Farm News

Welcome to our farm blog, where we will be informing you of all new developments and current events happening on our farm. This is the place where you can check back on us from time to time to be up-to-date!

A Morgan ló eredetéről


Amerika legendája: "Figure"

„A Morgan ló szépsége megdobogtatja mindenki szívét. A fajta szinte egyedülálló módon mintha csakis azért létezne, hogy kedvébe járjon az embernek. Egyszerűen erre van teremtve!” (forrás: Amerikai Morgan Ló Szövetség, AMHA)

A kezdetekről...

A Morgan lófajta eredete egészen különleges, hiszen mindössze egy alapító ménre vezethető vissza. „Figure” a Massachusetts állambeli Springfieldben született 1789-ben, és legendás története akkor kezdődött, amikor egy Justin Morgan nevű férfi jelentéktelennek tűnő fiatal 2 éves csikóként egy adósság fejében megkapta és magával vitte Vermontba. Justin Morgan lótenyésztéssel foglalkozott és farmerként dolgozott, ugyanakkor zenét tanítva bejárta az államok egész keleti részét.

Ahogy Figure növekedett, a környezete egyre inkább felfigyelt rá méretét meghazudtoló ereje, kitartása, munkabíró képessége, gyorsasága, és nem kevésbé szépsége és könnyű kezelhetősége miatt. Korabeli leírások alapján marmagassága alig több, mint 142 cm lehetett, súlya pedig mindössze 430 kg. Figure kemény élethez szokott: hétközben a földeken dolgozott, az erdőirtásban segédkezett, hétvégén pedig parádés kocsiba fogva vitte gazdáját a városba, mégis végig egészségesen, sőt kétszer annyi ideig élt, mint legtöbb társa. Mindennapi munkája után egyre többen hívták ki gyorsasági és erőt próbáló versenyekre, és a kis pej mén sorra nyertesként került ki ezekből a párbajokból.


Figure (Justin Morgan)

„Justin Morgan lovának” hamarosan híre ment már nem csak a környéken azzal, hogy minden őt kihívó versenylónál gyorsabban futott, és minden hidegvérű munkalónál nagyobb súlyt bírt elhúzni, de egyre kedveltebb fedezőmén is vált belőle az egész keleti partvidéken. Nem csupán közvetlen utódaira, hanem több generáción átívelő módon is kiválóan örökítette rendkívüli tulajdonságait: intelligenciáját, jó természetét, szívósságát, munkakedvét, és mindhárom jármódban biztos lábú, térölelő harmonikus mozgását. Figure, azaz „Justin Morgan” ezzel Amerika első lófajtáját alapozta meg.

 Figure 1821-ig élt, de sok leszármazottja közül különösen három fia, Sherman, Bulrush és Woodbury vált híressé, és folytatta méltó módon apja hagyatékát. A mai napig, minden regisztrált Morgan ló visszavezethető a fajta eredeti alapító ménjéhez.

Amerika nemzetté válásával együtt országszerte egyre inkább elterjedt a Morgan. Sokoldalúsága, ami szinte nem ismert határokat kiemelte a többi fajta közül. Ennek köszönhetően a Morgan lett az egyik legkedveltebb munkaló, marhaterelő ló, postakocsiló, sportló és családi ló.

Az 1840-es évekre a Morgan vált az ügetőversenyek nagy favoritjává, és döntötte meg sorra az akkori világrekordokat. Az amerikai polgárháborúban a lovashadsereg és a nehéztüzérség is a Morgan lovakat részesítette előnyben, mivel minden más lónál jobban és tovább bírták a háború kíméletlen élet-, és munkakörülményeit. Az aranyláz és a nyugatra való terjeszkedés idején Morgan lovakkal hódítottak újabb és újabb területeket az első telepesek, és a nagy ranchek kialakulásával a Morgan vált a legmegbízhatóbb marhaterelő lóvá kifejezetten jó „cow-sense”-ének köszönhetően.

