the lead shank and move about with a bucket of warm soapy water and rubber scrubber. He seemed to like the attention!

I am most impressed with his willing level headed temperament.

Cian scored a high Silver premium with 7.8 in both movement and conformation category.

(Gold is 8)

I am pleased with his score as he is a very big growthy colt and was not at the ideal stage to score.

The Inspector did comment that he was "an excellent sport prospect".

Lovely to hear. He is for sale, will be weaned and the end of September/beginning of October… and then be ready to go to a new home.

Call or email if interested in purchasing him.

The Inspection had a Photographer doing photos of Cian and his dam, so in a week or two I hope to have some new pictures to post.

Spring had not hauled since her own foal inspection four and a half years ago and she loaded like she had been doing it everyday. Cian on the other hand was not to sure about walking up the ramp and following his mamma. Luckily he is very good to handle so I and my friend Heather who was visiting just locked our hands/arms behind his bum and hoisted him in. At one point he was balanced on his front feet with his bum and hind legs off the ground...we almost dropped him laughing! It didn't work for him to resist so up and in he went. Both mare and foal hauled wonderfully according to Trish of Crofton Transport. Coming home Cian followed his dam up the ramp with no hesitation.

My other colt Dominic (Freestyle x Simplicity x Sempatico) has been registered with Canadian Sport Horse as 'Fine Gael'; and is eligible for full pink papers with them. CSHA do not score foals so he didn't have to go to an inspection. His paperwork, pictures, Breeding Certificate, and hair samples for DNA testing have all been sent in and received by CSHA. In another 5 weeks or so his papers will be back to me. He needed a name starting with 'F' and I really like Irish names, so Fine Gael it is!

Fine Gael (14 hh at 4 month of age)

My last three sided shelter is finished...finally….all safe ready for a horse! Slightly smaller than the others at 10' x16' it fits well in the smallest 40x40 foot paddock.

Paddock may need more footing put in…that is a project for next spring though.

That now gives us 3 single shelters with smaller paddocks, and 2 double ones, with bigger paddocks.

Manure pile was well composted so I gave a lot to a fellow who grows garlic commercially and spread the rest on two of my fields along with bags of lime. I got very attentive this year to turning it every 3 weeks, and watering it when we didn't get much rain. Makes lovely fertilizer it does!

I am a framer at heart…LOL

I still have the pile of old hog fuel that was taken out of the last paddock before the gravel base and loads of sand/crusher dust mix were put in. Guess I will have to get a bin dropped and hoist it in with my trusty tractor...then have it picked up and taken away.

Simplicity aka Emma is going off to be backed and started lightly under saddle in October after Dominic is weaned. She is just 4 years old and only this summer has she developed enough to start. She will go for an initial month; and if she is OK with it perhaps stay for another month after that.

She will be re-bred most likely to Freestyle again in the spring of 2014. Maybe I will get tobiano colouring this time?

Weather has changed and is back to showers...rain...and more showers now. Typical west coast wet after a very dry hot summer. We did get a few days of rain over the later summer so my pastures with careful rotation and mowing are still good... I am hoping to have grass turnout till the end of October. Then all the horses will have to stay in their paddocks till next spring when the fields get dry enough.

Now on to the next repair projects. I have horses, farm buildings and fences…of course there is always more to do.

 

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Summer 2013

Wet spring, ….now hot summer

Yes….warm air, green grass and new foals! Weather has been more than warm since July 1st…but it IS summer.

Spring Silk foaled a big tobiano colt by Bon Balou April 27th 2013 Only 3 days ‘late’ (ha ha) at 10:15 in the morning. The farrier had arrived to trim everyone hooves; Spring Silk decided to foal instead of getting her pedicure. He was kind enough to come back the next week do her trim as he said “hoof trims took a back seat motherhood”!


Spring, being a maiden mare and my ‘heart’ horse….scared me she did. First I only felt one hoof when I scrubbed up and checked her; then the second one showed up,(sigh of relief) however the foal had his head turned sideways rather than nose over forelegs. Called my Vet as I couldn’t rotate the foal at all by that point and wanted her input and reassurance. We got him out once mamma Spring rolled him over a bit and got down to pushing and he was totally fine. Vet called back just as we got him out. It wasn’t that long at all; maybe 5 minutes?.....strange how time slows down so much when mares are foaling. Seems we did all the right things though.


Next up was Simplicity aka Emma, with a Freestyle foal 5 days later. She was ‘early’ at 337 day on May 2nd…and yes a day time foal again…. just before noon. Lovely sunny morning, she chowed down her breakfast and I turned her out on pasture. I noticed her wandering off to the back of the field an hour or two later. Now this mare NEVER leaves her friends, in fact she is a mare that is very attached to her horse buddies. So I was suspicious and went down to check her and yes she was lightly sweating and ready to go.


I got her up to the barn into the foaling stall…and down she went. Birth was quick and normal. I was disappointed at first that I ‘only’ go a black colt…no spots at all. However he is so pretty he should have been a she! And he dances when he trots. Very special boy looks to be a top class hunter.


Two maiden mares, two day time foalings? I guess they wanted to make sure I was there to help them. Little did they know I had been watching them on my new foaling camera for many nights.


With Spring being three days ‘late’ and Emma three days ‘early’ these colts are only 5 days apart and are socializing well together. I think their mammas are glad they are bouncing about with each other and not on them!


I repeated both breedings for 2014 foals; maybe just maybe Emma will produce a tobiano filly? 50% chance. Spring of course will give me a tobiano for sure.

Later: I did mean to finish this I did…I really did!


Spring is scanned in foal back to Bon Balou.


Emma decided that maybe one was enough…LOL …..but finally we got her cycle in order and she is bred back to Freestyle. We will know in 10 days or so if she caught this time. I would dearly love a black and white tobiano filly to keep for myself.


**Both 2013 colts are for sale so inquire if interested.** I am wishing to purchase another broodmare so offers are being considered! Price on Dominic is pre-castration He will most likely be registered with CSHA. Cian will go to the RPSI Inspection mid September price includes registration process and German papers.


With all the rain we had during the spring I have had to mow pastures to control weeds numerous times, but the pastures are lovely this year. Mares are out all day then come in to their shelters at night with hay and supplements fed. Both are staying in wonderful shape.


Most of my winter hay is stuffed in my hay shed already, nice hay here in BC this year.


On the building and renovation front:


I have the last shelter well started and most of the footing down in the paddock. Rafters and strapping is done; back wall is up, next stage is to get the metal roofing on then I can finish the sides over the summer and early fall.. When we moved here 5 years ago there were no shelters, just one 26x40 semi shed at the back of the arena. We renovated that one first and divided it in half for 2 nice 20x26 shelters with their own paddocks, now we have 2 more finished 10x20 3 sided shelters….and one more half too way there. All of the paddocks needed new footing so it has been a long and costly project; nice it is getting finished <smile> Good to be seeing the end of this project, I am sure there are lots more to embark on!

Till next time enjoy summer, stay cool, and go riding when you can.

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Almost Spring 2013

Arg….life gets away on me…sigh. This entry has been a work in progress <smile>

Our winter has been reasonable for the ‘wet west coast’. Only a few days of snow and moderate rain; until March 1.
Then we go hit with a ‘ Pineapple Express’ and 40+mm of rain in one day. Can we say wet?!

I do have Sales News from the Farm. Faberge Farah and her 2013 inutero foal by Banderas has been sold down to Colorado USA.
She has arrived there and her new owners tell me she has settled in to wait for June when her Banderas foal arrives.

We have two foals that are for sale.

The inutero sales program expires March 31 2013 for these foals. After that regular prices will be in effect post foaling, after we see what these young mares deliver.
Spring is ‘due’ April 24th 2013, and Simplicity (aka Emma) is due May 4th 2013.

I am quite excited to see them.

During the winter I renovated two stalls, redoing some of the walls and putting in a new door and top stall guard on one stall.
My son in law Keith built the stall door as he has all the tools and is very good at building and renovating!

Many thanks Keith.

The stalls are a decent size at 13’8” by 9’8”; how the original barn builder managed that I am not sure!
Very odd measurements; however the barn is old and we have to do Reno within the existing structure.
Stalls are not exactly works of art…but safe and serviceable.

Getting mats cut to fit is going to be interesting.

My foaling stall that we built ourselves is lovely, 12x20, spacious and slightly separate from my other stalls. Mares seem to like the set up,
close enough to see the other mares, far enough away so they have their ‘space’ for foaling.

As well I have started on renovating the third, and last, small paddock and planning the shelter for it

Step 1. Remove all old dirt and old bark mulch, which is now sitting in one field waiting to be dealt with.

Step 2. Hire machine and operator to augur 6 holes for uprights. Much easier watching him do it than struggling
with a 2 woman hand held gas powered auger. The women being my daughter and myself.
Never again, we both are quite fit, but after doing six holes we hurt for a week.

Step 3. Purchase the upright long posts, three 10 foot and three 12 foot and cement to set them…

Step 4. Wait till the rain stops and it sort of dries out!

Lots more supplies and roofing material to purchase…but this is as far as I have got.

In the meantime I bought a wonderful 50 bushel manure spreader.

I have wanted one for ages and I found this one, almost new, for sale by a couple who were retiring. from sheep farming.
I have spent a few hours spreading the winter build up of manure and it is working wonderfully.
Have to get more lime for the fields soon as well.

Spring and Emma are doing well. Less than two months to go.

I ordered milk testing kits this year. I am really accurate with predicting impending foaling with the mares milk; lets see if the tests are as accurate I am. LOL

And…ta da…I have purchased a wireless foaling camera. It should be here early next week and
I am excited to be able to watch my mares form the house. Sure will be a lot warmer and more comfortable ~smile~

Installing the camera, audio/video cable and transmitter is another job for my talented son in law.
I really will have to take him and my daughter out to dinner in repayment for all his hard work.

More next time.

Think a warm and pleasant spring and healthy foals.

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Fall 2012 Journal

Not a whole lot to report…except hard work on the farm!


All three mares have settled into their pregnancies: happy and healthy.
Faberge was in training until mid October, and has progressed well. She learned to jump in about 5 sessions with ground rails and small jumps. Picture is of her below is second time through the grid! Jump below is 3’3”

Faberge

Now she is being allowed to be a broodmare; hang out, eat, snooze and grow her Banderas foal<smile>
She is for sale with inutero foal, so email or call for more info and price…as it will go up the further along in her pregnancy she gets.

