What type of Morgan Horses do we breed?

One more post for today.

Recently, I was asked about the type Morgan horses that we breed.

It is an interesting question…and has a complex, but simple, answer.

We breed for a family friendly, beautiful, intelligent, well-conformed horse that is historically a Morgan, but in a contemporary context.

We have very versatile Morgan horses. And we also know that the horse, itself, has preferences regarding the type of work (s)he does.

We utilize historically important bloodlines, as up close as possible, to achieve these results.

For Example: S. Onstar had been trained to ride Western by professional trainers and VERY beginner amateur grandchildren. As I said in an earlier posting about her, she had not been ridden for over a year when Amber rode her Hunt Seat (see the pictures). She still hasn’t worn a pair of shoes…and clearly can vary her motion.
She literally floats through the air with a super reach for Travis driving her Roadster (see pictures and the new video). She had plenty of natural up/down motion for Amber, more than typically Hunt Seat. But she carried the saddle happily, having only carried a Western saddle prior. She also has plenty of up/down motion as I drive her. She is constantly listening and thinking about what we are asking her to do, and wants to please.

On another path, we have been discussing May’s Prunella and May’s Joy with “Foundation” Morgan horse people who want their bloodlines and hope for a foal or two. Other of our horses are too much “show horse” for the Foundation people, who do not care for certain bloodlines.

Virtually all of our horses sold in the past have been trained and sold locally as trail mounts. But some could have had brilliant show careers.

A few have competed successfully in competitive and endurance trail events, in New England and in the Deep South.

Several have gone to be the basis of a new Morgan horse breeding farm.

Some have been crossed with Friesians, and Arabians, bringing their talents to those breeders specific plans.

Some have been sold to be fancy Parade horses…a job that requires patience and willingness to please with beautiful looks and the ability to carry a heavy load of tack and rider.

We have several National Caliber – Class A quality show horses that are hidden jewels waiting for the right person to come along. Horses that can be ridden/driven by a professional or by an amateur with success.

We expect all our horses to be cared for by a family of amateurs, including children.

We have horses with great hooves, good legs, wide chests, tiny ears and kind eyes. We have horses that are tall and horses that are more typically “morgan heights”, non-shod, pasture length hooves. 

We have solid blacks, dark and light chestnuts, gleaming bays. Stallions, mares, and geldings. weanlings to retirees.

In the past, we sold a gorgeous mare. She could have had almost any kind of show career, but sold to be a pleasure riding mount. While she was parked out by the barn, a gander chased his mate directly under her body, with squawks and spread wings. She didn’t flinch. SOLD.

Are our horses always perfect? No. Can they adapt to their humans’ requests? Usually. Is every horse capable of doing everything? Of course not. Do we have a wide range of styles and types of the Morgan Horse? Always. Read their individual pages. Look at their pictures and pedigrees.

We breed for horses that fulfill our motto:
Family Show Horses: Showy Family Horses.

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A new video on our Website: Sleipnir Onstar being driven

10/11/10:
There is a new video on S. Onstar’s page on our website. It is of Travis driving her last evening. Noel also took a few photos of her with Travis, John and I.

Go to her picture on our Home page/Horses for Sale page, and click on her photo. When her page comes up, there is a spot to click on Driving Video.

It loads in a reasonable amount of time over my air card in the house. Let us know if you have any problems, or questions.

It was a nice break to go down and drive her last evening. The weather had been gorgeous all day; but I hadn’t been feeling well. I was glad that I went; and had lots of fun once again watching her with Travis and John and driving her myself.

She is all show horse at work, but she stops on a dime and she follows Travis in and out of the barn like a companionable pet.

Don’t forget to watch the video of Sleipnir Celestial Array, also being driven.

10/08/2010: John’s and my second times driving S. Onstar

John & I went to drive Sleipnir Onstar again the other day.  She is so much fun; and so smart.  This was only the second time that she had more than one driver.  She learned from last time and understood that we are going to each drive her.  She has figured out that when Travis drives her; then John; and then I do (I let John go first this time) we want her to do different things. She’s a floating roadster for Travis and a Ladies’ pleasure driving mare for me, with a spectacular road trot.  And that flat footed walk…she does it just fine…

Onstar’s conformation is excellent, and her bloodlines are compatible with almost any current breeding program: Waseeka’s Nocturne, UVM Flash, Beamington, and Trophy.

She is very willing to please and loves carrots and tolerates kisses.

I drove S. Onstar for the very first time

Two more photos have been added to S. Onstar’s photo gallery.  They can be viewed through clicking on her photo at the For Sale “Home” page…or going to her Gallery in the www.ImagesnMemories.com site.  SMHF public gallery>> mares>>S. Onstar.

The photos are of my first time driving her EVER.  Only Travis has driven her before this. The picture of Travis running alongside us is because I had also NEVER driven in his ring before. 

