Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008


As many of you know, I have wanted a Great Pyrenees ever since I moved out here to my little farm. Well, today my wish came true and Samson (pictured above) became the first part of my belated Christmas present to myself (second part arrives next week--stay tuned!). Samson is a purebred GP, both parents around 120 #'s, so he will be a nice, big boy to keep tabs on the place for me. Since he is so young (8 weeks old) I'm keeping him inside for a bit to get aquainted with me and Sophie and Charlie, but then he'll go outside and to work. He already prefers to be outside--he wants to stay out and play during our potty breaks! I'm so happy to welcome Samson to our little farm. He's the absolutely perfect addition to our family!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Update on Paula

On March 1, 2008, I allowed my dear, pregnant mare Larry and her daughter Paula to leave my hands. I am 33 years old and this is the single biggest regret of my life. Larry and her foal did not make it and when I picked up Paula on September 23, 2008, she looked like this:

Today, December 26, 2008, three months after the above photo was taken, Paula looks like this:

I cannot stress this enough--never, ever lease your horse out to Cecilia (Sandy) Jarvis of Elk City, OK (aka Diamond J Ranch). They've now moved, so I'm not sure if they are in the same area, so do not rely on her location alone. Her other horses looked fine, but for some reason she felt the need to dump mine off, according to her own words, at her parent's place "up on the mountain." She never contacted me when my mare died--she only told me after I contacted her, TWO WEEKS later. It is obvious that Paula was only lacking one thing--FEED. There was absolutely no reason for her condition and absolutely no reason why my mare Larry and her foal is dead.

I know people are probably sick of this but I can't thank Darlene Worthington enough for helping me save Paula. I don't know what I would have done without her. When I called her and told her Larry was dead, she could have just told me she was sorry and left it at that, but she jumped into my problem with both feet and set about helping me outline a plan to get Paula back. She had her trailer completely ready for me to borrow by the time I got to her place, texted and called me to make sure I was ok all along the trip that terrible night, and let me crash at her place, as well as letting PAULA crash at her place for a couple of months, rehabilitating her for me and me unable to pay her. I just can't thank her enough for her incredible selflessness and being such a true friend to me. Without her help, I would have been lost. It hurts so much to have lost Larry like that, but Darlene helped pull both Paula and I through it all. Thank you Darlene!!!!

Goldseekers Choice

Now that I have Seeker back home, I thought I'd write a little about what a lovely mare she is.

I've had Seeker for about three years now. I've sold her twice and she's come back to me twice--seems I'm meant to keep her :) She is a 1993 APHA mare who I believe is splash overo. She was bred by Linda Beavers who is now Linda Gordon (Fossil Gate Farms). Here is a baby picture of her:
Her pedigree isn't the most popular, but it is very solid. Her sire was an APHA World Champion in halter and her dam was a granddaughter of the AQHA Supreme Champion Goldseeker Bars.

She is deaf and a cribber, which means it's been difficult to find a home for her, but she truly is the easiest mare you'd ever handle. When I got her she was in foal to a 30 year old cutting stud. She had Windy, a minimal overo filly who was quite cute. She now lives on a farm in North Dakota:
The year after she had a gorgeous solid (I think maybe her only solid foal) filly by my stallion, but tragically she was a red bag delivery. We have no idea what caused it as that area has no fescue in it at all. The vet did find an extra placenta, so we think there may have been a twin that was not completely aborted and it caused problems late in pregnancy. We fought for 12 hours to save the filly's life and the entire time Seeker stayed right beside us, watching intently and ready to give milk anytime we needed to feed her baby (who was unable to stand). She had a massive convulsion and passed away and we buried her out in our pasture. Seeker was such a trooper the entire time.
This year Seeker had a gorgeous colt by Eddie: Fabian. Fabian will definitely be going on to bigger and better things in the near future!

Seeker is now approaching 16 and I don't want to see anything happen to her, so she will be staying with me unless one of my close friends wants to lease her for a year. I've also spoken to the local 4H group and they are interested in borrowing her as a leadline horse for their summer program. Maybe in a few years I'll want to breed her again but for now she's semi-retired, maybe taken for a trail ride once in a while but mostly asked to teach the babies manners, and just be her beautiful, quietly dignified self.

Monday, December 22, 2008

"But it's not a halter horse!"

A little rant here: I get really tired of hearing people defending breeding crap by saying they don't breed halter horses. Bull shit. Quality is quality and a horse must have correct conformation to do its job. We have a saying where I work--you put crap in, you get crap out, and while they're talking about a database I think that applies to breeding horses as well. Let's take a look at some good examples.