Spring on the other hand is galloping around the field and out door arena, completely energized! She has also gone from being at the bottom of the ‘pecking order’, to quite bossy and pushy. Strange what pregnancy hormones do to mares. Spring is carrying a Bon Balou foal, and I just heard that he finished 3rd over all at the 2012 70 day Stallion test…1st in the Jumper Division, and was named Champion Jumper of the test with scores between 9.5 to 10 for all jumping phases!!!
Tobiano jumper anybody? (Spring is homozygous for the tobiano gene so foal will be tobiano.)

Bon Balou

Bon Balou at 1.5 meter with Test Rider at 70 Day Test. He free jumped 1.6 meters as well!
(Photo Credit Angela Pritchard)

Back to regularly scheduled Farm Stuff

Emma is being Emma…sweet, laid back, and dedicated to being within 2 inches of whom ever she is out with. Needy girl that one.

Otherwise farming goes on. We had to take down a big cedar tree this fall…and I hate cutting trees down. However it was rotten at the core and due to come down in the first severe wind storm of the winter.
We have planted 3 trees to replace it…one Cedar, one Fir and one Maple…LOL

The annual fall ‘cut back the blackberries/briars’ project is in progress, sigh. Durned things grow faster than any other plant I swear. We do not like to use herbicides, and when we do the plants have to be small for it to work. So I cut and burn every fall. Our property backs on to the CN rail line right of way, and between our back fence and the tracks is a nightmare of blackberry vines. CN never, to my knowledge, cleans it out…sigh. And this year I am digging out roots alone the fence line…now that is hard work!
Currently I am behind schedule, only about 1/4 done

As of mid-November the monsoon rains typical of the BC west coast are here…horse are bundled up in water proof blankets, and the humans are attempting to stay dry when being ‘horse-servants”. LOL

Until next time stay warm and dry.

 

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Summer 2012 Journal

Summer…what summer?

We have had a couple glorious hot days and many cold, wet, soggy weeks. Just at the end of July it has turned hot again.
Hay crop is at least a month behind, so says my hay dealer!

Ah well…life goes on, and farming doesn’t stop due to weather.

Ta Da!!!!!!!!! Spring Silk, Simplicity and Faberge are all in foal. Many thanks to my Veterinarian, Dr Kerstin Schwichtenberg, Jennifer Arnoldt at Dreamscape Farm who owns all the stallions, and three relatively co-operative mares!

They are “due” April 26, May 7, and June 14 2013. Ha ha..mares do not have due dates! I do hope they all get organized and aim for 340 days.

Foals are all for sale; drop me an email if you are interested in one of them.

Faberge took two cycles to get pregnant once we got her to ‘get with the breeding program’. First cycle she failed to develop uterine edema normally, but we went forward and bred anyway not knowing the mare’s patterns. Nope didn’t work. Second cycle was textbook perfect, and she ovulated about 12 hours after being inseminated.

Spring Silk on the other hand is following in her mamma Jens footsteps…first scan of the year she was almost ready to breed, inseminated the next day, scanned 15 days later and there was the magic black dot. Easy peasy!

Simplicity we just missed on the first scan so she was short cycled and bred 10 days later. Again a lovely conceptus at 15 days post insemination. Since then we have scanned for heart beat and normal development on both young mares….all progressing according to plan. Faberge is due for a heart beat scan on Aug 7th.

On July 23, 2012 I hosted a Canadian Sport Horse Mare Inspection here at my farm. Only three mares as I had very shout notice from CSHA; but they were all pintos. Such fun! A friend brought her Sempatico mare Sass n’Brass …(aka Amelia), who went high scoring mare for the Day. Congratulations Bernice!

Everything except the weather co-operated. The day was cold for mid-July, poured rain and it was dreadfully windy! Sand ring was a sloppy mess, handler’s pants and shoes wet and gray after three steps. Couldn’t even take pictures. All that effort of bathing and braiding…sigh….at least they were clean for a few moments for the Inspector to look at their conformation. <Smile>

Simplicity (Emma) is still quite growthy and lanky so didn’t score as well as I thought she deserved; however she went second premium. She is very, very hunter in her movement and I think the Inspector likes the big dressage movement.
She did score an 8 on her walk so that I am pleased with!

Faberge scored well too. One point off first premium I believe. She decided to gallop and buck rather than canter... (Sigh)…however she did show off her huge and powerful trot and her long and ground covering walk.

I should get copies of the score sheets back from CSHA head office in a few weeks…I will know more specifically how each one scored then. The Inspector did share the scores with me; but my brain refused to retain most of them.

I hopefully will be taking Simplicity to a Westfalen Inspection for approval next year with her Freestyle foal, and most likely both Spring Silk and Faberge to an RPSI Inspection next year as well. Spring is RPSI and needs inspection for breeding approval…and it would be nice to have Faberge approved with another registry.

Other wise life on the farm continues with the usual mowing and cleaning and renovations! Hay shed is full to the brim, and we are getting several more tons in a couple of weeks, one of the stalls will have to be hay storage for a few months.

We are indeed blessed. Healthy pregnant mares, hay for the winter, grass is plentiful in the fields for the balance of the summer. Family is healthy and happy.


Till next time…may the sun shine on you, your families, and of course your horses!

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Spring 2012 Journal

We are more than 3/4 of the way through spring

I had better finish this journal entry! We were finally blessed with some warm weather in May, however the past few days have been back to rain. Ah well it will make the grass grow.
I mowed the fields….keeps the buttercups and other weeds in check 2 weeks ago, now looks like I have to go do it again. Fields do look so nice when I am done! The fence lines have to be done with the weed eater…much more work than sitting on the tractor but do need to be done. I wish someone would invent a tool to hook to the tractor PTO that reached under the fence line!

My ‘new’ mare Faberge recently came home from a month of training and for the first time in years I am riding. She had been backed for 10 days just before she came to me but that was her first time under tack.… I am enjoying my ‘puttering about’ on horse back.
Faberge was a broodmare in her previous life so being ridden is new to her at 10 years old, and I am old and stiff…we make a fine pair. <smile>
Faberge will have to do double duty tho…she will be bred later this month.

Spring Silk and Simplicity (aka Emma) are being bred as well. I will have three foals to enjoy next May.
Spring Silk decided to be ready to ovulate on a long weekend so getting semen in time from the USA where Sir Gregory is in training was impossible. I had to change stallions or wait a cycle, and I have learned waiting is not always wise.
So I chose Dreamscape Farm’s Bon Balou who is a 16.3hh chestnut sabino; and a duel purpose stallion with a lovely temperament. Spring is homozygous for tobiano so most likely I will have Bon Balou’s first tobiano offspring next spring …LOL Bon Balou is Hanoverian so the tobiano offspring won’t win me points with them, thank goodness R.P.S.I don’t have any color biases and that is how the foal will be inspected and registered.

Now we wait for 2 weeks to see if Spring did in fact conceive. Everything seemed to be ‘perfect’.
One large follicle, young healthy mare, semen only a couple of hours old, Deslorelin to ‘encourage prompt ovulation, post breeding oxytocin protocol…. Sure to work..right? Ha! Ask me in 2 weeks or so.
Emma had ‘just’ ovulated when we scanned…gurrrrr. Mare IS a four letter word, so we wait a few weeks before we breed her to Freestyle.
Faberge now, is a very sneaky mare! She came home from training on May 15, and had ovulated by May 18th without telling anyone she was in heat a few days earlier. Ah well that is horse breeding for you.
Faberge is, I think, being bred to Banderas…BUT I may change my mind. I had a Banderas foal last year that sold locally and I continue to see him and like him a great deal. Super temperament, very leggy and athletic. Maybe this one will come with spots?

Summer is coming, weather is wonderful, enjoy the sunshine!

 

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Winter 2012 On line Journal

Life on the Farm goes on.

We have currently sold all the young horses we had for sale last summer and fall. Thank you to all the people who purchased, your business is much appreciated. Now we are planning the next set of foals. I am so excited and they are not even conceived yet!

Spring Silk is booked to Sir Gregory (Sir Donnerhall x Don Gregory x Picasso) for a 2013 foal. Spring is homozygous for the tobiano gene so foal will be pinto and she tests EE Aa so the foal will be bay and white or black and white This foal should be a dressage star with spots! Sir Gregory is currently in training is sunny California with Shannon Peters.

Simplicity (Emma) is booked to Freestyle (Florestan X SPS Paloma) for a 2013 foal. Emma is only heterozygous for tobiano so only 50% chance of a tobiano foal; however she tests Ee aa and as Freestyle is EE the foal will be black and white or solid black…if black hopefully with lots of bling!

*Both foals are for sale inutero so if you are interested email me so we can discuss contract terms.*

We have a new mare! Faberge Farah is a 2002 Canadian Sport Horse mare by the Samber son Fuhler I, and out of the Canadian Warmblood mare Windigo. Faberge arrived Jan 26th and has settled in nicely. I purchased her as ‘scanned in foal’... however unfortunately when we checked her she is open. Faberge is healthy and putting on weight and we are busy planning her 2013 foal. No firm choice of stallion…yet! Maybe jumper lines with Dreamscape Farms new stallion Checkmate (Check In x Rio Zeus x Zeus)? Waiting to see him when his quarantine is finished.

We tested her and she is Ee Aa color genetics wise…..only heterozygous for tobiano of course as her dam was a solid colored mare.

Otherwise it is quiet here over the winter, with only one week of really bad snowy weather. Mind you that week was really nasty here in Chilliwack. Roads were drifted in and white out conditions on the freeway; so all of us bunkered down, tended to the horses, ducks and chickens and stayed safe!

Yes my daughter has ducks and chickens!
Three Muscovy ducks, two females and a male, named, Duck, Goose and Turkey! Really, my son in law named them; he has a wicked sense of humor! The ducks live beside Roo-Roo the rooster and three white hens who keep us in eggs.

My fencing contractor is about to put in more fencing, (on one of the mythical dry days the west cost is said to have) and maybe this summer we will finish the last of the paddocks…new footing and a new shelter. Then I can go back to renovating the stalls! Never ends I am sure.

