Friday, April 30, 2010

Benefit Preparations

What a day. Mark and I are now at home and pretty exhausted... but... the Fellowship hall is BEAUTIFUL! There were many volunteers and all were willing. Even Spark and Dan got in on the action. My pie crusts are all baked and ready, the strawberries are bought and in the fridge. The pies will look good and hopefully taste better than they look. I made 6 pie crusts and will probably have enough strawberries to fill all 6 so will have 2 for home.
At the farm, Steven had all the boys haltered and tied and when I drove up, there was Wynne all saddled up and Steven sitting on her. She was very well behaved. Steven also worked with Aragon picking up all 4 feet. He is a very nice colt but has not shed his VERY thick fuzzy bleached brown winter foal coat. We had someone ask for updated pictures but with the huge storm that came through and the finishing jobs still waiting at the Fellowship Hall we did not get back out to the farm. There are a couple of people coming Sunday afternoon to see him. They actually wanted to come tomorrow but with the big dinner I had to tell them no. Sure was hoping he would start shedding out, he is a rich black underneath all that hair.
Steven checked Lily and as she is in season he had Raven cover her. He also checked Velvet's milk, she looks farther along than Bunni even though Bunni is due May 3rd and Velvet May 19th. Savanna did not come out to greet Raven so we believe she is out of season and we will start counting her days. Tomorrow is Wynne's 18th day from the last day she was bred and she will need to be walked over to Raven. Jackie the bay mare showed a little more interest in Raven today so she may also be coming in.

One of Three

Mike called early this morning that he heard horses neighing by the cabin, jumped up and there was Raven. He grabbed a halter, walked him back over and found his gate down, so tied him up to put the gate back up. Bunni comes wandering up and starts pestering Raven. Bunni must be near delivery and I'll try to get out there later this morning to test her milk. The last time she delivered, she was anxious and wanted Grace with her. We are not sure how she got out but it isn't unusual for a mare close to delivery to try to find a quiet place to deliver. Lilo, Lily's dam was always finding a way to get out when she was almost ready, the worst was she would take the herd with her. I had her at Bridlewood and for 3 nights in a row was awakened by the clip clop of hooves on the road. Jump out of bed, throw on boots, run to the barn to grab a bucket and start calling. Each time she had found another way out, either knocking down a gate, breaking a board or just climbing through. Once she had the baby she was content. It made me realize when a horse is determined to escape they probably will.
Yesterday during the school visit I was telling the group about Friesian history. I told them how there were only THREE purebred Friesian stallions left in the world and before I could finish the story, one of the mom's exclaimed, "amazing and to think you have one of them!"
This morning there is no walking, I have an appointment with my cousin Mary Ellen. She is heading down to Gulf shores and I need to give her the condo keys and her snorkel equipment. Then it is time to shop for strawberries, enough for 5 pies (4 for the benefit dinner and 1 for us)and food for Sarah to take on her trip to agape fest.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eureka Country School

Once the horses were fed and Sandy's mare covered, Jenis, Lily, Ayanna, Sangria, Big Sally and her filly were all let out into the field for some grazing. They had to do some running and showing off, it is such a beautiful sight. After our walk, mom cooked a wonderful breakfast, so delicious, it was hard to get to work but work was waiting. The barn was swept, the stalls cleaned and the three mares with foals were moved inside so the school kids coming would be able to pet them without getting muddy. I was so thankful for Rebekah Davidovics. She showed up at 9:00am, tacked up Duke, groomed Ribbon, picked up anything left in the arena. The cotton candy machine (Spark and Dan's) was set up at the playground, then it was time to sit for a couple of minutes while we waited for the 3 van loads of kids, parents and teachers. Mike and Diane's dog Ebby was the hit of the day. She saw the kids coming ran so excited and they all got a turn to hold her. She followed them back to the barn and played with them while they were waiting in line for pony rides. What a joke trying to make cotton candy in the 35-45 mile an hour wind gusts. There was fairy floss floating all over the playground. It was snowing cotton candy.
The school kids needed to leave by 11:00am, they were headed to the Peoria zoo. Rebekah helped clean up then moved all the mares and foals back where they belonged.
Then it was time to set up the Fellowship Hall. I'm very sore today, those tables and chairs are HEAVY. Thank goodness Anna, Phil's wife came and helped. Mark and I would STILL be there working without her help. Instead we were done in an hour. KFC was picked up for dinner, then it was off to GFS for cream and sugar for the big dinner. $50.00 worth of cream and sugar. There will be left overs but they can always be used at our house later.
Steven Marchal is heading out to the farm tomorrow morning and will check if Lily is in season, then work with Aragon a bit. There is a girl coming to look at him on Sunday.

The Business of Raven

There were 3 phone calls yesterday on Big Sally. Two people wanted to trade and the third was a man that bought a yearling Friesian stud colt and is looking for some mares to buy for his business. He thought Sally was a purebred Friesian but also wanted to ask how we got into the business and strategies for his yearling. He told me how expensive the Friesian fillies and mares are so he was going to buy a bunch of TB and Standardbred mares to cross with their yearling. They can be picked up sometimes for just a few hundred dollars or sometimes even free if they are lame. My answer was this is really not a good idea. I told him he really wants the best quality mare possible. After all most of our business is return customers, word of mouth or because someone saw a Raven foal out competing. A Raven foal has such a good disposition, beauty, height, and movement, when they are taken out in public they are NOTICED. Once a business starts putting out junk horses they will be OUT OF BUSINESS quickly. The cost of keeping a mare is the same whether she is quality or junk.
My day will be very busy. This morning a couple of classes from a school in Eureka are coming over to see the farm, play with the babies and ride. Then Mark and I need to get the tables set up in the Fellowship Hall for the Benefit dinner. HUGE job, Anna has kindly offered to come help. At 7:15pm we need to be back at the Fellowship Hall for our final recording.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rachel's Pictures

OK, I stole these off facebook but I've been waiting for pictures of Spark's new grandson. Rachel posted pictures of Molly and Gabe's family INCLUDING their brand new son.
Introducing Asher Stickling. He was welcomed home by his big sister Eden Rose, check out those EYES. And here he is with his big brother Josiah and big sister Eden.
Rachel's website of momentscapturedbyrachel is truly named. Somehow she really does capture the moment.

