Monday, June 28, 2010

How we started...

I thought I'd start doing a weekly bit on some of the different horses we have, especially some of our foundation stock.  So, naturally figured I should start with our first Mini - Las Doradas Etoile de Mar (known as ET), but first I thought I'd give the background as to how we ended up "in Minis".

In 1999, my real estate mentor/trainer did a personality profile on me for my strengths and weaknesses in business.  One thing that came up numerous times (I don't remember but they had it on recording!) was my NEED to have horses around me as I derived a great deal of happiness and pleasure from them.

I had always wanted either an Arab, Morgan or the ultimate a Fresian.  After my unsuccessful attempts to convince my husband that I really really really needed a Fresian, I suggested we look at Miniature Horses.  We were only on 2.5 acres so, that seemed ideal, as I really didn't have time to ride then as work and school kept me pretty busy but I wanted a Fresian!

So while we're up on a weekend getaway I mention we could go by this Miniature Horse ranch and look.  My thinking this will give me my horse fix and until I've banked the money for that Fresian, it would work.

We end up at Las Doradas Ranch early in the afternoon - it's cold, wet and drippy drizzly grey day in November - and are presented with a sales list and over 150 Minis!  Not knowing the first thing about them other than brief research online,  I'm lost as the names Buckeroo and Rowdy and Banana are tossed around, I just shake my head in agreement - such a noob!

We look at a number of Minis - okay we were mobbed by about 40, and keep insisting we only wanted pets, as sticker shock set in midst the sea of Minis.  Finally the breeder asks what we like in big horses, and I reply Fresians.  She points out the black mare and her weanling in front of us, explaining she'd had a huge foal crop with an abundance of black horses.  So she offers us a great deal on the mare and foal.  My husband points out another (black of course) colt that he likes.  Obvious pet quality even to my untrained Mini eyes, so we end up buying Etoile, Silhouette (her foal) and Woody.

That started W-E-S-CO Farms.

Summer officially arrived!  100 degrees yesterday and the same today.  The hills are crisping up and going brown (the Golden State - yellow-brown grass I think!).  So very hot and we're up earlier to get things done before hiding inside.  Even the dogs don't want to be out in the heat.

I've tried to explain this to potential buyers as to WHY the horses don't really want to be bothered at three in the afternoon - its bloody hot!  I've had to convince a couple that before noon in the summer is best.  I don't like being outside in the heat and the horses do not want to be messed with either.  Oh well.

The foals are all doing great, Keiga is officially four months old this week and thinks he's all that.  Bruiser is still a momma's boy, but maturing very nicely. While Rose is Miss independent, rarely with Chiclet (all her babies are that way!), and Fifa is turning out to be quite handsome and keeping up with the others.  We definitely have World Cup fever here, poor Fifa stuck with such a wonderful name! ROFL!

We do need to get new photos of the foals as they've changed so much and poor Fifa being the last gets skipped alot.  It's always amazing the first foal we take numerous photos of but the the later ones get random shots, kind of like the second or third child in a family versus the first baby.  

We're still waiting on Libbe and Maria, as they get bigger and bigger.  I hate not knowing a foaling date as you watch horses for months - fence jumping is a major PiA!  Fortunately we've had none this year, so unless Ringo does get creative somehow, we should actually know foaling dates/sires next year - yeah!  Love being back on track!!!  
Along with our Minis we do have a few other inhabitants here, including our four llamas that wander around scaring coyotes and the occasional two footed trespasser.  

Surprisingly they don't seem to care about foxes!  That's the dogs job to contain the foxes to the other end of our property and away from the poultry buffet!

I absolutely love this, unfortunately too many people do fall into this category.

Inheritance Ignored
By Robert M. Miller, D.V.M.

"It's a shame," I said to Walt.  "Her conformation's filled with fault.
Her head is plain. Her neck is ewe.  Her back is long. Her tail askew.
Her shoulder straight, back at the knees; She toes out in front, you'll notice please.
Offset cannons and splints you see.  This mare, I fear, will never be
A racing prospect, or good for show; Brittle feet with seedy toe.

Four years old, already lame in both forelegs; in back the same.
Problems to worsen eventually, because she's built inadequately.
Her hip is short. Her croup is low.  The right fore-tendon's begun to bow.
She cribs, you know, and lolls her tongue - too many vices in a mare so young.
And when she's worked to desperation, she wheezes with each respiration.

