A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses

I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good things come to those who wait

I think it all started about January.  My good friend Kris H (not to be confused with Kris K) decided that she had a desire for a champagne version of Scorch.  This lead to a few days of fun "shopping" the pony classifieds, and long nights of horse crazy girl talk.

Well, then she stumbled upon the American Cream Draft horse website, and the classifieds listed there.  Some weren't the best images, others weren't exactly what she was looking for (great driving horses, but not dressagey riding types) and there, screaming ME ME ME, was a picture of a little pale colt.

Now, Kris wasn't really thinking about buying a COLT.  I mean, she and I both own stallions, so what did we need yet another boy for?  But something about this one just screamed at us.

Here's the picture that made us day dream of little champagne drafties:
There's nothing about that baby that isn't just nice.  So, Kris decided that she HAD to have him.  THEN she decided that she would stand him at Iron Ridge (here).  Of course, she really had to talk me into it, and twist my arm all the way around.  (It didn't take much, what can I say).

So, buying him was the easy part.  After that, we had the EHV-1 outbreak, right in his area.  In fact, his mother was quarantined.  Yep, not shipping him HERE if he's been exposed!  That lasted through the summer.  By this time Kris and I are about to pull our hair out.  Once everything is given the all clear it was the end of summer!  Our "baby" had spent most of the year in the Pacific NW, growing up with out us.  So we start looking at rides, and WOW, the cost of fuel, and hence transport, has skyrocketed.  The price had almost doubled from the previous spring.

Well, doing what 2 horse people do, we snagged him a ride to Worlds in Ft. Worth.  That trip takes almost any one right past my place.  We thought everything was good, and were expecting a Halloween delivery.....

And then she cancelled.  AHHHHHHH

So now, it's almost November, and our bay is almost a 2 year old!  How did that happen??  Well, of course we wouldn't give up.  Stephanie got onto a group on Facebook, and began looking for transport headed this way.  She found us something that looked promising.  Kris and the hauler, Kim, worked it out, and while it was higher then the spring haul, the price was VERY affordable.  Basically, the cost of fuel.  I couldn't haul him myself for that price.  Being sane, we jumped on it.

And then NY got hit with a freak snow storm.  Kris couldn't get out of the house to get the payment to the shipper in time.  She asked me if I could, and I said yes.  The next day, my dog gets seriously sick.  I refused to leave him.  But eventually it worked out for Red's ride, although sadly not for my poor Anvil.

So last Friday, we got the news that Red was being picked up, and had loaded onto the trailer.  I don't know about Kris, but I had a moment of panic.  We have been so cursed with this horse's trip, that I was paranoid.  I had visions of horrible accident, and cream colts dieing on the side of the road.

Thankfully, it was nothing more then my imagination.  Yesterday, Kim thought she would arrive in Texas, but an accident, which did NOT involve her, closed a highway, putting her behind.  She thought about pushing through, but by 2am, she was wiped.  We decided to wait for morning, and let her catch some shut eye.

At 6:30am, I got a text "Hitting the road, headed your way".  At 7:34, a rig pulled past my drive.  WEEEEEE!  He's HERE!

Red unloaded like a pro, and walked so nicely into the barn.  He did scream in my ear twice, but a verbal correction was all he needed.  Not bad for a baby that had been on a trailer for 5 days (with breaks and all, but still).  Got him settled, filled his water bucket (twice) and gave him breakfast, then went in to share the news.  By the time I was done letting everyone involved know that he was here, Red was ready to get OUT of a stall.  He had his land legs back.

