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Bel Joeor Sale and Giveaway!

Amanda from Bel Joeor is hosting a big sale on her Etsy site and a giveaway on her blog!  She makes beautiful saddle covers and bags.  I highly recommend checking out her shop and entering her contest.  


Once a Morgan person, always a Morgan person!

Facing an empty stall and a mopey old Standardbred mare, I knew I would have to find another horse.  I don't really feel ready, but at the same time, it's hard to not fill the empty spot in my heart with another horse.  I can ride Dreamy, but at age 26 we are pretty limited to walking rides (with a little trot and canter!), and I don't dare do too much with her because she is what I would call pasture sound.  Not lame, but definitely she has a little hitch in her trot.

Despite the fact that I have enjoyed working with my Standardbred mares over the last fourteen years, my first love was the Morgan horse.  My first horse, Sparky, was from the Joydale Morgan Farm here in Maine, where I began my riding career, and her sire and dam were both Kennebec Morgans.  I learned to canter on Sparky's sire (the most well mannered stallion I have ever met), and I helped train her dam to go under saddle after she had been a broodmare for many years.  Before Sparky even came along to me, the very first horse I learned to train from the ground up was her full sister.  So there was no doubt in my mind that someday I would own another Morgan, preferably a chestnut mare, and even more preferably, a Kennebec.

Kennebec Morgan Farm is located in Woolwich (pronounced Wool-itch) and owned by a wonderful woman named Margaret Gardiner.  Ms. Gardiner is now 95 years old, and I knew that if I wanted one of her babies, I really couldn't wait.  I messaged her barn manager last week and we drove up to look at what was for sale.  As luck would have it, they had a yearling and a four year old mare for sale (who I later found out was actually five years old LOL).  I met them both, as well as their dam and sire and all the other Morgans still at the farm.  Ms. Gardiner doesn't have any heirs and it doesn't seem as though there will be any more breedings.  It didn't take long for me to fall in love and decide to buy the young mare, Kennebec Elegance.
Meet Ellie!  Photo sent by text from the BM - I went to myself, yep, she's mine!
Also sent by the BM

Cutest face the day I picked her up
Known as Ellie, she is a 14.1 hand liver chestnut out of Kennebec Rejoice, who is a Kennebec Count daughter, and by Triple S Dark Eagle.  Her pedigree is here.  She has been lightly started under saddle and has an incredibly sweet personality.  I brought Ellie home on September 2, which gave me the long weekend to get her settled in to the farm.  She has never left her birthplace, where she was turned out in a group with her dam and full sister.  She got right onto my trailer first try and trailered home as quiet as a mouse, despite never having been on a trailer.  It is a two hour ride, four hours round trip, so I stopped about halfway home to check on her because she was SO quiet!  She gave me a look that said, "Oh, hi, what do you want?" and it made me laugh out loud.  She has been a little spooky and pushy here at my farm, but nothing serious and certainly nothing I wouldn't have expected from a horse that is completely out of her comfort zone with a person she doesn't know.  


Just before we left KMF

Saturday she spent the afternoon turned out and in the evening she wasn't sure she wanted to enter the barn, because it seemed like a strange place and she could hear and smell the cattle.  Yesterday the remnants of Hurricane Harvey showed up as pouring rain around 1pm, so after the morning outside, she spent the afternoon inside and I brushed her in the evening, as well as put the stick on her to see if my 14.1 hand prediction was correct (it was!).  Today she has been much more relaxed in turnout and we did a little in-hand session.  She was pretty dancy on the crossties, which could be inexperience as well as her nerves, but she was great in hand in the ring, moving away from pressure, walking over ground poles, checking out the drag for the cattle, and trotting in hand.  We walked through the Christmas trees, tried out the hose (she was OK with her front legs hosed, but definitely will need to learn about being hosed/bathed off), and practiced walking in and out of the barn and around the "scary" dump trailer that is parked next to the horse trailer.  My Stubben jump saddle looks like it will fit her, which is great, and as soon as my fitter gets back to me, I will have my DK dressage saddle fitted to her.  I even found Sparky's old dressage show pad with the Morgan breed logo patch, so I guess I saved it just for this!  ;-)


HOME!

