Saturday, March 31, 2012


We have lots of pictures of Evan and but really no good ones of Valiant so today when Rhoda came over she took him into the outdoor arena. Well as we were getting pictures we were actually shocked at how high and how big his trot was. The still camera was put down and the video camera brought out. Even though by this time he wasn't showing off as big it was still worth taking. Below are first the still shots and below that the video of this big 32 month old boy. Notice how high all 4 feet are off the ground at the same time in the picture below.

The rest of the pictures will be posted on his webpage. Below is the video.
Valiant really is as sweet as he seems in the video. He definitely has his daddy's disposition.
Steven Marchal brought Lily and her filly over from the cabin field and yes she is in her foal heat. Raven had no problem getting her covered. According to Steven Lily is his favorite mare!

Birth Announcment


Grace surprised us by foaling 2 weeks early sometime around 3 or 4 a A.M. this morning
Saturday March 30th, 2012

I had planned on attending a Parelli Clinic in MO this weekend. I had given Lib a bath yesterday evening and had put her in the stall to stay clean. I left Grace in the dry lot as she was not showing any signs of being close to foaling. We went to the barn this morning about 4:30 am and to our surprise, found Grace and baby up and moving around the dry lot. So much for our weekend plans J. She is such a sweetheart! I’m sure we will have lots of visitors to come and see her soon. Give us a call and come on by!

Proud Parents:
Raven (Friesian Stallion)
Horsemeister -
Nighthawks Grace (Andalusian Mare)
Brett & Beth Ulrici

We are always so thrilled to hear of the safe delivery of another Raven son or daughter. Thank you Beth for letting us know. She is so beautiful.
The Andalusian Friesian cross is actually one of the best Friesian crosses out there.
Our Athena (Raven x Sangria) was appraised by Liz Searle for $25,000.00 at 2 years of age. Liz told us it was not just her beauty, it was her willingness to work, fantastic disposition and unbelievable movement that caused her to appraise her at that amount. Beth may be willing to sell this beauty so if you are in the market for a special black filly by Raven out of an Andalusian mare with HAIR email Beth quickly at: to reserve her. This is the 3rd foal by Raven out of Beth's mare and the other 2 sold VERY quickly.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The New Land

Mark and I headed to Middle Grove right after work arriving at the cottage before 6:00pm. This is the creek that runs along the south side of the cottage. This creek stayed open all winter this year.

It usually won't freeze until the temperatures get and stay into the teens or lower. The next picture is of the North side of the cottage.

And the south side of the cottage. We love how many and big the windows are, the views are spectacular!

Inside is a bathroom with a small shower and a roomy living area with a fire place, television (that actually gets like 18 channels because of an antenna and solar panel) fridge and a propane stove top. All the amenities of home.

Mark snapped the picture below of the upstairs.

We loaded up into Mikes truck for a tour of the new 200 acres. The land is beautiful!

We finished the driving tour and headed down to the big lake. Mike took us on a his new pontoon boat for a lake tour.

The lake is peaceful and beautiful.
We saw a beaver lodge and the beaver's food supply.

The sun was setting by the time we were heading back.

As we were driving back through the Middle Grove farm the horses were all scattered on the hill side grazing. By this time it was too dark to take good pictures but what a pretty sight for us as we got ready to pull out for home.
Thanks Mike for the grand tour, the place is a horse paradise.

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is mom's 80th birthday and Sparks 60th. How did we get such an old mother and brother? As mom is in Gulf Shores and can't see her beautiful flowers, today after work the camera was taken over to her house. Here they are mom, Happy Birthday! Your yards are a riot of color right now.

The place smells as good as it looks, the sweet smelling fragrance wafting through the air is a delight to the senses.
The dogs followed me over, that is Emma did, Darcy rode the golf cart over to swim as the weather is gorgeous, warm and sunny.
Four of the five dogs jumped in and had a blast. Ebby was content to lay on the grass and watch.

The final stop was the cabin field to check on Lily. I think Lily is coming into her foal heat. She was hanging her head over the gate asking to be let out. We will try her tomorrow. She was given a handful of grain instead of bringing her over.

