Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy holidays, 2010

A bittersweet holiday season for my family. Thanks to all the folks who have wished us well. My wonderful father passed away on November 17th. My sister and nephews from Atlanta came as did my sister and niece from California and we had a very small, informal gathering at my dad's golf course where he belonged for so many years. A long and blessed life by any standard--60 year marriage, 30+ years with his company from which he retired and 4 children and 5 grandchildren who adored him and a painless passing but still a huge loss to those of us who loved Dad.

My mom has moved in with me and we are adjusting--me from my solitude and selfabsorbed schedule of not having anyone around to worry about meals and such--mom to giving up her home of 37 years and many of her things. She has her own "stuff" set up in the barn apartment that is quite charming, actually, but spends most of her awake time in my house so I can monitor better.

On to horsey news, we continue to be charmed by the enormous Dolly x Gitano filly born in October, Octavia--fearless and friendly and just makes one smile. Next came Onemisio (pictured with my xmas decorations that my dad made years ago with this entry) and this is a little powerhouse! Someone wanting the old style shorter, big round necked stallion will fall for this guy and talk about movement. Gasp is all I can say. The last but not least of our fall group is Odalisca, Karateka's first filly and by Hereje. As would expect, Odalisca is calm, big boned and just uncomplicated and feel-good like her line of Kara, Estepa, Marengo, et al. It sounds trite, but I do count my blessings when 3 come out in good health and each perfect in his/her own personalities and body styles.
Apologies to everyone that I am so behind in corresponding or getting back to. Selling my parents' house which seems impossible to empty, helping mom adjust, breeding back, getting some horses on their way to new homes, xmas shopping and decorating and the rest (oh yeah, law practice in there somewhere!) has me feeling a bit overwhelmed so thanks to everyone for understanding. I know your holiday season is equally as busy and I hope a happy one.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy thanksgiving

Meet Onemisio! Photo courtesy of Skip Dickson who was visiting with Fantasma's owner. Laurie and Skip were thrilled that Habana foaled the first night they arrived in Texas (well--not thrilled from 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 when we were outside but for witnessing the event!). These photos at about 12 hours old--friendliest possible colt---bold, inquisitive and absolutely charming, not to mention beautiful. You can see in the one, Onemisio is hanging out with Laurie and I and the dogs, caring not at all about where his mom was!
Wanapum is outdoing himself in the producing department and no question I'll be breeding Habana back to Wan for many more, hopefully exactly like this little guy.

A lovely visit with Skip and Laurie and reminder how many lovely people the horses have brought into my life and the deep friendships formed with foundation of the love of these horses.

These friends gave me the unbelievably generous gift of a tiny pocket sized camera so I will be bombarding everyone with even more photos than ever---as if anyone needs MORE.

Both of my sisters will be coming in next week from California and Georgia so a more exciting thanksgiving than we've had in years.
The weather has been stunningly beautiful which has made it that much easier to be out and about with the incoming horses. I am totally smitten by Macanuo who is back with us and so eager to please and do things that I don't know how we'll ever keep him entertained until he is old enough to start under saddle, assuming he doesn't sell by then. I am so pleased with his temperament, size, bone and movement, that if we have him here long enough to start riding, I will for sure breed him some in the spring.

Naxos went to his new home after recovering from being gelded and as expected, his owner is elated at his lovely temperament and how quiet he is to join her herd, now including 3 geldings from here. Oceanica leaves next week for Kentucky and will make for a great holiday season for her owner.

The next foal will be the Karateka x Hereje baby ---her first so I will be extra-anxious even though this breed is so consistent in having effortless foaling. The last O name and then on to the P's, starting with Ibiza maybe the end of January.

Even in these gross economic times, all of us have so much to be thankful for. Myself--way too many things to list. Happy holidays.

