Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Farm

I got to the farm around 8:30am, fed, watered and turned Lily and her filly out into the field for grass. I was hoping the filly would run around but she didn't instead she thought she would try some of the grass her mom was eating. It was funny to watch her try new things.
The dentist was not able to get to Raven but I know he needs his teeth done so I will call Dr. Hoerr and schedule it when I schedule the Andalusian's sonagram so I can share the farm call with her.
After I took Raven over to see if Lady was in, she is not, I brought Lily and baby back into the stall then went to check Big Sally. Sally decided to lay down and roll as I was coming so I got a good look at her udder and she is very bagged up. Just in case, I brought her into the barn and put her in a double stall. I'll give Steven a call to see if he will check on her. I would like to do the predictor kit on her but my day is just going to be too busy. I got every one fed and headed for home to start working on my house. I put another picture up of the filly. I really need a name for her, does anyone have any good ideas?


Rachel Sauder of momentscapturedbyrachel is coming to my house today to take pictures of my granddaughter. Ben and Taunya are going to meet her here so she doesn't have to drive out to Bloomington. I need to clean my house and will probably have to kick Darcy out or lock her in Rhoda's room. I have the equine dentist coming today to float Raven's teeth and if we get enough time I was going to have him do Paris also.
Darcy is going for her pet therapy interview on Saturday. St. Francis has 3 dog trainers that will be watching every move Rhoda and Darcy make from the time she gets there around 1:00pm until the interview is over at 3:00pm. I can't imagine she won't be accepted. Darcy loves everyone, has never bitten, is not food aggressive, will sit, down and stay with just a command and doesn't bark uncontrollably. So even though we know she is very sweet, I don't want her around my new grand daughter. She just might drool on her. Last night Darcy came in our room about 3:00am and fell asleep on Pip's bed that I haven't yet removed from my room. She started snoring so loud both Mark and I woke up. We just laughed, I don't know how Rhoda gets any sleep at all with Darcy in her room.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Heavy Rain Expected!

This is unbelievable, the weather man just told us that heavy rain is predicted for overnight. I think we are going to drown in mud! Thank goodness for our stalls and thank goodness the barn was built on high ground. From 1:00am to 1:00pm Peoria area has a flash flood warning because of the downpour of rain expected, then on Friday more heavy rain. I think we are ready to start building an ark. Steven drove out to the Hanna City farm to let Lily and her filly out into the field as for sure they will be locked up in a stall overnight. While Lily was grazing, he cleaned the stalls again so tomorrow they should be easy for me. He also checked Big Sally and she is starting to bag up. I guess I need to prepare another foaling stall. She really isn't due until May 12th but it is not unusual for mares to foal out early. She is a lovely mare, she reminds me a lot of Lily but Lily has better gaits. If Sally has a filly soon the girls should look almost identical. The picture is of Big Sally last winter. Doesn't she look Friesian?

Lily's Filly's Turn Out

Today when I got to the farm, I took Lily and her filly, still to be named, out into the field for grazing. The filly had so much fun running around her mom. The filly started with small circles around her but it soon grew too large for Lily's comfort. She is a little over 1 day old and is so big and strong. I let them graze while I cleaned stalls, water buckets and the aisle ways, then brought them in for Lily's grain.
Lady is not in, that was disappointing, I sure hope we didn't miss her. With the sonagram, Dr. Hoerr told me to try her in 2 days and that should have been today. I'll have Mike try tonight and then I'll try tomorrow. She is great to get out of the paddock. I called her, she was laying down in the hay, she got up and came right over so I didn't have to walk in the mud. We had more rain yesterday and it was sprinkling as I was driving out to the farm. We usually have around 6 inches of rain from early March to early May but as of yesterday we have had 13 inches. No wonder we have mud. The farmers cannot get into the fields for planting. This week doesn't look any better with rain predicted for the next 3 days.
Chiquita's owner called and he is coming early next week to pick her up. She has been a nice mare to have around and if someone wanted to buy her the owner is willing to sell.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lily's Filly

