I'll make sure and post some pictures when we get him home- very excited!
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!
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!
June 17th, 2014
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
Guess who's home?
It's Victoria! Finally home! A huge thank you to Gretchen Lehrkind for braving so many miles of nasty winter roads to get our new girl home safely.
We are absolutely thrilled to add Victoria to our herd. I've been patiently (okay, maybe not so patiently) awaiting her arrival so I could begin the search to find a suitable purebred stallion for a future mating. I have found about a dozen stallions in North America that are not too closely related. Tom and I have discussed and pared those dozen down to about half. It's going to be a tough decision, as each of these stallions are phenomenal in different ways. Luckily, we have some time. Not sure if a breeding will happen this year or next, but producing a pure foal is definitely on our list of goals.
In other news, our foster dog, Raffy, is out on a home trial. So far, things seem to be going really well and her adopter is happy. The only potential hiccup we can foresee may be the family Guinea Pig, as Raffy has seemed to show a little to much interest in the little critter. With a change of location for the pig's cage and a little training Raffy seems to be getting better so we have our fingers crossed this home will work out well for all involved.
February seems to be slipping away from us in a big hurry, and that means calving season will soon be upon us. I am always very excited to start calving, as it means spring is on the way. It's a busy time with long hours and short nights, but seeing all those healthy babies makes it worth it. I'll be sure to take the camera along so I can share the experience!
CB's and Potato Chips.
You can't have just one Cleveland Bay. I didn't discover that until I got to know William. Sure, he was beautiful and all, but William also oozes personality. And then along came Neechi and Elly. Both of them incredibly smart and willing, with just enough mischief mixed in to keep you on your toes.
And so, with the love of the breed in full blossom, we've decided to add another Cleveland Bay. Born in Wales at the same farm as William and imported to the States as a youngster, Tregoyd Victoria will be joining us in Montana in February. We are excited to meet her!
Victoria (or Ree) is too closely related to William for breeding purposes, although getting shipped semen for her in the future may be a possibility. For now, Tom will have another riding horse, and I have promised to swear off horse classified sites. For awhile.
William's third and final baby for the 2013 foaling season! We finally made it to take pictures of her last night. She was born just a few days before Eloquence.
The story behind this little girl is one of those complicated "family deals".
The condensed version; She's by William and out of my Sister-in-laws mare, Doll. Logic would say she's Karen's filly, BUT Karen's son Larry laid claim prior to conception.
I tell you this story, so I can explain why this filly's name is subject to change. Karen insists the filly's name is Scarlett. Larry insists she doesn't have a name yet as he wants her to grow and choose a name that suits her personality. There's a good spirited debate as to who has naming rights, but it's clear they both have bragging rights, as the filly is sure a pretty little thing!
Where did July go?
I blinked and July has flown by. What a busy month this has been!
Haying season is in full swing, although I did pry Tom out of the swather long enough to get him over to the western side of the state. We attended The Event at Rebecca Farm. This is the first time we've ever been to such a thing, and all I can say is Wow! We were in heaven- three days surrounded by good people, lovely scenery, and some of the worlds most talented horses. It just doesn't get any better than that! Tom even decided that cross country jumping looks like a lot of fun, and if he could wear his jeans and boots instead of riding breeches he might even give it a try.
I got a surprise letter in the mail from Florida that made my day! Pictures and a note from the proud owner of a William gelding, Charter. Charter is stunningly beautiful, and gives us a glimpse at what we can look forward to! We love to see William's older babies and know what they are up to- such a talented group of "kids" he has!
Speaking of talented kids... Wylee and Tawnya have been having a good summer. Tawnya has spent some time traveling around and visiting friends. Wylee and her friend Kendra participated in the kids rodeo during fair. They each did the flag race and barrel racing. Wylee also rode a steer and came in 2nd. Lots of fun was had by all. Last Saturday was the 3 mile Nee Wah run. Wy had been bugging me all year to run in that, so Grandma took her down and got to watch her come in first for her age division.
Last evening we finally got over to Warrick to take pictures of Neechi and Eloquence. They've been turned out on summer grass and are growing like bad little weeds. They are learning all the things good ranch horses should know- how to maneuver around in the rocks and trees, crossing creeks, and growing strong running up and down the hills. They've gotten a little independent since being turned out, but were still pretty curious about why I kept following them around with that darn camera. I'm looking forward to weaning when we will get them in and be able to handle them on a daily basis.