Spring may be on its way…somewhere.
Till next time stay warm and dry.

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Fall 2011 Journal

Well…summer is over. I know, I know, I know…. Here on the coast of BC Canada…. what summer?

Actually we had about 6 weeks of wonderful hot sunny weather in August and the first two week of September. Ah the sun.
Life has been a tad hectic here, people coming to see my sale horses, farm work to do, ‘day job’ to go to, family happenings to attend.
Ah, life is good.

Evensong has left for some training and then she will go south to Texas. She was sold earlier this year but had to stay and wean her 2011 Banderas colt. Her colt Believe, barn name Ben, is a big strapping boy, tall and solid and doing well without the “milk bar”. In the last few weeks prior to weaning he hung out with his ‘girl friends’ Sage and Emma and his dam was only visited for a slurp of milk now and then. Since Sage has left Emma has taken over the companion role with Ben and they seem very content together.

Ben is bred to jump and is for sale; see his details and pictures on the Sale page.
Both Samuel the 2yr old gelding and his full sister Sage are sold. Samuel has gone off to his new human on Vancouver Island, and Sage has left for Alberta.

I am having fun choosing stallions for next year.

We have decided to keep Simplicity…aka Emma and breed her. Tall, sweet and glorious movement describes her. Emma is black tobiano, but only heterozygous for the tobiano gene…so her foals have only 50% chance of that pattern when bred to a solid colored stallion. Spring will be bred as well… She is either dark bay and white or ‘brown’ and white, and homozygous for the tobiano gene…so will have a tobiano foal for sure. I think she will only produce bay and white or black and white…we still have to test her for Agouti and the At part.

So two babies in the spring of 2013….looking forward to that. Loff ‘my’ babies!


I am waiting for the 2011 70 day stallion test to be completed down in Ohio, USA. There is a homozygous tobiano stallion attending so if he passes with reasonable scores I may breed one mare to him. More on that next time!

Farm work continues!
I decided to have the contractor come in and put new footing in some of the back paddock around the gates where it gets mucky. All during the winter months. This paddock has a big 20x25 shelter in it but I was not going to redo the footing inside the shelter as I had put in some crusher dust three years ago…not great but useable.

However when the back hoe got to digging I changed my mind! Under about a foot of old rotted out ‘hog fuel’… (basically cedar chips)…was a nice packed gravel base! That meant I had to get busy and quickly move all the rubber mats and feed bins and such out of the shelter as Back Hoes work by the hour running or not!!!!!!!

So many dump truck loads of muck out, several dump truck loads of road base in on top of the gravel, then several loads of a mix of crusher dust and sand on top…it is done. Inside the shelter and all around it. There is still some dirt that needs to come out of the paddock…and I still have to have a drain put in the back corner and have it connected to the top drain…that is a project for next year!
We will see when our heavy winter rains start just how dry it will stay.

Until next time. May your barns be full of hay and happy horses.

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Almost Summer 2011

Life…horses…and pondering about bloodlines.

Well, I hope your horse adventures are wonderful and rewarding. We have had another stunning foal born here this spring. Believe, ‘Ben’ for a barn name, tried to sneak into the world at 2:10 AM on May 11th. Or maybe his mamma Eve was the sneaky one? At 1:30AM Eve was calmly munching her hay when I checked on her…at 2:05AM I found her down and pushing! I sat down beside her, pulled the sack off baby’s head and Eve popped him out no problem.

He tried to be a pinto…cute belly spot that I understand genetically comes from his great-great grampa Furioso II…..nice omen for quality. <smile> Bright chestnut in colour, …durned recessive genes! Two hind socks, star and connected stripe, white over his nose and white on his lower lip, true sabino. If he jumps as an adult the way he gets off the ground as a baby…wow. His trot and canter aren’t too shabby either. His pedigree has lots of wonderful jumpers in it with and Baloubet du Rouet and Voltaire…plus Ben has that dash of Canadian Pinto on his dam’s side (with some Arabian far back) for durability and a good co-operative disposition. He is for sale, and should make someone a nice (and tall) jumper prospect.

Other happenings on the farm..Sahara has been leased out for one, maybe two years to have a foal or two. She is being bred to Sonata, a Fuhler son, owned by Heather Marko of Telkwa BC. I look forward to seeing the baby next year.

Ben’s mamma Eve is sold to Texas and will be going this fall when Ben is older and weaned. We will miss her! This is the second purchase from us by the gal who has bought her, she purchase a half sister to Evensong some years ago, wanted another. Happy riding Arlene.

Sam and Emma, the two year olds are hanging out and growing up and up. Emma is still a tube horse..long and lean…and Sam is our reverse giraffe kid…really butt high…and just when I think he is almost level..up he goes again…yup only behind Well I know his front end is growing too, however he always seems to do the rear end first…sigh. Sage is now a yearling…and while still sweet and easy going we are hiding her temporarily…she is a “committee horse”…and a contentious committee at that.LOL

Sam will go to ‘kindergarten’ to get backed late in the fall if he is not sold. He needs an occupation and focus! He will learn to walk and trot under saddle for a month then come home to finish growing up.

Spring Silk our three year old Sempatico has become a sweet mellow young mare, still physically a bit immature. She will be bred next spring.no pun intended!

I am exploring the possibility of importing some frozen semen from a black and white homozygous stallion in Germany this winter. He is quite nice, 70 day tested in Germany, (although he has now sold to Australia) and reasonably tall at 16.2hh. More later if this works out.

‘Till next time…Think Colour!

 

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Journal Winter 2011

Joys of Rain…Snow…and Mud!

The winter weather has not been very nice so far. We have had highs of +7C followed snow and -10C…. then back to +8 and monsoon rain. Now the paddocks and the turn out field are a mess. Horses are managing, part of their shelters are rubber matted, they have lots of food, it is us humans who are slogging about with wheel barrows and poop pickers and water buckets who are having a hard time.
Mind you, when I see the disasters in Queensland, Australia I count my blessing!


All the young horses are doing well, growing up as they should however; they look like a mass of mud and matted hair made worse by being tobiano and having lots of white. UG


Eve is growing nicely sideways. She is “due” May 8th, could be earlier or later. She has had one foal previously that was an ‘opps’ foal prior to my purchasing her so we don’t know the time line on that one. She is hungry all the time it seems, but we are working at not letting her get too fat while making sure her nutrition is balanced.


Spring, my soon to be three year old filly is learning to work…poor girl. She now wears a bridle, sursingle, loose side reins and works at a walk and very slow trot two or three times a week for 5 to 10 minutes. Mostly ground driving…which really going around the arena and learning whoa and go<smile> She has stalled her growth at 16hh for the winter, but most of her dam’s offspring grow till 5 or 6 years there is hope for more height yet!


Sam is ‘working’ too! He has been hosed to remove quantities of mud, had his mare pulled and bridle path clipped. None of which had been done since lat October….sheesh times flies. He has been super good to do so he has retained his lessons from the fall. At the moment he is a bit odd looking, close to 3 inches higher at his hip than his withers! He is in good weight, getting an excellent vitamin/mineral mix and a variety of good hay….reverse giraffe anyone? He loves attention so I will bring him in often now and teach him to ground drive.

Back to nutrition for broodmares and young horses. Seems to me, reading the horse care forms online, there is slowly more awareness of good nutrition especially for broodmares. Mineral requirements, vitamin needs, what it does for the in utero foal and neonate, and what can happen negatively if the mare isn’t fed correctly.


Since I was taught, way back in the last century, <smile> by and old experienced horseman that the health of the foal started before the mare was bred I am glad to see people getting the message. Quality supplements, quality feed, fed in optimal amounts, take money, time and effort; nutrition is fairly expensive. That takes me back to my frequent rant….quality young horses are pretty damn expensive! <smile>


Later:


Life on the farm continues, and we are getting ready to gear up for springtime.
Sahara is back in training since early January 2011, and doing very well. Lead changes are almost 100% and her lateral work is good. Jumping is never an issue for her, she eagerly goes to what ever she is asked to jump, just have to be careful not over face her. She thinks she can jump anything!!!. Hoping to have her out showing soon.


On the farm…grass seed for areas of the pasture needing re-seeding, and a new “weed eater” to do the fence lines…(the old one bit the dust unfortunately) to be purchased, mower blades to get sharpened, and best of al the foaling stall to prepare.
Until next time be good and enjoy your horses.

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Journal Fall 2010

After a hectic summer…My mantra has been…make a list…because when I look at what is still left to do…I need to see what I actually did!

So far this past summer we have redone the footing in one more paddock…. had to take out several dump truck loads of muck ,manure and mud… … put in several dump truck loads of sand/crusher dust mix, and a new shelter has been built in said paddock.

Finally the gutters are put up on at least one side of the big double run in shelter. Many thanks to my son-in-law Keith for all his help in this project! It is a 26’ by 40’ building divided in half …two nice big 20x26 shelters. ….the side where the footing has not been re-done (yet) has the gutters, as it gets very mucky in our non stop rainy winters here.…Last year when I had two new ground drains put in the contractor put in pipes for the down spouts into the drain…so the water actually goes off to the large ditch…. Next year I hope to find the money to redo the footing on that side too.

High light of the year is our 2010 filly by Sagnol out of Jenny’s Turn, went Gold Premium at her RPSI inspection in September. I am so very pleased as this is Jens last foal…she has cancer and we are just taking it one day at a time with her…so far she is eating and managing to get around. This filly, Sage, got an 8.4 on her movement! Since the Inspector sees foals from all over Canada, USA and parts of Europe that is pretty awesome endorsement.

Yearlings are, well, yearling! Butt high, full of them selves and eating non stop.

Eve, finally, has been inspected with Canadian Sport Horse. Took forever, not my fault, or Eve’s! A very long story, total mess on their part; however it is done. Papers will get here in another month or so. Eve is 6 months along in her pregnancy as of Dec 2 2010 and is eating for the proverbially two. Names anyone? Needs to start with a B.

All the rest of the herd is well and I think we are ready for winter.

Later:

Winter, as in the temperature, is here. Yeah I know on the calendar winter isn’t till Dec 21….but we have had snow, wind chill of minus 8C , and here on the wet coast with the high moisture in the air that feels like minus 20. Frozen water tubs to be dumped and filled several times a day, frozen horse poop to try to clean in the paddocks….yuck!

