Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Look Back at 2010

WHEW!!! We made it! 2010 is behind us and I am so very happy to have survived it!

In many ways, 2010 was a great year for Formula One Farms and MK Sport Horses! A lot of hours were spent prepping horses for their shows, primping horses at the shows and travel time to and from shows. Mike Kincella made our Casper into a first class Dressage mover at First Level, competed him with the big boy Warm Bloods and came home in the top 5 at all three tests!! Very nice!

Mike also took on an unhandled weanling Lusitano stallion and made him a champion too! It was truly a labor of love! An extremely gifted mind handled by an extremely gifted mind! No owner could ask for more of their trainer; compassionate determination is the best way to describe my observations of Mike and his training of horses all year, including my own!

We also made money in 2010! Hot diggity dog...that was pretty fun! Of course we did not make enough money to offset all our expenses, but making money at competition is pretty dang fun! Extreme Trail, Trail Challenges, Competitive Trail and Ultimate Trail Competitions are paying out money, usually down to 3rd place, some down to 6th. So, get out and give these competitions a try, they are a blast! Casper now has a lifetime earning from Extreme Trail of $650 (one year)! LOL! I can't tell you how nice it is to be out on the trail having fun, learning new obstacles, challenging ourselves and spending time with friends! Some of the competitions to look for in 2011 are Ride the West, EXCA Events, OTAHC's Events and any local CTC's. Support these as best you can, the continued use of our trail systems depends upon our proving we need them!!

We also got our first parade under our belt!! Mike was gracious enough to loan us the use of his lovely fancy wooden Houghten Sulky. I did not want to take Casper into a large and unorganized parade, I wanted his first experience at a parade to be a good one. We attended the local Clayton Brickyard Days Parade! It was well attended, short, but lots of crowds! My friends who came to watch sent me this photo of Casper and I passing by!

Besides all the public events, we did a lot of private trail riding in 2010. The kind of rides that make you happy you have such a horse as your own! Those are the best kinds of trail rides, peaceful, quiet conversations, challenging terrain, old familiar paths, nature blooming all around you and the sound of confident hooves pushing you along! Love the trail rides!

Not everything of 2010 was good. Lot's of people have gotten out of horses altogether. Herd dispersal sales were rampant! The Great Recession has taken it's toll on many horse owners and horses. My beloved Appaloosa breed seemed to lose many many long time breeders. Made me sad to see so many of them hang up their bridles, but I guess finding good homes for their animals before their health failed was a smart move for both the horses and themselves!

2010 was not so great for the ApHC either! It appears from my side of the fence more special interests are guiding that association than ever before! First there was a proposal to register Cropouts...something not done within the breed for well over 30 years! A 1/2 Paint colt got approved for ApHC papers and now holds a National did that happen?! And some idiot at some desk allowed a world wide known and AQHA suspended Horse Abuser to have membership within the ApHC and he too has a title, a World Show title. Appalling things are going on at the ApHC, things I don't want much to do with!! Things that are a disgrace to the Breed and the Association!

All in all, 2010 has given me a lot of reasons to reflect, some very good and some very bad! Choosing a path for the future of Formula One Farms is not too difficult, we will follow our instincts, maintain our love for the Appaloosa Horse, uphold our ethics and keep working on the dream!!