Evan & Wynne's Video

Once home from the walk, Rhoda agreed to go with me back to the farm to put Wynne, Evan, Valiant and Aragon out to the cabin pasture. They were out of hay and the cabin field is thick with grass. The video camera was brought along as we were pretty sure they were going to be so excited to be back over there. Evan's was the first video finished which is posted below.

Wynne was the next video made. She has very nice movement. Rhoda helped me stick her, the boys make her look small, they are not even 10 months old and almost as tall. Wynne sticks at 15.1 at her withers and 15.2 at her hips. She has put on an inch since we bought her. She will for sure reach 15.2 but we were hoping she would end up at 16 hands. At least she has the mega hair. Her feathers are long, thick and curly!

Once home to make the video, Jamie called to tell me that Duke was out again and actually last night he was out and heading down her driveway around 1:00am. Ralph and Jamie are going to try to put up something temporary to keep him in. What a typical pony! It reminds us why we DON'T like ponies.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Date with Sams

After work there was a very necessary trip needed to Sams for dog food, dog rawhide chews, dog biscuits, bread, milk, coffee, lettuce, and a rotisserie baked chicken for us people for dinner. These dogs are getting expensive, like $94.29 expensive! Emma is still in the chewing stage and we are trying to encourage her to chew ONLY the dog treats instead of furniture, shoes, door frames, cupboards, table legs and just about anything else she can wrap her teeth around. Now to be honest this all started when we left as a family for a week in Gulf Shores. We hired a dog sitter that didn't know Mastiff puppies and came home to chewed up furniture, cupboards, doors and shoes. She has been crated, locked in the hallway, left outside in the fenced in yard and she always seems to find ways to escape and something to destroy. She is just so cute someone will come inside and accidentally let her out, then forget to lock her back up.
The rawhide bones are 9 inches long and last only a few hours. Buying them in bulk is the only way to go. We figure they are cheaper than replacing all our furniture.
At the farm this morning Sally and her new filly were checked and fed. The filly is looking really good, filling out, stretching out and wow did she learn how to run during the night. When Sally saw me coming they ran from the bottom of the paddock up to the gate full blast, the filly kept right up with her mama.
Savanna, Sandy's mare is still in season but she was bred yesterday so we walked Raven right past her paddock and over to Jackie, Heather's mare. Jackie squealed snorted then ran away so she is still not ready.
Eva Jean and I had a busy day at work but finishing in good time. We went to Denny's for lunch. Only Spark and Dan joined us, Mark was out helping Philip on a job.
Karin got the cotton candy machine delivered to Concession specialists today. They told her they are way backed up and it may not get done for a month. We need it early June for Vacation Bible School at the church. They will call us with an estimate, sure hope the estimate comes back reasonable and it will be a quick repair.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sally Filly video

Sally was checked at 6:30am and it was obvious she was ready to go outside, she is not used to being stalled. After feeding her, she was groomed, then left so the rest of the horses could be fed. Duke the pony was out again, now in the middle of the hayfield. The paddock was checked to see if any boards were down but they were not. Duke has smashed down the first bar of the back gate and is jumping it, then once in the back pasture he knows exactly how to get out. We can't find his secret escape route. He was put back in the paddock on the second round of the walk but by the time I walked back to the farm to get Savanna covered, he was out again. As he was being put back in, both Wynne and Aragon came running out the gate and then there were 3 loose horses. Wynne was led over to the far paddock, Aragon followed so both were locked in with plans of taking them out later. Savanna is still in so was covered, then Raven walked down to Jackie's paddock. She was very clearly not in and let him know that he is NOT welcome today.
Steven Marchal came out to see the new filly, moved Wynne and Aragon back into their own paddock, then helped with the pictures and videos. It is a beautiful day, sunshine and around 65 degrees so Sally and her filly were walked over to the cabin for the video.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another Filly

Big Sally had a filly this afternoon. She is completely black and HUGE! The filly probably weighs more than 150 pounds and is so tall she stands at the wither at least 8 inches higher than my waist. We have Sally and her filly in the deluxe foaling stall for the night. Too bad she had to have her in the pasture after 2 inches of rain fell. Surprisingly the filly was not muddy, Sally picked a good place to have her. She has some mud on her now from us getting her out of the pasture into the barn but the umbilical cord was clean and now has a fresh coat of iodine painted on. Ralph and Jamie helped get them moved and it took 3 of us to do the job. Once all was settled, we moved 3 new bales in the big paddock before leaving for the night. It was sprinkling rain when I left which makes me so grateful for the stall barn. Raven's 2010 count so far is 3 colts and 9 fillies.