Monday, October 25, 2010


At two weeks old, Octavia looks like a small sized finished horse. Super cute but I guess I say that about all the babies. Dolly much more relaxed about this, her third foal. Gotta love her babies and these halves!
National show was the most I've enjoyed one in quite some time. People were relaxed and the classes seemed calmer and the horses presented in a lovely way. It would always be nicer to have more horses at any show, but the quality was good and for the first time in many years, the judging by the American judges was totally consistent with the Spanish judge, who I felt was excellent and one of the most qualified we'd ever had. The Extravaganza was organized without long delays between the acts which were as good as we've ever had. The addition of the working equitation class added lots of fun and got the people watching involved. The Mexican judge was patient with our first time participants in this class which I predict (or at least hope) will grow by leaps and bounds now that people have seen what is involved.
The show was also extra fun because I had friends here to share it with and who I put to work shamelessly asking for some of the grossest tasks like stall decorating. It is great to see friends made over the years that I only see at the national show and each year I am surprised by a horse I welcomed into the world that pops up--this year Joyante (now owned by Francine Dismukes) was a special surprise--I believe Joyante was Dadivoso's last son and a rare purebred with four white socks. Joyante did great as Francine's horses always do in multiple classes with both his owner and amateur riders. Centello wasn't shown this year at our show, but won a bunch of High Point awards. Although I certainly don't emphasize that horses that are born here go to show homes, it is fun to see some doing well if happy being shown.
Wanapum managed to get through the show without breeding anyone or leaping out of the arena into the stands so I felt that was a major victory. Having so little exposure to other horses being ridden (only once ridden in an arena with another horse in it prior to the show), he did better than I expected but was wound up and not exactly relaxed and through in his functionality pattern. But for a first time ridden in such an environment, I was very pleased. The next day the Spanish judge placed him first in the conformation portion of the 4, 5 and 6 year old pre stallion class so that he was Top 5 in a class of many lovely horses. In the stall or walking around, Wan got a ton of attention--I don't remember that many people making over a horse since Gitano's rock star years where he had groupies at his stall.
Fantasia was top 5 in the pre senior mares but didn't show well, in my biased opinion. She had gotten kicked or bonked her front leg and was off with her movement which is where she shines. Grateful to have a ribbon in a very pretty class.
I am still enjoying my friends' lusitano horses who arrived in September and now three more horses have joined our herd. "Big Mac"/Macanuo (Gitano Mor x Destinada DD) is back and at 2-1/2 years old, even better than I predicted he'd be---tall, big boned, moves like a dream and great, kind mind. Since related to both Gitano's daughters and Remate lined mares, he cannot stay so no, I am not going to fall back in love with him but will enjoy him until he finds a perfect home. I think he is the quality I look for in a stallion and will breed him if he stays long enough for some of the mares who are not related to him.
Kyra and Kabala are sp grey fillies that are special to me (as if every horse I meet isn't!) because I adored and enjoyed their sire, the big chestnut stallion, Urucum, who spent some time with us and who I fell with when I saw him shown as a two year old in Brazil. Knowing and being so taken with Uri's sire, Quatrilho, it is special to have two of that line here. Kyra is the daughter of Hermosura H (Remate x Hermosa D) who I sold a few years back---Hermosa D being my first ever andalusian makes that filly all the more emotional. But both for sale--no more adding horses when my goal has to be reduction unless a money tree starts growing around here.
My family is still very concerned about my dad's health complications but otherwise, all is good here. I am looking forward to fall colors, cooler weather and Habana's baby by Wanapum, the next to arrive. Best wishes to you for a colorful and peaceful fall.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lusitanos have arrived

Since going to Brazilian and Portuguese National shows, I have not been able to be in a buying mode, but have yearned to have a lusitano. My friends and boarders this week brought their 2 pregnant mares, yearling filly and 2010 filly to live with us. Like boomerangs, Utopia and Cachaca have been here before their current owners bought them and sent them for a while to Michigan. More horses to love so I am all for it!

