Waterford Blu

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P1050151My lovely, new, little man is Waterford Blu. He is by Wamberto (Rousseau) out of a Piaster (Pik Bube) mare. That mare is my beloved Rafi! He was born on May 1, 2013 at Blue Waters Farm. He is being raised there. It’s tough, as I’m in NY or Florida and he is in Maryland. But Linda and Martina are doing a great job introducing him to the world. I get there as I can. Now that some of the work on the new house is getting under control, I may be able to leave occasionally and particpate more in his development.

His name came from the “W” of Wamberto, which is traditional for the Oldenburg world. The “Blu” is my choice of suffix in honor of Bella Blu Farm. I set the precedent in case I actually breed another baby in the future. With three mares in my life, that is always possible! But do I want to be a breeder? No!!! But I love my girls. The thought of a morsel of them for my future (I plan on living to be a hundred!) is very appealing. And I had great, good fortune on my first attempt.

The photo above is from last year’s (2013) ISR/OLD Inspection at Hilltop. The handler is the very best : Michael Bragdell! Waterford just missed premium status foal. But as he has since been gelded (he was always slated to be gelded, regardless of scores), I didn’t really care about that status. He got an 8 on his gaits. That was what I was excited about. He also was shown with his surrogate appy mom ( Waterford is an embryo transfer), who only has one true gait: walk. So he might have done even better with a more forward mom at his side. Who knows? I love how he moves. He floats like his real mom. And of course, Wamberto moves like a dream. All the grandparents are impressive as well. He is definitively and definitely slated to be a dressage horse.

I’m hoping for a visit soon. WordPress is not letting me easily add photos to my posts for some reason. Have to figure out what that’s about! I have so many to share!!!

A need to write quietly

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P1050151I’ve been on quite a journey the last couple years! I certainly fell far from the habit of blogging. I’m gently encouraging myself back here for all my ruminations. I confess to having been seduced by social media, particularly Face Book. Which is fine. But it’s time to be more reflective and contemplative again. Journaling here has always been good for this. You do get an audience and some feedback. But it’s definitely more supportive and thought provoked than dashing a reply on Facebook.

My horse life is transforming. We have changed our New York residence yet again. I am super happy to find myself back in upper Westchester. Feels like home to me. We have settled beautifully this summer into our new home. We are keeping the Florida place and still hope that my pasture full of grazing polo ponies will become my dream dressage facility. But it still has to wait. But I’m happy. The dream is alive. I’ve got a great boarding situation in Wellington at Tuny Page’s Stillpoint Farm. Assistant trainer Jen Griger has now moved up to being my full time trainer, as Cathy Morelli has given up the boarding end of her business. She’s doing great, BTW. She and BeSe are now based in Georgia and they still competing at Grand Prix!!!

I spent the last two years getting the Adult Amateur Dressage Initative going. We had some good results. I have stepped down from the Board, however. After my husband’s lymphoma diagnosis and cure, my involvement got a bit scattered. Unfortunately, I felt my efforts this last six months were neither inspiring or impacting anyone. So it was time for new blood and new ideas. It’s my baby and I hate seeing it sail on without me. But I have some other adult amateur projects to involve myself in. And I will always have opinions and I will always be a questioning nudge when I see the USDF or USEF riding roughshod over the AA’s.

The beauty of stepping down from the AADI? I can now voice my own views and not the consensus. I love the Priorities that AADI was focused on (although who knows if they will stay the same now?), but I didn’t personally agree or necessarily care about some of them. Separate pinning is desirable. But I don’t personally care if I am in a class with everyone. But when you are the president, you have to back what the group wants. Now I can express myself for myself. So that part is great.

I have learned that it is lonely at the top. You are damned if you do something and damned if you don’t. That was the pressure that got to me the most, I think. If I waited for others to start a project or take on a subject, it seemed like no one did. But if I took the initiative on a subject, I was being an autocrat or worse. I just got tired of it. I hate conflict. And it seemed lately, that everything I would say or undertake, I got more criticism than agreement. So, I bowed out. I’m glad I started it and led it. But now I am relieved to be done…

Back to my horses! Two years ago, after a long fight to keep her sound, I finally retired Raphaela. I promptly bred her to the young and fabulous Wamberto and via embryo transplant, got myself the most awesome foal. Waterford Blu is very like mom (hooray) and is now coming on 15 months of age. It’s a love affair. He is a gentle, handsome, excellent moving bay that I think I will enjoy forever.