Of course I have to include what I think is the most beautiful horse of all time: Zan Parr Bar. People know him primarily for cow-horse bloodlines:

He was just about as good as it gets: notice the angle on his shoulder, the trapazoid structure of his barrel almost jumps out at you, he is balanced (length of neck, back, and hip are equal), he has well structured hocks, his bottom line is almost twice as long as his topline and he has a smart head. Some people don't like a croup like his, but this is a matter of personal preference--I think it balances out his withers well and he looks like a horse I'd love to ride.

Here is the site of someone else who gets it. Yes, these are cow horses, not halter horses, but the majority of them are gorgeous animals with CORRECT conformation:

I especially like Pepto Chexx. He's a cutie (AND correct):

Again, no halter horse, but this horse is built right, so he's going to ride right. He has great feet and good angles to his legs, so he'll stay sound while at work. This is not rocket science.

Now let's flip that around and take a look at a halter horse that has poor conformation:

They are trying to halter this foal, but I bet you money that he's not doing very well. He has a straight shoulder, his pasterns slope way too much, and while it's hard to tell because he's not set up right, his hocks are way too weak, his hip is way too short and his throatlatch is very coarse. This horse isn't awful, mind you, but he is going to be hard to ride and will not do well in a halter class.
We're all on a learning curve here and I definitely need to learn a lot myself. However, making excuses for breeding junk doesn't help anyone. Study and learn so the horses you produce can go on to great things rather than end up on a long trailer ride to a Mexican slaughterhouse.

Monday, December 8, 2008

No Butts About It....

these girls are FABULOUS!!! :)
(Paula, Bambi, and Baby on 12/7/08)

Welcome Home Fabian!

I just can't thank Linda and Barry Cole enough for giving me the opportunity to own this colt. They could have certainly sold him, with his pedigree, looks, and gorgeous coloring, but instead they chose to allow me the opporunity to raise and show this fine young colt. I also should say this is a welcome home for his momma, Seeker! It is soooo good to have her back home. I've had her for almost 4 years now, and missed her easy-going, quietly dignified personality over the last year or so. The Coles took such outstanding care and saved Seekers life. Without their dedication Fabian would not be here today.

Seeker is being considered for the local 4H program in Peculiar. We are working out the details on a lease to ensure this special mare is well cared for and I'm sure she will enjoy all the attention from the children. When she's done with the program she'll come back to me. Maybe by then the market will have improved and I can breed her to Eddie once again for another fabulous foal like Fabian :)

Fabian is going through a bit of an awkward stage right now, but watch out for this boy come spring! I love his quiet attitude, in addition to his other attributes. He's going to be a very fun boy to show! I can't wait!!

Baby's Progress

Just thought I would update everyone on Baby as well. She is coming along very well. I tell myself I have to be patient--she went through so much in her short life that it's going to take her years to recover fully, if she ever does. Right now she is healthy, steadily gaining and growing, and has the CUTEST personality every. She loves people, but she sure stands her ground against the other horses! Her tendons are still a little tight but so far she's doing well on pasture and we're sure watching her diet closely. It's going to be a tightwalking act for probably another year at least between her growth and watching those front legs, but thankfully the experience I gained down in Texas with leg issues is coming in very handy now, and hopefully Baby will be big and strong when she grows up!

The Transformation

Most anyone who knows me knows the story of Bambi and what a terrible waste it was, that ate away at me constantly, for her to end up all but dead at two months old. If it wasn't for the kindness of my good friend Darlene Worthington, I am sure that Bambi would be dead today. Here is how she looked at two months old:

I was heartbroken that someone, a person who I thought would appreciate this foal maybe more than most, would allow this to happen simply because she lacked the humility to say "I screwed up and I need help feeding my horses." I was angered because my gut had told me not to let this happen, but I traded hope for judgement and let things fall into place. Now looking back, it was a terrible situation, but Bambi was absolutely worth every bit of heartache and B.S. we had to go through to save her. Here she is, pictures taken on 12/7/08, just being her lovely self out in the pasture:

Doesn't even look like the same horse, does it? Amazing what 7 months of just proper basic care will do. Well, that and love. As mad as I was about the situation, now I feel blessed to now own this amazing filly. She has completely blown everyone who knows her away--not only by her amazing recovery but just what a truly outstanding filly she has become. She's gorgeous, and has a very cute, sweet temperament that makes everyone fall in love with her when they meet her. How lucky am I not only have bred but now own such a great filly?!?! The situation surrounding how I came about owning her completely sucked (no other way of describing it) but however it happened, I feel very lucky to be able to now call this filly mine :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Maybe Baby