Our blistering hot summer did not seem to go by quickly but now September is flying by. I've done a little bit of volunteer work trying to help with the upcoming IALHA National Show in October and have decided to run (unopposed as it happened) for a seat on the Registry Board. The last couple of years I have basically disappeared from shows and the Association while the whole foot nightmare was going on and so I am back with a vengeance!

In October, we'll be showing Chulo in the psp senior stallion class and the next day, he'll be heading to his new home which is best happening during the show when I'll have alot on my mind, but will be one of my saddest goodbyes ever. Wanapum will be in his first ride other than here or at our trainer's house and having never ridden with another horse in the ring with him, the warmup ought to be interesting! We are taking Fantasia for the pre spanish senior mares class and showing Libertado in the 3 year old gelding futurity class for his owner. It has been fun having Libertado back a week or so for Valente to practice but when do I not think it is great to have incoming horses?

October also begins our smallest in a while fall foaling season. Dolly is due first with another Gitano baby, then Karateka (who was revised this week) with her first foal, by Hereje, and Habana who is bred to Wanapum.
Pictured above are spring, 2010 fillies Otamisia and Oceanica last night in the mist and mud. Several people have commented on Ota's previous photos asking if the stripes were from sweat but no, she looks like she is part zebra on her way to turning black. I've seen tiger stripes on legs before but never had one like this.

That is the latest from Denton. Hope all of you and yours are happy that fall is here and healthy, wealthy and wise.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A fun brush with greatness?

How fabulous that a friend, Alice, gave some favorite names to her professor/friend who was writing a book. Michael F. Smith, the author, wrote a yet unpublished "The Sons of Thunder" It is a story about a man, his unnamed dog and his horse, HABANA. How fun that he chose the name of my wonder mare who also happens to be the mother of Alice's lovely 3 year old mare! I will have to buy the book as soon as it is available.

I took one of my rare away-from-home trips to Orange County, California to attend my niece's college graduation. Just gone 2 nights and was anxious to get home even after that short a time. But I didn't mind the gorgeous weather out there--outdoor graduation and I had to borrow a sweater to wear. If only that were the case here in already 100 degree Texas.

Cynthia reports that Maestro was calm and settled in immediately upon his arrival to his forever home in Michigan last Saturday. Likewise, Nacar had a safe journey and bonded easily with her new mini-companion, Elijah (great name!) in Maine. Nastia apparently got off the trailer in California and immediately rolled. I continue to be thankful for all the uneventful transports of my former horses to their new homes.

Corona will also be heading to California soon to Deb and Patti who have already had a small herd of horses from or bred here. How grateful I am for repeat customers.

Confirmed Flama back in foal to Gitano and still working on the last couple before the heat declares breeding season to be over. Perhaps when breeding is over, Valente can actually get on a horse around here!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Seven for Seven!

Another successful foaling season comes to an end. Can you believe it? Seven fillies in a row, the last 6 being by Gitano. Last night, Bielsa had a lovely and predictably sweet bay filly --no markings. Bielsa's always seem to be the best natured of the group and I think this one will be no exception. If anyone has a great idea for an "O" name, please let me know. I don't usually pick human names but am thinking maybe Olivia--she is such a feminine thing. Still wobbly on those legs so photos will be coming later.

We continue to do well with our getting mares bred back. Of our recent visitors, it seems everyone is being drawn to Wanapum so using him a little more this year, now that he is a big 4, soon to be 5 year old. So far Habana, Conesa, Dehesa and Fantasia are in foal to him.

Had a fascinating visitor here last week who chose Nacar so all the N's are sold and soon to be leaving. Nacar will be going to Booth Bay, Maine to a dream home in a gorgeous New England setting and will have the best of care and love.

Now that some states are requiring negative pyroplasmosis tests, the shipping documents to get babies ready to leave are a little more complicated and keeping us busy. Nicodemo leaves this Friday, Nastia next weekend and Nacar and Maestro the following weekend.

