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Archive for January, 2011

Creamy curls!

Beautiful Magnolia!

I just love it when the curls start coming in with the winter weather! And since we are a bit warmer here, it can take a bit longer for that to happen. But, here they come now! Magnolia’s curls just look like dripping vanilla ice cream! She is such a sweet girl too, and really loves going for walks and being groomed. She is a real doll! She has a new video too, on her web page, so you can see it there.

Meoquanee with her yearling curls.

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Below is a post that I made recently on the Ride A Curly blog page, and I thought I would share it too here, for those that might not see it elsewhere. It is the same blog as on that page, so if you have read it there, I can save you some time – it is just a repeat.  :O)  This was a really unique opportunity for us, and for the Curly breed, and I am so appreciative for those that helped to make it possible, for those that shared words of encouragment during and after the event, and for the Lamb’s for giving our great breed this honor.  I will probably have a post of this on my webpage too – this farm girl doesn’t even get to town much, except to go to church and the feed store……and when my family has that “the cupboard is bare mom” look in their eyes, so this was a pretty exciting event for my year.  :O)  Ok, actually,  probably for my life even. 

Alek with one of our little girls - Chama.

We have just had a very neat experience that REALLY stretched me in all directions! About 4 weeks ago, Brandon Bennett of Curly Pines Ranch, a Curly breeder and friend, contacted me – Rick Lamb of The Horse Show on RFDTV ( http://www.thehorseshow.com )had called him about doing a program on the Curly.

Sedonia gets a good brush down.

 They had wanted to come to his farm to do the filming – but Brandon – generous friend that he is, directed them to me, and well……yes indeed, the Lamb’s did want to do the program, and even after our initial conversation, I did not manage to scare them away, and they did come to our farm yesterday and filmed the program!

Enna takes Magnolia for a stroll.

These last 4 weeks have been filled with long days and sleepless nights – cleaning up around the farm, trying to knock the cobwebs down in the house, scraping all our junk “under the rug” so to speak……and the fun part – lots of hands on time with all the Curlies!!! Spirit (one of our stallions) had more baths in the last 4 weeks than he had in the previous year / all the mares and youngsters were led, groomed, trimmed and polished up as often as possible – many got every day attention, and I want you to know, they soaked it up!

Maelie LOVES getting extra attention!

  My two youngest spent their Christmas vacation helping me lead and groom Curlies / shovel manure / feed and do general farm cleanup. My ever-patient and willing husband, Charles, did more than his part in sprucing up around the farm, moving equipment, and helped with the horses too when available. It was a great time of “everything Curly” – and even though it was tiring, we all loved it! Somehow we even managed to find time for family and celebrating Christmas!

Amidst all the work and preparations, I seemed to find plenty of time for worrying about how all this would work…..what would I say, how would the horses act, what would they think of our breed?  I wanted so badly to do the best I could for the Curly – they have been such a joy for us, and I feel a great responsibility to steward this breed for the next generations. I felt incredibly inadequate! I wanted them to pick someone else for this ever-important task!! I knew that anyone could and would do a better job than me!!! After my first few hours of initial shock that this was actually going to happen – and pondering “why me” – I got an overwhelming understanding that I had nothing to do with getting myself to this point, and that I was right – I WAS underqualified to do anything like this…..but for some reason, God laid this in my path, and I wanted to do the very best that I could.

Jennifer and Brandon gave freely of their time and help!

Brandon Bennett (you remember him from earlier in the story – from Curly Pines Ranch) and his wife Jennifer very graciously offered to come down the day before and help us any way they could before and during the filming! Oh, what a life saver they were!!! They unloaded after a 4 hour drive with a “what can we do to help” attitude, and shoveled manure, groomed horses, organized halters – they were an amazing team! With their two sons – Rowan, 4, and Finn, 2 – they worked and encouraged and kept us focused and smiling through the whole event! Brandon, Jennifer, Rowan and Finn – we couldn’t have done it without you!!!!!

Rick Lamb and wife Diana setting up the cameras.

