Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Mike came into our office at Meister Brothers, he had just gotten a call that Lady was out. I finished up my real work and headed out to the farm. Sure enough Lady was standing next to Raven. I didn't have to search long to find where she had escaped from. She went between a round bale and a gate, then bent down the gate and climbed right over. She had NEVER ever tried to escape before, the breeding instinct is amazingly strong and that is why we need good gates! As she was covered yesterday, I put her back and put up a new gate. I will need to get to the farm early tomorrow so I can get her covered in the morning. I'm not sure exactly when she came in so I don't want to miss this season and wait for the next. While I was there I worked on Salena's paddock. She is not happy being separated from the herd. Her paddock is pretty close to the herd, She can see them, hear them but she isn't with them so she is unhappy. I do not want her to deliver her foal in the mud and mud we have as the rainfall in March set a new record, most rain EVER recorded. Sure is a good thing we didn't wait to move the mares in from Middle Grove. I don't think even a our tractor would be able to pull us out now.
Holly, a lady that booked one of the paint mares to come for breeding called. She would like to just bring the mare over each day, then take her home. Holly's place is only about 10 minutes from our farm. This works out wonderful, I won't need to save a paddock, plus she doesn't have to pay mare care.
I talked to Emily Jewell, the owner of Keegan about hauling Autumn back down to her place to be rebred. Hope we can work this out when I get back from Alabama. If I do, I'm going to raise the price on Autumn. No way would I sell her for $3500.00 if she is in foal to Keegan. Her last year colt by him was fantastic plus we enjoy her too much as far as a riding horse. She is really a lot of fun, not a mean bone in her body, wants to please and loves it when we let her go all out.
Steven Marchal called and he found out that the sale on Lady fell through. He is willing to start working with her, ground work, long lining, lunging and then undersaddle work. She is another one that if she is trained to ride, we would be well off NOT to sell her, just sell her foals by RAVEN. I was pretty thrilled he offered. I only put her for sale as she is not trained to ride and with this economy we are only wanting to keep our riding horses. I know Jamie and Ralph Stone have hired Steven to train their horse Dakota and Dakota is boarded at the Hanna City farm so it will be worth his driving out to Hanna City if he is working more than one horse at a time. If anyone is looking for a trainer, Steven is fantastic. He really knows how to put the WHOA on a horse, he teaches great ground manners. His work on Lily, Jenis and Athena was exceptional and I highly recommend him.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lady Covered

Lady is in season and was covered tonight. She stood very well. Sometimes maiden mares have trouble knowing what is expected but Lady was great and Raven got the job done. Jazz and her colt left but Ean said he would watch her and bring her back. Ean has a mare he is considering breeding to Raven. She is a quarter horse and he wanted to know if we had any foals by Raven out of a quarter mare. I could only remember a blue roan mare I think was a quarter. Her foal turned out very nice so it must be a pretty good cross. I checked to see if Chiquita was in, she is not so will start to count the days until her sonagram. Her owner called today and wants her to stay until we know she settled. Anni was also checked but no sign of coming in.
Mark and I got a lot of the bolts put in the fence rails tonight. We quit at sundown and we were running out of batteries any way. We are more than half done with this. Salena was checked and moved her into the paddock Jazz left so we can watch her easier. Sure hope she foals out soon. I always liked the picture of Lady I've included. It was taken out at Middle Grove and she just loved to run to the top of the hill then gallop down. She is very photogenic and she loves to show off.

Jazz and her colt

I contacted Ean the manager of Circle Double D and told him that Jazz is now for sure out and that we were never able to get Raven close to her. This was very disappointing but he understood. He will pick Jazz and her colt up, then bring them back at her next season. I think I will also talk to Dr. Hoerr about her to see what else I could have tried. We tried to twitch her to see if she would allow Raven near with the twitch but she started shaking so bad we quit. It isn't worth forcing her to accept him I know from last year she does settle down and will stand quietly when she is ready.
I'm heading out to the farm to move Salena in a close paddock for foaling. If I have help, I'll do the mare predictor kit on her to see how close she is. She has a great attachment to Lily so I may need to move Lily in the paddock next to her. Most of the snow has melted and everything is a swamp, I'm glad I have a big barn with a nice indoor arena and a stall barn high enough to avoid all flooding. Believe me the roads are even flooding in the area. The water was running over Hanna City Glasford road last night. This much rain followed by almost 6 inches of heavy wet snow is causing quite a mess. The creek sounds like a rushing river.
Need to take a trip to Morton to Farm and Fleet for more bolts. We used all that TSC had of the 3 inch.
A good note is that Pacheron is sold. The man that bought Athena, Pacheron's full sister wants him. He said he would send the check today and arrange transport within the month. Now I'll have money to pay for all the lumber. YEAH no interest! Pictured is Amy Koch, my best friend for 53 years helping Pacheron learn to stand quietly.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Autumn and Lady

