Spring is here
and I have lots of plans! I'm so glad to be out of the cold;
now if I could just get some time at home to play with my ponies.
My biggest plan is taking 3 mares to the Inspections in June.
I say this is a big plan because all of my ponies have become
rather spoiled pasture potatoes. "Work! What's THAT?!"
Well, they are now on a program with the help of Melissa Roberts
and Tollie Banker. Hopefully by the time the show/inspections
come around, they will be able to do more than look cute, and
load for treats. I am also planning to bring Balmullo's Catfish
to the show. H graduated kindergarten and has gone on to elementary
school with Melissa. He should be ready for Junior-High by fall.
He is such a good boy.
I want to recognize
the ponies that won ACPS Achievement
Awards in 2009, that were born as a result of the Foothills Farms
breeding program: Balmullo's Cassiopia (Balmullo's
Beacon x Blue Hills Morning Star) with Janet Hibel, earned a Silver
Medallion in dressage Tuckaseegee's Dundee
(Foothills Waterman x Kid Sister) with Kathy Nebel, earned a Silver
Medallion in dressage. Also received the USDF Training Level
Vintage Cup Foothills Foggy Morning
(*Gun Smoke x Balmullo's Rhiannon) with Darian Hall, earned a
Certificate in dressage Foothills Waterman (Concord
River Roaringwater Bay x Misty Meadows Miss Bonnie) with Dana
Norquist, earned a Gold Medallion in eventing Black Dog's Fiona (*Gun Smoke
x Pestyside) with Carol Green, earned a Gold Medallion in eventing
Here is a note
I received from Kim Leitch on her Connemara cross, Piedmont
Harmony (a.k.a. "Grits") by Balmullo's
"I couldn't resist sending you the attached picture of Grits.
I took her to an Extreme Cowboy Race Course to school. She was
the star! She had to lead my friends' horses through the obstacles,
even though she had never seen them. She loved the mud! Kim"
I am very pleased
to welcome a new Christmas pony to FFC: Dreamcatcher's
Fyrestorme. She is a 5 yr old Connemara by *Gun
Smoke, out of Big Bear's MacCushula. So far, she has proven
to be a very sensible, quiet mare and has integrated easily into
the herd. I haven't had time to work her undersaddle yet, but
am looking forward to the opportunity over the Christmas holidays.
Hopefully we'll get some dry, and not too cold, weather.
A couple weeks
ago I has the pleasure of visiting my good friend, Donna Duckworth,
at Balmullo Farm in FL. As I
always hope, we took in a lovely ride in the Temple of the Universe.
I rode Donna's 3 yr old Connemara, Balmullo's Isabelle (below),
who was such a fun ride! Donna rode, Roary,
the Balmullo Farm Statesman. (Dec 09)
I also had the
pleasure of visiting Jane Burns, and riding her "Foothill"s
pony, Gus (below).
Lisa and I took
in some nice rides over Thanksgiving; her on Ruby
and me on Foothills Hopefilly.
Top photo - Chickamauga Battlefield; bottom photos - FFC in Athens,
Ruby has now
gone to be with Lisa at Blue Ridge Dream Farm in Montvale, VA.
Ruby and Lisa are like peas in a pod; they are perfect for each
to Pat Cunningham on her purchase of Foothills
Bobby Socks. He arrived at Pat's farm around 11/9/09. Pat
had this to say about his arrival:
I just wanted to let you know that Bobby is doing fine and I like
him a lot. I'm definitely glad I bought him. His temperament is
everything I was hoping for - very sweet, calm, and cooperative.
