Gypsy Stallion Showcase (and) Why Am I Selling My Horse?

— NEWS! I can now offer a FREE Breeding as part of Keira’s sale! See her page for more info! —

our two horse herd

We are currently downsizing our herd—meaning, we are going from two horses to one :) Keira is for sale. I hope to find her a happy, loving, forever home, hopefully one with lots of little girls to pet her and brush her and put ribbons in her hair.

The reasons we are down-sizing are many, but it has nothing to do with WANTING to sell Keira. I love her to pieces, and it will break my heart to see her go. But our horse journey has changed drastically in the past 7 years, since Chroicoragh first trotted into our lives. Back then, we had dreams of building a modest herd,  taking them to all-breed shows; entering them in the Parada del Sol  and other parades; training them to drive a cart; and eventually have our own breeding stallion and move to a 200-acre farm somewhere and happily live out our days breeding adorable Gypsy Horse babies.

But then the economy took a dump, we came very close to losing our house, like many Americans, and to top it off, we ended up having a very long, expensive, and complicated battle with the school district in regards to my youngest son.

Keira is his favorite

That fight, for the most part, is now done. I will not go into details here and now, but I may at a later date, and hopefully a much more public format. They say the pen is mightier than the sword…and I would LOVE to slay some public school dragons. Anywho…our lives, jobs, and family have gone in a different direction than when we started. And now with our oldest son in college (how is that friggin possible?? I’m not nearly old enough to have a kid in college!), our youngest finally in high school, and with my husband and I looking down the road to our not-too-distant future, some rearranging and simplifying is in order.

And I wish I could say it had nothing to do with finances. We are trying our best to provide our kids with an education that they will not have to be paying for in the form of student loans for the next 30 years. Our oldest is pursuing a degree in International Business with a double minor in Spanish and German. His dream job is to work for Porsche, BMW, or some big fancy car company. (He loves horses, too, as long as they are under the hood!) He will be headed to Germany in the spring to fulfill his study abroad requirement for his degree, and hopes to land an internship at one of the car companies while he’s there. (I know, he’s crazy smart and motivated, neither of which he gets from me)

Since I left my job, my current focus is to finish my book, and then find some sort of career that will help prepare us for our golden years. Now, ideally, this job will be promoting and selling my book and going on international book tours (there’s a little Law of Attraction for you!). But it never hurts to have more than one feather in your cap, so I am preparing myself to either A.) Go back to school and get my degree, or B.) Pursue another career to be named at a later date.

 If it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that after 16+ years of being a stay-at-home mom, then 3+ years of schlepping magazines, you are pretty much screwed when it comes to looking for a real job. I have no degree, no skills, no experience; I must be a flipping idiot. How do I even make it through the day?

So, back to the point…what was my point again? We are going through lots of changes around here. But just because we will be a one-horse-herd family, doesn’t mean I haven’t stopped dreaming about my 200-acre Gypsy Horse farm with lots of babies and a beautiful stallion! I mean, going back to my whole LoA thing, when I sell my book, and get back from book tour, I might need to invest my earnings in some real estate, right?

So, let’s just go with it! I’ve just gotten back from my months-long excursion, traveling the world, and signing lots of copies of my book (yes it can happen! here’s my inspiration). I just sold the movie rights to Harvey Weinstein, and I’ve got to invest my big check so Uncle Sam doesn’t take it all.

Time to go stallion shopping!

If I could stock my stable with a dream-boy lineup, this is who I would pick:

(click on stallion’s NAME to go to their home pages)

Platinum:

I’ve already proclaimed my love for this guy. I believe he’s been sold, but have no idea where he ended up. If you know, please reply below!

Platinum, ©Michael Vines

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The Midget Stallion:

I’ve had a crush on him for a long time, and finally got to meet him this summer in Tennessee. He’s absolutely adorable in person:

the Midget Stallion, now standing at LexLin Gypsy Ranch in Tennessee.

I wish I could have gotten some good photos of him, but it had been raining for days and all the big boys were in their stalls. He throws gorgeous foals, and I got to see some of the cuties.

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Silky Boy:

Clononeen Silky Boy

Here is Keira’s ½ brother, Silky Boy, so named because his hair is so soft and silky, just like Keira’s. A top stallion in England. He and Keira are both sired by Lenny’s Horse.

♘ ♘ ♘

Sundance Kid:

Sundance Kid, now owned by Lexlin Gypsy Ranch
photo © Gypsy MVP

Ummm…Hello? I think if Brad Pitt were a Gypsy, he would look like this. If I was 12 again, I’d want this poster on my wall.

 ♘ ♘ ♘

The Viking:

the Viking, now owned by West Hill Ranches
photo © Tom Price

Can you say “Presence?” I think if The Viking and Chroicoragh had a baby, it would literally glow.