The person buying Autumn and Lady contacted me that she has lost her job. Her company is slashing jobs and she is one of the unfortunate casualties of this economy. She has asked me to place both mares back for sale. She is pretty heart broken about this, those girls were her dream. If I don't sell Autumn pretty quickly, I'll probably haul her to Indiana and breed her back to Keegan as her colt by him was spectacular. Lady will be bred to Raven as soon as we catch her in season. She has turned out beautiful with thick feathers and a very majestic look about her. Her foal by Raven should be fantastic and we won't be too disappointed if we can't sell her.
On another note, Salena is bagging up! She may foal out before April 4th afterall. We leave late Friday night on the 3rd and I really didn't want to miss this birth as Salena is a maiden mare.
We tried to breed Jazz today and finally had to give up. She is so worried about her foal that even though she winks and shows she kicks violently at Raven. We had this happen the last time we tried to breed her on her foal heat so hopefully we can catch her on her next heat. Pretty bad when we could not get Raven near her. We had one other mare last year that acted the same. Chiquita would not allow Raven near her on her foal heat but did on a later one.

After the Storm

We woke up this morning around 5:00am, looked out of the window and couldn't believe the snow on the ground. I had to wait until it was light enough to take these pictures. The snow is very heavy and wet and the trees are bending with the weight but how beautiful! What a blessing the storm started yesterday afternoon instead of yesterday morning. Today we can enjoy this beautiful snowfall. Today is Sunday, our day of rest!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A GREAT Work Day

What a wonderful day. We left this morning and it was 35 degrees outside. Rain with a snow mix was moving into the area and was to be here before noon. The word went out that we needed help before the rain hit and 18 people showed up to help us. Almost the entire vaulting team came. I can't thank them enough.
We started with another wonderful breakfast at Diane's house. Farm fresh eggs, crisp bacon, sausage, pancakes with warm butter and syrup, toast and to top it all off wonderful coffee cake. The hot coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice just made the meal. We started the actual work at 8:00am and workers just kept pulling up. What a wonderful surprise for me. My eyes actually started leaking. I had to stop working every once in a while to video tape the progress. Each person that came just found a job that needed doing and went right to work. The young girls, all from Karin's vaulting team were invaluable. Every once in a while I'd hear one of the men yell out, "I need a girl here!"
We finished up around 11:30am just as the rain started. Talk about a cold driving rain, wow this was freezing. Everyone was invited back to Diane's for lunch where she served piping hot homemade chicken and wild rice soup along with chips and submarine sandwiches. Steven had to skip lunch to get Prince Caspian out of the rain. I got home just in time to help Steven move Caspian into a stall as 2 ladies were coming from Indiana to see about buying him. He was wet but not too muddy. They got here around 1:00pm and LOVED him and bought him. He will stay with us for about 3 months until they are ready for him but they put down a sizable down payment and signed the contract. They will be perfect owners for him. Just as I thought my day was about done there was a knock on the back door and there stood a cowboy. He wanted to know if I had ever heard of cowboy mounted shooting. He would like to put on a mounted shooting clinic at Bridlewood. Wouldn't Cathie, the Bridlewood instructor just be thrilled, NOT!
I especially want to thank my volunteers today Mark Sceggel, Mike Honegger, Diane Honegger, Karin Meister, Steven Marchal, Sarah Sceggel, Rebekah Davidovics, Anni Davidovics, Jessica Sauder, Ayrn Uden, Lauren Uden, Jozef Davidovics, Sandor Davidovics, Jozsef Barta, Dan Meister, Abram Meister, Jamie Stone, and Ralph Stone. I could never had done this without all of you. Thank you so much for a job WELL DONE!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Breakfast at Dianes

The weather is just not cooperating for tomorrows scheduled work day. Rain mixed with snow is what is predicted. We will plan on working inside the barn, finishing the 3 stalls that still need their mat's put on and then working in the apartment.
Diane will be serving breakfast at 7:30am again and all are welcome. She makes a GREAT breakfast so if you don't come you will miss out.


Jazz was still not willing, she is so concerned with her foal that I'm thinking it is stopping her from coming into her foal heat. Chiquita was more than willing and was covered this morning. I need to contact her owner to see if he wants her to stay until her sonagram or take her home after she goes out.
I checked on Salena and she is still not bagging up so I think we have some time with her yet. At least her stall is ready. I wanted to do the foal predictor on her but she is not producing enough colostrum to easily do the test.
I met with Jamie at 8:15am to help her take Dakota and Myrrhcedes out of the stall and into the paddock. Myrrhcedes was fine all night in the stall without her mom. She was quiet, and patient while I haltered her. Dakota was not happy last night. She knocked both of her water buckets down, had hay scattered all over the stall and had hit the door enough the latch broke. At least she didn't get the stall door open. Ralph is going to have to fix the latch and they will need to clean the stalls. They way over fed the hay and it is all mixed in with the manure so will be hard to clean. When we put both horses out in the paddock it was funny to see Dakota buck and kick out. We did not know she could get that HUGE rear end in the air!
I'm waiting for Dr. Hoerr's office to call with the time he will be here for the coggins for the colts and flexion test on Pacheron.
Dr. Hoerr came around 10:00am and he LOVED Prince Caspian. He couldn't believe how tall and balanced he was. Both boys were good for drawing their blood for the coggins test. They were both so well behaved.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mud and Rain