A XIX. század vége felé egyre nagyobb divatja lett a nagyobb termetű lovaknak. És ezzel egyidőben vette kezdetét a Morgan lovak keresztezése más fajtákkal azzal a nem titkolt szándékkal, hogy a Morgan ló kiemelkedő képességeit és szépségét átörökítsék más magasabb testalkatú fajtákra. Ennek eredményeképpen az vált nyilvánvalóvá, hogy bármilyen fajtájú kancát fedeztettek vele, a Morgan domináns génjeinek köszönhetően nagy sikerrel járult hozzá más lófajták (többek között az a Magyarországon is igen kedvelt Quarter) minőségének javításához, ezzel párhuzamosan azonban a Morgan ló népszerűsége kissé alábbhagyott.

A Morgan ló jellemzői, és hasznosítása:

“A feje középnagy, lapockája dőlt, marja kifejezett. Mellkasa mély, lábelőrevitele szabályos, lapockájának szabad mozgása térnyerő járást tesz lehetővé. A klasszikus Morgan ló dongás mellkasú, jól zárt törzsű, ágyéka erős, feszes. A hát inkább rövid, de széles és jól izmolt. A szár erős csontozatú. A tenyésztési szabályzat szimmetrikus fart és és szabályos hátsó lábakat ír le. Csűdjei meredekek. Tanulékony, kitartó fajta, hosszú élettartamú. Alkalmazkodó típus, jó tulajdonságainak köszönhetően az egész világon elterjedt. Akciós mozgású, kitartó, kemény fajta. Kifejezetten sokoldalú a hasznosítása, figyelemre méltó a teljesítménye nyereg alatt és kocsihúzásban is. Westernlovaglásra és szabadidőlóként is jól hasznosítható. A mai napig használják szállítási munkákra is.” (szöveg forrás: Wikipedia)


Morgan kanca


Morgan mén

A jelenről...

Ma a Morgan lovak reneszánszát éli a világ, ahogy egyre nagyobb igény támad a megbízható, készséges, jól kezelhető családi és hobbilovakra, miközben egyre többször találkozunk velük a különböző versenypályán ás arénában is. A lovassport legtöbb ágában megállják a helyüket: közkedvelt, dinamikus show-lovak, érzékeny díj-, és ugrólovak, kitartó távlovak, együttműködő túra, és hobbilovak, de nagy előszeretettel használják őket a legkülönbözőbb western versenyeken, lovas-bemutatókon, a fogatsportban, sőt rendőrlóként és terápiás lóként is.

„A morgan horse sokoldalúságát mi sem bizonyítja jobban, mint az a tény, hogy egyazon morgan horse nemegyszer western pleasure versenyen, díjlovaglásban, díjugratásban és terepversenyen is starthoz áll.” (forrás: www.pointernet.pds.hu)

Az amerikai kontinensről hódító útjára indult Morgan azóta megjelent Canadától Dél-Amerikán át egész Ausztráliáig. Európában Nagy Britannia, Németország és Svédország vált elsősorban a Morgan ló európai fellegvárává, ugyanakkor Magyarországon ez a lófajta sajnálatos módon még szinte ismeretlen.

Az első Morgan ló magyarországi importjára az USA-ból 2009-ben került sor, de az azóta hazánkban is elindult tenyésztésnek köszönhetően mára egyed számuk már eléri a 13-at (erről bővebben a következő részben számolunk be).

Azoknak tehát még itthon nem ismerik a „Morgan horse”-t, szívből ajánljuk ezt az Amerikában legsokoldalúbbnak tartott fajtát, amelyik a népszerűségi skálán ma is a negyedik helyen szerepel. Kialakulásának története, amiről e cikk keretében csak röviden írhattunk, olyan különleges és izgalmas, hogy még Walt Disney-t is megihlette, és "Justin Morgan Had a Horse", (azaz "Justin Morgannek volt egy lova") címen 1972-ben filmre vitte a történetet. Aki pedig olvasta N. Evans „Suttogó” című könyvét, az tudja, hogy a történet főszereplője, Pilgrim ugyancsak egy Morgan. A történelem során nem sok lóról készült életnagyságú szobor, sem síremlék – a Morgan lófajta alapító ménjéről igen!

