Saturday, December 6, 2014

Family Traditions, Harnesses and Carts !

This lovely pony mare came back to me from Georgia this past spring -- poor dear arrived during a winter tempest.... I actually had to pull the truck and trailer up my driveway. She has recovered though and is accustomed to Vermont weather for the most part. Niobe has always been a favorite of mine -- we are all pleased to have her back as part of the family.
Here's the  the last post of Niobe right before she left for the south ~

Niobe is a maternal sister to my outstanding driving pony Nimue -- her sire is a black ride and drive registered 14 hand Morgan.  She was sold as a riding pony -- but in the past few weeks I have harnessed her up and trotted her out quite a bit -- she is now an established driving pony -- and every bit the potetial of her sis...

Dominic and I loved trotting out with Miss Nims
 We had many awesome long adventures with this mare -- and I know many followers in the Curly horse community are familiar with her and her exploits out and about the surrounding towns.... picking up pizza, getting the banking done -- and just plain exploring all the back roads of Vermont.

She also had a super show career with quite a few wins

After Nimue was sold -- we did some driving but never to the extent that we did with Nimue.... that has changed !  Niobe has taken to driving as if she has been waiting for someone to throw the harness over her back --- she loves it -- and being in the cart behind her beings back many memories of our treks with Nims.
I tested to see how she would react to a bit of weight and a lot of noise... not much reaction..
 Hitched her to the cart and ground drove her around ... again --
it is as if she was born to drive !

Such a beautiful face -- 

Dominic says he has missed the clip clop sound of a horse in harness... he has grown quite a bit since the days of Nimue -- so I am going to have to purchase a bigger road cart !

 Now I am driving Niobe at least once a week -- and I forgot how much I LOVE it too !! Dominic and I are similar in lots of ways :)

Some family traditions are
meant to be kept alive !!

so Enjoy your traditions and keep them going !

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Thrilling New Year's Greeting ~

 Just having a little fun waiting for 2014 !  OYY Sharona and her new daughter OYY Billie Jean - who recently had surgery for a dentigerous cyst...  we were calling her Fraken-pony for a few weeks - but you can see she is healing nicely.  Enjoy the ridiculous video and laugh !

Dolling up for New Year's on PhotoPeach

Thursday, July 25, 2013

All Work and No Play ???

Not at Top O' The Hill Farm !  We work hard - and expect the horses to apply themselves also.. but there is always time for play ! After all the rains we received, the brook looked like the perfect location for some recreation.

We saddled up Tall Trees Sassie and
OYY Beltane's Lady Jane for a refreshing 'swim' in the brook.   These two had a blast and their riders got just as wet as the horses as you will see.

Jane and me -- Jane is a super lesson horse and such a delightful mount ... I love riding her.

Start out in the more shallow parts. So cooling on such a hot day !

well -- you get the picture -- we all had

F-U-N !!

Just recently, Tall Trees Sassie has made her way to the sales list. She is an outstanding lesson horse -- taking on some challenging riders that many other horses would not be capable of handling. She is also a wonderful steady able bodied lesson horse and a fun forward mount for trail and/or road trips.  It's time for her to move on to owning her own person. She will so enjoy the change in lifestyle -- getting out on the trail with her rider more often.

What a stellar western and/or english mount she will make for either family or single owner.  Here is her page on the web site.   

So -- while a good work ethic is important and I require it as an important genetic component in my horses ~  PLAYTIME is so very essential too !

Find time to enjoy your day ~ hopefully in the saddle

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hard Work Pays Off ~

What a devoted team
these two are !!

So proud ~

For the First time in the history of CSI, there were 4 USDF All Breeds awarded.  One of those champs is
The Mighty Quinn ~ from Top O' The Hill Farm breeding.
  1st place- Stefanie Rossetti- riding Mighty Quinn- median score 64.516..

Stefanie is committed to her horse and her riding - she's in the saddle all winter preparing and this
pays off at the shows !

NEDA Dressage Fall Festival 2012 candids © Carien Schippers ( photo to the right)

Is this beautiful ?? 

Excellent scores  are not an accident -- just as quality horses are not either ..  Good breeding and dedicated up-bringing produce part of a winning team such as this one.

This lovely boy has many relatives here on the farm ready to move on to their future homes -

whether as trusty trail mounts or successful show horses.  One of whom is a farm favorite --
OYY Queen Jane Approximately. She has been on and off the sales list forever -- always on the fence about parting with her. She's been backed finally and is back on the list for sale to a rider looking for a sweet, loving Champion American Curly to take to shows and bring home the ribbons... 

 This colt - born 
March 9th of this year - 
is also headed for definite success

Sired by BCF Splash Dancer 
Dam - OYY Ravishing Ahmet
( dam to OYY Elektra) 

OYY Splash Dancing Freestyle ~

This boy was 11.2 hands at birth

at 2 months he measured just a hair over 12 hands !  a handsome, well mannered colt, with size and movement !  What a stupendous stallion prospect.

