Monday, December 29, 2008

The Good and the Bad

Well, the Bad first. Some of you will remember that at the Kentucky Horse Park I got news that my mare Moira, in foal to Magnatli, had apparently slipped her foal. Well, no fetus was found in the stall or the paddock, so Doc palpated her leaving us all with a question mark - at 6 months it is apparently difficult to be sure. Her uterus was large, but he could not find a foal as it "might" have slipped over the pelvis and be hard to find. OK, so we did a progesterone level test on her - it was 3.9 which was indicitave that she was still in foal. Just re-palpated her at 9 months, and the results were the same. Large uterus, no foal. Bad luck - I was very much looking forward to a Magnatli colt out of Moira.
On the other hand, Gekla is looking extremely pregnant (in foal to Magnatli) and extremely content with life, and she is due February 16 - I'm hoping this will be a filly. So that's the good part - just got to hope it stays good!
Ah, horse breeding - there's lots of good and lots of bad, but my many years at it have proven, to me, at least, that the good very definitely outweighs the bad.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Winter and Old Dogs

November and December in Virginia are prime riding months- between 50 and 60 degrees, dry and crisp, a great time of year to get in a lot of schooling time. Not this year, though. It has swung wildly from 65 degrees and pouring rain to 25 degrees and 50-mph winds without any kind of pattern at all, making any form of riding routine impossible. To clip the horses would leave them frozen on the bitter days, but they get too hot at 65 degrees to do any serious work. The weather made it impossible to get our outdoor arena finished this fall, so with the ground being either slick as a skating rink or frozen into ruts, it's been nothing but frustration watching them standing around.

Comes December 27, and wow ! 58 degrees and sunny, run and get the tack !

Kazak, the old veteran, knowing him well I put him on the lunge to get his bucks out, 10 minutes of craziness and he was done, lathered but happy. We'll go for a hack tomorrow in the morning when it's cooler, he has a really bushy coat.

Kuma, the youngster, I also put on the lunge line to watch him go and assess where he was at, he hasn't done a stitch of work in almost 6 weeks. It still never ceases to amaze me, 21 years into this breed, how easy they are to get fit and how little it takes to condition them, or I should say, for them to condition themselves. Kuma, who lives out 24/7, does his daily laps down his fence line keeping an eye on the weanlings nextdoor, and even without any formal work in almost 2 months, didn't break a sweat or blow out a match after his pipe-opener.

Watching him trot happily around like he could go on forever, I decided to jump in and enter the endurance world with him this spring, he never wears out and he cheerfully will do whatever I ask, so I guess if I can ride hellbent for leather on a foxhunt for 4 hours, I can do so out on an endurance ride too, and I might even have a chance to look at the scenery while I'm at it ! We'll see if this old dog can actually learn anything new...

Hope it was as nice a day wherever you are as it was here today, hope for spring is still alive !

Central Asian Equines

Friday, December 26, 2008

Winter Weather

Here in Western Washington, we have an abundance of snow. Usually, we get 4 inches and within a day or so, it's turned to mud. Not this year. We have up to 4 FEET in places, it's been snowing for over a week, kids didn't have school most of last week because of the weather and we're tired of it!

Of course, with lots of snow, comes the challenges - frozen water buckets, frozen hoses, blocked gates to paddocks, snowy roads, and last but not least, too much snow on the barn roof. We spent most of Christmas day shoveling off the arena roof, although we only made it part of the way. Temps went up in the afternoon, and we're hoping they go up more. Today, we'll be back up again, shoveling away. Horses are up to their bellies in some paddocks and the charm has worn off. The kids are asking 'when will it end'? Probably just in time for school to start again. On the positive side, it sure is pretty and we can really appreciate it from the top of the arena, as we take a break from shoveling. It does make me very glad that I've got enough hay and grain and a frost free water hydrant though!

We're supposed to get some warming this weekend, and I'm all for it. I think the kids, husband and horses are too. Dogs and cats have just curled up in front of the woodstove, and don't seem to mind a bit.

I'm dreaming of a muddy New Year!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

My post from November said that winter had arrived early in Michigan, it has been an artic winter for sure. Yesterday our low was -1 f (and windy) and our highs have been in the teens and it will not stop snowing! The mares have been out in the pasture with a barn for a run in(and they are mostly snuggled in the straw, not outside) everyone else has been in the barn for the last 3 days and the 3 horses with-out heated automatic waterers have had their buckets almost frozen solid by morning. Shirley recently sent an email asking what we were all doing in the snow. Well Shirley, I for one am wishing I was in Florida with you!!!! I would say Magnatli and Metman are wishing the same!! Do you need a barn hand for the winter? It is a good thing that Teke's are good with confinement, the Teke's don't mind at all being locked in the barn, my sons Paint horse cannot stand being in and is going crazy. Teke's are so easy and low maintenance!

We wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Anne-Marie, Bob, Bobby, Cassidy and Karissa Rasch
Freedom Run Farm

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hello Everyone
Well, Christmas week is upon us. All of my stalls have plastic red bows on them - I think they are pretty, but the horses are not enthused if there is more than just a breeze blowing through the shedrow. I mean, being plastic, the bows crackle & crunch - sooooooo scary! But, by New Year's - by the time I take them down - they will all be totally acclimated - until next year!
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and a New Year full of happiness!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hi everyone,

Seems that winter has arrived early to Michigan this year. The ground is frozen and the snow is already falling. Everyone is doing fine. The babies (well, weanlings) are getting fuzzy, they are now used to their new routine of coming in at night into their stalls and getting brushed and loved on by my kids. I have been schooling Metman over cross country jumps and he loves it. I plan on getting out and competing him in the spring, we will start with novice although the jumps bore him terribly, he really likes the prelim height obstacles. The mares have all been out to pasture with the cows on grass, now that winter has set in I will bring them up to the barn this weekend. Magnatli will go back into trick training in December and Aishet will go with him to be broke to ride. Salam is at a stand still, he is neither getting worse or better. He has learned to be houdini and can undo any "horse proof" latch. Three times now he has made his pen into one large condo by opening the gate between him and his best friend Apache my youngest daughters little pony. They just stand there together happy as can be. So now I tie the gates with ropes so he can't get to the knots (he can untie just about any knot too). Life is never dull with Teke's.

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Freedom Run Farm

Monday, October 6, 2008

Husband's First Trail Ride

This past weekend, my husband Larry, went with me on a trail ride. This was his first trail ride in many years and he has been working diligently (kind of) towards it. I told him that when he could ride around the arena off the lunge at the trot and be fairly comfortable doing it, we could go. He's been taking lessons now for about 6-7 months, once a week, from a good friend of mine. NO WAY would I teach him - that's a recipe for divorce. He had finally gotten to the point where he was trotting reasonably well and feeling pretty confident. So, I had the weekend off from my parttime job and we were set!

Saturday morning it was spitting rain, but that is ok as I planned on going to a fairly popular park and that would help keep the strollers, dogs and bicycles at home. Also, a lot of it is under big trees, so unless it's pouring, we wouldn't get that wet. And hey, we DO live in Seattle, so a little rain is no big deal. We got tacked up and I realized that after bugging poor Larry several times to make sure he had all his tack, I had forgotten my helmet! I couldn't believe it, this is the first time I've ever forgotten such an important piece of gear. But, we were there and I planned on a fairly short, very slow ride, so I rode without it. Bad me!

