Me & my horses.

- the trails of my life

My Horses & Other FAQ

General Questions

  1. Where did you live before?

    Well, I was born in TX but growing up I moved around a lot. When I turned 11 we moved to MI and moved a few times there as well. We stayed in Michigan though and I ended up going to High School in Novi, Michigan where I met my husband. 

    Long story short we got married and decided to join the Navy. Our first duty station was Jacksonville, FL then Kings Bay, GA and now we're in Yokosuka Japan. 

  2. Where are your horses now?

    Right now my horses are living the spoiled life in Northville, Michigan. My mother in law has 15 acres there and my horses are turned out with her herd. They are busy grazing, soaking up the sunshine and generally being lazy. 

    They get vet care, farrier and as much pasture and hay as they can manage. 


  3. How long have you been gone and when will you be back?

    The last time I saw my horses was in November 2008, and we are hoping to be back in the united states in December 2011. 

    Emmie was 1.5  and when I see her again she'll be  4.5! 

  4. Where do you live in Japan?

    I live in Yokosuka, Japan. About 20 miles south-ish of Tokyo. :)


  5. Don't you hate the cold weather in MI?

    Yes. Yes I do. 

    However, most of my family lives here and I really miss them and would rather be close to all the things I miss than complain about the snow and weather. There's a lot to love about MI, and I never thought I'd be saying that. I always wanted to go back to TX! 

    Guess I'll be planning lots of vacations.

  6. What's Proud Lake?

    Proud Lake is soon to be my backyard, that's what it is! 

    http://www.michigantrails.us/oakland-county-michigan/proud-lake-state-recreation-area.html

    Proud Lake Recreation Area

    Located on the Huron River with 4,700 acres with rolling hills, two lakes and pine tree forests. 130 modern campsites and two mini cabins overlooking Proud Lake.

    Picnicking, swimming, fishing and boat launch. Rowboat, canoe, paddleboat and kayak rentals. Over 20 miles of trails, two of the hiking/ski trails run parallel to the Huron River, the third loops around a marsh. For equestrians and mountain bikers there are trails offering varied terrain.

    Sounds like a lot of fun to me! 

  7. What do you actually want to do?

    Um. Kind of not an easy question, but I'll try.

    In my dream world I'd be able to have some adorable part time job, like working at a juice bar at the local fitness center. Hah! Maybe, I'd love to be able to find something kind of brainless to do, but I'll probably end up going back to school part time if I can.

    The rest of the time I'd spend working in my small-ish boarding and riding facility. 8 stalls shouldn't take too much time to care for. I want to be able to at least cover my horse costs with this and take some of that financial stress off of our household myself.

    In my free time I'd craft, cook, garden, ride and pursue my hobbies. I'd also continue trying to be the best wife ever.  (ooh, maybe I'll be a big time blogger and get a TV show haha!) 

    My horse goals are to show successfully and to raise one high quality pure bred morgan foal per year, and sell him/her. In addition, I'd be able to board out my 4 surplus stalls for a profit (or if not a profit at least to cover my barns expenses) and enjoy having a beautiful home. 

    Maybe somewhere in there I should think about the Mom thing. Not yet though. 

  8. Random Facts about me.

    1. I have a phone phobia. I hate answering phone calls and I like making them even less! I will get such anxiety about it, that I break into a sweat. Crazy huh? 
    2. I like lots of animals, but especially giraffes. I have a poster given to me as a gift by a very special person in my bedroom. I even got to hand feed some at the Jacksonville Zoo in FL! 
    3. I think olives are repulsive and will go out of my way to avoid them. 
    4. I have never flown a kite, or ice skated. I went sledding once, and ended up with a concussion. 
    5. It annoys me when people pronounce the word 'eggs' like 'ay-ggs'.
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Sparkling Trinity Run

  1. What made you choose her?

    Honestly? Her face. I fell in love with her when I saw her photos. I originally wanted something flashier, I didn't even LIKE brown or bay horses, especially -gasp- PLAIN ones. My mind changed when I saw the photos the seller sent to me. 

    Here is her original sale ad text from Dreamhorse.com in 2006 - 

    We have just bred Sparkling Trinity Run, a proven 8 year old broodmare with very respectable boodlines with 2 bay fillies and a chestnut colt on the ground, to Treble's Johnny B Wild (Treble's Willy Wild x In-Glen Rebecca {a very well bred mare} for an early August foal. I know it's late to breed a mare but I felt someone would love to have a Willy Wild Grandbaby. Trinity is green broke to western saddle but hasn't been riden for several years and will need some schooling. Many pictures of Trinity and her 2 bay fillies available and Treble's Johnny B Wild, the stallion she was bred to. Please email us. Reasonable offers for Trinity will be considered. We must reduce our horses due to lack of space and hay shortage.

