To blog or not to blog, that is the question.

I guess I have learned that I am not exactly a blogger or am I?  I truly wanted to keep something going for the farm and to tell it all on what is going on but it has not worked like I hoped.  It always seems like something has stopped me from sitting down and writing away.  I think about it in my brain on what I could write and put down but the problem is just never sitting down and watching the words spill out from my brain via my fingers to this blog.

There is always work on the farm and horses to adore, a lovely new colt to play with this year and various shows or events to attend.  Of course the never ending bills, paperwork and promoting and selling horses.  And then your life.  But it’s what we love and there are always the things you wish were not there…eww, paperwork and bills but then I think about our new boy and it makes it a bit easier, though he is a snot!

But I think about the good things that I should write about and I am hoping my brain will settle down to let it flow onto the virtual page.  Our new boy was born on Memorial day, a silvery color which when he gets older will not be one who browns out.  His name is Quintus, who is a Roman general and we expect him to lead for us when he older.  We also were very pleased when our boy Lionheart was invited to shown at Breyerfest which is held at the Kentucky Horse Park.  Another of our boys Uther is going to join him in the open demo but Lion gets his own!  And of course Uther is showing off at 2nd lvl.  As always we have horses for sale as we try to get a bit of a smaller herd and we are out there teaching people about Friesians and having fun doing it!

So now in between that I need to get the news out and let everyone know what is going on, I should be bloggin it to you.  Hmm.  I have a feeling it won’t be happening right now but I need to figure out how to.  So I hope to get the news out but til now I need to think, how does one sit down to blog?

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Spring is coming??

Hmm, well in Michigan that is a questionable question.  If you say “Spring is coming”, you know you are doomed and whoa to the person who said it!  But at the moment, its kind of nice here in the glove state.

The sun has peeked out from behind the thick clouds from which it has been hiding for quite some time, I for one was happy to see it, it has been awhile.  The temps rose to what we consider in MI, shorts weather!  lol, well, we have a different view of things here.  It has been rough since I cannot enjoy it completely having a boot on one foot (with the 2 stress fractures) and a strained Achilles on the other one, leftover ice and the rough terrain here is not my friend.  But it’s still been nice.

The Friesians have looked up and just been basking in it.  I looked out upon the pastures and more than one Moose in a pasture has been sprawled flat-out snoring in the sun.  Sometimes there is one overlooking them and sometimes not, all of them are getting a tan.  When they are enjoying themselves this is usually when we have people who drive by and next thing we know are heading up the drive to the house and knocking on the door.  Most people assume that when they sprawled that something is wrong with them.  I appreciate that they let us know but I smile and if I can sneak them down by the mooses they can hear the soft snore, or usually loud snore as they are enjoying their names and the sun.  People do not know that they love to sprawl in the sun and nap just as much as the rest of us!

I love watching them like that.  I do not mind the winter but I love this time of year as well as I know they do.  Hopefully though, I have not jinxed us by my words but lets keep the sun out and shining either way!  Think I might just dare the hill and head out into the pasture and curl up with them and get a little snooze in as well.

The Dragon celebrates 20 yrs!

Oh boy… It is hard to imagine that we have hit 20 yrs.  We never thought when we first started what we could have accomplished or shall I say what we have.  All we wanted was to breed the best Friesians we could.

We started with our gelding Caesar and went looking for mares with our first foals arriving in 1995.  One of those being my mare Lucia and another being Lionheart, the one and only, he arrived first and of course has been the one and only since than, well, he thinks he is the one and only and he always will be.  From there we have had our first premies, our sters, our models and ster stallions.  I suppose within the Dutch registry the only thing we have not done is to make a stallion.  Lionheart made ster, he made that the first year they started that, they loved him but told us they would not make him stallion as he was too laid back…lol…wth!  We were though the first farm that made a model mare in the US, Sietscke, now that was a trip, which paved the way for everyone else and made it a whole lot easier.

Outside of the Dutch we have shown all over the US.   Within the USDF we have taken many breeder awards and all sorts of performance awards within the USEF and IFSHA as well as our stallion Bearend taking Friesian stallion of the year for multiple years and BDF being both Breeder and Owner of the year as well.  And our favorite, Lionheart, taking Horse of the Year, which he likes a lot as well.  I could list all sorts of stuff that we are proud of every year and I admit one of the things we love is excelling in our costumes, ok, so that is not quite performance but we love to do it, from Armor to Period and Fantasy.  We make what goes in the ring and we have a ball doing it.