I know largely due to the fact that the last two foaling seasons had me mean as a snake, being in a cast, but with all these lovely fillies, I can't remember enjoying a group of babies any more than I have this lovely spring. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

I may have already used this photo but I still love it---and love that many people can't tell which one is Chulo and which one is Gitano!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Could this be a 100% filly spring?

This photo is Oceanica, 9 days old today (Karina x Gitano). What a mover! I almost hate to see this one go to someone for a broodmare as she will be such a fun ride--all 3 gaits just lovely to watch and I bet she'll be a dream to ride. Tall and I'm guessing will end up black/bay like Gitano.

Last night, for the first time in my horse career that I can remember, I was hoping for a colt, but Destinada had another filly. Thankfully, Desti and Obriza are healthy and like full brother and sister, Macanuo and Nydia, I think Obriza is going to be fabulous. But I'd agreed to sell a grey colt to the nicest people who have been diligent about payments and were hoping for their colt last fall. When that didn't happen, they agreed to wait until spring. So now, 6 fillies in a row and the only mare left to foal is Bielsa who can't have a grey so waiting to hear what these nice folks want to do.

Will get photos of the newest filly in a day or two when she's out and about and bombard anyone reading with more photos.

Busy mostly with closing down the office and final move this Wednesday, so these late nights foaling are taking tolls but I should have a couple of weeks until Bielsa delivers so sleep on the way for me. Hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather as much as I am.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Girls, Girls, Girls!

Two fillies in one day arrived on April 13th!
Flama has once again outdone herself and had her third filly in a row by Gitano. The first, Mireia, was an extraordinary mover and grey and headed to Mexico. The second, a bay turning much darker this spring as she turned one is Niza, the first baby I've kept in several years which shows how wild about her I am. Well, big hoofprints to fill and the newest addition, Otamisia, is going to have no trouble doing that!
Otamisia translates to "perfect" and Valente and I both are smitten. The photo here is at a day old (sorry--no sun!) Impossible to even guess her color at this point and being the least patient human on earth, I already sent off hair samples for dna.
That Ota is a granddaughter of Incauta who I miss so much since she sold, of Hereje and Dadivoso's great granddaughter doesn't exactly make her less appealing to me.
Sigh.....another filly NOT going on the sale list. At least yet. You'd never know I need money far more than I need another filly.
Congratulations to Marilyn and Doug, my boarders and friends, on the arrival of Valeria. Some of you may remember when I had the stunning chestnut stallion, Urucum, here for a while. Well, he went to Michigan and his first breeding was to our current boarder, thoroughbred/draft cross, Maizie. Maizie is huge and grey and about as docile a mare as you'd want to meet and she delivered a big boned and tall, angel sweet filly that her owners dubbed Valeria. What an honor to get to experience Uri's first foal and to get to know Valeria.
Also congratulations to Alice and Randy whose chestnut mare, Foxy, gave birth to a leggy, quite tall black filly by Chulo. Chulo seems to be continuing with his history of throwing very tall offspring. We are tickled that Nicole is back in foal to Chulo and hoping that the baby next spring will be a carbon copy of Madonna who was so very special.
Karina should be next to foal--she is so huge that the mind boggles at the thought that this baby could be even bigger than last year's gigantic Nicodemo, soon to be heading to South Carolina.
Ibiza back in foal to Gitano, Gentileza in foal to Gitano and Conesa to Wanapum for the spring, 2011 bunch. A few more to check soon as we've been breeding away.
Beautiful weather, beautiful babies---life is pretty darn good! Hope the same for you....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Interesting statistics

Well, at least interesting to me! I keep records of all kinds of things like number of days a mare foals each years and what sex offspring the stallions throw. As of this morning, here is what I have for ones born here or that I bred and heard the outcome of the pregnancy:

Pinturero: 13 fillies, 4 colts so 76.5% fillies
Remate: 30 fillies, 22 colts so 57.70% fillies
Gitano: 35 fillies, 29 colts so 54.69% fillies
Galisteo: 100% colts for the 3 babies here
Hereje: 21 fillies, 25 colts for 54.35% colts
Chulo and Wanapum: 50/50 colts and fillies

Has Spring Sprung?

