More pictures of Gypsy Horses

While I’m working on the new site, I’ll post here and there so as not to leave you out there in cyberspace, wondering what the horses are up to.
Fina has been sold, which is both bitter and sweet. We had planned to sell her before she was even born, but it’s still hard to see one of your babies go. She is a very sweet filly who will grow into a beautiful mare. She is to be trained in dressage, perfect for her floaty movement and snappy trot.
The silver lining of the sale is that she is going to a family who will love her and spoil her like crazy. Just as Chroicoragh was MY finally-found-dreamhorse, Fina is the same for her new owner:

I’ll have more about Fina soon.
Keira is still for sale.
RANDOM HAPPY GYPSY HORSE PICTURES!
As always, thanks for stopping by – I hope you have a great day.
:)
Heidi

The Real Deal; and A Sidebar on the Kardashians

Do you ever have one of those days when you’re just like, “Screw it.”

Sometimes I feel like I’m always trying to impress people. You do it, too. We all do. It’s the nature of our society. You suck in your stomach so you don’t look so fat, you wear a particular type of shoe or drive a specific kind of car. You want people to think well of you, to like you, and say, “hey, that guy, he’s doin’ all right,” in that Opie Taylor kind of way.

Big Phony from iamkoream, via Lifehack.
Click to read another great article

And by impressing people, I don’t mean in that Kardashian* sense of painting this totally phony picture of happiness and success but is really just a shallow materialistic sham, ready to sell out to the highest bidder−I just mean that the average person, by nature wants others to perceive him in a positive light, whatever that means to the individual.

In reality, you pick your nose like everyone else, and sometimes you fart when you get up from the couch. That’s the real deal. I mean, hey, sometimes you got a booger situation, right? Geez.

So, yeah, when I go to work, I try and look presentable. I mean, I don’t spend 2 hours in the bathroom primping, but I do want to put on a little make-up and maybe brush my hair or something. But like, today…today I look gross.

celebrities without make-up: me and Chroi

I’m wearing an old ratty pair of jeans, a pair of slippers, the shirt I wore to bed last night and a sweatshirt that needs to be thrown in the wash.  I don’t have any make-up on, my hair smells like a horse and my hands smell like sulphur, from this treatment I just put on Keira’s mane.

Oh−and that’s the other thing. I have two horses for sale.

They should be all polished and pretty and shiny, in tip-top showroom condition in case someone would like to come and take a look at them. Fina’s doing fine, actually.

Her coat is coming in nice and thick and shaggy, her feather is long and straight, and she is really responding to her training: leading, backing, picking up her feet and walking over rails. Good girl!

And eating hair. Bad girl!

I noticed that after Fina was born, Chroicoragh and Keira both started to be missing some hair. Baby horses teethe, just like anyone else, and they have a tendency to sometimes chew off the mane and tail of their dams and the other horses around them.

before Fina

Chroi is pretty good about shooing Fina away−although her forelock is noticeably shorter−but Keira is too sweet. She’ll stand there and let Fina groom her, and now a portion of her mane is completely gone. I didn’t even notice it until today when I was out brushing them while they ate.

I haven’t had the time lately to hang out in their stalls with them as I like to. It’s such a nice, passive relaxing thing to do. I throw some hay down for them, curry them, scratch and brush and untangle manes and tails, talk to them and just let my mind wander. But lately it’s like: throw the hay, give ’em a few scratches, and get back to whatever task it is at hand. So I didn’t even notice her mane. Where there used to be a thick, full “double” mane (when a horse has so much hair it hangs over both sides of its neck), there is now basically nothing.

punk rock horse

Now this is where I’m supposed to pretend like nothing’s wrong and my horses are perfect. (Well, they are−apart from the mane, but that’s beside the point. :)

Tell them what they’ve won, Gene!
Well, Bob, it’s A NEW HORSE!

Quite a few people, when selling something, whether it’s a car, a T.V., or a washing machine, don’t want you, the buyer to notice the faults. It goes along with the general mentality that it is easier to sell something that is perceived as being without fault. And I get it−hey, I’ve done it. But in this case I’m kind of in the mind set that with an animal, things happen. Foals chew on manes.

After Fina.