The barn kids groomed and braided her in anticipation of me picking her up - so freaking cute!



The view from the porch

Checking out the Christmas trees - the Standardbreds were afraid of them LOL!  How funny the difference between horses who were raised on the track versus those raised on a farm... ;-)
I watch Ellie graze, trot, and canter around my front field, and I see my childhood.  I see that typey Morgan head and body and distinctive trot, and I see the horses I grew up with.  She feels like home.

Denny Emerson posted on his Tamarack Hill Facebook page yesterday about how he acquired his Morgan mare, Roxie, and it was honestly the funniest thing to see him articulate something at the same time I am feeling it.  He states, "I had always assumed that I would get another Morgan 'someday' [and] that someday ought to be now" and "I still basically considered myself a 'Morgan person' but one on a temporary holiday, I guess." 



As I was leaving Kennebec Morgan Farm on Saturday, one of their borders (I'm assuming) stopped me as she was pulling in and I was leaving.  She rolled down the window and asked, "Are you Ellie's new owner??"  When I said yes, she assured me, "Oh, you are going to love her!"

I replied, "I already do."  

So welcome home, Ellie!  We are off on a wonderful adventure!  

Comments

APitts said…
Congratulations!! She is a lovely girl! Can't wait to hear about your new adventures :)
Dom said…
She is super cute and I love her face. Congrats!! I love a good old fashioned Morgan <3
What a cutie. I've always loved Morgans. Especially the old fashioned types. Congrats!
TeresaA said…
Oh congratulations! I quite like Morgans. A friend of mind had an older one and he was such a character and a blast to ride.
emma said…
Aw this makes me so happy!! I'm glad you have a special new face on the farm to get to know and love!!! She looks so sweet!!
Martidoll said…
omg i grew up riding Morgans too and actually LOVE the Kennebac Morgan line. I always wanted one!! I am so jealous :) LOL She will be a fantastic horse for you. You should drive her too. All our Morgans were great driving horses too (we had Upwey Ben Don and other older lines in our Morgans too). I can't wait to follow your journey she is just gorgeous. Congrats!! you brought a smile to my face today thank you (And i too am sure I will have another Morgan down the road). Enjoy her!
Karen said…
CONGRATS! Love those old Kennebec lines. Sad that there won't be anyone to continue breeding but they have certainly made an impact on the Morgan breed. Ellie looks fantastic!!
Laura said…
Congrats! How exciting and bittersweet for you. She is a super pretty mare. Can't wait to read about your adventures with her!
Awww, thank you! And yes, you will definitely have another Morgan someday. The love for them never fades! :-)
Thank you! I know, I am super sad to think there won't be any more, at least for now. They still have three stallions at the farm, but I am not sure if they will keep breeding or what may happen. :-( Everything is up in the air.
Thank you! She will definitely be needing her own custom browbands as soon as you are all settled in your new home/studio!!!! ;-)
There really is nothing better! :-)
They are so full of character and personality! I had forgotten how exhausting a redheaded Morgan mare can be hahaha! ;-)
OnTheBit said…
I love, love, love getting the full story on your new girl! I know it is soon, but when things fall in to place you just need to roll with it. I have a place in my heart for my Thoroughbreds, but my Morgan friends all swear that if they can get me to fall in love with a Morgan, I will never go back. Considering I rode at UConn and their Morgan breeding program and still somehow found a way to fall in love with a TB there I think I am a lost cause :P

I think you are in for good times, and you picked the perfect time of year to get a young one, you get to mess around now with the basics, some time to chill and then get to see what you want to do in the spring!
Anonymous said…
So exciting! She is adorable, and I can't wait to hear more about her and your journey!
I have always loved morgans too... a tb x morgan is on my bucket list!