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.