Spirit had another bath the day before….then when I turned my back, he promptly laid down WHILE TIED and rolled in the dirt!  He was happy though! Silly boy.  :O)  Thankfully, all the deep dirt was out, and the surface dirt didn’t stick too badly. Feeding / putting horses back in their turnouts / pens / rolling up water hoses / shoveling more manure and the last minute details of burning some photos to a cd for the Lambs.  Then some sleep!

Friday morning came, and we hit the ground running – feed, shovel manure, grooming the horses again – Brandon and Enna did a great job picking the hay from manes, and spiffing everybody up – Jennifer was there with her encouraging words, and with boys in tow, she did everything from getting lunch ready to making me feel like I was actually doing a good job.

Then the Lambs arrived and the excitement really began! We immediately felt comfortable with Rick and Diana; we all have a common love – horses, so we should have known that we would be friends from the start! They started looking at the Curlies, and were AMAZED from the beginning by their coats and their dispositions!

Brandon was a great camera man!

We walked over to the holding pen where the mares and youngsters were – and Rick stated “let’s get started!” Cameras, microphones, this is your spot, Charles and Enna were wrangling horses from in front of the cameras…..AND !!!! They even asked Brandon to run one of the cameras!!! Everyone just pitched in and did what was needed, and it was a pretty cool event. 

A quick lesson on filming.

I was as nervous as a cat about to have a Christmas bath, and I kept trying to remind myself that I was not in control here!  It was pretty easy when we were first talking about things – I love to talk Curly, so that kind of comes natural – but if we had to do something over (because a horse walked in front of the camera, or the lighting changed, or I made some mistake), I found it INCREDIBLY hard to try and repeat what I had said.  It would make me even more nervous, and I felt like I was rambling and uummming and stumbling all over the place for words!  Jimminy crickets – did I sign up for this?! 

Spirit is watching all the activity.

 The Curlies on the other hand did wonderfully! The entire group of girls were so serene and relaxed – even with all the new folks and equipment around. I was so pleased to see their Curly temperaments shining through! Yep, they chewed on the camera tripod – even turned it over once, and sure enough had their noses stuck in the end of the lens most of the time! Maelie Mylie and Anibey had decided to take a nap in the middle of us getting set up – so they had to be rebrushed (somehow I think they knew that would get them another brushing).  The Lambs really liked their personalities, their size, their builds, and their different coats and colors. It was there first time to be around Curlies, and it truely seemed to me that they were impressed with the breed!

And now Spirit gets his turn to be on camera!

We left the mares and went to see Spirit (one of our stallions). Charles had haltered him earlier, and had said “he’s a bit jumpy – he had static electricity in his coat, and I shocked him when I touched him to put his halter on”……..all good I thought – maybe we can get some action footage from him if we take him to turnout. Spirit can be VERY theatrical with his movements when he has a mind to, and is really fun to watch. But then other times, all he wants to do is eat  :O)  he is a VERY food oriented boy!  We did a couple of “takes” at his pen – leading him in and out (I’m sure he was thinking – what are you all doing???) and then we took him to turnout. 

Hoping for some action.

 Umm – he evidently didn’t read the script, and missed his cue that he was supposed to run around and look handsome…….he just started looking for scraps of hay and remnants of mare manure to sniff.

Charles giving the umbrella a workout!

 So Charles brought out the popping umbrella, and I ran a mare down the fence line to try and get him “excited”…..and I think they did finally get some movement shots from him.  Too fun!

Why can't I just eat the hay?

  Then Rick asked if he could catch him – sure thing, so I passed him the lead rope!  He headed out to get him…….and I knew Spirit was thinking – what are you people trying to pull – you dump me out here, chase me with an umbrella, taunt me with a mare, and won’t let me eat……then you just want to grab me again? 

Rick and Spirit heading back to the pen.

 I could see that “look” on his face – that “hey, this isn’t fair” look that our Curlies can get – but Rick is a horseman, and he too could sense Spirit’s emotion of the moment, and with just a little bit of allowing the “catch” to be Spirit’s idea, they joined up, and Rick led him QUIETLY from the field, and all the way back to his pen!  How cool is that!!! We then ate lunch / talked more Curly / horse / family etc.