Lily had a filly! We are so thrilled, this is her first one and this one will NOT be sold. Lily is our pride and Joy and I have wanted a filly from her for 4 years. Her first 3 foals by Raven were colts so each year I would let the colt be sold in hopes that the next time she would have a filly. This filly is EVERYthing I have been breeding for. She is ALL black, strong, big, and she has great conformation.
I put Lily outside last night and wouldn't you know she foals! We had an inch and a half of rain last night and rain during the day yesterday so when the sun broke through, I let her out into the paddock for some free time. By the time I got there, the baby was standing on her own and nursing well. I'll have to borrow Mark's camera for pictures.
Anni was bred today but Mike thinks she is going out. I'll try Lady tomorrow. Emily Ricketts is going to take Anni as soon as she is confirmed in foal for training. Emily did such a good job with Big Sally that we are thrilled she is willing to work Anni. Anni is going to end up being a favorite, she already is sweet and willing.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Dr. Hoerr came out and sonagramed Chiquita and she is in foal. Yeah!!! we can send her back to her owner. The other good news is that the Andalusian mare is finally out of season so I can start counting the days until her sonagram. Tyler Joos, our farrier also came out at the same time and got Lily, Sangria, Salena, Dakota, Myrrhcedes, Sunny, and Bunni trimmed and put shoes on Mika.
Lady is just coming in season and will be bred this week. She had 2 follicles each about 40 cm and some edema so we know she is close. It helps so much to have Dr. Hoerr sonagram and tell us where each mare is in her cycle.
On a sad note, Grace had to be put down. She was a wonderful mare for us and we will remember our good times with her. She was the horse that taught us combined training. She was so fun to jump and wow did she ever have the speed. One time Karin was riding her in the Spring Pony Club show, she and Grace went flying by and Cathie Trent said, "that's it, Grace has lost her mind and so has Karin." They ended up taking second place in that show. She got penalty points for going too fast. Grace's last filly by Raven, we named Jewell, we will want to keep. We need something to remember her by.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Diane called while we were at Potluck and told me that Anni was covered tonight. Potluck was wonderful, Carol Scholl hosted it. She made glazed ham rolls that were the best I've ever tasted. Ron and Janet Blumenshine brought the potatoes made with thinly sliced potato strings cooked with 3 cups of heavy cream and a stick of butter. Tim and Robyn Feucht brought the salad and it was filled with wonderful things like crispy nuts and fruit with poppy seed dressing. The bread was a soft, fragrant cheese bread with butter. Mark and I brought the vegetable. I made my mom's green bean recipe where the beans are cooked with a ham, chicken stock and sauteed onions. Roger and Melanie brought the dessert. Melanie made a wonderful Terra Misu that went well with the flavored coffee. We had a great time visiting. Time just flew by and before we realized it the time was 9:30pm. We are home and ready for bed. Tomorrow the farrier is coming and I have so many for him to do I'll have to get out there early to dry off the mud.

Our Day of Rest?

This morning we need to be at the Peoria county jail for church services at 7:45 so I'm getting ready and remember my skirt is in the washer. It is in the dryer now, hope it dries in time or I'll be trying to figure out what else I can wear. We will have 3 services at the jail then head to church in time for lunch and the second service. We will have 4 baptisms after the second service. Once we get home, I'll just have time to make my vegetable for potluck tonight at 5:30. Potluck always lasts late so I know I won't have time to get out to the farm. I've asked Mike to get Anni covered if she is still in and check the Andalusian mare. She was covered yesterday but I want to know the day she goes out for the sonagram.
I also need to know how Grace is doing so hopefully Mike or Diane will check on her. Emily Ricketts wants her and is also willing to take Knight, Joan and Tim's pony to go as a companion. Emily has 6 brothers and sisters and they will enjoy riding Knight.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Clara and Steven

Steven had a VERY good training session with Clara today. He got her bridled, saddled and ponied behind Mike on Mika. Then Steven got on her and again she was ponied in the indoor arena. She is doing very well. She doesn't care at all about having someone on her back. She still doesn't know how to go forward but she is learning. She is also responding to the bit. When Steven is asking for a whoa and gently pulling back she is stopping. He did a lot of ground work first to teach her to go off his voice. This really helps once Steven is on her, if she listens to his voice when he is on the ground it is a small step for her to listen while he is on her. I've included a picture of her, she is a very pretty mare, big bodied, with a good disposition. This is our first time to try for a buckskin foal and if we were going to try, we wanted the best conformation we could find. Clara had only been a brood mare for her first owners. They bought her as a weanling for $5000.00 and showed her in halter where she won grand championships. We were honored to be able to have her for our brood mare herd. But because of the economy we are going to put her up for sale. We would like to only feed about 20 horses for next winter instead of the 32 we fed this winter. Diane and I were going over which ones to place for sale. Each of our mares are chosen for their quality and it is hard to decide which to sell. We will leave it up to our buyers.

Rain, Rain, Rain

It is 7:50am and it is AGAIN POURING with rain. The weather man last night talked about what a beautiful weekend we had in store. I think God has a sense of humor. Hope all the tenters are out of the woods, small hail is hitting my window as we speak. On a good note the lilacs are starting to bloom. Spring must be finally here.


