Stu’s First Trim

I, unfortunately, wasn’t there for it. Luckily his breeder was happy to pass along photos. What a little cutie!

I commented that he seemed to be taking it well… she said yes, he’s sedated. Well, that explains it! 

In Stu related news, it seems his hernia is getting bigger. I could wait to see if it fixes itself, but I’ve decided just to get it fixed when he’s gelded. I’ll be making the appointment for sometime in September/October. The vet was talking to me about the easiest/quickest way to do it. It basically amounts to banding up the hole. Literally taking a super tight band, pushing up the intestines, and popping the band over the excess skin. The band holds the intestines up, and eventually, the little bit of skin dies and falls off. I knew of banding use from when my family had sheep. Their tails and testicles would be banded, and eventually, fall off. Sheep are born with tails, if you didn’t know. 

Otherwise, nothing new to report on the Stu front!

Continue Reading

The Bloodlines of F#

warmblood horse breeders

So basically, Sharpie is all I have on my mind these days. Even as I’m scratching Pony, all I can think is, Wow, Pony, you sure are fatter than Sharpie. And he is. And he’s going to be getting the muzzle of shame because he’s gotten so fat. Seriously, that Pony needs to be on a diet. But that’s another story… one that was basically summed up in the previous two sentences. 

Moving on, now that Sharpie is mine, I want to share a little bit about the effort that brought him here. The breeders themselves have been breeding for over 20 years, and I think they have an excellent grasp of bloodlines, registries, breeding, and horses in general. I’m still going to be clinging on to them until I retrieve Sharpie in November, but I might cling again later. Like if I decide I want another foal. At this point, I don’t know why I would breed my horses when I can buy one of theirs at an extremely reasonable price. And they are just such nice people. Like super nice! I want to just gush and gush over how wonderful I think them and their breeding program is. If you want to stalk or admire from afar, follow them on Facebook to see all their adorable little foals pop out. I think this year’s season is done, but I’m already excited to see next years babies start popping… I do know someone who has 3 of their babies, and I admit, it’s easy to see why…

Dam Line 

The dam line was super important to me, as I think in the end the foal will be mostly mother. When I first saw Alala, I fell in love with her. She’s exactly what I was looking for in a big hunter horse. Later, I looked her up and discovered she had bloodlines to support this, and I gave myself a big pat on the back for knowing this just from looking at her in a pasture and wildly guessing at her potential.

Again, Sharpie was an embryo transplant, so he’s not going to know her like a mother… he thinks Jeff, the champagne Oldenburg, is his mother. Which is fine, Jeff is extremely calm, therefore, Sharpie is extremely calm. 

The Dam – Alala

warmblood dam

This mare was bred by Silver Creek Farm in Oklahoma, former owners of her sire.

Grand- Dam: Thoroughbred mare, looks like she competed in the 3’6″ hunters. I’m not clear of the exacts because not a lot of information exists on her and I can only base it on one picture of her jumping a big huntery oxer. It has a huge watermark on it so I don’t think they want it shared.  But here’s a conformation shot!

I think it’s easy to see Alala is a mash of her dam, and the sire below. 

Grand-Sire: Apiro

Marabet Farm

The amazing Apiro! Formerly owned by Silver Creek Farm, now owned by Marabet Farm. One of the top hunter stallions in 2010 and 2013. His page above tells more. If Sharpie ends up exactly like this horse, that would be ideal and amazing! He is such a beautiful animal! Also, I’m liking the music selection they picked for the videos of this stallion! 

I make no apologies, I love this song. Really thought that was Oasis, but turns out it’s The Bravery. I learned something new today.

Because it’s the final countdoooooown! Sharpie is totally going to be a fan of 80’s music, just like his grandsire and now adopted human father.

Rh, this music is okay I guess. Wouldn’t have been my choice, but mainly because it starts so slow and takes too long to pick up. 

Ugh, this video was muted! How am I going to know what music should be the theme song of his life?!

Overall, I would give Apiro’s music selection an 7/10. I gave him significant points because I liked the first song so much, but I did take off a point since the last video has no music at all. Maybe they can pick something else to put on that. 