Hope you all are doing well~ Check out the new foal page for more pics of Neechi and Elly. I put a slide show on there that I will update with pictures wh
Finally- an update!
First, an apology for being such a slacker and not updating the website! I really had such good intentions for this blog when I began... I still have those intentions- really! I do! I have no good excuse for my absence, but hopefully the news of new babies will redeem me.
I have two new babies to report. Both fillies, and both by our William. The first was born to a mare named Doll, who belongs to Tom's sister. Doll is actually a mare we raised and is out of my mare, Kate. Kate can be seen on our mare page. We have not made it down to get pictures of this little one yet- things have been a little hectic around the Brown household, but as soon as that happens I will definitely share!
The second filly is pictured above, and is out of our mare Ninety-Nine. Momma can be seen on our mare page. The filly has been named Eloquence (Elly for short), and she is a little stunner. I was excited when Neechi was born, but I must admit that this combination was the one I was most excited to see this year. She has not disappointed! So far I have just a few candid snapshots taken when she was only about two days old. Please excuse the sleeping Skeet in this photo- she was quite sure her nap was much more important than me being able to have good pictures of the baby!
In other news, we've had a high school graduation (Congratulations Kodi!) , a new boyfriend-in law (Welcome to this bunch of crazies John. It's not to late to run, but she'd only trip you), the successful completion of a drivers ed course (Way to go T!), the farewell of the old hired help (I kinda miss you Mr. Hanson), and the welcoming of the new hired help (Welcome to the Diamond Bar Al with an S.)
I hope this finds you all doing well
My friend Neechi
I have been riveted to the television the last few days. My heart has been so heavy for the folks in Texas and Boston. Finally today I had to just shut it off and walk away for awhile. I've always thought nothing can soothe the soul quite like my equine friends, and what better friend to spend time with than little Neechi? I must admit, Tom and I are completely smitten with our little bay boy. Not only is he ridiculously adorable, his inquisitive but independent nature is just endearing. Cheyenne is proving herself to be a very capable mother, keeping a close eye on little Neechi. I was able to take a few pictures during my visit. It always amazes me how quickly these young foals grow and change.
In other news- it's hatch day! Unfortunately, the turkeys don't seem to be doing much. So far we have one little healthy Bourbon Red poult. I'm crossing my fingers the other 10 eggs show some sign of life soon. We'll give them a few more days, and then try to figure out what I can do differently for better results next time. The chicken eggs though, have hatched pretty successfully. So far there are 21 little chicks to keep the turkey poult company.
I'll sign off for now and leave you with a few more Neechi pictures. Hope everyone has a great weekend!
I'm please to announce the long wait is over! Yesterday we welcomed our very first William baby to the world. We were lucky enough to be able to watch his birth. We've been checking on Cheyenne pretty frequently, knowing she could go at any time. Yesterday morning we let her out of her nice dry stall for a bit of exercise. Of course, Miss Chey waited until we had left her alone in the corral- which was pretty wet and yucky from the spring snow storm the previous day. I was able to take quite a few pictures of his birth, and other than being a little muddy, the whole event went just like clockwork and was just as I had hoped- problem free!
It took a bit for Neechi to get those legs all working in the same direction for him, but with a little coaching from momma and his daddy across the fence, it wasn't long before we could get him guided out of the slop and into a nice dry stall to get him cleaned up.
Neechi is a "first" for us in a few different ways. Most importantly, he's our first part bred Cleveland Bay baby. The dream that Tom has had for close to 40 years came true yesterday- and there was just no wiping that big grin off Tom's face. The horses his family has bred for generations now include Cleveland Bay in their lineage. Also, Neechi is the very first colt out of one of Tom's personal mares. My mares have had colts, his brother's mares have had colts, his dad's mares had colts.... but for close to 30 years, the mares that Tom had bred only gave him fillies. They grew up to be some fabulous mares, but he sure did grin when he figured out we had a little boy on our hands!
Now we take a sigh of relief, and prepare for Ninety-Nine to have her little one.
René- Wife, Mom, and hired hand to the hired man.