Last night the kids and Karin decided to camp down on the trails. This was the first warm day and even the night wasn't suppose to be too cold. They put up a tent and had to cram 9 kids in it. Mark and I drove out at 8:00pm to grain Grace and decided to join the camp fire but first we had to find them. We grabbed a couple of chairs from the regular camp fire place then drove down to the bottom lands. Anni met us at the road with a light so we could see where to drive in safely but I still got stuck. We have just had too much rain this year. Anni, Mark and Sarah pushed me out so I parked at the end. As we were hiking the trail we met up with Rachel, David and her 2 boys Logan and Luke. Mike, Diane, Karin, Anni, Steven, and Ryan were all sitting around the fire cooking big slabs of bacon. Ruth had dropped off her boys Steven and Ryan, stayed a while then left for bed. Mark and I stayed until 10:00pm. The fire was great but I decided it was getting too hot so I went to move my chair back and I moved it a little too far, it fell off the ledge into the creek. That's what I get for coming after dark. I had no idea the creek was so close. It was Sarah Reinhards 16th birthday and all the kids were moaning about her not being able to celebrate it with a big party at the lake. Sarah is helping her older sister Kristin get ready for a new baby. We heard she was going out of pizza but that just doesn't cut it for a 16th.
I woke up this morning and realized it must have rained during the night. No rain was predicted but there are fresh puddles. I'll have to find out how wet the kids got, at least they had a tent. If they did have to walk out it was a long walk. The kids are all going to be riding the trails this morning. Mike is taking his chain saw as he is riding Mika to cut low branches.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Salena's Video

Rachel came over and helped me take a quick video of Salena and her colt by Raven. He is 19 days old today. He didn't show off, it was in the 80s after have a very cold spring and they just wanted to eat the wonderful green grass coming up.
On another note, Anni is in season and she stood very well for Raven. I'm pleased he got her covered and once confirmed in foal we will place her for sale.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

2 New Fillies

Steve from Texas called and both of his mares delivered 48 hours apart. They were due within 2 weeks of each other so he was pretty thrilled. One filly was a dark bay and the other pitch black with not a single white hair and both look like Raven. At least that was how he described them. Hopefully he will send pictures. Our count so far for 2009 is 3 fillies and 3 colts.

Rhoda's New Car

Rhoda and Anna drove to Lexington, KY to pick up Rhoda's new car she bought on ebay. They left this morning around 6:30am. The funny thing about this car is that it is a stick shift and Rhoda will have to learn how to drive it. Anna had to drive the car back with Rhoda following. They made it back by 7:30pm what a long day for them.
I drove out to the farm this morning to check on Walker Sally. She was dripping milk last night so Steven left her in a stall. She is not due until June 24th so we are hoping all is well. She is still very pregnant so I let her back out with the herd and will keep an eye on her. I grained Raven, checked the Andalusian mare who is still in season but as she was covered yesterday she doesn't need to be today. Grace was already turned out so I just called her in for her senior feed, then left the stall door and barn door open so she can come and go at will. There was no change in Lily. All 4 Friesian mares came up to be petted and given a treat. They LOVE it when I bring out visitors. Funny story, Steven called last night to tell me that Rhoda will be the first one on Lady. He put a saddle on her and she bucked so hard with all 4 feet off the ground. This is not really unusual, The first time we saddled Ranger he did the same thing but once he was used to the saddle getting on was no big deal.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tall vs Short

What is it with all the short Friesians out there? I was reminded of this today as I was showing Selena and her colt. The man kept commenting "WOW they are so tall!" You should have seen his reaction to Raven! We don't just breed for height, we also want good conformation and beauty. No one wants an ugly horse even if it is the best riding horse around. I was looking on the internet for a purebred Friesian mare to replace Samantha and Sanna as I had a lady interested in buying them as a pair but I can't find any purebred Friesian mares over 16 hands for less than $30,000.00 I will have to tell the lady interested in them that I just don't want to sell them. Samantha is a true 16.1 and Sanna sticks at a little over 16.2. I didn't realize how special that was. Watching the Friesian horses at the Midwest Horse Fair, made me realize how truly blessed we are.


