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Saturday, April 28, 2012

I have been neglecting the blog I'm afraid, so apologies for spending more time over on FB posting news and updates. It seems there are pro's and con's with every form of communication. The global reach and popularity of FB seems to be a better way to communicate than my ramblings here on Blogger, but then again, I can explain things a bit better here as there aren't text limits. So for now, it boils down to time and what fits into the day... In any case, this post is about the reach of FB and making connections. Our Farm Page just pushed past 8650 Fans this morning. Yesterday it was 8500. Our most popular city is still Amman, Jordan with Athens, Greece in second. The other top ranking cities are: Buenos Aires in Argentina, Paris in France, Irbid in Jordan, Cordoba in Argentina and Auckland in New Zealand.

It is really fantastic to have made so many new friends around the world and here is why... A few years ago we were in the market for a new broodmare. Like it is with all things we had a list of priorities and bloodlines that would work for our needs, so a very specific mare was our end goal. Wallstreet Rose joined our family in 2003.
So we've had wonderful foals from the lovely "Gretta" as she is known around the barn. Her oldest is Wall Street WF and he is a special horse with an incredibly powerful jump. We had been attributing that gift to Waldaire until very recently! Mom joined a group of South African breeders on FB since Gretta's dam Flashpoint was imported from South Africa and asked about the bloodlines.

Earlier this week, she got a lovely note back -
 Hi Anne,
 Just read your post on KZN Breeders page. I'm very interested to find an SA TB being used as part of your stud's foundation bloodlines. Did you import Flashpoint directly to US for showjumping or racing? Flaming Rock, Sunny North, Blue Peter, Big Game have all had offspring that have competed in the open showjumping classes in South Africa, ie 1,30m, 1,40m, 1,50m
 Regards CL

 So that fills in a few holes as to how our 'dressage bred' handsome black youngster is such a fantastic jumper!!!! A 1.50m is fence is 4 feet 9 inches, so a seriously sizable jump! So definitely an exciting bit of information about the background and breeding potential of one of our horses!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Catching up!

Funny thing about going away for a couple of days to refresh the teaching/training memory fall behind on all the other work that goes on around the farm! *sigh* The price of being busy, I suppose. The horses are all progressing in leaps and bounds - lots of fun to have so many working on more advanced skills! :) We've also had a very dry start to the spring, so having a rainy Sunday at long's time to catch up on a few of the other projects!

 In any case, the Farm Page on FB has just rolled past 8400 Fans. This is the official shout out of THANKS to all of our supporters for the comments, the LIKES, the feedback and support. You guys are the best and we really appreciate your input!

 Speaking of input - since the clinic there has been an increase of outside interest in Wizard. He is not currently for sale.

 We do have his daughter Wendolyn WF for sale! She is out of our super producing Wallstreet Kid mare. If you would like one who's similar to him with longer legs and a more expressive trot - consider Whodini! That's Wizard's full brother - just one year younger!

Or if you would like one very similar but with a dark jacket - there is Wall Street WF, Wallace WF or Wendolyn WF to start a 'who's who' for your shopping adventure!

 Are you seeking a lighter type with a round trot and loads of suspension - then Drummond WF and Dreamcatcher WF should be on your 'must see' list! They are super fancy! Dreamcatcher is ready to go to work in a serious way now!

 Are you a mid sized adult or junior who wants to have a top notch partner to do in several disciplines? Check out Wilona, Wylie and Wakanda! These girls love to jump and have some serious style over a fence all the while being perfectly content to be dressage horses...

 Or maybe you are a Hunter rider...then Wilson is your guy! He has the classic hunter trot with a big step, beautiful face and tasteful chrome! Don't like bay geldings, hmmm, then consider Waverleigh, Westerleigh or Windrose! Flashy markings, pretty faces and lots of potential for the hunters!

 There are still plenty to choose from! Don William, Dream Girl, As You Wish...we've got a bunch undersaddle, some started and some ready to start! Prices are negotiable to show homes and experienced riders.