„Justin Morgan kis lova, Figure tehát tényleg tudott valamit. És a morgan horse szerelmesei, akik mindvégig kitartottak az általuk megkedvelt fajta mellett, úgy tűnik, kiváló munkát végeztek. Hiszen a morgan horse - mint láthatjuk - ma is éppolyan sokoldalú, megbízható, szép és jó ló, mint amikor első képviselője a múlt század végén Vermontba érkezett!” .” (forrás: www.pointernet.pds.hu)

 

 (Megjegyzés: A képeket az Amerikai Morgan Ló Szövetség engedélyével közöltük)


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The Birth of SVMH

Well, we are proud to announce the fantastic news - now that the foaling season is officially over on our farm, and just in time for giving names to our first two beautiful foals that fit into AMHA's 24 characters, we received the confirmation by email that ShannonVale Morgan's prefix has been confirmed and reserved! And a short time after that this certificate came in a nice big envelop!

SVMH prefix




Color Your Dream With Lumi

This blog post is way too long overdue, since our herd sire, Amberfields Luminescence, aka Lumi arrived at our farm actually a month ago, but all the preparation and excitement preceding and following his arrival got me completely distracted from our website :)

Take one look at him, and I am sure you will understand...

Lumi plakát

But let me now tell you all about how Lumi, this most extraordinary Morgan stallion came to live with us to become our invaluable asset for our breeding future.

It is our vision and goal to produce young stock that will come from a pedigree of proven bloodlines manifesting the fullness of the physical and mental capacity of the Morgan horse. In order to do just that we were looking at many options for a herd sire for ShannonVale Morgans from obtaining a great stallion prospect colt and bringing him up ourselves to purchasing a proven stallion with outstanding get already on the ground... I guess both could be a successful approach to a breeding program in the long run, however those of you out there with a long history in breeding would rightly give the advice to take the latter one... Well, that is exactly what we voted for!

Lumi foals collage

(Above: Outstanding foals sired by Lumi at RBD Morgan, USA)

As a first Morgan breeding stallion owner, our other main priority was to find one with the most gentle personality for easy handling, that he would pass onto his offspring, and last but not least we wanted to add that special touch of color to make many people's dream come true...

Do you now start to see how we narrowed down our many options and finally concluded that we will be investing into importing yet another horse from the USA, the double dilute cremello stallion, Sue Olson's favorite "spirit horse" - Amberfields Luminescence?

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Lumi said goodbye to his wonderful home at Rafter Bar D Morgans in Wisconsin already at the very beginning of February and went for collection of frozen semen. I know very well how difficult moment it was both for him and his loving family, the Olsons... The state vet of Wisconsin who has been breeding Morgans for many a decade sent me an unsolicited report of how impressed they were with him... What an endorsement!

I must say that I am pleased to know that he did not have to leave the US without the possibility of more foals in his own homeland knowing that his departure is definitely America's loss and Europe's gain!

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Lumi had a long journey all the way from Madison, WI where he was collected to Equiflight's quarantine facility in Texas. He spent another 30 days in the caring hands of Katie Forest Schröder and her team before he could actually fly over to AMS on 8th April. 

He had a couple of days rest while waiting for his pick-up in the best horse hotel in Amsterdam and finally arrived at our place in top shape early morning on 16th April...

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So after the most agonizing time for me of waiting and praying for him to make it safely all the way to Europe, our small beloved Morgan family is finally complete! Thank God!

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It is difficult to put into words the emotions that I was going through as I was just standing there next to him touching him for the first time and watching him in awe... 

He took a long and inquisitive look around his new home, then happily stretched his long legs after what must have been a most exhausting ride in a trailer, then he shook his beautiful head almost in disbelief as if saying in relief: "I am free at last..."