I had to go to the hospital today to see my new grand daughter, my mom went with me to see her new great grand daughter. Did I mention she is the sweetest, most beautiful baby I've seen in about 19 years?
After we got home from Bloomington, I drove out to the farm with more Senior feed for Grace. It is $16.26 a bag delivered to Bridlewood. One of our more expensive feeds but for Grace we will buy it. The Andalusian mare is still in and Raven was very anxious to get her covered. She stood well with no sign of going out. I'm waiting for her to go out to call the vet for sonagrams. We want to get Chiquita, and Lady sonagramed and Grace and Raven's teeth done. Poor Grace. She was beat up pretty badly while I was in Wisconsin. She was accidentally put in with 3 other mares and evidently they picked on her terribly, broke fences and kept Grace away from the food and water until Rhoda found her on Sunday and rescued her. Steven stayed up all night feeding her senior mixed with water every 2 hours. She is on Banimine and today looking better, she may still make it. Rhoda thought we were going to have to put her down. Grace is 24 years old and to put it nicely NOT an easy keeper, this is the last thing she needed. I also started her on pasture, the grass is coming up well and that is very good for her. She is grazing and that means she is walking around. I am still giving her Senior feed but now only 2 to 3 times a day. This morning I had Sarah Reinhard let her out of the stall, then I got there around 1:30, fed her and put her back out into the field. I left the door to the stall area open so if she wants to come back in she can. I'm encouraged today that if nothing else happens she will be ok.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm a GRANDMA!!!!

Addyson Faith Sceggel was born today at 1:30 pm. Her proud parents are Taunya and Benjamin Sceggel. She weighed 7 and a half pounds.
I'm sure she is the most beautiful baby ever born.

Vaulting Day Camp

Our Day Camp is Saturday June 20th, 2009

About The Sport
Vaulting is a unique and growing sport that combines gymnastics and dance on a moving horse. It's a wonderful way to develop coordination, balance, strength, and creativity while working in harmony with your equine partner. If you love horses, gymnastics, dance and fun, Vaulting is for you!
The Heart of Illinois Vaulting Team
The Heart of Illinois Vaulters was founded by Karin Meister. Karin has 12 years of experience teaching vaulting. She is a certified therapeutic horseback instructor for NARHA and also trains horses. Our team has worked with Jeff Moore, the Olympic Vaulting coach, and have been invited to perform at many horse fairs and shows.
Vaulting Day Camp!
The camp is a combination of fun experiences while learning about this exciting new sport. The campers will receive individualized gymnastic instruction on our vaulting barrel as well as on the horse. Ages: 8 yeas old and up. Space is limited! For reservation contact Karin Meister email Karin at or call her at 309-368-8504.
Camp Info
Arrival time 9:00am for the Saturday Clinic.
Registration from 9:00am to 9:30am
Day camp runs from 9:00am to 4:00pm
Lunch and a snack included
Saturday schedule include Barrel, horse, video gymnastic instruction, and other fun activities such as fishing, canoeing, and swimming.
Price: $75.00
Sign up now with more information to follow.
Parents are encouraged to stay and watch

Monday, April 20, 2009

Friday and Saturday's Vaulting Performance

We got home around 9:30pm from Madison, WI and I could hardly wait to get this video up. I am so proud of EVERY one of our vaulters from Caleb to Hannah they worked so hard and did so well. I put both performances on youtube as they were both so good. Friday's was held in the Nutrena Arena a much smaller arena so I was able to get close up videos easier.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


WE DID IT! We actually wowed the crowds at the Midwest Horse Fair. Karin is sure we were the second best act in the entire horse fair. She thought the Andalusians were better but not by much. I'm kind of scared that we won't have any hats big enough for Karin's head if this continues. Many, many people followed us out of the coliseum to tell us how wonderful our kids did. Now I'll tell you how the day started. The practice was scheduled for 11:00am in the practice arena. It went terrible, the kids could not get their mounts, they were falling off, getting dropped from long distance and nothing looked like it was going to work. We were very discouraged as they finished the practice then Karin went to loosen the surcingle and realized that she had never tightened it in the first place. No wonder practice went bad. Karin sent everyone to the stall while we went for FOOD. We had 10 hungry vaulters to feed before they are due on and we thought they all needed protein. We got a shock when we saw they were selling water for $3.75 a bottle and the sandwiches were $5.50 each. Now was the time to be thankful that we stopped at Family dollar yesterday to by bottled water. We bought 10 roast beef sandwiches. Then mom and I headed for the coliseum for a good seat. By the time the vaulters were ready to come in I was so nervous that as I started video taping I realized I was shaking so had to find a place to hold the camera steady. The announcer is the same one from the Northern IL Horse Fest and he gave them a good introduction. When Hannah started trotting up to Ribbon we heard the crowd go awe, how cute, then as she was lifted into the air it was gasps all around and it just got better. By the time they were finished they had totally wowed EVERYONE including the announcer. I can't wait to get the video up on youtube but as we are at the fair until late Sunday I know it won't be done until early Tuesday.

Free Mare found a home!