 If you are not feeling the love for their outdated pages - never fear! A huge website overhaul is about to happen!!! Some videos can be found here to tide you over... Waterlily WF
 Dreamcatcher WF
 Wolfgang WF
 Westerleigh WF
 Wei WF
Wichita Rose WF
 Dream Girl WF and while this youngster is not for sale, here's our Dolce Elise WF.

 Or this album on FB has a few snapshots of the current sales list. The young horses are current on their vaccinations, trimming and receive regular handling. They have been started in direct correlation to their physical development with an eye towards long term viability as riding horses. The riding horses are all in a training program that is customized to what each individual horse needs in order to progress up the levels. We are a detail oriented barn and prefer to treat them as individuals rather than a set age/training goal/high pressure situation. A sound FEI horse is our end goal, so keep that in mind! :)

 So I think that's everything I need to upload for now. There are some photos of the riding horses but I have to wait for You Tube to have the last video upload to put those up. That means you'll have to come back for another look to see Wallace, Wakanda, Whodini, Don William and Wilona's latest photos. :) Or check them out on FB!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wizard WF gets an "International" stamp of approval!

Earlier this week Wizard traveled to Bedminster, NJ to work with Catherine Haddad Staller. For those of you who do not know Catherine, please take a few minutes and visit her website - International Dressage. Catherine is an internationally successful rider, trainer and breeder. Her blogs for The Chronicle of the Horse magazine provide the masses with some insight into the intricacies of nurturing talented horses and riders.

On the first day, Catherine had me and "Oz" work through the process of building more elasticity in the trot sans stirrups. Then it was time to show Catherine how our flying changes were progressing...and Oz did not disappoint! Up and down the sides of the arena and across the diagonals Catherine had us working on having clearer signals and building the relaxation into the timing of the aids so that the changes can become more expressive. The count is solid through the two tempis and even though Oz is offering the ones, Catherine says that for the time being, he must wait and do the longer counting sequences. After the canter work, she began to teach Oz the rudimentary steps of gaining more freedom in his shoulders for the piaffe, passage and trot work. In this work, Catherine compared him to Totilas in that Oz needs an education to artificially gain a greater range of motion in his shoulders and elbows. As it is done in Germany, this is a normal teaching stage and will carry over into improving the shoulder in all of his work.

This work is done in a very relaxed manner and Oz thought a new trick was just fascinating!

For their second lesson, Catherine had us working on improving my seat and the connection as our warm up. Then it was time for learning new skills! She had us begin with a 12m walk circle, gradually bringing his haunches in and then progressing to the same exercise in the canter, utilizing a few more forward strides from time to time to ensure plenty of jump with the inside hind leg. To the right - all is well! To the left - my legs were not up to the task of accepting my weight on my left foot. I happily handed Oz over to Catherine - it is not right to send him unclear signals when he always does what is asked of him!

After just a few moments, Catherine had Oz performing lovely working pirouettes and moved on to his canter work - checking to see what he knows, his reaction time, lightness and submission.

After finishing her undersaddle assessment, Catherine said, Oz is "smart", "sensitive to the aids" with a "perfect mouth" and "everyone should have a horse like this."

Oz will be 6 in May. To say that we are excited about his future (and that of his siblings and offspring) is a bit of an understatement.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Thank You List for an awesome clinic

So it is 4 AM on Wednesday morning and I am coming off of a 2 day riding with Catherine Haddad Staller clinic high. If you have not seen her ride or had the opportunity to enjoy her teaching, well, you are missing out on a large portion of your horse and rider education. Catherine explains everything, the horses improve and it is a feeling like none other to be working ever closer to an improved connection with your horse's higher potential. I am a fan to say the least!

But first I have to thank all the folks who made my super 2 days possible! First off - mom and dad get a huge amount of credit for allowing me to work with Catherine. They also get an immeasurable amount of gratitude for the lovely horses that I have the privilege of riding each day. Mom did all the driving for this adventure and Dad was my head cheerleader, so THANK YOU.

