October 31, 2009


The pretty blond mare tossed her head and laughed. Her laughter tinkled like tiny glass baubles banging together.- not an irritating sound, but rather, a musical one. She was a seven year old mare- old enough to have seen the world, been a show horse, met many people and horses- yet she was naive and youthful. Her pale yellow hair disclosed the light nature contained within her. She was unaffected and unassuming. While other mares were consumed with gossip or staking their claims to the best grazing spots, Delilah was simply content to enjoy the sunshine.

She had arrived at this farm last year. She liked the farm- liked the foals which played in the fields here, liked the children who rode her sometimes. She remembered dimly that she used to not like the feel of legs on her sides. But that was different now. The children who came to ride her brought apples and carrots with them. She could not remember why she did not like to be ridden with such a sweet taste on her lips.

Sometime last Spring, she felt very beautiful. On that day, she remembered that she felt as if she had beating drums in her heart. A foal had been born that very morning and the scent of his birth filled Delilah's long nose. She inhaled deeply and her blood felt peculiar in her veins. On that day, the vet came to see her and she did not mind the ultrasound.

Soon after, the vet came again and the humans were very happy. She did not understand but since they gave her treats again she was happy too. The humans looked at her differently now. They petted her for long times and talked about her foal. Sometimes, they would lay their hands on her belly when they brushed her. She did not mind this but did not understand it either. 

Spring turned to Summer and one day she was standing all alone and felt it move within her. She startled and whirled around to see who had touched her. There was no one near. Surely this was a trick of her mind. Yet she had not heard another horse approach. Fearful of this strange new feeling, she stood very still and listened closely.

Tha-thump. Tha-thump. Tha-thump.

It was a heartbeat but not her own. It was coming from inside her. Delilah marveled at the feeling of the tiny infant stretching his legs inside her womb. She bent her long buttery neck around to gaze at her side. She nickered a greeting. After all, she would greet any new horse as such. He did not nicker back. She looked puzzled. Her deep brown eyes quizical, she looked again at her side. At that moment, he kicked as if in response to her greeting.

Delilah half closed her eyes as she memorized the new feeling. She looked ahead of her into the surrounding pastures as she pondered the significance of this feeling. There she could see the weanling foals playing with one another. She had always enjoyed watching them play and sometimes tried to join in herself. Now, impending motherhood settled onto her like a mantle. She determined that this must be her foal lying inside her. The feeling of it was heavy and sweet..

Delilah was immediately happy. She listened to the heartbeat and he learned to lie still within her as she played each morning. She ate heavy mouthfuls of green grass and spent long afternoons imagining his face. She even wondered what his voice would sound like. Would he be blond like her or would his coat be red like the foals she watched play in the adjoining paddock?

To Be Continued Next Spring...

Delilah is a maiden mare who is due to foal in April 2010. She is a youthful, playful mare and we are anxiously anticipating the moment when she will meet her foal face to face! Join us on Marestare in 2010 to watch the blessed event.   Khris

October 30, 2009

The Story of Sam

This is a re-post of one of my favorite stories. I wrote this during foaling season last year and it was posted on the previous daily blog. For those of you who have already seen it, indulge me. For those of you who haven't, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it! This is the Story of Sam from Embryonic twin to horse. Sam is now a vivacious 6 month old colt romping in Wisconsin with his family! Khris

In the beginning, there was only darkness. My first awareness was energy radiating from within me. I was nuclear- raw, pure, and infinite. There was another tiny voice in the darkness with me. It was competing with me for my mother's womb. Then the voice was silent. I lay very still inside my mother's womb and soon after, my heartbeat drowned out the silence. It was quiet and small in the beginning but soon, it was the loudest noise in my mother's body.

Occasionally, I could hear voices from outside my mother- they were mostly muffled. They discussed my twin- the now silent one, they discussed my mother, Sissy- but mostly they discussed me. I came to know these voices as the humans. When they spoke, my mother was happy. The smallest voices made her joyful and I would stretch my legs and feel wonderful, too.

As I grew stronger and larger, my mother would sometimes talk with me. She told me how special I was going to be. She told me that I would someday be a show horse like her and my father- she called him Chevy. She talked of him often and hoped that I would grow to be as strong and graceful as he. She was always so careful not to disturb me when she carried a rider. She also told me often how I would grow to be gentle and kind and respect all humans.

Then, her voice was quiet for a while. She was thinking and planning for my arrival. I wanted to hear my mother- but she did not speak to me. I became frantic and felt as if I could not move my legs any longer. I began to feel trapped and instinct encouraged me to look for her. I do not remember how I found her but do remember being the most cold, most sleepy, most tired, and most hungry that I had ever known. Suddenly, there were bright lights and the humans. Then, there was my mother's voice again. I had found my way back to her but things were different.

The same voice I knew encouraged me to stay beside her- and then to stand with her. This was pure joy! I untangled my legs- it had been so long since they were stretched out. A voice inside my head screamed at me to stand- I tried but the spider legs did not obey my will. I decided to rest and think about the task. I memorized the way it felt to move my hoof, my knee, my hock. Then, I went for it- up! and back down. It was so exhausting but Mother was always there- crooning to me that I was a beautiful show horse and must stand.

After a while, the attempts did not exhaust me as much and I stood without a human. The freedom was exhilarating and as soon as I stood, my legs took on a life of their own. I was running! Mother was so proud of me and told me that my father would be so proud, too. She said he must have been so graceful when he was one hour old. That made me feel like running even more.

The humans told me that I would be called Sam. They were always there- and made my mother happy. I think that I like the humans already.

I am Sam and this was the story of how I became a horse.

October 29, 2009

Another Top Ten List...

This is the Top Ten list of things I am addicted to:

10. Reality TV
9. Sugar
8. Exotic animals
7. Cell Phones
6. McDonalds
5. Blogging
4. Work
3. Caffiene
2. Shelby (Grandchild Supreme)
and the #1 thing I'm addicted to is:

October 28, 2009

Top Ten List...

of Things I would like to have but probably don't need:

10. loaded Nachos from Taco Bell
9. a clown mask (don't ask!)
8. a cockney accent
7. a new truck
6. a camel- to be friends with George the Llama, he looked sad today
5. blue eyes or blond hair but not both
4. a Paralet- a really, really cute miniature Parrot
3. Josh, Brittney, Amanda, and Shelby all home at the same time
2. a cream Standard Poodle puppy

and the #1 thing that I don't need but would like to have is......

another mare to breed to Chevy!

October 27, 2009

The Constant Companion

Today has been a day of reflection. I think about my life and one thing that has remained constant- through the pivotal moments that have shaped my character- is that I have always been surrounded by animals. From childhood, adolescence, and into my adult years, there were always at every moment furry beings who listened, lent a shoulder, and were willing to share whatever burden I faced. There are central moments which every human has; they are different for each of us- mine were divorce, marriage, abuse, loss, children, career, and love. In each of these intervals of my life, I had a pet by my side.

When I was a very small child, there were Frisky the Chihuahua and Fluffy the gray cat. Frisky was much like an older brother- he ate my Halloween candy, disliked me most of the time, and was always competing for my mother's attention. Fluffy, on the other hand, was my first connection with another soul. She died when I was thirteen years old.  She taught me early lessons about love, listened to my pre-teen fears, and a word named Grief.