The free black mare located in Tremont, IL has found a new home, thank you to all who wrote in about her.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Performance

Wow the vaulters did great. The practice was a little scary with Rebekah falling while holding up Bethany but once she traded shoes with Sarah Reinhard and Sarah traded shoes with grandma all was fine. The performance was just about perfect. Saturday will be held in the collisium, hopefully lots of people will come see it. Today the horse fair was packed. Rachel Sauder of momentscapturedbyrachel is here and got lots of great pictures for the vaulters. I video taped the performance. I need to get it up on youtube for Joan and Tim Reinhard in Haiti so they can see their three daughters performing.
On another note Steven was able to get the Andalusian mare covered and he called to say Autumn is in season. I won't be able to haul her down this week so will miss this season, hope Emily, Keegan's owner will have room for her in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Midwest Horse Fair

Well we made it! We pulled into the alliance Energy center in Madison, WI around 3:00pm and were awed. We found our 2 stalls and the kids were great getting them decorated and Ribbon all settled in. The place is HUGE and the colliseum where we are performing is the largest building BY FAR we have ever performed in. We were allowed 15 minutes of practice tonight in it and Ribbon was well behaved. After our practice we settled Ribbon for the night and started for the hotel but... Karin couldn't get the GPS working and we got lost. Karin finally figured how to work the GPS and we found the hotel.
Steven called to tell me the Andalusian mare is starting to show. She is still not in a standing heat but getting close. Chiquita is not in and that is good news, we can probably send her home. He is going to check Lady. Lady was only covered once last time as we were heading out of town so we think we didn't get her settled.
We are heading to bed soon so we can be up and ready for the big day tomorrow. And the show goes on.....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Salena and Colt

The Andalusian mare is not in season so I got Salena covered by Raven. I really need to get a video of her colt. He has springs for legs and loves running around her. I have someone coming to look at Salena and her colt on Monday, hope the weather improves enough to clean her up better. We are leaving in the morning for Madison, WI. I am apprehensive as none of us have ever attended the Midwest Horse Fair. Hope we can find everything. We have Ribbon's coggins and health papers in the truck along with our tickets to get in so I don't have to worry about remembering them tomorrow. We pull out at 10:30am. Everyone pray for the vaulters!

Vacation Video

I finally got around to making the vacation video. I'm going to apologize up front for the quality, I forgot to take my video camera and used our little digital.

Nate's Fishing Video

Nate Herman got the video made of the fishing trip some of our group went on while in Gulf Shores, Alabama. We had such a great vacation and the fish dinner from the fish caught on the trip Nate's mom, my sister Beth cooked was absolutely delicious! I took the video right off Nate's blog but I don't think he will mind.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Brrr, another cold cloudy day but so far no rain, thank goodness. I can't remember a year where our paddocks have been so bad. It makes me very thankful for the barn. Eva Jean Schaefer and I had our hands full today at work. Eva Jean worked on just opening up the mail from 8:45am to 12:00pm. I was entering the names into the computer as fast as I could in fact I think we broke a record as far as mail today.
I didn't get out to the farm until 2:30pm and cleaned out Lily's stall and Ribbon's stall and refilled all the water buckets. Funny story, Karin came into the barn to put Ribbon in the stall until the vaulting practice and didn't recognize Lily. She said that couldn't be Lily as Lily was much bigger. Karin rode Lily on the cross country trail ride in Eminence, MO when Lily was just 2 years old and thought she was big then but now Karin is used to Ribbon and ALL our mares look small compared to Ribbon! The picture was taken when Lily was 3 years old while down in Kentucky with Steven Marchal. BTW Lily is HUGE right now, She is really showing on this pregnancy. Grace knew I was there to grain her so I just opened up the gate and let her out. She followed me over to the shed where we keep the grain. She will stand and eat without being tied. Grace is 24 this year and she is one of those high maintenance TB mares. She lost weight while nursing her filly last year and we are still struggling to put it back on. I'm going to have Dr. Hoerr float her teeth again, hopefully that will help. After she finished her grain I walked her to the field and turned her loose to eat grass. The good spring grasses are what will put the weight on her and as soon as we can get her out to Middle Grove the better. While she was grazing I had time to tease the Andalusian mare. Still no go with her but I think she is getting close. Today instead of mule kicking, that is kicking out with both hind legs, she was only kicking out with one. She is doing a lot of squealing and striking out with her front legs also. Raven was again disappointed so I took him over to the pasture to see if any of the other mares would come up and no one did. I needed to get Chiquita and Paris checked but neither mare would come up to the gate. Tomorrow I'll bring them to Raven to see if we can get any response from either one.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Busy Day

