Aug. 20/19 - After a very hectic spring/summer I finally have time to brag about our 2019 foals. We had our German Oldenburg Verband inspection at the farm on August 7, and we ended up with one Premium Foal and one Foal of Distinction, and Annika was entered into the Main Mare Book. Not bad for our small breeding program! As always it is a pleasure to host Sebastian Rhode and to be able to have great discussions around breeding. There are times I want to give up our breeding program because of the cost, heartache and work, and Sebastian re-inspires my commitment to continue. We did not re-breed anything for 2020, but I am already scouting stallions for next spring!
April 29/19 - An annual update is all I seem to be good at! Actually, 2018 was a really difficult year and it was really hard to even think about posting an update. We continue to be blessed with joy and laughter from our son, but the horse side of life was truly heartbreaking. We lost my mom's horse "Doug" to colic in mid-May and then a few short weeks later, we lost our beloved mare "Emmie" and her foal by Fabregas to foaling complications. It was truly a tragic spring for us, that brings tears to my eyes just thinking of it. It has taken me months to put away Emmie's tack around the farm, and to this day both Emmie and Doug still have their names labelled on my blanket hangers. Maybe one day I will take them down, but my heart is just not there yet. At some point I will write a bit more about the history of these horses as both were very unique characters, that truly shaped the rider I am today.
On a brighter note, my other riding horses Max, Abby and Francesca are progressing really well, and I feel so lucky to be able to ride and train great horses. Max and Abby both participated in the SK High Performance Clinic in June with Tom Dvorak. That was a great experience with some really great tips to help my riding. Max and I were also selected to ride in the Stephen Clarke Symposium in Brandon, MB in October. Max did a great job, and we had some really great comments from Stephen as well. The fact that I have a homebred horse that does all the Grand Prix movements and only have access to limited coaching still makes me pinch myself. Where did he come from?? And my girls Abby and Fran continue to make me smile every time I ride them. They are both so different than Max, and each in their own unique way. Abby is so brave, but incredibly sensitive and tries so hard to never make mistakes. Fran is not as confident, but finds the work so easy, and is really just a big teddy bear. I just love my two bay mares!
April 4, 2018 - While I haven't posted an update in a while, that doesn't mean we haven't been busy around Islabrook!
I want to send a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Kayla Phillips on her year end awards. Kayla started riding with me a few years ago, and when we first met she told me she didn't really have a dressage horse as he didn't have much movement. I don't think anyone would say that about Starbuck now! Kayla has done a fabulous job working with her horse, and they were awarded with as the Provincial Third Level Champion and the top Saskatchewan bred dressage horse. I can't wait to see these two make their debut in the FEI ring in the near future!
We also just finished up a 3 day clinic with Cindy Ishoy. Everyone had great rides, and I am so proud of my crew (horses and riders)! I rode all three of my horses in the clinic and each of them made big leaps forward as well. These clinics are always a huge amount of effort, and I couldn't do it without the support of all the riders. Thanks again for coming out and braving our never-ending winter! I have lots of homework for the next few months, but we are looking forward to seeing Cindy again in June. Upcoming dates for Cindy clinics in Saskatoon:
June 8-10, July 27-29, September 28-30
We will once again be hosting the Oldenburg Horse Breeders Society mare and foal inspection at our place on Wednesday, August 15. If you have a mare or foal you would like inspected, please go to this website to submit your paperwork: http://oldenburghorse.net/oh/breeding/inspections/inspections.html
June 7/17 - Sorry for the lack of updates, but our lives had a pretty exciting event this spring. Instead of our usual 4 legged babies arriving, Curtis and I were thrilled to welcome our son, Matthew, to the world on May 17th! Needless to say, my pregnancy slowed my riding down a bit, and the horses are having some well deserved time off. I was feeling well enough that I was able to ride until I was 33 weeks pregnant, which was a bit longer than I expected. I even did a clinic on Abby with Cindy at 27 weeks pregnant!
In the weeks leading up to Matthew's arrival we did have a busy breeding season. We did try and breed two mares last year, and neither mare kept their pregnancy for this year, so we are trying again for 2018. Matthew timed his arrival perfectly, and ended up on a "gap" week with no vet visits. For 2018 foals, we have bred Erin to Sir Gregory at Dreamscape Farms and we are trying Emmie with Fabregas from Parkwood Stables. Erin has a confirmed pregnancy and Emmie will be checked next week. Fingers crossed for a little black dot!
Wren found a new home with a wonderful lady in Tennessee and arrived there safely last week. Always sad when I see the "babies" go to new homes, but also happy that they get their own person to dote on them. I am really excited to see how Wren progresses. She is truly a special horse that really made me wish I could keep them all. Not sure I will ever ride a canter like that again!
Louie and Francesca made their way to Brandon, MB to be started and by all reports they are doing well. We have used the same trainer, Grant Duncalfe, to start all of our horses. I don't really want to think about it, but I think it has been about 15 years that Grant has been starting horses for us! The horses always come back confident, secure and well started after "boot camp" with Grant. Also excited to announce that Louie will not be returning to Islabrook, but will be headed to a new home in Minnesota when his time is done with Grant. I fully expect Louie to follow in the footsteps of his "perfect" full sister Abbigail! I am really excited to see Louie mature and develop with his new owner Jenny.