Monday, June 17, 2013

Last foal of the year has arrived!

Jasmine just had her baby this morning! Orfeo has given us a chestnut filly, very similar to Ilse's little girl. As both parents are grey, there is a chance she might gray out, but she has at least started with a red coat! "Incitata" is super leggy, much like her parents, and already shows athleticism, starting to canter at a few hours old. Will upload pictures as soon as I can get them off my iPhone.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kyrie's baby is here!!!

Kyrie just had her first Knabstrupper foal! True to form, it is another colt, making this three colts for Kyrie and no fillies. This little guy is, so far, a bay blanket Knab, but he might shed out into a leopard. He has Kyrie's white hind legs and a funny little star-strip marking on his face. He is very friendly and sweet and was a dream to imprint. Will post pictures once they upload.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Reflections: Ruya

Spring has actually been fairly cool so far. We've had a few days of highs in the 80s, but apparently, this is the coolest month of May in decades so far. Perfect weather for foals and chores!
With the hot days, Ruya has gotten spoiled, as she well-deserves. She gets to come inside during the day and laze around next to the sofa. Most of the time, the Kangals stay outside with access to any number of shelters with a few dog beds here and there, and they are happy socializing with the guys working on the barn or mowing around the pastures. However, Ruya has been less active than usual and just wants to sleep all day and bark on her patrols at night. I figure since she's pregnant, she deserves to be treated like a queen. Usually, all she does is lay down by the stairs and sleep, sometimes snoring and twitching but mostly just snoozing. If I just say her name, the tail starts wagging ever so softly. Unlike Golden Retrievers, Kangals have a very quiet, soft wag that doesn't make the notorious "thump thump thump" like Goldens (my sister has one, and he could wake the dead with that tail thumping...)
Well, since I'm resting a sprained ankle, I haven't been riding as much, which means more time for music practice (and crafts, and housework, and anything to keep me from going stir-crazy!). One day, Ruya decided she wanted to come in around the time I was going to practice, so I let her in. After a few minutes of reading, I went over to practice piano, and after a piece or two, Ruya joined me, curling up on the carpet right next to my left foot. She was so much at peace as I was playing, just sleeping quietly and occasionally inching a little closer to my left foot. I'd reach down to pet her, and she'd roll over and show her belly.
Ruya is such a special girl. She has such a quiet, peaceful presence about her. Yes, she can play exuberantly, and yes, she chases any threat off the property, but with her charges and her family, she has this incredible ability to put everyone at ease. I have pictures somewhere of one of the cats trying to give her a bath, and even the most dog-aggressive of the horses don't mind her passing by through the pasture. I have never had a dog that is just as sweet and peaceful as this one, and every day I can't help but offer thanks for such a wonderful dog.

Orfeo's first American Filly!

Orfeo's first American foal is here! This one belongs to his previous owner, who decided to breed to him after we bought him. Much to my surprise, the filly is a CHESTNUT! So far, Orfeo, like Conversano Ivey, has produced mostly fillies, but we'll see with Jazzi's baby. I'm excited to see that he has produced a chestnut out of a mare that is completely unrelated to him and is black/bay. Once I get pictures of the little redhead, I'll post more.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Reflections... LGDs

     When Bella was born, Ruya was in strong heat, therefore she was restricted to being either inside or in the kennel until we could get her to be bred. The very day after Bella was born, Ruya found herself at Darlene's. A week went by before we could get down to pick her up, thanks to a sprained ankle and other surprises. During that time, however, Aslan had introduced himself and checked out Bella when we brought her in, sniffing her legs and rump with a tucked tail and afterward hanging out by the stall, occasionally trying to kiss Bella when she was exploring the stall door.
     Well, it wasn't until after we turned Bella out that I remembered Ruya had not been introduced. Ruya, of course, ran the fenceline barking with worry. What was that black thing running around Doo Dah?!?!?!  I knew that without a proper introduction, Ruya would not be at ease, and there was a risk of something happening to her or to Bella. So, I got out a leash and dragged Ruya into the pasture while someone held Doo Dah.
     There is something magical about watching a LGD bond with a new member of the "flock." Ruya kept her tail low and gently sniffed Bella. Bella ran away a few times, but Ruya patiently tried again. After I knew all was well, I let Ruya off the leash. She very quietly walked up to Bella and sniffed her feet and her tail. After maybe 30 seconds, her tail started to wag and she started to give Bella kisses on the nose. Of course, Bella took off and hid behind the other side of Doo Dah, but Ruya quietly tucked her tail and tried again. After Ruya and Bella had gotten accustomed to each other for a couple minutes, I left the pasture and called Ruya to give the baby some space. It was obvious that Ruya did not want to leave her baby for two seconds, but Doo Dah's glare made up her mind, and she squeezed out of the pasture and went with me to chill out in the house.
     I will never cease to be amazed at the way these dogs are wired. All it took was a short introduction, and Ruya was all over it. I could see in her eye that she felt bound to the little foal for the rest of their lives. For Bella, she now knows that Ruya is her friend, and I hope that she develops a trust of Ruya that will stay with her forever.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Mina update!