This was a hard morning to wake up to cold about 34 degrees, rainy and very very wet. What a change from our vacation waking up with beautiful sunny warm weather and hearing the ocean crashing onto the beach. Amy Koch's very cute and smart puppy locked her truck by hitting the electric locks when she was looking out the window. It would have been fine except the keys were in the truck. This gave Amy and I a chance to sit and talk while we drove to Tremont to pick up her second set of keys. It was a nice break. Then down to work. Once I finished at Meister Brothers I drove out to the farm to tease the Andalusian mare and move Salena and her colt out of the breeding paddock for a mare that is coming in tomorrow. Heather from St. Louis called me this morning to ask if she could bring her mare in. She said she heard of a Friesian stallion that was imported to the states about 20 minutes from her barn so she thought she would take her mare there but when she saw him she changed her mind. She said is willing to drive 4 and a half hours away as Raven was far nicer. That was kind of her to say. I prepared a double stall for her mare. She has a Raven filly by her side so I want her to have plenty of room. I moved Lily into another double stall, I think Steven is going to spend the night at the farm so he can watch her. Lily usually foals early and we have never caught her foaling. By the time I was done, Karin was ready for some help with Ribbon. We are going to be heading to Madison, WI for the Midwest Horse Fair on Thursday so the girls are practicing today and Wednesday. Ribbon was very fresh from not being worked for a week and being turned out with the herd. She can be a handful. Once the vaulting finished I thought I may as well tease the Andalusian mare again. She was due to come in season today according to her sonagram last month. This time I brought Raven over to her. She came out of the shelter to squeal and kick at him. Raven was very disappointed. I got everyone grained, then headed to the store so I will have food to make for supper. All in all it was a good day.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Hanna City Farm

I drove out to the farm after church and was very pleasantly surprised. The arena was all watered and raked and looked lovely! The hay is nicely stacked and the stalls are all clean and ready for the next mare to deliver. Steven Marchal was very busy while I was gone. Pretty bad that all the grunge work gets done when I am on vacation. That's what happens when one has good help, or in this case GREAT help.
I took some pictures of Salena's colt we are calling Palmer as he was born on Palm Sunday, then teased the Andalusian mare. She is not in and let Raven know with a mule kick to the gate. I then brought out Salena and she is in her foal heat so I had Raven cover her. The picture of Palmer is one I took this afternoon. He is exactly one week old. Isn't he cute?


We had a good breakfast, then started out. We needed to drive to Pensacola to drop David off at the airport, then home. We pulled in around 2:00am Sunday morning and crashed into bed. Today is Easter Sunday, we made it to the sunrise service then on to church. I still need to get out to the lake, tease Salena, take pictures of her colt, check Lily and tease the Andalusian mare that came in for breeding.


Friday was our last day of this wonderful vacation. Anna had our devotions on the fiery furnace and how this was the first time Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego had to stand alone and how we need to be prepared. After breakfast Mark and I walked down to the lagoon a little more than a 2 mile walk one way where we watched the pelicans dive for fish, then headed back to the condo for lunch. Mike and Diane's family made it down to Gulf Shores in time for the Easter Egg hunt. The little ones had a great time with hunt. The waves on the beach were huge and the kids loved riding them in. The older ones played volley ball, foot ball and rode the waves. Then came our singing and devotions at our condo in the stair well. The singing was especially beautiful. Ice cream and cookies followed. No one wanted the vacation to end so we packed everything possible into the day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday at the Beach

After yesterday we have all had too much sun. Anna bought some allo vera with lidocain for all of us with sun burn. It is a beautiful day and we are all in side trying to stay out of the sun. weird

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The kids calling the seagulls for the leftovers.
They come in flocks, They will snatch the food right from your hands.
Working on the HUGE sand castle.
They made this big pit so they could sun bathe out of the wind. It WORKED!
Another volley ball game, this time much more competitive, all the big kids.

Our fish dinner. Greg and Beth cooked the fish caught on the deep sea fishing trip. The fish was delicious!

So much good food, so many satisfied bellies. We sure know how to party.
The teen corner. This group will go crabbing tonight after our singing. We ate at the adult pool and all had plenty. What a good day!

