Dressage Young Horse Championships

We recently attended the 2012 Markel/USEF National Dressage Young Horse Championships at Lamplight Equestrian Center in St. Charles, Illinois.

Last year we had a 4 year old mare of ours, Petite Belle, in the championships. This year we went to watch and learn and also to cheer on a friend and trainer with her Developing Young Horse competing in the Prix St. Georges.

This year there was also a class at Grand Prix level for 9 and 10 year old horses.

To read more about the program and our experience see my article, "Dressage Young Horse Championships".

Tell me your thoughts or experiences in the comments below.

Are You Breeding Your Mare Next Year?

In the Sport Horse world, breeding season is pretty much over by August.

Most of the foals have been born and are being prepared for inspection, and the mares have been confirmed in foal for the following year.

What about the mares that didn't get bred or for whatever reason are not in foal?

Now is a good time to start thinking about a stallion for next year.

It is also a good time to get your mare approved if she isn't already because most of the Sport Horse Breed Registries are doing inspections of new foals, mares, and stallions.

The inspections are also a good place to check out Stallions and/or their offspring.

My recent article 10 Important Steps to Help in Choosing a Stallion for Your Mare outlines several things you could be doing before it is time to breed.

One of the points I made was that many stallion owners offer discounts for people willing to commit early and there are several Stallion breeding auctions held by the breed registries and other groups that start later in the year or very early the following year.

We are offering a special discount for early breeding to our stallion, Patrick, that is good until the end of the year.  See the details below.

Save 50%
Off the $1250 Breeding Fee.  Contract for a breeding to Patrick, our Dutch Warmblood Stallion, and pay the $250 non-refundable booking fee for AI breeding using frozen semen. The remaining $375 must be paid before the semen is shipped and the breeder is responsible for shipping and other fees from Select Breeders Service, Inc.

Send an e-mail to Linda or leave a comment or questions below.

I am interested in hearing about your breeding plans for next year - leave me a comment and let me know.

Star Award Breeder With ISR/Oldenburg N.A. Registry

It recently came to my attention that I had produced enough Premium foals to get my first star in the Star Award Breeder Program with the ISR/Oldenburg N.A. Registry.

I decided I should look into the program to see if there were any other stars for which I might qualify.  I found out that there are 3 possible stars and that I had a good start with the other 2. With a little luck I should be able to get all 3 in another year or two.

I wrote an article about the program, outlining the requirements and showing off my accomplishments.  It is called "Star Award For Horse Breeding" - click on the title to read my account.

Let me know how you liked it and any thoughts you have about the program in the comments section below.

2012 U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team

I wrote a page about the 2012 U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team that I want to share.

It has videos of each rider/horse, links to information about each rider, and information about each of the events - Dressage, Jumping, and Eventing.  There is also additional information about the Olympics and other fun stuff.

So please visit "2012 U.S.A. Equestrian Olympians" and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Breeding and Training Warmblood Horses in the U.S.

Europe has been the dominate source for obtaining quality Warmblood Sport Horses, but there are several major American breeders who are succeeding in becoming a respected source also. We need more.

See my page about what it is like to be a Sport Horse breeder in the U.S. by clicking  here.

Our goal is to have our Olympic and International competition horses bred in the U.S. not imported from Europe.

USA riders on USA horses.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below and/or sharing with others.

Minimize Stress and Promote Success by Being Prepared for Breeding Season

Breeding season for Sport Horses is in full swing in May, June, and even July.  Most breeders want a foal born in the spring for several reasons.

  • Spring is nature's preferred foaling time and so mares will be easier to get in foal without having to use a lot of hormones and other artificial methods. 
  • Since horses have an 11 month gestation, the resulting foals will be born in April, May, and June when the temperatures are more moderate. 
  • Many Sport Horse Breed Registries hold inspections in the U.S. in the late summer and early fall - foals born before April may be already weaned and entering an unattractive growth spurt - not a good time for getting good scores.
Select Breeders Services has a really helpful article for preparing your mare for breeding here. Following their recommendations should help you produce the foal you are wanting.

If you haven't already decided on a stallion, Patrick, our grey Dutch Warmblood might be just what you are looking for.  Take a look at his offspring on our website.

Good Luck!

Young Horse Clinic

We are hosting a Young Horse Clinic with Michael Bragdell from Hilltop Farm, Inc. on April 21 - 22, 2012.  The local paper did an article about the clinic - see the article here.  This is always a popular clinic and we have several local trainers and riders that attend regularly.  It is wonderful to be able to have a trainer with Michael's credentials and to be able to share him with other riders in our area.

A Good Book - "Horse Heaven"

Sometimes it is healthy to give yourself permission to take a step back from everything you do with your horses and try to see it from another perspective.  It would be great if you could do it from the horse's view as well as the other people that are involved with them.  This book by Jane Smiley - Horse Heaven - does just that.  It is funny and sad, and I'm sure you will find some of your animals and associates in her pages.

This book made me laugh a lot and I really enjoyed reading the chapters that were from the animal's point of view - the dog is hilarious - and the horses' thoughts and feelings are what I think most horse lovers would expect.  It is a long book, but when you finish it you will wish there was more.

Starbound - A Very Special Mare

On Friday, May 27, 2011 Starbound, aka Libby, was released from the pain she had been suffering as a result of laminitis brought on by the Cushing's Disease she had.  She was a wonderful, sweet mare, and a loving mother to 6 foals by Patrick and grandmother of our filly, Felicity.  We will remember her always for her unique and funny personality and through her offspring, as she left behind something of herself in each one.

Here is Libby's Legacy: