Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year/Anniversary

January 1, 2013  Happy New Year! 

Every year,  New Year’s Day starts a new beginning.  In looking back over the previous year, if it went well, we have a great start to continue building on in the next year.   If it was a less than stellar year, for whatever reason, the New Year is a time to get a fresh start.  And I always look at the New Year as my anniversary.  Today has been 39 years since I bought Buddy.  After I had decided for sure to buy him, Dr. Elrod was nice enough to let me join a couple of my friends and rent one of his barns down the road from his main barn.  They already had their horses there and I was going to lease a stall as well.  We were all college students and shared the chores and did all the work.  Everything was set up and ready to go, I just needed to make arrangements to finish the transaction.  No problem, horses need to be fed every day, so Dr. Elrod and many of his clients were at his barn even though it was New Year’s Day.  It was a beautiful, brisk, cold day when I moved him to his new home. 

Sorry if I sound a little nostalgic over a horse, but Buddy was pretty amazing.  Over the next 18 years, we travelled many of the roads, fields, and woods in the area.  He even toured the bottom of a ditch one time, but that’s another story.  He was a great listener when I needed an ear, a partner when I needed a ride and someone I could always count on.   I think it was due to Buddy that I ended up living a mile from the farm where I bought him.  He’s also responsible, in a way, for my being married to a fellow horse lover for the last 36 years.   When I was three weeks overdue with my son, and was desperate to try anything to go into labor, Buddy was my safe and gentle horse who plodded along with me on his back.   He gave the best pony rides to my kids as well as nieces and nephews, but could challenge me when he felt like it.  Buddy was rock solid and healthy, until I lost him to colic a few months shy of his 23rd birthday.   He was the reason I love American Saddlebreds and will tell anyone that they are the perfect all around horse. 
 Here I am with Buddy on 1/1/74, the day I bought him. 
 It was cold and snowy, just like today. 


Friday, December 28, 2012

12/28/12 Buddy, the best Saddlebred ever

So after leasing my dear little mare for about a year and a half, I started thinking about buying my own Saddlebred.  One of my girlfriends introduced me to Dr. Elrod.  At that time, he’d been raising Saddlehorses for over 40 years.  I didn’t know it at the time, but he had judged at Louisville and Lexington Junior League.  He was an amateur who could show like the pros, and he was a breeder with a depth of knowledge like no one I’ve ever known.  Over time, he loaned me some of his books, and got me started on my longtime hobby of studying bloodlines. 

One of his first questions directed to me was to ask what my Dad did.  I replied that my Mom was a widow, but she was a librarian.  Years later, I wondered if that had been my first ever credit check.  Did I pass or fail?  I’ll never know for sure, but Dr. Elrod sold me my $600 horse on January 1, 1974.  He allowed me to make payments.  I was a college student at the time and it took me until April to pay him off.   Buddy was a bargain at any price, but my $600 horse had 17 Hall of Fame Broodmares in his 5 generation pedigree. 

Grand View's Matinee Idol
Golden Thunderbolt X Maid of Orleans by King's Genius
This was Buddy's sire
Golden Thunderbolt
Anacacho Denmark X Reverie's Desdemona (BHF) by King's Genius
Buddy's Grandsire
Vanity's Sensation
Sensation REx x Meadow Vanity (BHF) by Meadow Majesty
Buddy's dam's sire

Kalarama Colonel
Kalarama Rex x Edith Gatley (BHF)
Buddy's 2nd dam's sire

King's Sport
Bourbon King x Endora
Buddy's 3rd dam's sire
I forgot to mention that Buddy's 4th dam was a full sister to Kalarama Rex


Friday, December 21, 2012

Welcome to The American Saddlebred blog

Welcome to my blog, the American Saddlebred. I am a huge fan of the breed and just wanted a space to post some pictures and my random thoughts.
I was introduced to the breed over 40 years ago when my girlfriend and I answered an ad in the local newspaper to lease a horse. It turned out that the mares we leased were both American Saddlebreds. They were far from the best, but we learned so much about how to care for our horses and we did everything from the ground up. Homer, who owned all the horses, raised a few colts every year, so we experienced working with young colts, pregnant mares and everything in between. That was back in the day of the small, local one-day shows and a bunch of the girls from the barn would pack up our horses and go show for the day. My Mom even sewed my first show suit! Those were the days.
When the time came for me to purchase my first horse, a friend introduced me to a local breeder. Dr. Elrod sold me a wonderful gelding and we were together for the next 18 years. Since the day I bought Buddy on 1/1/1974, I have had at least one Saddlebred in the barn. I prefer just having a great horse that I can manage at home, but Saddlebreds are wonderful in whatever setting you place them. Although they are best known as the world’s most beautiful show horse, Saddlebreds can also make the best back-yard buddy ever. We Saddlebred owners are also pretty loyal. My girlfriend from 40 years ago is now a veterinarian and has a sweet mare from the Saddlebred Rescue in her barn.