 ♘ ♘ ♘

Darrig:

Desert Jewel’s Darrig
photo © Jennifer Gilson

Darrig is one of those horses. He just has some sort of personality – I have no idea why I like him so much, I just do. Must be that Gypsy magic. He’s a gorgeous chestnut and he’s built like a tank.

♘ ♘ ♘

 Blue Bobbi:

Blue Bobbi, owned by Tom Price
photo © Eilzabeth Sescilla

Look at this guy! I think I have a new crush…♡

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The Hustler:

The Hustler, Superior Stables

The Hustler is another awesome stallion imported from Clononeen farms. I just love his coloring.

 ♘ ♘ ♘

Starbuck:

GG Starbuck, owned by Linda Tweedie of Gypsy Vanner Ranch
photo © Elizabeth Sescilla

 Umm….yeah, do I even need to say anything about this stallion? I mean I think if Sundance Kid is the Brad Pitt of Gypsy Horses, then Starbuck must be the George Clooney. And I loooves me some George Clooney… :)

♘ ♘ ♘

Here are a few that are new to me, but I could easily fall in love with them.

Sir:

Sterling Spring Call Me Sir, owned by Circle G Ranch

 Sir has a beautiful head, nice conformation and hair. A bit of a sleeper, I hadn’t heard of him before this post but I have a feeling he’ll have a great career.

 ♘ ♘ ♘

Lucky

Westmoreland Lucky

If I had to guess, I’d say Lucky got his name from the lucky “Gypsy Kiss” on his forehead. A Gypsy Kiss is a small dark spot in the blaze of a white faced horse. Please click on his picture to see more photos on his page.

♘ ♘ ♘

Sir Tristan:

Westmoreland’s Sir Tristan

He is just too pretty! Two blue eyes, too! He throws lovely foals.

♘ ♘ ♘

Phantom Knight:

Phantom Knight, owned by Bit-N-Heaven Gypsy Horses

Phantom Knight, a very unusual colored Silver Dapple stallion owned by Mike Nenni in Florida.

It’s very easy to get distracted by a horse’s color, but if you look beyond that—on each of these wonderful stallions—you will see the best in conformation. A Gypsy Horse breeder will breed first for temperament, next for conformation, hair and the gorgeous coloring is just the icing on the cake.

If you are in the market for stallion service for your mares, or are simply in the market for  Gypsy Horse in general, I highly suggest visiting some of these stallions’ homes on the web. RESEARCH. Look at bloodlines, previous foals, and the quality of the farm’s broodmares.

♘ ♘ ♘

Speaking of icing on the cake, I am excited to announce that as part of Keira’s sale, I can offer one FREE BREEDING to either of these two gorgeous stallions! Thanks to Peggy and Steve Owen of Superstition Foothills Ranch for this incredible opportunity!

Niall of Tara and Eclipse the Son, both out of Premium stallion, Rock Ranch Nelson
You choose which stallion you’d like to breed to Keira!

Please see Keira’s page for more info.

♘ ♘ ♘

And, finally, my all-time favorite, the AMAZING Lloyds, also owned by Michael Vines:

The most famous Blue Blagdon stallion
photo © Loretta Rawlings

Lloyds is attributed to be Chroicoragh’s sire. The DNA tests came back “unconfirmed.” Which either means A.) The DNA results were simply incorrect (this has happened before – someone told me that a mare that she bred herself -well, not herself, ha ha – came back with inconclusive DNA results, and have heard other similar stories); or B.) A colt of Lloyds covered Chroicoragh’s dam while out to pasture, which has also happened before. In England and Ireland, it is common to turn out a stallion with a band of broodmares, and let nature take its course. If there are young colts in the bunch who decide to take a turn, they can sometimes impregnate the mare.

Either way, I’m happy with Chroicoragh, I don’t care who her sire is. I’m still convinced it’s Lloyds – she and all of her siblings inherited his gorgeous head – I just see too much resemblance there to think otherwise:

Lloyds on the left, Chroi on the right
Lloyds picture © Loretta Rawlings
Lloyds filly on the left, Chroicoragh at the same age on right.
Photo © Kent Gypsy horses

When I saw the filly on the left, I did a double take – I thought it was a photo of Chroicoragh that I hadn’t seen before. Like I said, it doesn’t matter to me if Chroicoragh’s sire is Tony the Tiger, I love her all the same.

Good luck finding YOUR dream horse! I know I left out many many other great stallions, but I only have so much time! These guys are my personal favorites.

Which one is yours? Leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!

Thanks for reading,

Heidi

P.S. for more great photos, please visit Elizabeth Sescilla’s Flickr feed.