The saddest happening here is our broodmare Jenny’s Turn has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She had battled cancer for over two years, as well as her old and quite severe leg injuries made her more and more crippled up. It was time she went, even with blankets, non-stop hay, plus plenty of grain she was loosing weight and having trouble staying warm.

Jen was a true broodmare, producing much better than herself with any stallion she was bred too. She was the matriarch of the farm, managing the herd, teaching manners to the young horses, and giving me unconditional love always. God speed my Jen, run free, eat as much spring grass as you wish, and one day, come back to me in spirit in a new foal’s body.

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Summer 2010 Journal

Well it is summer now...however our temperatures have been 5 to 6 degrees below our normal for May and June. The weather had been so wet here people were saying “Happy November’… July got here…wow; the heat wave hit 30+C.

Life on the farm goes on…

We have one celebration…Jenny’s Turn foaled her 13th foal…and a filly to boot! Born on May 20th 2010 bay and white filly, stunning. She is very uphill and fluid through her back and about 80% bay...I am in love again. Filly will go to the RPSI inspections on Sept 14th this year.

On a sad note this will be Jen’s last foal. She has squamous cell carcinoma in her reproductive tract, and while will do fine for a number of months until baby Sage is weaned, I won’t let her suffer. When her quality of life goes down I will send her across the Rainbow Bridge. S ad day that will be. We will continue to enjoy her while we have her. She is the smartest, most willing and gentlest horse I have ever owned.

Meanwhile back in the rain..(now hot, hot sun)……Our “new” mare Evensong was bred …again… on June 2nd. Not her fault really she didn’t conceive first time. We scanned her on a Thursday evening, 36 follicle little or no edema yet…things look good, weekend coming up didn’t want to miss her, so ordered semen for Saturday morning pick up. But somehow I wanted to do it sooner didn’t listen to my inner voice……Went to inseminate early Sat am…Eve had ovulated already… about 12 hours before, we guess from the scan and internal check. We put the semen in and hoped…nope, not to be.

    Back to breeding 101…Rules of ‘engagement’:
    1. Mares do not read the textbooks that people do.
    2. Experienced knowledgeable Veterinarians get fooled and long time breeders (me) loose our memory; this mares’ dam did the same darned thing
    3. Mare is a four letter word
    4. In the case of young healthy mare…do it again!

Second time scanned at 36 on Tuesday afternoon, bred next day, Wednesday, follicle was 40+ ! Eve had ovulated by Thursday when we rescanned. This is a fast moving gal.LOL

Moral of the story, mares do not read the text book, trust your instincts, and remember her dam Jen…who does exactly the same thing. Chance this does this run in mare line?

Note to self: Remember this next year, when we will be breeding Spring (again a Jen offspring), who will then be three….!

We will know in under two weeks if all this worked for Eve…Yup it did….
We are now expecting …well Eve is…a May 2011 Banderas foal.

Side note…Evensong is growing; she was 5yrs this year on May22. and has put on well over an inch since she got here mid March of this year….now but t high, almost 16hh with a great deal of solid substance….I think she may make 16.1 the way she is growing. Sideway growth may be an issue though and I am not speaking of being pregnant! This gal is her mother’s daughter…will eat non stop on pasture, so ‘Weight Watchers’ for her…LOL 3 hours a day max out there.. Sorry Eve!

Sahara is home for awhile as of April 30th 2010. She did very, very well in training; attended several large “schooling” shows schooling shows, similar to B circuit shows elsewhere…and pinned at every show, even won a class..

She is for sale, and in a program with a trainer would make an awesome children’s A circuit hunter. She turned 4 on the 31 of May and needs a bit more time to grow and mature physically. Very sensible young mare, not too much bothers her. She really likes being a show horse and all the attention and pampering she got..

The rest of the “kids” are doing well. Both yearlings are growing and growing…both good sized but very different. Sam is compact, pretty, balanced and full of himself. Emma is rangy, long, loose and a tad awkward still. She will, I think eventually be very tall, she is pushing 15hh behind now at 1 year 1 month

Spring my “keeper” filly out of Jen is tall, a smidge under 16hh at 2. (Love it)… and has a lot of substance..

I am doing stall reno’s and planning on building another run in shelter in the late summer. We have scraped and cleaned and scraped again another paddock…finally it is ready for sand /crusher dust mix. Planning that for the second week of July. It had been full of old bark mulch, dirt, manure and the like when we got here…we are working our way down the row of paddocks re-doing footing and changing the fencing.
Got that task done…stay tuned, we may get the next shelter built yet (smile)

My husband, daughter and son-in-law all went off to Ireland this spring in late June. I got to stay home, feed the animals, clean the paddocks, and run the place .Lucky me huh!?!

Well if I win the lottery we will all go next year. Till next time, be happy with you horses, enjoy life and breathe!

 

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March 2010

The New Year is here…err well, New Year plus two and a half months here! <smile>
Life just gets too busy most days to stop to write!

So… News from the Farm: I am really excited… We have gotten the mare Evensong back! Thank you Catharina for thinking of me when life circumstances made the sale necessary. Eve is a 2005 model by the CSHA stallion Tricolore (Voltaire xSamber) and out of my superstar mare Jenny’s Turn. Eve has had one foal previously, and we will breed her this year to one of Dreamscape Farms stallions, most likely Banduras. Eve is only heterozygous to the tobiano gene, so only 50% chance of colour…however the foal will be wonderful, solid or tobiano. She has the athletic ability, and excellent temperament of the other Jen offspring, so no worries there. She arrived on Friday March 12th 2010. Once she settles in we will decide on breeding plans.


Sahara is doing so well I am busting with pride. She went to her first show undersaddle, a big schooling show at Thunder Bird Show Park Langley BC. She was calm and cool and got a 6th place in the open 2’6” Hunter class, 19 entries…so not too shabby! All the fences were ‘real’ hunter fences…flower pots, plants, lots of evergreen shrubs, fancy. As well, she is now being ridden for lessons by a petit 11yr old child, and is completely reliable willing, a real “steady Eddie”. Well maybe steady Edwina? LOL This girl grooms, tacks, and gets on….and off they go. Sahara will do the next show at Thunder Bird Show Park at the end of March, and then we will decide her next step in life
Sahara is for sale…please see the Sale Page. This young mare is a definite A Circuit Children’s Hunter.


Samuel and Emma, the two 2009 yearlings, are growing and developing well. Emma especially, is lanky and tall; currently 9 months old, she is about 14.2hh, should be a very tall young mare in a few years. She is cheeky and full of herself. Sam is more mellow than ever and an attention hog. He is a compact, pretty boy, and has the typical Sagnol offspring attitude of ‘pick me…pick me’.
We have our old Standardbred gelding back. He is 28 this June, and has had a full and productive life; as a successful race horse, as a jumper and event horse with Rachel, as a ‘volunteer’ in a therapeutic riding program, as a lesson horse, and now retired to live out his days eating, snoozing…and well maybe babysitting our foals as he does that so well!


Jen is progressing well with her pregnancy; she is due mid to late May with her 13th foal. Yup…13 of them! She does well pregnant, happy and eager to eat. She is the ‘herd boss’ on the farm…content to oversee her domain.
Spring Silk will be two on May 5 2010. .taller than her dam Jen now, she is a hair under 16hh, and I expect her to finish about 16.2hh. I cannot wait to breed her…she has a date with Freestyle (Florestan X SPS Paloma) next year. Spring is homozygous for the tobiano gene…so colt or filly it will be tobiano.


We did more work on the farm this winter…renovating the barn a bit….new footing in a paddock…we are doing one more this coming week…it is in progress at the moment as the old hog fuel(cedar bark chippings) is being scraped out…takes time with the tractor to get down to the hard pan… And thus the re-hab of the farm goes on and on.
I enjoy the results…so it is a labour of love.

 

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Summer…then Fall 2009

Beware the “breeders” rant!

Money, what can you spend vs. what kind of horse you want? Ah….you “gets (mostly) what you pays for”. Think of buying a car…if you have a shop, and tools and love rebuilding there are good buys that after a bit of hard work and time, well maybe lots of both, you have a wonderful fun car for a low price, and the time and fun of the job. If you are not a so inclined to do the rehab, the hard work, and the time, lots of time, don’t have the time space and tools…expect to pay a much higher price.

With horses, part of the problem is people do not know the costs of just getting a healthy well bred foal on the ground. Quality semen from quality stallions, quality care, professional Veterinarian services, quality feed, bedding, safe fences and barns all c-o-s-t. I see ads from people wanting a started, quiet young horse, but under 2k. Oh Please! I get so frustrated, even without a the stallion fees, should one have their own stallion,(and there you have the cost of keeping, breed approvals, showing etc too!) you cannot put a foal on the ground for that let alone keep it for three of four years, feed, worm, trim its feet, vaccinate it for twice that! Nutrition, health care, and farrier work “don’t come free". (Nor should they.)

Then there are the costs of the registration process, breed inspections, membership in various breed organizations…the list goes on! OK …end of rant!

Summer has been hot here, so nice after a very cold snowy winter. We just had a day or so of much needed rain…and the temperatures have gone back to seasonal normal towards the end of August. Lovely.

Both my 2009 foals are doing super well; they live out with their momma’s all day, run-in shelter at night. Both had their second trims at about two months last Saturday…Emma was ho-hum, Samuel on the other hand decided to try us on…silly boy. Both my farrier have been doing this stuff for a combined total of….well waaaaaaaaaay to many years! Sam got trimmed, learned it is much easier to stand beside his dam (who by the way ignored his temper tantrum) and be trimmed than to fling himself about.

Sahara ( Sempatico x Strathmiglo xx) our 3 yr old Canadian Sport Horse is doing so well she is ready to be backed! She ground drives, and I can lay over her in the stall. September first she goes for professional training and her price will go up considerably…if you want a lovely pretty athletic filly…buy now!

Spring Silk my yearling Sempatico filly is huge. She is pushing her dam’s height about 15.2 and is maturing well. Only two more years till I can breed her…sigh

Emma the 2009 filly…well we are all in love with her. She is sweet…truly sweet. And is going to mature big…really BIG.



Later …it got to be fall… somehow??…eeeekkk!

