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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This is why I can't have nice things (like days off)

My pretty little baby is growing up.  That's Sweetie as a youngster, with her mother Rose.  Both are Sugarbush Draft Horses.  Sweetie is the only known homozygous for LP horse currently registered with the SDHR (her sister COULD be, but is a roan).

Anyway, Sweetie has been learning to carry a rider.  My friends have been helping me get enough saddle time on the horses, since I am basically behind on EVERYTHING.  Well, Chris decided he wanted to ride Sweetie.

The plan was, Rachel would ride Moon (who is doing amazing) I would take Cayenne (who is a spoiled pain in the rump) and Chris said he's getting Sweetie.  I went to the round pen to stay out of the way of the greener horses.  Cayenne was in a serious mood.

So, the little pony, Cayenne starts off fussing with every command I give, and I choose to lunge her out.  Snap on the lunge line, and she takes off like a rocket!  Not allowed!  I correct, she fusses, and is just being a very bad horse.  I didn't really think much of it, until the stars aligned all wrong for Chris.

He's in the arena next to me, on Sweetie, who is greener then that grass above.  Just as Sweetie turns to head back down the fence line, putting her back to the round pen, Cayenne lets loose.  Cayenne bucks, bolts, hits the end of the line, and bucks again.  Sweetie caught "danger" behind her, and surged.  Chris, being a novice rider still, hit her face, she went up, and chaos ensued.  Just as he decided to step off, she hopped, giving him that extra launch we all hate.

He landed hard.

Rachel, his wife, hops off Moon, and heads to him.  Moon stood like a rock, nice and calm.  Sweetie of course headed up and out of the arena, right to Jae.  Jae said he looked up, saw a riderless horse, and thought, "hmm, that's not good".

Poor Sweetie was terrified.  Poor Chris hurt every where.  Silly Cayenne thought it was yet another excuse for being silly.  Tied her, and headed over, and we got Chris up and settled.  Needless to say, that put a damper on our plans to get a lot of riding in.

So Sunday, we have the pony party.  The horses are already in a mood, with everyone feeling good...a bit too good.  Stephanie wanted to work on trot, and had HATED her horse the week before.  After much thought, we decided to try Diesel.  Well, it's debatable what exactly happened, but from an eye witness (my back was turned), Steph asked Diesel to "go" and he took a nice big rolling step of the canter.  He's got a BIG dressage type canter.  Stephanie just rolled off his shoulder, and ate dirt.  Now, Diesel is 16.2, so that's a long way down for a 12 year old girl.

Gotta give her credit though.  She got back on a horse (I worked out Diesel, he was dead on, and turned him out before she was over the jitters).  She ended up riding Keeley, mom's retired mare, and both were happy for it.  Keeley can't do anything more then walk/trot work now, due to some arthritis in her hips, but the same reason means that the light exercise is really good for her.  Stephanie also weighs like 10 cents soaking wet.

Ok, so, by the end of the weekend, we had 2 falls.  Not something I like to see, but, no injuries (other then sore muscles, bruises, and aching pride) and both riders had on their helmets.

So, keeping with my Resolution, I took the day off Monday.

The rain came in Sunday night, and I stayed up late playing video games with Jae and Chris (yeah the same one who fell).  I slept in, I was lazy, and I was relaxed.  Until about midnight last nght.

I started getting anxious.

I have things I need to do!  I have stuff I need to get DONE!

The list is crazy.  The thing is, no one thing is all that much, but together, it's like 4 full time jobs.

I need to get the horses saddle time, but can't because it's raining.  I've been suffering through hell trying to get the system set up to just print the registration certificates.  Last rejection was due to pixelation of the logo.  AHH.  I need to do website updates (and for me that takes much longer then for a more skilled person).

I need to set up the SDHR so that it will be a bit more modern, and function a lot more efficiently.  This includes a database for the pedigrees.  Ideally one that I can use online and for the pedigrees on the certificates.

Lets not even talk about things like laundry, or meals.

No, it's not that bad, but when the "oh I'm so behind" feeling hits me, I sure feel like it is!  So 6am today, my eyes open, and my body says "we have to get one thing finished TODAY". I was up like a rocket, and hitting the keyboard hard.  It's the same feeling you have when you wake up randomly, only to realize the alarm didn't go off, and you have to be headed to work in 10 minutes or less.  The horses weren't even happy to see me at that hour (as I'm very vocal about NOT being a morning person) and my dogs have yet to stir from their comfy beds.

So this is why my resolution might fail.  The day after I do nothing important always feels like I am panicking.  I have to say though, I've really been enjoying the time with Jae, even if I do feel guilty quitting my work day about the time the sun goes down.  So lets see if I can hold on to my resolve to keep normal working hours, and not lose myself in all the projects I have going.


  1. Would you believe I'm a little bit sore from Ishka's attempt at face-planting, too?  :)  That was one heck of a trip!

    I'm still not quite sure how much was Steph asking Diesel to go and how much was Diesel interpreting.  I didn't see her give any sort of clear cue to speed up, but I was also watching her hands and his head at the time.  He certainly didn't seem alarmed or annoyed or "up" - he just stepped up into a canter, and stride one put her over his withers and stride two put her on the ground.

  2. STEPH WHO SA.....????

  3. Stephanie is a 12 year old lady who is learning about horses, and rides here on the weekends.  She's currently unable to own her own horse, so we're feeding her addiction.

  4. It spoke well to me about their commitment and level of passion that Steph & McKenna jumped right into the task of cleaning Keeley up for her ride.

    Heather, can you email me the docs and give me the paper and I'll print them? If that logo is pixellating, though, sounds like you just need a high rez (300 dpi). LMK if I can help.

    Did we ever get Daltrey's registration back?

  5. You should be glad that pretty little baby is fast growing and you soon can ride on her.

  6. Sounds like everyone is no worse for ware, and EVERY rider falls. Us oldies don't bounce like the young ones.

    As for your working hours. If you don't take time for you, you will burn out, your immune system will suffer, and all sorts of bad things will happen.  Maybe Mondays aren't the best day for you as it is a business day.  Maybe Sunday - the Pony Party day.   Which ever day it is - be sure to take it.