What’re you going to do? Put in extensions? Hair grows back, just as Chroicoragh’s feather has. And although Keira will temporarily look like a punk rock-chick with half her head shaved, her beautiful mane will eventually grow back, probably thicker, and more silver, than ever. I don’t feel the need to pretend like, “Oh, my gosh, I didn’t even notice!” or sugar coat it. It is what it is, there’s no reason to lie about it or try to falsely impress anyone about it. She’s an amazing horse either way, and whoever ends up with her is going to be damn lucky.

So, at the very least, know this: while I will cover my zits with make-up, and suck in my stomach, if you ever buy a horse from me, it will be an honest sale.

++++
*Sidebar on the Kardashians

With all the hubbub going on about the Kardashians, and one of my day jobs being “the magazine lady,” as I’m known at the grocery store, being subjected to each and every gossip cover story as they are printed, and the speculation that surrounds each latest story, I felt compelled to begin this dialogue.

Personally, my take on this whole phenomenon is that I am equally captivated, disgusted and impressed at their expert manipulation of the media market. One minute they make me feel like throwing up, and the next minute I’m going, “Oh, her hair looks really pretty.”

Obviously the Kardashians are an incredibly savvy group of business people, led by Mom Kris Jenner.

I would never dare to call them stupid. And obviously there is a time and place for what they are doing, because they are making millions and millions of dollars off the fact that we all find them fascinating. And who wouldn’t? They are giving us exactly what we are asking for: an escape from our own lives, watching extremely beautiful people being as fucked up as we are.

The hook lies in the fact that we all delude ourselves that if we had that kind of money and power, we would somehow be above them, we wouldn’t stoop to such drastic levels of behavior, we wouldn’t sell out and we wouldn’t be so self-absorbed and generally distasteful.

But the irony is that the very reason the Kardashians have such fame, power and wealth is because WE as a society are giving it to them. WE are saying, “Ugh you disgust me, but can I see more?”

And the reason that it drives us so crazy is we realize that the only difference between them and us is that they are going to their dentist appointment in a limo, and wearing platform heels. Like I said, they are just as messed up as the rest of us are, they just don’t have a problem paying their electric bill at the end of the month.

And speaking of money, the manner in which the Kardashians win their audience is by virtue of

S-E-X.
Don’t kid yourself. You might have sisters, and the show reminds you of your relationship with them.

You might have a good friend who is dating – or has kids with – a total douche.

You might be the girl in your family that doesn’t get as much attention as your sisters, but you’re the one everyone would rather hang out with because you’re not as much of a snob.

You might even be “the pretty one.”

 

But the reason we tune in to the Kardashians week after week is to see their hot bodies, glossy lips and miles of cleavage. We want to think that yeah, we ARE like them, so why couldn’t we have what they have? Why couldn’t we have a Roberto Cavalli gown, Christian Louboutin shoes and a personal trainer? We would rock the shit out of some Louboutins.

These are the ones I wear to Wal-Mart.
We want to see what they’re wearing, how they did their hair, what kind of jewelry they have on, which car are they are driving, what mascara they wear, and their diet pill of choice. Because they just make it look so appealing, all shiny and sparkly and white-teethy and new.

It all fits, it all goes together, they didn’t have to go to eight different stores to find it on sale, and bring in a coupon from the newspaper. It wasn’t a hand-me-down from their BFF’s closet clean-out. And they don’t have the same fashion worries you do: that maybe the top you are wearing to your kid’s parent-teacher conference is the same top you wore for work three days ago and you’re hoping no one notices that you wore the same top twice in one week. But you really love the color, and the neckline is flattering on you, and you got it on sale at Target for $8.99 and it’s the only new thing in your closet and you’re sick of wearing the same old crap.

So you watch the Kardashians because you want new clothes, you want your hair to look good, you want people to think you are pretty, and you don’t want to have to worry about doing your laundry, cleaning up the house, picking up the kids, going grocery shopping, getting the tires rotated, and what to fix for dinner.

But then we all complain about how much attention they are given. About how the media plays up the dramatizations, and how the Kardashian family just eats it all up and continues to make gads and gads of money off of it. (Reportedly $65 million this past year.)

And if they are making a living off of selling themselves; their bodies; their image and their name, what does that make them? 

And if we buy their mascara, their diet pills, and their handbag, and we are basically saying, “here is some money, I want to buy you,” we are paying them. WE are keeping them in business.
What does that make us?I would LOVE to hear your comments.**POSTSCRIPT: For a great interview with Kris Jenner, click here. Hey, I’m all about hearing all sides to the story.

