MEET THE CURRENT MEMBERS OF WEBER'S FARM FAMILY in the slideshow below.
PHOTOS FROM AROUND THE FARM
Harley relaxes on a friend's back.
So relaxed he falls asleep!
Aly Cat, Good Job, and Mikey
Teddy & Zarr grazing in the front pasture.
Above- Alex stretching his legs.
"Tanner" enjoying life on the farm.
Attraction enjoying a romp n the snow.
Above-three friends enjoy a fall day.
Below-two friends hanging out.
Above-senior mares, Blackjack and Rika, enjoy a trot through the field.
Above-Joe & Sonny enjoying a perfect summer evening.
Above-Buddies Andy and Marcus
Above-visitors are always welcome!
Below-A lazy fall afternoon
Above-Naptime on a winter afternoon-Life is Good!
Above-view as you approach the farm. Below-one of the back pastures
Above-Best buddies! Below-One of the many trails of the farm.
Above-One of the shelters in the pastures.
Above- Rob standing by one of the creeks on the farm. Below-Our favorite place to sit and watch the horses in the pasture with a morning cup of coffee, pull up a rocker and join us anytime.
ARCHIVED BIOGRAPHIES OF "FEATURED FARM FAMILY MEMBERS"
Aly Cat and Suzanne
"ALY" is an OTTB, bred and raised in Washington State. He is a wonderfully outgoing, playful, people oriented horse and we really developed a strong bond. As soon as he would hear my car pull up he would be completely focused on me watching my every step around the barn. But like many race horses, he has had far more than his share of hard knocks.
Aly started life at the track and was raced for many years as a claimer and had an amazing 76 starts! Sadly, he often brought up the end of the pack but was kept racing despite his dismal record. Eventually he did end up at auction and was lucky enough to find a new owner who bought him as an eventing prospect. With his lovely gaits he always won the dressage and did well enough up to Training level but clearly wasn’t going to be the upper level eventer she hoped for. Happily for me and for him (I hope!) that meant he found his new home with me. I was planning to do lower level eventing on him but at the pre-purchase exam the vet made it clear that given his back problems I could event for a few years at most, or hopefully, I could do many years of dressage. Of course at that point I had fallen in love so the decision was easy and that is how we started our dressage career together.
I wish I could say it was smooth sailing from that point on but that was not to be the case. We did manage several very successful seasons competing at Training and First level but set-backs included a serious knee injury in turn-out and worsening of his kissing spine. And as Kim & Rob can attest, that horse has the craziest problems! The strangest one was finding that a porcupine quill had been embedded in his abdomen for many years, eventually becoming quite infected and requiring significant surgery. His case was so unusual he was featured in Tuft’s Veterinarian magazine as mystery case of the month! Not a distinction I would recommend to anyone!
Eventually it became clear that despite all my efforts to keep him happy under the saddle, the time had come, at the relatively early age of 16, to retire him. It was a very difficult to decision to send him down South as he and I had become very bonded during all his ups and downs and I couldn’t imagine life without him close by. But I knew it was in his best interest to send him somewhere warmer with equine buddies to play with. As you all know life with the Webers in Kentucky is as close to horse heaven as it gets, and as much as I miss him, I’m happy that after all he has been through over the years he now enjoys the best possible life I can give him.
Suzanne and Aly
ALY, on left, with his retirement buddies.
Maris and Symphony
"Symphony" joined our family, as a show horse for Ariel, in 2000 when he was 8 years old, fresh of the airplane from the Netherlands. He is the spitting image of his father Ulft; we knew we had a gem! He spent the next two years teaching Ariel the ropes of competing and showing, including showing at finals, before she left for college in 2002 when Maris took over riding him full time. Unfortunately they only had a few short months together before Symphony tore his suspensory ligament in his left hind leg, a week before going to equitation finals with Maris. This injury was devastating and took 3 years of slow rehabilitation before he was fully recovered. Maris had the pleasure of being able to show him in the amateur owner hunters, during her freshman and sophomore years in college. Symphony then was leased to many children along the east coast, and traveled down to Florida, West Virginia, and Connecticut, teaching them about the horse show world and showing them the way around children’s hunter and equitation courses. After a few years, he found his way back to us when he became symptomatic from the tick borne disease ehrlichia, requiring a two week hospitalization at the Tufts University vet school. Unfortunately, his bout with the disease weakened his tendons and following it he had repeated soft tissue injuries. After two years of attempts to rehabilitate, we sadly decided to retire Symphony. Even though he was always happy to work and would give everything when asked, his body was tired of the riding life. Over the time we have had Symphony, we celebrated multiple graduations (high school and college), attended countless horse shows, drove thousands of miles in a trailer and endured numerous rehabilitations through cold winter days (and even having him roll in the ring’s we walked around, when it was the middle of winter and he wasn’t allowed to be turned out!). After spending ten years with him around the corner from us and taking care of his aches and pains, it is sad to have him so far away. Seeing him fat and sun-bleached, and playing in the fields with his horsey friends, brightens our day every time we see him living the life he deserves. He truly is a special horse and we, along with the many children he has taught along the way, have been lucky to have him in our lives.