This morning when I got to the farm, Mike was cleaning out one of the paddocks with the skid steer. He parked it, then after trying Jazz, asked me to hold gates while he moved in a couple of round bales. The first bale was put in the far paddock that opens up to the field. It is not too bad, there is no shelter there and the horses weren't staying in it long enough to make the mud too bad. The second bale he wanted to put in the middle paddock under the pavilion. I looked at the mud there and told him that is a foot or more deep, he will get stuck for sure. He went ahead and did it any way and came close to getting it stuck but made it out of there. We had more rain during the night and I'm getting discourage. We have a work day scheduled for Saturday and the weather looks like it will be rain changing to snow. I can't expect people to work in the rain and mud. I'm not complaining about the rain, the fields are actually turning green but each year I forget how bad the mud gets.
This afternoon, I drove back out to the farm to meet Steven Marchal. He helped me take boards off 2 stalls and open one up for a foaling stall to get ready for Salena. She is due April 4th. Steven helped me move Dakota and Myrrhcedes, Jamie Stone's horses inside so we could wean Myrrhcedes off Paris.
I brought Paris in to Bridlewood so the weaning process will go quickly. Paris is losing too much weight nursing Myrrhcedes and she is over 4 months old and ready to be weaned. Hope all goes ok with our vet visit tomorrow.

Jazz, and Paris

Jazz would not accept Raven today. I think she is only just coming in and right now she is more worried about him getting near her colt. I was holding the colt in front of her so she could touch him but she still would not allow Raven to come close. She is winking some and showing but not enough to allow the job to be accomplished.
Paris is still in so we had Raven cover her this morning. Paris will be coming to Bridlewood later today so her filly can be weaned. Dr. Hoerr is coming to Bridlewood to draw coggins for me on the 2 colts so I will have Paris done also.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Newborn Colt

The manager of Circle Double D brought Jazz and her newborn colt by Raven over for Jazz to be bred back. He has wonderful conformation, long legs, short back, and beautiful face. His movement was even better. No wonder they brought Jazz back. This will be her third Raven baby. He was so cute I had to snap a picture of him for our photogallery.
I had to move Dakota, Myrrhcedes, and Paris from the back paddock into Ribbon's paddock and moved Ribbon and Clara into the big one with the herd. Dakota was hanging her head over eating off the bale we put in for Jazz. That made Jazz to worried to bring her baby in out of the mud. We had an inch of rain from 4:00pm to 6:00pm and no matter how hard I work trying to keep the mud out with that much rain it's hopeless. At least now that the other horses are gone Jazz is comfortable with her colt inside in the nice fluffy dry stall. It's good to see him lying down there instead of the mud.
Chiquita was bred today and we will check Jazz tonight. Right now I'm letting her settle in.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chiquita Too

Steven Marchal went out to the farm today to check if Lady or Anni is in season. They are not but Paris still is so he got Paris covered. Before he left he saw that Chiquita is also in. We will get her covered tonight if we get home before dark. We have weaned her colt and she will be bred and sent back to her owner. Her owner would like to sell her so if anyone out there wants a Quality mare who is bred to RAVEN reasonable I'm sure he would accept offers. He has her priced at $1800.00 as she is registered as half Arabian and he also has her incentive fund enrolled along with being bred to Raven. She is a great mom and also has been started undersaddle. It wouldn't take much to get her trained. The picture is of Chiquita and her 6 day old Colt by Raven named Khelly's Class Act. Even though he was born bay, he turned out dark grey and should end up near white at maturity. He will be absolutely striking! He is for sale now that he is weaned for $3000.00 but if you really want a deal, you should buy both him and Caspian, we would sell them together for $4500.00. WOW 2 Friesian colts for the price of one! What is interesting about that is Caspian will get darker with age and Classy will get lighter with age.
Just got the word that Jazz will be here first thing in the morning. She should be either in her foal heat or coming in. As I remember from the last 2 years Jazz is only in season about 3 days. Some mares are in for a week and some much shorter. It is good to know Jazz's history, we would not want to miss her.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Booking an Andalusian mare

We just came back from the farm after working on removing more old fencing to prepare for the new on Saturday and there is a message for me from a lady with an Andalusian mare she would like to book. She would like to bring her April 13th.
I finished one paddock today earlier today ready for Jazz and her newborn colt when they come this week. I bought 10 bags of the corn cob pellets for the stall area and got it spread. I love the look of a nice clean bedded stall.
The paddocks are looking great and we should have 4 more finished by Saturday.
I'm getting calls and emails from people that knew Pip and heard that he died, it is good to hear how many lives he touched. It seems each one has a special story about him. He is buried at the farm and he will always hold a special place in my heart.