We keep being teased that spring is here and then a random day of snow as last Saturday or this morning, way cooler than yesterday. But we are close! And the mares seem to know it.

Reported last entry that Fantasia had a long legged filly. Well, Nia as we have shortened her name, is one of the real lovebugs ever--so calm and it is a beautiful thing to watch how kind, gentle and patient Fantasia is as a mom.

The day after St. Pat's, Hada (Pinturero x Sweet Life Beliza who I sold last year) had a feisty and athletic colt. Literally came out and up with perfect balance, able to rear and buck within minutes of birth and cute as can be. His owner is naming him Centenario and they will be here until we get Hada bred again. Congratulations Carlos!

Last night, Fantasia's and Destinada's full sister, Galaxia who belongs to Donna Deyoung, had a giant and big boned Gitano colt here. Donna spent the night and Galaxia, a first time mom, is doing great and the colt has the loveliest profile and like his full cousin, Nia, is a sweetheart. The personalities that Gitano throws are just something to behold.

Congrats to Terrye who bought Gema and her Gitano colt last year. This year Gema had a Gitano filly. And a shout out to Karen in Oklahoma who bought Enebrina who had an Hereje colt--the last I heard the little speedster may be named Apollo after our US speed skater.

Other fun is that Lexie brought Luna H and Jiga H back to breed. It is more than wonderful to get to see our babies years later and growing up. Jiga is her mom over (Incauta) in personality and conformation with daddy (Hereje)'s head and will be bred to Wanapum. Luna is built more like momma (Enebrina) but really wow movement like dad (Remate) and will be bred to Gitano. Lexie's Esplendida (a full sister to Chulo) had a black filly this spring so Lexie is well on her way to becoming a babymaking and baby having machine!

Other great news is that Ibiza is confirmed back in foal to Gitano. Her Gitano colt this year is just what you hope to produce--size, hair, personality, color--the whole package and everyone who sees him, wants him though I sold him at just a few days of age. So having another one from this aging mare is such a gift.

Also bred Dehesa to Wanapum, Gentileza to Gitano, Nicole to Chulo, Conesa back to Wanapum for hopefully a carbon copy of Nacar and Isabelina back for 3rd year in a row to Hereje. Her first two, Mariska and Nastia are so different from one another but each wonderful so will keep making those although temptation is to try Gitano one year as Isa can throw color. It is so hard not to fall into the color trap even though all I care about is making the best baby possible and love the greys as much or more than the bay or black ones.

Mariska leaves for Oregon next week to her home and it sounds like Nydia will be heading to California soon. Nicodemo will go to South Carolina the end of April. Great for these N babies to go to their permanent homes as we've weaned the fall babies and need room for the new arrivals.

Next to foal, I predict, will be Flama, but boarder Maizie may sneak in. The first time moms are sometimes a little harder to predict--Maizie's will be the first half iberian here in a while and great fun to see as by Urucum, the stunningly wonderful chestnut lusitano that was here for a while before he found his permanent home in Michigan. With each one coming, there is some reason that he or she is the most special one ever!

No sleep so kind of punchy but happy, as always, in my favorite time of year. When the clouds part and rain stops, I'll get photos to make these blog entries a little more interesting.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I love St. Patrick's Day!

This is at least the 3rd or maybe 4th St. Patrick's Day where we have had a new life join us. Fantasia had a cutie pie of a filly this afternoon out in the pasture. I could express milk this morning but felt like she'd deliver tonight, so we put Fancy outside on a glorious day and shortly after lunch, she decided to deliver a tall and especially sweet filly. I started looking at Irish names (i.e. Maghnus, a St. Patty Day baby two years ago), but am instead drawn to another mythologic name: Ourania--probably shortened to Nia around here--a goddess/muse and the name meaning "heavenly".