Her teeth are bad. She overbites.  With other mares she always fights.
When she trots she'll weave and bobble.  Her hind end has a definite wobble.
Now melanoma in horses gray is very commonplace I'd say.
But these masses `neath her tail are bad.  In a mare so young it makes me sad.
I hate to bear such tragic news:  You might as well just pull her shoes.
And stop her training as of now.  You cannot ride her anyhow."

Walt looked at me and then replied, "The guy who sold her surely lied.
He told me that she was so great, And I so eager, could hardly wait,
To load her up and take her home, To pay for her, make her my own.
Well, no matter," said Walt aloud, "She'll make a broodmare fine and proud.

We'll breed her soon and get repaid for the investment that I made.
I know a stallion with a fee so low, he's laid up for a year or so.
He's got navicular disease they say.  But his stud fee I guess I'll pay;
And raise a foal so this young mare  Will pay her way and earn her fare.
Don't you agree, Doc, with my plan?"  I answered him ... I told the man:

"Like begets like. You've heard that said?  This foal you're planning, in your head,
Is good for business-mine, I mean.  Foals like this, I have seen,
Are useful to support a vet.  Because of many defects, yet
Our voice is often heard alone warning breeders, `Do not condone
The breeding of inferior sire to inferior mare if you desire
To produce foals to improve the breed.  Breed best to best, that's all you need.

Now listen you breeders of puppy dogs and cats and sheep and cows and hogs,
For your own species just change the name.  The principles are still the same.
Like begets like. It's in the genes, controlled by DNA it seems.
Breed best to best, it's your only chance for offspring that will the breed enhance.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hoof Preparation Tips

Hoof Preparation Tips

If you show at all, polishing your horses hooves is pretty much required.  Doing the job correctly and easily is not a daunting task, but should be done at home in a relaxed environment if at all possible.  You relaxed will make the task that much easier.

If it's a one day show, I would do all the sanding prep a day or two ahead and then do the final polish either the night before or early a.m. at the show, assuming you don't have the first class.

Final prep work can be done at the show (applying the actual polish, etc.)


  • Pick out the horses feet
  • Scub them clean (you can do this before or after sanding).
  • Sand all the horse's hooves. (don't over-sand and make the hooves week, just smooth is the goal). Sanding is the key to that smooth glass-like surface.  Using different grit sandpaper is the best, although some people swear by electric sanders. Using a Dremel to sand. Be careful the first time as you don't want to over-do this process and weaken the hoof wall.  Sanding does not need to be done before each show as you don't want to weaken the hoof, just smooth out the ridges.
  • Buff with Extra Super Fine steel wool. 
  • Clean the hooves for dust/dirt 
  • Apply the hoof polish. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday 6-14-10

It's hot hitting into the mid-90's, and we're still waiting oh so patiently on Libbe and Maria to foal.  My preference would be tonight, but I don't think they're going to oblige me.  At least we should be cooling down back into the 80's this week.

The foals are all doing well, Kiega has completely shed out. Bruiser is not a blue roan, but a black; Rose is the prima donna with all the boys, and Fifa (we're naming him after the World Cup - big football fans here! So it looks like Wesco Farms World Cup 2010 maybe his name - lol!) is enjoying his play time with Rose and Bruiser.  Kiega does play but thinks he's the 'stallion' in the mare/foal pasture, so he'd rather follow the mares around then play with the babies!

The rest of the herd is waiting for me to start bathing/clipping/general clean up on them.  

Tomas was out last week, and we're officially all caught up on trimming - yeah!  We have visits planned out through the Fall, so we shouldn't get off schedule again until December-ish.

Sent off a huge stack of paperwork to both registries.  Late stallion reports, transfers, permanent registration and DNA/PQ tests.  A chunk of change as I've procrastinated for so long.  ** AMHA coupons are still good for horses that have RV paperwork!  Check out their site - registration.  These are good through the end of the year.

Other news –

Little Kings Dream Demon and Lucky Four Colorcard Miramax will be out on lease soon.  Demon will be going to Imperial Acres for a couple of years, and Miramax is off to Redbud Ranch for the season. 

Little (Grosshills Little Mans Anticipation) is off to Wee Gems Minis along with one of our mares Libbe (LGF Miss Liberty Belle on lease) and two mares that came back for re-homing, Charm and Lalique.

It’s going to be nice with less mature stallions, but I’m going to miss these guys and their individual personalities.

How "NOT" to photo a horse.