Now it is November, and while we have had some harsh rainy cold days, we have had sun…real sunny warm days too.

Sahara is doing so well under saddle it is hard to believe she is only three and a half! She gets ridden 5 or 6 days a week by the trainer for short periods of time. She now has 60 days under saddle, and acts like it is 120 days! She has done a few small jumps and loves it…so attentive….and her transitions and lateral work on the flat are so good for a baby. She has taken living at the training barn in her stride, and loves the daily attention by trainer and groom. She is in a group of big solid bay warm bloods and TB’s….and she does stand out with her tobiano pattern, and feminine, refined prettiness! She knows she is special! She is for sale…check out my “Sale” page!

The 2009 foals, Samuel and Emma are weaned, Sam is now a gelding, poor sad boy, but more settled, and sweet and well mannered for a handsome young man!

We bring them in a couple of times a week, groom, and teach them manners. And snuggle a bit too.

Sam, Emma, and the long yearling Spring live together, and all co-exist really well. A group of furry mud-puppies at the moment, but happy and healthy living in their field, with run in shelter and never empty bins of hay.

Well till next time…enjoy your horses… appreciate the gifts of Mother Nature, and stay warm and healthy!



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June /July 2009

Have you ever noticed just about every language, from Latin on, has a saying about the speed of time? Anyone have any sayings about how to get it to slow down? "Smile"



Life on the farm is speeding by, punctuated by moments of panic, moments of reflection, and moments of joy. We have two live and healthy foals this spring, both gifts of Mother Nature and rewards of hard work!

Our first foal of the year, by Sagnol, and out of my very experienced brood mare Jennys Turn, decided to resist getting born.

Jen foaled on a lovely warm Tuesday evening….all was going on schedule till I checked the “bubble’ one nose one foreleg…and then “Oh SH**!" Other foreleg bent back at the knee upon exploration….

Amid the voice in my head say … "don’t panic" I panicked…

Called my Vet’s emergency number….got mare up to walk…Dr Kerstin called back while driving to my farm…(flying?)... and coached Rachel on how to attempt to straighten the foreleg…no go. It was less than 20 minutes that seemed to last for ever until she got here. Bless my Jen mare, in great pain she trudged along beside me around the riding ring while I kept telling her “...it will be OK, Dr. Kerstin can fix it” meanwhile believing that the foal would be dead when we got it out.

Dr. Kerstin flew out of the truck, medications injected for Jen, arm in, her pushing the foal in, getting the leg, me pushing on Jen ‘s rump to keep her from sitting down, Rachel at the mare’s head keeping Jen on her feet, then out comes foal, lowered gentle to the straw…blue tongue…me crying. He looked dead. Mother Nature had a gift for me…..foal snorts, I push him up on sternum… breath happens. While he needed a bit of extra care in the first few days, he was on his feet and nursing in under an hour. When the chaos was all over and we stood outside the barn door there was a huge rainbow over the back field and mountain! The promise, right? So the colt got called Samuel…roughly “God’s promise”…or “gift from God”.

12 days later, after keeping me up all night Brittany decides to foal 12 days early. More panic, nothing to do but wait and be prepared. At 6am I put her out for a stretch and role, and of course feed her breakfast…well more breakfast… which was happily eaten down promptly despite free choice hay all night.

Then about 9am she paws twice, circles and goes down. No muss, no fuss! I ran to get Rachel, up at the house as she wanted to be there. As Britt was beside a young filly in he next paddock I made the poor mare get up, and we walked her 50 feet to the barn and foaling stall…down, push….and out come my black and white filly. Long, long legs, cute head, big curly ears, and other than having little body fat, just fine thank you. We give the foals colostrum before they get up….so she is bonded with me now for sure…!. It took her an hour to figure out the standing part, did I mention very long legs?... however once she got her legs figured out, has not stopped nursing since. Good thing mamma Britt has lots of milk. At two weeks she is positively chubby! We call her Emma, just because I like the name.

And life goes on….

There is building and fixing and mowing and harrowing and….…

The new run-in shelter has roof and ½ sides…..dirt dug out, sand/crusher dust mix put in, fence lines adjusted, drainage in, gates moved, it is getting there. New metal panel with gate installed at the end of the long ally way, where the outside water hydrant and lights for the paddocks are installed. No more crawling through the fence now! Mind you redirecting the electric fence took some time! We put the original fence in last summer prior to placing the underground water and power lines in…..oh well fixed now.

Later…

Jen is rebred to Sagnol…Sam is so nice we decided to have another…LOL She will be scanned this week July 4th or 5th…fingers crossed she “caught”…

July 4th…yup Jen did it again, ‘nother Sagnol tobiano foal ‘cooking’. Due late may 2010.

Sahara may get bred to Freestyle…OR go into training. I cannot decide, and as she is a late foal I wasn’t into breeding her till mid summer anyway. She has developed wonderfully since I got her back in late Jan 2009….grown, filled out and mellowed totally. She now ground drives, wears tack, walks over ground poles and is growing up. (smile)

With or without foal Sahara is for sale…call if you are interested in purchasing her.
Terms to the right home.

Off to “farm” some more. One of the fields needs mowing again.

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Spring (the season) might arrive…sometime.

March 1, 2009


We got another hit of “real” winter last week….snow, lots of it, and a nasty cold wind for several days. Minus 10 with the wind chill…drifts of snow and frozen water tubs…did I say UG! …and I thought from the previous dry sunny week spring was going to make an early arrival! Foolish me. Our “new” filly Sahara is doing well. This is a filly I bred and sold as a weanling….and decided to purchase back when the opportunity arose.

She has put on some weight in the 5 weeks we have had her here, and starting to grow…Yea! She will be 3 on May 31 this year and is a very slow maturing girl, but has very long legs and has put on over half an inch in 5 weeks! We have started her ground driving, and she is doing really well; has worn a surcingle and loose side reins with no issue. I have to get her teeth done before bitting her, but since I drive her off the halter there is no rush. She comes in the barn for the night, eats and eats, and really loves the attention. I think her movement is the best I have ever bred. She ‘sits’ at the trot just playing, and has a big balanced canter. Mind you she likes to gallop flat out in the field too!

Later… March 16. 2009

Still snowing! Yes, it snowed yesterday, didn’t stay, but the white stuff came down! On a happy note my two broodmares are doing very well…I sure am glad I scanned Jen twice. She has just over two months to go and is as big as a house with her Sagnol baby. Britt seems to be growing steadily sideways; both are hungry all the time…and eat hay 24/7.

March 25th, 2009
I seem to be writing in spurts, can it be because I am a busy woman? Yup…it is!
Late, late spring this year…durned weather.

Much Later! April 5, 2009
Ah…spring really is going to arrive. It was actually warm here yesterday! I have to get this sent off to my Web Person for posting…I really do. I have been spreading manure and seeding grass….Foaling stall, a nice size one at 16x12 is all ready and areas are cleared down to hard pan for putting down gravel base and starting mare and foal shelters…

Much, much later…May 10, 2009
Mother Day……mares are shaping up with large bellies! Jen’s foal is due is 16 days or so. She is huge as usual, being of short legs looks even larger. Her legs are short due to malnutrition as a weanling; her foals sure do not have the same problem! So much outside work to do I just don’t get other things done like sending a journal entry in….
I have a really good start on the new run in shelter, and have pulled and cut and burned enough ivy to last the rest of my lifetime. Double ug!... I hate the stuff.

Sahara is doing so well; she has grown at least two inches, filled out and is beautiful! New pictures soon I promise. I have a trainer who is good with youngsters and will send her to be backed next month. Then if she doesn’t sell we will most likely breed her for a late 2010 foal.
I promise to get baby pictures up as soon as the first foal arrives.


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End of one year…Start of another: January 2009

Life is so difficult at times; I forget to count my blessings.
They are there, when I remember to look.


The sad news is we lost of Timbit…aka ‘Sure Now’ on December the 15th to complications post castration. I have never lost a weanling before and it destroyed me, I hardly was able to deal with Christmas, or the holidays. We checked him at 8pm Sunday night, gave him his antibiotics, and he was dead when I went out to feed at 6am Monday morning. Our Veterinarian had even dropped in Sunday morning just to check him again, and he seemed to be doing well.

Caring for the other horses, and my husband’s and daughter‘s love and care have helped me deal with this loss. I have to remember that life just keeps going on and has to be lived the best way we can. This year has been so full of challenges, pain, losses, and hard work I am glad it has finished. May 2009 be full of hope, joys, and new coloured foals. We have two tobiano babies coming in the late spring, both will be for sale. My 2008 filly Spring Silk (Sempatico x Jenny Turn) is growing …and growing even in mid-winter, and is still a wonderful, athletic, and fun filly.

The weather here this winter has been dreadful. We are known as the “Wet Coast”…it rains all winter…truly it does. This year we are the “White Coast”…snow and cold non-stop since the first week in December. Lack of snow plows, along with the ‘lotus land’ belief that ..”oh well it will melt”… has left us with icy roads, impassible side streets and commuting night mares! As I work off farm 5 days a week I am really looking forward to warm weather and spring!

Late January….life moves on.
We have purchased a two and a half year old tobiano filly that we bred and sold as a weanling. She is by Sempatico and out of the lovely producing TB mare Strathmiglo that we had on lease several years ago. Sahara is registered with the Canadian Sport Horse Association, and we will have her inspected after she is three for breeding approval. (This is the standard process for Canadian Sport Horses.) We look forward to Sahara maturing a bit and putting on some height as she is a bit on the small side. Her dam actually grew 2 inches between her four year old year and when I leased her back; I know this for a fact as I measured her originally as I owned her for a year before she was sold. So much for the myth that thoroughbreds mature early!

We may breed Sahara later this coming summer…have to see how she matures. She is a really pretty filly with superior movement; she has suspension and drive that is stunning! We are planning on breeding her midsummer, all being well, to Dreamscape Farm’s wonderful stallion Freestyle. He will give her more leg, hopefully more height, and if I get lucky she will give the foal her tobiano colour!

We put in more drainage by the shelters, put in more road base and gravel as well on the back drive way area, so one more piece of the farm is renovated. We have two more shelters to build, one this coming spring, one later! Maybe if one of the new foals sells I can afford it. Anyone mention that farms need a lot of TLC? Till next time, happy dreams, in colour.