This is a bit delayed in posting, but I felt it was worth sharing. Mina has been down to Mary Werning's place a few times now, and she is doing beautifully off the longe. She was completely cool about the mirrors and the new place; it didn't bother her a bit. We did serpentines and started baby laterals last time we were down, and she was wonderful. Mary was super impressed by her level-headedness and her swinging, solid gaits. I will start showing Mina very soon, especially since there are no babies due until May.
At home, Mina is now doing some work bareback. She is so easy to ride bareback and is very comfortable. As always, she is very cautious about doing everything right, but she is getting the hang of it very quickly. She is just an outstanding young mare!

Another change in plans... with new update!

     I am tired of all this planning and then changing plans, but I suppose there's a lesson in it.
     We are still breeding Ruya. No doubt. But we have changed the male. We are back to going with Micah, an Odaci Kangal out of Odaci's Safak and Ch. Yasemin. He is an incredible mover with a great guardian instinct and has produced outstanding puppies out of a female of Ruya's same breeding. This is his first breeding the US, his other litters contributing to the Canadian gene pool.
     I'm sure everyone is wondering why all the changes. Well, that is a long story...
     We decided to go with Micah as soon as he came to Georgia. However, shortly after that, my father was killed in a car accident, and we were in no way ready for a litter of puppies. When we went to pick up Aslan, our young male, Darlene told us about the straws she had left from Arkadas, and we were thrilled about that prospect.
     Then everything went wrong. We lost a foal, and the mother had to go to surgery. With the mounting vet bills, we started questioning breeding Ruya by the very intricate methods of AI. The repro vets said there shouldn't be a problem, but they weren't comfortable either using the very last breeding dose on a maiden female. I wasn't thrilled with having a small litter of a line that is otherwise not represented in America. So, as Ruya was in flaming heat, I called Darlene Kelley, Ruya's and Aslan's breeder, and we both thought about what to do. It was her advice to breed this cycle, as we don't want to push Ruya in the future to have litters at an older age. So, we decided to go for Micah again.
     Ruya is now with Micah at Darlene's place, and while she is still sitting down when he tries to mount, she is getting much closer to accepting him. They should lock any moment now this week, and we will have our first litter of Kangal puppies!

UPDATE 4/17: Ruya and Micah locked earlier this morning! We are thrilled about this litter, as Micah's last litter with a sibling of Ruya's came out beautifully. You can see pictures of that litter and how the puppies developed at

First baby of the year has arrived!!!!!

C. Ivey has a purebred daughter with Seraphina! Bell'angela was born in the night early Sunday morning. She is so far black with a white star, snip and two socks. She is absolutely gorgeous; one of the prettiest foals I've seen. She is sweet and curious about everything though her momma, the surrogate mare Doo Dah, is a little nervous, this being her first foal.
I did not have the chance to imprint immediately upon her birth, as Doo Dah foaled out sometime in the night and got her standing and nursing all by herself. Way to go, Doo Dah! She is a fantastic mother, especially for a maiden mare. She will be wonderful for anyone else who ends up with her carrying their foal.
Little Bella seems to have a lot of her daddy in her. She has his topline, but she seems to have a balance between his and Seraphina's movement. She has a nice combination of her momma's Hungarian nose and her daddy's broad forehead. Temperament-wise, she is all Seraphina. She thinks she is all grown up and likes to try to escape (much to her surrogate momma's chagrin...). She runs and frolics all the time and is afraid of nothing. She has even walked over plastic without so much as batting an eye. What a precocious little stinker!

UPDATE: Finally, technology cooperated and let me upload pictures of baby Bella! More to come!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Kangal Update: We're in heat!

