Winter Pasture – Jan 2017

A New Year and New Pasture Problems.

The first half of January 2017 we got a bit of new snow and cold with night temperatures in the minus twenties and thirties. The horses continued to do remarkably well out on the pasture. Dry and cold aren’t really much problem for horses.


On the really cold days when the wind is blowing they are usually lined up along the windboards. The day this photo was taken it was cold and windy.  In the photo they look warm and comfortable. And when you go stand where they are, it is much much warmer and no wind. They soak up the sun’s rays. Their coats even feel warm on the sunny side. Continue reading “Winter Pasture – Jan 2017”

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 4

Summer goes fast in Alberta. Seems the snow is barely gone before the grasses along the ditches are heading out. The countryside changes from greens to golds and yellows and hints of red. The days shorten even more rapidly than they lengthened or so it seems.


Before you know it, it’s weaning time.

At first it is all very exciting to be back in the paddocks you were born in and racing around with Mom and mates.


Then Mom is gone and you are left with old George and your buddy Hawk. George waits patiently while his newest charges figure out that looking for Mom is a waste of time. He soon lures them over to the nice hay and bed that have been set up and gets them learning about “life after Mom”.


Marco got busy figuring out what it was he was good at.

Slope sliding…


Racing in the snow…




A few dressage moves…


He made some mistakes…


For which he appeared to almost lose his head…


But soon he learned how to get along in the herd and join in the dance.


Not everyone has the opportunity to watch baby horses grow up. Only the very luckiest. When you spend lots of time out watching this process, they get into your heart. They become your friends.

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 1

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 2

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 3

A Horse breeder’s Dream – Part 5

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 2

PART 2: Marco Learns about halters and lead ropes

Friendly and curious described Marco. It wasn’t long before he was interested in the halter and lead shank when we would put it on his mom. We would let the rope drape over his back or over his nose when he was standing beside her.


One day we left the rope hanging over the fence (with the intention of getting Marco’s interest and maybe starting his halter training). He got Mom to come and check it out just in case


and when she showed no alarm about this new plaything, we were soon saving our rope from sure destruction.


I really don’t like chewed ropes so even when he gave us this cute pose we decided it was time to stop using the rope as a teething ring and move on to learning what it really is for.


You can see the trepidation in this photo. He had to use all his braveness to stay.


Soon he was more than willing to let me rub it on his face and put it over his nose.


We have been helping him learn to give to pressure every time we handle him. Just a little bit here and there.


We ended the lesson with a very relaxed and still curious colt.


From this point on Marco never refused to have a halter put on. In fact, he became one of those “Pick Me” horses. I didn’t have a photographer when we started actually leading Marco but it was pretty unremarkable. He figured out almost immediately that the pressure on the halter quit as soon as he stepped forward or towards the pull and he seems to think he is quite special when he has a halter on.

We have even more photos of Marco to share. Stay tuned.

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 1

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 3

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 4

A Horse breeder’s Dream – Part 5

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 1

PART 1. He enters our lives and our dreams

When you witness a new foal being born into this world and watch as he learns to use those long legs and figures out where the lunch box is you can’t help but wonder what is in store for that little life. You laugh when he finally gets his belly full of warm milk and then  spends some time shuffling those long legs and tentatively bending them further and further until he can lay down and sleep.  You feel a special bond and dream that one day this beautiful little spirit will have a loving and patient human of his own to care for him and participate in his training.

Maggie’s 2013 colt Marco was born on a warm spring day in the back paddock. A beautiful dun colored colt with a cute head,


long straight legs


and a friendly, curious attitude.


Time sinks are what they really are. You run out to check on him after lunch and the next thing you know it is supper time.

It is very interesting to watch how quickly mother nature can prepare a helpless newborn foal to live in a world where being able to run fast beside their mother is their only hope for survival.


Or, at least it was that way, if not so much now but those instincts and the ability to run fast when only a few hours old still remain. Within hours they know how to balance on those long legs


and to watch out for obstacles


and to stay by their mom’s shoulder when she wants them to.


Of course we stop often to find the warm milk that fuels the energy needed for all this to happen.


You might think they are all very similar that first day but in reality they are all different.


Some like Marco are brave and curious.Some are almost impossible to see as they are always on the far side of their mom hiding from “strangers”. Their moms’ have something to do with this but if you get the opportunity to watch different foals from the same mare you soon realize they are all different right at birth. Often similar but still different.

Like us I guess.

There is more to Marco’s story. Check back.

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 2

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 3

A Horse Breeder’s Dream – Part 4

A Horse breeder’s Dream – Part 5