Larry rode Mazzie, our 15 year old purebred gelding, who has been mainly a school horse for the past several years, although he did go to Celebrate the Horse with me this summer. Maz is very experienced and really likes Larry. Larry started out a bit nervous and tense and I had to keep telling him to breathe and try and enjoy the gorgeous woods. After about an hour, he finally did. We probably only did 5 or 6 miles, but some was hills, so Maz certainly got a workout. Galen, who I was riding, thought all this slow stuff was boring and spooked more than he ever has. While his spooks are pretty minor (usually a little bounce in place) he did let me know he had PLENTY of energy to spare. I think he was a bit put out that we had to walk the entire way. Too bad! Mazzie appeared to really enjoy getting out of the arena and off the lunge, where he does a lot of his lessons and was a perfect gentleman the entire time. We did meet up with a few dogs (Galen chased them back to their owners) and one bicycle, but in general it was a very quiet trip, with only the dripping of rain off the trees to accompany us.

We arrived back at the trailer, with Larry all smiles and Galen ready to do about 40 more miles. Now we're planning our next ride, although as I have to work the next several weekends, we might have to plan a bit harder!

I think Maz slept very well that night.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Pictures from Show

Here are site links to see pictures from the SANA Rare Breed Show and U.S. Akhal-Teke Championship show

From Kerri-Jo Stewart

Heather Abounader

Equestrian Images

Freedom Run Farm

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wow, what a weekend!

Hi everyone,

Wow, what a weekend. Just wanted to send a big Thank-You for a great first Akhal-Teke Society of America Conference and first U.S. Akhal-Teke Championship show. It was a lot of fun seeing so many great horses in one place. Everyone in our group is hard working, dedicated to the Akhal-Teke, and last but not least fun nice people. Thank-you to everyone that pitched in and gave me a hand when needed with all my horses who were showing all at once, could not have done it with out you. Get togethers like this past weekend really get me motivated and inspired I hope it has the same effect on those who may have met the Akhal-Teke for the first time at the show.

All the horses were happy to be home, poor Azmele even laid down in the trailer for a short while but she was bright and happy when I got her out and into the field for the night. Daga has forgiven me and gave me kisses this morning, as if to say "sorry for being such a brat." (those of you who were at the show know how unhappy she was with me after her bath and dragging her to the show, laugh). Magnalti gave a one knee bow for his grain this morning (wish he had done it at the show, laugh).

Thank-you, Thank-you to all the hard working people who put it all together and made it happen. I plan to blog more later when I have caught up on some sleep, I am now off to do the last evening barn check.

Freedom Run Farm

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Adaptable desert horses!

Yes, the Akhal-Tekes are most certainly adaptable! Mine are at the moment swamp horses - and they don't seem to give a hoot. Tropical Storm Fay has left us almost totally underwater. There are some high - not dry, but high - areas in our pastures where they mostly hang out, but then slog right through the foot-deep water to get to their hay and/or feed without flicking an ear. That's pretty amusing since when things are mostly dry, and there is maybe a 2-inch puddle at the gate, most of them will look at the puddle as though it is surely quicksand and then make a huge jump over it! It's also funny now to see them with their noses totally underwater, eating the submerged grass - munch, munch, munch, then up for a quick breath, then back down to munch, munch, munch. Underwater grass must be especially tasty, because there really are a lot of high, out of the water sections that have oodles of nice, green grass.
Anyway, it's amazing how quickly they can turn from desert horses to swamp horses with no apparent distress. I do hope it will drain off quickly, though - it surely wouldn't do their hooves any good over an extended period - and all my boots have holes in them!


Friday, July 25, 2008

Ready for the show?

I am now home from our 3,600 mile vacation with the family. We headed first from Michigan to Fort Worth, TX where my husband spent 3 days in 100F standing at an equipment auction while I took the kids to the waterpark. Then we headed up to Durango, CO via New Mexico, then home with a quick stop in St. Louis to go up the Arch and tour Merameck Caverns. Luck has it that I missed out on the steaming hot muggy weather we had at home while I was enjoying 72F mountain air. And it was only 76F and dry when we got home, which was nice since our farm hand had wagons full of hay and straw for us to unload right away.

Now that I am home I am catching up on over due chores and hay. My main priority this week was to decide on who to bring to our inaugural U.S. Championship show in September and get my entries in. I decided to leave the mares and babies home since I do not want to induce too much stress on weaning them right before the show and then hauling them to a new place. I will bring Metman - who is entered in Ridden Class, Jumping, Dressage, in hand. Magantli - Costume class, and in hand. Daga - in hand only. I did enter the filly Azmele, if she handles the weaning well then she will come for in-hand class.

Entries are in. Hotel is booked. I had planned on camping in the trailer at the horse park but my husband has banned the stallions from the living quarter stock trailer after Salam put a little dent in the side, picky, picky.

I am working on putting a costume together now, I have bought a robe and a pretty head piece like the one I borrowed from Shirley at the 2006 conference. Now I need to work on a authentic looking bridle and I need to get a decorative collar.

Metman is still competing up in Travers City Michigan at the Horse Shows by the Bay Series. He will come home next week and then I will start riding him and work on our dressage. Magnatli is still at the trainers learning circus tricks, I am told that he is learning very quick, quicker then most horses. Magantli is the first Akhal-Teke that Serenity Stables has worked with and so far they really like him. He will have a very nice Circus Bow for us at the Conference and show in September have your cameras ready....

Bye for now... make sure to get your entries in before the deadline of August 1st and don't forget to send in your conference dues too.

Freedom Run Farm

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Babies sure are fun!

The weather here has been gorgeous, so the mares and their foals are out in the pasture. There are two mares and foals out there - Ria and her filly, Mahri, and Alav and her colt, Suyji. Ria and Alav aren't quite sure how they feel about each other yet, so the 'kids' are working on taking care of that. We have jumps in the pasture and today my oldest daughter, Alex, reported that Mahri was running an obstacle course around the pasture, including going over the jumps. Every time she'd do a lap, she'd get a little bit closer to Suyji, who was watching this with fascination. They never quite got together, as their mamas intervened before they could, but it will only be a day or so before they're 'best friends'.
There is some YouTube video of Mahri and Suyji up, some on my site and a friend just put some up too. If you're interested, you can go to check out these links; here is Mahri at 15 minutes old: and a nice one of her at 5 days old done by Monica Bretherton:
and then one of Suyji at 15 minutes old:

I'm still learning how to do these YouTube videos but it's pretty neat!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

More on Darkh Amber - again

Hope you all aren't getting too bored with these quotes from Amber's new owner, but I'm just a proud quasi-parent, and that's that! And I don't know how many of you are too familiar with the training to make a Polo Pony, but I find it interesting. So, a new quote:
"I can't tell you how much fun I am having with Amber. Yesterday I worked her just in the arena where we do "short work", i.e. figure eights to change leads, and stop and back up, and then move out on the hind end again. I am not a professional trainer by any means, but the ease with which this horse learns to do things is amazing to me. I'll give you an example. There is an advanced move called a "rollback" wherein you take the horse along the fence on the lead opposite to the fence, then stop and turn the horse back toward the fence so they have to turn very tight on their rear end and come out on the opposite lead. To teach a horse to do that, you just ride (at a walk), and stop, back up a few steps (if the green horse will do it) and ease it around hoping that the rear end will stay still and the front will come around to approximate the more advanced move. Then you do it at a trot, then at a canter. And with green ones you do it in a corner so that they are not jammed against the fence.
Amber got it at a canter in one try. All I had to do was carry a little whip (not even using it, just showing it to her), turn my head back and apply a little leg. She pivoted perfectly on her hind end, brought her front legs around in the air, and started around in the other direction on the new lead. Smooth as glass!"
You know that Darkh Amber is by Gindarkh 13. Do you suppose that some of his circus knowledge got imprinted on her brain???


