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.

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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.