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He settled in very easily and seems to enjoy his brand new paddock with a shed that he occupied immediately, and was not the least bothered with the other stallion next door to him. What a gentle and well behaving boy! Yes, I am fully in love :)

Our plan with Lumi is to breed our own mares with him, and also offer him at stud to selected mares. In case of serious inquiries we are certainly available to send him for collection for frozen semen.

You are also welcome to reserve any of his foals from our mares (your choice) for the next breding season. The foals will be available after weaning in the autumn.

For further information, please contact us on this link!


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A Day To Remember - Arrival

What a day it was - a day so long awaited, so many silent prayers said, so many hours planned, when it literally "dawned on me" that our Morgan mares all the way from the USA will show up in a huge trailer and set their foot first on our farm! That day arrived on the 3rd October 2015!    

Colors of ShannonVale


We had a host of friends waiting with us who arrived in the early in the morning well before sunrise and what a team it was! My husband - Jan, our farm help - Sanyi, and his wife - Éva with their son - Roli, and grandson - Milán, our friends - Péter and Andi,   with their daughters - Saci and Hanna, Móni - my horse trainer and Lili, the daughter of my horseman neighbor. I am so thankful for your presence, your help and the shared anticipation and joy of the day that marked the birth of ShannonVale Morgans! 

The truck of Horse Trans Cargo arrived still in pitch dark and stopped further out on the road because the tree branches were too low to drive under, so our welcoming committee ran out on the road as soon as we saw the light approaching...

My heart was beating so fast I could hardly control myself, and there they were, my beautiful girls: Fate, Windfall and Lottie!

Other than being obviously curious where they were, and finally being able to stretch a leg... without any issues we led them into our round pen with ad lib hay and fresh water waiting for them - and lots of hugs!

Arrival from the USA

I was thinking to myself how terribly exhausting it must for poor horses to stand in one place and balancing in a moving car for so many hours on the road - their muscles must feel stiff like wood... and sure enough I did not have to wait long to see them rolling in the sand stretching and scratching…

Arrival Windfall Fate


And then just rest... rest and sleep!

We were sitting around the round pen pretty much the whole day could not have enough watching them settle in and start feeding, drinking and just be left alone in peace!

Welcome to Europe, welcome home to ShannonVale!


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The Beauty of Developing a Farm

Life never stops on a farm, but when you are preparing the ground from scratch for a band of broodmares to come to your property, you have a few things to finish... Would you agree?

With our starting point being an empty field we also had to go through the motions of building the full infrastructure that would provide for our beautiful Morgan horses the optimum "Paddock Paradise" environment, and at the same time make our life and work as "easy" as possible.

The work started already last summer. Since we already had two horses to take care of and "work" with - one Hungarian half-blood and a Quarter, it seemed like a good idea to create a small riding arena outside of the pasture they are grazing on. So we were looking for the most sandy terrain and put a rope-fence around it to mark the borders of the "playground". "Texas" and "Shy Guy" soon started to enjoy it!

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Having fun and enjoying our land, we lost track of time passing by so quickly, but then realized that there's work to be done: we needed a hay barn to store the hay for the coming winter... 

My husband suggested to search the internet for used wooden electric poles to hold the structure - I must say I was more than sceptical... 

Can you imagine the surprise I got when I found more than a dozen 6m poles all at one place for just "peanuts"? Though we had to haul them from quite a long distance, it was a still the best way of saving our resources. And I think it actually turned out faily pretty...

haybarn


The next thing we built was the round pen even before the winter set in, because we wanted to try out how the sand we used to fill up the 52ft area would hold in the "dreaded" wet season. Now, to appreciate that, you need to know that our soil is the weirdest mixture of sand and clay. I personally have never seen anything like that... 

It gets rock hard when dry, but slimy and slippery during rain and snow at some spots, but loose and grainy at some other... Go figure! 