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Excitement this morning!

When we went out to bring in horses this morning, none of them were waiting at their respective gates - which is, of course, the norm. Instead, they were all out in the middle of their pastures/paddocks, standing still and looking up. No hysteria or running around - just calmly standing there looking up. So we looked up . . . . . . and cruising overhead, quite low and moving very slowly (no wind), was a beautiful green & yellow striped balloon! I waved at it, and, lo and behold, it flashed a light signal back at me. I waved twice more, and twice more it flashed a signal back. What fun! The balloon cruised around our property and then headed Northeast, perhaps planning to go out over the ocean. I think the horses enjoyed it as much as I did!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More on Darkh Amber

Another quote from Amber's owner:
"I have to tell you how much fun I'm having with Amber. She is so smart and really handy already. Her biggest problem is that she is a bit of a bitch and when I practice riding off, wherein you come together with another horse parallel (which happens a lot in polo), she opens her mouth as wide as she can and tries to chomp on the other horse. I'm thinking I could put this to some use as a tactic :>)! I also rode her over my high sand pile and she was leery at first, but when she saw I meant business she went right over. Even with my 4-year old waving a shovel at her. She's sooooooo cool!"

Monday, July 7, 2008

Celebrate the Horse Expo, July 5th and 6th, 2008

Whew! It was quite the weekend here in Seattle. We started our week off with Alav foaling a gorgeous, dark brown colt on Wednesday (thank goodness she cooperated with OUR schedule!), and then got everything packed up and ready to go for Friday morning. Our little caravan set off to Puyallup to the Puyallup Fairgrounds, where the Celebrate the Horse Expo was. We had me, my daughter Callie, my son Zach, our friends Margaret Pomeroy and her two daughters, Rachel and Tayler along. We got down to the Fairgrounds and got the horses all tucked in their stalls and unloaded most of the gear, exhibit stuff and feed. Galen was not at all happy in his stall (he lives outdoors year round, as he really HATES stalls), so we put he and Maz together in one stall. They were cozy, but Galen calmed down. We got the boys out into the big arena where we would be doing our exhibitions and got them a bit used to it. Everyone did well, especially Callie and Tayler, who both did absolutely fabulous jobs with their mounts. Later that evening, we watched fireworks at the campsite and celebrated Callie's 14th birthday with cake and sparklers (and a bit more for the adults!).

Saturday morning, we were up at 6 am, as we had a 7 am practice time in the big arena. The kids all did their morning chores without any fuss and we had another good practice session. I then signed up Galen and I as a demo horse for a few clinicians, figuring that the more exposure the better and hey, I was there anyway, might as well have fun! So, we got everything set up back at the barn, Zach demonstrated absolutely outstanding sales skills, talking to the people wandering the aisles and at 1:30 I went into the big arena with Galen for a demo with Steve Rother. This was to be a trail obstacles demo, but as I told Steve, the obstacles weren't a problem - it was being in the arena with it's totally non-natural obstacles that seemed to be the issue. So, he had us go out to the warm-up arena, trot circles for about 5-6 minutes and then come back into the arena and hang out. Our first time, Galen hung out for about 5 minutes and then got ancy again. Back outside, trot more circles, come back in. The arena was looking better each time we went out. By the end of the 40 or so minute demo, Galen was showing the other horses how to do obstacles - pushing a huge ball around, walking over (and thinking about dragging) a blue tarp, going between barrels, over poles etc. He was very pleased with himself, as he should have been. Our group went on at 3:30 and Callie, Tayler and I rode around the perimeter of the arena, while Monica Bretherton jumped Andy in the middle. Her husband, Bill Drescher, was our jump man and they all did a fabulous job. I have to also mention that Cindy and Larry Balogh, Andy's owners, where there helping with jumps and general stuff, my husband Larry and eldest daughter Alex came and helped out too. We'll have some video up soon. Our fifteen minute spot was up all too soon, and to enthusiastic applause, we exited the arena and swapped high fives and happy smiles. We did a bunch of posing for photos, as we were in our fantastic costumes, most of which Margaret did. I especially liked our helmet covers - I had told her I liked the traditional fuzzy hats, but wouldn't allow the kids (or myself) to ride without helmets, so she came up with authentic looking helmet covers! She also 'blinged' up the boy's bridles and came up with some non-authentic, but authentic LOOKING a-la-jas. Hurray for ingenuity!

Then, a bit later, Callie and I did the Warhorse Challenge! We had seen this last year at the Horse N Around Days and it looked like great fun. Callie and Ari did some practicing at home, knocking buckets off of jump standards and Ari really got into it, up to knocking the buckets over with his nose before she could. I hadn't practiced at all with Galen, but figured that if we can trot those winding trails in the woods and break off branches at the same time, we were fine. Callie and I went in together, starting with a spear each to spear through 4 rings hanging from standards. We both had to figure out how to hold the spear and not whack our horses. I did pretty well, getting all the rings, but Callie was having a hard time managing the heavy spear AND steering her horse. But, she preservered and we stuck the 'boar' (a bale of straw) and took up the sword to chop off the enemies 'heads' (pop bottles on standards). I chopped the head and got the other rings, but Callie was once again having trouble keeping everything balanced. We had practiced with light, plastic swords and these were heavy, wooden swords. But, she finished the course, and left the arena saying "I had better practice more for next year!" We also only trotted, instead of the full out gallop the veterans did - the announcer called it 'The saunter attack'. I figure we would have gotten the enemy stragglers. But, it was great fun and the horses enjoyed it.

So, we were done for the day and poor Andy had had enough. He started pacing his stall but happily calmed down enough that I felt safe leaving him. We finished up our day with card games, treats and stories back at the campsite. Sunday morning we skipped our 6 am practice time, as the kids were pretty tired from the day before. As soon as people started showing up, poor Andy was a basket case. I finally put Galen in the stall with him, which annoyed Galen to no end (Andy can be a bit of a butt), but calmed Andy down. Andy spent the rest of the day hanging out behind Galen, resting his head on Galen's back. We talked to the public and didn't have anything set up until 3:30, when we did our demo again. This one was even better than the day before, with us all knowing what to do and how to do it. Andy jumped higher and better, the girls did an even better job and Galen was super. Andy then was a demo horse for Barb Apple to demonstrate some ground training techniques and then was done. I then rode Galen in the Warhorse Challenge again, although I still didn't gallop, but got all the rings and cut the 'head' off. Our 'saunter attack' was excellent.

The kids got to see some of the other things going on, we had a good response from the public, and we started packing up and were home by 8 pm Sunday night. I couldn't have done this weekend without the help of Margaret Pomeroy and her girls, Tayler riding and Rachel being flag-girl and general helper; Cindy and Larry Balogh for letting me take Andy and taking loads of stuff to and from the fairgrounds; Monica Bretherton riding Andy and her husband Bill Drescher helping her; Callie for riding and Zach for his stellar salesmanship and flag-holding , and my husband Larry and my daughter Alex for taking care of the barn at home. It was a very good weekend, I'm sure we're all pretty pooped today, cause I sure am, but it was fun and we're already planning for next year's Expo!


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Update on Darkh Amber

Got an email from her owner today - and I'll quote it -
"Amber is fine, she is doing well. There is no guarantee with a green horse, but she is proving to be very capable. She is now stick n balling, which I didn't think would happen until late fall. She takes both leads and changes on the fly, she has a good mouth and rides smoothly. I just want her to grow about an inch more, and her stunning looks will carry her a long way. She really is gorgeous and I am glad to own her."

