Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Second Appaloosa and Formula One Farms is born!

In my search for people who knew these horses, I met some nice and some not so nice people. Some were people who should never ever have horses and I not only walked away from them, I ran and did not look back! Scary things those types do to horses!

I was fortunate to meet a fairly nice and diverse group in the Feather River Appaloosa Horse Club, based right in our little town of Lincoln, CA. Not everyone had Appaloosa horses, not everyone was into the show scene either. A few were great trail riding buffs with huge Apps. A couple were gamers and there were activities galore offered by this club. Since I was on a huge learning curve, I spent my time participating and supporting the efforts of this small group.

Even my hubby was happy to hang with the men in this club, they were Mountain Men and Pony Express riders and they hunted too! So he was thrilled to get to talk about rifles, pistols and other assorted guns. It was a family atmosphere where everyone watched out for each other, the kids and horses.

At this point, hubby and I decided he needed to get himself an App. Old Banner was just the sweetest horse, but hefting around hubby all day long was starting to wear on him. We decided to breed Josey to a club members Appaloosa stallion. This horse was shown and was also ridden. It appeared very calm and stout, crossing on to Josey would surely produce a nice, beefy smaller sized horse that we could train up just for hubby. So Josey was bred.

A long wait ensued and the excitement grew! Everything around our place was gearing up for the blessed event, our dear little Josey was going to hopefully have a nicely colored, sweet and easy going foal. That was our hope anyway. Things don't always turn out like you want. But at 2:15 am on Easter Sunday morning, Josey delivered a super cute little guy and in the darkness of night he appeared to be all white. We were excited and stunned!

You know how the name game goes, well after a lot of compromise, Josey's Sundae Jack got a name. I called him Sundae and hubby called him Jack. I am sure he was confused while he was growing up just as to who he really was. He was very sweet and he was defiant, very defiant! We kept working with him, letting him know who was boss and kept his education going.

It was late in the summer of Sundaes first year that I decided I wanted to take him to a halter class. He was not a halter horse, he was lanky (secretly I loved his build) but I thought it was important for Sundae to experience the outing. He had already been in several local parades, ponied off his dam. He spent time at the California State Fair getting petted by every little girl and boy. He loved the attention and just blossomed. So a member of the club offered to give me a hand at prepping him for his Halter debut.

Sundae learned all about clippers, baths, walking and stopping and trotting and standing! He was great. He never placed in the class! But it wasn't about winning, it was about learning and supporting that wonderful club.

Sundae was gelded at eight months, he was registered at the ApHC and Formula One Farms was founded. We only raised cattle, pigs and sheep at that time. The club had a Poker Ride every fall that attracted hundreds of riders from the local area and I met a truly unique individual during that first Poker Ride who was to have a huge influence on me and my horses.

Time went on, Sundae grew and grew and would not stop growing. When he passed the 14 hh mark on his first birthday, we were quite amazed. Hubby wanted a small horse, I liked tall, lean and muscled horses. I thought he looked great, hubby was worried he wouldn't be able to get on and off during hunting rides. It didn't matter then, he was a yearling and I took him everywhere. In the English shows, Suitability for Dressage Class, Sundae was a hit! He loved running with his person and boy could he really move out with his trot. He was lovely, floating along beside me just as cute as he could be! I was enamored!

next blog...........The Sport Horses have no spots!

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