Blessed Sunday

We had 2 excellent services today. So much to digest, I'll have to go into the Peoria AC website and listen again. Dave Obergfel had the morning service. In his first prayer he thanked Jesus so much for His sacrifice. Then he opened to Philippians 4 and brought out so lovingly how Stand Fast in the Lord and Rejoice in the Lord go hand in hand, like a bicycle having 2 wheels we must have both to get anywhere. He had so many references to Jesus, thanking him for His great love for us and how we need to worship Him. Craig Stickling had the afternoon service, opening to Ecclesiastes first, then St. John 4. The afternoon sermon was on the Samaritan woman at the well. Craig brought out verse 22, in a way I'd never dwelt on before, how God wants our worship. At the time Jesus was talking to her, the woman at the well, salvation was for the Israelite people. But then verse 23 goes on that a true worshipper shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the FATHER seeketh such to worship Him; opening up SALVATION for ALL.
Truly the Holy Spirit was speaking through both of these men. How blessed we are to be able to worship FREELY in America and have such a wonderful fellowship with our church family. Greg and Heather Rumbold gave lunch and wow what a lunch, the trays were filled with goodies, grapes, ham and cheese sandwiches, crescent rolls that could be filled with chicken salad, and many cookies, bars and donuts. Church is like a big family reunion every week and how thankful I am to be able to attend.
We just finished a Sunday 'tea' with Nancy, enjoying a small bowl of split pea soup and crackers. This will hold us off until later this evening when we will head to Avanti's for spaghetti, Nancy's favorite!
My sister Nancy was bitten by a mosquito that carried encephalitis when she was 2 1/2 years old. She became very ill and her brain was damaged pretty severely from the disease. She went from a very bright precocious little girl to one that only laid in a crib, she could not roll over or even cry. Nancy is such a happy girl now, loving to help, she likes the dogs and loves to pick flowers. Nancy lives in Morton, IL in a group home.
Here she is helping hold the Liliacs with Emma before putting them in a vase.

She is playing hide and seek with Emma.

Wow what a BIG smile. What a joy Nancy is to our family!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Skid Steer

After 4 hours of power washing the skid steer is ready to be hauled in for maintenance. Hope it doesn't take too long, that machine is ALWAYS needed. We will have to make do with the old John Deere tractor until it comes back. Once it is done it will make a pit stop at Bridlewood so my paddocks can be scraped and cleaned out before hauling any foals here.
Heather got to the farm right around noon with Jackie, a nice big bodied bay roan mare. This is her second time here. Last year she had the most beautiful blue roan filly. Heather has promised to bring up pictures once Jackie is confirmed in foal and can be picked up.
Sandy's mare was in so strong today she would hardly be led out of the paddock. She had rolled in the mud so was sprayed off before presenting her to Raven. She didn't need to be covered but tomorrow is my turn for Nancy and it is easier if I don't have to worry about the farm work.

Addyson's Birthday Pictures

These are just too cute not to post.

Irelyn Drew and Asher John

We FINALLY got word that Rachel's baby girl was born and all is well. Rachel and Andrew named her Irelyn Drew. Big sister Ella can hardly wait to welcome her into the family. This is what Mike and Diane sent:Andrew and Rachel had their baby girl at 12:54 a.m. this morning after 24 hours of labor. Our beautiful granddaughter "Irelyn Drew Honegger" is 6 lbs. 2 ozs. and 19 inches long. She has a nice amount of hair for being a week early. We are so thankful she is healthy.
Mike & Diane
Molly and Gabe's new son was born at 3:40pm and they named their 8 pound 10 ounce baby boy Asher John. Josiah and Eden Rose are thrilled with their baby brother.
These cousins are only separated by a few hours but will not share the same birthday.

Blessed are the Meek

This poem was on the ac group list and too descriptive not to post here. It is who the meek are NOT.


Not the bristle-bearded Igors bent
under burlap sacks, not peasants knee-deep
in the rice paddy muck,
nor the serfs whose quarter-moon sickles
make the wheat fall in waves
they don't get to eat. My friend the Franciscan
nun says we misread
that word "meek" in the Bible verse that blesses them.
To understand the meek
(she says) picture a great stallion at full gallop
in a meadow, who"
at his master's voice" sizes up to a stunned
but instant halt.
So with the strain of holding that great power
in check, the muscles
along the arched neck keep eddying,
and only the velvet ears
prick forward, awaiting the next order.

The poem reminds me so much of Raven.
He waits eagerly to do what is asked.
And ALWAYS obeys, even when it is not
what he wants. Shouldn't it portray US?

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Babies

Spark's daughter Molly went into labor and checked into St. Francis today, then Diane's daughter-in-law Rachel's water broke and she checked into Methodist today. Molly was a week over due and Rachel was due in a week. It has been a race to see which could deliver first and Molly won. Molly had a boy and all is well. Rachel is having a girl and we are still waiting for the news of this pending delivery.
Meanwhile back at the farm, Beth and her husband Brett picked up Grace and her filly Jenis. They had been left in the stall all day because of the rain. When Beth and Brett arrived it was not raining so we let them run around so I could snap a picture. This filly has the best of both of her parents, an Andalusian dam and a Friesian sire. Just look at the top muscle in her neck.

Heather called and is bringing her mare tomorrow.

Thank You from Horse Fair

This letter came today, it is dated April 13th, 2010 and only came from Springfield, IL, it took 10 days to reach us. What does that say about our postal service?

For those who can't read it because of the size this is what it says:

Kari Meister
Heart of Illinois Vaulters
823 S. Baer Ave
Peoria, IL 61604

Dear Kari,

Thank you for your participation in the evening show at this year's Illinois Horse Fair - Tommie Turvey's Night of Amazing Horses - and helping to make it a success.

The audience had a wonderful time and feedback from the horse people was excellent.

I hope you enjoyed the experience as much as the audience. Again, Thank you for being part of it.

(then in a hand written note)
Your vaulters were charming
everybody loved them!