Looks to me like Amber is going to be a good polo pony and is going to be a fine representative of the Akhal-Teke breed to the Polo world.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Hi all - I just posted this as a "comment", but they don't really show up unless you're looking for them. So I'll post it again -
Cathy - your Expo weekend sounds very exciting and very fun! I would love to be there and watch, but Florida is a bit of a distance from Washington ! :>)
I wish you all the best of luck. What a great opportunity to show off your beautiful Akhal-Tekes and their many talents!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Getting Ready for our Expo

Here at Cascade Gold, we've put aside competing for a bit and are getting ready to show off our horses at a local horse expo. Celebrate the Horse is in a large venue, so there should be pretty good crowds. I'm taking 4 of my horses (whew!); I'm riding Galen, my daughter Callie is riding her gelding Arzuw, her friend Tayler is riding Mazan and Monica Bretherton is riding Andymn. We've all been preparing for about a month now, as neither Tayler nor Monica had ridden their mounts before. We're hoping that Andy can show off some of his jumping skills and Tayler and Maz will be showing off their developing partnership. We've been hauling out to other barns, going on little trail rides (it's been years since Maz was off the farm!) and working on costumes. I think we will have a decent show - I've told the crew that we're there to show how fun our horses are - we're not going to worry about presenting a perfect dressage test or a drill, but to show people that Tekes are fabulous horses to ride. (and, they're very fancy while doing that!). There is also a Warhorse Challenge going on, that we might try to do. Last year, at Horse N Around days (a similar expo we went to), the Warhorse Challenge group offered to let other horses and riders do their course. I'm sure it was a very beginner one to them, but it looked like a blast. We're thinking that we might try it...we've been knocking buckets off of jump standards with plastic swords (and Ari has helped Callie with this several times - he just knocks them off with his nose before she can with the sword), and we need to set up a ring to spear. We'll see how everyone does at the expo itself, as it will be over the 4th and could be a bit noisy! But, if you're in the neighborhood, come check us out. The link for Celebrate the Horse with more information is

I'll share the weekend's story and photos when we get back!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hi Everyone,

I just came in from the barn and just wanted to share how lucky I feel to own such wonderful Akhal-Teke horses. It amazes me everyday how much the Teke's love attention and thrive from it. Magnatli and Salam just got their beauty treatments which included clipping (roaching) their manes, Salam likes his forelock so he now has a "custom" hair cut. Salam is still mostly in his stall which looks out over the yard and pastures, but still boring so I spend 10-15 minutes 2-3 times per day giving him love and rub downs. He will not let me out of the stall until all his body has been scratched, and the whole time he is sneering at Magnatli and letting him know that he is getting all the attention. Then when I go to Magnatli and give him his daily loving Magnatli sneers back at Salam, they are so jealous of each other it is funny to watch.

Metman is still in Chicago and his girth area is healing and he will be competing level 3 in the big Grand-Prix ring all week. I will be checking for pictures of him and hopefully get some good video too.

I realized today that the festival of endangered breeds is the same weekend as the Kentucky Classic Event, anyone want to go eventing? I am thrilled anyway, I am not sure that I will have time to compete at both events but I have lots of friends competing and I am very excited that they can come see a good representation of our breed.

Anne-Marie Rasch

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Very smart indeed

Shirley's story reminds me of when Magnatli got cast also. I had taken all 3 stallions to a stallion station for collection and semen freezing. All three "boys" made the 4 1/2 hour drive great with no complaints and when we arrived at the station we unloaded the boys and put them in their stalls (very large 12x15 stalls) as we stood outside of the 3 stallions stalls talking we realized that Magnatli had disappeared from view so we all went to his stall, opened the door and there he was cast against the wall under the automatic waterer and feeder. One of the grooms ran to get a rope as we tried to reassure him that we would get him out. Magnatli just looked at us calmly rolled himself over by using his hind leg against the bottom of the waterer and up he was, no worse for wear. And I swear he was saying "what are you all looking at". The smarts of the Akhal-Teke impresses me everyday.

Since I am blogging today I might as well give you a Metman update. He is still in Chicago at the Lamplight Equestrian Center. He jumped level 1 fast and clean (schooling jumpers) and then went on to do a level 3 jumper class, he went clean and smooth and finished just out of the ribbons in a very large class. This level 3 went slow to get him confident again at the higher levels and to prepare him for "the Classic" Class the next day. The next morning Metman had developed a slice in the skin at the girth area, so he was scratched from his big class of the week. Metman will be competing all next week too, his girth area looks better today so hopefully there is another big class this week.

Everyone else is doing great, the babies are blowing their baby fuzz, Samaddin has that wonderful gold metallic coat like his dad and his legs have tall black socks like his dad too.

Freedom Run Farm

They've got brains!

Hi all - Yesterday I had yet another experience illustrating the Akhal-Teke sense, temperament and intelligence. We had separated our yearling gelding Charkhal (by Durkkhal out of a Mustang mare) from his 2-yr-old gelding buddy Startek (by MV Patrickhan out of the same Mustang mare), for the express purpose of halter off/on catching reinforcement. They were separated by an 8' lane between two adjoining paddocks. They had come in for breakfast and grooming, and got turned out about 8:30. No panics or anything - they had been separated for over a week. Around noon I glanced out and saw Startek standing by the fence - just standing there, not grazing, not sleeping, not upset, just standing there. Weird. Well, on the other side of the lane there was an upside down Charkhal, cast by the fence and appearing to be hopelessly entangled. Needless to say, I was home alone - no help around. So I go out there - his front feet are under the fence, his body is twisted and his back feet are sticking straight up in the air snug against the fence. I have no idea how long he has been there - he is absolutely still, no thrashing around. So I go first to the outside of the fence thinking that if I can shove his front legs back under he can maybe get up - but that doesn't work at all - one, I'm not strong enough, and two, I'm actually pushing in a manner that twists his body more. So I get a rope and go inside with the idea of looping it around one back leg and pulling him over. No good - again I'm not strong enough, and, again, it's just twisting him more. With all of this he is not putting up any kind of a fuss at all - he is just looking at me with an expression that seems to say "don't worry, we'll figure this out". Then I notice that while I had gone to get the rope he had apparently been working on getting his front legs partially freed, so I go back to the outside of the fence and start pushing on the front legs again - and this time it works and he was able to scramble himself up! And not a mark on him - no limping - nothing. I gave him some bute with his supper, and today he is fine in every way. Brains and sensible temperament are all that kept him from making mincemeat of himself, and since his Mustang mother has neither in any appreciable quantity, I've got to guess they come from his Akhal-Teke father. Akhal-Tekes - what a pleasure they are to be around


Monday, June 2, 2008

Klickitat Trek Ride, May 31, 2008

We got back from our second 50 mile ride last night and now that my brain is back online, I'll tell you about it.

Wendy Connell and I hauled down on Friday to Glenwood, WA (about 15-20 miles outside of Hood River/White Salmon area on the Columbia River Gorge between WA and OR) and set up camp. Our friends Jennifer and David LeBlanc had held a primo camping spot for us (Thank you!), so we were set up and vetting the horses in by about 5 pm. We're getting pretty good at setting up camp, with me setting up most of the camper area and Wendy getting the horse temp pens up. Good old division of labor! Got everyone settled in, had supper and met some other Teke people who were there - Emery Rhodes and his friend Terri (I know I was told Terri's last name, but can't remember it for the life of me). They had two Teke geldings there, Ged and Soldier, both bought from Tito Pontecorvo down in Texas. Emery has also imported two more Tekes from Belgium and I can't wait to see them. There was also an Arab-Teke cross there, Midnight Sky's Shiraz, owned by Ramona Thacker and bred by Susie Morrill. I also got to meet Shannon Mayhew, who has (I think) 4 young Teke crosses growing up at her place. Lots of other really nice people there too, with many different breeds of horses. Very fun!