A Tribute to PiP

This morning our 15 year old Golden Retriever suffered a stroke then seizures. We took him to Dunlap Vet. Clinic where Rhoda works and made the decision to have him put down. This was a hard thing for me. Pip was given to me at 6 weeks old. His mom was my mom's dog and his dad was my sister Diane's dog. Pip was the last of his line. He was a true gentleman. He was given his name from the book Great Expectations. The main character was named Pip and he wanted to be a gentleman. Pip was a true gentleman his entire 15 years. He was gentle with small children, loved to go fishing in the stock tanks, loved going to the farm and to the lake. He loved playing with his stuffed animals and loved playing ball. He was the best dog we've ever had and we will miss him.
Susan Ross brought in a very thoughtful card with 2 pictures of Pip and this written on it: Memories of Pip: Jumping into the water tanks, digging for rabbits in the field, barking to have the back barn door opened...why go the long way around? Rolling over for tummy rubs, eating the cat food, Chewing on rocks, Sunbathing on your driveway, Laying down in the outdoor arena or passing through during a lesson. His tolerance with the younger dogs, letting them play ...to a point where he would put them in their place. Following Judy around, HE was a PRINCE of a dog!
email from Steven Marchal: judy
i am soooo sorry to hear about pip. He was such an awesome dog. There were definitely times when i was sure he would live forever. I especially remember how he used to climb the ladder to the slide and how in the summer he would jump in the water tanks to keep cool. I will miss him always greeting me when i came over.
from my brother Dan: best judge of character there ever was. "if Pip didn't like you, you were a baaaaad person"
The mailman drove up to the house today and told me he was so sorry about our losing our Golden Retriever. He told me how he would see Pip laying in the sun and when he would drive up Pip would just raise his head, wag his tail and hope to be petted.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This morning I went out to check on the weanlings and saw that Steven had the 2 colts tied up in a stall. I went into the big barn and no Steven or Jewell. He was in the paddock with her. I'm impressed that the boys were standing quietly tied. Jewell got a leading lesson then we put them all back. Mike brought Raven over to the mares and Paris is showing. He got her covered, then took the skid steer and cleaned out one of the paddocks and shelters for a mare that is coming in early next week. All before church. After church Mark and I went to Hanna City to clean up after the work day yesterday and finish cleaning out the paddock where ever the skid steer could not reach. We weren't really working, just playing with our hobby, since it was a Sunday. Although my muscles thought that was a work out. Mom had us over for dinner when we finished up. She made a delicious meal of pork tenderloin, asparagus, salad with all the fixings a side of spaghetti and ice cream and berries for dessert. It made all that "playing with our hobby" worth it. I've attached a picture of Paris' last year filly owned by Jamie Stone. Hope Paris settles quickly and we get another foal as beautiful from the Raven x Paris cross.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What a DAY

It started early, Bella was suppose to be picked up between 6:00am and 8:00am. We had her cleaned up and ready by 6:00am. At 7:00am Rhoda leaves for work and calls to tell me the shippers are on Airport road sleeping. I tried to call Steven Marchal to catch him before he heads to Hanna City but he didn't answer his phone. I'm debating what to do when the phone rings and it is Steven telling me the shippers are sleeping on the side of Airport road. I told him to wake them up and have them follow him to Bridlewood so we could get Bella loaded and be on our way to Hanna City. They get here and Bella is very good, she walks right up the ramp. This was the first time she had ever been on a ramp so we were pleased. The man leading her up decided not to tie her, shut her in and started walking out the trailer. Bella leaned into the divider, it popped open and she came right back out. I really thought we would have trouble getting her back in but again she walked right in. What a good girl. I signed for her then took off for breakfast at Diane's. She had a wonderful breakfast of sausage, egg and cheese casserole along with warm cinnamon rolls and fruit containing strawberries, rasberries, and black berries. We had a great time at breakfast, the company was even better than the food. Hard to get to work after laughing so hard. Ruth, Fedi, Jessica, Sarah, Steven, mom, Diane, Mike, Mark and I all had breakfast. We worked until about 12:30 when Karin got a call from Rachel that they needed help unloading their new hot tub. We jumped in 2 different cars and drove over to help David and Rachel get the hot tub off their truck and into her sun room. I was actually surprised how easy it was but we had great helpers. Along with our work crew, Ralph also came to help. Then we all went back to Diane's for lunch. This time she made us grilled ham and cheese with munster cheese and honey roasted peanuts with homemade apple cinnamon ice tea. It was delicious and a good break. It was actually a good thing we took that break because we didn't stop again until around 4:00pm. Karin hooked up my truck with the big trailer then Steven and I loaded up the 2 weanlings and brought them to Bridlewood to be weaned and also to give Jewell company. They actually lead pretty nicely until we put them in the paddock with Jewell, then they realized that they couldn't find their moms and did they ever start to call. We decided to clean and fill the water tank while we were watching them to make sure they would quiet down. By the time the tank was filled they were quietly eating at the hay bale.
Karin, Rhoda and Mike went riding, then they picked up Diane and went to Scappechis for dinner. They have the best steaks. If I wasn't so tired Mark and I would have driven the trailer back and then joined them in Farmington but it just isn't worth the drive. I'm really pleased at our progress, we are almost done with Raven's paddock and have a great start on the mare paddocks. I really think by next Saturday we will be able to finish or will be very close to finishing. I wish I would have had my camera.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Hi Everyone, Diane will be serving breakfast at 7:30am Saturday to who ever would like to show up for the work day. We won't be painting but we will be re fencing Raven's paddock and putting up the post and rails along the back of the mare paddocks. I'm also wanting to put in an outdoor arena (not tomorrow) so I need some help picking the spot. If you are coming, look over the place and give me your feed back. I would like it close enough to the indoor arena that we could put up lights for night riding or training.
Neither Anni or Lady is in season. I guess I will have to just keep checking. I really needed to get them done because of the other bookings. Velvet is still in but I didn't get her bred today, I ran out of time. I'm starting to panic that I won't have enough room and need to get those paddocks done.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


