This video captures the boy schooling at his first show in Colorado. Petra noted he’s starting to understand collection and his canter is coming along well. She also said his trot needs to get quicker. Overall he did a great job at the busy horse show. As for me, I’m learning about forgiveness and patience in this process.
We’ve been waiting, and waiting for the hay guy to show up and cut the field. In the midst of our frustration, Paula, created this sign. Thank goodness she found an outlet to channel her energy – for a while, I thought she was going to cut and bale that hay by hand. And I’m not joking.
Then the hay guy arrived with his tractor one day and we cheered!
Here’s Paula preparing the barn to stack the hay. I love this picture of her. I don’t know too many people that could shovel a load of crushed concrete.
Takin’ a break to snap a photo of my boy. Falcon’s top line is developing nicely.
Hay from the fields of Hillcrest farm. Makes me happy.
Oh! And this made me laugh! Paula’s daughter, Grace, shared this on Facebook. Matthew saw it and said, “That’s you!”
Enjoying some lunch tied to the trailer before our lesson.
Sir Winkett is magical.
On a side note, I’ve been making green smoothies with kale from our garden. There’s something about that that feels so good.
Paula’s intentions were so good, but let’s face it, she gave Sir Winkett’s forelock quite a trim! His new nickname is “Friar Tuck.”
I was alone at the barn when I first discovered his short and sassy haircut. I laughed out loud, put his face in my hands, kissed him on the nose, and said, “What happened my friend?”
We go crazy over Sir Winkett. We love him so and he plays an incredibly important role on the farm. We are grateful for every day he is with us.
We have this ongoing stereotype playing out at the farm. Falcon is the perpetual filthy boy that doesn’t miss an opportunity to roll in dirt (think Pig-pen from the Peanuts cartoon).
And then we have Roulette that glistens even when her paddock is muddy.
Falcon on the other hand is caked in mud (this side of his body was his “clean side”). It took me 30+ minutes just to clear a spot to put the saddle. And I just gave him a bath the other day and he has since fully embraced his Pig-pen persona. You might be wondering: Why not put on a blanket? Good question. It’s been too warm for his lite weight turnout and I haven’t found anything to keep the mud off that won’t make him sweat. I think about these things a lot… Signing off to go ride my dirty pony.
Did I mention that he’s helping us do spring tree pruning?
Putting this much horse together is no small task. We have a long way to go, but we’re on our way!
Fun weekend. Yesterday, I watched my trainer, Jessica Greer, ride Navarro in a clinic with George Williams. The pair were amazing and their ride really captured for me why I love dressage. Navarro is so fit and so talented (as is Jessica) and Jessica knows exactly how to showcase his athleticism. Jessica is a beautiful rider and I’m thrilled to be riding with her.
Then it started snowing…
I woke up to find a good amount of snow accumulating and the wind blowing. Although I wasn’t scheduled for morning chores, I left for the farm at 6:30am. Before leaving I said to Matthew, “Can you be on point for farm help today if we need you?” He graciously agreed and sent me on my way in my overalls and snow boots.
Our normal routine is for Gail to do morning chores, Paula does noon, and I do evening chores. However, Paula and I wanted to give Gail a break so we did morning chores this weekend.
I pull into the farm and notice that both Gail and Paula are already there. Paula, who was scheduled for morning chores, said that when she arrived, Gail was already there and had fed and watered the horses. Paula and I encouraged Gail to go home and take the break she was supposed to be enjoying. Gail left and Paula and I finished up morning chores.
Courtesy of Paula’s amazing talent in the kitchen, I enjoyed a cookie right away. The snow and wind were picking up so we talked of rationing the cookies in case we had to stay the night.
It was now time to exercise the horses. Paula lunged Volkert while I rode Falcon and our beautiful indoor arena shut out the cold and snow and we were able to exercise our horses. Here’s Falcon in the cross ties after our ride. Notice the snow blowing in.
Sassy stayed warm by staying close to the heater.
After my ride, I look to Paula and say, “I think we should call Matthew and ask him to help remove snow. It’s really starting to drift.”
Shortly thereafter, my manly man arrives at the farm with a thermos of hot cocoa ready to go to work.
Like I said, the team rallied.
“Smile Paula!” I say. She responds, “I am!”
I love this farm.
Our amazing Hillcrest team rallied once again. After a warm shower and some lunch, I’m enjoying Emmitt snoozing next to me and Matthew playing his guitar. A nice break before heading back out to do evening chores.
Stay warm friends.
I’ve been researching Falcon’s pedigree and I’m fascinated. I’ll start with his sire and expand in further posts.
Falcon’s sire, Freestyle, is a1996 Premium Black Westfalen Stallion, Class 1 Status – (Florestan X SPS Paloma).
The summary below is credited to Dreamscape Farm where Freestyle stands.
Freestyle has a German Dressage Index of 151 points, the highest in North America, and in the TOP 1% of all German Dressage stallions
Freestyle was born in 1996 and is a beautiful 17hh stallion with an athletic body, very well applied hindquarters and a super character. In 1998 at the Westfalenstallion Licensing, Freestyle was named a PREMIUM stallion.At the 100 day Performance test at Prussendorf he was awarded a perfect 10 for character and a 9 for temperament. In dressage he proved to rank amongst the best of his year and received a 9.33 for ridebility. His total score was 132.55 points. A truly versatile stallion Freestyle obtained a 7th place finish in jumping with an 8 for jumping ability. Freestyle was the overall winner of his performance test. Freestyle is a class 1 stallion based on his results in his stallion performance test.
Freestyle is a son of the famous Rhinelander stallion Florestan I, who was champion of the Rhineland approvals in 1998, and in 1989 he was champion of his performance testing in Warendorf. Florestan I has produced famous stallions as Fidermark, Florencio, Faveur, Fleurop, Furst Heinrich, Florestan I has taken the top position in the FN breeding values for a number of years. Florestan I is famous for producing performance horses with very high ridebility. In 2004 two Florestan I sons won both the 5 and 6-year-old World Young Horse Dressage Championships in Verden.
Freestyle himself is out of the famous mare line through Paloma. Paloma and her 4 sisters received the award of the ” Best Family of Hessen” for 4 years in a row. Paloma has produced two approved stallions Freestyle and Flammengold, full brothers, and she received an 8.1 for her mare-test. Her sister Patricia was in 1997 the best mare of Hessen. The second full-sister Pretoria was the best 3-year-old mare of Hessen in 1999 and also received a score of 8,50 for her mare-test. The youngest sister Primavera was 2nd at the mare show for 2 year olds at Asfeld. Grandmother, Geisha, is a full sister of the dam of the world famous stallion Romadour II, sire of the Olympic Gold Medallist Rembrandt with Nicole Uphoff. The dam-line of Freestyle shows four State Premium mares on a row, Paloma, Pirocshka, Poxi and Geisha.
I also found these pictures of Falcon as a foal.
What does it take to have my equine partner, Falcon, in our life?
I was curious. So I created a map of Falcon’s care. I looked at it from many angles: horse health, owner health, training, grooming, running the farm, insurance & registrations, and financial. I found it fascinating. The picture below is hard to read, so here’s a link to the PDF.
Undoubtedly, you have to be a little crazy to own a horse, but it’s incredibly rewarding (and challenging). To all my horse friends, what did I miss?