Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Meet Marrakech!

This morning I was greeted by another handsome Renoir colt. His dam, Mara (sired by Aladinn Echo out of AF Anticipation, a Gamaar daughter), had already cleaned (dropped her placenta), and was nuzzling the foal, which was already dry and folded comfortably on the stall floor. Like his sire, he is chestnut in color, and he has a prominent star and two rear socks. I telephone Ian, who was breakfasting in the house, and asked him to bring the Tetanus booster. We also cuddled the young fellow and swabbed his bellybutton with disinfectant.

We’ve named him Marrakech because his coat color reminds us of a Moroccan spice.

Proud mama Mara gently calls to him and brushes his butt with her nose as he nurses.

Older brother Madrid is doing well and enjoys his afternoons in the outdoor paddock with mommy Elly.

Our two apple trees are in full bloom and I thought I’d better snap some pics before they’re all gone. Enjoy!


Double The Fun results

Double The Fun is two regional Arabian Horse Association qualifying shows conducted at the same location over the same weekend. Ian and trainer Erik Haff showed our two-year-old colt, Pskye, in a series of halter classes. Here are the gratifying results:

North Dakota Arabian Horse Association Classic (Region 6)
Friday evening, May 15
Class 108 Arabian Colt 2 Year Old Breeding: First Place
Class 109 Arabian Colt Junior Champion & Reserve: Grand Champion
Class 113 Arabian Stallion Breeding All Ages AOTH: First Place

Northern Minnesota Arabian Horse Association (Region 10)
Sunday morning, May 17
Class 280 Arabian Colt 2 Year Old Breeding: First Place
Class 282 Arabian Colt Show Champion & Reserve: Reserve Champion
Class 283 Arabian Stallion Breeding All Ages AOTH: First Place

This was Pskye’s second trip to a horse show and he handled it very well. The scores from both judges were good and we’re pleased with the feedback that the new scoring system provides.

VG Pskye (“Sky”)
Foaled June 2007
AE Psymbolic x VG Evening Echo, an Aladdinn Echo daughter

Pskye is a well-bred horse with an excellent future, but it will not be as a breeding stallion. He is being gelded and we will show him again later in the season. Pskye will also begin learning skills laying the ground work to start him under saddle in 2010; his three-year-old year. He looks to be a fine Hunt prospect.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

"If I had a flower for each time I thought of My Mother, I could walk in my garden forever." –Unknown

I love you, Mom! I also love and adore my sons Michael and Richard.

On Friday morning when I arrived in the barn for morning chores, Elly, who had spent her first the night in our foaling stall, was nuzzling her foal. The colt was still a bit wet, but was up on reasonably steady legs, nursing. Elly had already dropped her placenta, so all had gone well and my help was not needed.

This colt is our stallion’s first son. We have named him Madrid. He is chestnut in color, like both his dam and sire. He has a Harry Potter-like lightening bolt on his forehead, that, and a right rear ankle-high sock.

Mara is the next mare to mommy. Her udder is filling with milk but I have not seen any of the telltale wax forming on the tips of her teats, which foretells birth. I will breathe a huge sign of relief when Mara’s foal arrives alive, safe, sound, and nurses.

Finally, Mother Goose, Gracie, and daddy gander George are escorting their gosling around the barnyard. After sitting on as many as 20 eggs for more than a month, this one gosling is the result of all that patience and devotion. Three other goslings hatched, but they did not last more than a few hours. I’m not sure why; whether there was something genetically wrong or they just got stepped on. This fuzzy gosling has a grey hue, which indicates a female Pilgrim goose.

2008 daughter Missy Goose still lays eggs and I’ve been raiding the nest making the most wonderful quiches and scrambled egg burritos. Cracking them against a bowl’s edge feels quite Flintstone, as they sound almost ceramic.

Ian and Erik will both show Pskye this Friday and Sunday in Sauk Centre, Minnesota at the Stearns County Fairgrounds at the Double The Fun Arabian Horse Show.

Yesterday, Ian and I visited Wildflower Farm near Pine City, Minnesota and met the owners Cathy & Jim. Both of us want to take riding lessons to gain skill, confidence and experience so that we can show our horses in performance (riding) classes. Cathy ia an accomplished show rider and judge. Ian and I will both take lessons from her beginning this week. Ian is going to learn Saddle Seat and I am going to begin with Western Pleasure and Hunt and when I'm more fit, I too will learn Saddle Seat.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Happy May Horse Shows

Things are greening and budding, I’ve got tulips poking through in the front yard garden and leaves on the raspberry bushes planted last fall.

We have two mares due this month; Elly and Mara are both due on the 16th. We lease both from our friend Kathy and both are in foal to Renoir. Elly is an easy going soul, Mara is kind but a bit spastic because she has not been handled a lot. She is very bonded to Eve, another mare we lease from Kathy, and gets very upset if they’re separated. I will keep working on developing our bond with hopes that Mara will turn her attention to being with her new foal. Eve is due in early June.

Eve’s 2007 colt, VG Pskye, made his horse show debut at the Sahara Sands show this past weekend. He showed on Sunday morning in three classes: Arabian Stallion Breeding 2-Year-Old (First Place), Arabian Breeding Amateur To Handle (Second Place) and the Arabian Stallion Breeding Championship (Fourth Place). His handlers were his trainer Erik Haff and Ian. Sometimes young horses can have meltdowns at their first show because of too many new things coming at them at once, but Pskye took everything in stride. He looked very pretty all clipped up and ready to show. I snapped some candid pictures and plan to buy professional shots from the equine show photographer once they’re posted online.

Marcia came to cheer us on and I always appreciate having someone to sit with while Ian shows the horses. He just loves showing halter and keeps getting better and better. We’re on the lookout for someone local that Ian can take riding lessons with to gain skill, experience and confidence to ride our horses under saddle at shows too.

Pskye’s next time showing is in two weeks at Double The Fun in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Ian and Erik will show him on Friday, the 15th and again on Sunday, the 17th. The show is called Double The Fun because it is actually two horse shows conducted at one site during one weekend. We’re working at collecting enough points to qualify Pskye to show at the Arabian Horse Association’s Region 10 show held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds the second weekend in June. Showing horses is fun and when they compete well potential buyers sitting in the stands take notice and have been known to follow the horse back to its stall. After all, we are also in the horse selling business.

No goslings yet and I am really wondering about egg viability. Mother Goose continues to keep them warm and warns off any intruder with an insistent hiss. The other goose made a nest adjacent to her mother and laid an egg, which I took and made a lovely scrambled egg breakfast. The yoke was golden and huge, compared with a chicken egg yoke. It tasted so good, I am watching for another. Ian suggested that I tip Mother Goose up and mark each egg so if she’s continuing to lay more eggs I can take the new ones. Good idea, but I’ll need his help because she’s serious about keeping people at bay and I’d rather not get pecked or should I say “goosed?”