    She did not originally have a photo on the ad so I took a chance and emailed the owner. She sent me these - 


    I liked her conformation & morgan type, her bloodlines and I loved her face and eye. I asked some knowledgeable morgan friends of mine to critique her and they really thought she'd be a great first one. That is when I set about buying her from across the country. 

  2. What is her pedigree?

    You can find her on allbreedpedigree.com by following this [LINK]

  3. Why was it so hard getting Tiffany?

    Well it first starts out with me looking for a horse to buy. I think I looked at all the Morgans (and other breeds too) that were for sale on the entire North American continent.

     I finally found a horse that sounded perfect but on her way from Kansas to Georgia it turns out that the shippers who were shipping her (this mare is pregnant by the way) were VERY shady. She ended up spending FIVE days with this hauler and never farther than TX.

    After tears and money and countless phone calls, emails and all manner of communication. I finally got my horse safely to a friends' house in TX. A woman I had never met except through mutual online friends showed up to get my horse for me. I think she was an angel. Tiffany had to stay with friends of the family in TX until we could drive from GA to come get her. 

    I don't blame the seller, but Lord almighty I wish I had chosen a different hauler. 


  4. Whave you done with Tiffany so far?

    The first thing I did was deal with some of her ground handling issues. She hadn't been asked to be much more than a brood mare for a while so naturally she was rusty and had a few naughty habits. 

    The winter she came to us we mostly let her settle in at our barn and get used to the stall and coming in and out and getting used to the new people. I groomed her and got her used to bathing. Her major issue on the ground was having her rear legs handled. She kicked. She kicked me, se kicked my husband and she kicked my farrier. Much to my chagrin. 

    I didn't expect her to be perfect when I got her but, ouch. You know? After handling her all spring and winter she improved a great deal and was developing quite the foal belly. 

    We made plans to meet up with a friend and Aaron's mom in South Carolina that summer (2007) and in anticipation we started some under saddle work. I didn't start her from the ground up, considering I'd been told she was green broke. She was alright, unsteady and unbalanced, but okay. 

    We took her to SC and rode a couple of days and aside from the escape incident we all had a good time. She didn't feel like doing much more than walking though, it was pretty hot and oh those bugs! Goodness. 

    After that she was getting ready to foal out and we let her off the hook since she looked like she was uncomfortable. Just continued with the grooming and handling.

    She had Emmie in the dead end of July and the rest of the summer was just too hot to do much especially with a little one at her side. During the winter approach Tiff started dropping weight with Emmie nursing and she quicky got too ribby for my liking. We weaned Emmie and got to work on getting Tiffany's weight back up.

    A few months passed with some grooming, ground manners (still working on those legs and feet!) and then we prepared to move. Emmie got packed up to Michigan and I had that whole summer (finally!) alone with Tiffany. Her weight was back up and we were ready to work.

    This is when we discovered her bucking problem.  -dramatic music-

    I hadn't been on a horse (for a real 'ride') at this point for a couple of years. I suppose I had lost my secure seat and fallen out of practice and that led me to being dumped time and again. Luckily I wear a helmet. 

    After a few dirt samples I decided to start totally from scratch. We learned to lunge, then we learned to tack up, we learned to back and whoa, we learned to ground drive, we learned to do all of this over poles and we learned to stand still while mounted. She was great at everything! 

    Until you asked her to walk off and continue for more than a dozen steps. When she decided that she'd had enough, you were coming OFF. I wouldn't call her a gentle bucker in the least. Bunny hopping? Nope, borderline rodeo honestly. 

    I felt defeated and wasn't willing to go any further without a trainer or at least my husband present. So, she got another few weeks break and then we found out we had to move to Japan. 30 days later our plane was landing over here. 


  5. What do you want to do with her in the future?

    Right now I'm in the process of looking for a professional trainer for her. I believe in all honesty that if I hadn't had to move with such short notice (and the market hadn't been so terrible) that I would have just tried to sell her and be done with it. 

    I've gotten handed something else and I'm going to do my best to deal with her. I plan for at least 30 days with a person who's got experience with older problem horses and from there I'll get an evaluation on her suitability. 

    It's the least I could do for her. If I still decide to sell she'll be worth more and most importantly, she'll be SAFE. I couldn't sell her knowing that someone could get hurt. 

