Hello World!

We had an exciting arrival early Friday morning, a brand new little stallion, barn name - YODA, who already carries the weight of the ages on his tender young shoulders.

He is one of my BLUE STARs, but more than that, he's a very welcome addition to a rare sub-subgroup of BLUE STAR. He makes #8 in his group, only three of which are mature and in production. (three are unavailable to us and one is his 2yo 1/2 sister, MIREE.) He is only the second one born into this group in over ten years and, barring unforeseen tragedy, ensures the group's survival for another generation.

What makes this little guy, and his group, so special? Their bloodlines - yes. It's based on the blood, defined by the blood and continued through and with the blood, but the blood is only a part of it. What makes these ('so-called' special the critics sneer) special lines worth trying to save are that they still exhibit the qualities that were bred into them starting 2,000 years ago in the interior of the Nejd. The fierce and loving war-mares, raised and trained by children, that would charge eagerly into battle, shift their balance to keep an unsteady (wounded) rider on board and consent to wait quietly, hidden in the women's quarters, inside the black tents until guests (potential thieves) took their leave.

They have a combination of physical, mental and emotional strength that make them what I call the "Family Style Performance Horse." Maybe not 'nuff said, but I won't /rant-on/ about it today except to say that one of the things that really draws me to this bloodgroup of horses is their intelligence, obvious thought process and a deeply rooted desire to be with and please their people.

Look at YODA's attitude here. He is not only accepting of being held and cuddled, but comfortable in my son's arms. See the relaxed expression, soft eyes and ears. Both of these guys are enjoying the contact and the 'getting to know you' conversation.

All under the watchful ears of the dam, ASF WITNESS. This little mare is facing an exhausting few months trying to keep her curious and friendly colt out of trouble and away from potential danger. She knows my son and is accepting of his time and contact with YODA, but see how wary she is of a visitor when it looks like YODA might want to get snuggly with someone that she doesn't know well.

That sideways ear is tightly focused on the stranger and is a warning for him to stay back. In this case, we eased the tension by giving her a few minutes and when she relaxed, the visitor came forward to pet the colt. If her ears had gone back instead of forward, we would have taken whatever time was needed to ease her fears.

Keeping their foals safe is the primary job of a broodmare and many mares will viciously attack if you approach their foals, especially if you get between them and the foal. While I don't tolerate aggressive behavior toward people, I also take great pains to respect my mares and ask visitors to approach the mare first and get the snuffle of approval before getting too close to the foal. We've found that if we ask nicely we avoid any potential defensive aggression and the associated problems.

Sue L.

1 comment:

Becky Burkheart said...

Yep. Brother ..and ..um. nephew - sort of. :) MIREE and YODA have the same dam and YODA's sire is MIREE's paternal half-brother and their dam's are sisters... ;)

Yoda is going to be bay, I'm almost sure. I'm still not used to getting bays and I fuss and fret over the shading, at least until the foal coat sheds.

MIREE is still - well - ...different. I've decided to call her a 'golden bay'. Of course we would have loved to get another dilute, but YODA's going to be striking as he is. He has all the extra fun stuff, odd shaped socks and the back stripe and deep shoulder bars. It's going to be fun to watch him grow up.

Yes, yes, pictures of MIREE. She's getting to be quite the little lady. I'll have to get some current photos and post them here. I'm sure I can find some excuse to write about her!