I got the most wonderful email yesterday from the lady who, 2 years ago now, had purchased Maybe, Eddie's 2006 filly out of Triples Paintd Chick, a mare I lost when Maybe was only 6 weeks old. Pictured above is Maybe, all grown up. My friend adopted Maybe out to a good friend of hers so she could go on to bigger and better things. She is currently being started under saddle and has been given a new name: "Treasure." Looks like Treasure has certainly been treasured both by her former and present owner. She looks fantastic and it is heartwarming to see that a "little" orphaned filly out of a 14.2H mare (if that) can grow up to be such a big, gorgeous mare. I am very proud of Treasure--her balanced frame, good legs and feet. Most of all, though, it is so nice knowing that a horse I bred is out there being enjoyed, well cared for and loved. Thanks so much to Stephanie and Lucy for taking such good care of Treasure!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

With a little help from my friends....

Earlier last year I traded Bambi's dam, Cilla for a gorgeous 21 year old ROM producing broodmare named Crazy (who is now owned and being spoiled rotten by my good friend Vicki Morgan). I also sold Seeker, my deaf splash overo mare whom I've had seemingly forever, to the same wonderful people--Gary and Linda Cole. Well, during the whole chaotic mess with me getting divorced and moved to Texas, someone picked up the wrong horse and Linda thankfully worked it out to get Seeker back. However, when she did get Seeker, she had a huge abscess that eventually took off her entire back hoof! We have no idea where or how this happened, but Linda performed a miracle and brought Seeker through it all! Of course with Seeker in considerable pain she did consider euthanizing her, but when Seeker was checked in foal and evaluated, the decision was made that there was a chance they could save two lives here. In order to pay for all the expensive treatments Seeker needed at K-state Linda was forced to sell Cilla. It was not her fault at all what happened to her and Bambi. I actually knew the person they were sold to and hoping to give her the benefit of the doubt that she would properly care for them I said nothing to Linda. Linda has done nothing but taken amazing care of my girls and I will be forever in her debt for saving not only Seeker's life, but the life of her foal, who, pictured above, is clearly quite a save!! :)

Seeker now has both her back hooves, and is sound thanks to Linda's dedication and hard work! Ever since she sent me pictures of Fabian (Seeker's colt) I just haven't been able to get him out of my mind (much like when I first saw Eddie). I have been pathetically in love with him! Well, Santa came early this year and Fabian will now be mine if I can work everything out! Angela Rhodes has graciously offered to help with setting up a temporary place for him. I truly cannot wait to start fitting both him and JJ for halter and lungeline!! They will be quite a team.

I just can't thank all my friends enough for all their help and keeping my horses all safe. Linda, Darlene, Vicki, Kim, Kristi--all of you have done so much for me, more than I know I deserve! :) I am so honored to call you all friends, and so grateful to you for always doing the right thing for all my "kids."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Latest Adventures of Sopha Dog

Well, until the horses arrive there's not much to mention about what's happening at the ranch other than the antics of the other animals present. I probably have mentioned Sophie too much already, but just had to share a few things she's been up to.

Some of you already know that I've been having some bad back issues here lately, and needless to say moving didn't help that at all. The sciatica has been the worst of it, and my refusal to lie around with an ice pack on my back and leg have only made matters worse. I HAVE been trying the last couple of weeks, though, to sit in bed, ice my back and in order to force myself to sit still I've taken up crocheting. Not sure how sad this will sound, but my newest project is crocheting sweaters for Sophie. She's got short hair and definitely wants let back into the house much faster now that it's gotten colder out. I looked for some jackets for her but they were both ridiculous looking and expensive, especially considering she's a farm dog and will surely tear up any non-utilitarian garment she would be wearing. I know a crocheted sweater probably won't be exactly durable, but it will be cheap and easy to make, washable, and a lot less ridiculous looking than outfits with frills and lace and glitter.

So I'm sitting in bed the other night, watching TV, icing my back and crocheting, and the remote falls on the floor beside the bed. My back is screaming this day and getting up means trying to save my stitch, get out, get the remote, and try to resituate my pillows, blankets, and ice pack. I noticed that Sophie (who lays beside me in bed) saw the remote drop and she's still looking in that direction. So I tell her, mostly as a joke, "Go get it, Sophie. Get the remote!" She looks at me and then looks towards the fallen remote again, so I ask her again to get it for me. What does she do? SHE JUMPS DOWN, GRABS THE REMOTE AND BRINGS IT BACK UP ONTO THE BED TO ME!!! I couldn't believe it! She's really incredibly smart--her main problem is she has the attention span of a fruit fly. At that moment she was slightly sleepy so she was much more focused than she usually is. It was really cool, though. I hope as she gets older I can teach her to do many more fun things.