Other good news is I have had two baby inquiry calls today alone so hoping spring will bring a flood of much needed buyers after a quiet winter.

We have weaned 5 of the fall babies and they are doing well with the coming yearling bunch, a couple of which will be heading to their permanent homes in the next month or two. Nemo and Nicodemo were gelded last week and doing well. I love geldings!

And yes, the rumors are true--I am putting my paradise/home for sale in the next month or so when I can get the yard and everything as ship-shape as I can. I laugh when people are emailing me asking if I am selling all the horses. If you know me, could I possibly sell all the horses? I cannot imagine life without them and so no, no, no--I am NOT getting out of the horse business but looking toward downsizing both the overhead and work of this big place and big house for something more manageable. I simply can't afford this place and know I'll find somewhere where the horses will be serene and happy that will be a huge relief from stress for me.

I won't start looking for a new place until this one sells as one can never predict how long or quickly that might happen. For sure, we'll stay as close by as possible as I love the Denton area and need to stay reasonably close for Valente's wife's work and lots of other reasons.

So as the green (mostly weeds) pops out, babies born, a real sense of new beginnings on many levels. Today, I am especially grateful to Fantasia for treating us to a wonderful filly.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I rode!

Next month will be two years from my foot injury and last rides. My lovely boarders have two safe and wonderful mares that I have gotten on a couple of times lately to walk a circle or two, but today is the first time I put my metal plate in a tennis shoe and got on Gitano. It was unbelievably windy, he just bred Dehesa last night and there are mares screaming in heat....maybe not the perfect scenario for me to become a beginner rider again but somehow one knows Gitano will take care of you. I chickened out after I felt that Gitano was more interested in the mare across from the fence than my lackluster cues in the front paddock and went into the roundpen and will do that a few times to get my sealegs and balance feeling back. I have to admit I was nervous. When I commented how big and strong Gitano feels, Valente said I was expecting a tricycle but I got on a motorcycle. Isn't that the truth! I simply cannot have any more injuries and so must take this in my not-usual way of being cautious but I AM going to get back to riding!!!!! How lucky to have a magical gentle giant to put up with me as I find my seat and confidence.
I am still totally enthralled with Fantasma's little Oaxaca and the dna came back with no grey gene so she is black on top of being a little enchantress. Interesting that Gitano threw three black fillies last year, all from non-black mares! One in Michigan, one for my friend Donna and now one here!
I hope the worst of the winter is soon over for everyone and the spring brings lots of green grass, a better economy and good things for us all. In the meantime, I'll stay glued by night to watching the Olympics and hopefully a little at a time, glued by day in a saddle.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A star is born!

Yee haw! Here are photos of one day old Oaxaca. A filly AND maybe black? Sending off dna so I won't drive myself crazy wondering if will go grey or will go black. First foal of Fantasma, mare that was sold as a baby and back here (not sure if forever or for a while) and by Gitano. Fantasma's owner is hopefully coming soon to see us all as even knowing how saintly Taz is, she has to see for herself what a calm and perfect mom Tax is.
This filly is so like her aunt, Enigma. Typically, I feel no two foals are ever really alike but both in her look and her personality, (and having been born on a rainy night!), she and Enigma are the closest I think I've ever had. A great thing since Enigma is one of the most wonderful soulful creatures ever. Something that comes from the Dehesa line gives an extra lovingness to these horses (see Dehesa grandson, Chulo, for an example).
Named for the State in Mexico, the starter of my O year, I had a feeling before birth it was a girl and had to have that name.
Thanks, Laurie, for entrusting me with Tazzie and the opportunity of welcoming this filly into the world. She has to be for sale but if black, sure would be tempting to keep to breed to Wanapum. I know, I know...I sound like a broken record.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy New Year