Ariel and Symphony
Maris and Symphony
Goldie and Nanette
"Black Gold" (Goldie) aka.....I am pretty and I know it.............imported from Germany, Hanoverian mare by Wolkenstein II. Goldie had a very successful developing horse career in Canada ridden by her then owner Lee Tubman (USDF Judge) through 2nd level with her scores in the 70's. When purchased in 2010 by her present owner, Nanette Love, Goldie was schooling Prix St. George. Goldie showed her most promise with easy beautiful changes, with the talent to do ones at the age of seven. Incredibly athletic, she had the true quality to become a lovely Grand Prix partner. However, in 2011 she was sidelined with a right suspensory injury after jumping out of her paddock. After several months of recovery, Goldie was sent to be trained by international rider and USDF president, George Williams. Goldie had two successful winters in Wellington, Florida, But as the training increased her old injury seemed to return. After an MRI, it was discovered that our beautiful Goldie, "horse of my dreams", had a deep digital tendon injury. Again, not giving up we gave her a year to heal, but after a month in Florida, her injury was evident again. I was heartbroken and still am, but Goldie and I have been very blessed to find Weber's Retired Horses. Owner's Rob and Kim have been so patient with helping Goldie adjust to becoming just a horse and being part of a herd. Thank you, Kim, Rob, and Bob.
George Williams atop Goldie with owner, Nanette Love.
Goldie enjoying her retirement at Weber's.
"Blackjack" – an original Spanish Mustang
Blackjack, May 2013
"Blackjack" was rounded up by the BLM on Riddle Mountain, Oregon in 1987 and identified as an original Kiger bloodline mustang. Three years of age, she was purchased at a BLM sale in South Carolina in 1987 and transported back to her home in North Carolina. After reviewing the papers and seeing that she flunked out of the prison program in Wyoming and had sent two prisoners to the hospital I decided she should go under saddle training for 90 days with a young cowboy trainer that knew mustangs. While at the stable she put one stable worker in the hospital. The owner of the stable was known as the “Mustang Man” and just said good help was hard to find. Always spirited and never broken, she needed an experienced rider up until her golden years when she was used in children’s 4H. I never found her to be dangerous and she never was unkind to me. She did not tolerate attitude well and anyone who thought they were bigger and better found themselves on the ground pretty quick.
My favorite story about Blackjack was the night someone tried to steal her. They pulled a horse trailer off the road about a mile away from the barn and came in on foot. Little did they know Blackjack had never taken to the idea of loading in the death box we called a horse trailer. She was caught easily in her stall and lead easily up the dirt road to the awaiting trailer. However, the horse thieves got a surprise when they tried to load her. I found her standing in the backyard the next a.m. with two shoes torn off and a lead rope hanging off her halter. I tracked her out to the road by following two sets of cowboy boots and four hooves and found a heck of a fight scene near the tire tracks of the now missing horse trailer. Needless to say the thieves never came back.
Luckily, I always lived on plenty of land and never had the need to trailer her. However, she finally gave into that idea as well in her older days. When I bought her I made a commitment to care for her for the rest of her life. I am glad she is retired now and living the good life in Kentucky. She deserves that. Riddle Mountain, Oregon is an unforgiving wilderness and humans can be unforgiving as well with their ideas of breaking horses and how they should be tended to. Blackjack was my first horse. She has outlived parents, grandparents, a husband and a nephew, survived tornadoes and Hurricane Fran, and has only asked for a flake of hay when you come into the barn. If you listen hard enough to her nickers, she’ll tell you the stories.
Blackjack, fall 2011, her kind eye and soft nicker will melt even a hardened heart!
Blackjack & Jonni in 1987
Rika at Weber's in May 2013
"RIKA" "Much of Rika's story is unknown, and unfortunately I have only been a small part of it, but this horse has grown to be a part of my life that I can never let go of. In January of 2010 I traveled with my mother to northern Vermont were I was planning on trying a horse that sounded perfect for my needs. When we arrived at the correct address we were shocked to find a massive dairy farm with half a dozen horses and ponies in a snow buried field with a moldy round bale and frozen water source in below freezing temperatures. Rika was approximately 300-400lbs underweight and she was skin stretched over bone, covered in hot, seeping rain rot. After watching the previous owner preceded to saddle and ride the poor mare I could see she had fancy gaits and good breeding, but that was not nearly as important as the need to remove Rika from the situation she was in at any cost. So Rika's life with me began. Many months of patient feeding of special diets, soaking snow bruised hooves, and treating the endless rain rot finally gave way to riding, and I realized that nursing Rika back to health turned out to be the best relationship builder I could imagine. The years gave way to jumping and hacking, horse showing and happily grazing. As college approached I knew that I would not be able to devote all my time to Rika like she deserved, and she had slowed down to being strictly a hacking buddy, so I looked into placing her as a companion, but every time an opportunity presented itself I was unable to let Rika go. In May of 2012 Rika and I went out for a walk and she came up very lame and uncomfortable. As my high school graduation rapidly approached I found out Rika was suffering from Sacroiliac Degeneration causing her extreme pain and sciatica in her back and hind end making her unable to move or lay down properly or comfortable. After a strong dose of shockwave therapy all I could do was wait and see if Rika would pull through. A day later I was in the barn when Rika collapsed in her stall. She lay quietly for a moment and I told her that I couldn't help her get up, that it was up to her, and if it was too much to bear, to tell me so she could go to heaven. I sat with her for a moment and after a few trys she made it back up onto her feet, and told me how tough she was, that she wasn't ready yet, there was more in store for her. And indeed there was, I knew that I could never give Rika up in fear that someone would try to ride her or leave her to starve again. So with the vet's blessing, and a tremendous amount of support from my friends and family Rika has ended up at the Weber's, and after seeing how well she has thrived there, I have promised her that I will never take her from there due to my own selfish worrying. Loving a horse like this is like loving a child, and letting them go is always difficult but its important to known when letting go is the best thing for the, and I will go to the ends of the earth to make sure Rika is happy and healthy, and there is no better place for that than at the Weber's."