Just Pictures

Well we are on the road again, this time to the north rim of the grand canyon. I’m playing with my new iPhone and blogging while my husband drives.
It’s unbelievable to me what we can do with technology these days. Video calling and all the stuff we used to see on the Jetsons is here. Now all we need are floating cars and jet packs.
I really want a jet pack.
But until then I have to say I am pretty thrilled with my new iPhone. It’s awesome. And now I will be able to take more video! As soon as I can figure out how to get the video from the phone to blogger, you’ll see more of that.
For today, I’m posting some random pictures of dirty horses :) and all weekend I’ll tweet pics of our trip. (twitter link on the right).
Have a great weekend!
Heidi

Wish Book of Gypsy Horses for Sale

You know, I usually refuse to think of myself as getting old, but the changes that have taken place in the world over the years remind me that – well, according to my kids and technology – I’m old.

One such example is the Sears Wish Book. If you grew up in the 1970’s, you probably received a Sears Wish Book every year. And by the time your parents took you to see Santa, that catalog had been flipped through, dog-eared and well worn. You’d gotten a chance to study each and every item in the TOYS section, crossed out the most unnecessary, put stars next to the ultimate must-haves, and had your list ready to go.

“Hey Barbie, get away from my horse. And give me that hat while you’re at it.”

So what do younger kids browse through nowadays? (Nowadays. What a dumb word. I might as well carry a cane and start saying “whippersnapper”) Anyways, what is it – Amazon? Best Buy? Ebay? Etsy?

This whole idea of the Wish Book came to me while I was browsing the internet recently, looking at – what else – horses.

Schleich Toys Tinker Mare

Now, I am not a huge breeder by any means but as a part of the Gypsy Horse community,  I do like to keep in touch with other breeders and owners and see who’s doing what with their horses. Stallions get bought and sold and go to new barns, and it’s interesting to see which mares get bred to which stallions, and the foals they produce. There are also plenty of mature horses for sale that are broke to ride or drive and ready to go.

(This collection is my idea alone, and these folks won’t even know I’ve featured their horse until after this is written. I am receiving nothing from this except the pleasure of spreading the word. If you are interested in any of these horses, please contact the owner. Keep in mind this is a very small selection of the many horses available for sale.)

So, let’s take a look at a few, shall we? (read all the way to the end for a surprise)

Gypsy Horse Wish Book!
Dugan, 2007 Black Blagdon stallion.
What a cutie! I am such a sucker for theblagdons, and I love a white face on a horse!
Contact Cheryl Lang
New Hampshire
If you visit her site, make sure to click on Maddie’s page, where you can read a great story about a girl and her horse! I’m thinking of hiring Maddie to come & train my girls … :)
***
Desert Jewel Parker, 2007 Black mare with 2011 chestnut colt
Parker is a very nice black mare. Her sire is Desert Jewel’s Lenny’s Horse, the same sire as Keira and Fina. I’m a huge Lenny fan, and it’s because he produces such beautiful, well-mannered stock.
Desert Jewel is where I purchased Chroicoragh and Siofra, and they have always treated us well.
Super nice people.
Contact Jennifer Gilson
Arizona
***
SD Whistler, 2009 Blue Roan Colt
A great example of Roan! Isn’t he pretty?
His owner, Sherri, operates the American Gypsy Horses website, and does a fabulous job of keeping track of everyone, maintaining the sales pages and making videos.
Contact Sherri Barnes
Texas
***
Silver Express, 2010 Black Silver Dapple colt
Very nice colt with unusual coloring, due to the desirable silver gene.
Out of a gorgeous stallion, Silver Bullet.
June Villa has gathered an impressive collection of stallions, including Romeo, Dalcassian and Taskin:
Contact June Villa
***
THE BEST OF THE UK & IRELAND
***
Clononeen Lyric, 2004 Piebald Mare
When I see this mare, all I can think of is that song where the guy says
“Damn, girl!”
Sorry for the language, but look at her! Absolutely stunning.
Clononeen horses are always beautiful, and very well bred.
Chroicoragh is named for her dam, Clononeen Chroicoragh – you can still see Chroi’s baby pics on their site! :)
I’ve always loved their horses.
Contact Brian or Deirdre Cash
***
Platinum, 2005 Dapple Grey Stallion
Oh, Platinum, if only…
*sigh*
I am so in love with this horse. If anyone buys him and brings him to the states,
let me know just so I can come & see him in person.
I will bring carrots.
xoxo
Seriously though, The Vines family horses are some of the best of the breed.
Contact Michael Vines
***
Bella, 2011 black blagdon filly
Holy cow, you could dollop some frosting on her,
put a cherry on top and call her Cupcake!
Is she the cutest little thing or what?
From the Coates Family, who bred Siofra.
They own another of my fave stallions, Oliver.
Contact Albert or Amy Coates
***
Josy Mare’s Filly, 2009 Black & White filly
Feminine filly with nice coloring – notice the two black ears poking out of the white mane. From the Downs family’s famous stallion, SD Chief.
Another British family with an impressive breeding program.
Many more horses available, U.S. location as well.
Contact the Downs Family
***
Price Family Mare & 2009 foal
The Price family, located in Wales, has been home to some of the most renown
stallions the breed has offered.
Contact the Price family
***
This has been an extremely conservative list but for me to cover all of the horses and breeders out there I’d need another week of browsing…not that that’s something I wouldn’t enjoy, but my laundry is piling up, and the boys are looking at me with those poor hungry faces.
Lord knows they’d die if they ever had to feed themselves.
So if the above links weren’t enough for you, here are a few more to check out:
Another UK breeder, who owned the famous Tumbler stallion
before he came to the US:
An amazing page of Gypsy Horse links from Blue Moon Gypsies:
For Shires and Drums contact Kim Oest:
Fina, 2011 Blue & White filly
Fina has found her forever home! Congrats to her new family.
Keira, 2009 Dapple Grey Filly
still available! Free breeding included. See her page for more info.
Keira Sept 2012
If you are interested in having your own little fairy tale, contact me.
 Many more Gypsy Horse resources on my Links page, and check out my new Stallion Showcase post.
Happy horse shopping!