The other picture is of us going down the rail. She floats at the trot and she goes FAST!  Travis said that I was holding her back, and she can actually go ALOT FASTER…it was fast enough for me!!

These two photos of her are still without shoes. No shoes ever.  No training aids ever.

Rhinestone could trot for miles…and Louise never tired; and both of them were quite speedy. But I think S. Onstar took the best from both parents.

John got to drive her too. But Elizabeth was having camera issues.  Hopefully, we’ll get some photos of John driving her soon.  And more photos of Travis too.

Onstar follows Travis around like a puppy.  The absolute best thing about her training with him, is that he has taught her to stop and stand still. She just floats along when she is trotting, and she is all speed when he asks her to be. However, when he asks her to stop, she does. And just stands in place. 

We are thinking that she may be our Roadster to Bike horse.  She doesn’t really want to flat foot walk.  You know how the Roadsters, and frankly some of the Pleasure Driving horses, won’t stand in the line-up.  Not this young lady.  Roadster to Bike horses cannot have a header in the ring. S. Onstar just stands in place for Travis, John or I. That’s off to a really good start.

In the pictures, you’ll see how nicely she stands in the cross-ties for clipping, and kid kisses too.

2010 New York Regional Morgan Horse Show

Recently, John and I were able to combine a visit to Britta and San with a trip to the NYRMHS.

This was the first time that we have been to the Fairground, the Coliseum, and this particular Horse Show, although we had always wanted to come.

It is clear that this is a well-established show, used to its facility, and being run by a good team of volunteers, and professionals.

This was the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Show, and it was nice to see the historic photos and blurbs in the program; and to hear them mentioned by the announcer.

We have had Morgan Horses for over thirty years, and the “old” bloodlines and show people are very familiar to us even though we have not shown our horses for quite some time.

We did not have horses at the Show, or ties to anyone showing, professionals, or amateurs. What follows are some views from the stands. Dear Readers: Please remember that these notes are not meant to be totally inclusive; and we did not attend the entire show.

Some impressions that we have of the Show include:

It was nice to see our former Regional Director, Tony Lee, winning in the amateur driving class(es).

The Broadmoor team, Mike Goebig, Dwayne Knowles, and staff, consistently turn out a good-looking, athletic, well-trained, horse. (Disclaimer: We’ve never had a horse with them, and have no vested interest in their stable.) We see the gentlemen and their horses every year at the beginning of the season at the Dixie Cup, which they always support…and even early in the season the horses look good. Their record, of course, leads them to their choice of training candidates. But from the stands, over the years, whether they are presenting the horse, or it is an amateur customer doing the ring work, they and their staff are there on the rail and the horse knows, and appears to enjoy, its work. (Another disclaimer: “usually”).

Tony had a horse, Harper Lee, in a class that we missed. That’s Britta’s favorite author. Great southern name for a presumably great southern horse. Tony, love some of your creative naming! Especially, since our girls and I are all “Lees” for our middle names.

It was nice to see some other familiar faces around the barns and in the ring.

Harry Sebring also shows a consistently nice horse. We enjoyed the three horse Roadster To Bike class…but it was not like the ‘80’s with Harry and “Spence”.

It was great to see all the UVM bloodline horses in the ring, and to see Steve Davis presenting UVM horses.

The weanling NYMHSSSA futurity class was a demonstration of superb, seamless, ring management by Lynn, and Kathleen, Peeples…was it five weanlings they presented, and four called back?
THAT takes patience and skill!!!!! And good collegial relationships.

We cheered for Bernard Parker in his classes too. The Parkers know how to present great looking, talented horses to their best.

We always cheer for Judy Nason and her horses…Again, someone who consistently presents talented, beautiful, athletic horses. She moved to Ashby, MA after we left Gardner, MA…too bad. We would have enjoyed being neighbors!

We’ve known Ivan Beattie for at least as long as we’ve had Morgans. It is always good to see his friendly face and some descendents of his family’s breeding program. From before we owned a Morgan horse, through a successful AI breeding shipment, Ivan has been welcoming and friendly. Even when he has been tremendously busy at their farm, he has made us feel welcome, and made himself available to answer theoretical breeding questions, even when the questions come decades apart in time! Their program is well represented in our breeding philosophy: Ulendon, predominently through Orcland Leader, crossed with B-L Rhinestone Kid’s GET and Old Government.

It is also always a pleasure to watch Peggy Alderman show a horse. She bought the dam of our first horse, U C Spicy Lass (U C Marquis x U C Taffy) at about the same time that we purchased Spicy. Spicy had a white fleck in one eye, so Peggy didn’t get her, instead, or too. Thank goodness! Otherwise, we would have missed the most perfect FIRST family horse ever!!!