She does love to play keep-away. She'll pick up a toy and egg me on to run after her. Of course she's a lot faster than I am so she will stop, put down the toy, and the minute that I'm almost about to get she picks it back up and runs off again. She also knows what "Go get your toy" means. We were sitting on the bed last night and I tell her to "get your toy" and she looks around, spots her blue chewy, jumps down, grabs it, and brings it back up on the bed so we can play. She'd be brilliant if she could just stay focused for more than .5 seconds!! LOL.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another Request

Recently a few of my friends (I won't invade their privacy by mentioning names) have had health problems. These people have been very good friends to me. They are good people who only deserve the best, yet it seems that most of the time good people are the ones that are put to the test the most. Whatever you do, whether it be pray, send well wishes, transfer good karma--please keep these people in mind and value your friends. If you have the opportunity to do something good then do it, pay it forward, and do your part to make life easier for those around you. I know times are tough, but in the end all we really have is each other. To my dear friends, I pray that your good health returns to you tenfold. You've all shown what it means to be a true friend and one day I hope to repay your kindnesses. Until then, I'll pray.


Well, I've finally gotten moved in. I love the place, but it is a bit spooky being out there by myself, then to have Sophie sit on the couch and growl out the dark windows! The girl is freaking me out! I am considering asking my landlord if I can bring out my 87-year old grandmother's Great Pyrenees. She is getting where she can't take very good care of Dutchess, the 140 lb wonder dog. Last I saw her she had hairballs all over and she is still young and so big, my grandma just can't teach her very good manners. It's tough to ignore a dog like that when she wants to play! We'll see...I don't need the food bill but the security would be nice. She'd never harm a soul, but she's intimdating enough to keep anyone meaning harm to the place to find out!

I did want to mention that in the next few months, in an effort to avoid additional costs, I will have no internet service at home, so I apologize in advance if there is a delay in my response. Work has been incredibly busy as well. I love my job, so no worries, but my love for my work certainly doesn't create any extra time--in fact, I think it may be just the opposite!

That's it for the updates. As far as what's on my mind, it's probably the same as what's on everyone elses--money. I've been thinking hard of what I can do to cut costs or make a little extra on the side. Let's hear it--leave a comment and let everyone know what you're doing to save/make money in these tough times. Here's what I'm doing:

--Stop eating out--even for one person it can add up. Along the same lines, renew your love for Ramen--try differnet flavors, you never know :) Other cheap meals include grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup, chili, burritos, and peanut butter.

--Only drive when you absolutely have to. Look up "hypermiling:"

--Watch your consumption with everything! Conservation in every aspect cuts costs.

--Learn what you can live without. Mine is TV. While cable is nice, it's something I can definitely live without.

--Cut out the waste. If something goes bad in the fridge, don't buy any more for at least 6 weeks. If you didn't use it up then don't keep buying it. It sounds simple, but if you think about it, repurchasing spoiled items is something we tend to do a lot of, just because we get comfortable in buying certain things all the time.

I'd love to hear what everyone else has to say!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Eddie's Ladies in Waiting

Just one more post (ok, there will probably be more, but just this one more for now) bragging about what a good job Kelly has done getting top quality mares lined up to breed to Eddie. I worked very hard with very little disposable income to improve my broodmare lines expotentially in the three years that I bred Eddie. One of my greatest fears while falling was that I would fail to continue this trend and never really be able to get Eddie bred to the quality of mares that he deserves--the mares that will get his name out there. Thank goodness Kelly came along. Her love of Eddie and her belief in his capabilities are as strong as mine are, and to find someone to believe in the horse that you believe in so much is rare, and is even rarer when, let's face it, Eddie doesn't have the most popular bloodlines listed in today's fancy, glossy ads. Eddie has great bloodlines--solid with proven champions and producers of champions, but none of them are the flavor of the month. However, that is exactly WHY I believe in him so much. He delivers strength and vitality into lines that have been inbred to the point of weakness (displayed in poor temperments, weak legs, hooves prone to lameness and founder, and very short careers). Our contemporary halter horses are beautiful--there is no arguement there, but a beautiful horse does the average person no good if they cannot afford the specialty shoes to keep them sound, the top vets to keep them healthy, and invest a significant amount of money into a horse whose career is over at 4 or 5 years old. Eddie's sire was out at rodeos rounding up bulls (keep in mind he earned his APHA Championship long ago) when he was 21! Eddie survived a horrific injury and has surpassed his life expectation--and we are so thankful that he is still as healthy and sound as could be possibly expected given the severity of the injury he survived. My point is, it would have been much easier for myself, or for Kelly, to go out and buy the flavor of the month to promote. However, I don't think I'm speaking out of line for her if I say I think we both believe in Eddie because we believe in improving the breed for the longrun, and he is the stallion to do it.