We started Saturday morning at about 6:10, hoping that everyone had left camp, so we could avoid Galen's 'race brain'. Much less half-pass, shoulder-in and collected canter this time! I kept telling him to save it for later. Well, once we started trotting (we walked the first mile or so out) we started passing people and then he wanted to catch them all. We passed about 20 or so people by the first vet check, with me trying to rate him the entire time. Good thing I had gloves on. Our first 20 miles took about 2 or 2 1/2 hours and we pulsed down as soon as we came to the first vet check. We passed another bunch of people at the vet check, as we both were ready to leave before a lot of people who had come in before us. We were feeling pretty smug and you know what that means...we went out of the vet check and were so busy congratulating each other that we missed the turn! We did almost an entire loop that we shouldn't have and learned that one really should 'READ THE DIRECTIONS". Oh well, we retraced our steps to where we had gone off trail (probably a good 10-12 mile or more snafu) and got on the right loop. We were now behind everyone, which in some ways was great. Galen didn't have horses in front of him to pass, so he calmed down and went at a lovely pace. We also knew we were dead last, so didn't stress about going fast. We got to look at the gorgeous scenery, enjoy some lovely weather and really have fun. We were the last ones into the second vet check and they were all packed up to leave as we left. Our last loop was another lovely loop (although we had done a bunch of it before, LOL) and we saw some deer and some great views of Mt Adams. We even discussed that we should have asked about pulling trail markers, but it was a good thing we didn't, as our Teke friends Emery and Terri also went off course and did an extra 20 miles on their horses! They had meant to do the 30, but ended up doing 50! Guess us Teke people are so happy to be riding our horses that the real distance just wasn't enough. Happily, Ged and Soldier did fine, although I bet the 4 of them were a bit more tired than they planned. Wendy and I did come in last and I let Wendy have the Tail End this time. Even with our extra mileage we still did the ride in about 8 hours and change, which is about 2 hours faster than our last ride at Milwaukee Railroad Trail. Both of our horses vetted through with all A's and I was particularily pleased that Galen was much stronger this time and that I was hardly sore at all. Guess our conditioning is going the right way.

We had the awards that night, as many of us were leaving Sunday (we could have stayed and ridden another ride, but it just wasn't in the plans this time - maybe next year). I would highly recommend this ride - lovely trails and scenery, fabulous weather (OK, that was luck), the option of buying your dinners from the Rodeo association on whose property we camped and really nice ride management. Both Wendy and I finished the weekend with big grins and we also got really nice sweatshirts as awards.

Our next planned ride is June 28th at Renegade Rendevous, but we'll see if I make it, as I have two mares due to foal right around that time. I hear that ride is really fun too, so I'm hoping the mares cooperate.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Hello all

Well, breeding season may be just beginning for Cathy in Washington, but for me, in Florida, it is now over. Magnatli has gone home to Michigan, and I miss him terribly. He is a wonderful horse - a joy to be around and work with and a marvel to watch and admire. I can't wait to hear from Anne-Marie how his trick training goes - he is a star in the making, I'm sure. Luckily for me I will have 3 little golden Magnatlis arriving next spring - 1 in February and 2 in March. It will be interesting to see what colors I get - the mares are 1 bay, 1 buckskin, and 1 palomino. I suppose I could possibly get a perlino or a cremello, which I would love to have, but I wonder how it would handle the Florida weather?

Fat Albert (the pig) also misses Magnatli badly and suffered a near disaster because of it. He was rooting up and down the fence line where Magnatli used to be - well, Albert has tusks (I guess that's what you call them) - and I kept hearing this strange, muffled sort of screaming - looked all over the place, and finally saw Albert thrashing around by the fence. Poor boy had gotten his tusk caught in the fence wire (non-climb wire) and he couldn't get loose. Had to get the big wire cutters to get him out. He was none the worse for wear, but I have noticed that he doesn't root close to the fence line any more!

Hope everyone is enjoying lovely springtime weather and having fun with their horses.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Golden Boy comes home.

Magnatli has returned home from his winter vacation in Florida with Shirley at Triple S Farm where he enjoyed Florida sunshine and lots of girlfriends. He arrived in style late Thursday night and the van driver had nothing but good things to say about him. She said he traveled great with no complaints and ate and drank everytime she offered. Of course after spending a week traveling thru Russia to get to Amsterdam a little 30 hour ride from Florida is no big deal to him, he just goes with the flow. I have made arrangments for him to go into trick training later in June, and he will also learn to drive this summer.

Salam will start to go out today in a small paddock on sedation just in case he is a little too fresh from his 6 months on stall rest. Poor fellow, he has been so good thru it all. His dragging of the back feet has gotten better though a long road to recovery is ahead still.

Foals are growing and healthy. Aishet has really blossomed since having her filly, she has the most beautiful metalic bronze coat with dapples. It is very hard to capture on camera but I will keep trying.

Metman is comming home this week to breed Aishet and maybe Daga and then he is off to Chicago for another jumper show June 6 - 23rd.

Freedom Run Farm

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Getting Ready for our next ride

It's another wet, rainy day out, so I'm in front of the computer again. I'm counting down to my next 50 mile ride, next weekend (May 30th) at Klickitat, somewhere in Washington. I've been told it's gorgeous trails and I'm really looking forward to it. We've been out conditioning, doing lots of hill work and trying different things with the saddle. I guess I'll find out if I'm doing my homework correctly at the ride. Galen is looking good, putting on muscle and maybe a little bit of extra weight, which is a good thing as he is most definitely a very slender guy naturally and by the end of a ride he looks, well, a bit alarming. I know that most of it is water, but still...

Breeding season is coming very soon- I usually start much later than a lot of folks, as we don't have futurities to worry about and the weather is SO much better for the foals in June or July. Khan (my stallion) thinks we could start a lot earlier. One sort of negative result is that my mares are due in June or July, which really could put a cramp in my ride schedule. Oh well! By the time they're on the ground, the mud should be pretty much dried up and the grass is well grown.


A beautiful day in the Sandhills

Monday we took some horse schooling crosscountry. It was my boy's, Ginseng, second time out and he did not look at anything. He jumped everything he was pointed at with out question and had no trouble at the bank either. I was so proud of him. I should note that I was not the one riding him. I've got a high school girl doing the jumping on him. Yesterday was a beautiful day in the Sandhills of North Carolina. We are blessed with the Moss Foundation about 20 minutes from the barn. It is 400+ acres of pine forest that have been established and maintained for equestrian use only, no motorized vehicles, no dogs, no bikes. The loudest sound is a woodpecker. Some friends of mine and I trailered down and rode during the late morning. The horses really enjoyed getting out of the ring and doing/seeing something different. What a beautiful day! - Posted by Mindy

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Darkh Amber update

Hello everybody,

Just passing on to you all the recent comments of the new owner of Darkh Amber:"Amber is great, she is now being singled on the polo field for twenty minutes of cantering a day. She really likes it, and doesn't act like a green horse. My groom characterizes her as "noble".