Wow--2010 has started off with a bang. Literally. My first January day to work, had a carwreck on the way home but not hurt and other driver's insurance seems to be acting appropriately so hoping to get my car fixed this week.
A photoshopped image of Hereje is the cover of a 2010 calendar--in fact, his image is on 4 of the different months for anybody that may have his offspring and wants a neat keepsake. It continues to be fun that Bob Langrish gets good shots of my horses and uses them on so many magazines, books and calendars. Bob will be back in April and I yearn for some great shots of Wanapum.
Speaking of the devil, Wanapum's dressage lessons are really coming along and we just learned that Habana is in foal to him for an October, 2010 foal. Since most of my mares are either too pregnant to ship or have a baby at side, I have, sadly, added Habana to my sale list as some money just has to come in soon. Habana's last year's filly, Niagara, heads to her permanent home in Las Vegas on Jan. 29.
I have two boarder horses and surprise to noone, I adore them both. I'd love more boarders for the income, but only people and horses that I adore. Not too picky, huh?
Somehow, knowing the whole country has had an all-time cold winter makes our weird weather more bearable (as is knowing EVERYONE is suffering from the economy) so spending time on inside projects when not de-icing buckets. In next couple of weeks, am replacing the entire roof on my house and so inside, have started painting and spiffing up. Added a page to my website for sale stuff as cleaning out closets and realizing how much stuff I have accumulated that we never use.
The next mare, Fantasma, due to foal isn't looking terribly close yet and as the fall babies are getting to be big and independent, I am ready for new ones, as always. Then maybe Fantasia and Karina due in March when Hada will be back here to foal out and rebreed--can't wait to see her again. Also will be foaling out one of Donna's mares---since I don't have nearly as many as I used to, I'm importing extras to be part of those wondrous births!
I sincerely wish each of you a prosperous and healthy, happy 2010.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

In with the new!

At the same time that I know I was terribly fortunate compared to 99% of the world in 2009, I can't help but think 2010 will be a better year ---no surgeries!

Has a nice holiday season with lots of folks around and my favorite extra time with my local niece and nephew, I was ready for holiday to be over and to move on. We've had a tougher winter so far than most Texas winters---lots of subfreezing temps and some ice and snow so my poor guys are working harder than anyone should have to---I am of little or no help these days.

Last week a superquick visit with my friends who drove down from Michigan---they brought down a new wickedly wonderful TB/draft cross mare for my boarder friends--has been too yucky to ride since she arrived but she ought to be a fun horse to have and one I'll be in love with. The friends took home the lovely and special Integra, the lippizaner mare another friend was looking for a home for---I believe her partnership with Kaitra in Michigan (a GORGEOUS rider) is going to be magic. They also headed out with my precious Maximus (black mini). He didn't have a job here and up there, at a farm with lots of kids and riding lessons and a family with 3 under 4 years old, he'll be busy and important. I sobbed my eyes out walking him to the trailer but he looked quite happy as if he knew a more fun destiny lay ahead. So one more down, lots to go of the ones that aren't imperative to my existence to stay here!

A goal in 2010 is to further cut back on number of horses---lessen the amount of work and overhead now that I am physically doing alot less. The problem is which ones when there isn't a single one that I feel like could leave without a hole in my heart. What a big baby. Most people have one if any horse!

Poor Valente was making huge, huge progress with both Chulo and Wanapum and now we hit weeks of no footing, no time for him to ride but perhaps is nature's way that the horses get vacations from work too. We bred Habana to Wanapum and will be checking to see if she took---haven't had great luck this fall but the weather certainly has messed with the mare's cycles. But Wanapum, having not bred in a whole year, was wonderful to handle and went right back to work so is meeting all my stallion behavior requirements, as we hoped he would!

I hope each of you had a great holiday and that this year is your best ever.