We’ve followed Peggy’s career from the early days, and watched her develop as a professional trainer, and a breeder. So talented; and a great breeder of nice horses.

Percy McDaniel, Mike Carpenter, Kathryn Schwartz all had some beautiful, talented horses on display.

We last saw fellow Massachusetts-ite Chris Casenti at the Atlanta AMHA convention, where she was a speaker in an Equitation session that we brought our three young grand-daughters to attend. Congratulations to her on a successful show. Training horses and junior exhibitors is tough work, and she always does it well.

I saw Nikki Rae Woodworth’s name in the program. She showed leadline/walk-trot at the same period as our daughters.

Someone “new” to us was in attendance. We had seen Dale Rickford at the new KY Morgan Horse Show, and noticed him again immediately at this show. He seems to have a quiet manner, while presenting a well-turned out horse.

I know I’m forgetting some long-time, talented trainers who were there. If I have, perhaps, my memory is faulty; or we didn’t see the classes. We were not at every session.

We got to see most of one class that R’Surene Dante was in; and his strong 2nd place in a solid 12 horse Novice Hunter Pleasure Horse class. He was bred by our friends from the Blue Ridge Morgan Horse Association, Sue and Chris Nerland, Lancer Stables, Tennessee. www.BlueRidgeMorganHorseAssociation@yola-site.com

We were happy to see Suzy Lucine, and finally meet her husband! Suzy took the photos that we have used of our senior stallion, B-L Rhinestone Kid (1980 – 2009). He was a product of a well-known NY state breeding program, Big-Little Farm, the Berans. So, most of our herd descends from NE and NY. (Waseeka’s Showtime x B-L Brown Lace, by UVM Flash x O-At-Ka Sealect Lass).

We were disappointed that we did not get to see the Carriage Driving classes. In our short time in NY, we had to juggle schedules. Blue Ridge Morgan Horse Association, of which John is the President, supports the Liberty Classic Horse Show at the Tri-State Exhibition Center in Cleveland, TN. We usually have a really nice Open Carriage Driving component to our show. Another BRMHA member is a leader in the Driving Pairs Forum.

Another one of our stallions, Exquisite Sir Echo, (Waseeka’s Peter Piper x Triton’s April Windy) (deceased) was acquired from another NY State Morgan breeder, Diana Saxton, Wheelhorse Morgans. We have a spectacular final son of his, Sleipnir Echo’s Finale, out of our champion show mare, Sleipnir Constellation (B-L Rhinestone Kid x U C Spicy Lass). His Yearlings and Weanlings are turning out very nicely.

It was interesting to see the in-state folks and their horses. We started our farm in New England, so we were familiar with the various N Eng. states’ residents; and we have been in the South for awhile, and getting to know folks and their breeding programs there. At the show, there were some “prefixes” that we were familiar with and many that are new to us.

In the year that Britta has moved to NY, I’ve read a bit of NY State Morgan Horse Society news and history.  The program once again was really helpful with the photos, ads, and bits of history. We met Valerie at the Tack Sale, and bought a NYMH Society Members’ Directory and that has also been, and will be, well read.

The 3 judge system for the NYSSA Morgans seemed to function well, including the 2 judges for the entire show, and John MacDonald, who is extremely knowledgeable about the characteristics of the Morgan and a highly competent judge.

We loved the weanling class that I mentioned before. As breeders, it is our favorite. NY breeders can be justly proud of their Get/Produce.

It must have been a thrill for the NY state folks; it certainly was for us, that a Mellin-Herrick grandchild was showing at the 50th anniversary show. I saw Fred prior to the class, and recognized him instantly. There was a TN Walking Horse (TWH) print by Jeanne Mellin at the Tack Sale…I didn’t get a chance to bring it back to TN, for the TWH people…

I wanted to have a child in the walk-trot class(es) just to win a book illustrated by Jeanne Mellin. We, naturally, have well read copies of her Morgan horse books.

There was some sadness attached to the show for us, when we were alerted by Barb Goda, that Tom and Charlene Hilgenberg’s son, Chris, had passed away. The Hilgenberg’s are long-time Morgan breeders’ and Tom had been an early supporter of Morgans in the Carriage Driving world. We have a mare, also via S. Constellation, from the Great Oaks’ breeding.

Our sympathies go out to Tom, Charlene, Heidi and the Great Oaks’ Family.

We will be joining the NYMH Society, with Britta as our representative, based in CNY. Hopefully, no one will need her services (as an Asst Professor of Infectious Diseases, at SUNY-Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse).

Please see her website and book about her blind dog, San, and his adventures on our farm. He has been gathering NY adventures for another book in the series. All the funds from purchases go to support charity, namely medical studies for clinical officers in Malawi. Books can be purchased via his website and on Amazon.

www.santhedog.com

San’s Adventures on Sleipnir Morgan Horse Farm, by Britta L. Denman; photographs by Elizabeth L D McGee.