    If I don't sell her, I'll keep her and ride or use her for a brood mare. My ideal goal is to breed one quality foal per year and sell them as a yearling. I love the Morgan horse and would love to do my best to improve the breed. 

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Sparkling Wild Emerald

  1. What is her pedigree?

    You can find her pedigree on allbreedpedigree.com by following this [LINK]

  2. When and where was she born?

    Emmie was born on July 30th, 2007 in Kingsland Georgia. Her mother decided it would be a nice, hot day to deliver a foal. At noon. I had just checked her at 6 am before I decided to call it a night. The farrier was due at noon for trims and I went out to collect everyone and noticed 2 small bellied brown horses out there! 

    Tiffany had foaled right next to the fence and when the baby got up she was on the other side. My farrier arrived just in the nick of time to help me handle the horses. Tiffany wanted her baby, the baby wanted her mama and Azar just wanted to help everybody. 

    Aaron carried Emmie out of the tangle of vines and swampy woods in his arms like a giant puppy. What a way to enter the world! 

  3. What have you done with Emmie so far?

    Well, I raised her from the day she was born until she was about 10 months old. 

    In that time I taught her ground manners, standing tied, leading, grooming, getting her feet done and how to get a bath. Just generally how to be a good baby. She had her obnoxious moments for sure, especially when she didn't want to stay in her stall and she learned that she could literally rip the hinges off the barn door to the outside. -shakes head- Most of the time though, she was just in your pocket, which I loved. 

    My husband and I were planning on moving to our next duty station ( an air force base) that had barn facilities. So we had his mother take Emmie to Michigan so that he and I could each take our adult horses with us, as the rules only allowed for one horse per person. 

    As they always do, things change, and we ended up coming to Japan instead. After about 6 months we were on our way to MI to drop off our other two horses. 

    Since then, the trio has integrated into the herd in Michigan and done just about nothing. Aside from regular vet, farrier and feed they're poop machines. 

    I'm currently looking for a trainer that I trust to handle starting her when we get back. 

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Azar - The Paso Fino

  1. What is his pedigree?

    Azar's pedigree is unknown, he is not registered. 

  2. So he was FREE? How did that happen?

     

    Azar used to be owned by a woman in her 50's, she was a beginner and he was her first horse. She used him for trail rides and for dressage training. He quickly learned (with his quick paso fino mind) that he could easily intimidate her and be put back into his stall away from work.

     

    He escalated from a brat to a problem horse. Not standing to be mounted and often knocking over his rider. Rearing under saddle when asked to be calm. And all around making himself appear unhandleable to the beginner rider. He had scared this poor woman to her wits end.

     

    My husband and I were driving to Indiana to meet out family for a big organized trail ride and were talking in the truck about how he had never seen or ridden a gaited horse before. I mentioned that on these big rides there are often gaited horses, and we got into a conversation about it.

     

    We arrived and had a nice ride with our horses the firsst day. On the second day (of a three day ride) we had a friendly woman join us after breakfast, on a Tennesee Walker. We talked with her and she mantioned that her friend had come with her on the trip and had brought a Paso Fino horse to hopefully sell. She also said that we were more than welcome to come and see him, since we had never seen a Paso before.

     

    We concluded our ride and had our lunches. After lunch we joined the TWH rider and her friend near the stall where "CoCo" was being kept. He was doing his best to appear fierce! Rearing and striking out inside his stall. Snorting and throwing bedding around. My oh my! Was THIS a Paso Fino??

     

    I was speaking with the ladies, learning like a sponge, when I turned around to find my husband in the stall with this monster horse. They were cuddling and I could hear my husband speaking softly to him...he said "Would it be ok if I took him for a short ride?"

     

    CoCo's owner agreed and the took him from his stall and saddled him up, with my husbands tak (he rides a short backed arab) The TWH rider, myself and my husband went out for a ride. The Paso made hardly a fuss. He was a bit of a booger, but all he wanted to do was go go GO!

     

    After the ride my husband was smitten, totally in love. We talked in private about this horse and I noted that all the horse needed was someone who understood him. Also, I had found out earlier that CoCo's owner kept him in a stall 24/7 except for a weekly lesson at the walk. This horse needed to MOVE, be used and worked and understood.

     

    We decided to make her an offer on this wonderful creature, but to our dismay when we arrived she had GIVEN him to a trainer that had shown up for a clinic at this event!! He was a rodeo horse type trainer and he liked the energy that this horse had, he planned to break him and re-sell him.