So, I did some moving around, and turned him out with the geldings.  He was VERY excited to meet the other boys.
The first one to say HI to him, was Leah's boy Jaz.  Mr. Prancy pants there thought the idea of a new buddy was awesome.  He of course drug Red right back to meet HIS baby.
Daltrey though, wasn't quite as sure of the new guy.  But within seconds he realized that this was someone HIS age who he could play with, who also thinks running is pretty stupid.  Ah, drafts!
And then, Red wanted to meet the others.  Boo, Doodles, and Diesel weren't nearly as pleased about having a new guy to deal with, especially a baby THIS size.  From left to right above is Diesel (grey), Doodles (chestnut), Boo (bay), Red (white), Daltrey (red and white) and Jaz (mud and white).  Red was so excited to have buddies, but the older boys were being stuffy.
Boo let him know right off who was the big guy... er I mean, um... Ok, so Boo is the meanest horse here.  This picture is really funny to me, because Boo is all of 14.3 hands, and about 900 pounds.  Compare that to Red, the "little" yearling, who simply dwarfs him.  But Red responded by chomping at Boo like a good baby.
So hey, he'd spent the day next to Diesel, maybe he'd be friends?  Yeah, not so much.  Diesel took his hints from Boo, and tried to be all tough.  Sadly, Diesel is the world's wimpiest horse, and this was about as mean as he could get.  I do love the trailer marks on Red's behind though.
It only took about 15 minutes for them to sort it all out, and these pictures are the "most violent" behavior that any one showed.  Not bad!  Not a single kick or charge in the whole meet and greet.

So, Red is a very happy kid right now, and Jaz just LOVES having 2 babies of his own.  Never mind that BOTH are bigger then he is now.  He's such a good momma!

It may have taken us many long months of waiting, but he's finally here.  Our American Cream Draft colt has arrived, and he's everything we could have hoped for.  He's in his "uglies" and still is rather pretty!  His personality is better then we had hoped for, and while he might not know a lot yet, he's very willing to learn.

And I feel like I should probably explain his name.  Trying to call a horse "Joker's White Russian" all the time, well, sucks.  We hadn't met him (his purchase was made by calling in a LOT of favors to check him out for us) so we really didn't KNOW him to give him a personality based name.  So that leaves colors, right?  Kris and I are both complete genetics dorks.  Red is genetically ee AA CRcr CHch, or Ivory champagne.  But, the ee, means that with out the extra modifiers, he'd be red based.  Now, his name has Russian in it, you know, Red, commies, and all that?  I'm seeing a theme here.

Considering that I'm the person with a white stallion named "Spot", a cat named "Fido" and thought it was a great idea to name a Second Chance horse "Red Rover" well....the irony of calling him "Red" just seemed to fit.  Doing most of our coordinating over texts, emails, and Facebook messaging, well, Red is a nice easy name to type.  AND, I like to have a single syllable name, that doesn't sound like someone else's name here.  Red fit all those criteria.  At first, it was a stop gap name, but in the months of trying to get him here, it seems to have stuck.

All in all, I'm on cloud 9.  Seems the old adage really is true.  Good things DO come to those that wait.


  1. ... good things sometimes come in BIG packages :-)

  2. LOL! He's not exactly a LITTLE baby, is he? Wider then Poko, and taller then Daltrey. Well, he's gonna be impressive when he's older.

  3. Like I said on FB - he's very well put together (even if he is in the ugly stage) he will grow up to be one beautiful Stallion!

  4. Ooh, he's gonna be so awesome when he grows out of his "uglies." :3

  5. He is a beauty!!!! Jaz sounds like my husband's 21 yo Mustang gelding; he just takes over the 'care and feeding' of any new 'baby' in the herd, teaching them the proper manners of a wild horse. He's barely 14H, if he stretches, but NOBODY is bigger. Sometimes you just gotta laugh at them.

  6. What a handsome boy, I see nothing uglies there, welcome home, Red!

  7. I'm glad you explained his name. I was very confused! But I just can't get used to the name Red. He's white! But he's also such a regal handsome fellow. He looks like a Pegasus when he runs. Wow! I would have went for a name like Snow, Ice, Frost, Storm, Cloud, Hail, Cotton, Star, Ghost, Casper, Milk, Vodka (White Russian), even Tank, since Russians are well known for their tanks.
    Not Red!
    lol! You are a nut!

    It's great that he finally arrived and everyone is getting along. Seeing all the photos and getting the play by play (wow! Daltrey sure has grown! and Jaz look tiny compared to Red!) was very fun!