What’s in a Name? Part II; Equine edition

Read Part I Here.
Chroicoragh and Siofra came to me already named, and I loved both – feminine, fitting, and Irish Gaelic. Chroicoragh was named after her mother, Clononeen Chroicoragh:

Chroi was born in Ireland and came to the US on an airplane when she was six months old. Quite an education for a weanling, and maybe that’s why she’s so smart.

It’s amazing how a sweet little baby:
Can morph into a full-grown, beautiful horse:
(yes, it’s the same horse!
Many people will change a horse’s name upon taking ownership. Your “Wildfire” could be someone else’s “Rusty.” This happened with our colt. I thought and contemplated and researched and stewed for days, trying to come up with the perfect name, and then I figured it out: Arthur. I absolutely loved it; classic, masculine, regal – heck, Arthurian. And it just happened to be my dad’s name. Here’s the little stinker:
He was the cutest thing – such a chunky monkey, and the wooliest little horse you ever saw. I can’t wait to see pictures of him as he matures. He will be a fantastic stallion, lots of flash and attitude. The gal who bought Arthur is in east Texas, and changed his name to “Aubie,” after the University of Auburn mascot. Some people think knights and legends, others think sports. But that’s a prime example of names and meanings, and another of the many the differences between people.
Names are a popular topic among writers as well. When you have a story to tell, the characters involved have to be compelling; someone you reader can relate to, and a name can really help the character connect to the reader’s heart.
Here’s a few that come to mind: Holden Caulfield, Scout Finch, Elizabeth Bennett, Dorothy Gale, Bilbo Baggins, Harry Potter, Scarlett O’Hara, Sherlock Holmes, Lucy Pevensie, Jay Gatsby, Jane Eyre, Ebeneezer Scrooge (Does it get any better than that? Ebeneezer Scrooge?) Tell me there’s not one character in that list that you didn’t connect with somehow. And I would bet anyone reading this list could come up with at least ten more.
In writing my story, I have to say I was lucky when it came to my lead character’s name, because her name and the idea for the story happened at the same time. It just came to me all at once, like a lightning bolt. The side characters have been even more fun to create, and when the name comes, it helps form the image of the person in my mind. As I write, I see them; their expressions and reactions, how they walk.
I’m like a little spy, up in the sky of their world watching it all unfold, and writing it down. It’s actually a lot of fun. The hard part is when it gets foggy and you can’t see what’s going to happen next. Some people call it writer’s block. To me, it’s just a fog, a slight mist perhaps, that I just can’t see through quite yet.
But the naming of anything, whether it be babies, horses or fictional characters, is something that deserves a fair amount of thought and consideration. I usually have a pretty good idea of at least a few names to try. But this time around I was stumped. What to name this little creature?
For some reason I was drawn to floral names (Daisy, Blossom, Buttercup) but none of them fit. She’s very feminine – leggy and graceful, and sweet. I’d always liked the name Serafina, but it just seemed a bit much. Besides, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner stole it. I even thought of Violet, since both of her eyes are blue, but the Afflecks stole that one, too. Buggars.
I also like the idea of sticking with an Irish name, but I figured it’s enough to have one difficult-to-pronounce, non-phonetical name. I have always included a pronunciation hint for Chroicoragh’s name (Cree-Core-ah), because it is a very unusual name, and because I can’t stand it when I don’t know how to pronounce something. J.K. Rowling drove me crazy with Hermione until she finally gave us a clue on how to say it: Her-my-o-nee.
People can get kind of carried away with the whole Gaelic thing, though. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE it. I love all things Celtic. But for these purposes, it’s a little like salt. A bit of it is fine, for flavor, but too much is just overkill. I’ve seen breeder pages where every horse’s name is some sort of ancient medieval spelling of a name that no one has any clue how to say, and then they don’t even give you a pronunciation for it. Drives me crazy. Sjkjdhefb – there’s my horse’s name. It’s pronounced “Jim.”
Okay, why not just call him Jim?
So, in naming our newest filly, I wanted Irish, but not too crazy with the spelling, a nature name, and something feminine. When I knew Serafina wouldn’t work, and I found the name Fina at namenerds.com, I knew we’d found our name. Irish for vine, it’s different enough without sounding stupid, and easy to pronounce. Done.
So, Fina it is. I think it suits her, don’t you?
 