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November 22 2008

Here We Are...


Horses and humans arrived at our new farm on Sept 30th 2008. Hallelujah…. we did it!! While we had brought over most of the barn supplies, all the hay, tack trunks and assorted ‘stuff’ in the weeks prior to the move while the mobile home was being set up moving was still a challenge.

There was of course, one last load from the barn...buckets, manure forks, hoses, isn't moving fun?  H4 Services, in the person of Kevan Garecki, moved all the horses over in one van load. Bless him and his patient ways, the haul went off easily and the horses settled in immediately…thank goodness.

The personal and household stuff was the easy too…of course there was one last load there too, at 9pm, stuff from the fridge, bits of garbage to get rid of, and of course the coffee pot, LOL. After the move, we settled in, weaned the foals, and focused on more ‘new property’ clean up, as the weather for most of October stayed reasonably nice. Several more loads to both the dump and to the metal recycle depot… Ho w can people make and leave such a mess behind? Ah well…it is starting to resemble a horse farm here…thank goodness.

  November now…the rain has been ghastly! I don’t have power to the barn…and with time change and dark wet rain….doing chores has been ugly. The contractor unfortunately dropped a large tree on the overhead power line from daughters’ house to the barn….I was planning on putting in underground power…in next year’s budget…..but isn’t that what over draft’s at the bank are for? Power and water needed to go to the shelters…so the plan was do it all at once. Ha…again the weather gods have other plans for me, rain, literally monsoons worth, have brought that plan to a halt. We finally got the pole by the shelter(for flood lights) in after the sky opened, and in a wondrous break in the weather this week, we have the water in to the shelter area, and the underground power cable in the trench as well…….

Power cable just went in to the barn …barn and shelter lights can happen after the electrician does his work…, then that project can rest, and my bank balance can recover!

  Timbit…aka Sure Now….is the only young one I have for sale, and the aforesaid bank balance needs the funds! Please call or email about him, he is a really lovely fellow, and we are willing to take offers at the moment. He isn’t castrated yet, when that expense happens his price will go up! At $8000.00 Canadian funds he is a lovely prospect for someone willing to wait for him to mature.




All in all we are happy with our move, come and visit, and “talk pinto” with us.


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September 26 2008

Almost Fall 2008…Getting There

Spring Silk attended the RPSI inspection in Langley and did very well….scored a 7.8 for a high Silver Premium. Filly was a tad nervous in the indoor ring so her trot was a bit tight…otherwise showed well. Long day, everyone is tired especially me. Rachel came and helped thank goodness, so a huge thank you goes out to my daughter! Spring took the bathing, braiding and hauling in stride, and barely flinched at the branding! Her temperament is super! We get to do it all again next year as Jen is in foal to Sagnol, (Sandro Hit x La Belle) for May of 2009.

On the new farm …well it is still a work in progress. All sorts of issues have come up…most are on their way to being solved. Our new home has arrived, a big relief….but a ton of work still needed to complete the home site. Skirting and stairs on the trailer, and all the hookups! Fields are mowed; riding ring is in “rehab”, it was a lovely sand ring however was over grown with weeds and needing a lot of work.

We have moved some of the paddock fencing….all the field fencing to put in. My fencing contractor, Al, from Duel Fencing, who is a total gem of a person, is starting the work on September 18th and says it will take at least a week to complete. Only hiccup is we have an easement for an oil transmission line in the back field, and have to have Kinder Morgan out to tell us where it is safe to pound posts! Wouldn’t want to blow up the neighborhood as it is a high pressure line...hopefully well underground! Fencing will be finished, please God, before we have to move.

The large shelter is being divided to use for two paddocks, and “horse-proofed”, as I have a belief that all horse will attempt to damage themselves given any opportunity. That is the nature of the critters!
Barn is cleaned out…repairs in progress. Rachel has sprayed down the barn completely with a pressure wash, as it was full of dust, cobwebs, nasty junk, and smelled bad. Such a difference now! The wiring needs to be check by the electrician this coming week and some adjustments made.

And…best news…Brittany, AKA Noisette…her papers have arrived from Sweden. Well worth the wait! She has “green” papers… How appropriate for our environmental times…heheheeee! As I read the rules, they are the top papers for a Swedish Warmblood. Since Brittany has already been inspected for breeding approval with Canadian Sport Horse last year, her paper work is being finished, …and in 6 weeks or so that paper her papers will come back. Timbit, Britt’s 2008 colt will be registered as Sure Now. Paperwork for full Canadian Sport Horse papers for him is in the works. He will be gelded in the next few months, and weaned the end of October so will be ready for a new owner.
Email me to discuss terms!

Just over two weeks till moving day…I am not ready! I keep telling myself that life will slow down after September. 70 to 80 hours a week between my work “off farm” and my work “on farm” is just too much!


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August 9 2008



Joys of Moving a Farm…One day at a time!


Well, as of July 25, 2008 we officially own our new place….! Rachel and Keith have moved into the house and are busy renovating and loving it.

Beware my rant… I have been struggling to get City Hall to issue me permits to put in new septic system and put my mobile home on the property. Less than helpful does not come close to describing City Hall. We have been attempting to get a check list of the steps City Hall requires for two months….nothing but difficulties. Only by consulting with professional contractors did we find out what was necessary, albeit slowly!

We have finally, at some cost, gotten the engineered drawing and health permits for the new septic, thanks to Arden Consulting Engineers, good firm to work with by the way. However Chilliwack City Hall seems to think that two months is a “short time” to expect to get a building permit! We are hopefully going to try again next week…my Notary Public and Real Estate Agent have been awesome in working to speed the process for us, thank goodness. Such things as registered Covenants, letters of undertaking and documents even my notaries are speechless over have been drafted…UG!

Septic installation will, I hope, start next week, August 11, and site prep for the trailer after that as soon as said Covenants are registered at Land Titles office. Anyone wanting to put a mobile or modular on their farm can consult me….such things I know now! LOL

Back to the horse stuff…. Jen did indeed conceive on the second Sagnol breeding…and she was also rescanned Aug 1, nice health heart beat in there. Jen was rechecked, mainly to placate Dr Kerstin who is a worry wart of the highest degree! Mamma Jen was not impressed, but baby-heart is beating in there in fine form. Spring Silk, this year’s Sempatico foal wonderful, tallest foal Jen has had, and shedding out black bay!

Brittany was scanned in foal to Sempatico on Aug 1st… she conceived on first AI this year…wonderful. Her 2008 colt, “Sure Now” is a very ‘solid’, muscular, and pretty boy, and is just now starting to grow up rather than out! He is a powerhouse when he moves, very ‘up’ in front. Mamma Britt’s Swedish papers are on their way back from Sweden, so we will get CSHA approval soon I hope.

We are starting the clean-up on the barn and riding ring at the new place, the latter over grown with weeds. And I am buying a new tractor and brush cutter (mower)…very exciting! Fields are good, just neglected and mounds of briars to cut and eradicate. My fencing contractor will come and take measurements next week too, so new fences can be started. We are moving hay and supplies over each weekend, and doing numerous dump runs. Tack boxes to clean out…more piles to discard…sheesh. Amazing how much stuff I have …again …accumulated. Has it been only 10 years here?

I keep trying to be philosophical and tell myself to take this one day at a time and all good things will happen. This is hard for me by nature, and as I work off farm full time I have to trust the contractors will go forward as discussed. Weekends are NOT long enough, so I am taking a week or two of my holidays at the end of Aug to work “on farm” full time.

Till next time, wish me luck, send prayers, or drop by; but careful we may put visitors to work!


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June 20, 2008

Welcome to Summer!


First order of business…a big welcome to our coloured colt by Sempatico out of Brittany. He was born June 21, the first day of summer, and made me late for work Baby boy has long correct legs, lovely markings, and a very pretty head with the best head/poll/ neck connection one could ask for. We are calling him Timothy for a barn name…and he is getting Timbit already! Brittany’s ‘real’ name is Noisette 26. Yes, we will be getting a duplicate copy of her Swedish papers…these things do take time. Big thank you to Jan Brinks of Tullstorp Dressage Stables in Sweden, who is taking the time out of his very busy schedule to make this happen! Noisette is by Nocturne out of a mare called Zaffran who is by Pontus. Hummm…guess I will have to read up on Swedish bloodlines!



Second order of business…we have completed the purchase of our new farm. Well at least the down payment….we get the keys on July 24, 2008. Of course it needs work…fencing needs to be replaced, the barn is there, but need modification for my needs, a second home has to be put on, little (Ha!) details like that! Luckily we have until the end of September to modify as we have this place leased back until then. And guess what….there are briars to be cut and sprayed and dug out. Every place I have had needs briar eradication! Seriously the whole family is happy as the land is excellent, and it is in a nice quite area of Chilliwack.

In other happenings, Jennys Turn is bred to Sagnol again…hope she took this time. She double ovulated last time, and looking back in my records, when she has done that before, for what even reason she doesn’t “catch”. And I may be getting a Dutch kuer mare on lease for a year….not sure yet. I may even breed to a solid colour foal…gasp. Plans are still up in the air with that.

The sad news is Rachel did not get accept into Vet school this year….a lot of applicants for 15 seats…not sure what she will decide but she can reapply for next year. Most women Vets I know have told me it took three tries to get accepted!

More news in a few weeks.

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June 1, 2008

Farm Hunt, Foals and Freak-outs

As the world turns, well my world anyway.

For the last few weeks I have been in a low grade ‘freak-out’, anxiety driven mode….our place has been sold for some time, and while we have a lease-back until Sept 30th this year, I have been feeling totally homeless…most unpleasant. Family…my daughter and my hubby, has decided we should not move to the Okanagan area. For lots of reasons, valid ones too. The area is not how we pictured it, and during farm hunting we have driven the length and breadth of it….at least the North Okanagan part. Did not appeal to either my husband or myself the way we thought it would. Other big reasons, we both have steady work here, a network of friends, many helpful acquaintances, and above all, our daughter.

So…tada, drum roll please…we are planning the purchase of acreage here in Chilliwack in partnership with our daughter and son-in law! Yeah I know… “the best laid plans of horse owners, often go astray” (apologies to Robert Burns). Rachel gets the credit for coming up with the plan, Brenda, our Realtor for driving back and forth to show umpteen different properties, and enduring family discussions about their merits and drawbacks. We are still looking for the right place…soon, soon I tell myself.

