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!


© ShannonVale Morgans 2019