By Christiane Husemann
So I wanted to write my first post for HJU in the middle of March, when Spring was just around the corner here in Southern Ontario, but then as always, minutes, hours and days just flew by in the blink of an eye and it is now already May! So on a day that feels more like early March, with our wood stove fired up again, as it was below freezing last night, and a thin layer of ice has returned to the water troughs – today is my day to write! Our 1 year old son is currently taking a nap, I am off work today, and my mother who is visiting from Germany has been so kind as to do the dishes, so here I am ready to join the HJU universe! I think I will start with an introduction to the special animals in our lives that make us Horse Junkies – in good and in bad times…
Our farm is home to 8 horses, from which we are the proud owners of 6. Vagabund, Nicohlas, Sanszi, Lexi, Sissi, and Tina.
Vagabund is my Norwegian Fjord who will be 19 this year, and he has accompanied me for the past 15 years – from high school to university to the real world, from Germany to California to Canada. He is my beautiful constant companion through all these years, and stages in my life. He has pulled me through the dirt, carried me over water, gently pushed tired calves in long cattle drives, and taught me the ropes. He loves to jump and allows me to indulge in my passion for dressage. He has competed at the Special Olympics and is a friend to all that are willing to give him a treat or a kind word. He is truly one in a million! And if you may have seen some posts going around the web with a Fjord that has hearts cut into his mane… yes… that is my Vagabund! This year we want to try doing the Trilogy Series here, which is a combined test of dressage and stadium, but you’ll get to hear more on that in another post‼
Nicohlas is our Welsh-Hackney-Who-Knows?-Mutt Pony. He was purchased at an auction by the owner of the barn we boarded at until we bought our farm in 2011. We don’t know how old he is, but the grey that’s coming in around his face, and a quick look in his mouth tells us he’s not quite a Spring chicken. Although don’t tell him that! She bought him as a ride for her 2 year old son, which was not really what he had in mind. We unfortunately do not know what happened to him in the past, but he is so scared of anything that is human related, that even know, after 4 years of love and kind words, we are happy if he doesn’t run away from us on a good day! Fly Spray bottles are out to get him, and he always needs room to spin around and look at you, as walking behind him can give him nervous shivers! We brought him along when we bought our farm simply because he was friends with Vagabund and we could give him a good home. We adore him in all his quirkiness!
Sanszi is our very first Hanoverian Broodmare that joined us in 2013. We bought her sight unseen from a retiring breeder in Virginia, and fell in love with her the moment we met her! She was never broke to ride, as she was orphaned and injured during her own birth, but was nonetheless raised with so much love and attention, that she is simply the sweetest mare you can have. I have never met a horse that enjoys long showers on hot days as much as her. All we have to do is hold the hose, and she will just spend forever bathing herself! She gave us a beautiful filly last year who I will introduce a little further down, and is in foal again this year. We are getting super antsy as her foal should be here in the next week or two! My bet is that she is just waiting for the weather to get a little better and have the warm rays of sunshine return.
Lexi is our second Broodmare that joined us last Fall. She is a chestnut Oldenburg NA/ISR belle, that is a little shy but my does she love her food! She joined us from Alberta together with her 2014 filly Tina. While we got so lucky that Lexi has become best friends with Sanszi, we are really hoping that we can try to breed both together, so that our foals could always have a friend to play with. It is so important for them to be able to learn and play together, and have aunts that can teach them good equine social behaviour! Lexi loves to be brushed and prance around and talk to the fillies and other neighbors over the fence. She was not bred last year, but we plan on breeding her this year, so that will be exciting and I am still working on narrowing down my stallion choices. It’s just too many good choices!
That leaves us with our two soon to be yearlings Sissi and Tina. Sissi and Tina were both born last May with just a week apart, and are as different as could be. Sissi is by Sir Gregory, while Tina is by Freestyle. Sissi is big boned, and has so much power in her movement, while Tina is like an elegant dainty ballerina. Even their characters couldn’t be more different. While both love a) attention and b) food, Sissi will make sure to let you know that she wants to be a part in everything and needs to have her nose in everything, while Tina just the gentlest polite being. We lovingly call them our “Noodles” (and I have no idea why), but it is just so fitting. What is interesting is that the foal we are expecting this year is also by Freestyle, and it will be so cool to analyze and compare the foals to teach us about our two mares. We are young breeders, and have so much we want to learn!
On that note I can hear my little man thumping on his crib upstairs! I’m excited to share my stories here and to join such a cool international group of awesome people! There is definitely more to come soon and I will keep you updated on our soon-to-be foal watch!!