Later, there were Ben and Emmy. They were my first Shelties. With them, I married the man who would become my first Ex Husband, became a mother (twice), learned to show dogs and embarked on becoming
a dog trainer. They led me to the career which would span the next twenty years of my life.

After what I like to call The Aussie Years, which included another husband and eventually led me to the wonderful life I have now, then came the German Shepherds.  It was during the German Shepherd years that I met two of men I love most in the world- Wayne and Xarco. Wayne is my companion in everything, partner in crime, business partner, and helped raise me alongside my children. Xarco was my first competition Schutzhund dog and a piece of my heart left when he passed away. He was a guardian, friend, confidant, and rogue. With him, I safely travelled anywhere, anytime. His quiet authority and  playful nature combined with 130 pounds of animal instinct and no one crossed his path- man nor beast.  He was a fortress in more ways than one.

The German Shepherd years passed and now there are others. Katie and Sugar, matronly Shelties who have been here for more than a decade greet me everyday. Ace, the smiling Bernese Mountain Dog, and Rondo, the laughing Standard Poodle, are with us now also. These happy dogs are like extensions- they are mirrors which reflect my life. Heidi, the Sheltie, who is the shadow of Wayne, reminds me of the old Frisky as she vies for his attention. Funny, that part of my life seems to be coming full circle

Too numerous to mention, are the others who have woven my life's quilt with dog and cat hair. Goose, the Maine Coon cat who romped through my house and Scarlett, the tortoise colored vixen with green eyes who still greets me in the kennel. Sadie, the long-haired German Shepherd who was the worst dog I ever knew. She belonged to the best man I ever knew. I inherited her when I married Wayne. I'm sure that she was mentioned in the "for better or worse" section of our vows.

 I cannot imagine a world (or life for that matter) which did not include pets. Each portion of me can be neatly packaged within my memories like little brown boxes. The pets who lived with me are the bows which tie those boxes closed. As I write this, there are Heidi and Rachel's Boxer Zoe lying at my feet. Rondo looks at me with black Poodle eyes and asks to go outside to play. Perhaps the thing I like best about having animals is that no matter what, everyday, we leave ourselves and our lives at rest for just a little while while we see to their needs. A wise man once said, "There is no selfish man, who can love a dog."


October 26, 2009

Things I like to Ride...

Here is a list of things I like to ride... (For the dirty minds among you, stop reading right now- you will receive no satisfactoin from this list!)
Cruise Ships- big ones with lots of food
Fast Cars- really fast ones
The Old-Time Cars at Amusement Parks- but only when one of my kids or hubby is driving this
Upside Down Roller Coasters- the wilder, the better
Canoes- but only with Indians
Elephants- really big ones
Bikes- Mountain, specifically
Sleighs- Horse drawn, of course
RickShaws- in China, if at all possible
Waves of Emotions- the good kind
Speed Boats- really, really fast ones
Trains- the ones at the Zoo, please
Motorcycles- Dirt bikes, specifically
Surf- Body surfing on really big waves
Monster Trucks- Gravedigger would do
Hot Air Balloons- Napa Valley?
And Horses- any Chevy will do, of course.


October 25, 2009

Sisterhood of the Travelling Chevys

We've returned from the All American Quarter Horse Congress and are full! Full of fun, friends, food, emotions, shopping, laughter and lack of sleep. That statement would sum up the Congress experience for many people. 

This year, we joined a group of friends- all woven together by the farm and in most cases, Chevy and together, cheered for and rooted on Chloe. Chloe (registered name Focusonakrymsunimage) is a yearling filly by Chevy owned by Carol and Jim Binette from New Jersey. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Chevys came together (over 30 strong, men and women alike) to spend a few days together.  Chloe had numerous cheering sections scattered throughout the Coliseum when she showed early Friday morning. He was handled by AQHA Professional Horseman Pierre Brierre and she was a star.

All year, Chloe has been trained and shown exclusively by her owner Carol. We sat anxiously as Pierre took the center arena for her performance. The pairing were exceptional- Chloe's talent and Pierre's showmanship. They earned a great 4th place (with individual placings as high as Reserve Champion) and we were all excited.

Later on Friday, Chevy hosted a reception for Chloe at his stalls. With a decorated cake which said "Congrats Chloe, Love Dad", we served hot cider, cocoa, and coffee and mingled with lots of well wishers. As always, Chevy and Chloe were the stars with lots of photo opportunities, hugs, and pets.  Then, the group (over 35 strong at this point) attended the highlight of Friday at the Congress- the Masters classes. With spotlights, music, great horses, and over $200,000 in prize money, it was a festive air.

One of my favorite moments of the trip happened during Chloe's photo session for her win picture (to be seen at a later date!). The Binettes were thoughtful enough to suggest that Chevy come for Chloe's pictures. After Chloe, her family and trainer took their photos, we moved Chevy into the picture to stand beside Chloe. He was a perfect gentleman standing beside the beautiful sorrel filly who could be his clone. There were tons of spectators and as the photographers assistant coerced both horses to pose with ears perked for the camera, there was a collective "awwww" moment from the crowd. Then,  the group stepped in and surrounded the horses for a fun group commemorative photo. Again, Chevy was in heaven- he loves photos and people.

Saturday was consumed with cheering Chevy's friend Paula Berry's horse Lightly Toasted to a 4th place finish in the prestigious Junior Hunter Under Saddle. Then, cinnamon rolls from the sweet shop helped give us stamina to tackle a strenuous shoppinmg frenzy. (Not me, everyone else!). I did purchase some new halters for the barn, a few new work saddle pads, and a supplement which we put our broodmares and Chevy on during breeding season.

All things said and done, it was a great, successful, fun trip. The group convened from nearly 15 states and it was nice to watch people put faces to the names. As always, horses were the central topic of discussion- introductions usually went like this "This is Sandi, she owns Chase...or, This is Tara, the owner of Chevromotion". It's amazing to me that we all know one anothers horses so well- and now we are learning more about one anothers families and such as well.

Chevy and Company thank everyone for their friendship and support- this is the fabric which weaves great memories!

October 22, 2009

Chevrything There Is To Know

This is chevrolutely chevrything there is to know about OHK Krymsun Zip!

Why is he called Chevy?
Chevy was the barn name assigned to this little sorrel stallion at the moment of his birth. Legend at our barn tells that it is bad luck to change a horse's name!

What does Chevy do for a living?
Chevy (well, with the help of his owners) sells his sperm to qualified, exceptional American Quarter Horses who are female who are interested in having his offspring. His sperm is shipped in doses of 1 billion squigglies to lovely Quarter Horse ladies all over the United States.

What does Chevy do for fun?
Chevy enjoys long walks in green grass and romantic dinners for himself and 50 or so ladies. He also likes to attend Quarter Horse shows to show off his athletic prowess.

Who is Chevy's favorite Doctor?
While Chevy gives honorable mention to Dr. Mather (his regular veterinarian) and Dr. Sheerin (his reproductive specialist), his favorite Doctor is Dr. Gregory House (from TV) because he's so smart.

What is Chevy's favorite food?
Chevy is a steak-and-potatoes-kind-of  horse. That means he likes hay and grain. His favorite between meal snack is a carrot. He tried to eat an apple once but found it was too much trouble.

