At 2.36am on the 16th June 2011, we welcomed in to the world Hondo, a rather gorgeous looking dun colt foal out of DJ and by Hubble, Both Mark and I were present throughout the birth and it never ceases to amaze us just how well co-ordinated newborn foals really are, at 3 am Hondo was walking and trotting around the stable, coming to greet us, going for a drink followed by more trotting around, He is probably the strongest foal we have bred so far, as it was 5.10am before he laid down and went to sleep! He has continued to flourish and because we imprinted him from birth has turned out in to a very confident young colt, He is 1 month old today and already he's wearing a halter and is able to lead, has worn a numnah, and had his first foot trim. It is truly joyous work training foals, they are blank canvasses and because they are curious and as yet don't know how to resist, after an initial half hearted struggle, Hondo has learn't to yield softly to the halter, move his hips and shoulders, and is able to back up with minimum asking. Mark and I like this colt so much that I am afraid he is not for sale, we have decided to keep him. He is the most athletic foal we have bred so far and his pedigree is full of legendary horses, Peppy San Badger appears on both sides combined with Smart little Lena, Holidoc, Two Eyed Jack, this is only a snippet of the amazing horses that grace his pedigree, he is going to be truly awesome, and even though he is only 1 month old We are so looking forward to working with him in the future.
So after the excitement of Hondo, it was time to get ready for the 2011 silversand camp, the tents were put up, and then it was time to pick Jason up from Manchester airport. Jason is a silversand associate in Australia who is travelling Europe for 5 weeks, the last time I saw jason was back in 2004 when I rode his horse. Mark and I set off in plenty of time but as usual there's always a crash or roadworks going on around Manchester and so we were stuck in nose to tail traffic jam for about an hour, so poor Jason not only had a horrendously long flight he now had an extra hour to wait for us! Sorry Jason!
Back home and after a long sleep, Jason helped me put the horse pens together, followed by food shopping for the clinic, after all the organising, we could put our feet up for a little while and wait for students to arrive, Not only were we up on numbers with 10 riders, we were up on spectators, some of which had only booked 1 day but just had to come back for the other 2 days! That says a lot about the standard of tuition.
We were blessed with awesome weather, Sunshine and warmth every day, a little too warm in the afternoons, with spectators looking very pink!
We had a great selection of horses, some very young ones on their first clinics, we were also joined by Marjorie! the Dummy cow, ( there will be photos soon, because you have to see her!) Some of the students needed to work on focus, now Marjorie, the black and white cow is hauled along behind the Quad, she has moveable hind legs which you can rope or you can just track her, needless to say no one had a problem focusing after she arrived!
The evenings were also fun packed, with Jason teaching us all to crack stock whips, easier said than done! still no injuries so it just proves everyone was listening, we also had roping sessions, both with Steve and Jason, great fun, and a useful skill to learn and keep practising. SPECIAL THANKS GOES TO DAVID AND SARAH FIRTH FOR BUILDING MARJORIE!
Steve always does an awesome job teaching and it is always good to watch horses become calmer and students more focused, effective and confident around their horses. We are especially proud of Helen Rushforth, back in 2008 she bought the first foal we bred named Philli, she is at livery with us but Helen has started Philli all by herself, we were there for advice but that was all. we had no physical contact with Philli at all during her starting period, and so to see her do the whole clinic was a real pleasure, and it was such a joy to see Steve then get on philli and do some roping of the dummy cow on her, something she has never done before, but in her usual calm way, coped very well indeed, Well done Helen, you've done an amazing job and you should be very proud of yourself and Philli!
Mandy Callicott also did a tremendous job with Sunny, another foal by Hubble, and one which we started last year, again Mandy did an amazing job working in a field among lots of other strange horses, Sunny stayed calm, and confident and looked amazing. well done Mandy.
Thanks also to Mandy for producing a keg of ale, named Silversand special, and very special it was too, tasted refreshing like pop, but when you have had nothing to eat all day like I did all clinic it became rather potent! by the end of the clinic there was only half a glass left ! it went down very well Mandy thank you!
We can relax a tiny bit now though, 3 days is never enough, it all seems very empty here now, there's a big build up to the camp and then poof! its over, Jason is over in Germany now joining some of the german associates, hope you have a great time over there Jason. we have young horses in for starting which is keeping us very busy, and of course Hondo to play with, who we will keep you all posted on his progress.
We will be publishing dates for next year very soon, so please keep checking back.
bye for now.