That being said, here are a couple (among many) of the outstanding mares lined up to be bred to Eddie for foals in 2010:

Margie's Girl--APHA Solid Barlink and Mr Norfleet bred mare. "Bambi" is a producer of Champion halter horses, ROM earners and multiple futurity winners. I'm very excited about this mare not only because she is gorgeous, a proven producer, but also Mr Norfleet and Red Sonny Dee (Eddie's grandsire) were the foundation from which the Sheriff's built their successful breeding operation--producing many champions from this cross.

Tandy Rocket Ballew--AQHA Cremello. "Sugar" is an outstanding granddaughter of Mr Yella Fella. She is a 3 time World Champion producer! Eddie will not just be bred once to this outstanding mare, but TWICE--for a guaranteed QUADRUPLE-registered foal!! This foal will be eligible for APHA/AQHA/PtHA/PHBA. The first foal will be promoted by Kelly's very capable hands and the second one will be promoted by Arroyo Quarter Horses, who have done an outstanding job in breeding and promoting some of the top dilutes in the industry. I just can't thank both Fulton's Crossing Ranch and Arroyo Quarter Horses for making this amazing cross possible!
The last year has been incredibly difficult, as so many of you know. It seems like there has been heartache after heartache. However, my dreams for Eddie have always been that--dreams for him to have the opportunity to first and foremost live a happy life, never again in the state of neglect I found him in when I bought him. I had also hoped that he could go on to be proven the outstanding sire I believed he could be. It makes this past year so much easier to bear knowing that Eddie is not only happy, well cared for and loved, but that he continues to have the opportunity to show what he can do as a sire and hopefully fulfill a lasting legacy.

Eddie's Girls

You might have noticed that I added some of my favorite links to the left side of my blog page. All these people are friends and/or people who have supported Eddie and believe in his potential as a sire. I'm very excited for the next few years for him--he is breeding at a level I was close to achieving but just wasn't able to accomplish due to factors in my life beyond my control. I am so incredibly proud to have Eddie promoted at his high of a level. I've never had a doubt in my mind that he absolutely deserves it, and I'm incredibly happy that I'm not the only one who can see that he has a lot to add to today's APHA and AQHA horses.

This year he was only bred to two mares due to my loss of job and home (and therefore place to keep him and my mares), but they are two truly outstanding mares. The first one is Shameless Traditions, a point-producing daughter of 4-Time World Champion (the ONLY horse to ever win consecutive AQHA world championships from his yearling year to aged) Noble Tradition and out of a Conclusive-bred mare with a fantastic AQHA All-Round Champion bottom line. "Rita" has been verified in foal, due 1/30/09. I absolutely can't wait for this foal and am very pleased that he or she will end up in the hands of a very capable promoter--Kelly Fulton. Eddie and Rita both now reside with Kelly at Fulton's Crossing Ranch in Hermiston, OR. Here is a very pregnant Rita just last week:

The second mare to be bred to Eddie this year was Seza Impressive One, aka "Crazy." This great old mare came to me from Linda Cole near Topeka. She is a ROM producer that has been bred to some outstanding horses during her career as a broodmare, including the great Zips Chocolate Chip. She is older, but in excellent health and despite her name is a very sweet, lovely old mare. She was pasture bred to Eddie during his stay with Vicki Morgan (thanks so much Vicki for taking such amazing care of my special guy), and Crazy has not been vet checked yet, but we are keeping our fingers crossed!! Here is a picture of this grand old gal:

I will make another post soon of the outstanding mares he will be bred to next year. I can't wait! Thanks again Kelly for believing in Eddie and taking him that next step when I was unable to. You're the answer to my prayers for him! :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ex Coosa My Wildfire (pending)

I found some pictures of Little Baby from when she was a few weeks old, before she was ripped off her momma way too early. Here you can see what a gorgeous head and neck she has. It will take her a while to get back to looking the way she should have all along, but when she does--look out! :) Below are some pictures of her dam and sire as well. She really needs a new barn name :) I promise to post new pics of her as soon as these girls and I get settled into our new home!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fun Stuff

I decided to put a few things up on Cafe Press. I tried to feature some of the best pictures I had on the most appropriate items. This is purely for fun, but check it out :) Proceeds will go toward rebuilding my stock of items since I thought I was going to be out of the horse business so I gave almost everything away! :)

Click on the link below to visit my online store:

Thanks for checking it out!!