But it really all comes down to the horses.  I love going out and just leaning on one of the Friesians and getting a hug while being mugged from others.  The joy of just watching a foal being born.  All of the little things, well, of course fixing fencing is not among that list!  While it has its down sides as well and the longer we are here we dread the days our Friesian family members leave us but we look back with smiles on the memories we created.  I can only hope there is another 20 yrs but either way we will love every minute we have with them.

All in White

I had wonderful intentions of doing at least weekly posts but the best laid plans as always,with horses, shows, paperwork, online work…the brain gets overloaded.  Though not as many shows or events this year we finally came down to the all important one, the one owners and breeders of Friesians wait the year for, the keuring.  For those that do not know, that is where we show our horses to the Dutch judges as they make their yearly pilgrimage to hit various sites on the US to judge our horses.  From the babies to the adults we wait and hope our horses obtain the best scores and the highest premies.  Of course we all think our horses are worthy of the rare first premie but not all are but yet we all hope.

For a reason I am not sure of, the proper way to present a Friesian horse is to dress all in white (the part we all love and look so good in, cough, cough) which includes the handler and the horse.  Years ago when we first started we could not find a bridle in white, we ended up finding racing bridles we could use which have since fallen apart.  White halters were easy, you could order those.  Bad enough finding white for yourself, better buy those white jeans at just the right time of the year!

We had 8 horses heading down to the keuring in Ohio, two trailers worth.  We were all set until Jo went to take the truck for gas she realized there was a problem, the truck was not stopping.  As she took it in we had news that made our heart sink, the brake lines had broken and no matter who we checked with it was going to take more than a day to fix and us out 2k…sigh.  Now what.  We checked with everyone we could and no one had a fifth wheel that we could get our trailer down with.  So we did what we could and took two small ones after our neighbor let us use their truck.  So most of the horses stayed home and left us heart-broken, but it was take a couple down or none at all.  So our young stallion Uther, a young mare and my mare and her new filly went down as well as meeting a gelding of ours at the grounds.

We thought our boy had a shot and it made us cheer as he made ster stallion.  Uther loved all the attention and thought he was the hit of the show, typical moose.  I had told Jo that so far I had not had a first premie for my horses and she told me my filly was nice, she had a shot, I smiled.  I always get excited when our horses go into the ring and my heart pounds and especially so when mine do.  I watched my filly go, as I had not really made her show off at the farm, and my eyes opened watching her go and I was forgetting to hit the shutter on my camera.  The judges then announced what they saw and I realized I was not hearing much in the way of bad but lots of good, I breathed and then they announced she was a first premie, I let out a cheer!  Oh my.  When she went back to show for the Champion Filly, I tried not to think that she had a chance but she strutted her stuff and her trot just floated but she was only 3 months and so much smaller than the 5 and 6 month olds she was showing against.  When they came to announcing it took a few moments for it to sink in as they talked about the age difference of the fillies and then said Nemesis was the Champ somewhere in there…everyone told me to go out there and I just looked staring.  Lol…I was so happy, what a little snot she is and she kicked butt.

Nemesis showed for the Keuring Champ but even though she was first premie and the older ster mare was a 2nd, the older mare one.  They discussed that but I never really figured out why the reason they do that but ah well, I love my filly and she still kicked some serious butt!  So we have one more show left, the USDF Finals in KY with Uther and Alchemy qualifying, cannot wait!

I look out as the leaves in the past few days have quickly changed colors.  I hope to get some photos shoots in before all of the leaves have dropped, cannot believe how quick the summer went.  So now to see if we can sell some horses before winter and the usual workings of the farm.  So we put away our whites for another year and give all of our hard-working horses a well deserved hug.

Tis show season

Well, trying to figure out what shows we can make this year. We will not be doing Grand Nationals this year, that is for sure, as it is back in California. It was supposed to be in the middle I thought this year but for 2 out of 3 yrs it is in CA. We did CA once to say we did that, that was it, not again, lol. It is really a lot on the horses, the people…and the pocket book! =P But it was cool to do something like that once, kind of a big adventure. So without Nationals we are ineligible for any of the big awards, bit of a bummer when you think about it.