Who are Chevy's role models?
Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods,  Jonas Salk,  Secretartat, and Kermit the Frog.

Where is  Chevy's dream vacation destination?
Vancouver. Definitely, Vancouver.

Does Chevy like to snuggle?
Yes. Mostly kittens or barn help but occassionally, he likes a blankie.

October 21, 2009


He stretched his long legs and moved toward her seductively- like a predator eying his prey. His long black lashes covered his eyes and served as a shield to the true meaning of his approach.  She recoiled from his scrutiny. An involuntary spasm gripped her momentarily as he leveled his steady gaze directly at her face.

She felt heat creep up her neck and slowly spread across her face and hair. She looked to each side but realized that she could not escape. Perhaps if she did not look directly at him, he would retreat from whence he came. Anxiety welled up inside her as she realized that he was continuing to walk directly to her. The taste of it was bitter as she swallowed hard.

Seductively, he advanced. She scolded her frantic heart but it would not obey and return to an even pace. Her body reacted without her permission. In a child-like movement, she lifted her arm across her brow covering her eyes as she did. Her trembling hand imparted more information than she had hoped.

He would not retreat. He seemed oblivious to her distress. Like a line of soldiers, legs marching onward to a distant rhythm, he moved until he was a mere inch from her face. He could see several hundred reflections of himself in her large green eyes. He had been called sinister looking once- he mused that she must think it now.

He was so intent on his reflection, that he only dimly registered the sound of gushing wind somewhere behind him. Cool air rushed across his back and he caused his concentration to falter for an instant. In the way that one summons the courage to face an inner demon or musters the strength to defeat an oppressor, she imposed a fleeting grip on her emotions. As she depressed the lever to activate the car window, it began to lower and the coolness of fresh air rushed inside to greet her gasping breaths. With an acumen that she did not know she possessed, Khris reached her hand up and flicked the inky black spider out of the window.


The above is a (mostly) true story.  I'm not afraid of spiders or bugs in general but this one seemed intent on staring me down. The missing piece of the story is that I was driving 55 miles/hour on a somewhat curvy road during the Encounter. Ugh.

October 20, 2009

Space- The Final Frontier

Captain's Log: Stardate October 20, 2009
Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Khris. Its mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Today's mission began at the local Waffle House. This is a universe all of its own and one that my First Mate Wayne and I visit on occasson when food supplies on our Mother Ship run low. Foraging expeditions to Waffle House are usually conducted in the early morning or late evening hours.

Upon entering the Waffle House solar system, we immediately noticed strange life forms. From the uniforms they were wearing, they appear to be the indigenous people of the establishment. Their chief (head cook) was at his helm at the grill and his followers (waitresses) scurried about tending to nomadic visitors such as ourselves. This appears to be a war-like society as we documented discord among the followers. Two of the females in the group began arguing with one another and the chief had to settle the disagreement. I declared, "There seems to be no signs of intelligent life anywhere."

Since it was a foraging expedition, we ordered scrambled eggs, toast, hashbrowns, and bacon. The locals were consuming gallons of a drink native to this land- coffee. I sampled the coffee and found its strong black flavor to be intoxicating. The caffiene rushed to the capillaries in my brain and I felt energized. My First Mate Wayne declared "That is quite logical, Captian." And he ordered the coffee as well.

In the spirit of true exploration, we traded coins for the food which they provided to us. There were other explorers- or perhaps nomadic peoples who also do not eat at home- who were foraging for food as well. All in all, the people of the Waffle House were a friendly culture. After becoming accustomed to their native tongue, we found that we could communicate with them readily.

On our next journey, we will be proceeding to the Post Office. We have heard stories that the natives there are volatile and prone to aggressive behavior. There we will attempt to make contact with other life forms. There are reports of a huge vortex which is contained at the center of that system which is capable of sucking volumes of letters into its black hole.

Khris Fields
Captain of Starship Khris

October 19, 2009


Summer gives way
Like water rushing through a gap
It cannot be stopped
And then it is Fall

Grass is tipped with ice
Frost settles heavy over the Earth
The sun rises slowly
To reveal a frozen dawn

Trees grow heavy
Burdened by their leaves
Sounds travel to my ears
Across the crisp morn

Lungs fill with cold
Breath in the air has shape
Velvet nose warms my hands
And the chill is broken

October 18, 2009

Home again, Home again, Jiggety Jig

We have returned from our brief excursion to the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Amber and I took care of some business in Columbus, Ohio while Wayne and Company (thanks Tara!) took care of business at home.

Chevy and his two year old son Kramer went on a little field trip to Congress. Amber rode/schooled them the whole time we were there. It's great exposure for the horses to get off the farm and see and be seen by the world. Hopefully, Kramer will be showing at Congress next year as a 3 year old! He was very quiet and handled the circus of activity well.

On Friday, after we arrived, Amber walked him the length of the grounds from the stall area to the longing area. She then stood in line with him nearly an hour for their turn to exercise. En route to the exercise area, there were golf carts, tarps, heavy winds, spitting clouds, people in sparkley clothing, horses running about, and countless strange sights. Kramer walked along beside Amber and waited his turn patiently. He then exploded into an flurry of activity as she longed him. After only 10 minutes or so, he was still playful but the longing area was closed. After the long wait, it was not possible to find another area before riding him so Amber decided to "give it a go" and took him to the "Scottsdale" which is a large outdoor covered riding area. There were no less than 100 horses riding in all different gaits and styles but they boldly stepped out into the oncoming deluge of horse traffic. Kramer's large eyes blinked twice and they proceeded to begin their regular workout routine. After a couple of laps around the arena amongst the rush hour traffic, they settled in and he stepped out handsomely turning more than one head his direction.

Chevy was visited by some of his friends and fans. He enjoyed his workouts in the crowded arena because he likes the show environment but I think he lives for the moments he gets to meet people up close. Several different groups of people came by the stall and we dutifully pulled him into the aisleway each time so that they could take his picture, pet him, and pay homage to his beauty. Like all royalty, he wore his crown with ease and posed and signed autographs until everyone was satisfied.

On an interesting note, Chevy will have a foal coming next year to a lovely Congress Champion Western Pleasure mare named Sabrina. Sabrina was stalled about 300 feet from Chevy this year. Although their offspring will arrive this Spring, they have officially never been this close to one another before. It boggles the mind that two horses will have a foal in several months and they have still never laid eyes on one another- Science is a wonderful phenomenon!

Many, many thanks to Christa Baldwin for her hospitality for a few days. They opened their stalls, tack room, found an electrical outlet for our trailer, and fed us while we were there. Christa's husband is an amazing chef who can work magic with a crock pot.

We arrived back at the farm after our whirlwind tour of Congress yesterday afternoon in the nick of time. Wayne and I rushed off to join Tara in a Trivia Tournament Benefit for Special Olympics and more importantly, Amber was on time to feed the ponies their dinners.

And now we are back on our regularly scheduled blogging duty- See you tomorrow. Khris

October 15, 2009

Over the River...

Over the river and through the woods, to the Quarter Horse Congress we go
The trailer knows the way, we've packed up the hay, and off we go to the show...
Over the river and through the woods, Chevy and Kramer are sure to have fun
It's 40 degrees and if we said please, would there possibly be any sun?