But thank God, our surface did just fine, we could actually use it all throughout the winter and spring under the most critical conditions of melting snow.

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Hardly did we have a sigh of relief, we had to brace ourselves for next big thing: a tack-room! Putting together a small wooden house from timber is no kid's game, but if you have plenty of  time for playing in nice weather, it can even be fun! However, there was no time for that! I had to order the full do from a professional to be done in 3 days. And what a good decision it was: the snow was not waiting for us much longer.

Short a dark days were quickly approaching, and surely we were happy to have a cosy shelter from it all. Once your hands feel frozen no matter what you do, there is just nothing better than warming them by the stove while listening to that still crackling of fire in an old steel drum...

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After all the hassle of opening and closing our gate we first set up when we moved out here with a chain, I craved for a heavy-duty gate with a decent lock. We still had some electric poles left, so hence came the idea of a proper ranch-gate that would be welcoming our future visitors with a style...

Who then thought of the difficulty of raising such heavy poles up and stabilising them in all directions to make sure that when the wind blows - and , boy, it does sometimes -  the whole thing would not fall to the ground? Now, I know... But we had a neighbour came to our rescue with his tractor and while the giant structure went up, I was silently singing to myself: "Raise high the roof beem, carpenters!"

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The big spring project to was erecting a large enough run in shed with a paddock around it that will provide protection even for the entire herd together against the scorching sun, the unpleasant wintry showers and wind, but can also be used to separate a pregnant mare (or even 2 with a middle bar separating it into two "compartments") for foaling or any other horse, if necessary. 

The placement was our biggest concern, since we wanted to put the closed back of the building towards the prevailing wind, yet offer a wide enough panorama for the horses under the shelter to see the other herd members around the track or out on the pasture during turnout. It had to have an easy access for our quad and trailer to drive in from our road, and out onto the track to be able to collect manure and go to the feeding stations with the hay. 

The original position in our plans just did not seem to accomodate all four criteria, so we finally decided to move the shed to the Northern side of our property, and alas, everything just fell into place :)

Run in shed


Before the arrival of our first Morgan mare, Justin Silk from England in the beginning of May, we had to separate the only remaining stallion, Texas (Shy Guy was gelded in still in March) from the future broodmare band, so 2 corrals were created for 2 stallions, one spot held for our future herd sire...

The beauty of it all it that the only place we could allocate for this was right next to our garden, so I can keep an eye on those boys through the game fence from our terrace...

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And when we finally thought we were finally getting closer to accomplishing the most vital tasks, we ran into an unexpected complication: our well that we had used without a problem for an entire year before one day decided to dry out... How that is possible after a fairly wet winter, we may never find out. We needed a solution and we needed it fast!  As a quick-fix we started to fill up the water tanks from the borehole that supplies water to our house (we are completely off the grid), but another borehole had to be had yesterday... However, once starting on a "watering project" I decided we needed and even more sophisticated system: I wanted an all-season tank! I could just visualize how much easier it would be when temperatures drop below freezing point. I was dreaming... then planning... then acting...

We "only" needed someone to drill a deep borehole, dig long ditches for piping and electricity (all the way from the house and hoping it would not lose too much power on the distance) through the finally recovering lawn, get a reliable, powerful enough pump, install a few filters and on the count of 1... 2...3... there it was: an automated, all-season watering system for our fledgling Paddock Paradise!

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Well, these were our "9 Wonders" of farm development prior to receiving first Justin Silk from Hamar Horses, then JMF Twist of Fate from RBD Morgans, Mossrose Windfall from Mossrose Morgans and Book's End Dulce Chocolat from Sheradin Morgans Farm... 

The 10th wonder is that we somehow have managed to accomplish all of this in just one year thanks to the patience and support of my husband, and the dedication and hard work of our farm help without whom nothing, absolutely nothing could have happened! Big, big kudos to both men! 

Let it suffice to say: if you want something important to work hard, good and long, it is important that you first work hard, good and long for it.