We are close to our daughter and her partner Keith, and when daughter gets into Vet School…no word on interview yet…we will be here to visit during school breaks. And best of all… 30 minutes from the Abbotsford Airport…with flights to Saskatoon and “The Vet School”!

Of course there will be fencing to do, shelters to build, and oh no not again…probably quantities of briars to be removed. UG! There always is fencing to do as every place we have seen says there is fencing, but it turns out to be old barbed wire, sagging page wire, or other unsafe horrors. But we will have two or three months in which to prepare. I can do that, I can! If the property has a barn that will be just fine, if not I will build one!

My long anticipated filly, who still does not have a name, is wonderful…growing into her legs….and continues to delight me. Britt is large and getting larger by the day. Her “due” date at 340 is July 1, Canada Day…so what about “Canadian Colours” for a name! Or maybe “Simply Irish” as my husband (Irish born and raised) made three rushed trips to the airport in Vancouver to retrieve the semen as Brittany did not conceive the first two tries. It will be nice to have two foals, so they can play together and not torment their mommas. Britt looks to go ‘early’…but who knows with mares! Jen was bred this morning to Sagnol (Sandro Hit x Landadel) and we will scan her Monday for ovulation. Doing the conception dance here!

Everyone send positive vibes for the right, and affordable farm to find us!

This is going to be one busy summer!

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May 6 2008



Spring has sprung…actually more like crawled into being. May has warmed up a bit, but April was cold wet and nasty. We won’t mention the last part of March. New ‘F’ word flurries, yes snow flurries, here on the wet West Coast in April!

Several pieces of wonderful news. Firstly, Jen foaled out in the wee hours of May 5th, and yes I go my belated Christmas gift! A filly! A homozygous tobiano filly! Since both her sire and dam are homozygous for the tobiano gene…she is too! Beautifully marked, may shed out black and white as she is a strange mousy color now. This filly looks a lot like her sire Sempatico in markings, and has legs that are really long. When she comes up on her back fetlocks she will be even taller. Just about the best ever…Can you tell I am in love? Rachel and I were midwives, not that Jen needs much help, as this is her 11th foal, 7th for me. The best of mothers, easy to handle, loving and very attentive to her babies. One Grand Dame this mare.

Pictures of the new filly posted soon but for now a sneak preview of her at a few hours old. We don’t have a name yet…sigh. So for now “Girl Child” is it.

May 5th filly

And the second piece of news, Shanniah has sold and gone off to her new and attentive owner here in BC. Our family is delighted that ‘Shan’ has found just the right human to bring her along in her training, show her, and enjoy her. All the best Kim, stay in touch!

Britt is huge and not due till late June. Yes, she was scanned pre and post breeding…only one in there to the best of the good Dr Kerstin’s ultra-sounding skills. And yes she is very good. Mind you Brittany is a big substantial mare! And now the grass is coming in solidly she will get even bigger, this momma mare loves to eat. But then all my mares do.

Our hunt for a new farm continues. Long weekend trips, rushed one day mad drives four hours each way, and then driving about looking and looking once we are there. My realtor is a doll; she has driven up numerous times to help us see places. Her name is Brenda Quanstrum-Louth, for anyone wanting the best in ethical, dedicated and attentive service. She has a wonderful sense of humor too!

We will find the right place, we will, we will. Or at least that is my current mantra!

Stay tuned.

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March 2008



This entry has been delayed but here it is. Read on.


Ah, a new year, lots of new happenings here at JMR Pintos.

But first, breeding choices! I have booked Jen to Sagnol (Sandro Hit x LaBelle) for the 2008 breeding This line is reputed to be a tad ‘hot’ (although I don’t see this so much with Sagnol), but Jen is most mellow and laid back, so the foal should make the best amateur dressage mount…IF someone is courageous enough to ride a tobiano pinto in the 60 meter ring! Yes, as Jen is homozygous for the tobiano gene this foal will be colored…and it will be bay and white…Jen has had 10 foals…ALL bay and white so the odds are she is double agouti….along with being homozygous for the tobiano gene.

Now if Jen does not produce ‘the filly’ that is ordered I may have to use the Sempatico semen for her and …gasp…breed for a solid foal with Brittany…who I will have for another breeding season. Yippee. While no spots the foal would move a 10.

I have purchased a breeding to Sempatico (Semper x Indian Dream) for Britt…..but changes can happen.


The other “mare news” is I may have Strathmiglo back. She is the TB mare who several years ago I leased, and had inspected with Canadian Sport Horse. She did quite well for a middle aged mare straight out of the field too! Her owner has some health issues, and must sell most of her horses, and I am please to be able to acquire this special mare.

Glo will most likely be bred to Sonnata for, hopefully, a repeat of Arwen, the lovely tobiano filly I sold to Oregon, USA

The biggest news though is we have sold the farm…really we have! The city here in Chilliwack is moving in on us, and the opportunity to sell arose, so I took it.

I will miss my farm, having worked very hard to clear away, meters and meters of fallen down barbed wire, acres of briars, to fence paddocks and pastures safely, build shelters and a barn. Yes I did a lot of it myself in my spare, (ha) time. Our daughter Rachel has finished her Bachelor of Science degree and has applied to Veterinary School, so change was looming anyway.

So to all you horse people out there, please add your prayers that Rachel is accepted at the University of Saskatoon, School of Veterinary Medicine. She has worked hard both in University and in the ‘real world’, has a ton of experience with horses and cattle, and is the most dedicated young woman I know!

Never fear though, we are in the process of acquiring more land, most likely in the Okanogan area of BC, which is a few hours drive away. The area is dryer and a bit more suitable for raising horses, two small cities, Vernon and Kelowna, and some smaller towns, for me to have a part time ‘day job’. Having acquired a Masters degree some years ago I feel obligated to use it! Besides I like my work, both on and on and off farm.

So stay tuned for further developments. We will have one, possibly two foals for sale this year, 2008, and most likely three next year.


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All I want for Christmas…and other dreams!

Besides a healthy family and herd of pinto horses you ask? For my beloved mare Jen to have a filly in May, when she is due to foal! As she is homozygous for the tobiano gene, and the sire is as well, I know it will be a tobiano foal. I am looking at a 50% chance of a filly. So I am praying hard for a filly, as Jen is getting older, and I dearly want a replica of her to continue breeding. Well…as close of a replica as I can get! If she gives me a colt, well I will forgive her and try again, all being well. And if is a colt he will be for sale, and make some lucky buyer a lovely young prospect.

See my sale page for details on a ‘colt option’ inutero sale opportunity.

Brittany can have a filly or a colt, it is up to her. See how generous I can be giving that mare a choice? Jen doe NOT get one…filly required! Both mares are expanding on schedule, eating and hanging out, just as broodmares should. Patting their bellies, hugging their necks, and listening to them contentedly munch on their hay is the best Christmas present ever!

I am toying with the idea of getting another broodmare. Finding just the right one is difficult for me as I am really fussy and have a limited budget. Actually the people who purchase my youngsters are fussy….just as it should be.

I have to like my mares, enjoy being around them, feel safe with them. They have to have a temperament that is pleasant, and pass it on to their offspring. Along with, of course balanced, correct confirmation, aptitude for sport, and a willingness to please humans!

Otherwise life has been good, weather has been cold and snowy on and off, lots of rain and dark cloudy days, typical ‘West Coast wet’. Counting the days till winter solstice when the days start thinking about getting longer, and working at getting ready for Christmas, if that is possible!

Till next time, Merry Christmas and the very best wishes for 2008.

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It is Still Fall…2007

Well changes here. Arwen didn’t go off to school, but Shanniah did in her place. Someone had to go to school, right?

Arwen is sold and has gone off to her new…and adoring….owner Jennifer. So she never did get to go to “school”, but never fear, new human owner Jen is attending to that and reports Arwen has been backed with no problems, in fact was very easy. After a few rides Arwen will get the winter off to finish growing up.

Shanniah is doing amazingly well…Wild blue tarps, big western saddles, barn isle blowers, wash racks and trailers…not too much phases her now. She walks and trots happily about the indoor, with or with out other horses about. Even hacks out alone to explore the vast expanses of a large hay field. LOL

However I do wish her withers would start to grow as well as her butt….I even made the owner of dam and sire go out and carefully them…yup level, even a tad up hill in the case of the dam. There is hope yet…LOL

Maeve, the yearling, continues to eat…and grow….and be adored by my daughter Rachel. She has to be the most easy going and relaxed young horse I have ever raised.

We are currently looking at another mare to join the broodmare band…updates when we know if it will happen! I did purchase another Sempatico breeding for 2008…just in case!

Otherwise we are pretty quiet here; wet rain keeps humans inside, and the horses in their three sided shelters.


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Journal Fall 2007

Well the calendar may say it is fall…but here on the West Coast, where summer didn’t really happen…it seems like winter is fast approaching!

Regardless…we have been busy. My beloved older mare, Jennys Turn is now inspected with RPSI. She was not impressed with being scrubbed, scoured, polished, braided and hauled off an hours’ drive to the Inspection site. She passed, albeit into a lower book…she is old, saggy, and lame from severe neglected injuries she sustained prior to my buying her.

This mare out produces herself every time, and her foals are often the ones that sell first. Can you tell I adore this old girl?

About my lease mare, Brittany…. it turns out she was inspected with Canadian Sport Horse last year, but needs her Swedish papers…on which we are still waiting…to complete the approval process. Hopefully they will come soon? However, her 2007 filly by Cunningham is weaned off and returned to her owners, and momma Britt has settled down to eat and grow her 2008 Sempatico foal. She and Jen are co-existing nicely together…and eating for four I might add, my hay bill this winter will be impressive.

Both two year old fillies are growing…at least behind. Since all parents of said fillies are of the correct shape I believe the ‘reverse giraffe’ impression they both are currently doing will correct itself over time! Arwen is almost 16.2 behind, and Shanniah, while not that tall at 15.3 is making up in width. Arwen is “leaving home” on October 8th 2007 to learn to become a ‘show girl’. Well at least she is going for some more basic training, learning to become a show horse. Hauling calmly and happily, being bathed in a wash rack, and being backed at a walk are on the curriculum. She has not been off farm so she has some adjusting to do, however the farm she is going to feeds well, so Arwen will be happy. <smile>

The yearling solid bay filly Maeve, (the one who came without the asked for colour)…well she is growing so rapidly I cannot keep weight on her. Yes, the worms are killed off regularly, quantities of good hay are being consumed, concentrates and supplements are regularly fed…ribs still show, sigh. I even had my Veterinarian do her teeth…just in case.