     

    My husband and I wanted to talk to this trainer person and make an offer to him. So we found him and talked to him the next day. There was only one day left on this organized ride and my husband and I prayed that night that this man would accept our offer!

     

    On the last day, after the last ride around lunchtime. The trainer approached us and said...I think you have got yourself a deal. He handed us the envelpe with the ownership papers and walked away. He didn't want anything for the horse! He was ours!!

     

    So that is how "Azar" came to be with us. The woman who had him before, got him from an old man who died and never registered him. There is no way to contact this place. So my beautiful Azar has no papers.

     

    Azar means CHANCE in spanish...


  3. How tall is he?

    We've never measured him, but I wouldn't put him any taller than 14.2  I should really measure him, I've always wanted to know!

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"Green" Stuff

  1. You're building WHAT kind of house?

    Well, I want to say green house but that gives off the wrong impression I think. I'll go with ECO house instead. 

    We want to build a house that can work with us and with the earth to provide a sustainable place to live. 

    There are a multitude of green technologies available to help us accomplish this task. Geothermal heat pumps, Passive Solar heating, earth sheltering, solar panels and more ... there is a lot out there that we can do to reduce our bills and our carbon footprint. 

    If we're lucky the house can actually pay us to live in it. I just hope it doesn't end up looking too weird.


  2. What movies should I watch?

    For the sake of covering my butt, I'm not an 'avid' proponent of ANY of the movies I'm about to list. However, if you watch them, there is an undercurrent that connects all of it that I wish everyone would gather for themselves. That there is something big going on out there, and that we should all care about it.

    Yes, I know, a lot of these are boring documentaries that come off as defeatist and/or alarmist. However, I don't feel that I'm trying to make a point that we should all run about with our arms flapping over our heads screaming ... mostly I just want to say "Hey look, there is a problem. I think we can all do something about it!"

    A lot of these movies are the ones that woke me up and changed my perspective. There are some I didn't list, so maybe I'll make another post about them some time. I just think these are the ones that everyone should see.

    All of these are available as "Watch Instantly" on Netflix - 

    Food Matters

    With a staggering number of Americans suffering from obesity and other food-related maladies, this film takes a timely and hard-hitting look at how the food we eat is helping or hurting our health, and what we can do to live (and eat) better. Nutritionists, naturopaths, scientists, doctors, medical journalists and more weigh in on everything from using food as medicine to the value of organic food and the safety of the food we consume.

    Ingredients

    American food is in a state of crisis. Health, food costs and our environment are all in jeopardy. A movement to put good food back on the table is emerging. What began 30 years ago with chefs demanding better flavor, has inspired consumers to seek relationships with nearby farmers. This is local food.

    Collapse

    Investigative journalist Michael Ruppert details his unnerving theories about the inexorable link between energy depletion and the collapse of the economic system that supports the entire industrial world. Helmed by filmmaker Chris Smith (American Movie), Ruppert's monologue explains how the lies and political propaganda fed to Americans by big business will eventually lead to human extinction.

    Food Inc.

    This Oscar-nominated documentary explores the food industry's detrimental effects on our health and environment. Kenner spotlights the men and women who are working to reform an industry rife with monopolies, questionable interpretations of laws and subsidies, political ties and rising rates of E. coli outbreaks.

    Blue Gold: World Water Wars

    We're moving closer to a world in which water -- a seemingly plentiful natural resource -- could actually incite war. As water becomes an increasingly precious commodity, corrupt governments, corporations and even private investors are scrambling to control it … which leaves everyday citizens fighting for a substance they need to survive.

    Blind Spot

    Humankind is facing a catastrophic catch-22: Destroy the world by exhausting its supply of fossil fuels, or stop using oil and let the modern economy collapse. This documentary presents evidence of waning petroleum reserves and explores why industrial society has become so dependent on oil. Experts also explain how gasoline use leads to global warming and predict what will happen when it's gone.

    Oh and because if you watch these ^^^ you might want to watch this one too. I know .. I know .. I'm turning into some sort of eco-green-hippie person but, I'd rather people I care about have more information than less when they make a choice. Just watch it and then decide, that's all I ask.

    The Business of Being Born

    Director Abby Epstein's controversial documentary takes a hard look at America's maternity care system, juxtaposing hospital deliveries against the growing popularity of at-home, natural childbirths that some expectant parents are opting for. Former talk show host Ricki Lake was inspired to produce this compelling exposé after a dissatisfying birthing experience with her first child left her with many unanswered questions.

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