Monday, 6 August 2012

A bit of a long one ...

Sorry I have not blogged much recently. Being busy with work and being fed up with the ground conditions and weather has conspired to extinguish any motivation for riding, writing or taking photos I have! I really wouldn't blame you if you have given up on reading my blog given the lack of updates. But hopefully I have some of you left and as I find myself sitting down in front of the Olympics with a bit of down time before I have to attack some paper work I  thought I would take the opportunity to update the blog for you. Be prepared though, it is going to be long!

Most recent and rather exciting was the news this weekend that TF MacKenzie (Kintyre Lodge Robbie X Kennybrook Maude), Meg's full sister (a year younger) took out the Reserve Champion Title in Level 1 at the hotly contested Horowhenua Winter Dressage Series. I believe there were over 40 competitors at this level so this is no mean feat and I am VERY proud of them both and am looking forward to being able to share many more exciting result updates like this. Here are a couple of photos:
Final Day of the Series
 Earlier in the series
With their sash

I was also sent a photo today of  TF Rory O'Moore's rather happy looking owner having her very first ride on her lovely boy. Nicky had an unfortunate fall off her other horse and badly broke herself so was unable to ride Rorror when he came back from being started and has just returned from a trip overseas - I think this is just about the first thing she did when she got back! Go Nicky and go Rory! Rory is by Coalmans Touch and out of Hooty (Wynyard Nightowl) so is Waterford Ciara's full brother and half brother to TF Winiata and TF Ailbhe mac Brennan.

Nicky and Rory

Speaking of Ailbhe. He's back with us at Talisman Farm! Albs has an issue with a foreleg that has come about because of his size and the speed at which he has grown (we managed it carefully with trimming and confinement in the first weeks of his life and it was resolving nicely but later turnout, the phenomenal pasture growing season and Hooty's over abundance of rich milk just exacerbated the issue - this has turned into a steep learning curve for us) and the buyer decided she no longer wanted him because of this so, I bought him back. As a breeder I take full responsibility for ensuring that all my horses end up in homes with buyers who are happy with them - it is of the utmost importance to me that the buyer and the horse are well matched and both are happy so, if there is a problem then I won't hesitate to do what I can to resolve it. This is the first time any of the many horses I have bred has come home and I can say I have learned a lot from the experience and am already looking at ways to better manage the sales process, especially when distance is a factor. Everything, as they say, happens for a reason.

As for dear Ailbhe, I am ecstatic to have him home and my wonderful vet Louisa and I are both confident that with sensible management his leg will cause him no issues in the future (I have a bit of a queue building up of people down here who want him!). It's funny how things happen really as after he was born I asked myself a number of times if selling him was something I really wanted to do because he is just so gorgeous in so many ways and so perfect for a future pleasure horse for me. He's still growing like a weed, although sending him to the other end of the country and back so soon after weaning did knock him for six but he has bounced back nicely and is looking (and feeling, judging by the paddock laps and handstands) very well. Next adventure for this little guy will be gelding in the spring. Poor baby.

 Gorgeous Ailbhe in May
Albs earlier in the year

Life in general here is ticking along. We're very wet and very muddy and I have been forced to box and yard a couple of the horses just to get them off the mud. The plan for this summer is to build more yards so I can take more horses off the mud in the future if I need to. Portia in particular does not enjoy the mud and has been really quite miserable, even on the arena. I found her today lying in a nest she had made out of hay - SO cute but sorry, no photos :o(

Meg has been turned out but I am hoping to start riding her again soon. The days are slowly getting longer and spring, I am reliably assured, is on its way. I have also nearly managed to save enough money to buy my new camera lens and am trying to decide if I buy it now or wait until I have saved enough for the lens AND the new body. Decisions!

Brennan will be coming back into work soon too - I will probably just start lunging him as soon as it dries out enough for us both not to fall over! Karen's adorable baby (named Holly), who was born at only 30 weeks gestation has come home and I think Karen is keen to get back on board as soon as possible but this is still going to be a wee way off so, in the meantime I will have a bit of a play with him. All going well, Brennan will be presented for inspection later this month. We have had him vetted (he passed, of course) so now three of the Society's inspectors just need to run their eyes over him and determine whether he is eligible to be a Class 1 breeding Connemara stallion. Finger's crossed! I'll keep you all posted, I promise.

I think that is enough for now.