Work today was very productive. Over 200 individual Bibles were processed and mailed out. Mark loaded the boxes in the back of his pickup truck and hauled them to the post office.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


With mom in Gulf Shores, Heidi comes over every day and spends the evening with us. It started with the first storm, she is so afraid of thunder she pounds on the door to be let in. Last night she stayed all of the evening, didn't want to go home when we went to bed but by midnight she decided to head on home. Probably thinks she needs to guard the old home place until her owner shows up. Tonight she is feeling comfortable enough to chew on the big bone Rhoda bought.

The Boys

Mom is missing all the beautiful blooms by leaving Illinois and staying down at Gulf Shores. Usually she plans this trip so she is back before the flowers start blooming but this year every thing is early.
This picture was snapped on our walk when we stopped at Rhonda's to take care of her cats.

Work went well. Lisa Waibel came down to pick up some books with a couple of her boys. They were more than willing to move the 32 pound boxes of Bibles that needed to be stuffed and sent out. All of the letters were processed and 1000 copies made of lesson number 1 and the letter that goes out with each Bible.
After work, Steven showed up at the farm and helped get Zalena covered by Raven. She is still in but should be going out soon. Raven was was getting the job done when Kay Johnson stopped by. She was surprised to see him working. She has a Valiant baby on the way and wanted to check him out. When she wanted to see him move I hopped on the golf cart, invited her to ride with me and drove into the field. Below both boys are waiting very patiently for Steven to let them go.

Once they are turned loose the fun starts.

Evan was at the bottom of the field in the next picture and my camera isn't good enough to take clear pictures from that distance but this picture still had to be posted. It shows his mane blowing in the wind.

And just look at how high Valiant brings his legs up at the trot. This is not trained into him, this is his normal gait.

The rest of the pictures were posted on their webpages. It actually was a good thing we went out to the field, we discovered the boy's automatic waterer is leaking. This one is set far enough back that it isn't visible from the front. Hopefully it wasn't leaking long.

99 Years

Last night we were blessed to hear the testimonies of 2 precious souls. It was wonderful to see the church so full on a Wednesday night but the most unusual thing about these testimonies happened to be the age of the people. The first person to share what the Lord has done for her was 99 years old. The other person wasn't any spring chicken, he is in his 70s. It is NEVER to late to give your heart, mind, soul and body to Jesus. He cares for His own. Have I ever mentioned how much I love my church? Testimonies are so special, one would not want to miss them. It reminds us of our own, reminds us how lost we were and exactly how great the sacrifice was just for me!
Today I'm heading in to Meisters to try to catch up on work. There are letters stacked up feet high, not inches high and hundreds of Bibles to get out.
Last night a phone call came in from a lady with a FHANA mare she is considering breeding to Evan. She does not want to use a FHANA approved stallion and wanted different options. She wanted to know if we were bringing any of our stallions up to the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison WI in April so she could see them but we are not going this year. Karin and I showed up there 2 years in a row and decided it was not worth our time or money to go. It is too many hours on the road, the hotels are all over $100.00 a night during that weekend, and the worst of the worst, no exhibitor is allowed to leave the fair until 5:00pm on Sunday. When they finally allow the trucks and trailers to pull out one is stuck in traffic for what seems like hours finally arriving home in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Almost 5 days old

Watching this filly gallop with or without her mom, one would never know there was a problem. She is 4 and a half days old in the pictures and unless one looks close into her eyes, she looks perfect. Ebby, Diane's dog was so hoping she would play with her, she is in both the picture above and the one below. After a fun gallop it's time for some comfort food.

Then off for better pastures.

She has an appointment with an Equine Ophthalmologist on Monday April 16th. Prayers are coveted, first that she would be a candidate for surgery and second that she would have no complications. Hopefully there is a way to let her grow up seeing. I know she is just a horse but all of them are special.
Luke Fischer and I didn't end up meeting at Paradice, for some reason that place gives me the willies, I left early and drove down to Access road 6 to meet at gas station. Joan should have Faith's birth certificate tomorrow.