Joy A Meierhans
Illinois Horse Fair

Now for the rest of the story. Last year before the fair we got a note from breed and sport demo coordinator that this year we were only allowed 4 minutes. I called the coordinator and told her that perhaps we didn't belong in that part of the program as we need more time. She referred me to Joy. Joy told me absolutely we belong in that part of the program and absolutely we could NOT have any more time. She went on to say every participant of the breed and sport demos think they should have more time and 4 minutes was all we could have. I then asked her if I could buy time for the Friesians but give them to the vaulters and again the answer was absolutely NOT, "I am NOT going there!" was the response. Talk about frustrating! Because our money had been sent in the year before that, the year the fair was canceled, we really did not want to lose out on our entry fee. Karin sent in the music, the man running the music emails her and says your music last 10 minutes, you only have 4 minutes how should I handle this? Karin very strongly sends back an email, WE ALWAYS take more than 4 minutes and don't you dare buzz us, we can't have a child getting hurt because the horse shies at the buzzer. We pretty much decided then and there we are not coming back for 2010, except we won first place in 2009 and thought our entry fee for 2010 was paid. So back to the fair we went and this year was wonderful. Now the same lady that sends such a nice thank you note is the same lady that would not work with us at all the year before. Do you think she remembers us? Perhaps in 2011 we will be welcomed back and given more than 4 minutes.

Andalusian out Paint in

Grace the Andalusian was ready for her breakfast this morning. She and her filly, Jenis, had completely cleaned up all her hay from the night before so this morning she was given extra. A gentle rain was falling softly on the barn roof, the horses were quietly eating and I was cleaning the stall thinking does life get any better than this? Once the stall was done I drove over to mom's to move her refrigerator out, she wanted to clean behind it. By the time I met Mike at the farm the rain was taking a break so Grace and her filly were brought over to Raven to check if she was still in. She was not, so back into the stall before the next shower started. Sandy's mare, Savanna is in so she was covered this morning and she stood way better than yesterday. She won't need to be bred again until Sunday. I took my camera this morning but with the rain I didn't bother taking any pictures. Maybe by the second feeding the rain will have stopped.
Our lilac bushes were planted in 1918 and the perfume coming off the blooming bushes is wafting over the neighborhood. The older variety bushes seem to have a much stronger and better fragrance than the newer varieties. We have 2 colors, one is a beautiful light purple and the other bush is white but both bushes are intermingled. The purple are prettier but the white have the stronger fragrance. I love filling my kitchen with these blooms. Almost can't smell the wet dogs if there are enough bouquets in the house.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Grace & Jenis

Tonight was hot tub night. The lower paddock was finished by hand with a terrible wheel barrow. Mine was lent out yesterday and not yet back, the first wheel barrow I tried was pretty bad, I filled it full then tried to haul it to the pile and the tire was flat. That load was dragged backward, the next wheel barrow was bent so if it wasn't exactly situated it would tip over as it was being filled. After working with it for a couple of loads, I decided to walk over and borrow Diane's. She had it under her deck, leaning up against Mike's shop, so wasn't too hard to find. The first check was the tire check and yes, that one was also flat. It was back to the bent wheel barrow. After a few more loads the paddock was deemed good enough and the stalls were started on. I filled the back of my car with feed bags, baling twine, broken manure forks, broken feeders and cracked buckets and took that load to the dumpster. The office was swept out, literally thousands of lady bugs were congregated in the windows and on the floor under pieces of wood. The pile of them was four inches deep, 18 inches long and probably about 6 inches wide. Mark showed up to clean the skid steer around 4:00pm. Before he started I asked him to move a round bale in the breeding sheds freshly cleaned paddock. We both worked on cleaning the skid steer tracks, Mark with the power washer and me with shovels. By the time Beth pulled up with her mare Grace I was so ready to stop. Grace's filly is exquisite. Tomorrow I must take my camera. She is named Jenis and has the beautiful 'rainbow' arched neck, compact body, long straight legs and a very gorgeous, feminine face. Grace took a while to decide if she would accept Raven but he got the job accomplished without too much fuss. Tomorrow morning I'll try her again just to make sure she really is in season.
By the time I got home, Mark had a pizza just coming out of the oven. That tasted delicious, as I skipped lunch. After dinner was when I realized I had stiffened up and asked Mark if he wanted to head to Riverplex for some hot tubbing. That felt WONDERFUL.

The Mare Savanna

Savanna was covered this morning but I'm not convinced she was totally in standing heat. She allowed Raven to mount but then squealed, bucked up and moved around. Raven was able to accomplish the job and she did not kick at him like she was doing for the last 2 days.
Bedding needs to be picked up at TSC and the stall prepared, Grace the Andalusian mare is coming tonight with her Raven filly. Beth, Grace's owner emailed that the sonagram showed her in season now and she is afraid that if she waits for Friday it will be too late.
Heather is bringing her bay mare Jackie on Friday but she does not know where Jackie is in her cycle.
Sue from Chillicothe is wanting Sanna brought over in 18 days. Sangria should be checked today, she was not bred yesterday because of the Jubilee trail ride but was still in season so she should be covered today but I know Grace is coming in around 4:30pm and she MUST be covered if she is still in. Sangria will just have to wait, I don't want to use Raven 3 times in one day. We've had to do that last summer and all three mares actually took but I sure don't want to wear the old boy out.
One time we had 5 mares all needing cover on the same day. That time we hired Dr. Hoerr to come out, collect, extend and divide the semen, then inseminate them all. We had 3 outside mares in plus 2 of our own. A Trakehner mare named Opr's Lily was here at that time, Dr. Hoerr went to AI her and mentioned good thing we did, her cervix was wide open. It was so worth the money to have him out that time, all 5 mares were sonagramed in foal 16 days later.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kristin Stowell

The pictures above are of Kristin Stowell on her horse Moon. She is a pony clubber that started at Bridlewood. We just got word that she FINISHED her 4th prelim event and is going intermediate 1 next. How proud we are of her. How proud her parents must be. This is an amazing accomplishment and to think it all started with lowly Bridlewood.
The rest of the day was kind of good and kind of bad. We have a second mare coming in on Friday, but this one will get a deluxe stall, she has a Raven baby by her side. The Andalusian mare, Grace, is coming for a rebreed. Then I just had to go shopping!
I'm totally embarrassed. I just came back from a store and every one that knows me knows I am not a shopper. My first (only) grand daughter turns one year old today and I went to a store near by to buy her a gift for the party tonight. After browsing around and not really seeing anything suitable, I went up to the clerk and asked if the store carries anything appropriate for a yearling. Even then I didn't catch what I said until the store clerk looks weirdly at me and says, "what?"
Quickly I said never mind and headed out of there without a present. At least I have the card already purchased.