Attention Breeders

This site is a great idea. With the market the way it is it seems more and more horses fall into neglectful circumstances all the time. If you're a breeder and want people to know you will take back any foal you bred, no questions asked, please add your name to this site. If you're a horse owner that can no longer take care of your horse, please check this site to see if your horse's breeder is on it:

Friday, October 10, 2008

One Small Request

I've decided Little Baby and Bambi need new barn names. They are like two peas in a pod, bff's, and I think it would be cute to have barn names that go together for them. I thought about Hope and Grace, but there's got to be better ones out there. So go ahead--write a comment and let me know your suggestions. It's time to think about the future and these cute girls need some cute names! :)

On a Happier Note...

While down in Joplin I got to see Ringo, Larry's 2007 colt that Sandra owns. He is now 1 year, 5 months old and he is a big, handsome hunk of horse :) Sandra takes such good care of her horses and Ringo is glowing with health.

I am so thankful to her that she has worked with him, taken care of him and is giving him a job so even in the future if she can't keep him, he will have a good chance to have a home. She never gets on her horses before two, but she does believe in teaching them a lot on the ground, including how to lay down. She does such a good job with him--he trusts her completely and she has earned it, and they have a true mutual respect for each other.

Sandra told me that Ringo (she calls him Colton) is built exactly like a champion barrel racer she knew, so we are hoping Ringo will be as successful. In any case, she really enjoys him, he is happy and healthy, and I couldn't be prouder of him!

Truly's Last Day

Truly came into my life on my birthday two years ago, and what a present she was! She had been shipped from Michigan courtesy of her co-rescuers, Doris Bennett and Barb Deale. Doris had contacted me asking if I was interested in a mare with APHA halter points that was sound to breed only. One look at Truly's pedigree and I jumped at the chance! Her sire is the sire of Magnificent Heir, the APHA stallion whose get have been sweeping up awards at APHA World year after year. Truly's fully brother is an APHA Champion. Truly herself received her ROM in youth halter and totalled 40 APHA halter between Open, Amateur, and Youth. She was even used as a youth lesson horse before her injury left her too crippled to hold any additional weight.

Since I got Truly so late in the year, the anticipation to be able to cross her with Eddie in the spring made the winter seem even longer than usual. Truly shared a roundbale all winter long with Sunny, a gorgeous 16H palomino mare I had rescued earlier that year. They became good friends and because both had soundness issues, were always kept together, even when we tried to see if Truly could make it out on pasture ok. She just couldn't keep her weight up out there, so we brought her home and she kept the babies company.

Truly was bred in the spring and then my divorce occured, and with it an opportunity to move down to Texas. I couldn't bring everyone with me, so I advertized to lease out a few, and Sheri Hagen (World Champion producer) contacted me asking to lease Truly and Mercedes, I jumped at the chance. I knew Truly and Mercedes would get everything they wanted while at Sheri's and they did. She foaled them out and then decided that she wanted to ease her workload to do other things, she asked if it was ok to send the girls and their foals to some trusted people not too far from her. Trusting her judgement I agreed.

I met Sandra Layton and her mother under stressful circumstances. Mercedes is always a bottom-rung mare in a herd, but for some reason she knows she can pick on Truly and takes advantage of it, something that Sandra was not aware of (neither was I--I had never known Mercedes to not get along with any horse). Merc ran Truly through the side of their barn their first night there (and in her defense, that night they had two tornados touch down very close by) and Truly cut up her good leg badly. Even though Sandra treated the wound Truly got a full body infection. Sandra called me and I went down to Joplin, thinking the worst. When I got there I found a very sick, but very strong horse so I switched her antibiotics, took off her shoes and thankfully the next day she completely turned around. We were so relieved, and Truly was a trooper through the whole ordeal.

All summer long Truly enjoyed being a momma (she loved her filly so much) and got to share a pasture with her 33 year old friend--a gelding that the Laytons have had since he was 10. Unfortunately he had a stroke last week and had to be euthanized.

She got the very best of care, the best pasture and the best shelter. I tried to make plans to keep her safe as the Laytons don't breed horses, so there really wasn't any use for her there. My friend Darlene kindly offered to be a back-up home for Truly, so we could keep her "in the family" and I could know she was safe until I could get a place where I could keep her (this was before I found my place). The Laytons were so kind to keep her up so well during her stay.

