“The love of horses knows not its own depth until the hour of separation”
Twister du Sagiran #638457
June 2004 – June 2010
Sire: Zip Twist Miracle #555468
Dam: Starlette Bright #540955
Breed : Appaloosa
My much loved and much missed Twister. My gentle giant. (Twister on left)
Why I felt a special bond is hard to express in words. I just did. Full of character, with a huge heart, affectionate, brave and the most comfortable ride ever! Boy could he travel when we galloped through the forests. We had such fun together.
One day, just another day, he lay down in the field. Several hours later he hadn’t moved. A young girl at the livery yard had noticed and went to check him out. She eventually got him up but he couldn’t walk – literally! I will never forget the phone call that Wednesday afternoon, October 2009. The vet arrived the same time as we did. With hindsight I wish we had put him down there and then. Eight months later we had exhausted all avenues of finding a cure. If only we had known at the beginning what we knew at the end. We would surely have gone the holistic approach sooner. I believe that the complex veterinary medications caused him to founder. The founder was thereafter treated as the primary problem because nobody knew what had caused the illness or indeed what it was.
I didn’t follow my instincts, and for that I still beat myself up today. I should have been stronger
I learnt so much from Twisters life, but he paid a high price. Now and in the future our horses and ponies will reap the benefits of that knowledge.
Twister, we thank you for your courage. You will be in out hearts forever.
“Courage, Strength and Loyalty is taught from the Heart of a Horse” (Unknown)
“I’ll listen for your Hoof Beats in Heaven”
Starletnight Sagiran : #653219
May 2007 – November 2009
Sire : King David Yazi : #554916
Dam : Starlette Bright : #540955
Breed : Appaloosa
Starlet, for me it was love at first sight! I picked you out of the crowd.
You were everything I love in a horse. Elegant, gracious, gentle, intelligent and bay! I had such great plans for us, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Yet in your all too short life, you achieved so much. In partnership with Elliot, you went to the French Championships 2009 at “Equita’Lyon” and came away with so many prizes. Together you were French Champions Youth “Showmanship”.
Your manners were impeccable. You took care of our son, as he did of you. It was wonderful and the memory will stay with us.
A well-earned rest, still just 2 years old, you were put out to grass for the winter.
I remember exactly where I was when the phone rang. You had been found in the field at livery, with a deep cut on your off hind leg and you wouldn’t put any weight on it. It took an hour to get you up to the stables. The vet treated the wound and you were prescribed box rest. 2 days later, another phone call. The leg was broken. We had no choice. It broke our hearts, all three of us.
“ If God created anything more beautiful than a horse, he kept it for himself” (Unknown)
“A Horse is a beautiful animal…It moves as if it always hears music”
Dream Girl Sagiran #650769
Sire: King David Yazi #554916
Dam: Day Dream Du Sagiran CN597602
Simply a “Dream” she totally lives up to her name. She has her quirky ways of course, which helps her to fit into the “Jackson”family!
The dominant mare in the herd and extremely bossy with it. She thinks all four of “Willows” offspring are hers. Poor Willow, who conceived them, carried them, gave birth and fed them is on the receiving end. If one day she has a foal, she is going to find that there is more to it than just pinching them from another mare! Even the very morning “Galaxie” was born, we found her in Dream Girls paddock. Her real mother the other side of the fence looking quite fraught! It was quite an ordeal giving her back to Willow. DG was not at all impressed. 9 months later and she will still let Galaxie eat out of her ration of nuts!
Dream Girl moves beautifully and is a joy to ride. Her manners are impeccable, both in hand and under saddle. Not yet 5 years old she has had some interesting experiences including the French Championships Equita’Lyon 2010 .She and Elliot picked up many prizes and they were French Champions of Youth “Showmanship” The following summer they spent the holidays at a Professional Western Trainer in Italy.
Now she is chilling out with the Exmoors for the winter. The wonderful thing particular to Appaloosas is their mentality. They are very well balanced in their heads. So there is no problem leaving her out for 3 weeks, then tacking her up and heading out into the forest, as I did yesterday.
Plans for DG this year are to go Bare Foot. I think it will take a year, possibly with the aid of Hoof Boots. She will be carefully monitored by a qualified Natural Hoof Trimmer, who will check out our Exmoors,( who have always been barefoot) at the same time. It will be so cool not to have to wait for the farrier each time she throws a shoe! Save us a fortune too! But above all I believe it is the best route for her well being to have her “frogs” in contact with the ground and pumping the blood around her body, as was intended by nature.
“Bread may feed my body, but my Horses feeds my soul” (Unknown)
“Horses aren’t my whole life, but they make my life whole” (Lindsay Stuart)
Anchor Willow Warbler A/346 – born 2004
Sire Moorland Kingfisher
Willow has had four consecutive years looking as she does in the photo, in foal! Much to our relief she is having a year off this year. (Otherwise her colt would have sired her). We hardly recognize her in her non-pregnant state! She has proved a wonderful, caring and attentive mother to three fillies and a colt, Dovetail, Eiderdown? Finch and Galaxie.
However before her reproductive years, and before she came to France, Emma Wallace had showed her, successfully, I believe. She was then put back onto the moors where she gave birth to all her foals except Galaxie. She arrived at “Jaxtrax” with a very young foal at foot ( the colt Finch) and was in foal. Well-done Willow! We thought we were getting three Exmoor’s and ended up with five! We wouldn’t change it for the world.
We have had less contact with Willow than her offspring. She has always been otherwise occupied! It is hard to believe that she had ever been handled let alone shown. But horses don’t forget and already we are making positive progress with her. The plan is to be able to have the “Natural Hoof Trimmer” take care of her feet, groom her all over, put on the head collar without treats!