Huge thanks also go out to Randy and the entire Hawk Hollow Ranch crew for all their hard work in organizing the clinic. It is a wonderful facility and so organized into an efficient and friendly atmosphere with outstanding footing!

It would be silly to write this post and not thank Catherine. She is hands down the best teacher for all levels of riders that I have encountered besides my mother. They are teaching from the same manual of training, so there is no conflict of 'how to' in either riding or teaching the horse a new exercise. Her enthusiasm is unmatched as is the level of instruction. I am in awe of her skills and will leave it at that. It was an honor to have her worth with Wizard and say what she did about him (more on that later).

Thanks also go out to Stubben for their Genesis Special D. My horses love it. I love it. I can ride and feel all that I need to and it does not hinder or restrict what I need to do while I am up there. There truly are not enough words to describe how important it is to have a saddle that allows your body to work with the I'll stop there. If anyone would like to have a no pressure ride in one, please feel free to contact me and you can try mine here at the farm. It is nicely broken in now and has lots of good ju-ju, so I'm happy to share how much of a difference Stubben has made in my life. Or if you would rather not have me chirping away about how much I love my Stubben - pop me a note and I can put you in contact with my saddle rep and he will come to you to do a full fitting. :)

We will be doing a small write up about the clinic and what Catherine had to say about Wizard. It is not every day that a top international rider gets on your 6 year old breeding stallion and says what she says...or at least not in our world. :) So check back for the 'official' write up!

Happy Riding!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Look VERY closely!!!!

Check out the hard working guys being paid by the taxpayers...

Look closely! Look very closely!!!

He spent over 2 hours like that...checking his phone or God only knows what. All the while on the clock.

Anyone else feeling a bit annoyed??????? Time to rile up someone somewhere who has some power!!!! Spread the word!!!!! Make a fuss!!! This is not right!!!

(and yes, I'm a big girl and I know life's not fair...but come ON!!!! It's 2012 - does he really think we can't see him????????)

7600 Fans! Schooling photos! A reminder! Clinic News!

Hmmmm, where to start? Well, I'll go with the order I typed stuff into the header...

That means first we have a small celebration to get started!

We rolled 7600 Fans on the Farm Page yesterday. As of 6AM, we're halfway to 7700 - which is just flat out cool! The country of Jordan is still our heavy hitter in the demographics department with France a close second. It is really fun to interact with our fans and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their input, comments and interest in our farm. Thank you guys! You are the best!

So that brings us to schooling photos! Wizard WF is steadily improving and making us all laugh on a daily basis. And that bit of laughter needs to be explained! You see Oz (as he is known around the barn) looks almost identical to his father Waldaire. Same markings, same coarse, curly mane, same canter with easy flying riding him is sort of a flashback to 2004. But he is also smart as a whip like Again and Again and very precocious as to learning new it is a challenge to stay a few steps ahead of him! In that regard he is like his mother and her full brother Alacazam!
Wizard (Left)
Waldaire (Right)

So he's got easy flying changes. And when I say easy - they are easy to the big deal. But he is a bit smart - if I get too centered, he starts to bounce my legs and take over! Hmmmm....this feels familiar! I must step up my game and help him to count cleanly!!! But it would also help if an attack of gleeful giggles did not dissolve my core strength at the same time! ;) Things to work on...

For now, he is doing a canter zigzag - over in one direction for a set number of strides, straighten, collect, flying change, go forward softly, and back over we go. Rinse and repeat!

And speaking of easy things - Wyatt WF (by Weltmeyer) continues to work on his elasticity. Power has never been a problem for this guy! Our massage therapist gave him a once over a few weeks ago and declared his back to be the strongest that she's put her hands on! And my back agrees! He is so much fun, though! The harder the work, the more buttery soft and pliable he becomes! He's also a delight to train since he mentally 'settles' as the work increases in difficulty! Very, very interesting in the mental chess game of teaching a 1400 pound creature to listen to the most subtle of commands! :)

Thirdly, please SHARE this blog post with anyone, everyone and their cousin. We are desperately trying to stop the ridiculous waste of $12 million dollars that is being spent on a bridge to NOWHERE. I do not have enough followers here on the blog, but have asked all the fans of the Farm Page on FB to get the word out. Help trim the fat. Thank you.