Maeve reminds me of my daughter, who as a youngster did the same thing. Rachel is now almost 6 foot tall as an adult woman. But that is OK, as her father, her boyfriend and I all adore her. Rachel loves Maeve to bits and it looks like Maeve will be tall enough for Rachel’s future riding horse.

Farm work continues…doesn’t it always?....branches and leaves to be burned, gutters to be cleaned out, odd repairs to fencing to be finished. Good thing I was born a ‘farmer’.

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Hello Again!

I did write a March entry, but I never sent it in to be put up on my site….Oh well!
So summer is here…I think. We have somehow interspersed a few really hot days with bouts of cold nasty rain…didn’t help getting the mares bred!

The mare we acquired as a broodmare during the winter did not work out sad to say.. she went back to her owner.
So we have a new lease mare, Brittany (barn name), is owned by Brent and Laura Balisky of Langley BC, and has generously been lease to us for the 2007 breeding season.

Britt is an imported Swedish mare and had a successful career in the hunter ring before retiring to be a professional broodmare. We are awaiting her papers from Sweden, so I do not even know her pedigree at this point…but lovely moving, superb temperament, good conformation, and excellent mom. Not that I know a lot about Swedish pedigrees…but I bet it is good!

Brittany is being bred to Sempatico…we hope she has conceived! We have now bred her three times! Third time a charm, right? Mare is clean, cycling well, healthy, AI timing “perfect” to quote my Vet, semen good,….and mare NOT getting pregnant. We will find out about Aug 12th if this time it worked.

I will not add up what Vet fees, ultrasound scan fees, collection/shipping fees, lab fees, cost me. I will not, I will not, I will not.

However, my accountant will point it out, while I hide my head in the sand. Sure will be a super foal if Brittany is pregnant. We are praying hard here. Ah the joys of breeding.

Jennys Turn was scanned in foal to Sempatico in early June, so is due early May, 2008. We are really hoping for a filly to keep, if a colt it will be for sale.

Bless this mare; due to severe injury before I bought her, she has only been a broodmare…a job she is excellent at. Although she is 18years old this year I am going to present her to the RPSI this fall. I hope they can see past her damaged legs and sagging top line to the excellence of her produce, and her big heart. Jen is pregnant with her 11th
foal.

Let see what else….hay shed is full; paddock footing getting worked on….sale pictures getting done. Mowing is an ongoing task as we have had so much rain this year…good pasture though.

Life on the farm is a joy.

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December 24, 2006

Well winter has arrived… At least the days are getting longer now! Here in the Lower Mainland of BC Canada we had a superb fall, lots of sunshine with an occasional rainy day to water the grass, and then November came with wind, snow storms and dreadful weather. Guess it was too good to last.

Our new mare will be arriving at the end of the December and pictures will be posted!
I am looking forward to this mare, thank you to my veterinarian Dr. Kerstin Schwichtenberg for arranging for us have this wonderful addition to our broodmare herd. She is by the Canadian Warmblood Hanoverian stallion Goodwill and is Canadian Warmblood papered. I will be getting her inspected for breeding approval with Canadian Sport Horse next spring.

Sales, among other horse activates, have kept me busy this summer and fall.
We only have one yearling, Arwen, and one weanling, Maeve left! Arwen is going to be a wonderful mare, however at the moment she does resemble a reverse giraffe! Growing does not describe her! Her butt is a good 2 ½ inch higher than her withers and her legs still seem too long for her..sigh. Maybe I should just hide her 'till she is three or maybe four? In spite of her growth pattern she has a wonderful "hunter" trot, and the biggest lightest canter! How she can do this with her bum up in the air I don't know! Maeve continues to be a really mellow and laid back filly, I have forgiven her for arriving without tobiano coloring…sigh.

Farm life being what it is the work never stops. Since we have lots of big trees around the house and trees and hedges by the fence lines there is always a big pile of pruning and leaves to be raked, piled, and burnt. Since we live in a very wet winter climate here on the west coast of Canada there is the constant battle to keep the horses high and dry in the winter in their turn out areas. This fall I redid two paddocks with sand/crusher dust mix, and put large rubber mats down in the run in shelters…Gawd those things are heavy to put in place. Thank goodness for hubby, daughter and daughter's boyfriend. Thank you to my family for all their help.

I have no foals coming this spring as I decided last spring that I had too many four legged critters in the family…now after all my sales I wish I had bred Jennys Turn for a 2007 foal. However Jen and my new mare Goodwill Evening Silhouette, barn name Scarlet, will be bred to Silverwood Farms' Sempatico for 2008 tobiano foals. Sempatico is homozygous for the tobiano gene so I am guaranteed colored.

All the best for a Happy and prosperous 2007!

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July 9, 2006

Sheesh …time is speeding by and I cannot get caught up this year.
Glo, who is my lease TB mare, and to quote her owner, "takes motherhood seriously", foaled 17 days early, giving me an anxiety attack. Yes, when I went back and recounted days, using the 340 as a 'due' date she was 17 whole days early. Now of course there is no such thing as a 'due date' with mares and while early foals can be OK, I read the textbooks even if the mares don't! I know all the possibly things that can and often do go wrong, worrying aside, as I wrote earlier, the filly is fine.

I may take more time to recover.

Mind you this filly did manage to knock her fetlock on something last week, and has a 'baby lump' that will most like disappear quickly as she is not lame or sore on it. Still I worry. Someone asked what she was worth, and I laughed.
"Which part of her?" I said, as there were stud fees, shipping the semen fees, many dollars in uterine culture and cytology fees, ultrasounds, and other various Veterinary expenses, all 'normal' costs of breeding mares long distance. I am scared to add it up, and oh yes, the stallion stands in the USA so the booking fee, stud fee, and shipping costs were in US dollars last year. Then mare care costs for 11+ months, feed, vaccinations, worming, trims, and any costs related to foaling are minimal if one is lucky, just a 'healthy foal check' at 24 hours.

However, careful attentive care aside, foals can and do get ill and hurt. Infected belly buttons, two in the last two years, needing antibiotics, one mare with mastitis, again care and antibiotics; but compared to some breeders I have been lucky.

All this to say is, breeders carry a huge set of risks, including occasional mares that refuse to conceive with a foal at side for no known medical reason! We tried with Chocolate Fox two years ago for four, yup fourcycles, and while she conceived once she lost it at 28 days. I was about to give up but sent her to a friends place the next spring to be live covered by this friends' coloured warmblood stallion. Yes, my solid bay filly Maeve is the result Fox was bred one cycle, early in the year, when neither the stallion owner or I thought she would 'take'. I won't mention the costs on that one as she is an 18 hour drive away from me. Mare is a four letter word!

The reason for my carrying on about this you may ask? Is that the real costs of producing quality horses needs to be recognized, and thus the price of young health well cared for prospects.

It is not a matter of turning your mare out with some neighbours' stallion because it is there, or a 'cheap' stud fee; and leaving her there. Not a matter of tossing her some hay and hoping 11 months later she foals out OK. To produce a quality potential riding horses, suitable for the aims of your breeding program, takes time, money, emotional investment and suitable surrounding to do well. OK rant over!

On the bright side my Sonata x Chocolate Fox filly Maeve, who was 'supposed' to come with tobiano colour pattern…is learning to trot, and is oh so lovely, correct, and friendly!!! Huge too, and thinks humans were put on earth to scratch her and love her She has two coloured parents, she just was the 25% chance of a solid colour which happens breeding heterozygous tobiano pinto to heterozygous tobiano pinto and arrived a solid bay without even white socks, but I have forgiven all because everything else about her is superb. Steven O'Reilly who came huge with baby legs going every which way has turned into the sweetest friendliest foal I have ever had…and is going to be a super big fellow. Scheherazade, the afore mentioned Sempatico filly, is truly elegant. Refined, and a beautiful head and neck, the rest of her ain't bad either! Her trot is breathtaking as she literally dances across the ground.

We are giving Jen a year off from mamma hood, and waiting for Eve and Arwen to grow up before deciding which one we will keep and breed. Quiet winter and spring but there will always be work to be done here. We raise horses, y'know!

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May 31, 2006


I have decided to start an on line journal, to share the joys and difficulties of being a breeder of colored sporthorses. My purpose is to offer some insight into the struggles and costs, both monetary and emotional of breeding and raising horses; along with the intense highs and lows that happen. Sometimes I will rant, sometimes cry, and sometimes I will share the ecstatic moments of being a 'horse mum'.

Often non-breeders and those who purchase young horses do not understand the commitment, time, sweat equity, and tears, of both sadness and joy, that come with this passion of breeding horses.

I hope you will find it, if nothing else, entertaining! If I cannot laugh and enjoy the day to day humor of “horse breeding stuff” it would be sad. I have been active in this endeavor for more than 20 years and the more I do I discover the less I know. Stay with me, I will share the “not knowing” and the attempts to acquire more knowledge.

Lots of people say they breed for top performers…nice idea, but that takes more resources, connections, and pure luck than I have. I breed for horses that I, as an adult amateur of ‘extended age’, would like to ride. Hunters, event horses, lower level dressage horses. One day if I am lucky one of my horses may make it to “Grand Prix something”…till then I will breed with the aim of lovely temperament, good conformation, expressive movement, and some tobiano colour when I am lucky.

Even with the old adage of breeding the best to the best, coupled with good care, attention to nutrition, and excellent support from one’s Veterinarian and Farrier there is a whole lot of luck involved. Now my husband is Irish by birth and raising, so just maybe some of the “luck of the Irish” will rub off on me!

After I wrote this my lease TB mare presented me with a bay and white tobiano filly, the sire is Sempatico who is a 100 day tested (in Germany) warmblood who is homozygous for the tobiano gene. She is a stunning filly, in spite of arriving 12 days early, is healthy and beautiful too! More on her in the next journal entry.

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