No exceptions!!!



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Spring Visit to Wisconsin

Half a year ago I would not have dared to think about going all the way to the USA just to visit our Morgan mares to be, but alas... life proved me wrong again...

I have however been cherishing a dream to one day visit an Eitan Beth-Halachmy Cowboy Dressage Clinic, wherever it would take me! Well, this spring Eitan was visiting Wisconsin, which is where - as it happens - two of our broodmares were scheduled to be bred... The breeders of these two horses, Sue Olson from Rafter Bar D Morgans, and Jane Pietenpol from Mossrose Morgans have been gently nudging us to come to the US for a visit and see the mares before making such a huge commitment, but that idea seemed just too farfetched. We trusted them both enough anyway to buy our Morgans from them. 

However, as our plans were slowly unfolding, the date of their actual breeding came closer and closer to Eitan's Wisconsin CDC, so much so that we started to feel compelled to witness an "all inclusive American package tour". It was an irresistible opportunity! 

So, we booked our flights to Minneapolis for a "spring" visit to Wisconsin. 

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We were so blessed to be invited to the farm at Rafter Bar D, Sarona, where we spent our first 3 days with Sue and Derrick Olson. They so generously shared their home, their time, their life, even their family and friends with us. I felt  like coming home... Not to speak about the juicy angus beefsteak, those breakfast pancakes with maple syrup made by Derrick that we had! In addition to their special hospitality, I also had the most invaluable crash-course, a real "Breeding 1:1" from the depth of Sue's Morgan breeding experience. I am going to be forever grateful for that! And last, but not least, it was with the greatest anticipation that I was waiting to see our mare JMF Twist of Fate for the first time and have an eye-to-eye with her! She is just what I was expecting, a very female looking black beauty with jaw-dropping movement and the sweetest temperament. I am so excited that we will such a wonderful broodmare in our breeding program. But this was far more than just an opportunity to meet her, we were there to personally witness her breeding by RBD's fancy cremello stallion, Amberfields Luminescence. All I can say, that she is a real lady, and he is a real gentleman! I am expecting the most stunning foal to be born to us next year!  

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(photo: courtesy of Sue Olson)

And to really make our visit memorable, we were on "mare watch" with Sue pretty much day and night to see their first foal of the season to drop from JMF Kit N Kaboodle sired by JMF True North... I was so priviledged to be there for such a time as this. A serene waiting experience with a lot of suspense!  But that shy boy decided not to be presented to this world until we were on our way to River Falls to visit Jane and John Pietenpol... 

It is a thrill to be welcome by people on the other side of the planet you never met in your life, and yes, another such encounter was waiting for us at Mossrose Morgans. Jane and John opened their house to us, we shared great Wisconsin cheese and Californian wine with them and were even able to borrow their recliners...That just says it all.. We purchased their 100% foundation palomino mare Mossrose Windfall, a Californio grand daughter, a very sensitive horse trained for cutting... I was pretty curious to see that! Jane was riding her for me to show how she does the job - and yes, that girl is cowy indeed! Yet again we were lucky to be there just in time for her breeding by their dark bay reining champion, Whippoorwill Newmoon. Even though he is coming 27, that stallion meant business. 

Riding Windfall

(photo: courtesy of Jane Pietenpol)

Jane also prepared a nice surprise for me: I had the chance of riding John's cow horse Mossrose Top of the World, aka "Chief" and even Windfall. In fact I was given a gratis training session in western riding with her and ended up going out for a small trail ride around the pasture... Fun, fun and more fun! 

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(photo: courtesy of Jane Pietenpol)

Two days were quickly gone at River Falls, and we were heading south on Interstate Highway 94 with only a brief stop to pick up riding boots for me at Boot Barn. We were booked into La Quinta Inn in Pleasant Prairie, Kenosha. My time has come to attend Eitan's Cowboy Dressage Clinic as an auditor for the weekend ... 
What a privilege!