Hopefully in the future we will bring a stallion to France and breed more beautiful Exmoors.
“It’s just being around them that I like best.” (Teresa Becker on horses)
“You cannot train a horse with shouts and expect him to obey a whisper” (Dagobert D. Runes)
Dovetail was the wildest of them all when they arrived in France. My friend nick named her “Arrogant”. (it sounds nicer in french!) I agree that she does carry a superior look on her face most of the time. By nature she is less trusting, but that seems to make her all the more special when you have her trust. Certainly she is the biggest challenge, and the one I am most wary of when others are around. She is cheeky, willful and funny. Just oozing with character. I imagine she would be the dominant one if we removed our Appaloosa from the herd.
Dovetail will now allow me to groom her all over, mane and tail too. Pick out her front feet, but I still use a rope to assist lifting the back ones. She has never kicked me, but early days that seemed to be her defense. Turning her back and looking as if she was going to! I am very aware at all times of her mood and movements! She will accept a numnah with surcingle calmly, and a saddle if I take it very slowly. She will lead reasonably well.
Plans for Dovetail are to continue much of the same and getting her used to the bit and bridle. I will work on lifting all four of her feet, so that the Natural Hoof Trimmer can take care of her feet too. I don’t know if we will back her.. She certainly would not be a novice or small childs ride, then again she may prove me wrong. So far she has been full of surprises!
If we do bring a stallion to France I would like to breed from Dovetail too.
“Ask often, be content of little, reward always” (Nuno Oliveira)
“Every Horse has something to say. You just have to be willing to listen” (Unknown)
Anchor Eiderdown: Born 2009
Sire: Heron (213/7)
Dam: Anchor Willow Warbler (A/346)
Eiderdown just loves contact. She is very tactile. Being stroked, groomed, cuddled and generally pampered is right up her street ! She is so laid back, nothing seems to worry her. She takes life in her stride. So far she has accepted everything first time, except lifting her feet. She seemed to be ticklish!! We have got over that one now, and can pick up all four, no problem.
She has accepted the bridle, the saddle, being lunged and putting the head collar on in the field. She leads very well, plus in and out of the trailer. We can put weight on her back, make sudden movements, wave arms in the air etc and she doesn’t flinch or move. I guess we are quite close to “backing” her. I will need an experienced helper with me, but I don’t forsee any problems. I have my little jockey, 10 year old Caroline lined up to ride her this summer and possibly show her.
“When all else fails, hug your horse”
“A horse doesn’t care how much you know until he knows how much you care” (Pat Parelli)
Foxtor Finch – he’s my boy!
Out of Anchor Willow Warbler, her only colt to date, born 2010.
Because he was entire until September 2011, he spent a few months alone in a paddock. I tried to compensate by spending more time with him at this stage. As a result Finch has been handled more than his elder sisters and Mother.
The day our vet came to castrate him, he rang an hour before and told me to give Finch a measure of “Vetranquil” to calm him. I had been warned by Emma that Exmoors were very resilient to anesthetic and the vet would need to be aware of this. I passed on the message and am glad that I did!! When he arrived, Finch showed no signs of lethargy and the vet having given him a good dose, said he couldn’t believe it, he had never seen anything like it! Eventually he lay down in the garden, and as a precautionary measure the vet hobbled him and attached him to his 4X4! Antibiotic and anti tetanus injections followed the operation and it was all over without complications. Finch stood up straight away, by which time he was once again at liberty and seemingly unaware of the proceedings. Certainly it never altered his trust in me.Of course I had to be part of the procedure because my husband and son were nowhere to be seen!! No surprises there!
Our vet was very taken by Finch and asked me lots of questions about the Exmoors.
I was happy to be able to put him back out with the herd the following week. Shortly afterwards I asked 10 year old Caroline if she would like to come and help me with the ponies. She has a very busy agenda, but coming to “Jaxtrax” on a Wednesday afternoon is what she looks forward to the most. The very first time she walked Finch off the premises she said “I will remember today for the rest of my life!” She has handled the 3 youngest Exmoors but has formed a special bond with Finch as you can see in the photo. They kind of fit each other!
« All horses deserve once in their life to be loved by a little girl » (Unknown)
“When I count my blessings I count my horses twice”
Galaxie: Born 2011 in France
Galaxie was born at home “Jaxtrax” on the 14th May. At last the little bundle of joy had arrived safely – even if she was in the paddock with our Appaloosa when we found her! A very fraught Willow was staring at her newborn from the wrong side of the fence!
Once safely back with her mother, (Dream Girl didn’t give her up without a battle) we left them together in the home paddock for a week, just taking photos and observing what a wonderful thing nature is. We were amazed that she eat hay and tried out her mothers pony nuts the same day! We started to approach her, talk to her and then stroke her. We built up her trust slowly. Willow, whilst keeping close watch, allowed us to do this. It has just been a natural process handling Galaxie.
She will stand still in the paddock, without a head collar and be groomed literally all over. She loves it. She will have her head collar put on too, without objection and she leads well. She will walk in and out of the trailer. She accepts all four feet being picked up, but like Eiderdown she too seemed to be a bit ticklish a first!
Galaxie is very sweet natured. She is still a baby so I don’t have any goals as such for her yet. I am interested in trying some “Horse Agility” when I have finished reading Vanessa Bee’s book. This should strengthen the bond with the ponies and be a lot of fun for all of us, including Caroline. If Galaxie enjoys this and shows an aptitude, she will be included.
« Once an Exmoor family, always an Exmoor family! » (Unknown)