Archive for August, 2011

You can teach an old dog new tricks; just takes longer

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Well, I always wanted to try to make a living in the horse world.  I’d been told many times it couldn’t be done.  Turns out “they” were right, at least for right now.  I consider myself totally “f’ed” when it comes to getting a job; I’m fat, fifty five and female.  We live so far out, taking a job at minimum wage or slightly over, just isn’t worth it with the commute.  So what does a teacher do after they leave teaching and have no intention of returning, even as a sub?  Hard question.

Retraining is the answer.  I think the seed got planted when I started transporting horses, grew a little when my friend Darcy Kublick mentioned the possibility of driving gravel truck at oil reclamation sites, and blossomed after I started doing a little hauling for Dwayne Harrish, DbarC Horse Transport.  I could be a truck driver. 

I was really after my class 1, so I could drive for Dwayne and see some of the famed U.S. horse country.  But having the trailer behind me when shifting gears on the tractor unit was too intimidating for now.  It was a lot of work and totally consumed July for me; my nerves tend to get the best of me and I think I probably am the longest running candidate for a class 3 license ever, but after 29 hours in the truck and 3 driving exam attempts, I have my class 3 license.  Plan is now to get some experience and go upgrade it the goal of class 1.

But it is said God looks after fools and Englishmen (haven’t a drop of English blood in me).  After returning from a driving lesson, I stopped to talk to the Manager and Assistant Manager of the road crew that is redoing our road.  I asked what kind of training a person needed to drive the big equipment.  The result was Charley said he might call me some day, if he was in a pinch.  He called two days later; one of his packer operators walked off the job.  So I am now employed by the County on a road crew.  I’m having a ball!!  But for someone who has only seen the 7 on the clock that happens in the evening, mornings are brutal, even though I just have to walk out my door.  It’s a long 10 hour day and a lot of other stuff on the farm just isn’t getting done right now.  But all the noise of road construction in front of the house has turned into the sound of money for me.

I’ve said I’d like to learn more of the machines, we’ll see what happens.  Maybe in the winter I can put my training to use driving snow plows and gravel trucks. 

I’ve been told its a waste of my education, but you know what?  My education is not hard to carry around and I’m having fun.

I’m kind of heavy, so getting into heavy equipment just seemed like a natural choice.

It’s kind of like a post modern Jurassic Park, with the smell of damp earth and crushed vegetation and the working machines do look somewhat dinosaur like.  I tell myself stories while I’m running my packer.  Who knows, everyone says they see me as a writer.  Maybe my stories will get written.

Donna's new world

Donna's new world

Report Card

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

We attended the first ever Hunter Schooling Show at BMW Stables.  Although the entry was low, we had a blast and “the girls” as Lindsey and I refer to Lacey and Nora were awesome.  The courses were very “user friendly”, so we moved the girls up to 2′9″.  This was a surprise to Lindsey who hasn’t jumped that high in training.  A few lines were a little crooked, but very nice rounds.  Jeff did video,.  Andrea Knull was able to get some stills and will do the rest of our sales horses for us.  Hopefully we’ll get it all up soon.  The girls reinforced our opinion of their strengths and appitudes.  Nora is easily a 4′ hunter with automatic changes best suited to an adult amateur.  Lacey is a blast to ride and can do it all; hunters, jumpers, or equitation.  Super first mount for Childrens’ divisions.  Still needs work on her changes.

“The kids”, as we refer to George and Amelia, went back to Lindsey for some refresher work and continue their schooling.  Hopefully, we’ll get them to some fall shows.  We are planning to attend Carousel Ridge’s Young Horse Show.  We will be taking “Whisper MH”, Electra MH, George & Amelia and if I can find a rider, Illusion in the 5 year old development class over fences.  All these classes are against horses, as it is also a CSHA inspection site.

Nora back to school after break

Nora back to school

Optical Illusion

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

The last of Illusion’s 2011 foal crop arrived on Saturday.  Tricia Willsher’s TB mare Optical foaled a beautiful little optical illusion1colt.  His head markings sure bear a resemblance to our “Harry”.  Mom and Babe are doing fine. 

I really need to get out with my camera to get current foal pictures of our bunch.