I've been trying to spend a lot of time with him this week, having
little lessons so I can see what he knows already and we can get
to know each other. It was good he came when he did because we've
had a week of good weather and next week I'm having arthroscopy
on my knee so I'll be in the slow lane for a bit. He is a very
good learner just like you said. I'm keeping everything soft and
low key so he will learn to trust me and I've been very impressed
at how light and responsive he is. He's going to be lovely to
ride. I was also impressed at how good he was with his feet when
I trimmed them. Anyway, he's starting to follow me around and
lip at my coat, so I think he's warming up to me! Mike has been
playing with him, so that's working out well too. He has a lot
of growing up to do, but I don't have any doubt that he's going
to be worth waiting for. Thanks again. Pat
Bea did a nice
job yesterday despite soggy footing & rain. I was really pleased
with our dressage warm-up but when I took her by herself up the
hill to the dressage arena and she went down the center line facing
the judges box, flowers etc, she 'lost it' a bit and it was difficult
to communicate with her for some of the test. Despite that, she
got a score of 37.9 and we took third in our division. It was
just elementary level, so expectations were not too high. When
we started XC, Bea was not so sure what was happening but she
didn't stop or cause me problems and by the end she was clearly
enjoying herself. I took much of the course at a trot until the
last few jumps just to keep it low key and because of the wet
conditions. I think she is the sort of horse that could get so
wound up as to stop enjoying her work, so pushing her too much
probably is a really bad idea. I think she,
overall, has a good time as she stays keen and has a good work
ethic. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and she surpassed my expectations.
Eventing will slow down here now and I'll look for some small
local indoor dressage shows for her until eventing starts up again
late in March. We're still working on stifle strengthening. I
have moved Bea about a mile from home to a friend's barn where
we can use the footed arena for the winter. That will be a big
help. My friend, Colleen, has two Connemara cross mares and the
three 'girls' go out together very well. I'm still taking care
of her much of the time as Colleen and I share the chores. So...you
can be proud of Bea --- I am! cheers, Elaine (Nov 09)
P.S. I've attached a photo from at the event....don't have any
'action' photos....so, you can see that Bea is looking good albeit
shaggy. This is before we competed....we were not so clean when
has a new driving pony! Meet Onslow (pictured below). Nope, he's
not a Connemara. He's a Fjord. (Nov 09)
first morning at King's Point. You guessed it! Those aren't Connemara's
Yes, we are
the proud owners of Beacon's Kaleigh,
a sweet pony that we bought this past spring for my daughter.
Kaleigh is a true delight and I'm finding I'm falling in love
with her more and more each day. Kelly, my daughter who is 9,
absolutely loves Kaleigh. These days they spend a lot of time
together under the persimmon tree just hanging out together while
Kelly knocks down persimmons for Kaleigh. What a pair! Kelly is
not showing Kaleigh yet but probably will in about a year or so.
I'm not pushing. Thank you so much for contacting us. This is
such a wonderful breed. A breed that I'm definitely sticking with!
Cindy (Oct 09)
Just wanted to
give you an update on Daddy's Money
AKA Precious (by Balmullo's Beacon)
She is doing so well! She impresses me every time she is worked...
She is doing awesome! We started her over fences about three weeks
ago and she loves it! Last weekend we took her to TTC's Schooling
Hunter show, I was amazed at her wonderful mind and sweet willing
attitude. She neighed once when she came off the trailer then
stood for hours, just happily eating her hay! I entered her in
2 classes, beginning hunter 18" and schooling hunter 2'.
She placed 5th in 18" and 1st in 2' and the classes were
full with 10-15 riders each.
Give Bubba a kiss and tell him that he should be proud of his
Talk to you later,
a couple from the hunter pace on Sunday. Faith was great and Clare
and I had a really nice ride. We were our own team and were a
little slow but had fun. This has been the first summer that Clare
has been old enough for us to do a lot of riding together and
it's really been fun for me. Clare and Faith might go out with
the hunt club on their pony club guest day in a couple of weeks
(in the second field - the slow group!).
Marion on Conor, (TB cross, by *Gun
Smoke) with the Woodford hounds 10/13/09
Carole and I
went to the National Drive again this year, at the KY Horse Park.
After settling the horses in on Thursday and setting up camp,
we went back to the barn to hitch and tack up for a short ride/drive,
while there was a little break in the weather. It turned out to
be a lot longer than we planned, when one of the mini's bucked,
bolted and dumped her driver, getting caught in the trees and
breaking the cart. Thanks goodness for Carole's 'spares box'!