Callista and Delhia (Lhia) are doing great. I’m off to Florida the end of the week to have some time with them. I feel like I haven’t ridden in ages! Who am I kidding? I haven’t!!! I cannot believe that Callista turned 12 this year! Boggles my mind. More soon. Good to be here again!

This is for Jason, one of the best show announcers in Welly World!

equissentials

Out from behind the Mic.

So I have been giving it a lot of thought.  Now that I have started this Blog…I need help.  I want to cover Dressage, Hunter-Jumpers, Western, and Trail Riders.  BUT…I want to feature the local horses and their riders.

South Florida has it all and up until now we really don’t go outside of what and who we know when we could learn so much from each other.  Well nothing is going to change until someone sets something up…well…hopefully we have arrived.

Florida has issues that many other areas of the Country don’t.  Lets face it we are basically on an island.  We have vet issue that many of our Northern friends don’t have.  Anhidrosis for example, we all know someone that has had a horse battle it down here.  Thrush, muck itch, Florida sores, fire ant bites, sunburn and I could go on and…

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back to Callista….Yes!!!!

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Now that Callista is on the mend from various setbacks this winter, I’ve started to have lessons on her again! We’re concentrating on my seat. After my toss from Delhia a few weeks ago, I was struggling with fears and confidence issues. My mantra was : “This is temporary, this temporary!” I have been getting on Delhia but have I been missing Rafi and Callista!!!

Rafi, of course, was the ultimate confidence builder. It was always Callista that pushed my buttons. But with Rafi retired and about to be bred and Lhia making fetal position a part of our daily repertoire? Suddenly Callista needs to step up to schoolmaster role. After all, everything is relative!!! Alpha, opinionated, Madame Queen has suddenly become my easiest ride!!!

I’m sorting through some video excerpts for eventual posting. And I do have some stills that my trainer took today.

We worked on the seat. The lessons have to be short as she is not fully returned to work. We’ve just started asking her to be a tad more engaged. Up until now, we were posting and basically giving her a long rein to find her own balance. But for the last few days, we are asking  her to come through her back into engagement and to connect more. We also have begun asking for leg yields, shoulder in, and some reinback.

Me? I need to get my lower back relaxed and fluid as soon as I get on. My fall definitely gave me set back in the tension retention department. Fight the fetal is the goal just now. Fortunately, Callista is incredibly sensible. If the work is easy, she’s content to go about like a lesson pony while I turn my toes in, drop my leg more, keep an eye on whether said legs are forward or too far back……relax, drop shoulders, poll the highest point….

I’m happy on certain levels to go back to the beginning again! The seat. The seat! The seat!!!

a new career for my special girl…

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I deliberately saved my 100th post on my blog for some special news about Rafi! After a frustrating two years of trying to bring her back to work, this past year I decided to retire her. She had the winter off and on April 1st, we brought her back to Cathy’s Wellington Farm for a last attempt to get her back under tack. We are successfully walking her but she is done.

My various vets have often remarked that I ought to try to get a baby out of this very special schoolmistress. I always held back because of her over the knee conformation and subsequent degeneration of the collateral ligaments and arthritic changes in her front fetlocks. But three different vets said it wouldn’t stop them from breeding her! Between the advances in orthopedic shoe-ing of youngsters and picking a good stallion, it was felt I had a good opportunity to get a nice foal or two out of her.

After discussing it with everyone connected with Rafi, AND having the dearest husband on earth encourage me, I have decided to go for it! Rafi is a gift from the horse gods, having had an FEI career and has taught two amateurs, her former owner and myself, all the advanced movements through Grand Prix!!! She has the most sensible, kind, ideal, adult amateur temperament. She’s a beautiful, elegant mare with a great back and hind end. Lovely head and eye! And all that dressage ability….she could piaffe until the cows came home!

She has too much to share. I cannot bring myself to just retire her into a field as a pasture ornament.

I am taking the plunge.

Allow me to introduce you to:

WAMBERTO { Rousseau – Voltaire – Dutchboy} a 16.1 hand 2003 KWPN Stallion!

He’s gorgeous and I hope he will share his dressage talent, his shorter back, his gaits, his “GO” button {at least, slightly anyway!}. His babies are proving to be fairly easy to handle and train by all accounts. He received raves at his stallion testings for rideability and for character. Susanne Hassler, who recommended him to me, feels he is the most rideable stallion she has ever ridden.

