Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Wild Eyed Rose

(Sting Ray x Sheer Elegance)

Pretty Girl 

My Rosie girl was actually my second equine acquisition, but without her, neither of my other two would exist, so she gets first billing. Fair? I think so. She is the most inaccurately named horse I have ever met. Haha. She has such soft, lovely eyes.

Rose (Rosie Posie, Rosalynn, Mama) is a 1996 model 3/4 Saddlebred mare. She's by my absolute favorite National Show Horse (Nish =  National Show Horse. Arabian x Saddlebred as the registry used to be, it has since been opened up to any breed crossed with Arabian as long as the Arabian blood is 50%. So, pretty much a glorified second Half Arabian registry... meh. By these standards Rose wouldn't even qualify for registration today as she's only 1/4 Arabian) stallion, Sting Ray (*Erros x Sultan's Secret Love).

Sting Ray (Rose's sire).
He's so sexy. He had a Fabio-forelock that was longer than his nose!

Rose is 3/4 sister to one of my all-time favorite show horses, the incredible 3-gaited mare, Sting's Finesse. It is a shame I'm struggling to find photos of her on the interwebs because she literally took my breath watching her. If you had told me while I was sitting captivated in the stands watching that mare do her thing that I would own a sister of hers, I would have hit you and said 'shut up!'. I now own TWO siblings of my favorite show horses... mind blowing really! I don't know a lot about her mother and les googles has not been of much assistance. Rose has Supreme Sultan on both sides of her pedigree and Wing Commander in her mother's genes. Old skedaddlebred blood and I love it.

Sunset Muggin'

She is the matriarch of my little Nerd Herd. Both of my other horses are her children. I was given the opportunity to own her soon after I got my gelding, but after talking it over with my boss at the time we decided we didn't have room to add another horse to the herd. So, I declined. However, I couldn't get her out of my mind. She was so dear to me and her son is very much her clone so it was like looking her in the eyes every day. A year or so passed, then her owners contacted me once more and said they had another potential buyer but were giving me one last chance to own her. I couldn't stand the thought of her disappearing from my radar and not being able to love on her when I visited the farm where she lived. So, I sucked it up (after all, I needed another horse like I needed another hole in my head). I found a friend who had an open pasture space about an hour from where I lived, made boarding arrangements and made the 20 hour round trip to pick her up. She stayed an hour away for about a year, until our herd at the barn I managed was down to a much more manageable size and I got the ok from Boss-Lady to bring her home to live with her son. She is extraordinarily bonded with her son. They were apart for many years as he was off showing and then with me after the age of 2. But when I unloaded her from the trailer and brought her into the barn, he all but squished himself through the bars of his stall nickering to her. She had an accident 2 years ago where she was cast against a round bale and couldn't get up until I got to the barn in the morning to get her free. He had been frantically trying to assist her, biting her ear and pawing at her head and neck earnestly trying to get her up as best he knew how. She's still missing hair around that ear from his efforts. Ugh, they make my heart mush.


The rest is history. She's my girl. She is spoiled and she 100% deserves it. Her early life was not easy, this part is bittersweet for me because I hate the thought of her hurt or suffering, but if her story wasn't the way it is, I wouldn't have her because she would have been in the show ring like her sister (she'd be 5 gaited though, she has slow-gaited walking alongside me and you can see her natural ability and tendency when she's loose in the pasture) and then would be making national champion babies. When she was a kiddo in training, whomever was breaking her to ride left her tied head to tail in a round pen unsupervised and she flipped herself over breaking her c3 and c4 vertebrae. I'm sure there was more that had happened, but that is the story I got. She was then stalled for years and as a result HATES being stalled now. As a result of her injuries, she was pretty beat up and is very arthritic in her knees/neck/hocks. She gets all the love and treats she can handle and lives outdoors where she is happiest. She is kind and sweet and the picture of matronly elegance.

 About a week pre-foaling 2014
 Still able to roll with a belly full of filly!

She is legal to drink in human years as of last spring. I offered her a beer which she declined, she says she's more of a wine girl. She is retired from any responsibilities as of her last foal in 2014. Her only job is to exist and be spoiled. She and the rest of my Nerd Herd live about an 8 min drive from my house at a wonderful private boarding facility run by a fantastic woman who has become a friend. She takes great care of my kids and I have zero worries. Rose is a hard keeper, she's built long and lean and tends to be a bit ribby. Even heavy in foal, she didn't really look it. She could have passed for a normal weighted horse until her belly dropped a week or so before she foaled. Haha. Well, after I felt like a horrible owner last fall as she dropped weight before our eyes despite her mesh fly sheet and boots, Barn Owner and I devised a plan that consisted of her Progressive Senior, Beet Pulp and Progressive Envision served in a mash twice a day. She's been on that through the winter and I am happy to report that she is now pleasantly plump and even has a booty! She's as close as she gets to fat, sassy and happy. :)

This last group of photos were taken by DressageBarbie during what was 'supposed' to be a foal photo shoot in 2014 when she visited us in Illinois. As you can see, Rose had other plans!