Friday was a
wash; rained practically all day. We took that opportunity to
find a tack repair shop for all the broken halters I brought along,
and of course we did some shopping.
rains had stopped, but it was still cloudy and very cold. Carole
did the driving parade and I took TeaGo
for a nice long hack around the park and cross-country course;
he is so good about all the different driving rigs, mules, drafts,
minis and teams. Later that day, Carole and I went out on cross-country
with Cooper and Carole let me drive. I took super Cooper through
the water, in which he almost had to swim. It was quite deep from
all the rains the previous couple days. I had to put my feet on
the top rail of the cart to keep them from getting soaked. I also
got to drive my first cones course (though slowly, as the arena
was a bit busy) and it was tremendous fun. Later on we went for
a drive with Sue Curtis and her pair of Clydesdale-Dales geldings.
Sue let us each have a turn at driving. After all my fun with
Cooper and Sue's pair, my interest in driving is growing.
Sunday was the
Mimosa drive, which was delightful! The weather was perfect, the
scenery lovely and the horses wonderful. Regretfully, we had to
pack up and head back home for work on Monday.
Palm Beach Gardens,
FL: Janet Hibel has written to say that Balmullos
Cassiopeia (Balmullos Beacon X Blue Hills Morning
Star) qualified for the USDF Region 3 Championships at the Wellington
Classic Fall Challenge Dressage with a 64% in Training Level Test
4. She also got marks of 65% and 62% in Training Level Test 3
and her second-day Training Level Test 4 respectively. They also
were part of the winning team for the Team Championship. Janet
says,Got lots of training ahead to compete in the Regionals!!ACPS
Weekly Pony News 9/27/09
Foothills Foggy Morning passed inspection at the West
Coast Connemara Show! She also brought home a pile of ribbons
in hunters, trail, line and
dressage. She placed 3rd and 4th in the Open USEF, USDF dressage
with 65 and 66 scores. She has brought home several red and blue
ribbons in local
jumper and dressage shows. She has a "you ask, I deliver"
attitude. Darion (9/09)
and Keogh (by *Gun Smoke) showed at
Windrush Farms in Lenoir City, TN, in July. They received a dressage
score of 65% for a 2nd
place and a 63% for
Then they got
and a 5th and the second
Windrush show. I think we're done for the fall but we'll definitely
pick it back up in the spring. He is doing so well.
I sold Lazer
Lavender last year & when the new owner decided to sell
her this spring I bought her back!
We're eventing now, and she is already jumping training level.
She's been to 3 shows and has been all clear at all of them.
Here's a video from this last weekend of her schooling XC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYldYAXJWP0
There were cows on the XC course! and she schooled a prelim water
option, a full coffin, and weldons walls with no problems. She
is a super talented very forward thinking pony!
Lavender is turning into a super star eventer like her sire!!
I'm very glad you've decided to offer frozen semen for him, I'd
love to breed her mother to him again!! (Laura S 9/09)
*Gun Smoke) placed
first in a hunter-jumper
show in July. He is an exceptional half-bred who has a promising
career who is proving his ability in competitions.
and Bally Britta (photo below) completely
dominated the tadpole division at Jumping Branch CT on August
22 winning 1st
place and scoring a
25 on dressage and a clean round.
Bruiser surprised everybody by becoming a (potential)
father at just 14 months old! Balmullo's Miss Emma (Aladdin X
Oak Hills Miss Independence), retired from breeding after she
developed COPD, had been living with the babies since they were,
well, babies, and I didn't worry about her as every time Bruiser
approached her she would kick him. But when summer came and I
never saw her in heat I had her checked and low and behold, she
is to be a mother again. So she is having a bit of a difficult
summer but, hopefully, she will be 100% by the Spring when baby
Bru is due. The summer in Florida can be very hard on the ponies.