Sire Line

Sire: Flint GSF

Flint is owned and was bred by the same breeder I bought Sharpie from. He’s gone through the stallion testing and is approved for Oldenburg and Westfalen NA for stud book 1. 

And one time I saw him and he carried around a weed in his mouth for several minutes. Unfortunately, this is the best photo I have of him. I guess it sums him up well.

bay stallion

But here he is actually moving!

I’ll approve of the music choice in an angsty teenager type way. Also, he looks so excited to jump! I love it. 

Sire’s Sire: Weltstern

I don’t know very much about Weltstern, but googling him brings up many results of people who like him. This is what the breeder says about him:

Weltstern was born in Cloppenburg Germany in 1982 and imported to the US after his approval as an Oldenburg stallion through the 100 Day Test in Muenster Germany in 1985 with a very respectable score of 111.35 points. Weltstern is an exceptional stallion with extraordinary bloodlines. Weltstern carries the blood of such influential stallions as Welt As, Ferdinanad, Don Carlos, Furioso II and Absatz. The dam lines in his pedigree are remarkable as well. At least seven of the mares in his pedigree are State Premium mares and many of these mares also carry the coveted title of DLG winner as well, a very prestigious honor. He is the half brother of Bonfire, ridden by Anky von Grunsven to numerous wins in dressage, including the Olympics and the World Cup .

Weltstern’s show career started at the age of 14 where he started at third level and competed to Intemediare I with scores in the 60s. Weltstern has sired three stallions approved for breeding through the 100 day test. All three stallions scored over one hundred at their testing. One more son of Weltstern’s is gaining his approval through performance records and has already been awarded a breeding license through Rheinland Pfalz Saar.

My thought… well, he looks pretty handsome! If I find out more in the future, I will update this.

That sums up Sharpie’s bloodlines! I’m hoping for the best out of him – and also that if he is super amazing, I actually manage to keep up with him. Fingers crossed!!

Continue Reading

Vet Inspection of F#

Yesterday the vet checked out Sharpie, and he officially became mine. I basically already announced him before due to excitement, but now he’s truly and officially mine! Which means I can tell way more about his bloodlines without feeling like a weirdo stalker of breeders.

But first, his vet inspection!

This is the first time I’ve bought a youngster with a vet check – when I bought Pony, I just kind of winged it. I mean, he worked out great, but still… probably not going to do that again. 

So, we showed up, and the breeders went to retrieve our lovely babies from the field. 

playing foal
Olivet is super interested in the lead rope.
playing foals
They frolicked and played while walking, unfortunately, the camera missed the best parts!

The vet was running a little bit late, so we sat with the foals for a bit, waiting. It did result in some pretty cute photos!

westfalen na foal

I also found out that Sharpie is now super friendly, despite having no interaction with anyone since the last time I saw him. He has become a sweet little gentleman that loves getting itches. Naturally, he requested lots of itches from everyone. 

foal face
“GIVE ME ALL THE ITCHES!!”

He’s basically Pony, in chestnut horse form. Super friendly, and wants everyone to love him. Including Olivet, who has higher standards than that. 

“Hello, fellow foal! I would like to be friends, please!”

I’m sure eventually they will get along. 

The interesting things learned today:

  • Sharpie has a teeny hernia, which may fix itself, or it may require minor surgery. We will watch it, and see if it goes away. If not, he’ll get surgery for it when he’s castrated in the fall. 
  • Sharpie walks on the outside of his front hooves. This means his feet will wear unevenly, and if left alone, would eventually result in injury due to the unbalance. The vet emphasized that Sharpie is currently like molding clay, and if I stay on top of it, I can keep the hooves even, and potentially get them to wear evenly again. But, I should count on never missing a trim, running a file over it between trims, and likely having front shoes on him when he goes into work to preserve the levelness. 

Despite these terrible issues, I signed the papers and wrote the check. He’s 100% mine. 

foal scratches

foal canter

The next time I could possibly see him is at his inspection for Westfalen NA. I haven’t quite worked out the logistics as I’m working that day, but hopefully I’ll be able to attend. I’m not counting on a great score, though. His mother is extremely relaxed and does not like to move out. Sharpie likes to hang out directly next to his mother and do the tiniest of little trots to keep pace with her. He’s an expert at the teeny tiny little trot. But… maybe he’ll surprise me? Maybe someone will light off fireworks and they will finally react? 