AMHA & ADS, the websites and the FEI World Singles Driving Championships.

There is a weekly News Brief from the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA). 

If you belong to the AMHA and wish to subscribe to the Weekly News Brief which is free and delivered to your email:  click on: http://multibriefs.com/optin.php?amha  

If that link which I followed does not work for you…go to the www.morganhorse.com and contact them to sign up.  The News Brief is published by a company named MultiBriefs for the AMHA.

If you do not belong to the AMHA, or just want to check occasionally to see what is happening in the large world of the Morgan Horse…Go to www.morganhorse.com click on News, Dates and Events for News in General.  All the same news appears to be there.

Several of us here on the farm prefer to drive our horses with a cart.  So, I am always interested in Morgan Horse Driving News.

Two Morgan Horse enthusiasts and their Morgan Horses are representing the USA in team and individual competition in the FEI World Singles Driving Championships.

They are now in Italy with their Morgan Horses for a competition starting today, July 30th and ending on Aug. 1st.

You can read more about them using either method above.

Also, The American Driving Society, which John has been a member of for years (a membership for your favorite person is a convenient Birthday gift!) is doing a photo series following the U S Team.  The photos from trailering to practice sessions can be seen at www.americandrivingsociety.com

Our best wishes to all the members of the TEAM.

AND YEA!! For the Morgans!!

Morgan Horses in the South

Recently, I was looking at the statistics section of the members section of the American Morgan Horse Association website (AMHA) www.morganhorse.com.

There is lots of interesting information on the website, which is the official site for the Morgan Horse. You do not have to be a member to access a great deal of information about this magnificent animal from the site. But, being a member does provide extra benefits.

The site promotes all the aspects of the potential of the Morgan Horse. One of the prime characteristics of the Morgan is his/her versatility. There are so many ways to enjoy these wonderful companions: backyard pleasure; trails; endurance contests; work horses – cow horses to police mounts; carriage driving; hunter-jumpers; dressage; breeding to preserve and enhance bloodlines; and, of course, in the show ring; just to name a few ways to utilize the Morgan Horses’ talents.

But, back to statistics. We have lived in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest. For the past fourteen years, we have been living in the South, specifically in Eastern Tennessee 

I was interested in the number of Morgan Horses that there are in Tennessee, and elsewhere in the South. When we moved here, we didn’t know anyone else who owned Morgan Horses.  Since then, we belong to, and/or support a couple different southern Morgan Horse clubs/associations.

There were 1,079 Tennesse Morgan horses in Total as of December 31, 2009, which accounted for approximately 1% (1.06%) of all the Morgan Horses in the world. Now, statistics may be off a bit due to unreported deaths, and non-registered births. But, we can assume that this is a fairly accurate picture. Of these, 275 are stallions; 558 are mares; and 246 are geldings.

We can play the six degrees of separation game; but that is still MANY more Morgan Horses than I can personally name here in Tennessee.

For those of you who are not members of the AMHA, and/or do not have access to the statistics, let me tell you some other statistics.

There are 507 Morgan Horses in Alabama (.50%); 1,136 Morgans in Georgia (1.11%); 1425 Morgans in Kentucky (1.40%); 1450 in North Carolina (1.42%); 421 in South Carolina (.41%); and Virginia has 1570 (1.54%). Louisiana has 211 (.21%) and Mississippi has 165 (.16%).
Florida, a special case, with many former Northern Morgan Horse owners and trainers, has the most in the South, 2002 or (1.96%).

State Stallions Mares Geldings Total %age
TN 275 558 246 1079 1.06%
AL 117 277 113   507    .50%
GA 227 585 324 1136 1.11%
KY 343 769 313 1425 1.40%
NC 284 732 434 1450 1.42%
SC   86 227 108 421 .41%
VA 265 835 470 1570 1.54%
LA   44 108   59 211 .21%
MS   46 68   51 165 .16%
FL 368 1011 623 2002 1.96%
Totals 2055 5170 2741 9966 9.77%

Statistics courtesy of the AMHA www.morganhorse.com

So, people with wonderful, versatile, beautiful, and smart Morgan Horses:   Please write and tell us how you enjoy being with your Morgan Horses…

And even more important, join your local state Morgan Horse club, and let people with and without a Morgan, know about your Morgan horse(s).

If you need information regarding the local associations, please contact the AMHA www.Morganhorse.com or us….we’ll connect you.

and please see the Blue Ridge Morgan Horse Association website:  http://www.blueridgemorganhorseassociation.yolasite.com/  Sue Nerland, who has done a wonderful job with the website, just turned over webmaster duties to Michael McGee, who is putting his own touches to the site.

And come back often…it is a work in progress.