 That belly!

She will live out her days with me. Not confined in a stall, but free to move about her pen and out in her pasture with her herd. Loved.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


Smalltalk is awkward...

Well, hello there. Welcome to the inner workings of my mind *insert maniacal laughter here*

Scared yet? You probably should be. If not, buckle up, it'll be a ride!

My dear friend,  DressageBarbie, inspired me with her blog and shenanigans. So I decided to follow in her footsteps. I'm giving it the old college try.

The excuse I used to begin ye-olde-blog here is to chronicle the journey I am about to embark on with my baby horse, getting her broke to ride. But there will be plenty of other stuff mixed in. My brain is spinning in a million different directions at any given time, so getting me to focus on one subject is difficult. SQUIRREL!

A little on me:
-I was born and raised in a medium sized city in Minnesota. I say charming things like 'uff da' and 'oh fer cute' and 'I'll just sneak by ya'. My Os sometimes have the long sound characteristic of the stereotyped accent displayed in the movie "Fargo". But no, I don't talk like that all the time. I don't think so anyway.
-I love theater. Musical theater mostly.  But I love any excuse to get dressed up and go out for a night at the theatah.
-I wear my heart on my sleeve
-I love all animals, but horses have my heart. I am owned by three of them. They are my Nerd Herd. More on them later, I think each of them warrant their own post.
-I'm a sports nut. I grew up in the State Of Hockey and am an avid hockey fan. As well as football, baseball and some college basketball (please do not ask me to watch the NBA, I will likely fall asleep) I am fiercely loyal to my teams. You'll very likely hear about them when things of note happen.
-I went to a small liberal arts college in Missouri called William Woods University. It will occasionally be referenced (fondly) as Camp Billy Twiggs. I majored in Equestrian Science. You have no idea how thrilled I was when I found out I could skip the veterinary field altogether (I don't think I could remain stoic when having to euthanize an animal...) and major in horses. I spent 4 of the best years of my life completely immersed in the riding, training, teaching and business aspects of the Equestrian Industry. I also joined a sorority (ohmygod, like, totally!) and found out that most of the stereotypes are not true. Except the naked pillow fights, we did that. All the time. Would I lie? ;)
- I spent the next portion of my life working as a show groom at some amazing, national caliber Arabian Horse show barns that allowed me to travel to shows in many states and live in different places (Baton Rouge, LA; South Carolina; Scottsdale, AZ). I worked my way up from lowly groom up to Breeding Manager of an internationally reputable Arabian breeding farm in Illinois where I spent the better part of a decade loving, breeding and raising the next generations of incredible horses. It was an incredible experience and my employer's family adopted me as one of their own.
-I moved back to my hometown about 2.5 years ago as I was homesick beyond belief. With the exception of my genius sister (I don't lie, she's racking up higher education degrees and works in the field of biomedical engineering. I don't even pretend to begin to understand what she does on a daily basis but I am stupid proud of her). my entire family still lives here. I got tired of missing birthday celebrations and family functions. I thought I had found the perfect solution, Managing an Arabian farm, in my hometown?! I tearfully said goodbye to my life in Illinois and set off on a new journey. Sadly... that next chapter was a very short one. The smoke and mirrors cleared out quick and within 6 months I was burned out. Promises from the employers to get me there were never followed through on. I was disheartened, disrespected, overworked and got fed up with it very quickly and left. I spent a month unemployed (Contrary to popular belief, being unemployed is not fun. After the first like 5 days I was over sleeping in, sitting around and I was BORED). I applied for many jobs. Interviewed for a few, and I finally accepted a job at my current place of employment, a telecommunications company that provides cable/internet/phone/home security to several Midwestern states. It was originally just a 'this sounds fun until something better comes along' job, but here I am coming up on my 2 year Anniversary with no plans to leave. It's a fabulous place to work and I have some pretty amazing coworkers. It's a complete 180 going from work in the barn to work at a desk. It's fun to use my story when mentoring new hires. Hey, if I can do it, anyone can!
-I'm a homeowner as of 2016. I wasn't intending to buy when I did, but when the rent of an apt that accepts 2 cats and a dog over 50 lbs (you'll meet them later as well) was essentially a mortgage payment (plus a pet rent, what the hell is the deal with that?! What happened to a good old deposit and done?), it seemed like a no-brainer to start building some equity instead of just throwing my money at a landlord and having nothing to show for it beyond an apartment that isn't mine. You may be privy to some of my remodeling projects. See? This blog is a jack of all trades! 😜

That's me, the short story. Hopefully I didn't scare you off... yet.

Wild Eyed Rose (Sting Ray x Sheer Elegance) Pretty Girl  My Rosie girl was actually my second equine acquisition, but withou...