Madeleine and Rika enjoying a ride on the beach.
Trego, in front, and his buddy Tanner
"TREGO", a registered thoroughbred, was foaled somewhere in Kentucky on April 22, 1992. Not much is known about his early life, other than he was raced four times, placing third only once. Whoever owned him didn’t even register his name until Trego was a 3 year old.
His whereabouts during the three years following his last race as a four year old are unknown. In 1999, Trego showed up at an auction, and an Illinois farrier purchased him, with the intent of ultimately re-selling him as a pleasure horse. The farrier liked Trego’s confirmation and the fact that Trego genuinely seemed to like people and was pretty mild mannered considering his track background. He put Trego out to pasture with his other horses for several months to put weight on him, and then put Trego up for sale.
Trego was then purchased by a couple from Illinois. The husband rode dressage—more for pleasure than to show—and Trego had the potential to be a lovely mover. Trego was moved to a suburban Chicago-area barn, and was ridden several times a week by either his owner or his trainer. He did become a lovely mover; but, ultimately, Trego developed a persistent lameness which would disappear for awhile and then crop up again. After many different types of treatments over several years, it became obvious that the cause of Trego’s chronic lameness would likely never really be known. It was suggested that turning him out to pasture might make him more comfortable. Land and stables are scarce in the suburban Chicago area, so turnout for horses is often limited to small paddocks for short periods. During the years he was stabled in Illinois, Trego had been turned out, alone, for only about an hour a day in a small paddock.
Knowing that more turnout would be the best thing for Trego, the decision to retire him was made. After much searching, his owners were thrilled to find Weber’s. Trego arrived at Weber’s in January 2012, and quickly adapted to life back home in Kentucky! If you get the chance, watch the Youtube video of Trego’s first day out in the pasture at Weber’s. It will make you smile!
Above-Trego's first day out with friends. Below-Trego today, always playing!
Mikey and Dawn
I remember that Friday night almost 15 years ago very clearly when My Mom arrived at the barn for her Friday night lesson. Everyone marveled at that new big black horse that was in our lesson. After the lesson was over she just had to ask about him and within minutes she had an English saddle on him and she was jumping a simple X in the middle of the arena and within 15 minutes she knew he was the one. She had never owned a horse before, even though she had ridden her entire life. She must have been waiting for the right fit and on that evening she had found it.
I watched my mom come to life with you. Most days we wondered if she loved you more than us. We joked that if you ever needed a kidney, she would give you mine. You became my Mom's favorite routine. I was jealous of the Mom and Mikey time that took place during the week, as she would say "this is her therapy and without it she would go crazy", no matter what was going on in her busy hectic life, she always found time for you! My sister and I quickly learned to love you as she did. I took my very first jump on you and you took care of me the whole way! Kristen rode you in all the fun shows and you showed her the same respect, but when it came to Mom you were a little more crazy with her, whether she was jumping, barrel racing, or your favorite-pole bending, we knew mom was safe as long as she was on you.
The 15 years that we spent by your side created some of the greatest memories, (good or bad) that all of us in our family hold dear in our hearts. When you got hurt and could no longer hide the pain from us, we were devastated. We knew that we had to give you the life that you so deserve, and return the happiness that you have given us. We know that you are living a better life at Weber's grazing, running when you can, and hanging out with your favorite buddy Zarr, that we could have ever given you. It’s still hard not being a quick drive away from you, but seeing your pictures makes it a little easier knowing that you’re being taken care of in a place that keeps you healthy.
Love you to the moon and back, Michael Michael Motorcycle.
PS: I had my daughter Katie write this because I would have gone on forever writing about my Mikey – I am truly blessed to be able to care for him the way he has cared for us and I can only hope to care for him many more years to come! I love you my Mikey more than words can say!
Dawn and Kristen visiting Mikey in Kentucky.
Mikey and Katie
Our "Featured Farm Family" Member is a relatively new addition to our site. We are excited to have an archive to keep the stories of these deserving horses preserved for years to come. Visit us again to see whose story is shared next!