Stuffed Car

Rhoda brought Sangria to Bridlewood last night, she is going to Jubilee on a trail ride with her boss, Dr. Lissa Calhoun from Dunlap Vet clinic today. Rhoda was reminded to bring a bale of hay home with her, as I have no hay left at Bridlewood. This morning early I run out to feed Sangria, see the entire bale in her paddock, walk over to see why it was not touched, it was straw. I had to borrow a couple of flakes from Bridlewood stable to feed the STARVING mare.
Both dogs were taken to the farm for the walk today. First job on the list was to try Savanna, she is showing all the signs of being in season but as soon as Raven starts to mount she kicks. Back he goes into his paddock very disappointed. I don't take a chance of letting him get hurt on live cover so we never allow him to mount until we are sure the mare will stand.
While we were on our walk, Philip calls and needs me to bring home the wheel barrow. Of course I tell him no problem forgetting I have my small car with 2 big dogs. The picture below shows how when there is a will there will be a way.

The poor dogs were almost hanging out the window on the way home trying to find a place to fit.
Heather from St. Louis called, she wants to bring up a mare for breeding on Friday. I told her to come even though the gate needs fixing before another mare is put in the breeding paddocks. The gate between the 2 paddocks in the shelter was down and was put up with a temp job so Savanna the paint mare could go in the front. Now we will have a mare in the back paddock so it MUST be fixed by Friday. I'm so glad Mike got the back paddock cleaned out.
Heather bred her bay roan mare to Raven 2 years ago, the filly, now a year old stands wither to wither with her very big dam and is the most beautiful blue roan color. Heather told me on the phone her vet was out to draw coggins and LOVED the filly. The vet raises Holstieners so knows quality.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rachel's Pictures

Attention ALL VAULTERS!!!
Hey EVERYONE, Rachel posted more pictures of the Midwest Horse Fair AND she is giving ALL vaulters 30% off. Some of these pictures are precious and true keepsakes. Your children will thank you (after they grow up) having these memories, I know I'M ordering. Go to click on online ordering then click on the midwest horse fair.
In other news, the pretty paint mare Savannah that came in for breeding is showing signs of coming in. She kicked out today so is not in standing heat but starting to show.
Paris is in season, HA we are NOT breeding her back, we are so short of riding horses, that Diane had to ride the pony Duke on her last trail ride. She actually liked riding him, she felt very secure and close to the ground. Diane emailed the picture below of her dog Ebby also enjoying the trail ride.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sceggel Family Vacation Video

Sarah finished the video of our Gulf Shores, Alabama vacation.

Feeding the Gulls in Gulf Shores Alabama

Eva Jean Schaefer had fun feeding the sea gulls out of her hand in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Clara & Colt

The deposit check came for Clara and her colt so they will be marked sold on the web. Sangria was bred today. Steven called yesterday that she was in season and got her covered. Sophie is out so Wynne and Sophie's sonagram are now scheduled for May 4th. The new mare was moved into the breeding shed. She was teased then put back. She was not at all impressed with him but he thought she was lovely. Once home from the farm the vaulting videos were rendered and uploaded onto youtube, then placed on the blog and now I'm finally working on our vacation videos. That is a way bigger job and may take more than a day.
Mark has Meister plumbing coming out to the farm house for some basement work, hope the estimate comes back reasonable. The gravel bill came, at least part of it but with Clara's check there is no problem paying it. Mike and Diane camped at Middle Grove and had a great time, the weather was perfect and the horses were good also. Mike rode Mika and Diane rode Duke, even little Ebby got to go on the trail rides. She had her own little saddle bag and loved every minute of it. Duke was perfect for Diane. Mike had to take 2 trips out to Middle Grove yesterday, he got a call in the morning that there was a brown and white horse out. By the time he got there all were in. Later that day the call came again the same brown and white horse and a brown one. This time Mike got there in time to find Duke and Ciera. Ciera was put back and Duke loaded up and brought home. He is such an escape artist. Rhoda took Sangria to Jubalee State Forest and had a great time. She commented that as she was riding, people kept coming up to her and asking "is that an Andalusian?" Rhoda said Sangria was wonderful.

Friday's Performance of the Heart of IL Vaulters

This was their first performance.

Saturday's Vaulting Performance

OK, I guess I'm a little proud, but these kids do a wonderful job representing Horsemeister and the vaulting program. They enjoy each other, enjoy practicing and love performing. We LOVE watching them perform. Below is Saturday's performance at the Midwest Horse fair in Madison, WI April 16th, 2010.