I was going through pictures of when I first got her and it really hit me how much worse that leg had gotten since then. I called Sandra and she said they had put Mercedes in with Truly because Merc was being picked on in the other pasture, and somehow Truly got hurt again--they couldn't say it was Mercedes but they did seperate them and let Truly be by herself. Whatever had happened, Truly's tail wasn't working anymore. Her walking was more labored and she had became sunken in on her back end. It wasn't good news.

The day I made the call to Sandra I already knew what the answer was, but felt I needed to have the talk. After speaking to her about Truly there was no doubt what the right thing was to do.

I drove down yesterday, the second time driving down there worrying over Truly, but this time I knew what the outcome would be. I arrived a bit early and as soon as I saw Truly I was even more certain that I was there for the right reasons. Her body was already shutting down. She had acres of pasture to herself, all the hay she could eat and she was getting grained twice a day, but her topline was pulled down some and even the hollows above her eyes were caved in like a 30 year old horse, not the 13 year old mare that she was.

I tried to spend some time with her but she was in so much pain her personality had changed. She didn't enjoy being scratched. She looked away when I walked up to her. She would grind her teeth as I brushed her. She was in so much pain. So I left her alone to do what she wished. She hobbled out to the best spot in the pasture and ate the most tender blades of grass she could find. I watched her from afar, to give her peace and to admire her. Even in her condition she was still so beautiful. I took the picture above, not to remember such a sad day, but to remember what a beautiful mare she was.

The vet said "it's your mare's turn," trying to make the words sound as sympathetic as possible. I grabbed a halter and put it on Truly--she was back in her barn by now. I gave her a hug and turned her to walk out the door. She stopped and looked beside her at the mini--her next door buddy, as if she knew what was going on and wanted to say goodbye. I let her take her time walking to the spot in her pasture, next to where her old buddy was buried, and gave her a few last pats. Sandra's mom held her for me and an audience of horses gathered at the fenceline. Sandra moved over by me, seeming to sense how weak my legs felt. The vet put in the catheter and adminstered the shot and Truly fell gracefully back, Sandra's mom easing her head to the ground. I was so thankful that she went so peacefully. Truly took her last breathe, closed her eyes and all the horses around the farm let out a whinny. I guess they knew she was special, too.

Sunny passed away earlier this year, along with my old gray mare Larry (Paula and Ringo's dam). I'd like to think all of them are together now, without any pain, along with Truly's old appy gelding friend. Below is a picture of Sunny, Larry, and Truly all eating (what they did best :) It makes it easy to imagine they are all together again in a better place....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


In a futile attempt to distract myself from thinking about tomorrow, here's my pup Sophie. She's grown up so fast, is incredibly smart and a constant source of laugh therapy.

When we went out to the farm she did so well--she stayed on our property, close to Charlie and while I was unloading a lot of things she explored but always wanted to come inside with me. I think she's going to have a lot of fun with the horses!

EVERY person in the horse business needs to see these two posts

From one of my favorite blogs. People, please think about what you're breeding:

We CAN fix our market. But it's up to all of US to do it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Eddie in Oregon

I just had to post these pictures of Eddie that Kelly sent me. He was so happy to see his new woman, a gorgeous mare with an amazing production record.
He looks so happy and content, I just had to post these pics. Thanks so much to Vicki for making sure that Eddie has been so well-cared for and loved these past few months!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Plan

Since my website isn't up, I'd like to share a little bit about the future plans for Rose Valley Ranch. First, I'm not doing any breeding in the foreseeable future. Eddie thankfully has an outstanding home where he's continuing on with what I wanted for him for so many years--to be bred to top mares, to be loved and well cared for, to have a happy life where he's understood for the big goofy guy he is :) Since he's pretty much set, there's no reason for me to breed any more foals. I've been so fortunate that Eddie has had some really great foals, and I have ended up with three amazing ones:

Filthy N Fabulous, 2006 APHA/AQHA/PtHA Gray Overo Mare, HYPP N/N
(out of a daughter of AQHA World Champion Dirty Larry)
"Paula" will be started under saddle as soon as she recovers from neglect and starvation from the leasing nightmare we found ourselves in. Paula was kindly evaluated by a World Champion trainer and she considered her to be a western horse, which is good news to me--I love WP! Paula will be in training next spring and hopefully ready to make some local shows by next summer. We are planning on taking things slow and easy--we have lots of time together as Paula is no longer for sale. She's a keeper. As my riding skills increase to what they used to be, I hope we'll be able to enter many more events in the future.