We got an email from a lady that would like to book her paint mare to Raven, she sent 2 pictures and before reading through her email I looked at the pictures, the first was just a magnificent looking horse with a girl holding the lead rope. My first reaction was WOW that is a beautiful mare, then I looked at the girl and told Rhoda, "That girl looks just like you." Rhoda came over to the computer, looked at it and said "It IS me and I'm holding Raven." Then I read the email, Patrica had visited our farm in 2003 and took a picture of Raven with Rhoda and Sarah. She emailed me that picture plus a picture of the mare she would like to breed. Did we ever have a laugh!!!
I guess I still know a good looking horse when I see one, just didn't realize it was MY horse. I've included the picture Patricia sent me.


Hi All, We will be scheduling another work day on Saturday. We would like to finish the backs of the paddocks and rail along the fence line. I am also going to pick up paint to paint the small paddocks if anyone wants to come paint wear old clothes.
Velvet is still in season, Lady is still NOT in season and Anni is coming in but not yet wanting to stand. I'll try Anni tomorrow, Velvet tonight and leave Lady for a couple of days. Ralph is going to help me get the shed area ready for Jazz and her colt due to come in next week for a rebreed. I got one section cleaned out only 4 to go. I need to order a load of lime for the paddocks. Steven Marchal came out and worked Clara, she did so well that Mike climbed on her and Steven lead her a few steps. That is a good start. Steven also offered to come on Saturday for our work day. I gladly took him up on it!
Last night Rachel Sauder brought over posters of the vaulting team. They are a WONDERFUL collage of the vaulters. We wrote thank you notes on the back and delivered them to the companies that helped us at the fair.
I'm looking over the fields to see where a good area would be for an outdoor arena. There are pros and cons to what ever I look at. I would like it near the barn, flat area, high ground for drainage, and not taking up too much of the field. I'll take Rhoda out and see what she likes.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another booking

I took a trip out to Circle Double D to see their new colt by Raven out of Jazz. He is beautiful, shiny black, compact body, and VERY long legs. Jazz is a Saddlebred mare and her last colt by Raven has the high stepping beautiful movement so desired for showing. This one is already showing off. If the owners decide to sell he should be snatched up. I'll get some pictures of him to post when they bring Jazz for her breed back. As I left Circle Double D and was heading out to the lake to check Lady, my phone went off and I have another mare coming in for breed for early April. I think this is going to be a very busy year for Raven. Lady is still not in but I have her next to Raven now so hopefully she will start to show, she still hates his guts! Velvet is in big time. I didn't get a chance to check Anni, I'll have to try that tomorrow.
I checked Salena to see if she was bagging up but no sign yet, this is her first foal and I want to be there if possible. She is due April 3rd, hope she goes early as we are leaving for Gulf Shores on the 4th. Steven Marchal is going to keep an eye on her while we are gone.

New Born Colt

Just got a phone call from Ean, manager of Circle Double D ranch, Jazz delivered an all black, beautiful colt, all is well and they would like to breed her back on the foal heat. I have a few days to get ready for her. There really needs to be 2 of me, as I'm not keeping up.

New Born Filly

Heather from St. Louis called this morning, her mare gave birth to a beautiful filly by Raven around 2:00am. The filly is black with the curly Friesian hair and HUGE! All is well and the filly is up and running around in the stall. After deciding on a name, Heather is going to email pictures for our photo gallery.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday Evening

We just had to take advantage of the weather so drove back out to the farm around 5:30 and started setting the 4 x 4 posts. We got 34 posts set. Diane Honegger, Jamie Stone and I worked on sawing the points on each post while Mark, Mike Honegger, and Ralph Stone set the posts. Had to quit at dark but a got a good 2 and a half hours of work in. I'm very encouraged to see how quickly the work is going. I estimate we are about half done. I wish I'd had a camera watching Jamie work that circular saw in her nice work clothes. Jamie owns a Merle Norman store. This was not quite her line of work but she did it very well.