Just heard from Tamara Taylor.  Her mare is expecting an Illusion foal for next year.  We haven’t had a wonderful breeding season.  Our two transported semen stallion service didn’t work and it was getting late in the year.  Oh, well that’s breeding.  Wynona as usual is worth her weight in gold as a broodmare and is expecting.  Our lovely mare, Taylor, with the broken knee, turned up open again.  We tried again with live cover, but she can’t take the pressure of the mount on her leg and won’t stand still; this presents problems when using a breeding ditch.   We bred twice with AI.  We’re pretty much beginners, so it was good practise.  Fingers crossed.  The good news is that Illusion’s fertility count is back to normal after his flu bout and 2 antibiotic series in the spring.  With so many open mares, it gives us a chance to concentrate on sales, regroup and boost our breeding season to earlier in the year next year. 

optical illusion

Horses for Sale

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Marsh Haven Farm is in the process of readying 9 horses for sale.  Keep checking back for pics, videos and info.

Here is a list of what we will be offering

Nora G.  currently on sales page.  Nora has been in training and proving to be a very uncomplicated amateur horse.  She has classic hunter style and could move onto any “A” circuit ring in North America.  Sire is Native of Seattle, a prolific sire of champion hunters.  She has tremendous scope and could easily do the 4′ hunters. 

Lacey Go.  6 years: 15:2 TB Chestnut mare with lots of chrome.  This is an incredible horse for a child or small amateur.  Straightforward, uncomplicated babysitter type horse.  Anybody can ride.  If she wasn’t so fancy, she’d be an ideal school horse.  She can do it all: hunters, jumpers and equitation

Paisley’s Finest Hour: 2 year TB ch colt, eligible APtHA solid registry.  Lots of chrome.  This boy was bred to jump and is turning into everything we thought he would be; an old fashioned TB with bone to burn and a mind that can’t be beat.  His grandsire is Snowbound, one of the top sires of TB, 1/4 horse and Paint Horse racehorses.  He will mature close to 17hh.  Churchill will be started with foundation groundwork and basic undersaddle work this fall.  Price will increase with training

Electra MH: Canadian Warmblood filly, Ch & Wh tobiano 2 years.  Carmen is by top U.S. dressage horse sire Versace B, out of a Sandstorm mare.  Versace B is Haarlem/Goodtimes/Komeet/2X Marco Polo.  Sandstorm is Voltaire x Samber.  This makes her 2x Voltaire.  Carmen has the looks and talent to go with her stellar pedigree.  She shows tons of scope at liberty and is very easy to work with.  She will mature around 16:2.  She will also go for foundation training and basic undersaddle training this fall.  Price will increase with training.

Curious George MH: 2008 ch 14:1 hh first premium North American Sport Pony gelding.  George is by part Caspian Khamian’s Curious Kiwi, out of a Widikund mare.  He is a mixture of TB, Caspian and New Zealand Station horse on the sire side with 3/4 Hannoverian and 1/4 Morgan on the dam side.  Currently in training Walk, Trot, Canter.  He is a miniature Hannoverian.  George has an incredible mind and personality.  He would make a dynamite first pony.

Amelia Bedelia MH: 14hh, 2008, Ch, First Premium North American Sport Pony filly.  Amelia is also currently in training at Walk, Trot, Canter.  She is by the same sire as George out of a Dutch/TB mare.  Her dam is pinto and the possibility exists for her to throw colored foals.  Amelia is more refined and sensitive than George and would make an excellent “move up” pony.  Very sensible and athletic.  George and Amelia make a perfect pair (sometimes you have to count white to tell them apart) and will be put in harness as a pair this fall.  They are best friends and have matching gaits.  It is rare to find such a well matched pair.  Will sell separately, but prefer to see them go as a pair.

Marsh Haven Just Joey: 2008, solid bay, registered Caspian gelding.  Joey is a TB in miniature, standing 12:1 hh.  He has a huge stride.  We used him as a stallion this spring before gelding him.  He will begin his training this fall, first in harness, then under saddle.  A very fancy short stirrup, small hunter pony.

Kristull Goldmine: 2006, chestnut going roan, registered Caspian gelding.  His name is Goldmine and he is.  

Goldmine.  currently on sales page.  This little guy has to go.  Price drastically reduced.  He is an awesome “grandchild” pony and worth his weight in gold.  Walk, trot, canter and drives.  Solid as they  come, despite just turning 5 in September.

Marsh Haven Shah-Zaam (pending) 2011 Caspian Stallion prospect.  His foal coat is grulla dun, but he is shedding to be some variant of silver buckskin.  He is quite perfect anyway you look at him.  He carries the very desired Fel-Fel line through his sire.  If you are interested in rare breeds, or using Caspian lines in your pony program; this one is a don’t miss.

As soon as we get video of liberty, chute jumping and still photos we will have them up on the site and links to YouTube, within the next three weeks  Watch for our ads in equestrian magazines.