Update March 2012: Fina has been sold and her new owners call her “Athena.”
However, one of the benefits of registering your horse is that her name will officially remain
WestCelt Fina.
If you or someone you know is on the hunt for a name, here are a few sites I found helpful:
http://www.namenerds.com – Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and other unique names.
http://www.babynames.com/character-names.php – A great page from babynames.com, on naming fictional characters.
An interesting article Concerning the name Fiona
Just for fun:
And, Finally, when doing all of this searching around for names and their meanings, I came across this YouTube video of a band called Late Night Alumni performing their song, “What’s in a Name?” The singer has such a beautiful voice, and the topic was so fitting, I thought I’d share it with you. I think artists nowadays need all the help they can get, when trying to get the word out.
Enjoy:

Oh, Baby!

Here she is, folks! 
Meet Fina! 
I thought I was prepared, but this little stinker decided to surprise us. I’d been checking Chroi every night, all through the night for a week to make sure we wouldn’t miss the big event. Then on Tuesday, she started showing more promising signs. The area around her tail became soft, almost jelly-like, and she began “waxing.” Waxing occurs when droplets of colostrum dry on the udders and form a bit of a build-up, like wax dripping from a candle. By Wednesday evening, milk was flowing pretty steadily from her udders. Some mares don’t wax at all, and some will wax up to a month prior to foaling.
But when Chroi had Keira, she waxed the day before, and boom! Foal:
The night Keira was born
So Wednesday night, I didn’t sleep much, waiting for this new baby. I’d get up, put my slippers on, wander out to the barn in my jammies, peer over the fence, and… nothing. Then Thursday morning when I went out to feed, Chroi was just standing out in her stall as usual, waiting for her breakfast, calm as can be, with that baby still securely inside her big round belly. So I threw some flakes of hay to her & Keira and headed off to a doctor’s appointment with my son.
While we were gone, my neighbor went to check on Chroi and left a message on my cell phone: “You’ve got a drop-dead gorgeous filly over here! She’s black and white and has two blue eyes.”
So we rushed home, and this face greeted us:
She had just stood up.
What’s amazing to me is how, minutes after being born, a new foal will get up and immediately begin the process of trying to nurse.
She uses her whiskery little muzzle, trying to find the right spot…
Not quite…
wrong end…
A little help from Mom…
Success!
Her curly hair.
She’s all legs.
Newborn horses, like newborn babies, are a little gawky and awkward at first. But they get all cute and fluffy in a few days.
We’re so happy to welcome our newest family member!
I think she takes after her dad, Lenny.