Despite that, there are three shows that have Friesian classes at it, the IFSHA ones, two in WI and one in Ohio. We also have two young boys we are trying to promote and hopefully sell, so probably a dressage show or two in there. If we hit all of those I am not sure as of yet. Showing is not easy and is it a lot of work. It can be great and other times when you ask yourself…why am I doing this, lol. Well, we do it to see what we can do, what we are capable of and how far we can go and as always to promote the farm. Course, the fun part are the costume classes, lol. And we always have lots of laughs, in between swearing at each other! I think if we did not show we would miss it well, I know we would. But I know we will not always do it. And even this year I am not sure how much, sigh..we need to sell horses.

My mare will not be showing this year as she is set to have a baby in early July. Am looking forward to a new addition. So without her showing we decided to take a few sales horses in addition to others. Ah well…back to thinking about where we get to go this year, hmm. Europe? la la la…. Guess that is not a show though…grin.

Another Equine Affaire is done…

Well, the title pretty much says it all, another Equine Affaire is finished.  We have been attending the Ohio Equine Affaire since…hmm…I think 1996.  eeep, lol.  With the attempt at Equitana in this country gone, I believe that EA is the biggest horse trade show in the US.  EA actually has three shows, one in MA, one in CA and this one.  They tried doing one in KY, which we attended but it only happened once.  They just decided to put the CA one on hold for a couple of years, so now we just have two.  For those that do not know, it is a four-day event with horses coming in from all over, all types of breeds, demos and clinics galore and the best part….shop til you drop.  We often wait and pick up things we need as there are lots of deals.

We have taken anywhere from 3 – 7 horses, depending on what we are doing there.  We usually do various demos or have been in the nite performance in the past.   This year we had 4 and with my mare going as well, making 5.  There was anywhere from one to two demos a day this year, showing off the Friesian and teaching people about them.  The farm just did one separate demo this time as our numbers were short.  A few years ago we had even done a jousting demo though we are short the jousters to do one now, gets kind of hard to joust against yourself!  So we stuck to various different seats or costume, from medieval and renaissance to our latest venture, steampunk.

I was working on a post before EA but with all of the prep work, it just did not get finished.  I think EA has far more pre-work than regular showing, aside from just the horses and supplies we have the costumes, the stalls, photos, signs, info stuff as well as the embroidery and photos we are now selling.  Pant, pant…  You try to keep up to date and to be ready but it  never really happens, la!

This year went well.  Though no matter what we do there are problems that arise even if we think we are all set.  Guess its the nature of the beast…or the horse?  But you do your best and put on your best.  We love the horses and they make all of it worthwhile.  The best part is hanging next to the stalls with the door open so they can put their heads out.  As they mug everyone for pets and rifle bags for goodies, my mare is exceptionally good at looking for goodies!  I love how much these guys adore attention.  Makes up for the times as you’re getting ready for demos and start freaking out as you’re trying to finish putting all of the costumes on and get to the ring.  Of course you get to the ring in plenty of time but that performance anxiety, lol.

But despite the one day where it decided to rain all day, unfortunately on Sat, it was nice weather, great people and good performances by all.  I look forward to it every year but just as glad when it is done and you get a few days of rest.  Now we have our regular shows and hopefully we can sell some horses from this or get breedings for the boys.  Better get my butt outside, have to take a few photos for the website.

Do horses really snore?

Oh yeah they do.  As we have been rocked with more than just an early spring, ok, more like an early summer, the horses have been enjoying all of it.  Despite the fact they still have their winter coats and I would not want to be wearing a fur in 80 degree weather, at least we have the sun and the mud and extra water have been clearing up fast.  And I see green!

When I was young, long before I had horses, I remember being taught that horses sleep standing up and laying down was not a good thing.  Boy, amazing how much wrong info there is out there.  Our Friesians sleep standing, laying or sprawled flat out.  When we first had the farm and saw the horses sprawled out flat, yea we used to check on them a lot.  As we went up to them we heard the tell-tale signs…zzzzzzz.  I had to laugh, good thing I don’t have to share a bed with that!

Every year we get multiple phone calls or people coming up the drive and wanting us to check our horses out as they are laying flat out.  I do still look out in the pasture, its in my nature to do so but when the weather is nice that is all I hear, the rumbling sound of snoring.  Sometimes we have more horses laying down than standing out in the field and I wish I could be them, laying out in the grass having a nice dream.  Though I admit, sometimes we have layed down with the babies out in the field, I think they thought that was kind of cool, I know we did!