Wednesday at Gulf Shores

We had a great day yesterday even though it was cool and windy there was bright sunshine. We had a wonderful dinner with Ruth and Fede's family and Kurt and Mary Bennett. After dinner we all trouped over to mom's condo for our singing and devotions. It was still too cool to sit out on the balcony so we crowded into her living room, spilled over into the kitchen and hall and packed the kids in 3 to 4 deep. It is so much fun all being together. Rachel turned out the lights for the last part so we could remember how dark it was after Christ's death and how the sun was darkened.
Steven gave the update on home with how the colt is doing and who got bred. Sure is great that he is willing to take care of this. I've included a picture of Fede with one of the huge fish he caught. The fisher people fished until they were too tired to pull up any more. Tonight we will have a fish meal at the pool. Greg and Beth now have probably more than a hundred pounds of fish in there fridge, freezer and coolers. They catch it, cook it, and we eat it, wow what a good deal.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Our Condo

This is our view off the balcony looking to the east. If you look down, the first building you see is Lani Kai, mom's condo. Her's is the beach side end one. Sure looks small from up here. This is the view of the lagoon off the balcony in the front of the building from Phil and Anna's room. This is our building, Island Royale from the side. Our condo is the corner unit fourth from the top. We have the penthouse with extra tall ceilings, 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. The condo also has 2 hot tubs, one indoor and one outdoor along with an indoor/outdoor pool.
Looking out into the Gulf of Mexico from our balcony. It was a calm day, yesterday and Sunday the waves were huge.

This is looking west off our balcony. The sunsets are pretty spectactular!


Bethany getting ready to bump the ball to set Kari.
Jessica setting the ball up for Rhoda on the right or Rachel on the left.
Grandma pretending to be interested in the game, really enjoying the poorch swing on the deck of her condo.
Look how high the ball is, I've circled the ball for better visibility.
Rhoda getting ready to serve the ball.

GAME OVER! Everyone shake hands. Good game.

Our family has approximatly 45 people here at Gulf Shores this year and there is almost always enough kids for a volly ball game. This game is with a lot of our younger players.


This morning, sitting in our kitchen at the condo we rented in Gulf Shores, Al, I was privileged to watch the sun rise. What a beautiful sight as the first blush of rose tinged the sky followed by an edge of brilliance just peeking out of the Gulf of Mexico. As the sun climbed higher out of the water it looked liked it was melting into the water. Just as it was almost out of the water the sun resembled a hot air balloon rising into the sky, a sphere on the top but wide at the bottom. The sun then became almost too bright to look at directly but my eyes couldn't turn away. I watched it break the surface of the water with the color of rose beneath reflecting off the water, the blue sky above and below the sun and thought of the heavens declaring the majesty of our creator. The blush of rose became the brilliance of gold then my eyes must turn away. Is this how we will see God? His brightness, His whiteness, His Glory, Will we be able to see HIM with our new eyes as we see Him face to face?
We were joined by my brother-in-law, Fede Davidovics for breakfast and were thankful when he shared some of his Romania life in our devotions.
All is well at home and I am truly enjoying this wonderful vacation. Last night a good group of our family and friends came over for the 'big game' which was a bust with Michigan losing. We had such a good time, who really cares about basketball.
Tonight Kurt, Mary and Lydia Bennitt are coming for dinner along with Fede and Ruth's family.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday at the Beach

Yesterday was a wonderful Sunday for us. While we were riding the waves, playing volleyball and picnicking at the pool, Mike, Diane, and Steven Marchal were working with Salena and her colt. The colt was born healthy and strong but Salena being a maiden mare would not let him nurse at first. He would try to latch on and she would squeal and move away. Steven ended up bringing out the bottle and milking Salena, then feeding the boy a bottle so we knew he got the colostrum needed. Steven worked for 5 hours with him, then when Mike and Diane got home from church they relieved Steven and worked with the colt. Diane was so good about getting the bottle up by Salena's nipples so he had to look under the mom for milk. This is very important. Otherwise the foal can imprint more on the person with the bottle than his dam. By 7:00pm he was nursing great on his own and Salena had completely fallen in love with him. It is important to know when your foals are expected and to be there if at all possible. Many times a maiden mare will want to keep facing the foal and move away every time the baby tries to get in position to nurse. Even an experienced mare can have a foal that can't quite figure out how to latch on and needs a little assistance. Isn't it better to be prepared to help then too find the foal to weak to nurse or dead? I am very thankful for the wonderful willing help I have during this vacation. I know that I could go on vacation with my family and even though Salena wis due Steven, Mike and Diane would take care of everything.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Another Colt

Selana delivered a Big Black Colt this morning and he is BEAUTIFUL! Mike called to Gulf Shores to let me know, I called Peoria to ask Steven to go and take the iodine but only got his answering machine, then called Amy Koch from Tremont, She called Bridlewood where Steven was cleaning stalls, then Steven called me and headed out. So after many phone calls, I get the message the colt is all black, strong and beautiful. Steven told me that he can't tell him from a purebred Friesian. Wow, I can't wait to meet him and know I won't see him for a while as I won't be home for a week. I've included a picture of him taken right after birth.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rain, newborn Colt

