New Arrivals

I've been remise in posting again, but (here comes the excuse) it's been a lot crazy around here. Between the kids and work and writing - and, of course, the horses - time flies by and a week or more has passed before I realize.

We've had a couple of new arrivals in the last week. ...well, one isn't mine, not really, but I still get to brag on him because he's GWAIHIR's only foal this year.

Introducing AELFLEAH AL AZRAQ ("The Grey"), otherwise known as "Chewy". He'll be available for sale once he's weaned. Contact Aelfleah Farms directly if you're interested in raising a top notch performance gelding.

He's friendly and curious, as most foals are, but more than that, he's bred in performance proven lines that have great (steady, trainable) minds to go along with their athletic abilities. As bad as the market is (and getting worse), I know how tempting it can be to go after those 'bargain' horses. And I know a lot of people enjoy those challenges. But if you want one that's bred right and raised right - give Aelfleah Farms a call about this little guy because he's both.

The other 'new arrival' is mine. Not a foal though, we have a new mare.

DB RIANNE pulled in, after a long drive, about 4am this morning.

She's 10yo with a show record in hunter/jumper and endurance with a jr rider and we're pretty excited about her being here.

We owned her dam, DB RIFIAMA, for several years (as an older mare) and were very disappointed that we were never able to get a foal from her.

So many times, these wonderful little mares go into family homes, or performance homes (as they should), but then they are never preserved, replaced, to give future generations the benefit of knowing their daughters. Of course, the often unpleasant flip side of that is too many generations bred without performance testing, but that's a post for another day.

In any case, RIANNE is a case of how well it can work when people come together for the good of the horse and we're extremely grateful to the Schotts for their concern and generosity and working with us to get her down here where we'll continue her performance record, as well as breeding her within her rare group and sub-group to provide good-minded, athletic little mares to another generation of young riders.

Blogging With a Purpose

Last week, L.A. Mitchell bestowed upon me the Blogging With a Purpose award !


I'm always delighted to hear from someone who gets any good out of my ramblings and was tickled to get this bit of recognition.

The original rules(which she says she loosely altered) 1. Nominate 5 blogs which haven't had this award before 2. Each of the blogs must have a purpose 3. The nominated blogs must make a link back to this page 4. The logo from the award must be put on their blog and it must link back to this blog. ...I'm going alter as well, not 'alter' really, but I'm only going to follow #s 1 and 2.

I have to admit I've been working on this for a couple of days now. :( We've been busy here...

But I'd like to name some blogs that I frequent. It's hard to pick just five, but I'll try. And these are not in any order. I have too many 'must reads' to have any real favorites, so I'm trying to pick a variety.

First, I'll plug the Hero Rats. We have pet rats, and they are sweet as can be. Now I know that a lot of people who haven't been around them, just can't imagine what great pets they are, but they really are wonderful. They're loving and very playful. And clean. They clean themselves all the time, like little cats. Back to the Hero Rats. This is an organization that uses trained rats to demine at-risk areas. They sniff out the buried explosives and they are light enough they don't trigger the mines when they find them. They are also using trained sniffer rats to identify positive TB samples. One rat can test as many samples in ten minutes as a human technician can test in an entire day. They're amazing little animals. If you've never been around them, spend a few minutes checking these two links and give them a chance to win your heart.

Next, I'm going to give you a couple of places I 'hang out', just because they are interesting people. Val is a cancer survivor, a vet, a horseman, not to mention a mom and a long list of other stuff - and she's an interesting person. As is Leah. Leah is one of my long-time crit partners and I have the greatest admiration for how she keeps writing though all of life's travails. She's an endless source of inspiration and support for me when life gets me down and my writing slacks off. She always gives me a hug or a slap - whichever is needed. :)

An Arabian horse blog that I follow, Daughter of the Wind, and a website that has not just modern show and race horses, and the ever elusive Pure Desert Horse.

oops. That's more than five already - ok, I'll stop there, but I'm not taking one of those down.

Mother's Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful mother's day with lots of snuggles and smooches from their kids. Ours was pretty relaxed, mainly, dinner with my mom and family. I snuck off a little early and came back to mess with the horses a little. I didn't have time to ride, but I got MIREE up and worked with her.

We had a wonderful short ride yesterday, and as young as she is, I won't ride her again for a few days. It probably sounds funny, like she's not on a training schedule, but she's not. Not really. But that's the beauty of starting my own colts under saddle, is that I can do it on the horse's schedule. I don't have to answer to the demands that someone wrote in a book, StepOne, StepTwo.... and I don't answer to anyone who's writing a check for me to push their horse along. (although, I have to say, when I was riding other horses, I'm not sure if it was luck, or if I was just hard-nosed enough about it, but I never had anyone try to lean on me to push their horses.)

But the wonderful thing I have found out about riding just a little bit and then giving them time off, is that they tend to think about it all and come back stronger. Miree has been doing well, but still a little unsure under saddle - but yesterday, she was all brass and confidence. A totally difference ride from last week and the rides before. She was steadier on her legs, more sure of her balance with me on-board, lighter in my hands and more responsive. A wonderful and dramatic difference.

So after such a good riding day yesterday, I put on her driving stuff today. We're ground driving and still dreaming of a harness and cart. But, to date, while she's been wearing the bit, she's been driving with the noseband - a kind of hybrid bosal I like to start colts in. Well, today, I went ahead and attached the reins to the bit ... and she went along as if she'd been doing it forever. Of course, she's not 'giving' and 'bending' the way she'll learn to do, but it's simply incredible to be working with a little mare that has so much try and so much heart that she actually reaches out with open communication to figure out what it is the two of you are supposed to be doing.

She tentatively shifts one way, then the other, her entire being focused on mine. Tension and pressure, a frown, mean "that's not it" and softening and praise mean "good girl!" ... and she gives the same tension or softness back to me depending on if I'm being good or bad.

And that's the part that you never hear about when people talk about a partnership with their horse - that a partnership is a two way street. For all that Miree gives, she demands as much. I'm just glad that she's generous and forgiving and willing to work with me and give me the time I need to learn to be her partner.