I like it!"Maybe Amber will convince more people in the polo world to take a closer look at Akhal-Tekes. They are certainly a multi-talented breed!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hi everyone,

I thought I would give everyone a quick update on what Metman is up to. He is traveling to Lexington Kentucky next Tuesday May 13th for the Kentucky Spring Classic Show at the Kentucky Horse Park. He will be jumping on Wednesday 5/14, Thursday 5/15, and Friday 5/16. I am not sure of the class numbers yet. If anyone wants to come watch send me an email and I'll get the specific info to you email: In June he is off to Chicago and July is By the Bay show in Travers City Michigan. Then he is off until November when he goes to Atlanta Georgia.

All is well at home with the Teke tribe. The foals are growing and so much fun to play with. Samaddin (Magantli x Sakinate) is turning gold like his dad. Salam is still on stall rest. For those of you who have not heard, he broke his neck in January by sliding into a corner post out in the field. His spirits are up and he is very content gazing out his stall door out to the mares. I have never had a horse that has taken his stall rest with so much grace and patience, must be that Teke blood.

I have included two pictures of our little darlings, filly Azmele pictured running (Metman x Aishet) and colt Samaddin (Magnatli x Sakinate) both are Arab line. I have posted more pictures on my website and I am working on getting everyone pedigree pages up including pictures of ancestors.

Freedom Run Farm

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hello All

Hello all

These last few weeks have been horrible for the horse world - the disasters at the Rolex, and the tragedy at the Kentucky Derby. And then in our own small group two of our members are still fighting disasters with their horses - one involving a wonderful Akhal-Teke stallion, and the other involving two Akhal-Teke mares (in separate incidences). But so far, to my knowledge, these 3 brave horses are still with us, and they actually now number 4 since one of the AT mares managed to produce a live, healthy, bucking and kicking filly - a miracle foal! So hopefully we are now all in an upswing! The owners of the horses will tell us more about these events, I'm sure, when they have time to write.

Fortunately the coin has "another side", and Saturday brought very good luck to another one of our members. Her 2-yr-old Akhal-Teke colt won First Place - the Gold - at a Warmblood inspection. I'm sure this owner will let us know more about this when she has a moment.

As for Triple S Farm in Florida - the weather is warming up and it will soon be Hot! Magnatli will be leaving for home in Michigan the middle of this month - I'm really going to miss him. And so will Fat Albert (the pig), I'm sure. Just this morning we had another episode involving them. Usually, when they are nose-to-nose they make no noise other than snuffling. This morning, for some reason, Albert grunted (Oink!) - well Magnatli jumped straight up about a foot on all fours - he looked like a little lamb or kid when they hop around - but he didn't panic, he just landed and looked thru the fence for Albert. But Albert had left the territory - he was the one who got scared!

'Bye now - Shirley

The Toughness of Tekes

As a long-time breeder, trainer, and rider of the Akhal-Teke, I tend to take for granted those things about them that are so intrinsic that they tend to be overlooked and overshadowed by their more-visual traits. Such things as courage, fortitude, and intelligence, even in the face of dire situations.

This past weekend, I was once again overwhelmingly reminded why I love this breed of horse, and largely for those qualities I just listed. Our purebred mare Gozakhal, on Day 337 of a textbook pregnancy- fat, serene, and glowing with health, developed a uterine torsion between my last night check at 4:30 Sunday morning and her morning feed at 8:30 AM. For the non-breeders reading this, this means that she flipped her uterus over with the foal still inside, an incredibly painful and dangerous situation and the dread of breeders. While in obvious pain and distress, Gozi was instantly calmed by seeing me and trusted that I would fix her situation. Incredibly stoic, she allowed the vet to palpate her to confirm my suspicion, and then calmly walked onto the horse trailer without even a moment's hesitation for her ride to the surgery clinic. I rode with her in the trailer to keep her company and to ensure she did not try to lie down- indeed, she never budged all the way there.

While she was being prepped for surgery, catheterized and sedated, her belly was shaved and ultrasounded, sadly, the vet was not able to find the foal's heartbeat. In-utero foals can be very compromised by a uterine torsion, and it appeared ours was- regardless, I wanted to save my mare. She went quickly into surgery, and I went to pace in the office. While peeking through the tiny crack left open in the observation window, I was able to see her head showing from under her surgical shrouds, I have assisted before in a colic surgery so I was somewhat familiar with the routine; however, watching it happen to your own horse is quite different. With a mixture of sadness and relief, I saw them bring in the hoist to pull out the foal, since it was heavy enough that it couldn't be lifted by the vets. I saw the foal being pulled up by it's hind ankles and then retracted into the induction room, then, suddenly all hands in the room, save the surgeon who was still diligently working on Gozi, ran into the other room and out of my range of sight. Then, to my complete shock and utter amazement, one of the surgical team stuck their head through the door and said, "It's a filly, she's alive and already trying to get up ! Would you like to come and see her ? "

The filly had a heartbeat when they got her out and with an oxygen feed, was gaining strength as she came out of the surgical anesthesia she received through her umbilical cord. At less than 30 minutes old, she was up and walking and searching for something to eat !! Gozi came through the surgery well and while shaky on her feet, was brought into her recovery stall to meet her daughter. She was a bit taken aback to see a foal she didn't remember giving birth to, but within 30 minutes, filly had latched on nursing and mother and daughter were firmly bonded.

Gozi not only had no complications from her ordeal, but was doing so well she was able to come home from the hospital that Thursday, 4 days after her C-section !! She continues to be healthy and strong, although distressed at her mandatory stall rest. The vets were concerned that the filly might show dummy foal symptoms due to her rough start, but she never did and is strong, feisty, and perfect, and already growing like a weed. Very few uterine torsions end with such a happy ending, the fact that Gozi was already 337 days and the foal was mature enough to survive outside the mare if she made it through the torsion, was the key to our success. Knowing also that the torsion had happened in that one 4-hour period, we were able to feel fairly confident that we caught it as early as possible. The vet feels the foal was turning in preparation for birth in the next few days, and Gozi rolled one way while the foal was rolling the other.

Looking at my healthy pair, I am so thankful that I chose a breed with such courage, strength of will, and just sheer toughness. Gozi never complained, gave up, or quit trying, and neither did her foal. She is still as implacably solid as ever, and will hopefully go on and contribute those invaluable traits to future foals after a well-earned year off.

Pictures to come soon,
Central Asian Equines

The unknown Teke person

Hi all,I am kind of the unknown Teke person so I thought I'd speak up. I have been interested in the Akhal Tekes for the last 5 years. The long and short story is that I met some memorable people, saw some awesome horses made wonderful new friends, and have been involved ever since. In 2004 I bred my Arabian mare to the wonderful Gindarkh 13. That gave me a terrific filly that just recently sold to a wonderful show home She is currently bred to my purebred Akhal Teke, Garzhan (Gindarkh 13 X Gozakhal), as is her 31/32 Arabian pasture mate the sabino pinto mare Rave.

The pictures are sort of out of order but the first is the Arabian pinto I just mentioned, Rave, due in the next couple weeks and bred to Garzhan. It is a second foal for her and she is said to be homoqygous for color so we'll all be interested to see is we get an Akhal Teke sport horse with pinto markings!
Rave is also for sale and could be sold and bred back to Garzhan if desired.

The second picture is the filly by Gindarkh 13 X Elskova. Elmydam (Ellie) is standing in the front and is actually a frosted bay (gray on bay) color and will probably always be that color as she does not seem to change from year to year. The horse behind her is her 1/2 brother from Asgard, named Elektric (Statistic X Elskova).

The third photo is Elskova an Asgard Arabian and anyone around here who knows anything about endurance knows
Asgard Arabians, breeder of the number one Endurance horse, Heraldic.
Elskova has produced 6 purebred Arabian foals for Asgard and all are endurance horses. Since then she has produced
3 Akhal Teke Sport Horse foals for me
and is due July 4 with her 10th foal and 4th AT Sport horse foal. The
foal in the picture is her 3rd AT Sport horse foal, Elviis (Mergen X Elskova).