Today, we are packing the trailer full of gear- both human and horse so that Amber and the Boys (Chevy and Kramer) can take a field trip to the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus Ohio. Chevy is 6 years old and has shown at the Congress 3 times (not this year!) earning a Top 5 Honor in the Three Year Old GMC Western Pleasure class.

For both our non-horsey and our horsey readers, here are a few statistics about this Horseapalooza!
 The Congress is:
Celebrating its 43rd year
The World's Largest Single Breed Horse Show
Will have more than 17000 entries this year alone
Attracts more than 650,000 visitors each year
Contributes more than $110 million to the local economy
Houses more than 10,000 Quarter Horses over 3 weeks

This event is unparalleled in the Horse World. To earn an award here, is to achieve a great accomplishment!

We are going on a shopping, riding, buying, selling, eating, meeting, greeting, enjoyable few days...

See you when we return!

October 14, 2009

Peeple of the Wurld, may I have your attention, Pleez?

Peeple of the wurld, may I have your attention, pleez? This is Ringo Fields, the raccoon.
The anamuls have once again taken over and the peeple of the barn are locked in the feed room.
Since I am the only one who can use the compooter, I will be the leeder of the anamuls at Feelds 1/4 Horse.
If you cooperate peecefully, no one will be knawed upon. Here are my demands:
1. Marshmallows
2. World Peece
Do not attempt to rescue the peeple. We will begin waterboarding them at 0100 hours if no one reesponds to our demands. I am hoping we can come to a peeceful resolution in this matter.
Ringo Fields
Ruler of the free world (or at least the anamuls at Feelds 1/4 Horse)

October 13, 2009


The last few days have been filled with activity at Fields Quarter Horses. We've had guests and visitors, family and friends, comings and goings- and that's just the staff! If the microcosm of our farm is reflective of our world- we have truly become a mobile society.

On Friday, Dean, Amber's long-time boyfriend a la extraordinairre, flew from Boston to Cincinnati for a weekend visit. On the same day, Wayne and I embarked on a ten hour commute to Arkansas to visit the U.S.AirForce- and our son, daughter-in-law Amanda, and grandchild supreme Shelby.  Rachel and Tara deftly assumed barn duty in our absence.

Monday found Wayne and I back in a car for the 10 hour return to Kentucky. The kidnapping plot we had planned for Shelby was foiled at the last moment by her mother. Amber was also unsuccessful at keeping Dean in Kentucky. At last report, he had broken free of his restraints and was headed back to Boston via airplane. Meanwhile, our daughter Brittney remained untethered at Morehead State University. She reports that she studied all weekend, wrote two papers, and did not go out with friends at all. There will be an investigation into this matter.True to the mobility of our lives, the Crew stayed connected by cell phones, internet, and smoke signals and the horses never experienced a bump in their daily routines.

That covers the guests and visitors of this blog- now on the the family and friends- the horses, of course. On Saturday, the blue roan mare Lexi Davenport returned to Fields Quarter Horses to prepare for the 2010 breeding season. Since Lexi left Kentucky in June, she has acquired a new last name and will now be known as Lexi Spork of the New Jersey Sporks.

Also on Saturday, a new student arrived to attend Amber University for Horses. She is a loudly colored palomino paint mare. She is 4 years old and her name is Daisy. Daisy attended FQH orientation sessions over the weekend and began Fall classes today. A steady tank-like 7 year old gelding named Merle arrived on Saturday as well. Merle is enrolled in Amber's Finishing School for Gentleman Horses Course. He will be sold in the near future- most likely to a young person or a first time horse owner.

We said au revoir to Zoe- who is the mother of Chase and Maria- for a short time. She returned to her home in West Virginia and will return to Kentucky again next Spring to foal again. Zoe has lived at our farm 4 of the last 5 years. The mares who return each year to breed and foal here become like relatives who come for extended visits.

They are an example of how mobile the Quarter Horse industry has become. Breeding, showing, training: these horses traverse the United States and become seasoned travellers at young ages. As friends and family, human and animal, become spread more widely apart, it is even easier to stay connected with one another. Horses and their people hit the road often. The next time you see a horse trailer during past on with highway- think of us. Maybe, just maybe, they are coming going from Fields Quarter Horses.

October 12, 2009

Dawn Filly Part Three

Soon, Dr. Mather's familiar white vet truck pulled up to the rear of the barn. Wendy knew Dr. Mather and was accustomed to her regular visits at the farm. She was not accustomed to being the patient, however. she stood quietly while Dr. Mather removed the trauma bandage which now covered her lower hind leg. The humans had placed it there to try and slow the furious bleeding. Dr. Mather drew a slow inward breath as she observed the mangled limb. The skin fell away like a drooping sock, unable to hold itself up. Deep in the center of the wound, beneath a layer of severed flesh and tendon, glistened a hard white surface.

Wendy tasted fear in the outward breaths of the humans. She catalouged their faces and noted the emotions she recognized- there was dread, fear, sadness. Why did they all continue to look at her so solemnly? With fingers woven into the strawberry blonde mane, Amber caressed her neck in an absent, circular pattern. The humans talked in hushed tones. Wendy was able to decipher phrases but they held no meaning to her. She only recognized things such as her name and a few other random words. She listened, hoping to understand the bitter taste of fear which now filled the space around her.

"...Hospital, but I'm not sure they can save her....tendon sheath is missing....prognosis is poor...never be an athlete but...," the human murmurings blended together. Wendy began to feel sleepy. The pain was dulling now- to an ache. The voices were far away and she was warm and happy again.

As the sedative worked its magic, Dr. Mather and the humans developed a plan. The wound was so severe that many farms may have opted to euthanize the filly on the spot. Khris, the farm owner, asked the veterinarian if Wendy's pain would be manageable and Dr. Mather said only time would tell. As Wendy faded in and out of consciousness, she heard- or perhaps imagined- more human phrases.

"...Wendy, if you will just fight to survive, you have a home here forever....I don't care if she will be a show horse, can we just try to save her life...Let's try to stay ahead of the infection...all the drugs you have available..." continued the voices in her dreams.

Wendy awoke many hours later to a dull ache in her leg. She would soon find that the ache would be her companion for many weeks to come. Her leg was bandaged thickly with heavy cotton completely covering her lower leg and foot. She stepped gingerly across the stall and found that she could walk, even though it was halting. Wendy felt sorrow again. Amber entered her stall to begin what would become a regular routine of administering antibiotics through a catheter sewn into place in the hollow cavity of her throat and change her wrappings.  Wendy was determined that she would repay the humans for their hard work.  She stood quietly and concentrated on trying to do what they asked.

As the days turned into weeks, and those into months, Wendy thought of Baton Rouge only a little. She began to lose the sorrow which surrounded her and it was replaced by a sense of acceptance. She was no longer angry at Baton Rouge. She was also no longer angry at herself. The red roan filly who had raced across the meadow seemed far away to her now. 

Ben, the old bay gelding who had seen the events in the meadow that fateful day walked beside Amber on his way to the turn-out paddock. He glanced sideways at the beautiful filly who stood solemnly in the end stall of the barn nearest the door. Her amber coat glistened in the sunlight streaming through the front of the stall. She turned to meet his gaze and he caught his breath. The glow she emitted was more than her comely face and coloring- she was at peace and no longer an angry teenager. Here stood an old soul- aged by circumstance and acceptance. This was the dawn of a new filly.