No Puddles

The storm last night was a big light and thunder show but not much rain. None of the feeders needed to be dumped before feeding and there are no puddles on the driveway. So disappointing when the fields are this thirsty. At least Lily was pleased she didn't have to be put in a stall for the night.
Mike showed up early to help get Zalena covered. She still accepted Raven but is going out. She should be checked tomorrow and if really out we will start counting the days.
The golf cart was left behind today on the walk, I am almost ready to take on mom. Rachel had a really good idea, keep a pocket full of worms, then if mom starts going too fast for me to keep up start throwing worms in front of her, that will for sure slow her down.
Today I am driving in to East Peoria to meet someone at the Paradice gambling hotel and no I'm not gambling. Joan called from Haiti this morning, she needs Faith's birth certificate and there are a couple of brothers from Roanoke leaving tomorrow for Haiti. One works at Caterpillar in the Germantown area and we will meet in the parking lot of Paradice over his lunch hour. What was funny about this, first we arranged to meet Amy Koch at Bridlewood as Joan told us they were from Tremont. When Amy was given the 2 names she said, "we don't have any brothers in Tremont with those names." Sure enough Joan had the wrong church.
Today is a very special day, Karin the youngest of the Meister siblings was born on this day. Have a wonderful birthday Karin!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cottage Company

Diane and Mike were almost able to finish the cottage before the first group came. Phil, Anna and Braelyn brought 3 of their cousins from Minnesota for horse rides and to stay the night. Karin met them right after work for the guided horse tours, riding for hours. She used Mika, Bunni, Sally and Paris. She reported the horses didn't put a foot wrong with everyone having a great time.
Mike bought a pontoon boat this afternoon and hauled it out to Middle Grove and once they put the horses away he and Diane took them all out on the lake for some exploring. Dinner was cooked over a campfire. A storm moved in with rain and lots of lightning and thunder. Having the cottage with it's nice warm dry rooms instead of a camper or tent makes the Middle Grove farm a great place to stay.
Mark and I had choir practice tonight, we had a big group come, over 50 singers. The singing was so uplifting. Monica and Sandy served root beer floats for a special treat along with a huge bowl of puppy chow.

Zalena In

Raven was calling to the mares on Sunday afternoon, then on Monday he is standing at the gate looking longingly over at the mare pasture. This makes us believe that even though no mares are showing they are in, there must be one in and sure enough Steven brought Zalena over, yes she is in and covered. Zalena was going to be saved for Valiant but Raven got the job instead. His foals are proven, beautiful and have the best disposition where Valiant doesn't have any foals on the ground yet for us to judge. Steven will be here at 4:30pm to bring her up for another cover.
Zalena is a gorgeous Friesian mare, we will pray she settles this time even though this would put her due right after the IL Horse Fair next year.
When it rains it pours, today the truck was taken in to the repair shop. The brakes went out and even though it was just the hose blew it was the hose that went the entire length of the truck and cost $185.00 to fix.
We still haven't heard from the U of I ophthalmologist as far as when they can see Lily's filly. A call was put in again this morning to Hoerr Vet clinic asking for them to set up a consultation. Watching her running around the cabin field with Lily one would never know there was a problem.
Work today was light, probably because I haven't sent out Bibles or processed the hundreds of letters that have come in the last 3 weeks. Time will just have to be spent working on those, each week those letters stack up higher.
An interesting phone call came today, a man from Alberta Canada called wanting to buy a purebred Friesian mare in foal. When he was told we don't sell those, he spent the next 26 minutes trying to figure out why. Horsemeister was the 6th breeding farm he called and no one was willing to sell one. He told me he even talked to Iron Spring Farm about buying one. Now that makes us feel pretty special when he is lumping our small farm in with the big name farms.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Vet Visit