But - part of what goes into producing talented winners like The Mighty Quinn and those others mentioned has nothing to do with the curly quadrupeds... 

  Much of my farm days are taken up by working my way down my many lists.  When I get to the point where almost all the items are crossed off -- then I celebrate ... and make a new list !  maneuvering around weather patterns and any other interruptions... farm maintenance mostly  boils down to ..

just putting one foot in front of the other and getting stuff done so we can get to the
RIDE part of life  ~

Enjoy YOUR ride !! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hosting the Convention !

What a hectic summer we're having.  
Soon - Top O' The Hill Farm will be hostess for the 2012 ICHO convention. 

I have a pretty nice selection of demo's/clinics scheduled -- along with some super food - and of course all kinds of good friends, both old and new, will be attending.  If you have not registered yet - go to the ICHO web site and sign up. You do not have to be a Curly owner, nor do you have to be an ICHO member to attend.  You can also visit the Facebook event page to see who else is coming and maybe make plans to share a room or car pool with a friend.

On Friday morning, Zoe's very qualified instructor will be giving us tips on promoting a harmonious relationship between horse and rider - using the elements of dressage. Sheila is a versatile equestrian and trainer - classical dressage, jumping, eventing, and carriage driving. She apprenticed with Dr H.L.M van Shaik and studied with Egon von Neindorff and Cindy Sydnor -- among others.

Sheila has come to love the farm's newest stallion - BCF Splash Dancer and coached Zoe and Splash to their group of firsts - First time off the farm to a show, first time at First Level taking a nice blue First place ribbon !!  This summer Zoe and Splash are working with Sheila learning to jump !

Sheila believes jumping will increase co-ordination and swing -- improving balance and ability to close hock hip angles, improve use of neck, and teaches the horse better use of the back.  All great goals ! Here is Splash's and Zoe's first time ~

Stay tuned for more news of clinics and demo's -- 

And as far as my little hayfield of oats ... it's growing -- Here's our favorite little ponies Miss Kitty and Salvadore's Legend getting a taste last week  They are fast eating it all down. 

We have a bit of a drought here -- but the flowers are still thriving with a little extra help.

I am still picking rock -- this is my 6th trailer load of stones and rocks... and I thought I had already destroyed the breeder rocks.. evidently not.

 And a tomato with its first blush appearing... it will be ready for snacking soon.

Enjoy ~

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Catching Up after a long time

I have no excuses for not blogging in over a year !!  so I will not attempt to come up with any --

I tried planting one of my smaller areas this spring...  oats were the "nurse" crop - fescue free pasture mix along with that.

Soon after discing, harrowing, and sowing, we experienced quite a drought -- a few oat seedlings sprouted -  it made me think of this ~

One stalk of oat does not a hayfield make and 

One small pile of split wood does not a warm body bake.  

So ~  I can add that a blog is also not very interesting if I don't make the effort to post !!   Today is the beginning of some hopefully regular reports from the farm !

Tonight I tried a recipe for Queen Anne's Lace Jelly !! 

I love the plant... so the jelly sounded so intriguing I had to give it a try.

The result is a delicate sweet melt in your mouth jelly fit for the queen of fairies...

It's actually more of a light pink hue which I could not quite capture in the photo. 

  Blossoms in a beautiful hand turned maple bowl

A little left over - not enough to fill a jar... so toast for supper :)

If you'd like to try some for yourself -- e-mail me for the recipe..

For now -- Enjoy your day ~

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Making History Once Again !

Here is OYY Elektra's  certificate and gorgeous ribbon from the Curly Sporthorse International registry for her show efforts in 2010 !!  She is Reserve champion ... beat out by who ?
Her DAD !!  As a breeder trying to find time to compete,  I am up against my own kids ...

OYY The Mighty Quinn - sired by Mead's Chocolate Chip and out of our tried and true mare - Lilly scored better than Zoe and Elektra did , earning the 2010 Champ Title

This is definitely a record setter in the Curly Horse world -- Sire and Daughter competing and Sire and Daughter winning !!

Stefanie is Quinn's third owner (counting Top O' The Hill Farm). Before his sale, Quinn bred 3 mares - he has 2 sons and 1 daughter.. Elektra.  I am SO proud of Stefanie and Quinn - they put forth a lot of effort and attending quite a few shows. As those who do it -- it's a lot of work !  What a beautiful couple they make. You can see his score history here -

The Curly Sporthorse International has done a superb job helping us as breeders track our wins and there by helping to prove our breeding goals, furthering the future of the Curly Sporthorse, earning credibility and supporting quality and enhancing the over all image of the Curly haired sporthorse.  I love it !!