Velvet Is In

After work today I moved in a round bale for Jewell & Bella and filled up their water tank, then I drove out to the Hanna City farm to make sure all the lumber was delivered and to work the colts. All the lumber is there and we will be ready for fencing. Mike wanted to start tonight but we can't be there. I don't know if I can get anyone at such short notice.
The colts were great, they both got tied up, groomed, all 4 feet picked up and out and then a nice treat of grain. They both came to me so I didn't have to go into the mud.
Today, Lady, the painted Friesian, was the first to get checked to see if she is in season. Raven thought she was but she hated his guts. Then Velvet was brought up. She was willing but he would rather have Lady. He did get the job accomplished and we will mark her down as in season but I'm not 100% convinced. The picture is of Velvet's colt from last year. He was amazing and the person that bought him came to the horse fair to tell us how wonderful he is. Lady and Anni are both maiden mares and Velvet is experienced so maybe she figures if she co-operates she can get back to eating that much quicker. The way Raven acted with Lady makes me think she is coming in. I'll have to check her tomorrow. Could be Raven just loves a pretty face. She is going to West Virginia to her new owner once she is confirmed in foal.
I got the lumber bill in the mail today, I'd better start PRAYING I sell a horse within 30 days before the credit card bill comes due. I don't think I've ever carried a balance over but this just might be the first time. OH well every one has to pay interest sometime, right?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Chiquita's Colt

Cathie Trent, the instructor here at Bridlewood, brought in the ducks she wintered that live at the lake in Hanna City in the summer. As I was going out to work Chiquita's colt, I drove Rhoda's car out there with the ducks in so I didn't get the smell in my car. The smell was pretty bad so I rolled down all of the windows, then when I tried to roll them back up, all but the driver's side window rolled up. Hope I get it fixed for Rhoda before the rain comes in.
Got to the farm and both colts were waiting for me. Autumn's colt is such a sweet heart, Chiquita's colt is still a little shy but once I tied him up, I was able to pick out all 4 feet and give him a good groom. I also took off his halter and put on a bigger one. They both got a handful of grain today. I think this was the first time they had ever had it but both decided that it was REALLY good. It is amazing to me that even though all winter they were out with the herd not being handled they remember the imprinting and are relatively well behaved.
I got my lumber ordered for the next workday. If the weather is good we will try for Saturday. So much to do, so little time!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I just spent 3 hours preparing a video for Prince Caspian, published it on youtube and I get a message that the audio has been disabled. Bummer! Now I'm trying again with another song. I really want to use either Rachel Sauder's music or Dan Meister's music but can't figure out how to get them from a cassette tape to a CD and then on to my computer. This way I will never have to worry about copyright, they will gladly let me use their music. Any one out there that knows how to do this, I could sure use the help. I'm putting it up with one of youtubes selection of music but I sure don't like their offerings. At least the weather cooperated, Caspian was great and Karin and Jamie helped as I only had a few minutes to make the video. Caspian didn't even show off how he can really move, it was just too warm for him to want to. Just think on Thursday, just 4 days ago it was 20 degrees and today it is in the 60s.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Work Day

We had a wonderful crew show up for our work day. It pays to have a big family. Diane had a great breakfast for us, farm fresh eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, coffee cake, orange juice, coffee and home made cinnamon rolls from mom. After that good breakfast we thought maybe we should take a nap but instead got to work. We worked until I ran out of 2 x 6 x 16 foot treated rails about 1:00pm so Mike, Rhoda, Rebekah and Anna loaded up 4 horses and went to Sand Ridge State Forrest for a trail ride. They had to take advantage of the great weather. Mark and I cleaned up then headed into town for some lunch. I am so thankful and pleased with our progress. The paddocks will be ready for sure by April.

Friday, March 13, 2009

work day

Hi All, Tomorrow is a work day at the Hanna City farm. Diane will be serving breakfast at 7:30am to all who want to come help out. We will be post and railing the paddocks and putting up electric fence around the entire pasture. I'll bring my camera and video equipment and maybe we will have time to get new videos of the colts.

New Vaulting pictures

This is the second post on a Friday the 13th but I just got the pictures from Rachel Sauder our photographer of the Horse Fair. I've put most of them on the photo gallery vaulting page. This picture is our team. Cute kids!


We bought Jenis when she was only 2 years old. We brought her home, gave her one day to get used to the place, then started working with her. We were riding her in 2 days and going on trails with her within the week. She is the horse that taught us that even though Friesians are big and impressive, they want to please so much that they are one of the easiest horse breeds to train. The picture I included was on a trail ride last fall at Jubilee State park. The setting was perfect for Rhoda to show us what she has been working on with Jenis. People think Friesians are only good for dressage or pulling a carriage but they make wonderful trail horses also. They have good minds are not spooky and WOW do we get the looks when we take all 4 mares out onto a public trail.
I left this morning around 5:15am the temperature outside was 21 degrees, perfect for hauling. I got to Middle Grove at 6:40, had the rest of the horses all haltered and tied up waiting for transport. Mike got there with his trailer around 7:00am and by 7:08am we were loaded and on the road. Say good by to Middle Grove for 2 months. It was actually a blessing that we had this cold spell. By today the temps are going to climb into the 40s with 50s and 60s coming. When we got all the horses unloaded at Hanna City we worked with Chiquita's colt and Autumn's colt. We led them around and picked up their feet. These boys have been at Middle Grove since a couple of weeks old, it was nice to see the imprinting worked and they hadn't forgotten much. Caspian is especially friendly and curious. When we were working Class Act, Caspian kept getting in our way trying to figure out what we were doing. I got to see both boys show off, I really need to get some videos, wow was Caspian ever impressive. Those boys will be weaned next week.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Last night we started hauling horses back from Middle Grove, We worked until Midnight, got up at 5:00am and hauled 2 more loads then had to stop as the ground was getting soft. We have only one more load to go and we will do that early tomorrow morning as it is suppose to be 18 degrees and the road should still be passable.
Dr. Hoerr came earlier than I expected so Steven Marchal had his hands full. He had 11 horses all in the barn waiting for the vet. That sounds easier than it is, he had to tromp through the mud, halter each one and when you bring one horse through the gate invariably one of the other mares want to come too. We had 11 coggins drawn besides the sonagrams. Both Clara and Ribbon are in foal, we could even see the heartbeat on Clara's foal as she is 40 days along. Dr. Hoerr told me today that he would like to breed 3 of his mares to Raven this year.
I got home at 4:00pm from a very long day outside in the cold and found my daughter Sarah making dinner. YEAH!!! Thank goodness for teen age daughters.
I need a nap.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sonagrams and Health Papers