The End.

Wendy was injured (as the story tells) in late Spring 2009. Our goal was to keep her alive for 24 hours, then 48, then a week, and so on. I promised her that if she would fight and live, she would have a home for always. True to that, Wendy survived and the Universe has reminded me to keep my promise to her. She endured months of bandage changes, antibiotics, stall rest, and even experimental treatments. She has achieved 90% of her former ability and continues to recover. Wendy has a remarkeable spirit which was integral to her recovery and survival.

October 11, 2009

Dawn Filly Part Two

"Wendy the Slow, she's not so oh-so, any mo mo mo," he sang as his voice berayed him by choosing that moment to sqauwk again.

But the strawberry blonde head did not notice his voice. The voice in her head screamed loudly, "Why? Why did you try? You know him- you know what he's like!" The angst descended upon her. She felt small and as if everyone were laughing at her.

"Darlin, it's ok, you are a slow horse," said the fat old gelding Ben, matter of factly through a mouthful of grass. He lifted a crooked knee so that he could get another mouthful before he swallowed the first. With a shrug of his bay shoulders, he turned his full attention back to the green patch in front of him.

Wendy walked slowly back toward the red gate at the top of the paddock. She blushed slightly, warming her rosy complexion, as she felt twenty eyes watch her pass. Her memory replayed Ben's words a thousand times that day and evening "...you are a slow horse..you are a slow horse...you are a slow horse." That night, she dreamt of sneering brown eyes with a haughty shake of his head as Baton Rouge galloped past her.

Restless and uneasy, her mood darkened with the morning sky. A cold front had passed overnight and it delivered a cold, pelting rain on its heels over the barn and paddocks. Thankful she would not be going outside in the rain- and that she would not see Baton Rouge today- Wendy spiralled deeper into a mood of angst and pondered her self-promoted worthlessness. Did the humans keep her here in the barn because they thought she was weak? Was she weak? After all, Baton Rouge had beaten her yet again and he was scrawny.

Finding neither solace nor answers, Wendy was wallowing by the next morning. She was an angry teenager- displeased with herself and ready to strike out. The cold front seemed to have settled permanently over the barn and it continued to rain. The human, Amber, came to bring her outside but they turned toward the indoor arena instead. During periods of murky weather, the horses from the barn were allowed to exercise individually in the arena. Amber walked Wendy through the falling rain and stepped inside. The floor of the arena greeted Wendy's nostrils with a pungent, earthy odor. It smelled like dirt, and dampness, and sweat all at once. Amber released Wendy and the filly meandered slowly around unable to escape the funk of her mood.

As Wendy wandered past the end door, which overlooked the paddocks outside, she could not see through the grayness outside. A shrill song reached her ears from outside in the bleak weather. "Wendy the Slow, she's not so oh-so..." the voice croaked.

Suddenly, her beauty did not matter- her breeding seemed unimportant- she filled up with rage and leapt forward with fury. Her back hinged and her front feet returned to the ground yet the fury was not spent. She kicked high and violently- as if she could expel the demon singing in her brain. And her hind foot pierced the metal shell surrounding the arena.

The pain rushed around her instantly. As she pulled her foot down, the ragged edges cut more deeply into the soft tissue above her hoof. In the way that moments define us, Wendy was both afraid and sorry. Time moved in fast-forward and slow motion at once.

Amber dialed her cell phone frantically, spoke several sentences, and hurried to her side. Soon, the humans were running cold water onto her leg. It ached terribly but the cold water running over it seemed to numb the pain. She turned once to see what they were looking at and saw blood spurting in an arc from her hind limb. There was too much blood- she reasoned perhaps it belonged to someone else? The water continued to run until soon, Wendy was standing in a large crimson puddle- large enough that the horse and humans were contained within its perimeters.

October 10, 2009

Dawn Filly

The young horse snorted loudly through her nostrils in the dewey morning air. She tasted the air currents through her velvety nose- a deer had passed through this paddock nearly an hour ago. She snorted again and liked the feel of forcing the air out of her lungs- it certainly must make her look grown up to the other horses, she mused. She dimly remembered her mother making a similar sound on brisk, bright days when she felt playful.

Standing near the red gate, just inside the boards of the large paddock, she was unaware of her blossoming beauty as she snorted and tested the wind again. The weight of her strawberry blonde mane and tail lifted slightly as the wind fluttered. There was no other horse in the paddock that morning with her distinct coloring. She was a bright, sunny red roan whose coat rippled with an opaqueness that rivaled the underbelly of a sea shell. The rosy tone reminded the onlooking horses of the pink sky they had stood beneath at dawn a few hours earlier.

Sensing her playfulness, Baton Rouge galloped toward the filly with a ferocity that seemed out of place in the peaceful stillness of the meadow. His dullish brown coat rippled across wirey muscles as he skidded to an ungraceful halt several feet in front of her.

"Morning, Wendy," he exclaimed in a squawky, croaking voice. He and Wendy had been foaled two Springs before- just a month apart. She was sixteen months old, he was fifteen. He lowered his eyes in a moment of awkwardness as his voice broke like a teenage boy ready to change to a man.

As she was unaware of her beauty, thus he was equally unaware of his awkwardness. His legs were not quite straight, his neck a little too upright, his ears a little too large. She, on the other hand, like a head cheerleader or prom queen, was perfection, yet thankfully, unaffected by it.

Baton Rouge was the son of a Thoroughbred mare named Vin Rouge. She was blue-blood, even in the Bluegrass, where everyone fancied themself blue. Once upon a time, Vin Rouge had set the record in Philadelphia while running one and one quarter miles. No one had beaten that record yet. She held tenaciously to it and wore the glory of her accomplishment like a shawl wrapped around her at all times.

"Morning, Bat," Wendy answered, looking around her as if to escape further conversation. She knew where this was headed and she felt dread settle over her instantly. He wanted to race. She was bred to be a Western Pleasure horse- her DNA was configured for its propensity to lift her body like a ballerina and artfully carry her across the ground in a slow, languid pace. She knew this and so did he.

The other foals had always avoided play with Baton Rouge. He was faster than they- and his personality had a hint of cruelty- an edge- that was foreign to them. Wendy often felt sorry for him. She reasoned that the hard edge came from his competitive nature- that, and being raised by a race track mother. Vin Rouge was gritty and hard and so was her son.
Wendy cautioned herself not to be baited by him. Just as she knew his nature, Baton Rouge knew hers. She was also deeply competitive- but the sort borne of character. She was blue-blood herself. As a Quarter Horse, her father, Chevy was royalty and her mother, Nikki, was a grand duchess. She was their offspring and if her mother's gentle teachings were not enough- the inner song of her soul served constant reminder of her destiny. At this farm, greatness was a birthright and each foal wore it like a cloak. Surrounded by these future princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, Baton Rouge grew frustrated and a tad bit angry. Each of these Quarter Horse foals assumed that they were special and were fawned over by the humans.

"So, your highness," he taunted, "I see they've taken you off your leash for a while."

Wendy felt an ember flare inside her and tried to douse it with reason.

"I am to be a great show horse and the humans treasure me", she replied. "That is why they keep me safe in the barn."

"You must be weak and cannot run," he jibed cruelly, "or they would not keep you there."