Continue Reading

F#

westfalen foal

Luckily the disappointment of last weekend has faded away, and I’m feeling much better about this last weekend. I picked out my baby!

This is F#, which is pronounced “F Sharp,” not “F Hastag.” Hopefully, I won’t have to repeat this over and over, but I anticipate a lifetime of telling people that. He shall be called the very dignified name of “Sharpie,” just like the marker. He may look familiar, and that is because I looked at him before. I felt like we had a super connection then, as we gazed into each others eyes, and planned out our futures together. I didn’t decide on him outright at the time because… well… I wanted a bay. And he’s chestnut! I’ve never owned a chestnut! This is so weird!

Even though he’s older now, I would say he’s even more suspicious of me. He found it very weird that I wanted to touch him. 

“Ack, weird human! Remove your hand from my side!”

But he did start to realize how good scratches felt – although he showed his appreciation to his mother and not me. 

warmblood foal
“Oh yes, that’s the spot!”

While checking him out, I checked out my other option – another colt out of the same mare. He was cute as a button, but it seemed riskier to pick him – his sire just started training whereas Sharpie’s sire is approved and confirmed as being a super talented jumper. But the other colt came in a package with Sharpie’s genetic mother, and damn she is fabulous!

Me and the big mare, “Alala.” We are anticipating Sharpie will look pretty similar to her.
Alala and Dave have a serious discussion. After seeing this picture, it makes me reconsider how big she is… With Dave, she looks small. 

After checking them out, we went to visit D’Arcy’s pick and the rest of the older foals. And being surrounded by tons of friendly foals gave me hope. They may be shy when they are younger, but they get friendly fast!

D’Arcy and her new foal, Olivet.
Dave and foal who is super into him.
Little filly getting her nose into everything!

There is hope! Sharpie will be friendlier next time I see him, and be super into me, that way our relationship isn’t one sided. 

Seeing all these foals…. omg I love them all! I wish I lived on a breeding farm so I could be surrounded by foals all day, every day. Note, I would not be able to have my own breeding farm, as I would never be able to sell the foals. I’d be way too attached. Maybe I’ll work out a deal one day where I just show up to random breeding farms and run free with the foals. I could be the official Foalertertainer. Call me, I’ll come entertain your foals. 

Continue Reading

Foal #1

The first foal was born! It’s a dark bay colt, with a big star and three small socks. A few days ago, I was saying that I hoped it was a dark bay with white socks and a stripe, and this is pretty close, I’ll take it as fulfilling my exact wish. Not a filly though, which I was originally hoping for. But, I don’t think that bothers me too much. I’m okay with a colt. 

But it does add to the complication that I didn’t come up with any male names. I picked out “Oh La La” as the registered name for a filly, and I was planning to call her Lolly. But that’s just not going to work for a colt. Granted, I know I shouldn’t settle yet, and should wait for the next one to come out. It might be a dark bay filly with socks and a stripe, but the breeder thinks this one is going to be the bigger, and easier of the two. The other one might have some complications due to its recipient mare. 

The names that I like the best so far:

Odin

Obsidian

Orion

My favorite so far is Odin – but I’m not totally sure if that’s going to be my final pick. 

Does anyone have any name thoughts? Which of the three do you like? Or, suggest one! Name must start with the letter “O”

Continue Reading

Choosing the Right Foal

We took another visit to the breeding farm to see the new foals that have been born, and see how the older foals have been developing. Brace yourself for FOAL PHOTOS! (which could be the best kind of photos!)

To start, it’s probably a good thing there is a legal limit to how many horses I can have on my farm, because I basically want every single foal. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. I’d get two or three, and I’m not even joking. By going through this process, I have realized that my greatest weakness is adorable foals because every single one I see, I want. I fall in love with their little faces, and their little personalities. Some are shy, and some are braver, but all are curious and they poke their little heads around their mothers to examine me, tentatively reaching out with a tiny muzzle, before thinking better of it and retreating. They are so stinkin’ cute.

