At two minutes past midnight this morning a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island. It was so severe that we well and truly felt it up here and it spooked all the animals. Sadly it looks as if the shock was too much for my precious Hooty who I found this morning with her daughter River lying beside her. The blessing is that it looks as if there was no struggle and it was quick and, I hope, painless. But oh how I will miss her.
Hooty came to me from Southland back in 2007. On her way north she stopped in Canterbury and was bred to Coalman's Touch with the result being a little orange colt that I named TF Rory O'Moore. Hooty went on to produce four more foals (Waterford Ciara, Winiata, TF Ailbhe MacBrennan and TF River Song) and was retired in 2014 when she lost what was to be her final foal. Her last live born baby, River, was by her side at her death which gives some comfort although I know that horses feel loss too and River will now be grieving.
She was such a grand old mare, so reliable and kind but could still be a bit naughty if the mood took her. I wish she had been sound enough for me to ride as I am sure we could've had some great adventures together. It's truly the end of an era here at Talisman Farm and my best broodmare has gone. It's true that she will live on in her amazing children and I am so glad I have her daughter, River but her passing will leave an enormous hole - I thought her retirement would be much longer.
So, Godspeed Hooty, the best mare ever! Thank you for everything, for your beautiful foals and your beautiful soul and for saving me the pain of choosing your time for you by choosing it for yourself. Run free.
At 3.15am on the 22nd of October, Charlie (Volksraad x Casual Lies/Deputy Governor) produced a lovely brown filly by Crossiebeg Brennan. The foaling was easy and uneventful and all post foaling milestones were met by the foal as if she had read all the text books. Unfortunately Charlie retained a portion of placenta so required a few vet visits for flushing and lots of heavy duty antibiotics and oxytocin but she has come through it all well.
I have named the foal TF L'il Bit Smitten or Lil/Lily.
This means that now all the forecast rain that most of my friends do not want to arrive, will not arrive but I am SO thankful it is here and in place safe and sound. Nick is working on plumbing it in now. The lovely chap who delivered it was very helpful and also turns out he is the President of Equestrian Sport NZ so we were able to chat horses and horse arenas (he was admiring mine) whilst I nervously chewed my nails watching the whole event unfold. Nail chewing was unnecessary however as the whole transaction could not have run more smoothly. Phew!
Just another day at the office for Ailbhe. Safe to say I am pretty happy with the results of my breeding program. This guy may not be perfect (what horse is?) but he's had 1 x in hand competition and 2 x ridden dressage competitions and his rider has come home with ribbons from every single class entered (and lets not forget that Supreme Champ at his first show!) and I think that's a pretty darned good effort for a baby overgrown orange pony with one leg put on backwards!
Today we took Tempi down to Solway to have a look around the grounds and some of the XC fences. She was as green as spring grass (sheep tracks are cavernous pony eating holes that one MUST be VERY wary of and show jumping poles may just leap up and attack so best not to get too close to those either) but there were some very pleasing moments and I am very proud of what a super pony she is and the potential she shows. Clarissa rode her beautifully and even though she was very well behaved, she did make her work pretty hard for these results. Here are some photos.
Consistency was the order of the day for Ailbhe who attended the Rotorua Spring Spectacular Dressage Series in Taupo today. This was HRO's (His Royal Orangeness) very first under saddle competition and he completed 2 tests for 2 scores over 65% and two 4th place rosettes. Safe to say I am super proud of his performance and I think his rider/other mother Juliet is too! Right from the beginning Ailbhe has been a very special horse and whilst life with Ailbhe has not been without its ups and downs, I truly feel like these are well and truly behind us as I watch him go from strength to strength with Juliet. What a ride!
I live on a 25 acre property in the Wairarapa (NZ) with my husband Nick and daughter Amy. Here we surround ourselves with horses of all shapes, ages and sizes. My passion is to breed and raise sport horses for the everyday rider and the stud's catch-phrase is 'Breeding extraordinary horses for ordinary riders'. We have been running the stud for the last decade and just love it! We currently stand two stallions. TF Hamish, a Wairarapa Stationbred and Crossiebeg Brennan, a purebred Connemara. We used to stand the purebred Clydesdale stallion, Kintyre Lodge Robbie who has gone to a new home in the SI and the, now gelded, Mighty Heights son, 'TF Life O'Reilly', who is currently in work with a young rider in Wellington. Our mares are of Clydesdale, TB and Irish Sport Horse breeding and we pride ourselves on producing attractive horses & ponies with superb temperaments and sound constitutions.