I am Leo Hear Me Roar (or) Why I Quit My Job

I am a Leo. I totally connect with it. I’ve always loved cats, the color yellow, and the warmth of the sun on my face. And a big fluffy mane.

I’m super-creative, super sensitive, I love being the center of attention. The biggest compliment you could give me is to appreciate something I’ve made or laugh at something funny I’ve said. It makes me happy to make others happy. And recognition. Just say,

Hey, Heidi, you did a great job.

In other words: I do it for the applause.

oscar applause

The biggest insult you could give me is to assume that I can’t do something. In which case I will most likely treat it as a challenge to prove you wrong.

I also have a cat named Leo.

In this, my birthday month, a lot of changes have been taking place. First of all, I left my job as a magazine merchandiser. I have to say, it has been a great job for me the past three and a half years. The hours were flexible & the pay decent. I will miss the people at my two stores, the employees as well as the customers. Even though I worked for an outside vendor, the people at the store always made me feel I was part of the team. I absolutely LOVED making sure all of the magazines looked JUST SO: perfectly spaced, stacked evenly, and easy for the customer to browse, and appealing to buy. It helps to be crazy-detail-oriented and slightly OCD when making a magazine rack look so AWESOME.

But my greatest pleasure of the job was helping a customer finding something to read. I love selling books.

My biggest frustration with my job is that I had absolutely no control over what books we stocked. They came pre-ordered, shipped in cardboard boxes every week. Most were your big-name sellers: James Patterson, Nora Roberts and the like. We did get a few literary treasures, and I did my best to help guide people to new and noteworthy authors, and try new genres (like YA! – see my little YA section in the front there?)

But every week, I’d have folks asking for something that we didn’t carry. And I’d read Publisher’s Weekly, hear about all of these great new titles out there, and on our shelves, in pre-plan-o-grammed slots, stood the same sorry old titles, month after month, collecting dust. Why? Is it someone meeting a sales quota? Does Nora Roberts have evil geniuses hitting the “buy” button at distributing warehouses? Who knows. All I know is, in the great scheme of things, I was simply the schlub unpacking the box in the backroom, and getting merchandise out to the sales floor. And then I’d walk into Barnes & Noble or even (shudder) Costco, and see the titles that PW wrote about that week. I mean, even the book page in People magazine had better titles than we had a t the store. Ugh.

Once I had a customer ask me:

Are you the book BUYER?

I wish.

Besides my frustration at my limited amount of input, I began to have physical problems. Today, in fact, I am going in for an MRI so the doctor can see a nice pretty picture of the disk in my neck that has bulged out enough to pinch a nerve, causing numbness and tingling through my arm to my fingertips, and a baseball-sized knot in my shoulder. Ouch.

Thanks, in part, to:

This is how magazines come shipped to the store. Each of those bundles* weighs approximately 25 lbs. They get delivered in these red plastic totes, and each tote weighs 40-50 lbs each. A typical delivery at my biggest store averaged 25-30 totes. I figured on a good day, unpacking new magazines, lifting and stacking the totes, and carrying stacks and stacks of magazines to the checkouts and the main aisle and then packing up all of the old magazines, for about 6+ hours, I would move about 1,500 lbs of merchandise in a day.

30 totes of magazines, 11 boxes of books, and a large floor display.

So, while it is a very good workout, it’s also a little hard on the ol’ bod. And when my company announced that they were no longer going to have the accounts of the stores I serviced, I figured the timing was just as well. So I decided to move on. But I am very grateful for the experience. I learned so much in the past three years—not only about work, but about people, and a lot about myself.

I do have a couple of ideas in mind about where I want my future to go, career-wise, but for the immediate future, I’m going to concentrate on some yoga & physical therapy, get back to nesting, being a mom, playing with my horses and writing a lot. (Insert happy face here)

Which brings me to the last thing I wanted to share with you: pictures of our latest outing. You may recognize one of our favorite get-away spots in the mountains.

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*BTW: Shame on Oprah. For some reason, her magazines are some of the heaviest. I like Oprah, I think she does some really great stuff. But for someone who preaches how to make everything better all the time, she should really be printing her magazine on recycled paper. REAL SIMPLE is printed on recycled paper, AND they don’t use that heavy-duty plastic wrapping either, and they are the lightest weight magazine I have stocked. THANK YOU, REAL SIMPLE! Rachael Ray also prints on recycled paper. Oprah, your magazine needs to get in shape.

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P.S. In brief: In recognition of one of the true pioneers of the feminist movement, and the founder of Cosmopolitan magazine, Helen Gurley Brown, who passed away this week at the age of 90.

Here’s a piece from NPR.