The first foal I looked at, I was in love with. And he a tragic backstory, making me want to take it home and cuddle it all the more. The poor little colt is an orphan.

champagne warmblood foal
He was pretty bold though, likely due to the humans who care for him.

He was so handsome and cuddly. He had just gotten a bath (or fell in a bath, unclear) and was damp and adorable. His color is called golden champagne, which means he’s going to shed out to look similar to a golden palomino. I just luff him so much! He was so stinkin’ cute! 

They tried to get one of the other mares to adopt him as their own, and the mare was actually willing and was accepting him when the little guy got upset/scared and started kicking at the dam.  He’s still pastured with just her and her baby, so there could still be a chance that it will work out, but the breeder said the main issue is that he just wants to be with people. He has to learn to be a horse, and how to interact with horses, but at this point, he wants nothing to do with the mare and foal.

Keeping up the colt love, the next colt I saw, I fell in love with. 

warmblood colt chestnut
Three-day old strut.

Being both a colt, and a chestnut, he has two strikes against him. But he is out of the same dam that I already decided I loved, just a different sire. The sire is very impressive but definitely very frisky, and a bit of a clown. This could be hilariously great, or it could be overwhelming for me. I haven’t decided yet. 

bay stallion
Stallion picked up this weed and carried it around for several minutes. Unclear on why.

He’s looking a bit rough at the minute due to ulcers, breeding season, and spending far too much time pacing a fenceline looking for his ladies, so I’m not posting any other photos of him as I think it would be unfair to him. But he’s completed his 90 day stallion testing and is approved Oldenburg NA and RPSI (Westfalen now) in stud book 1. 

But back to the foal – I’m pretty sure we connected on a spiritual level. 

warmblood foal
We gazed deeply into each other’s eyes.

Just to throw it out there in case it’s unclear – The mare he is with is his mother because she is a recipient mare. They took a fertilized egg from his genetic mother and put it in this mare. (very sweet mare, too!)

He hasn’t been handled since he was born, and was suspicious, but I managed to get up to him while he was drinking milk. I started rubbing him, and he decided it liked it enough to stand there, suspiciously eyeing me the whole time. 

warmblood breeding
“I see you back there, hooman…”

We stared some more at each other.

chestnut colt
“Let us discuss the terms of your potential ownership of me. I demand four carrots a day (I hear they are good) on days of leisure and an additional two apples on days of exercise.”
“Hmm, yes, you also seem like an acceptable hooman.”
“Ahhh! I am cantering by and you appear out of nowhere!”

He was gorgeous and doing flying lead changes, and looking so super cute. He also liked to keep pace with his mother, and when she was doing a leisurely walk, he did the teeniest of little trots to keep pace. 

The next foal I saw, I fell in love with. Clearly there’s a pattern emerging. She is a black filly that looks exactly like Black Beauty.

I’ve always wanted a true black horse!

She was very dressage-y though so I’m not considering her as an option. I’ll just admire from afar as she goes on the horse equivalent of those child beauty pageants, and grows up to be a glamous star. 

And finally, a repeat of one we saw when we were here last time, the beautiful Olivet. D’Arcy had an extended bonding moment with her, and D’Arcy’s scratches incentivized her to groom her mother.

Could it be love!?

I haven’t spent much time with foals, but it was really shocking how much she’s grown in the three weeks since we last saw her. 

6 week old foal
Pictured with her mother. 6 weeks old, and HUGE! I think her legs are already the same length!

So many beautiful foals… I wish I could have all of them. Although I have the logic to realize I will only get one, and it will be out of the dam I love. I was planning to wait until the two from the other sire are born… but that chestnut colt is sooooo cute, and we definitely had a moment. Although having a “moment” probably isn’t a great way to pick a horse. I was told the next two foals definitely won’t be chestnuts due to the magic of genetics, so there’s that to look forward to. I will wait and see what comes out, despite being very eager to pick one already.

I asked Dave afterward what he thought of all the foals. His exact words were, “They all look exactly the same. Oh, except one had ridiculously long legs, I couldn’t even see her torso when she was on the other side of her mom.” I can only assume he’s talking about the giant Olivet. 