In February I picked up a horse I am leasing from April Pruente, Amarylis.
A lovely buckskin mare bred by Tito
Pontecorvo. Amarylis settled in nicely, is enjoying the new grass, and will be bred to Garzhan in the near future for my first purebred Akhal Teke foal. I will send in more news as it comes.

Thanks All,
Becky Supinger
Spiritwood Farm

Monday, April 28, 2008

My first 50 mile endurance ride!

Yes, I am now a real-life, bonafide, endurance rider! Galen and I completed our first ever 50 mile endurance ride on Saturday at the Milwaukee Railroad Ride in Ellensburg, WA. This was a very nice introduction to endurance in many ways; it is only 2 1/2 hours from my house, the trail is pretty flat and has mostly decent footing, although there were sections with BIG rocks, the weather couldn't have been better and I had several friends around to cheer me on.

Wendy and I pulled in around 3 pm on Friday afternoon and got our camp set up in record time. Jennifer and David LeBlanc pulled in a bit later and set up next to us. We shared a lovely dinner that night and went to bed early. The battery in my camper gave out around 3-4 am AGAIN, so I think both Wendy and I were up from about that time, as it was COLD out. Our start time was 6 am, so we were tacked up and ready to head out. We waited a bit to let everyone leave, as I really wanted Galen to settle down and quit trying to catch every single horse. Well, our first five miles was very much go forward a bit, turn around and walk back towards camp until he settled. We got some lovely practice on half-pass, shoulder-in and leg-yielding too! But, he finally settled in and Wendy and Allie were very patient with us. Our first loop included going through a 2000 foot long railroad tunnel. There was the option to go around, but heck, that would be boring! We both got off and led the horses, especially after I started getting disoriented in the dark while riding after about 10 seconds. So, we went throught the tunnel, which was very dark and lit only by glow sticks and a small flashlight Wendy had in her saddlepack. No big deal, really. We continued on to our first out vet check at 19 miles, where we caught up to quite a few people, as both our horses pulsed down right after coming in. But, we weren't there to race, but to have a great (and long) trail ride. We got a little bit of food into the horses, although Galen was still very much wanting to catch all those horses and didn't want to eat or drink. Allie had no such problems. Allie had been a little footsore from the rocks and Wendy was able to get the use of 3 easyboots, thanks to some very accomodating riders at the out vet check! Allie had already had one boot on, and after she was fully booted over her shoes, she was much happier. Thank goodness for helpful people and we'll always pack easyboots on our saddles from now on.

We headed out with one person behind us, and at the halfway point, Galen finally started drinking. Good thing, as I was getting just a tad worried about it and there was no other water before we got back to camp. We enjoyed going along the trail, walking through the 'cuts' where the rocks were big and rolling. The tunnel wasn't nearly as scary this time, as the afternoon sun was shining through most of it and there was only a small portion that was very dark.

I had been rather worried about how I would do on this long of a ride, and it was very interesting to see how I felt throughout the ride. I've never ridden any horse this long in one sitting before, so there were some things I will definately change for my next 50. At about 15 miles, my right stirrup leather started killing my calf. After the out vet check at 19 miles, the left stirrup leather bothered my calf so I didn't notice the right anymore. Definately need sheepskin over the leathers, cause my chaps just weren't enough for the job. Then, on the last loop, both those pains faded when my hind end started complaining. I've always been sort of a 'princess and the pea' with my saddle and boy oh boy, was I a 'princess' on Saturday. After our 45 minute hold in camp after the second 19 mile loop, I got on Galen and almost screamed, as all those little aches roared to life. But, amazing how a few miles can either dull your senses or you warm up enough that it's not so bad. I decided I definately need to do more ab crunches, as my poor abs were telling me they were being abused and I have to say that there will be LOTS more padding on the saddle seat for my next 50. There were consequences, although I do have a Cashel seat saver AND a sheepskin seat saver on the saddle seat. It just wasn't enough. Galen was a bit tired by now and would have been just fine with stopping at 38 miles. But, he didn't complain too loudly for our last 12 miles, and we went very slowly, mainly walking, with some trotting just to break up the boredom. We got chatting with the other contender for the 'Turtle' award, who was a very nice lady. We three hit the mid-way point of the last loop together, so those people who were signing our cards (this loop was a 'there and back' loop also) could go home, which I think made them quite happy. We got back to camp around 5 pm, and Wendy came in last, although Galen did not pulse down right away, so although she came in last, they pulsed down first, so we got the "Turtle" award. He was tired, but got through his vet check with almost all A's, and I believe one B for gut sounds. That was ok with me though, as he drank very well the last 2 loops and was eating everything he could see. I had to pull him away from food for his final vet. So, it wasn't too much for him, but we will definately stay very slow for quite some time and try to collect those "Turtles" and I will try to stay with the easier rides on fairly flat ground. In the meantime, I think I'll start doing some crunches and I am definately going to work on a better saddle padding system!

We decided to head home Saturday night, as I had to run to the airport the next morning, and made it home around 9:30 pm. It was a long, but satisfying day and I can now say, with all honesty and more than a little pride, "I'm an endurance rider".


Friday, April 25, 2008

Getting Ready for the Weekend

I'm just taking a breather before hooking up the trailer and making sure the camper is all packed up to go. Wendy and I are heading out to the Milwaukee Railroad Ride (it's called something like that anyway), over in Ellensburg, WA. I've pretty much recovered from last weekend's ride and have decided to try a 50 this weekend. I bet it takes a little longer to recover from this one! Galen, on the other hand, was ready to continue the ride last Saturday and was running laps as soon as he could. Glad one of us is in shape! I am getting the inklings that I need to actually do some working out if I want to do 50's without spending the next two weeks recovering. I guess what you can get away with when you're 30 doesn't translate to the middle-to-late 40's. Dang. My husband will probably be very happy to help set up a work-out schedule, as he's spent the last year learning the correct way to do this through the 20-20 Program at the Pro-Sports Club in Redmond. I guess we'll see how I feel tomorrow evening before I committ totally!

The weather appears to be cooperating here - the sun is out, the temp is climbing and I'm hoping we won't freeze over on the other side of the mountains. I'm taking my camera, so will try to get some good photos.

Wish me luck!


Monday, April 21, 2008

Grizzly Endurance Ride, Madras, OR April 19th 2008

Wendy Connell and I drove the 400 odd miles down to Madras, OR this past weekend and did our first ride of the year. The weather was a bit nasty on the way down (mainly in Washington), with heavy rain and wind. We went over the pass at Sandy, OR and were a bit apprehensive about road conditions, but they proved to be fine. There was snow on the sides of the road, but the road itself was ok. We got into Ride Camp about 2:30 and set up our electric pen and camper. The fence charger didn't seem to be working very well, (probably our ground wasn't deep enough), but the horses stayed in all weekend, so we were ok. We got the horses vetted through with no problems and I was very pleased that Galen was not wiggly at the vet check, as he used to be. Guess he's grown up a bit in the last few years! We helped our friends, Jennifer and David LeBlanc as they set up camp, made sure the horses were cosy in their blankets, as there was quite a high wind and went to bed early.