The ember flared into anger now. She knew he was baiting her, surely as she knew she must rise to the challenge. With the reasoning of a teenage mind, she thought perhaps, since she was a month older than he, she might beat him today.

She did not waste time for a reply and gathered her muscular haunches beneath her. In a powerful leap, she burst away from him. He lifted his neck, coiled his muscles, and raced behind her. With each gathering of her hindquarters, she opened the distance between them. The Quarter Horse is named for its ability to run one quarter of a mile faster than any other breed. Wendy, however, was the product of a different type of Quarter Horse. Her parents were bred for strengh, collection, and athletic ability- but at a much slower pace. Her genetics could only support her folly for a few more strides and then the Thoroughbred began to overtake her. She wanted so badly to beat him today. Her heart swelled with the want of it. She begged her legs for more. He sneered as he realized that she was at the peak of her effort. All great race horses shared certain traits- an instinct for the kill, the ability to sense weakness and exploit it in a competitor. Like a prosecuting attorney with a faltering witness on the stand, Baton Rouge surged forward and extended his stride to exploit her lapse in confidence.

His cruel bent surfaced as he blew past her heavy form. She was at the apex of her effort and he revealed that he had been toying with her. His nature was one to bully. Perhaps his scrawny frame dictated that he further torment the beautiful one. It was not enough that he bested her, he wanted to know that she was humiliated.

To Be Continued...

October 9, 2009

Animals- Behavior and Such

There is another side to Fields Quarter Horses that we don't talk about very often. We own and operate Canine Companion Training and Boarding Center which for the past 15 years has provided dog training, pet boarding, grooming and doggie daycare to thousands of pet owners. One visit to the Center and even the most imperceptive sort can decipher that this is ground zero for our daily operations. The foaling barn for Fields Quarter Horses is located just a few feet from the Training and Boarding Center which allows us to utilize our time, offices, and during foaling season- be two places at once.

The Center houses nearly 35 dogs at any given time while their owners are globe-trotting, vacationing, or just need a cozy motel for their pet. Additionally, there are typically dog training lessons going on each day and dog grooming sessions being conducted. We've found the perfect recipe for blending our passions- horses and dogs- and have carved a special niche for ourselves that allows us to operate both businesses simultaneously.

Many dog owners seek our help for problem behaviors- biting, aggression, anxiety, fear- but many seek our services just to have a crisp, professionally trained pet. Having trained dogs professionally for over 20 years now (Wayne- for over 40), I am a great student of animal behavior. I believe that all creatures are born with free will and it is fascinating to me that a human can convince any animal that they should submit to ours. Amber, patiently and often, must sit through a battery of queries as I observe her training a horse to heed a new behavior. I enjoy watching her training sessions- particularly with the young horses.

Much like opening the hood of a new car to see the engine beneath, each animal who comes to live as part of our family must undergo a period in which I begin teaching him tricks so that I can learn how his brain works. The raccoon, the llama, the goat, the bird (formerly), cats, a new dog- all must submit to my analysis as I learn how each cultivates and processes new information. Ask my children, I spent years learning how their brains worked and attempting to teach them new tricks. To date, they are my most unwilling subjects!

So, if you ever call and hear the chorus of barking voices in the background- you will know. If you visit us and spend more than a brief moment- you will be subjected to the pets. If you are not an animal lover- be warned. This is not the place for you.


October 8, 2009

Fields Daily Top Ten List #2

Fields Daily Top Ten List #2

Today, I asked Nick to list the top ten reasons he enjoys cleaning stalls at Fields Quarter Horses. Here is his list:

10. He is hoping for a raise soon.

9.Beer Money.

8.Horses smell better than cows.

7.He has a truck payment.

6.Amber dances in the aisleways when she thinks no one is looking.

5.His parents say he has to work somewhere, may as well be here.

4.He can put the radio on any station he chooses.

3. There are always girls around horse barns. Hot ones.

2. Beer Money.

and the number one reason Nick enjoys cleaning stalls at our barn is.....

1. Khris is the best boss in the world and he is hoping for a raise soon.

October 7, 2009

Fields Daily Top Ten List

In the true spirit of corporate America, I thought it would be interesting to share with you the Corporate Management Structure of Fields Quarter Horses. This is a list of the top ten bosses at our farm:

10. George the Llama is the Director of Foreign Affairs
9.Rachel has been appointed Secretary of the Division of Labor
8.Rondothe Standard Poodle is in charge of the Party Planning Committee
7.Brittney is the Dean of Daily Life and Department Chair for Financial Aid
6.Heidi the Sheltie is the Head of the Department of Wayne
5.Amber is the Vice President in Charge of Everything
4. Ringo the raccoon is the Head of the Board of Directors (you know, cats, dogs, horses, llamas, goats)
3.Wayne is the CEO- and Director of Finance
2.Khris is the Chief Operating Officer and Person In Charge of The Most Important Stuff

and the #1 Boss at Fields Quarter Horses, if you haven't already guessed it is....drum roll, please....

Chevy- #1 Stallion Extraordinairre, Commander in Chief of Fields Quarter Horses, and Voted Most Likely to Succeed, Most Handsome, and Most Popular in his High School Class

October 6, 2009

The Boy Has Become A Man

The goings on at the farm are going on- steadily and without fanfare. Daily life at a working farm passes for the people and the animals much the same. The days are marked by routine- vet, farrier, riding lessons. The hours are marked by tasks and chores. Feeding, cleaning, training, riding, grooming, and grazing- these jobs are daily and repetitive but so important to the quality of life of our residents. Much time is spent seeing to the horses' well-being.  The weanlings who were castrated last week cannot remember that they were recently colts. They play and romp in the boisterous style of young boys. True to the almanac's promise, they have recovered from the surgeries in short order.

Chase has been convalescing since his procedure at the world-reknowned equine hospital Rood & Riddle.

He travelled back to the specialists there yesterday for a routine shoeing. Dr. Ruggles took a moment from his appointment filled day to evaluate his progress and proclaimed that Chase's healing and prognosis was superb. Since first visiting Rood & Riddle five weeks ago, Chase had worn specially crafted horseshoes on his front feet as an accessory to his leg procedure. These shoes were removed by Dr. Morrisson and he now has new, normal  shoes to wear home to Maryland. Once home, his favorite horse cobbler's Matt & Harry will resume the care and keeping of Chase's feet.

Later today, there is a potential new owner coming to the farm to meet Dakota. Dakota is a yearling stallion whose father is Chevy and mother was Carolina (God rest her soul). As an 18 month old horse, Dakota is preparing to be a Western Pleasure show horse. He will put on his fancy clothes and hopefully impress the young lady is travelling several hours to meet him. Similar to speed dating, this potential buyer will assess the chemistry she feels for him in their short meeting. We will keep you posted if a match is made!

Chevy has spent the past few weeks working out and getting fit for an upcoming appearance at a horse show. The boy has become a man and with age, he has acquired strength and wisdom. Like all deep thinkers, he spent much of today contemplating the meaning of life.

Wendy is the yearling roan filly who has been on suicide watch for a while. Like many teenage girls, she went through an angst filled period in which she was moody and mercurial. Fortunately, horses mature faster than 16 year old girls and Wendy has blossomed into a lovely young woman.