Megan and Salsa

Below is an email from Megan Gallaway. She bred her Trakehner mare, Tango, to Raven and BELOW is the result. All we can say is WOW!!! Thanks Megan for the update.
Here are some of Salsa's pics from this past weekend. It was her first show and she took home a 2nd place with a dressage score of 59. (the high score for the whole day was a 69 so I'm very pleased) She hit another growth spurt this spring and her rump is now 17 hands, we are hoping that she stops growing around 17.1 hands. Also keep in mind that she only has about 30-40 rides on her and she's doing great with all of her transitions, w-t-c. She was definitely getting a lot of attention this weekend.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Made it HOME

Breakfast this morning was pretty crowded in the hotel as we didn't go down until 8:00am and didn't make it to the fair until 9:00am. Karin, Rebekah, and Anni ran to see the clinic with the FEI vaulting instructor while I headed to Ribbon's stall to feed and water. Ribbon still had hay in her stall from the night before and plenty of water but the bucket's needed to be cleaned, dumped and refilled, fresh hay thrown, and the stall cleaned. When Ribbon was taken out of the stall for a short walk a family came by admiring her and wanting pictures. Their daughter was put up on her for the picture and they were just so thrilled.
The instructors this weekend were excellent. Even though we were not in the coliseum, if we thought of the fair as a 4 day clinic it was so worth it. We pulled out exactly at 5:00pm, weren't allowed to leave even a minute earlier, and pulled in the Sheridan Hotel to pick up a very pretty paint mare who will be visiting Raven for a while. The owner's are from the Madison area, knew we were coming to the fair and asked if we would take her back to Peoria with us for breeding to Raven. She loaded up quietly and more importantly quickly and we were on our way home. Pulled into the farm around 9:30pm unloaded, stalled the paint mare, unhooked the trailer and made it back to Bridlewood by 10:00pm. My bed is going to feel REALLY good tonight.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday CROWDS

We pulled in at the fair right at 8:00am and the parking was already crowded and the lots getting full. Karin was dropped off to feed Ribbon while I started driving for a spot. By the time Rachel came They were past the far lot, past the field and almost to the tree line. Did they ever have to walk a long way. There was no way ANY one was leaving the fairgrounds for food, rats, another day for fair food. We held off buying anything until 2:00pm then gave in and Karin sprang for 2 turkey legs which Rebekah and Anni shared one and Karin and I shared the other at $10.00 a leg, we stretched them out as long as possible. There are actually 2 other vaulting teams performing here along with the three girls working with the FEI instructor. The Haflinger team is SO improved, they had some really neat tricks but their horse wouldn't mind so they had to do theirs at the stand. The team with the other Percheron did a few of the single compulsories at the trot then the Kur was done at the walk. The FEI people didn't actually perform but put on some clinics which Karin attended as many as possible. Their horse was awesome, a Percheron cross, American Warmblood, 18 year old gelding trained for dressage. He has a wonderful canter and we were able to watch the 3 bronze medal girls show different compulsories at the canter.
We went through all of our goodies to give out so the table is now put away, there is nothing left to give tomorrow.
Now some of the impressions of the day were pretty cool. One lady came up to Jessica and Karin and told them, "that was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes." A few other ladies were asking Rachel about Moses, she told them that Moses was adopted from Ethiopia along with Matthew and Milea. When they heard that they burst into tears. What is it with the crying? OK we know we go for the cute factor but perhaps we should be playing the pitiful factor too. One heavy set lady was walking by our stall, saw the vaulting pictures and states, "Vaulting, it just doesn't do anything for me." I think Ribbon was very glad about that.
We left the fair around 5:00pm and headed to McDonald's for dinner and our daily $1.00 hot fudge sundae. mmmmm, now it is down to the hot tub for some relaxation.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Of all the pictures on Rachel's website this is one of the BEST in my opinion. The flag in the back ground, the intense look on Milea's face, the strength of Caleb. It just SHOUTS perfection.

Notice anything different in the picture below? Take a look at the 3 vaulters, they are ALL of the male gender. This is unusual and we are SO proud we have the ONLY team in the tri state area with 5 guys.

The picture below is of Caleb STANDING on Ribbon holding Moses age 4 high into the air with Jessica's help. This boy is WAYYYYY up there. The picture below that is of Mikayla upside down with Caleb supporting. Rachel Sauder took some absolutely wonderful pictures of the vaulters, to see them go to her website click on online ordering then click on the vaulting page. I think these are the best EVER!

This is the hotel pool.

Playing spoons with knives after dinner.

Our First Performance

First impressions were, THE Vaulters were GREAT! Why weren't they in the coliseum? What was WRONG with the announcer? Why didn't she turn on the music? Why isn't the announcer paying attention and turn up the music when she is asked? Why is she visiting with everyone else when she SHOULD be announcing? In other words, the kids did great, Ribbon just so, so, not perfect but not awful but the announcer, BAH HUMBUG. The worst is that we are in the same arena tomorrow with the same announcer. Even when the vaulters were off the horse and running out of the arena, the crowd (what could fit in) was yelling, clapping and whistling and the non-announcer said NOTHING! not give them a hand, not aren't' they cute, not a word. The vaulters exited the arena to complete silence from her.
The morning practice was a little complicated, there were so many horses in the warm up arena the kids had to look both ways before running into the middle with Karin. They ran through the program just once then ran to the coliseum to watch the Andalusians perform. Rachel got some awesome pictures. Then came the performance. We decided to eat fair food for lunch, some got Gyro's @ $9.95 each some hamburgers @$6.00 and Karin a $9.00 turkey leg. Once Ribbon was fed and watered for the night we drove to McDonald's for $1.00 sundaes and then to the hotel for r and r.
We don't yet know what we are doing for dinner except we KNOW we won't be ordering Chinese. We did that last night and it was so bad we had to throw it out, then we went to bed hungry.