And he’s beautiful! I have loved his sire Rousseau {Ferro – Roemer – Homerus} for years. Wamberto is just a smaller version throwing very trainable babies.

I have done all the pre-pregnancy exams on my beloved Raphaela. The green light came the other day. Yesterday, after days and days of researching stallions, I made my choice.

For the breeding enthusiasts who might be reading: Raphaela’s lineage: she’s a 16.3 hand 1994  Bavarian Warmblood mare by Piaster {Pik Bube} out of a Rasso {Ramiro} mare….

So feast your eyes on this great young stallion. I’ll get some videos up soon. And we’ll be breeding Rafi the next cycle!!!!

Callista!!!! The FEI debut photos….

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I finally have photos from Callista’s debut at Prix St. Georges!!! Jen Griger, our assistant trainer shared the moment by making her FEI debut as well. The tests went well. There were some green moments, which is only to be expected when taking this step. But I was so satisfied with the rides. Please note, one class was performed in the snaffle.

Introducing: Delhia AKA “Lhia”

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Wow!!! It’s been forever since I’ve posted here! I have a new horse, Callista has debuted at Prix St. Georges, I’m still battling the weight but exercising!!! 18 lbs. down since November…still a way to go!!!

Thought you would enjoy photos of Delhia! She’s a chestnut, 2003, just about 17 hand Oldenburg mare by Domiro {Donnerhall} out of a Wolkenstein II {Weltmeyer} mare. She’s already bucked me off! Mercifully, I am largely unhurt, although my confidence is certainly on the rocks. it was also lucky that the toss occurred AFTER I showed her for the first time…

Mare # 3…..

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The third ride went well on the prospect! So well, that an offer has been made and accepted. Details will follow once she passes the vet! Can’t believe that I’m buying another mare! I’m becoming a mare person. Would never have called it in a thousand years. But there it is!!!

Be back here with more to share very soon!

Ancora Imparo….life as I know it…

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Tomorrow, I will have a third ride on a potential new horse. The assistant trainer at our barn will hack her to our barn so that we can see how she behaves in a new place. We’ll pull blood for a drug test. If all goes well, I will make an offer on her.

Yeah, it’s been a while since last I blogged.  I’m in Florida and am relieved to find the holidays behind me! Highs and Lows have abounded and I’m longing to get life onto an even keel again!

It is with enormous regret and sadness that last month I decided that after a good fight and some mighty wicked vet bills, it was the right thing to retire my beloved Rafi. I had to face the fact that she simply isn’t coming back. I really had to scramble to find someplace local to place her. My other retiree, Charly, lives so far away that I never see him. I’m hoping to eventually have Rafi home once my barn is built. But that’s at least a year away. So for the high season, Rafi will have to live at another facility until the seasonal people leave my trainer’s barn. Then I can bring her back at a reduced rate for the off-season. I’m a little nervous about this working but we’ll see.

So I have been horse hunting. And after a near disastrous fall from a spooking prospect, I have found a 2003 mare who is a worthy candidate to my fantastic Raphaela! Unlike the Christmas horse saga, I’m staying quiet about this one until it’s a go! I will say that she fits most of the criteria that I spelled out on a long ago post here. But she’s maybe a year behind in her training. So far, she’s proved to be safe, sensible and rather sensitive. I’m hopeful….I will get back here with the outcome!

Callista will finally make her debut at Prix St. Georges this month. Jen has made terrific progress with her. She needs two scores at PSG to get her Silver Medal. I’m hoping she’ll get them between the next 2 or 3 shows. I’m happy to give her this opportunity but I’d like to think that this spring I’ll get out to a show myself with Callista! Probably I’ll take her out First Level.

After all these years of no interest in ribbons and score chasing, I’ve decided that I’d like to go for my USDF medals after all. I figure, between Callista and the new horse, I OUGHT to be able to get my Bronze before the end of the summer. Anyhow, that’s the goal!

So tomorrow is a BIG DAY! I am pulling for this mare to be my next horse. But I am totally prepared to walk if she is naughty or if she turns out positive for drugs.

Except for the blip of the holidays, I’m doing well with food and fitness. There’s a lot to be thankful right now. Next week I have a big birthday coming. Maybe a big red mare will be a really good gift!