Monday, 8 January 2007

Extraordinary Horses for Ordinary Riders ...

When we initially got into this breeding lark it was because Nick wanted a Clydesdale and we could not afford to buy him one so we bred a TB mare to a clydesdale stallion to achieve the next best thing. It had been a life long dream of mine to breed a foal and having the land, well it just seemed like the right thing to do. Then people started to suggest we use Hamish to cover mares, so we did. Two mares initially, one a TB belonging to friends and the other an Irish Sport Horse mare that I had on lease and had tried unsuccessfully to breed to Doug Isaacson's Show Jumping stallion, 'It's About Time'. Yes, I had been bitten by the breeding bug.
Good horses are hard to find! Good horses that are clean slates or blank canvases waiting to be shaped and moulded into the superstars they are all capable of being. I should know, I have tried to find horses like this over the years and they all come with baggage or astronomical price tags (and even those high $ neds have baggage!).

I had a vision to breed sane and sensible horses from sound, sane and sensible breeding stock. No Olympic aspirations (there are plenty of others out there jumping on the high end band wagon, I will leave the associated challenges of big dollar breeding to others) but hopefully you are getting the picture?

So, this is what we are trying to do, breed extraordinary horses for ORDINARY riders like me (and maybe you?). Realistically NZ is a small place with a small pool of top level riders and a much bigger pool of average Joe's who just want to have a crack at the local sports days, riding clubs, CTR's and hacking. People for whom the horse is a release from the daily grind and these people don't want to muck around with highly strung, temperamental horses, they want a best mate to take care of them and have fun with. This is where our horses step up to the mark.

I firmly believe that temperament is everything in a horse and a willing horse that is trying to please his rider is a pleasure to own. I swell with pride everytime I hear from someone with one of my homebred horses telling me how much they love them and what kind, willing and intelligent animals they are - talented too it would seem - perhaps we will breed an Olympian? No matter what, it is a thrilling roller coaster ride and I am loving every minute of it!!

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