Trying to take photo's of a weanling can be oh so fun.  These are a series of Wesco Farms Count Your Blessings, Ringo's 2009 filly, out of Una (Wesco Farms Bella Luna).  They have a serious love affair, and I'm likely going to repeat this breeding in 2011.  Blessing (we call her Pretty Girl), thought the whole lead rope and set up was pure torture - we were laughing at her posture!

Maxim steps in to assist.
Finally - a decent shot!

We haven't had a photo-op session with her this year, but she's one of our favorites


Glossary of Horse Terms

  • Veterinarian: That career you wish you had pursued whenever you open your monthly vet bill.
  • Horse Shoes: Simply-styled flats which come without a designer label, only last 5-6 weeks, but cost the same as Ferragamo's.
  • Horse Show: The ultimate goal and destination of all training, feeding, shoeing, medicating, equipment purchases, and  free-time hours whereby for approximately 6 minutes your horse shows you just how badly behaved he can be (see also: Show Horse)
  • Hock: Financial condition of all horse owners.
  • Stall: What your rig does at rush hour in an unfamiliar city on the way to a big horse show.
  • A Bit: What you have left in your pocket after you've been to your favorite tack shop.
  • Fence: Decorative structure built to provide your horse with something to chew on.
  • Horse Auction: What you think of having after your horse bucks you off.
  • Pinto: Green coat pattern found on freshly washed light colored horses left unattended for 2 minutes.
  • Well Mannered: Hasn't stepped on, bitten, or kicked anyone for a week.
  • Rasp: Abrasive metal tool used to remove excess skin from ones knuckles.
  • Lunging: Popular training method in which a horse exercises their owner by spinning them in circles until dizzy.
  • Gallop: Customary gait a horse chooses when returning back to the barn.
  • Nicely Started: Lunges, but not enough health insurance to even think about riding him.
  • Colic: Gastro-intestinal result of eating at horse fair food stands.
  • Colt: What your mare gives you when you want a filly.
  • Easy to Load: Only takes 3 hours, 4 men, a 50lb bag of oats, and a tractor with loader.
  • Easy to Catch: In a 10x10 stall.
  • Easy Rider: Rides good in a trailer; not to be confused with "ride-able".
  • Endurance Ride: End result when your horse spooks and runs away with you.
  • Hives: What you get when receive the vet bill for your 6 horses, 3 dogs, 4 cats, and 1 donkey.
  • Hobbles: Walking gait of a horse owner after their foot has been stepped on by their horse.
  • Feed: Expensive substance used to manufacture manure.
  • Dog House: What you are in when you spend too much money on grooming supplies and pretty halters.
  • Light Cribber: We can't afford to build anymore fencing or box stalls for this buzz saw on four legs.
  • Three-Gaited Horse: A horse that. 1) trips, 2) stumbles, 3) falls.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday 6-7-10

Baybee foaled over the weekend.  Looks to be a Frenchie foal, so double bred Callita grand-son, with a splash of Rowdy and Buckeroo.

We're anticipating Maria and Libbe to foal this week too.  Hopefully before the summer heat really hits.

The new boy is a buckskin with blue eyes, and very cute.  Baybee our only maiden this year has taken to being a mom in a great way.  It's nice having a maiden 'get it' from the very beginning.

My elite photography skills have been at work and I've lots of butt, open mouth, closed eyes and wonky photos so far!  I'll be going out this evening to try and capture him better.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday 5-31-10

Busy the past couple of week.  Our website is up, but only the basic pages.  I'm taking a CSS class this summer so I'm holding off adding back much of the information and individual horse's pages until then. It will make life easier to change things after I'm better with my CSS skills.  If anyone does need information on our horses, please contact me - I have it all - including all the reference horse page information.  Which I've been debating about loading all the photos on a Flickr or PhotoBucket account.  Being a pedigree junkie I always love looking at the ancestors of my horses.

Foaling season is dragging on, as we're still waiting on Libbe, Maria and Baybee to foal.  So much for the theory on keeping older mares pregnant! First ET, now Maria (24).  Both haven't been bred in 5+ years and one night of fun with (I'm suspecting Frenchie with the three remaining), and we're having a foaling season.

We did take Topper's mares out last week, so he had about 3 weeks to do his magic.  As this was his first time pasture breeding we'll see which of the mares did get covered.

Took some photos a week or so ago FINALLY of Ringo (thanks again Jenn for helping out!).  

It was about time considering all I had were yearling ones and he's now seven!  These are right out of the field, unclipped, so he's a bit flyaway looking but at least we have a few.