A friend is returning to our farm. Lexi Davenport, a buxom blue roan mare is making her yearly pilgrimage from Missouri in a few days. Like spawning fish who return to the same site each year, Lexi comes to the farm to foal and become pregnant again. She is a favorite among our guests and we welcome her to her home away from home.

And the days march on much like this for both the Crew and the horses in our care. Fall shortens the hours between dawn and dusk and there suddenly seems a little less daylight to accomplish our work. This is just a reminder that foaling season is just around the corner- maybe, this is the calm before the storm?


October 5, 2009


What does conflict mean to you? I think our world may be changing. In my childhood, people were taught to avoid conflict- be a good girl, don't cause trouble, don't talk back. The theme of society was one of getting along with your fellow man. Being kind and doing good deeds were popular ideals. Superman was polite. In fact, all super heroes were back then. And our role models were the kind of people our grandmothers would have been proud of- Mousketeers, the gang from Sesame Street, Jackie Kennedy,

Nowadays, though, there is a general air of conflict everywhere we turn- TV, highways, schools, homes. TV sitcoms pay homage to conflicts beween men and women. Road rage is now a recognized term in our modern dictionary. As we've empowered our children to "stand up for themselves", I wonder if  we've also taught them to be combative and sometimes rude. Even pets seem empowered to bite more often and entitled to growl at their owners. The world functions in a manner which rewards those who step on someone else to get ahead.

As I've matured, I've learned that some conflict is inevitable- but the generalized approval and even endorsement of this behavior does not rest well with my soul. I cannot be accused of being an overly religious person but do believe that humans are the guardians of this Earth and the creatures who share it with us. With that privilege, surely comes our inate sense of right from wrong- good from bad. We were given that knowledge above other animals for a reason- it is our plight to use it.

I share the planet with about 6.6 billion other human beings. It's a crowded place. As we each try to make our way and prove to ourselves that we deserve to be here, that we were important for an instant- I suggest we listen to those embers glowing in the dim areas of our brains. Random acts of kindness will make you feel better about yourself. Stop trying to be important and just be happy. Worry less about yourself and more about your fellow man. Get over yourself. Use your powers for good instead of evil.  Feel shame if you try to take advantage of someone else. And love something else deeply- any creature will do, so long as it's not yourself. 

Khris Fields

October 4, 2009

Shooting Stars and Other Chevrolestial Bodies

Chevy, formally known as OHK Krymsun Zip, is a young Quarter Horse stallion who has a brilliant future as a sire. His offspring are equally great and many are surpassing even his athletic abilities. Chevy was the #1 AQHA Western Pleasure Stallion in 2006 and has earned distinctions in the top shows in the World. Following his stellar show career, Chevy began a new career as a breeding horse. 

Even the best show horses do not always prove their muster as sires. Countless horses each year hang out their shingle and try their hand at producing future Champions- only a few actually pass the litmus test. With only 3 foal crops (2 year olds, Yearlings, and Weanlings) on the ground, Chevy has confirmed what we had hoped- he is also a great breeding animal. 

To be a great breeding animal, a horse must pass desireable characteristics to their offspring consistently. To our delight, Chevy passes some of the most covetable attributes to his foals. I thought I would highlight some of his offspring that you are certain to hear about in the future. These are his future Stars! There are many more than are contained here so consider this a sampling of the Chevenly Bodies in his solar system:

Focusonakrymsunimage- "Chloe" will be showing at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in a few weeks in the Yearling Longe Line class. She is a sorrel filly who has never been defeated in this class after showing many times.

Chevy Mania- "CJ" is a 2 year old gelding who can be seen on youtube under the same name. He is going to be a superstar in Western Pleasure and is teamed with one of the World's Top trainers, Randy Wilson.

Chevromotion- "Kramer"  has the distinction of being the first performance point earner that Chevy produced. He is exciting, talented, and immeasurably attractive. Standing nearly 16.1 hands a two year old, Kramer has the talent to show in many, many AQHA classes and the destiny to be a famous horse.

Chevrolution- "Chase" is a 2 year old who had a minor setback to his training this year due to some growth related timing issues. Those issues are resolved and Chase is ready to deliver on the magnificence that he has always promised. Mr Charisma is ready to take the stage.

Chevrolatte- "Mocha" is a yearling who is also a Champion Longe Liner. He is tall and creating a commotion wherever he is seen. He has a presence that people cannot forget.

Rollin In The Dough- "Doughboy" is also a Champion Longe Liner. He is a Palomino Chevy. His color and his pedigree have made him unique among his Chevy brothers and sisters. Stay tuned for future Doughboy news.

Big Bad Chevy- "Wolfe" is a black weanling Chevy who is owned by Fields Quarter Horses but will be sold in the future. He is very, very similar to Chevy Mania and we expect him to follow in his footsteps closely. Wolfe's mother was a top show horse herself and he seems to be the perfect blend between his parents.

Glow Chevy Glow- "Amber" is a red roan Chevy out of a very special mare. Amber's mother was a celebrity at shows herself. Amber is the prodigal child star and in that way, is embedded with talent. Like a child who grows up in the industry, fame will come to her with ease.

Chevy Metal- "Ozzy" is a bay roan weanling colt who is plotting to take over the world. He was the center of attention for much of the first 2 months of his life. Now living in New Jersey, you will be hearing much of him later.

There are so many other great ones that deserve mentioning: Mr Chevy To You, One Hot Chevy Too, Esme, Sly, Jude, Maxim, Lady, Wendy, and the list goes on.  It has been a blessing that Chevy has shown us this greatness early in his breeding career. Living with him is much like living with a rock star- and we are just happy to share his life.


October 3, 2009

Fields House of Torture and Riding Lessons

A small and not often narrated part of our business at Fields Quarter Horses is the riding lesson program we offer for chidren and adults. Sometimes our students have riding experience but mostly, our pupils are first-time riders. These students come armed with nothing more than a monumental desire to ride a horse. Occassionally, we even have students who have never even stood beside a horse before.

Our pupils range in age from six to sixty-six years old. Some come with parents, some drive themselves, some come with grandparents, and some just ride the bus after school and arrive at the barn. Some students ride for exercise, some for stress relief, some for the desire to compete, and some (one) because her probation officer demands it.

Today, Rachel put on her substitute teacher hat and taught the Saturday morning lessons. Her first student of the day was Jerney- a six year old who has attended our annual children's horse day camp for two years consecutively. Jerney fancies herself a proficient rider and approaches her lessons with great aplomb. She is a rather precocious child who must often be reminded of her manners and the barn rules. She takes her censure well and just smiles and sits up a little straighter. She tells us that she will show a horse this summer coming and will wear a shiny pink show outfit. Her parents are unaware of her plans- I believe.

Her second student provided great torture for Rachel. Kyra is a talented six year old daughter of a newly divorced police officer who is overly protective of his only child. Last week, Kyra's mother, Michelle,  met him at the barn to observe Kyra's lesson and discuss her riding schedule. Today, Michelle brought Kyra to her riding lesson- and brought 6 other children under the age of seven along. As Rachel attempted to point out the posted barn rules- no running, no unattended children, etc.- pandemonium ensued.  Rachel has experience as a "bouncer" at the local skating rink which her parents owned- she has been a guard there since her teenage days and she can typcially rule rowdy children successfully. Without her roller skates (Rule # 37- no skates in the barn), she found her super powers over children diminished and struggled through Kyra's lesson.  Rachel has now vowed to never have children.