I just need the next few weeks to go faster! Or those babies to come out already, ugh, why do they need to be in there so long!? There’s only so much to do in there, aren’t they bored yet?!

Continue Reading

So Many Foals

If anything could inspire me to have a breeding farm, it would definitely be going to a breeding farm. They are so incredibly cute, I want to be surrounded by foals all the time. I want to lay in the middle of the field and have lots of foals leaning up against me, like a foal pile. 

When I was a teenager, my family raised sheep, and it was generally agreed upon by the sheep community that the primary reason to raise sheep is for lamb season. Watching them bounce around, call to their mother, stand on their mothers, play with each other, and just lounge around so cutely was the highlight of the sheep year. I imagine that is how some horse breeders feel, too. I mean, sure, the foals will become magnificent horses, but in the meantime, SQUEEE, look at the babies!!

I found this breeder a year ago. It was actually recommended on Chronicle of the Horse forums, and I checked it out, and thought, I’ll keep an eye on that one. I followed it on Facebook, and left it at that. As I researched more and more about what I wanted, this breeder just really caught my eye, and one day I realized that the farm is not too far from me. I truly do not know how I missed this detail, but for some reason, I thought they were out west somewhere. Once I realized I could easily visit in person, they became a viable option. 

I made my way southward and found this landmark right near the farm.

This is Commonwealth Park, aka, the home of HITS Culpeper. It’s also super depressing when there’s no show going on, and it literally looked abandoned/haunted. They could at least mow the grass!

The farm was huge! 150 acres and there were so many horses! I live in horse country, but I have never seen so many horses on one farm. It was the kind of place where they aren’t totally sure how many horses they have because there are so freaking many. But the farm was beautiful. All the horses were out on well-maintained grass, and it was clear they take very good care of all their horses. It truly is a great place for foals to grow up.

The first mare we saw was a thoroughbred mare named Berry. She definitely deserves a shout-out for having the same name as my horse, and also for being a thoroughbred. Both excellent qualities.

Similarities – They are bay thoroughbreds named Berry. Differences – Basically everything else. Also, this one has a uniquely colored foal, my Berry definitely does not.

Berry’s baby was only about 3 days old. So tiny and cute! He was too young even to be out with the other mares and foals, so they were hanging out in the arena. After checking them out for a few minutes, they were relocated so we could see one of the big men on the farm, their stallion. (One of their stallions, I think they have four total).

He is in training at a dressage barn, but he’s back at home to bred to the mares that have already given birth. As soon as they brought him in, I was in awe. He is a very impressive guy!

He stood for us for a few minutes while we checked him out, and then he was released to strut his stuff. He determined that the immediate course of action was to sniff poop, so he did that for several minutes first.

I’m planning to edit the video I got of him, but for now, pictures will have to do.

After viewing him, it was time to look at the foals. It was a field full of foals. Sadly, my picture of them en mass came out really blurry, but there were 10 foals out there, looking so adorable.

“Yes, I am adorable foal.”

The ones we looked at were all daughters of the stallion above. They were all so adorable, and their moms were lovely – I wish I could take them all home!

Although suspicious at first, this one was the only one that let me pet it, while laying down no less. I was tempted to get this one for that reason alone.
This won’t be the last time you see this gorgeous filly…

After viewing our favorite foals, they showed us some of the yearlings to get a sense of how the foals will develop. Keep in mind – these are yearlings, and yearlings are awkward. No one wants to be judged by their awkward adolescence! 

My original interest was in a foal that would have the same breeding at this dark bay filly. 

They were such puppy dogs! They just love people! (which was actually true of every horse on this farm. I asked them about it, and they said they only keep/breed horses with personalities that they like.)

All about the itches here!
ITCHES!!

We moved on from the yearlings to the older mares’ field. It was a mix of 3 year olds and older mares, I assume to babysit and put those young whippersnappers in their place. Once again, super, super friendly.

Half horse, half puppy dog.

We were introduced to the stallion’s full sister. It’s interesting how they are related, yet they look so different. As the breeder put it, same frame, but very different finish. (granted, not super easy to tell when in an uneven field and not square).