Those two clinic days at Sunflower Farm in Bristol were worth the weight of all the horses attending it in gold! I never thought I'd be interested in Cowboy Dressage as a discipline, and I am still not, but I admit that after attending that clinic, I have discovered that this type of traning creates the ultimate partnership and lightness in both horse and rider! To see how Eitan was gently guiding the clinic participants to perform the tasks at hand better with great sense of humor was a real pleasure and a precious lesson in good mentoring. I have a lot of things to digest and practice, and practice, practice, practice! 

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After the clinic we took the long drive back to Sarona to be with Sue and Derrick one more day, and I had the chance to learn a bit about foal handling! We were also honored to meet Sue's parents for dinner on our  last evening. I could just sit beside people like them and listen to their stories from the olden days... To me they are like living legends!

One final night on mare watch before we leave tomorrow - this time with Truwest Adobe Rose with lots of coffee... but no baby! I guess that experience is for me to have only on our own farm soon...

Good bye at Sarona

(photo: courtesy of Sue Olson)

Saying goodbye is always hard, but this time I found it somewhat harder - the long distance between Hungary and America seemed painfully far to come to terms with, but I am hopeful - really hopeful, that we will meet our special friends again in the not so distant future!

Our horses, Fate and Windfall will soon be joining us! But Sue, Derrick, John and Jane - you are also invited to ShannonVale! Our door is open to you - be our guest!


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Starting Our Paddock Paradise

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We decided to create a natural horse boarding facility in form of a so called "Paddock Paradise" track system on the perimeter of a 6 acre pasture in order to accomodate our future breeding program of Morgan horses. 

But long before that could happen we had a lot of things to accomplish! The very first thing we had to do even before the first two horses of our friend who will be our helper on the farm arrived, was to put up an electric fence on the inside of the already fenced around area, and let the horses try out the "track". It was wonderful to observe how they really made their own meandering path all around... It worked!

They started developing great muscles just in a few weeks time from having to go up and down on the hillside to find their food and water. We were placing salt and mineral block also deliberately a distance away to make them walk even more.

The idea is to keep them constantly on the move on the appr. 1 km perimeter track, which is what they would naturally do to seek out a water hole, go find the next pasture with grass to feed on, or visit other herds along the way, etc...

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Here is an arial view with my initial drawing of our land on which we have started to develop a Paddock Paradise from scratch. As you see there are hardly any trees on our field to give any shade for the horses, except for the forest on the South-West side of the property, so part of our plan is to build a large run-in shed to provide shelter from really strong wind and incremental weather.

More details and pictures about that perhaps later in an upcoming posts...


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Humble Beginnings

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In May of 2014 we welcomed the first two horses on our property! They arrived barefoot on their own hooves after a gruelling 7-hour journey and were "brave enough" to take up lodging with us. Yes, they had a pasture to graze on at their pleasure and enough water from our newly refurbished old well to drink that we inherited when buying the land, but they had to put up with the heat in the summer for lack of any roof for protection against the scorching sun. 

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Earlier in the spring - already in due preparation - we overseeded our pastures to provide a greater variety of grass to graze from and thanks to all the moisture in the soil remaining from the winter we had more than enough food to offer. The two stallions settled in very easily into their new environment.

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It was at that time that I read the book "Paddock Paradise - A Guide on Natural Horse Boarding" and I got immediately inspired and started to see how all the benefits of this approach would alter our plans to develop the farm. "PP" as the author Jamie Jackson puts it himself:

  • Encourages more natural movement, as nature intended.
  • Greater movement means natural hoof wear with fewer bills.
  • Protects horses from dangerous founder-prone pastures.
  • Minimizes the need for warm-up exercise time before riding.
  • Helps address neurotic behavior by providing natural outlets.
  • Provides an effective means for diet and weight management.
  • Adaptable for breeding, foaling, multiple horse operations.

And thus a long-term project started to create the first Paddock Paradise in Hungary, that is a story for next time...


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© ShannonVale Morgans 2015