Beyond Fabulous (pending), 2008 APHA/AQHA/PtHA Sorrel Mare, HYPP N/N
(out of a double-bred Obvious Conclusion mare)
"Bambi" has had to go through more than any foal her age should have to. Her pregnant momma fell into the wrong hands and by the time my friend Darlene and I were able to save them, we thought for sure Bambi was going to die. She is as strong as her parents, though, and she recovered better than anyone would have ever thought. I teased Darlene that she must have traded out horses just to make me feel better! I'm going to let Bambi take it easy, be a happy-go-lucky baby and hopefully when she's older I can set to work showing her. She's really gorgeous and although it was heartbreaking how it came about, I'm so glad I ended up with her.

Name Pending, "JJ", 2008 APHA/AQHA/PtHA Sorrel Overo Colt, HYPP N/N
(out of a dau of top-5 World son of Sonnys Securitee and full sister to halter winner)

"JJ" is the colt I had always hoped for in breeding Eddie. His dam was another rescue--she was pulled out of a feedlot from a load scheduled to go to slaughter that week by LaDonna in Missouri. Thankfully she contacted me to let me know that she had a mare named Sully who she thought I'd be interested in. Sully recovered very nicely and in time to bred--the result is JJ. Sully now lives with my good friend Vicki Morgan. Vicki takes amazing care of her horses and has been so incredibly kind to let me take JJ, the colt I had always hoped for and wanted so badly. Thank you with all my heart, Vicki!!
And then the odd one out, but a filly that I feel can really help me out with keeping Bambi company, and she might even show in the future, plus she's as cute as a bug's butt, and has such a spunky attitude, she'll definitely fit in around here:

Ex Coosa My Wildfire (pending), 2008 APHA Sorrel Overo Mare, HYPP pending
(by a point-producing son of Superior Halter horse Kootenai Wildfire out of Coosas First, by a 2001 APHA Leading Sire of APHA Champions out of a daughter of Coosa)

~Picture coming soon of this amazing little girl. Ripped off her momma at only a few weeks old by the same man who neglected Eddie so badly when he was injured, "Little Baby" was purchased by my good friend Darlene, who seems to have acquired a specialty in rehabilitating unfortunate weanlings! "Little Baby" isn't going to be as little as we thought--she is ALL legs right now. Her spunky attitude reminds me so much of my beloved little mare Chic, who I lost a few years ago. Darlene has offered to let Little Baby come to my house with Bambi to keep her company while I show JJ and Paula. They will be allowed to grow up together and hopefully mature into gorgeous young mares together! Thank you Darlene for all your hard work and help with Bambi, Paula, and Little Baby!

Finally, thanks so much to Kelly Fulton for taking such outstanding care of Eddie, promoting him like he should be, and believing in him. I am so appreciative, too, of all the help and support from my family, from Sandra Layton, Angela Rhodes, Kim Noyes, Kristi Van Etten, my sister Elizabeth, my dad Robert, my mom Diana, and so many others who have been incredibly kind and supportive during these really difficult last two years.

A Sad Update

A couple of weeks ago I discovered that my beloved gray mare, Larry, is dead. I do not know what exactly happened, but the evidence strongly suggests something terrible. All I know for sure is that I had to drive down to Oklahoma and pick up her daughter, Paula, from the same place and I found her in this condition:

I am heartbroken and angry to say the least. The last time I saw Paula (when she was in my care), she looked like this:

She is recovering quickly just on hay alone, so it's clear the only thing that caused her to be in this condition is a lack of feed. I just can't make any sense of it. Larry deserved so much better and I fear that Paula may have long-term cconsequenses from her condition.

The only thing I can do now is look toward the future--try to get Paula healthy again and enjoy her, show her, and have some fun with her. Thank goodness she'll be home with me again soon.

Belated updates!

Well, I'm behind on my updates already! What a crazy few weeks it's been! First things first--I have a gorgeous new place south of Kansas City. I'll be able to bring the horses onto the property in December. 3bed/2bath, 2 car oversized garage on 7 acres with a BARN! I'm having trouble posting pics, so for now, just the view of the barn will have to do. It's gorgeous, peaceful, and will be a perfect place for me to have some fun showing and training my babies. The dogs are going to love it, too!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Since taking my website down I've decided to keep everyone informed through a blog until I can get my little horse farm up and running again. As most of my friends and family already know, I am on the hunt for a nice little country place close to Kansas City so I can bring those horses back home who haven't been able to be permanently placed.

It's late, so I'll make this brief, but please check back often for all the latest!