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 :)