The next lesson of the day was Reagan. Reagan is a 7 year old girl whose parents seem determined to find a sport for which she may have an affinity. She is terribly afraid of the horses and each week says at least 3 times during each lesson "I'm just so afraid". Her parents seem to not listen to her and we assure her that she is safe. She finishes her ride each week (just walking in a circle mostly) with white knuckles and out of breath because she is "just so nervous". Before she leaves the barn, she gives each horse a treat and promises to see them next week. Her dream is to someday ride Gunther- Amber's black gelding.

As Wayne, Tara, and I were attending Brittney's Intercollegiate HorseShow, we checked in often with Rachel to make sure the day was progressing  well. She "held the fort down" for us and we returned home this afternoon to an exhausted Rachel with a Hi-Point Team Award for Brittney's team. Brittney and Company (Morehead State University's Equestrian Team) are currently celebrating their win. Rachel is back on skates tonight "bouncing" rowdy children out of the roller rink, and we are busy blanketing horses for the chilly weather tonight.

October 2, 2009

The Fields Dictionary of Acceptable Terms and Phrases

As learned from such examples as Madagascar and Tasmania, when a set of people or organisms are closed off from the rest of the world, they can mutate and develop into their own unique civilization  As any tribal people, we are sometimes (during foaling season) closed off from the rest of the world.  At Fields Quarter Horses- like any close group of people- we have developed our own, unique dialect and way of communicating with one another. I thought, in the interest of science, that I would share some of these alterations that have occured within the habitat at our farm. Keep in mind, that these are regular phrases in our personal dialect that an outsider may find unusual.

"All Coked Up On Heroin": This phrase is used anytime someone is acting unusual. May be used frequently during periods of sleeplessness (particularly foaling season) as our behavior can become erratic. Origins: Tara works as a Paramedic in a large, inner city setting- people there are often "all coked up on heroin".

"Splain It To Me Lucy": For unknown reasons, sometimes one of us may see a mouth moving but not recognize the language coming from it as our native tongue. Can also be interchanged with "Huh?"

"The Witch Is On Her Broom": I have personally never used this terminology but have "heard" that it is used as a code to inform employees that I may be moving through the barn. I will investigate further before adding it to the Fields Dictionary of Acceptable Terms and Phrases.

"Stud Muffin": This refers to Chevy, who else? Sometimes varies, can also be used as Studly, The Man, or His Royal Highness.

"That's What She Said:" This is repeated no less than 23 times per day at our barn. Will the joke ever get old? Probably not. It still gets no less than 23 laughs per day.

"The Boss": Your guess is as good as mine.

"WTF?": This acronym has several meanings but the most usual is What's That Feed? Yeah, right.

"Hey": This is used for Hello and other usual greetings either on the phone or in person. You know you are one of us when you just get "Hey" when we answer the phone.

"It's Not My Day": This phrase is used in many different situations. It is usually used by someone who is avoiding a duty or task.

"Yeah, Baby": Stolen from Austin Powers, this phrase is most often heard in the indoor arena. It generally denotes that someone has achieved a succesful ride.

"That's Unfortunate": A choice phrase which is appropriate to use whenever we do not know what else to say. This phrase can be used in situations as "I'm getting a divorce".

"Is it Hot in Here or Is It Me?": This phrase is new to our vernacular. Khris has recently begun to use this phrase frequently.

"Circling the Drain": This phrasology is used to indicate that someone or something is failing, faltering, or nearing its end. It may often be heard when used in conjunction with the name of a stall cleaner.

"Look at the size of those balls...": While it may randomly be used around the barn, this phrase is likely to be heard at the favorite Italian Restaurant during lunchtime.

"Flippin, Friggin, Fiddle Fartin": All interchangeable but mean the same- really, really.

"Get Off The Nuclear Warhead": This phrase is used only during riding sessions- usually with an extremely young horse- to denote that someone should dismount quickly

"I'm Hungry": Perhaps the most used phrase at FQH, it may indicate that someone is actually hungry for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack, or a Blizzard from Dairy Queen. Variations can be found with different terminology- for example, Rachel will often declare "I'm Starving" but the intent is the same.

That is just a brief Rosetta Stone to some of the language which one may find at our farm. Until next time, in the words of Tim Gunn (my favorite male fashionista) "Carry On"!


October 1, 2009

Hustle & Flow

The raccoon ran his nimble fingers over the smooth ivory in front of him. Long and black, artistic and refined, his hands suggested the creativity welling inside him. Ringo was a controversy of nature- one of those occassional mistakes which reminds us of Her wonder and Her cruelty in the same instant. He hefted his bulk forward, scooting closer to the keys of the piano. The question begged an answer- how could this lumbering creature move with such graceful intent? Belying his cloddish appearance, he maneuvered with cultivation and a regal dignity deserved only by the greatest Maestros.

As he shifted on the polished ebony bech, his gray black pet rippled in a knot of muscle. Black unreflecting eyes focused on the baby grand as if it were a crawfish or some other shelled delicacy. Raccoons posses a unique ability to consider anything in great detail. His wilder, uneducated relatives might ponder a shiny bauble or the smooth surface of a stone for hours, but not Ringo. He was a civilized raccoon- educated in the world of the human since birth.  He had studied the gleaming piano for days. He had caressed the smoothness of it until the calluses on his palms knew each key and its own secret song.

He sat upright on the bench. Like the tail of a tuxedo his ringed posterior draped and dangled behind him- gray to blac, gray to black- the rings stacked one beside the next.  He poised his hands in a dramatic movement above the ivory keys. Trance-like, he sat unmoving staring into the empty space ahead of him. He could have been a statue but was betrayed by the movement of his long whiskers as they twitched furiously.

Suddenly, the whisker movements ceased. A hush filled the space around the raccoon and his instrument. And his fingers fell onto the keys.

Brlwrng- Gadwanck- Dralampk- clanked the ivory keys. Somewhere in the night, the ghost of Sebastian Bach shivered.

Ringo continued to raised and lower his arms onto the keyboard. The keys squawked in furious obedience as he pressed against them. His long nails tapped rhythmically with each touch and contributed to the harmony.

Flweep- Traldop- Cloinkkk- the melody continued.He closed his eyes and felt the chords deep in his soul. Soon, the pounding reached a frantic pace and it seemed he could not continue, Ringo was overcome with the joy of his music. When his fingers could no longer keep pace with the music in his soul, he opened his furry lips and began to sing. He rocked side to side, his head leading his body. His ringed tail swung to and fro with the force of his sway and his nose shot skyward. His voice combined with the pounding began to crescendo as the somewhat prehistoric song escaped from his throat.

Suddenly, a blow struck his back from somewhere in the darkness. He swallowed the chord in his throat and spun angrily to surmise its source. There in the doorway, stood Khris. She shot an even more threatening glance toward him and clutched her robe closely around the cotton night gown draping her body.

He had seen the threat foretold in her eyes before. Resentfully, he climbed dwon from his perch on the piano bench. As his feet silently padded the floor, carrying him away from the force of her stare, he glanced over his shoulder and said,

"Geesh, Man, you messed up my flow." And Ringo's bulk disappeared quietly into the shadows of the room.