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American Morgan Horse Association
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Southern Maine Dressage Association


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Big shout out to One Horse At A Time

I would like to take a moment to give a huge thank-you to an organization called One Horse At A Time. Here's the back story: Mark and I took on an Appaloosa colt this fall. The situation was pretty scary: his owner didn't have the funds to geld him or train him, and he was housed in close quarters with his mother and another mare. We started working with him up to get him manageable, but in the end, we had to remove him from the home because he was starting to show interest in breeding, and the nearest mare (whom he almost bred one afternoon) was his own dam. Not good, potentially dangerous for his owner. So we got him to a place where he could be put on a trailer — and it was amazingly easy, because the horse has a good nature — and brought him home. He spent a couple of days crying for Mama (3 years old, but still a baby at heart) and then we began slowly introducing to the rest of our herd, with an eye toward getting him into Buck's sphere of influence. He and Buck are now best pals.

But the real issue with Chief has always been that he needs gelding, and ASAP. I couldn't afford it any more than his original owner could. So I turned to the internet, and the horse rescue community, which recommended I go to One Horse At A Time. I applied, and within a short time frame, they came through — supporting Chief's gelding with a grant that covers the cost of the farm call and the surgery.

I can't stress too strongly how important it is to have this horse gelded. Stallions are not for the faint of heart, and they can be troublesome if you don't know what you're doing. After he's gelded, Chief will be trained to saddle, and either put to use for someone here to ride, or rehomed to a qualified long-term owner for use as a riding horse — something that is less likely for a stud than for a gelding. I am grateful as all get-out that organizations like this exist. 

12:22 pm est 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New Morgans

For reasons I can't quite understand, my web site admin won't let me post new pictures to the geldings and mares pages... grr. So, without further ado, pictures of two new Morgans who came to our farm: Chevy (Menomin Yankee Delite), a 15-year-old Old Government Morgan we acquired recently, and Buck, her 9-year-old son. Buck (left) is unregistered but we're seeking his documents so we can get him to Morgan shows. He's Chevy's (right) only offspring, by well-known Lippitt sire Randallane Genesis. If you've ever seen Genesis, you'll recognize Buck's coloring and markings: while his body is Chevy's, the color and chrome come from Genesis.


11:44 am edt 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Family resemblance


I spotted the picture on the left in the AMHA photo archives. My jaw dropped. Looking at it, I would swear it was Ray. As it happens, the horse in the photo is Moro Hills Adonis, who is Ray's paternal great-grandsire AND his maternal great-great-grandsire as well. And it was taken when he was 4 years old, the same age (more or less) Ray was in the photo I took. So there's a good reason for the resemblance.

There are some differences, of course. Adonis is longer in the body than Ray, and lacks that rounded barrel that is so characteristic of Bessie Nekomia's offspring. Ray's legs are a little heavier, and his neck is too, I think (hard to tell given the angle of both photos). Adonis's forehead is slightly broader. But the differences are minor.

11:46 am est 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

At the end of another year... our hopes for 2012

I can't believe that 2011 is almost over. So much has happened! I have utterly failed to keep pace with this blog so let me try to sum it up:

1. We sold Pete in May to be a stud for a Lippitt farm in New York. Anxiously awaiting word from his new owner as to whether Pete will have any babies on the ground in the spring. If not this spring, then probably next.

2. From June to September, we fostered an off-track Standardbred mare, LuLu, who was in training at PPF after having had her adoption not work out. I rode her on occasion for Deb while she was here. LuLu eventually went to a very satisfactory home, which made me very happy because she was a doll.

3. We sold Stevie in October to be the cherished, beloved companion of a horsewoman in Gorham. All reports have him progressing beautifully. It still boggles the mind that we made TWO sales in one year. But, we'll have no horse sales next year because...

3. We did not manage to get Ray bred to Mist. Sadly, our Princess still thinks of Ray as a "frog" rather than a "prince"... wanted nothing to do with him even when clearly in heat... but if we can't get her to change her opinion, well, we may seek assistance from technology. A last minute effort in October to breed her to Weathermont Ethan using AI fell through, but that's going to be our option in spring. Still, we'll have some babies on the ground next spring, because...

4. We bought two Suffolk-cross ewe lambs at Fryeburg in October, and in December acquired a flock of adult Romney sheep — a ram, 2 ewes, and a wether — and we're relatively certain at least one Romney ewe is pregnant. Maybe both. So there are some sweet little lambs in the future of the farm. Actually, our hope is that there will be a lot of little lambs... some to be sold for fleece-bearing, others to be used for meat. The Suffolk ewes will produce excellent market lambs once they're old enough to cross with the Romney ram, while the Romney ewes can give us great pure-bred fleece lambs. Everyone wins! (Note to self: get Nate into 4H STAT.)

5. Although this isn't farm related... my diabetes book published! AT LAST! It came out in July and seems to have been well received. In addition, I have published 3 articles in the Lippitt Club News, and hope to continue writing for them given that my time is much more flexible nowadays, since I'm now working from home as a freelancer. Although it was not by my choice, the fact is, I am not unhappy to have a break from the 9-to-5 world — which isn't to say I'm not actively looking for a fulltime job and wouldn't be thrilled to have one, but... there are definitely advantages to working at home.  

For 2012, all I can say is this: Let the wild ride continue! Ray is in basic saddle training with Gloria Steiger of PPF, and doing very well. He's traveled a few times over to PPF and to Hollis with great results. Although we're having a bit of holiday interruption, I am certainly looking forward to seeing him get back into a routine — and I know Ray is, too, judging by the eagerness with which he came to the gate when Mark brought the trailer around the day we got the sheep. (Poor boy was disappointed that it wasn't his day to go for a ride). We do hope to get him bred to Mist this spring, or failing that, to breed Mist to Ethan via AI. We're also planning to get Ray trained for AI collection so we can cross him to outside mares with less trouble.

Beyond that... we'll see what life brings us.



11:01 am est 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Seeing Cameo again

This morning I went over to Hollis to the SMDA show so I could catch an old friend in action. Cameo, a mix-breed mare we raisedwebassets/Cameo_0918.jpg and sold last October, was performing in her first training level 1 class. We bought that mare in the fall of 2006 based solely on the way she moved -- beautiful, floating gaits that are breathtaking to watch -- and gave her what work we could (which wasn't enough) to bring her along. We learned a lot from her about what can happen when a young horse isn't given a good start, because it was clear to us that someone had mishandled her. She was flighty and easily frightened, and she escalated into unmanageable behavior very quickly. In the end, we had to start from ground zero with her, teaching her as if she were a yearling. This is how you pick up your feet. This is how you stand for the vet. This is how you lead, follow, have your halter put on. She came a long way in the three years we had her, but we were never able to give her the kind of time she really needed to thrive. When I sold her to Tiffany Tarbox last year, I knew she'd get that time. And that what she'd blossom into would be spectacular.

And it is. She is GORGEOUS. Still high strung, but controlled now, willing to listen, mature. As time passes, with training, she'll only get better. In the ring she was a little uncertain, but she was listening to her rider and that's a great thing to see.

When we sell horses, we try very hard to get them into homes where they'll be well treated and get the work and attention they need. I feel as though we've done pretty well in that respect here -- Bessie, Cameo, Pete, and Stevie all have homes now where I strongly believe they will reach their fullest potential. I feel both proud and blessed to have been able to help them along their journey. It's especially gratifying to be able to see how they've flourished.

10:23 am edt 

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