Bruiser is, luckily, (or he would have been a gelding long ago)
a big-boned, big moving, beautiful bay boy and will make a wonderful
breeding stallion. (Donna D 9/09)
Balmullo's Dixie Chick (*Gun Smoke X
Elphin Chickadee) started her training with Luke McLaughlin and
was a star. At just over two years old she walks, trots and canters
with never a foot wrong. (Donna D 9/09)
From the ACPS
Region IV Newsletter (9/09)
I thought you
might like to see some recent photos of Faith (Foothills Faithfilly, by Balmullo's Beacon). These are
from regional pony club D camp last week, where Clare got her
D2 rating. Clare and Faith are learning how to jump - although
it is mostly Clare who is learning. I'm pretty sure Faith was
born knowing how to jump. She is a great pony for Clare to learn
with - sensitive enough that she can really learn how to use the
aids but very kind and patient. All of the kids at our pony club
love to pet her because she's so sweet. We had regional camp for
3 days last week and then our local club camp that just finished,
so Faith is ready for a week off! My proudest moment was on the
first day of local camp during the grid lesson. Of course the
grid starts out easy and gets harder... it ended up with a 2'
oxer at the end of 3 elements, which was bigger than either one
of them had ever jumped before, but the instructor didn't know
that. I was cringing and bracing for the worst but Faith popped
through it like she had done it a hundred times. She got 2 carrots
I read about the Region 4 show. I'm glad you are having fun with
Bubba and getting out with him. There is going to be a Midwest
Breeders show at the end of August about 2 hours south of here.
We're going to go and take Faith (Clare insists) and Mike Mulligan
who is 2 now and rapidly filling out. He looks like he'll be 14.1
and a perfect type for hunters. Really lovely conformation and
movement and very athletic. I'll try to get some photos at the
show. Pat (August 09)
Palm Beach Gardens,
FL: Janet Hibel reports that Balmullo's
Beacon X Blue Hills Morning Star [by Blue Hills Boy])
went to her first USDF rated show this weekend in Tampa, Florida.
Janet says, Her scores were 66% in Training Level Test 3
for first place, and 69.6% in Training Level Test
4 for a second place, with her first Qualifying Score
for the USDF Regional Championships. I received my first "9"
in a rated show! Janet says she just needs one more qualifying
score to make it to Regionals. She noted some of the comments
from the judges such as "lovely horse" and "this
horse is worth millions." Janet added that conditions for
the show were rain, thunder and lightning but Cassie
kept her cool. (8/09)
Smokey Bay) is doing
incredibly well, I started her in July and we are happily trotting
all over the place! She has been a dream to start, in fact I didn't
get on her for a couple of weeks and just threw the saddle on
one nite and picked up where we left off, no big deal for her:)
I'm hoping to take her to a little local show in Sept for a walk/trot
class. I took her to this same show in June for an in hand class
(which she placed 3rd in) just to get her off the farm and used
to being tied up to trailer for day in strange place. She handled
everything well, I'm so pleased with her! I've attached a pic
of us in the ring the other nite, camera (or Andy) was focusing
very well but you can get an idea of what she looks like now.
I personally think she's just beautiful but then I'm a little
biased:) I can really see Gunsmoke in her.
I'm going to go ahead and breed Sophy next year, if I can bear
to not have her to ride. I'm hoping to start trail riding her
this fall, there is a county trail group I want to get involved
in. I have a friend with a small teaching program in SC that I'm
toying with the idea of sending Sophy to her to use in the summer
and get some show miles on her. (Beury S 9/09)
Smoke x TB) won 2nd
place at BN Horse Trials,
KY Horse Park on 6/20/09
Hi Vanessa, Here
is a link
to updated pictures
of Penelope. She is doing great, I moved her
to a new trainer and the sky is the limit with this mare. I'm
not showing this year, but I took her to three shows last summer
and she was really good and fun to show. Her new trainer used
to train and show Arabians and is very patient and consistent.
Penelope has really responded well and is turning into a very
polished ride with a great attitude. I'm very happy and proud
of her. Michelle (July 09)
First Place Stallions, 3 and under, at the 2009
MidWest Connemara Breeders Show Elmshoot's Krispin O'Thule (*Gun Smoke x Ridgetop Thule Mist)
the attachment will get through to you with photos of Foothills MayBee on Sunday at the Region III show.
She was a doll and I enjoyed the
whole day (I'm smiling in every pic) and I think she did too.
