I’ve been writing a lot about our wonderful mare S. Onstar lately, since John and I have just started driving her. And there are new stories to tell…she had her first show, which was a success.
So, I thought I would change topics and speak about our three mature geldings: S. Celestial Array (2002); S. Explorer (2005); and S. Fieldstone (2006); and our two fantastic deceased gelding family members, S. Valhalla and S. Selebrity.
Stallions, Mares, and Geldings have each held a central spot in our herd since the very beginning. U C Spicy Lass (UC Marquis x UC Taffy) was our first horse, our first Morgan, and the focus for the beginning of our Morgan Horse breeding farm.
UC Spicy Lass’ first two foals for us were the wonderful gentlemen S. Valhalla (1980-2005) and S. Selebrity (1982-2008). These fellows were each gelded at approximately a year old. They were John’s, Elizabeth’s and my Pleasure Driving Horses and Elizabeth, Caitrin and Britta’s Saddle Seat Equitation and English Pleasure mounts. They spent their entire lives as part of our family, although some of the time they were off at major show stables.
Spicy was in foal to UVM Viking (UVM Flash, an Upwey Ben Don son out of a Canfield daughter x UVM Kathy, a Ulendon and Panfield grand-daughter) when we purchased her from the University of Connecticut Morgan Horse program. We intended to sell the foal to recoup part of her purchase price. As with many breeds, Morgan horses usually carry a farm prefix as well as their name. When the foal arrived, we needed a prefix and a name for the foal, a colt.
We took inspiration from his sire’s name and out of a horse book that John and I had bought for the girls.
In the book was a mythological horse named Sleipnir. He was the horse that carried the Viking warriors to Valhalla, their Heaven. He was depicted as having eight legs to show that he was strong and fleet of hoof. So, the farm became Sleipnir and our first foal became Sleipnir’s Valhalla.
Of course, Valhalla was never sold. Valhalla (Hal) was the only foal on the farm. Horses are herd animals, and after he was weaned, Hal was alone. We did not go searching for another horse; but we found B-L Rhinestone Kid and he found us. Hal is buried here on our TN farm, having passed away at 25 y/o. Seppy (S. Selebrity) is similarly buried here, passing away at 26 y/o; and B-L Rhinestone Kid, the sire of our herd for almost thirty years, is also buried here having followed his old friends last year at 29 y/o.
Sleipnir Celestial Array (2002) (Hylee the Rage x Sleipnir Constellation) is a grandson of both B-L Rhinestone Kid and U C Spicy Lass. Sleipnir Constellation was Rhinestone’s first foal and Spicy’s last.
“Array” has had a successful career in-hand so far, and has won Champion Morgan in-hand. He had been trained professionally for Western Pleasure, but is currently working Saddle Seat. Noel and Michael worked with him quite a bit this Summer; they and John and I have driven him. You can see photos and a video of Noel driving him on our website.
I have previously written about S. Explorer (2005) (B-L Rhinestone Kid x May’s Sweetie). Currently, Amber is riding S. Explorer Hunt Seat and the team is showing at some local, and at some Class A Morgan, Horse Shows. They always are in the ribbons for their rides. Sue Nerland, a veteran Morgan Horse owner and retired Equitation instructor, has taken Amber under her wing, and has been teaching her a better seat and hands, and utilizing Amber’s services to work horses at their stable. Kimberly and Kaya, our other grand-daughters, are also benefiting.
Explorer has had long-lining experience and dragged weight; but has not been hooked. Array and Fieldstone both ride and drive.
S. Fieldstone (2006) (B-L Rhinestone Kid x NEJ Golddust Emma) has been a farm visitors’ favorite since he was a colt. Even as a 2 y/o he was the center of a grooming demonstration by three active young boys, at one of our Open Barn Events. He has gone to be a participant of a day on the farm program with 100s of First graders+ surrounding him for hours, and he has been ridden Western, Saddle Seat and Hunt Seat; and he has been driven.
These three geldings follow in the hoofbeats of Valhalla and Selebrity as “family show horses: showy family horses” (our motto from the beginning). They follow from three decades of our studying pedigrees, and motion, and speaking with Morgan old-timers.
The 2009 and 2010 colts: S. Smoky Mountain (2009) (Sleipnir Sequoyah by B-L Rhinestone Kid x NEJ Golddust Alice); S. Ocoee (2010)(Sleipnir Sequoyah x NEJ Golddust Emma); Sleipnir Double Feature (2010) (Sleipnir Echo’s Finale, out of S Constellation x Playday Rebecca); and Sleipnir Resonance (2010) (Sleipnir Echo’s Finale x NEJ Golddust Alice) will be the next athletic, intelligent, friendly and handsome geldings to follow the trail led by Valhalla and Selebrity.