Ribbon is now Star. When we pulled in the Allient Energy center we had to get in one of three lines for trailers and the inspectors were going through each trailer making sure the coggins matched the horse. A lot of these people are volunteers that don't really know how to read a coggins and health papers. The poor man that was checking ours must have been stressed out because of the long lines. He sees Horsemeister on the coggins and wants to know who that is, I tell them that is me, I am an owner. He is asking how to spell it and writing down something but I'm not paying a lot of attention. A lady asks if she can open the doors or windows of the trailer and she is told to do what ever is necessary and she walks in the packed living quarters, realizes she cannot get to the horse door and comes back outside and opens up a window, walks over to the truck and hands me a zip tie and inspection certificate telling me this must go on the stall door. The zip tie dropped so I'm trying to find that and didn't look at the paper until it was time to put it on Ribbon's door. For horses name it lists Ribbon's name as STAR and owner of the horse is Judy Horsemeister. The man checking all the coggins is looking at where the markings are listed and thinks that is the horses name. He is probably wondering why so many owners name their horses Star or Blaze. He must think I am a very vain American Indian to have such a funny name, and then put it all over my truck and trailer.
Our hotel was a very nice surprise, the rooms are large with very comfortable beds and pillows. The pool area is very well set up for families. It has a full court basketball backboards in the middle, on the shallow end a tippy bucket that pours out water every few minutes and a HUGE hot tub. Now if breakfast is good we are SET.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Madison, Here We Come!

We made it to the Midwest Horse Fair at the Alliant Energy center in Madison, WI about 3:00pm and set up went smooth. It must be all the good help. Our stalls look very nice. We are in barn 5 and the aisles are so narrow no tables are to be set up. We got a very narrow table up against Ribbon's stall for a few goodies. Karin and Rebekah did a wonderful job with the decorating. I'll get some pictures tomorrow, right now we are taking it easy in a very comfortable Sleep Inn about 5 miles from the fair. The pictures below are of a Raven daughter now 5 years old. She is out of a Trakehner mare named Opr's Lily.

I love seeing updated pictures of Raven's foals. She has just turned out just beautiful. We hear over and over how easy Raven's offspring are to train, what good minds they have and what a joy they are to have around.
At the farm, Steven Marchal loaded up Clara, her colt, Chloe, Ciera, Wanda and Knight and took them all to Middle Grove for some R and R. He brought back Sophie and she was covered again by Raven. IF she is still in tomorrow I'll have to change the sonagram date.
Mark got me a very nice leather purse for my birthday even though I asked for a wheelbarrow. The purse was pretty necessary, mine was falling apart. So I got to the barn to start loading hay into the trailer for the weekend and there is a brand new wheelbarrow up against the office. I thought it must be Ralph's and he won't mind if I borrow it so Rebekah helped me load it up. When we stopped at the first gas station I remembered to tell Karin that I borrowed Ralph's wheelbarrow and we MUST bring it home with us as the last one we left in Springfield. Karin looks at me with this weird look and says, "I bought that for you for your birthday, I saw you load it up and thought it was strange you didn't say anything." Then the laughing started.

Clara & Son

We have sale pending on Clara and colt. The lady is from Idaho and mailed the deposit yesterday. We are grateful for a couple of reasons; they are getting good homes and we will have 2 less to feed next winter. Steven Marchel has offered to bring back Sophie and try her for breeding today so all is well there. He will take out to Middle Grove Knight, Chloe, Wanda and Ciera. I have 2 loads of laundry still to go, my packing, the living room to clean and the trunks to place into the trailer and I'll be ready to go. We will be leaving from the farm at 10:00am meaning we should arrive at 3:00pm in Madison, set up the stalls and hopefully get into our hotel room by 6:00pm for a good nights sleep.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Best Gift

When one turns 55 years old there is really not a lot of worldy things one needs. So my children gave me a wonderful gift. We all went out to eat then to Church to worship our God and King. Craig had the service opening first to 1 Chronicles chapter 11 and bringing out how people wanted a king when God is the King of Kings. How we need to remember our God IS the King of Kings. He talked a little of Saul and his death before reading about king David. The second opening was Luke 12. He brought out how Jesus used the example of the ravens, they neither sow nor reap and yet God feeds them. Craig reminded us that Jesus didn't pick an Eagle or dove but used the example of the lowly raven, a bird that is ugly and noisy and yet even the least bird God cares for. Consider the lily's of the fields, even Solomon in all his glory is not as beautiful. We are to seek FIRST the kingdom of God. We are to lay up our treasures in heaven not earth for where our treasures are, is where our hearts are. This sermon was so much more than what I'm writing, How blessed we are to have the true Word of God preached in our humble church.
Mike took a load of horses out to Middle Grove but took the wrong walker. He was suppose to take Clara and her colt and instead took Sophie. Sophie will just have to be brought back later. She is in season now and bred today but should be checked on Friday. Oh well Raven's semen last way longer than 48 hours so that is probably not a problem, just I have a ultrasound scheduled for her on the 29th along with Wynne's and if I don't know exactly when she goes out of season I won't know if we should change the date of the ultrasound. Dr. Hoerr will do the ultrasound no sooner than 14 days after the last day bred.
Tomorrow Karin, Rebekah and I will be hauling Ribbon up to Madison, WI for the Midwest Horse Fair. We won't be back until Sunday night late. Hopefully I will have internet but if not, all emails will be answered after we get home.

At Play

Steven Marchal met me at the farm to help give all the pregnant mares their pneumabort shot. Mares given this shot were: Jenis, Samantha, Ylse, Big Sally, Bunni, Walker Sally, Izadora, Autumn, and Velvet. Once that was done Lily, Ayanna, and Sangria were walked over to the cabin and this video shot. They had the best time running, playing and getting hosed off.

I still need to get the shopping done, finish the laundry and start dinner.

Birthday Surprise

What a surprise was waiting for me by the time we made it home from Choir. Rhoda and Sarah deep cleaned the kitchen, playroom and hallway. Sarah bought shelving boxes for shoes, plus an enclosed garbage pail for dog food, she moved the bench out and now this is what our very messy now clean back hall looks like.

Rhoda was mopping the floor when we pulled in. That wasn't the only surprise, the next came when we headed up to bed and opened the door to our bedroom. Rhoda purchased new bedding for our bed complete with new sheets, pillows, comforter and sham. I'll have to get a picture of that later once Mark is out of bed and the bed made up as nice as Rhoda had it. What a GREAT start to a birthday. THANKS GIRLS!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Health Papers

The packing is getting done for the Midwest Horse Fair when the thought hits, we don't have Ribbon's health certificate to get into the fair. That means a trip to Morton, IL to Hoerr Vet clinic, they are now in the glove compartment of the truck. One less thing to worry about Thursday morning. Tomorrow Steven is meeting me at the farm for pneumabort shots for all the pregnant mares. I'm taking the wormers out with me, that may as well be done also. It really helps having extra hands when there are so many horses. The video camera should be taken also just in case we have extra time. Paris' colt Caden has wonderful movement and should be video taped. Wynne and Evan too.
Today after work, Eva Jean needed a cane for Janell's therapy. As I had one at the house we went there before heading to lunch. The dogs came running around the car just as Eva Jean stepped out, she saw the dogs, threw her arms up and yelled, Emma thought she was getting attacked and started barking. I'm yelling at Emma to stop barking and sit, Darcy hears me and thinks she's in trouble and slinks back to the steps with her head down. Eva Jean kept saying "I thought you were showing me a puppy, when these HUGE dogs come at me!" Emma's trying to fit between my legs sure she is still going to be attacked until finally she realizes that lady is probably fine. Once I head upstairs to get the cane, Eva Jean speaks softly to Darcy and the tail starts wagging. It was an uproar for a while. Only Mark came with us for lunch. Dan & Spark had a meeting and Philip was out on a job.

Baby Drake's Update from Nate

I haven't written anything about Drake for quite awhile, because he has just been a perfectly normal little boy for the last 4 weeks. He has been to lots of doctor visits and checkups and tests and such and has just been passing with flying colors. At home he has been eating and growing like a Herman and smiling and happy most of the time like his daddy of course. He is getting stronger and more aware of his surroundings every day. Visually you just would not think there is anything wrong with this perfect looking and acting baby.

Then today we went to the developmental specialist.....This is where our 4 week long fantasy didn't necessarily come to an end, but just simply turned back into reality. I guess subconsciously I have just been hoping for a fairy tale ending where we just put all this doctor stuff behind us and sail off into the normal rest of our lives.
Its 11:37 pm and now quiet enough at home and in my head for me just to sit back and think somewhat clearly. Everything that seemed so important again all of a sudden, really just isn't. The doctor today wants to get Drake started on developmental therapy ASAP. He is amazed at his progress from where he should be, but still very concerned. He also wants to know the extent of his hearing damage ASAP in order to get fitted with hearing aids by 4 to 6 months of age. Drake has had double ear infections and fluid built up, so they haven't been able to get an accurate hearing test done yet. (at least we hope its not accurate yet).
We haven't really picked up on the developmental hypotonia or whatever the name is that the doc called his development stuff, but we have always noticed that Drake really doesn't respond to noise. He sometimes will jump with a loud bang, but really doesn't respond to normal noise much at all. Movement and vibration he picks up on real good, but hearing not so much.
Today wasn't bad, but it was the hardest day we have had for awhile. Just a reality check, eye opener, reminder, or whatever you want to call it.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Years ago, I heard a story of a missionary couple returning from Africa in the days of Teddy Roosevelt. After a lifetime of faithful service they were returning to America on the same ship as President Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was returning from a big-game hunting expedition in Africa. As they boarded the ship from Africa the crowds and bands were playing to send the President off, but no one came to bid a last farewell to this missionary couple.
The man said to his wife, "Isn't it strange, dear? Here we have given our life to the service of God, spent years in Africa, endured many hardships, lost a couple of our children and buried them out here. It's been very difficult, but nobody really cares, do they?"
I mean look at all this folderol that goes on when the President returns from a big-game hunting expedition! Nobody cares whether we have done anything for God, or not.
(Personally, can you relate to this feeling?)
All the way across the Atlantic it burned in his heart. Bitterness grabbed a toe-hold and started melting into his soul. Sure enough, when the ship pulled into the New York harbor there was a band waiting to greet President Roosevelt with his favorite songs. The high officials of the city were there to greet him as the missionary couple slipped off the ship unnoticed and continued on to their rented run-down flat on the East Side of New York. The man was utterly crushed. His thoughts took a downward tail-spin and spoke out in bitterness to the unfairness.
"It isn't fair. Here we are, we haven't any money, and we don't know who is going to take care of us or where we are going. God has promised great things, but nothing's happened. We've given him everything we got and what has he done for us?"
His wife stood by and said, "Honey, I know it isn't fair, but this isn't the right attitude. You must not think this way. Why don't you go into the bedroom and talk to the Lord about it, and see what He has to say?"
So he did. He went into the Presence of the King and knelt down.
He was there for quite a long time and when he came out his face was alight and his wife saw that his countenance had changed.
"I got down on my knees and poured out the whole story to the Lord. I told Him that I thought it was so unfair and especially that when we came home the President got this big welcome and no-one was waiting for us. I told him that he was treating us all wrong."
"And, here is how He answered."
But my child, you're not home, yet.
Oh! The hope in that! My friends we---are not home, yet! This is glorious true!

Rebekah & Cindy

Rebekah's pony Cindy, is out of a Welsh Cob section C mare and by a Haflinger stallion. They have had 3 foals out of her by Raven and each one was more beautiful than the next. Cindy is such a delight for the beginner kids. She is very lazy and so wide that almost no one could fall off of her. I was looking through some pictures and found these. The picture below is my favorite. Rhoda, my daughter took it. I think the picture looks like it belongs in a magazine.

Rebekah trained Cindy to do this and she ONLY does it on command. We have fun that day taking pictures. Too bad Rebekah's head is cut off.