A friendly "handshake"

Heading in for lunch.

And then, we did a segment on the use of Curly fiber in arts and crafts.

Curly fiber pony ~ made by Jenn Scharf.

I had purchased handspun yarns, fiber, and Curly fiber ponies from Jenn Scharf of Double J & D Acres in British Columbia, and some more fiber from Bunny Reveglia… and the Lambs were really intrigued by this other interesting fact of our incredible Curlies! They did not realize that such beautiful things could be made from their fiber – just another interesting fact of our great breed!!!

Some of Jenn's beautiful yarns!

And then just one more thing – one more stretch – Rick wanted to record a radio interview…..and I was thinking I was going to get lucky and get to sit this one out – I thought Brandon was his target for this “show” …..but I somehow got pulled into it too – so it was the three of us talking Curly together – which was actually fun! Except that I was also about to loose my voice by now! 

I guess the hardest part of the whole day, was just feeling like – oh, oops, I meant to say that this way – or, wait – I forgot to include this. Or maybe I would have something on my mind, but I just couldn’t get it out the way I envisioned.  Brandon has such a gift with words, and putting his thoughts to speach – you will enjoy what he had to say when you hear the radio program. But me – yikes! I wondered how many times I could actually say that these horses are “really cool”  ???!!!! Rick promised me that they would be editing things and putting it together nicely, but I KNOW for sure that their editing skills will be the next thing that will be stretched!

Rowan goes for a ride in Mr. Ed's cart with Enna leading the way with goat cookies!

It was an exhausting day – but oh so fun to get to share the time with Curly friends – and to get to introduce someone new to the breed – that is always a great time!!!  When the dust had cleared, and my head finally hit the pillow last night – I could feel the tears just under the surface.  Had I done my best? Had I presented our great breed the way it deserved? Even though I tried my best, I didn’t feel like it was good enough. I thought of a thousand things I wished I had said – things I wished I had not said – things that would have perhaps made it better.  When I woke up this morning, I resolved that I would try to do better. Better photos, better training, better care – our Curlies always seem to want to do better for us – they always seem to try so hard – and I want to do the best I can for them. They deserve it!

My youngest son Alek had my camera in his hands yesterday, so he caught the day for us in photos. Those are most of what you see here.

Charles and I with Rick and Diana.

The radio program will air in the next week or two – and the filmed program will be on in March I believe. I will get the dates to you when we know them…..or you may check them out on Rick Lamb’s website http://www.thehorseshow.com 

Alek and Enna - we could not have gotten ready for this without their help!

I am so grateful to Charles for all his support – and for the great Curly community that we have. Thanks also to Linda VavRosky of Creekside Curlies and Sis Hammack of H Creek Ranch for sending photos – those were great! This breed really is great isn’t it! And no one person can say enough or do enough on their own to express all that they are – it takes us all, and I truely appreciate everyone’s efforts!

For the love of the Curly!

Barbara Carroll, Stag Creek Farm

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And the fourth ~

I forgot to post the photos of our fourth new mare! This lovely girl is possibly a full sibling to Apple Tart, having come from the same breeder – who had gotten his stock from Joe Mead. We are so glad to add her to our family! She sort of just found us – being right down the road. Her owner had moved here from North Dakota last spring, and brought this jewel with her! We are quite excited that this red dun appaloosa Curly will now be back in the breeding pool!

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New faces…

There have been some additions to the Curly members of the Carroll / Stag Creek Farm family, and each one of them has worked

Our first Appaloosa color genetics Curly.

Okie "J" mares - Frosty and Toco!

their way right into our hearts! Watch for their web pages to be added to our site soon…..but for now – here are a few photos of the first three – and one more to come. I hope you are having a great New Year, and that God will bless you with lots of new companions this year – whether they be two legged of 4!  :O)  Happy trails!

Frosty is a BIG girl!!!

Toco sports lovely grulla curls on a tall frame.

Apple Tart – a Straight ABC mare from Joe Mead stock.

Sweet and beautiful!

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