One good thing about watching the horses by the hour is when something is not right it is easy to pick up on. Lily's uterus is not clean after the birth, she is starting to show pus. Dr. Hoerr's office was called to make an appointment today we don't mess around with infection there. The other reason I wanted him to come was we noticed that her filly's right eye wasn't right. It looked like there could be a cataract. I didn't want to write anything about it in case I didn't know what I'm looking at as this is the first time we have ever seen anything like that on any of the foals we have had over the years. We can tell she is not blind but can't tell how much she can see. Well Dr. Hoerr checked out both eyes and the good news is her pupils react to light but the bad news is yes there is a cataract on the right lens but the left eye which we thought was ok isn't right either. He is going to call a well known horse ophthalmologist to see if there is anything that can be done or what the prognosis would be for her. He told us this is a very rare thing but does happen. Of course I had to google it and this is what I found:
Horses can be born with cataracts due to developmental or heritable causes--known as congenital cataracts. Foals with cataracts often present very early in life, usually at 1 to 2 months of age. Typically, the owners will notice the whiteness in the pupil of one eye almost immediately after birth. This change is often followed closely by the other eye. Visual problems experienced by the foal are noticed through behaviors such as hesitancy to go anywhere without the mare or outright bumping into things. Otherwise, the foals are usually systemically healthy, and the eyes are not painful.
Congenital cataracts in newborn foals are especially amenable to surgical removal. Veterinary attention should be sought as soon as possible. Signs include a milky-appearing pupil or evidence of impaired vision as mentioned above. Immediately before and after surgery, the foal is given a number of medications including topical antibiotics, topical anti-inflammatories (steroidal and nonsteroidal), and systemic anti-inflammatories (usually Banamine).
The surgery is performed using a technology known as phaco-emulsification. This is the exact same technology and equipment used in human cataract surgery. Most of the foals spend about 5 to 7 days in the hospital after surgery. Rechecks are usually required at approximately 2 weeks and 2 months after surgery, although the interval and frequency is determined by the presence or absence of complications.
The most common post-operative problem is glaucoma. During the post-surgical period, the medications are usually reduced. Cataract surgery will usually result in the horse being far-sighted (not able to see things up close), but many go on to live productive lives.

So depending on what the horse ophthalmologist says, it kind of looks like I will be taking a trip to UofI soon.

First Night Out

Lily and her still to be named filly spent the night in the paddock across from the apartment, I can see the filly playing out the kitchen window. This is not good, nothing is getting done in here, it is just so fascinating to watch her play. Oh well soon she will be down for a nap. There is no shelter in this paddock but as long as it is cool and cloudy and not raining it is fine.
The golf cart had a flat this morning, good thing I can now walk. Actually Diane and Rachel put air in the tire for the second round but it didn't hold. The cart had to be left over at mom's. Mark won't be home until late tonight so it may stay there until tomorrow.
Later this morning Raven's shelter needs to be checked. No hay is showing from the window, the door needs to be opened to see if he needs more hay. The boys knocked down a section of their feeder which must be tied back up if we don't want them to waste hay. With hay prices sky high we don't want waste.
Now for a name for this little one. I'm leaning toward Mariah (Ma-RY-ah some of the different meanings for that name were: God is my teacher, wind, star of the seas.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

GrandMa Again

Phil and Anna announced they are expecting in October. Braelyn is going to have to learn to be a big sister. Addyson can teach her about that. We are happy for them and hope we get lots of opportunity to baby sit.
Church was awesome, Craig Stickling let the Spirit work through him to bless us. That's the word that came to mind, we were blessed. How thankful I am for our Peoria ministers, speaking the Truth in love. Then at lunch I was able to serve on second shift. Finally finally I am no longer a useless appendage. For the last 8 months I would see 80 years old serving and was convicted. We had our Easter Sunday school program for the afternoon.
Once home from church Karin showed up and helped move Lily and her filly out to the field for pictures.

Now isn't she the most precious little one, just look at that exquisite dished face.

The rest of the pictures were placed on her new webpage on the website.
The sun was too hot to leave this little one out, a newborn cannot regulate their temperature and easily get over heated. Mike helped Karin put them back.
Steven arrived to work Valiant a bit then let the boys out in the field.

Wow did they have fun.

Below is Evan stretching out for a good gallop.

Valiant had a tough time keeping his feet on the ground and it's Evan by a nose in the picture below.

We all ended up at the playground where a big group came to play volley ball. No pictures the battery on the camera died and needed to be recharged. The games were all really good.
What a wonderful beautiful day, from sunup to sundown.