Tomorrow afternoon Dr. Hoerr is coming first to Bridlewood to do a health exam on Belle as she is going to be traveling to New York to her new home, and then on to the Hanna city farm for Clara and Ribbon's sonagram. It is very hard for me to be in 2 places at the same time so when Steven Marchal called and offered to help I jumped at his offer. He can be at the Hanna City farm getting Clara and Ribbon cleaned up and in stalls while I wait for Dr. Hoerr at Bridlewood.
Early Thursday morning we will be heading out to the Middle Grove farm to start hauling in the mares. The fencing project at Hanna City is just about done and we need to get the mares off the fields for a couple of months. We have 21 degrees this morning and the high is only suppose to be in the low 30s. By tomorrow morning it is suppose to be down to 13 degrees which will mean the roads will be passable. Last year we waited a little too long and had to have the tractor pull us out. If I was rich I would buy tons and tons of gravel. I need gravel at both the Hanna City farm and Middle Grove. Funny thing to be wishing for but gravel sure makes life easier on a farm. I guess I need to start praying for gravel. I've included a video that shows the mares on the Middle Grove farm. I did not have my good camera only our digital camera that also takes video clips. This year I'm determined to get a new video of the herd at Middle Grove during the summer. It is so impressive to see the mares come galloping up when they hear the truck coming.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Many Helpers

OK, I know everyone is tired of hearing about the Horse Fair but Karin was talking to me how easy this year was. She was so thrilled with all the help we received. With Rhoda tacking and warming up Ribbon, Amy Koch cooling Ribbon down, Jessie Pence doing all the girls hair, Alicia Cooksey making cotton candy with Ruth Davidovics, Alicia's husband popping the pop corn along with Rachel Sauder and her husband David, it made this the year that Karin and I could actually go into the arenas and watch some of the clinicians. What a pleasure! I even went into the sale barns and saw a RAVEN son that was for sale. Ean from Rocking C brought down a Raven son, beautiful black, great movement, and so friendly. This boy has presence! He will be 2 years old in June but is tall enough to already have 60 days of training on him. They are asking $7500.00 for him and ANY saddleseat person would be thrilled with him.
To ALL of you that helped us this year THANK YOU!!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chicken Soup

Have you all heard how chicken soup is good for the soul? Well it is also good for the body. I made a big pot of chicken and wild rice soup today and just now had a cup. It is so good after all the fair food over the weekend.
The trailer is almost cleaned out and most of the stuff is no longer sitting on the kitchen floor. We decided that we are buying some tubs with lids so tear down and set up can be a little more organized. Our next performance is at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, Wisconsin April 17th, 18th and 19th. Check out their website by typing in google midwest horse fair. We are giving Ribbon and the vaulters one week off before starting the 2 day a week practice schedule.
We will know in 3 days if Ribbon settled. It was announced at the fair that she was in foal to Raven, sure hope that is accurate.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


The IL Horse fair was a HUGE success! Between the RECORD crowds and the beautiful warm weather it could not have been better. Our vaulters made us PROUD, they were just about perfect. We won first place and the prize is free entry at the fair next year so we will be back in 2010 Lord willing, come see us perform, you will be amazed at what these kids have accomplished.
We dropped off Ribbon at the Hanna City farm and just now parked the trailer here but won't start to unload or clean it out until tomorrow. We are too tired to do anything but fall into bed. Rachel Sauder, of momentscapturedbyrachel was there and took many many pictures of the vaulters so I will get some new professional ones up on the website. She also did some team photo shots.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Vaulting Camp