Saturday morning dawned clear, cold and lovely. Jennifer, David and Wendy were doing the 50, so they left at 7 am. I got Galen tacked up, as my shoulder had been bothering me and I wasn't sure I could lift the saddle by myself. He wasn't thrilled when ALL of his friends took off, and spent a good half an hour crying at the trailer for them. We left for our start at a few minutes to 8 am and I let a bunch of the other horses go first, so we wouldn't be in a huge crush. Our first loop was 15 miles and Galen did a fantastic job. He caught up to and passed most of the other 25 milers and we also passed a lot of the 50 milers. He was trotting and cantering easily, mostly on a loose rein, barely sweating (although it was still pretty cold with a nice, light wind which probably really helped that). I was able to take some photos while trotting along, which mostly turned out ok. I was also able to drink while trotting and cantering, although I did end up with a fat lip, from bonking myself with the water bottle, so I guess I need to practice that a bit more.

He wouldn't drink at any of the water tanks, but that has always been par for the course, so I didn't worry. I had a big tub of watery beet pulp waiting back at the trailer for him. We came into the vet check, pulsed down within a minute or two, vetted through with good scores, although the vet did ask if he was drinking and eating. I told him I had lots of beet pulp and that Galen has never been a good drinker, at least at the beginning of rides. Back to the trailer then, I loosened the girth and put his blanket on him, so he wouldn't chill, and stuck his nose in his pan of beet pulp. He did a pretty good job at it, I got my lunch and then Wendy came in after her first loop. She was able to get a few photos of us heading out for the 2nd loop. Wendy was very happy with Allie's first loop - she said Allie (who has never done a ride before!) was very good, happy to be rated and strong.

We headed out on our second and last loop and had to leave Allie behind. He thought that was a bit much, and tried to turn around for quite a while, until some other people joined us out on the trail and then it was "catch that horse ahead of us". Galen was actually stronger this second loop and I ended up with very sore shoulders from the constant half-halting I had to do. No loose reins this time! This was a 10 mile loop and it passed very quickly. No drinking this loop either, but I think that was due to him being so worried about catching the horse ahead of him. I kept him as slow as I could, riding behind slower horses for a bit to give him a breather whenever possible. He didn't appreciate that and actually bolted on me once. He's NEVER done this before and I was so surprised that it took me a few minutes to slow him down. He had seen a horse up ahead of the one we were following and thought we should overtake that one. Well, I was much more vigilante after that, cause we sure don't need more of that. I ended up riding for a bit with a very nice lady on a heavier arab and as we were coming in to the camp, we both got off and walked, as she said her boy took awhile to pulse down. As we were walking in, we were passed by at least one horse and rider (probably #10 in the top ten), and we were down at 50 for a pulse as we walked into camp. Galen vetted through with better scores than his mid-ride vetting - better gut sounds, better muscle tone and his impulsion in the trot-out almost left me in the dust. He also went right for the water tank and drank very well. I did pretty well on the ride and am only mildly sore today (Monday), although my right ankle, which has some old injuries, was rather sore at the trot-out. Good thing they didn't judge me on gaits and implusion!

Wendy came in from her second loop, Allie was eating and drinking like a champ and Wendy was doing well after 40 miles. We got some photos of them going out on their last 10 mile loop. They got back in around 4ish, and Allie vetted through with excellent scores. They ended up in 26th place, right around the middle of the pack and Wendy couldn't have been happier with Allie. Galen and I were 12th out of 38 and he finished stronger than he started.

We tucked the horses in and went to bed early Saturday night, which was cold and clear, and woke up to a cold camper - the propane had run out around 4 am! So, we sat in the running truck to warm up a bit, broke camp and after the awards meeting at 7:30 am, headed for home. We got home in about 7 hours and I know I sat down and barely moved until I dragged my butt to bed.

And, we're going to do it all again this coming weekend, going to the Milwaukee Trail ride in Ellensburg, WA. I'll write about that when we do it.


Monday, April 14, 2008

A gorgeous weekend in Seattle!

It was a gorgeous weekend here in Seattle and the horses really appreciated it! 80 degrees and lovely sunshine on Saturday, with Sunday not quite so nice. Hair floating everywhere, as everyone is shedding as quickly as possible. I was able to go on a great ride on Sunday with my friend Wendy and her Nez Perce mare, Allie. We were out for about 3 hours of trotting winding, wooded trails, yelling "watch that tree" many times. I only got my knee once and Galen got lots of practice bending, neck-reining, and using his hind-end. We have a ride this next weekend down in Madras, OR, where Galen and I will do a 25 and Wendy and Allie a 50. I'm sort of planning to see what his recoveries are like for a few rides doing 25s and if his recoveries (and mine) are good, we'll probably step up to a..gasp...50! I've gotten a lot fitter, which certainly helps both of us and we've been doing our conditioning, so we'll see. Ride day will tell the tale.

Our mud almost dried up, but now it's raining again, sigh, so it will be coming back. But, we are getting more and more nice weather vs rotten weather, so I'm looking forward to less mud, more sun and shed out horses.

I meant to bring my camera...but I didn't. Oh well! Next time.


and winter continues in Michigan.....

Oh, I am so jealous of 80 degree weather. We had very nice warm weather last week and yesterday it snowed all day (Hard, like a blizzard) it melted when it hit the ground but still nasty. The horses all spent the day inside. They where all very happy to get out this morning. I took some more pictures of the babies and I will get them posted to my website tomorrow. I have decided on names with the help of Nadja. The filly will be Azim (the Princess) and the Colt will be called Samaddin. Although my kids call them Jack and Jill since they look so much alike. Anne-Marie

Saturday, April 12, 2008

brand new stuff

OK, my first ever attempt at blogging ! Who says old dogs can't learn new tricks ?!

Spring has definitely sprung here at Central Asian Equines. It was 80 degrees here yesterday, the lilacs are about to bloom and the winter hair is flying off in the breeze. I'll try to get some pictures when they're done shedding out.

Our first foal is due any day now. Gozakhal is big as a tick and hugely waddling about, her bag is getting tight and her tail very limp. This will be our first of 3 Maruk foals and we are really excited to see it. Gozi has been acting very feminine lately and actually letting the other mares tease her, which she never does. My dear vet friend Dr. Bob Gochnauer told me that the secondary sex hormones come in last, right before foaling, so if they are acting girly, you're having a colt; if they're acting studdy, you're having a filly. So my guess is a boy, we'll see soon if I'm right.

The open mares are all begging to get bred already, but I don't like to have March foals, so they'll have to wait a bit longer. We're shooting for 3 Gindarkh foals, 4 Mergen foals, and a couple of TBA daddies, depending on availability !

Hope to see everyone at the Festivale of Rare Breeds this September at the KHP. We plan to exhibit Samovar and Stoli Gold, with possibly one other Teke riding along, unless we get a bigger trailer before then !

Best to everyone,
Good morning all - another beautiful day in sunny Florida. Magnatli is glowing like Goldfinger poured a bucket of gold on him! Wish I was good with a camera. And I also missed another shot of Magnatli and Fat Albert (our pot-bellied pig) snuffling nose-to-nose thru the fence - wish you all could see it - what a hoot! Darkh Amber will be leaving for Texas and her polo-playing careeer on Tuesday - I am going to weep buckets, I know, but I'm sure she is going to love her job. Jas - tell us more about Patrickhan and his stint as a cowpony this last summer. There are several local cowboys here who are considering crossing a mare with a Teke to produce a cowpony. 'Bye now - got to go pick up some hay.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Hello everyone,

We're trying something new (for us, anyway!). We're going to blog about our day to day lives with our Akhal-Tekes, so those of you who would like to know more about the breed can catch a glimpse of what we experience.

We're hoping that this will show you more about this lovely breed. This is not meant to be political or for soap boxes, just about our horses!


Cathy and the rest of the Tekeaholics on the blog