Her foal was the one I was originally interested in – The dark yearling above is her daughter. She’s not pregnant, they did embryo transfer with her.

Our final stop was the field of mares who were giving birth soon. It was a field of adorably chubby mares. They got a bit excited when we showed up, and galloped as fast as their fat pregnant bodies could carry them.

So much weight to carry…the one in the back looks like she’s trying to hard to keep up.
This appaloosa was definitely an instigator!

That’s when I met my unicorn mare, and fell in love.

D’Arcy examines, and mare contemplates life.

I do want to point out that while I was very impressed by this mare in person, I didn’t make the final decision until much later. I purposely didn’t want to rush into any choice. I went home and researched her and her lines before coming to my final decision. 

I was really happy with my experience so far at this farm. The owners were very knowledgeable and informative and didn’t try to sway the decision one way or another. They answered everything we asked and admitted they weren’t sure for things they couldn’t remember (mainly relating to a specific horse’s lines…they told us they’d have to look them up to be sure, there’s a lot of horses to keep track of.) They were up front with how the registrations they could assist with, and which horses are only eligible for half registration. They spent three and a half hours with us, showing us horses. 

Fingers crossed that everything goes according to plan! 

Continue Reading

Baby Fever

I’ve been wanting a baby (horse) for a while. I discussed it a bit in this post, in which I got some really great feedback. I didn’t even have to pay for it, many of you willingly gave it up. No one even billed for their advice.

After thinking on it, searching the internet greatly, discussing with friends, and watching/searching facebook, I ventured out to a breeding farm in my area. I had a few in mind for what I wanted, but I wasn’t totally sure. I wanted a hunter for working hunter classes and derbies, and I wanted a jumper to play around and soar, and I wanted a fun horse for all the time. 

I admit this is kind of vague to describe to someone. It was hard to pinpoint exactly what I wanted, I just felt like I would know it when I saw it. 

And O-M-G, I found it. I found my unicorn. Well, I found the parents of my unicorn anyway. The foal hasn’t even arrived yet, and won’t for several weeks. It’s agonizing to wait! I want to go in more depth of the breeding farm visit in another post but I’m terrible at keeping things secret so I’m doing the big reveal right now. I’m not going to reveal all the details yet because I want to wait until everything is signed and the ink is dry, and it’s mine forever and ever, but I will provide some vague pictures!

The baby daddy:

With a face just like Pony!!

He is a 5 year old RPSI Stud book 1 approved stallion, 75% Holsteiner. 17hh and breathtaking. Unfortunately, the breeder’s website didn’t provide a lot of information on him so I had no idea what to expect. I actually wasn’t really considering his babies, I was looking at another line. But he was gorgeous, and he had presence.  

Holy suspension!

He’s currently in dressage training, but he NEEDS to be in the jumper ring. I recommended they send him to one of my favorite trainers. I’d love to see that happen! 

But I just want to see more of him in general. He’s incredible!

After viewing daddy, and many mares and foals, we were shown the mares still going to foal…and that’s when I met mommy.

The Magnificent Mare

Although in polite society we must never ask, but she’s pregnant, so cut her some slack for being gigantic at the moment.

She an old style, thick warmblood mare, RPSI registered. She is HUGE. 17h, and thick (granted, also pregnant). Even though she was just standing in front of us, she had a presence, and I wanted her. One of my criteria for wanting the foal was wanting the mother, and WOW did I want this mare. 

Her sire is Apiro, who is worth watching on YouTube. He is incredible, does working hunter, and jumpers 1.6m. Her dam did the hunters. I’m sold!

This is such a nice mare that they actually did an embro transplant three times for her. One of the foals is already born, but it’s a colt, and I’m really hoping for a filly. Unfortunately the next two won’t be born for several more weeks. The foal she’s carrying is not from the sire above, but a completely different stallion. It should be interesting to see how that one turns out as well!

I don’t think I would have gone wrong with any of the foals on the farm, but this cross makes my heart skip a beat. I’m very excited, and super happy that I looked into this route instead of breeding. I can’t wait for my foal to be born!

In the meantime, I will definitely be posting about the breeding farm in general, because foals are amazing and cute and perfect in every way.

Continue Reading