We had beautiful weather today, what a change from last week. So hoping this weekend will be nice. Our vaulters had their best practice ever and we are as prepared as can be. Ribbon will get her bath tomorrow at the fairgrounds. They have hot water and heaters to help dry. Karin took all the tack home to clean. We are hoping to for a great crowd of people all wanting to go through the barns and all wanting popcorn and cotton candy to take into the livestock arena for the show. We are needing to replace our surcingle, ours has had heavy use for 13 years and is falling apart. The new ones cost about $1800.00 and what ever people donate for the cotton candy and popcorn will go into our surcingle fund. We are also holding a vaulting camp June 18th, 19th and 20th. If anyone has a child 10 years old or older that wants to learn vaulting and put on a performance, please email me at judy@horsemeister.com with your address and I'll mail you our brochure. The camp cost $250.00 and includes overnight accommodations, a vaulting T shirt, meals, instructions on the barrel, and instructions on our vaulting horse with a performance on Saturday night for familys of the campers. Space is limited so don't wait too long to reserve your want to be vaulters spot.
Our performance on Saturday at the IL Horse Fair is approximately at 5:00pm and on Sunday around 3:30pm in the livestock arena. HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THERE!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Foaling Videos

One of the benefits of my Horsemeister job is that I get to witness the births of these beautiful Friesian foals. We use a FoalWatch kit from Chemetrics to accurately predict when the mares will start to foal. We tried different kinds but always go back to this kit as it seems to be the most accurate.
The first video I included in this blog happened on a beautiful sunny afternoon. This is VERY rare, almost always a mare will foal out in the middle of the night. This was Bunni's first foal and we were very glad she did decide to foal out in the daytime. After watching her closely and seeing that she was not progressing like she should we were able to offer assistance.

This second video is more like what usually happens. On the night that the mare is expected to deliver I plan to sleep close to where I am keeping the mare. I wait for the sound of the mare's water breaking before turning on any lights. Once the water breaks the delivery should happen quickly. The mare foaling in the video below is one of our Tennessee Walker mares named Sally. This filly was actually born on the 4th of July so we named her Liberty.

Prayer request

As I was working today on cleaning out the horse trailer and loading if for this weekend I got a phone call that Emily Rickett's dad was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. Emily was the girl that trained Big Sally and is the oldest of 7 children. Her parents, Brian and Marie have been so helpful with our orphanage in Mexico where my oldest son is serving for 2 years. Brian has put his life in God's hands, but it isn't Brian that concerns me, it is his dear wife and 7 children. They plan to operate to try to remove as much of the tumor as they can and then do radiation and chemo. Please pray for Brian and his family.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


We are like every other breeding farm, we can't keep our gates looking nice. Raven, our Friesian stallion will lean on them when he is checking out a mare, or a mare that is not in season will kick at Raven (as he is checking them out) and hit the gate and bend it. Yesterday I got a call from a man that was getting out of horses and had gates for sale. So today I drove to Forrest City where I end up buying 11 different size gates along with 5 feeders and 6 buckets. I was so glad I took the big trailer. I got back to the farm and saw that 3 more loads of hay had been delivered. Only 2 loads to go and all 82 round bales I bought at the auction will be here. Mike is stacking them 3 high in the big barn so Karin still has room for vaulting practice. We need to to tell all the vaulters to NOT play on the hay when they are stacked that high. We have always let them play on the bales. When we were growing up as kids we loved to play on the hay but every time my grandpa Meister would catch us, we would get yelled at. I made up my mind that I would never tell kids they couldn't play on the hay, looks like I'll have to retract. It's just too dangerous when they are stacked that high.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hay Day

The hay is here! I couldn't wait to fire up my old Ferguson tractor to start stacking it. I kind of inherited the Ferguson when we bought our house from my folks. The tractor was in the garage and since it was needed here at Bridlewood I kept it. The tractor gets the prime spot in the garage, it is much more valuable to me than a car. Without it I wouldn't be able to use round bales to feed, clear and mow fields, rake arenas, and pull stuck cars and trucks out. I learned to drive the Ferguson when I was about 10 years old and it was old then. I'm now 53 so we are talking antique but each winter I get it serviced so it just keeps right on plugging away. Horsemeister has 2 other tractors, a John Deer with a loader at the Hanna City farm and an International Harvester at the Middle Grove farm. We also have an excavator and for Christmas I got a fantastic skid steer. I LOVE IT! We have all kinds of attachments for it and what a handy tool. Sure wish I would have had one of those when we were growing up.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Joy's owner brought over new pictures of her taken yesterday for me to put on my website. This filly turned out FABULOUS! Her dam is Cindy a section C Welsh Cob x Haflinger and her sire is our Friesian stallion RAVEN. Please visit our website for more pictures. Isn't she adorable?


Well, I don't know about Karin or Steven, but I could hardly roll out of bed this morning. Every muscle in my body is letting me know I should not have been carrying 60 pounds of cement up and down hills. I thought I was pretty fit.
Clara met Steven yesterday and I think they will work well together. By the time he was done with her introductory lesson she was walking well beside him and learning to stay out of his space. He even had her touching the very scary skid steer. Her sonagram is scheduled for the 12th, if she is pregnant we will bring her into Bridlewood for training. I really like Clara's conformation, nice long neck, good hip and stocky body. Her foal by our Friesian stallion Raven will be spectacular! I'm not sure what the 2 will produce as far as color, all of you knowledgeable people should email me and let me know. We're hoping for a buckskin. The picture is of our Lily and her trainer Steven Marchal while they were at Murray State University in Kentucky. He did a great job with her, we can now let beginners ride her on our trail rides. Hope Steven can do as good a job with Clara.