I'm sure you have seen on the website that we've changed plans and gone with Ch. Doga Farm's Arkadas for Ruya's first breeding. He was an outstanding male out of equally amazing lines. We managed to get hold of the last breeding dose of his frozen semen, and we will be breeding Ruya sometime next week! She surprised us all and went into heat a couple months early, so we quickly found a vet that does AI and has a good track record of successes. It is definitely going to be a fascinating process. We're going with the endoscopic transcervical insemination method as our first choice, as that seems to be better than simple insemination with less of a recovery period than the surgical method. If they have trouble with the TCI, then we will probably resort to the surgical method. All very interesting to learn about... detailed post on those methods soon to come.
I am extremely excited about this breeding. "Arki"'s lines can't be found anywhere else in the country and are considered precious internationally. I will probably keep a puppy from this litter for my own breeding stock, and I truly hope that there will be a few people wanting breeding stock from this litter. Ruya's lines are some of the most influential in this country, and Arki's lines are highly revered in Turkey and in England. Ruya has matured into the most wonderful female I could hope for: calm, quiet, confident, loving, friendly, and patient, not to mention an incredible guardian with great instincts. Arki was equally friendly and loving as well as charismatic and just as incredible a guardian. He is sorely missed, but at least his lines can still be carried on.
I just found that the old links to Arki's page are no longer working, so here's the new link:
Please comment if you have any interest or questions.


     Spring is such an amazing time of year. The grass suddenly becomes green again, the air is warm and moist with the spring rains (sometimes too moist...), and the birds chirp while the bees hum. Across the street, the cows are calving and the bulls are roaring at each other. The same is happening over here.
    Our first purebred Lipizzans are due any minute now. Bahama looks like she's about to explode, and the surrogate mare, Doo Dah, has lost a lot of tone in her hind end. Both are bagged up at the same stage, though Doo Dah is due today and Bahama is due in a couple weeks.
     I can't help but remember the first time I met Doo Dah, a little QH mare who is blind in one eye and now belongs to NCSU. She was a little bossy, but she meant well and was overall a sweet little mare. We brought her home so we could give her Dynamite feed and be there for foaling time to do our own "imprinting." The first day, she walloped me in the face with her nose when I was introducing her to the pasture (and, unfortunately, I was on her blind side). I turned her loose, and she immediately went up to the other horses with a bit of a naive "blond" look on her face. Pretty soon, she was given a double-barrel by her only pasturemate. I was a bit protective of her for a bit, especially since she's carrying Seraphina's baby, but she's made of sterner stuff than I allowed for. She frequently waltzed up and started eating out of an alpha mare's dish, and, of course, the alpha, whether it was Jasmine or Bahama, would squeal and kick her a few times. No matter what I did to prevent this, she always tried to eat someone else's food, even if there was only one other horse.
     After a while of being out with the two geldings, I put her in with Bahama, Lyn's mare on lease to us. Bahama is the boss beyond all doubt. Even Jasmine obeys Bahama, though not always willingly. But for some reason, Bahama and Doo Dah are inseparable. They eat together, they graze together, they do everything together. I think that Bahama has taken on the task of raising Doo Dah, and wow has she done a great job of it! Doo Dah is now more confident and comfortable in her own skin. I've caught her standing guard over the other napping horses more than a few times. This would never have happened when we first brought her home. Much of her bossiness has gone away, and she is easy to handle and doesn't panic anymore when I touch her blind side without significant warning. She lets me do nearly anything with her on her blind side. She adores being loved on and gets very excited when I call her, as usually it means she's getting food or attention. I have been so touched to see how much the little girl has grown up since June last year. Now, I can't wait to see how she raises Sera's baby.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Email/Internet errors

We've been going through an internet change, and I'm afraid some emails have not gone through. If you have contacted us and did not get a timely response, please post a comment here or try again. I've replied to several emails and did not get a reply from the other end and am wondering what might have gone wrong. Please post a comment, and I will try to get to you as soon as I can. I apologize for this inconvenience, but I want to make sure that everything is working as it ought! Thanks.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Show season off to great start!

Orfeo and I just got back form our first show of the year, and we won our class! We scored 71.867% at First Level test 1 with 8s on lengthenings (one 8.5 on a canter lengthening!). Go Orfeo! So much for baroques not being competitive... Stay tuned for more shows and updates on his progress!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We have a new pack member!!!

We just brought our newest family member home! Meet Shadow Wings Cesur Aslan, a big-boned son of Doga Farm's Ancient Warrior and New Dawn. He carries fresh genetics to the American gene pool on both his sire's side and his damsire's side. He is such a sweetie! The whole way home, he just snoozed on my lap, occasionally shifting when he got too hot or when we had to stop for potty breaks. Ruya's accepting him very well, though she is making sure he knows who's boss! Typical girl...
I'll post pictures as soon as I can get them from my iPhone.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ruya Breeding Update

It is with regret that I have to tell everyone that we are waiting out this heat cycle for Ruya. We have had a family tragedy, and it is in everyone's best interest that we wait to breed Ruya until June. However, we will try to get Ruya out into the show ring this spring. She is blossoming into a beautiful Kangal female, and with so few in the show ring around here, it is worth getting her out to show how beautiful she really is.