I took her only in flat classes as her stifles are not quite ready
for 'showtime jumping' yet, but they are improving with lots of
hillwork and some lateral stuff. She won some points and Anne
Moe (show secretary) is going to send me the numbers---she did
sign the form, so Bea will have some performance points toward
year-end awards, as you requested. This is the first time I have
shown her, so I kept it low-key. I loved
seeing all the Connemara and other ponies and can't wait for next
year. I even bought Bea an 'official' Connemara dressage pad and
myself a Connemara hat!! I must be hooked. Bea looks happy in
every photo. I think she loves showing off. The only time she
'pulled a face' for the entire day was when another pony was allowed
to graze with his bridle on in front of her.....she literally
glared at him. Mostly, she was perfectly content to stand beside
me between classes just watching all the others. (When you view
the photos----- we were in the 'green hack class #7 and 9 and
the 'Half-Century Limited' class (which was very fun); you will
recognize Bea and I am wearing a dark hacking jacket and grinning
PONY SOCIETY 2009 REGION III ANNUAL SHOW, Glenwood Park, Middleburg,
Green Connemaras Under Saddle
3. Foothills Maybee,
R9, Bright Green
1. Foothills Maybee,
I saw a lovely
photo of you in the Newsletter on Bee's sire and I read that you
had a clinic with Jimmy Wofford. He may be my favorite
clinician. I leased my event mare to him when I lived in the UK
in the mid-90's---I felt that she was in the very best of hands.
I bet you had a great time (and were highly challenged!). Hope
all is well with you and your family (horses too, of course).
All the best, Elaine (July 2009)
cross country schooling of the season today. Fiona was great!
She schooled the whole novice course and a few training level
jumps (like the one in the pic below). 7/09
Vanessa, We have been teaching the four year olds to jump and
is really quiet and business-like; he's a really fine guy and
approaching sixteen hands. We had so much fun at the show and
have been scheming how to bring Britta's carriage next year, as
she is a really competent carriage horse as well. Take Care, Mary
Bee is doing fine
and seems to be enjoying herself. We've had lots of rain, so lots
of grass. She completely destroyed her grazing muzzle so I have
to keep her and the
other 'buxom' girl, Mabel, in the 'sacrifice' paddock all day
and only let them on pasture at night. So, they lounge around
most of the day in the run-in under the fan. A few days ago, I
took Bea for a gastroscopy to make sure she isn't developing any
ulcers from the big changes in herlife---she has no symptoms of
ulcers---I was just checking. She is
fine. I think I told you she had her teeth done. She is wearing
a pair of front shoes now. She and I are doing some road work
to get her fitter and more used to things so the shoes are useful
for that. She has a terrific farrier who passed his certification
(after 5 years of training) in England---he is wonderful and he
Today I took a lesson from Wendy Murdoch; you might have heard
of her. She is carrying on the legacy of Sally Swift (Centered
Riding). She did a great job with helping me to try to stay soft
and balanced on Bea and we got some really nice relaxed work.
Wendy said that Bea and I make an extremely good team and that
I should definitely consider trying to buy her . (She mentioned
it first...I didn't bring it up!). I know you don't want to sell
her but I want to mention it because I think about it a lot. I
have already grown so close to that mare---she is part of the
So, in short, she seems content and I'm continuing to take the
best care of her that I know how to do. I'm hoping to show her
at the regional Connemara show in July. I don't know anything
about showing in hand, so any tips are welcome! They have added
a combined test, and she and I will definitely do that although
it is very early days in her training;
it will be just for fun. I will keep you posted. Take good care,
Elaine (June 09)
11 year old pony mare Balumullo's Cassiopia has been purchased
by Dr. Janet Hibel of Palm Beach Gardens Florida and is currently
in training in Dressage with Stephanie Fish of Palm City, Florida.
She was owned by a little girl doing the pony hunters at a quarter
horse barn in Palm City. Everyone at my barn loves her, she is
so beautiful and has a wonderful temperament. I will be hopefully
showing her myself this fall at Wellington in dressage. I'll get
a picture to you when I can. Janet Hibel (June 09)
Here are some updated photos of Fiona. (by *Gun Smoke).
I am very happy with my Gunsmoke grandkids by WH Top Gun. I have a 1/2
bred and a purebred, both fillies, both very nice! Hope all is
well. Beth D. (June 09)
we had a great time at the ACPS Region VI show, and will definitly
try to come next year. The Jimmy Wofford eventing clinic was fantastic.
Thanks for the picture. It was so fun seeing Bubba do his thing
(see his photo below)..Mary (June 09)
ps Peidmont Palmetto trotted his first cavelletti today..
below: Ballybritta at the clinic; ridden by Alice
Verbrick; owned by Mary Hughs