Ah, number four on the list! Clinics! We are hosting a Sport Horse Handling and Conformation Clinic on May 5th.

A Free Jumping Clinic will also take place in the afternoon if there is enough interest. I promise to get the sign up sheets on the Calendar Page tonight!

We are going to push our Long Lining Clinic into the middle of May due to conflicts at this end. Sorry for any is getting hectic with the show season descending upon us! There are some awesome photos from the March Clinic HERE. There is a sign up sheet in the March section of the Calendar - so it is can be used for the May clinic. We'll be running a poll on the Farm Page, so please let us know what date(s) work best.

So I think that's everything for now.

We are going to be taking Wizard and Wyatt up to work with Catherine Haddad Staller next week, so be ready to check back for photos and videos from their lessons. I will also blog about my rides and what we work on with each of them.

Happy riding!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

OINK! OINK!!! WARNING!!! Government PORK ahead!!!!!!!!

Remember me blogging about wasteful government spending??????

Check this out!!!

County officials sent a repair crew out last week and informed us that they had to do "critical" repairs on 4 of the steel trusses beneath the road surface that had been damaged since the 2002-3 repair work. They have been sending out a repair crew to"work" on the Watermark Rd. bridge for the past couple of week. The crew chief has been very careful to warn us of loud noises and entering the pastures, etc. Today they finished removing all the steel which was added during the 2002-2003 total renovation of the bridge and dropped the weight limit from 10 tons to 8 tons.

Amazing to think that all of the 'repair work' needed to be removed in just 9 years! And now the bridge is incapable of handling the weight that it carried previously. Hmmmmmmm. Smells fishy to me.

OINK! OINK!!!!!!! OINK!!!!!!!!!!!

PORK! Government bloody pork project!!!! I cry foul for all the tax payers of Chester County!!!! A project that took months of planning, repair work, engineers and TAX DOLLARS is being erased in time to....wait for it......SPREND MORE BLOODY MONEY!!!!!!

Is anyone else annoyed by this????

Bring on November! I can't wait to vote every single incumbent out of office. To hell with party affiliation. If they've been there for a term and haven't found a way to get things done - it's time to get out and let someone else in to clean up the mess!!!
That's the bridge last fall (September 2011)

And this is from March 22nd -

7400 FANS!!! Another Clinic!

So the Farm Page is up to 7400 Fans!!!! A big shout out of THANK YOU goes out to all our supporters for the LIKES, comments and feedback! We really appreciate it and love your input!!! We try to put up interesting photos and links to important information in the horse industry, so as our fan base keeps growing, I guess it's going ok! :) THANK YOU!!!!

We have a second Long Lining Clinic that needs to have some more feedback on what dates work best for the most people - please take a moment and vote HERE.

And finally, we will be hosting a Sport Horse Conformation and Movement Clinic on Saturday May 5th. This is being run so as to help breeders and owners of sport equines (so ponies are welcome) to understand how conformation impacts performance and movement. If there is interest, a free jumping session will be included after lunch.

Clinic sign up forms will be on the website this evening.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thanks to all the Long Lining participants for a super day!

A big shout out of THANK YOU goes out to all of our Long Lining Clinic participants! You guys did a great job and we really enjoyed having you here! :)

Additional thanks go out to Bill Alphin of A & A Photography! Bill gave up part of his Saturday and shot some fantastic images of a few of our horses - we'll put a link to view the photos as soon as we get it!

And that leads us to scheduling another clinic for Late April!! If there is a date that works best for you - please go to the Farm page on FB or pop an email to and let her know. We will try to go with the date that works best for everyone (again).

Speaking of clinics - AWR President Sonja Lowenfish will be here on May 5th doing a Sporthorse & Sport Pony conformation and movement clinic. Sign up sheets and more information will be added to the Calendar Page of the website tonight!