Top O' The Hill Farm is always the trend setter in the American Curly Horse breeding game. Proving bloodlines since our start in 1985 - we have continually trained our horses and entered as many shows and local riding competitions possible while maintaining the farm.  When it was the norm to have herds of broodmares and stallions running in pastures producing foals - untouched and wild..... it was our goal to imprint every foal from the start and have most, or all, our stallions and broodmares under saddle or in harness.  After all -- these were originally touted as the USING horse -- how else to illustrate that but to USE them ?

Here on the farm we have used the horses to pull logs, sleds full of hay at feeding time, pleasure trail rides with friends and family, countless judged trail rides (and not to brag but BOXES of ribbons ! ) along with the annual Battle of the Breeds - where one horse does every class, with change of tack each time and change of rider outfit too -- along with driving. We always had at least 2 horses entered every year.  Our horses rode many miles raising money for various charities -- and we annually hosted ride-a-thons here at the farm as well, saddling up a dozen or more of our own Curlies for those wanting to ride but had no mount.

I am proud of my herd of generations of using Curly horses - over the years foals and grand-foals and even some great grand foals out there performing - in the show ring, hacking around for pleasure on trail and roads, driving and somewhat new to the mix - therapy horses. Top O' The Hill Farm has third generation therapeutic lesson horses currently being used in programs. Mom, daughter and grand-daughter giving lessons !

Sometimes I think- perhaps my web site is a bit confusing.. so many links to follow. But I love to be able to show the families and relatives... what they have done, where they are, etc. When choosing out a horse for whatever discipline, for whatever goal you might have in mind for yourself and/or your family -- full knowledge of  the horses in the pedigree is important and useful. The horses at Top O' The Hill Farm have been selectively bred so that each foal's strengths, disposition and potential can be fairly well predicted.  Horses are only used as breeding stock if they demonstrate trainability, tractability, basic soundness and perfect health.  For me -- the family history of my Curly horse herd is paramount. When I sell a horse - I sell the story of a group of genes that have been personally worked with,  trained, ridden or at least in the case of foals sold at weaning -- first hand news and knowledge of that off spring. We know what it feels like to ride the gaits of the related horses, have had the pleasure of seeing and experiencing the potential of each one being reached and perhaps exceeded.

Top O' The Hill Farm hosted the ICHO convention in  2004 and was the site of the first ICHO Curly horse inspection - providing 7 of my own horses for a trial run of an inspection.

Top O' The Hill Farm hosted the First Annual Curly get Together on the east coast (Tall Trees Curlies does one in the western part of the country). We all had a blast and it will definitely be an annual affair from now on. At the Get Together we saddled up 15 Curly horses and harnessed two Curlies -- perhaps the largest group of Curly horses at one time carrying riders and passengers on a trail ride !

This year - 2011 - in July Top O' The Hill Farm will be the site of the ABC convention.

It's been a very gratifying 26 years of breeding American Curly horses.. We began with some quality horses and continue to make quality horses.  The game is a bit more competitive now - but we are keeping up.

 Our pony program is the best  in the 12.2 hh - 13.2 hh range - offering ponies with several generations of riding and driving behind their breeding.

Our trail horse focus has always been outstanding - all our horses ride rough trail and complete the challenging obstacle course from a young age on up.  They show the aptitude and the build and the heart for this activity.  We have competed in the past in 15 and 25 mile Competitive trail rides and drives. 

Our Sporthorse program is developing and growing..  both mounted and driven. Top O' The Hill Farm has some really special Sport Curlies competing and coming up in training.

We are especially pleased  with the addition of BCF Splash Dancer bred by Lisa Wytiaz of Bashcurl Farm in Georgia !! He'll be in the show ring this summer along with Elektra again ! And one more candidate for driving -- which we are working on this winter and spring.

 Splash has bred a few mares for 2011.. can't wait !!

(photo courtesy of Lisa Wytiaz )

Top O' The Hill Farm has perhaps the largest population of driving horses and ponies -  Of all my projects - other than riding the trail as often as I can -- driving is my passion.. I love a decent driving horse and it is most definitely genetic -

Lots of hard work is paying off .. and I have enjoyed
every minute of it !

I have been working on my web site - attempting to give it a fresh face -- only half way there.. it's a big job and tedious. for February I am running a small sale - discounting some of my favorite horses..
WHY  you ask???

I believe in my breeding program and the results of that work -- My daughter and I have worked diligently to PROVE our horses and their breeding by USING .....   You - the buyer - can help me with that.  Purchase a horse - stay in touch... train, trail ride, show, harness and drive....  I will pay for registering in curly Sporthorse International if you plan to do serious competition (and I hope you do) and also pay for nomination in Horse of the Year awards.  Your work with one of my horses will help me continue to prove my reputation..

so take a look at the web site - see if some delightful Curly catches your fancy !!

Now it's been awhile since I have blogged regularly.. I guess it's time to get on track - we've been riding and sleighing so come back for frequent visits.. and I'll try to stay current and entertaining !

 Enjoy ~