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It has been a busy few months here at Bear Paw Bays! As you can see from the picture, Holmside Blackthorn has settled in and very quickly become part of the team. Blackthorn is such a nice-minded stallion, a willing partner that catches on quickly, and just an overall handsome fella! The good news?
With the help of Dr. Bob Schmitt, we are now able to stand Holmside Blackthorn to a limited number of outside mares!
In other news, we've added one more pure to the herd. Old Dominion Rhonwen has made the trip from Bay Haven Farm in Virginia to join us here in Montana. Rhonwen is settling in well and is getting acquainted with José, our teenage QH gelding. Rhonwen will be a yearling in July, and will eventually be started under saddle and added to the broodmare band. A huge thank you to the Cohen family for allowing us to bring this elegant little filly home!
In other Cleveland Bay news.... Tregoyd Victoria is getting closer and has a beautifully big broodmare belly. She is due the beginning of June. I am crossing my fingers for a filly, Tom is crossing his for a colt. I'm pretty sure we'll be over the moon happy with either, as long as both Momma and Baby are healthy and happy.
We are adding a stallion to our pure herd here at Bear Paw Bays. Holmside Blackthorn will be making his way to Montana this fall! We are hoping he and Victoria will produce some very lovely pures to contribute to the worlds population.
I'll make sure and post some pictures when we get him home- very excited!
Just sharing some random pictures from spring and summer. Enjoy!
Our one foal of 2014. She is a carbon copy of her full brother, Neechi. We really could not be more pleased with this cross. If you have seen the television show Deadliest Catch, her name needs no explanation. This little girl is named after a crab fishing boat. Not just any boat- Captain Phil's boat. My dad, who has never seen the show, was not impressed with the name. It will grow on him, I'm sure.
We're on the downhill slide of summer, which also means we're on the downhill side of haying season. The guys have been putting in a lot of hours to make sure all the critters have enough to eat this winter. The alfalfa was a little light in some fields this year, so Tom has been cutting an abundance of wild grass hay. It's nice to see the stack yards filling up.
We are also in the process of looking for a suitable stallion to add to our band of pures. As much as we love William, he is to closely related to our only pure mare, Victoria. Adding a stallion for V is our immediate goal, but as time and finances allow, we would like to add pure mares as well. Giving back to the breed that has already given us so much- and getting to handle phenomenal horses while doing it. It just doesn't get any better than that!
It's official! Tregoyd Victoria has ultrasounded in foal to Idlehour Lion's Share for a 2015 foal. Tom and I brought her home yesterday and she looks fantastic! Dr. Clinton Hilt at Hilt Veterinary Service did a top notch job. And now, the long wait begins....
Great way to cool off on a hot summer afternoon- for human and equine! William looks very shiny and fabulous after his bath. He is also very aromatic with his fresh layer of fly spray. The deer flies have been awful the last few days.
Still no word on Victoria- hoping to hear something in the next day or two. We're running for the phone each time it rings, hoping it's Dr. Hilt saying she has ultrasounded in foal!
I love this snapshot. This big ole smile is always on Tom's face when he is handling one of these Cleveland Bays. I keep thinking sooner or later the new might wear off, and he will no longer look like a little boy on Christmas morning when he has a hold of their lead, but so far, that's not the case. I'm loving it though, because it makes for great photo opportunities.
Victoria is still staying with Dr. Hilt. The good news is her cycles finally leveled out and we were able to order semen last week. According to Dr. Hilt, the timing was near perfect, so now we wait and see. By the end of this week, we should know if we can expect a little Lion/Victoria baby in 2015. Keep your fingers crossed!
Miss Victoria has rapidly and completely taken to life on the ranch. Tom is now convinced Cleveland Bays have a natural instinct for cattle work. At 11 years old, Victoria was pretty "green" about being ridden outside the corral. The first few trips out, she would spook and grab over odd shadows on the ground, crossing creeks- the usual "silliness" many green horses display. At about trip three, Tom presented Victoria with cattle. She immediately forgot about watching out for Cleveland Bay eating shadows on the ground and started watching cows. From that first introduction to cows, there has been no looking back. If you give Tom half a minute to get started, he will light up when he tells you about how this big mare will sit and turn with a cow. If you have not had the opportunity to meet a Cleveland Bay, you may think a horse with their size and bone might be a little "clunky". A few minutes watching this duo work will convince you otherwise.
Tom and his Victoria have made a fantastic team this spring, going about the business of calving, branding, and moving pairs out to pasture. She has very quickly become his favored mount, which left me with quite a challenge when I began the "Find a suitable pure stallion to breed Victoria" campaign. Spending hours researching pedigrees, talking to stallion owners, and looking at stallion offspring was the easy part. Convincing Tom to turn loose of the bridle reins long enough breed, gestate, and raise a pure foal was a marathon of carefully constructed arguments to which Tom's reply most often was "but what will I ride?".
A few weeks of discussion later, and a compromise in which Tom got the final say in stallion selection, I am please to report Miss Victoria is temporarily being housed with Dr. Hilt. Dr. Hilt has been tracking Victoria's ovulation and when the timing is appropriate, will be ordering semen from Idlehour Lions Share who stands at Bay Hill Farm. If all goes well, we'll be adding to the world's pure herd in
We saw a pair of Canadian geese yesterday- a sure sign that spring is on the way! If the birds weren't enough, looking out over the calving lots tell me we have a good start towards warmer weather and shoots of green! When the babies start to appear, my favorite time of year is not far behind! Winter has seemed especially long this year, and I was more than happy to dust off my camera and ride along with Tom while he made the rounds.
We have a new guy here at the Diamond Bar. Pedro has come to stay for a few months, leaving behind a country in which the average temperature this time of year is 80 degrees F. When he arrived, our temps were hovering around zero and dipped as low as -20. He drug out his winter clothes and went right to work though, happy to be here. We're sure happy to have the extra hands! Welcome Pedro! We are glad you are here!
Victoria's lessons in becoming a ranch horse are continuing . Previously, she had been ridden very little, and I'm not sure she had ever been ridden outside of an arena or building. She's doing great- getting used to the sights and sounds of being surrounded by several hundred head of cattle. Although these new experiences may startle at first, she's a thinker and quickly works through what is being asked of her. I have no doubt by the end of calving season she will be an old pro.
I'm keeping my camera battery charged up, so if you enjoy pics of our day to day, be sure to check back soon!
René- Wife, Mom, and hired hand to the hired man.