Suzanne from Canada emailed this picture of her adorable black colt by Raven out of Adara. He was born during a torential downpour so they are calling him Rain. Adara is a wonderful mom and both mom and son are doing great. Here he is taking a nap in the straw.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Alabama or Bust

I got out out 432 Bibles this morning, then ran to 2 different stores for things we want to take down to the gulf with us. By the time I was done with that I only had a couple of hours to get to the farm, clean a stall and paddock for the Andalusian mare that is coming in while I am gone and check Lily and Salena. Both mares are quiet and happy so I will leave them together even though Lily really isn't ready. The cleaning went pretty quickly and I made it home by 3:00pm. I've just finished last minute dishes and packing and we are only waiting for Mark to come home to leave. This time tomorrow, Lord willing, we will be on the BEACH! I will have internet access and we are taking our cell phones down. Email is the best way to reach me once we get there as sometimes the cell reception is not so good.
I'm leaving Steven in charge.

Another Newborn Colt

7:15am Ontario Canada time a beautiful colt was born by Raven out of Adara. He is 40 inches at the withers and gorgeous (according to his owner)! I received the call this morning from his very happy owner Suzanne. She is going to keep me updated and send me pictures but as I am leaving today for Gulf Shores, AL I won't be able to post them until we get back.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Steven met me at Bridlewood around 4:30pm and within 10 minutes we had all 5 horses I was caring for at Bridlewood loaded and on the way to the Hanna city Farm. I'm leaving for Gulf Shores tomorrow and don't want to have anyone have to care for the weanlings while I am gone. I will be FREE for 9 days. The foals were pretty thrilled to get back to the farm. Jewell had to show off. She is actually pretty spectacular! She had her tail in the air and was showing this HUGE trot. I think she is Grace's prettiest foal ever. Jewell has a nice long neck, perfect balance with the rest of her body and she is so TALL! I've included a picture of her when she was 4 months old. She is even more impressive now.
Steven brought Lady over to Raven but she is out and she told him no with a big mule kick. It is so funny, when the mare is in season they love Raven and when they are out they hate him. Steven put her back and walked through the mud to get Anni. Anni is not in but didn't kick, she just stood quietly but no sign that she would accept Raven. I guess we need to keep checking on her. I left the farm and headed home to make dinner. Steven stayed to work Dakota. He has been hired to train her under saddle. He will do a great job for them.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Emily and Keegan

I talked to Emily, Keegan's owner and Autumn will be going to Indiana to visit Keegan when we get back from Alabama. I'm going to change her ads, I am not willing to sell her for $3500.00 once bred to Keegan, her foal will be worth more than that. I love this picture of Keegan, he is just as sweet as Raven!


We have Meister Electric coming out to give us a quote on drilling for our last automatic waterer this morning. Once this one is in all of our paddocks at the Hanna City farm will have one. They are an easy way to keep water in front of the horses at all times but even more they save me money. I've learned from the past, almost everyone puts the hose in the tank, turns on the water and walks away to work on something else and forgets the water is running. We've had the well run dry when the hose was left on all night. Then when we hooked up to city water we ended up with bills over a $100.00 a month. After putting in the waterers the bills went to $60-$70 a month.


Steven thought Lily was already bagging up and moved her in with Salena last night. Lily isn't due until mid May but each of her last 3 foals were delivered little over 10 months gestation so this concerned me. I got to the farm early and checked her and I really think we have some time. I don't want her delivering earlier than mid April. She is happy with Salena so I just moved both into a bigger paddock, moved in a round bale and left them. I put this picture up of Lily and Steven. Rachel Sauder of momentscapturedbyrachel took it and it is the only face shot I have of her.
I had Mike help me with getting Lady covered by Raven today. Lady's tail is so thick that it doesn't stay in a vet wrap very well and it helps if we have someone to hold the tail out of the way. Raven got the job accomplished and I've marked her down. She moved around more so I'm thinking she may be going out.
We moved in 5 round bales today. I'm so glad I had plenty, feeding 32 horses we are going through 6-7 bales a week. We are so blessed to have the Middle Farm acres, it really saves on hay once the grass is up.
The Andalusian mare's owner wants to bring her on the 11th but we will be in Alabama until the 12th and Mike and Diane are leaving on the 10th. I will probably give them Steven's phone number and let him meet them.
It looks like I have a Belgian mare going to be coming in for breeding. This will be the first time we have crossed Raven with a Belgian. The mare is 12 years old and pushing 17 hands, this will be a TALL foal! The owner is a very nice lady from IL and she raises New Zealand Jersey milk cows. I asked her to bring me pictures. I used to raise Jerseys and I miss my cows.