We are very excited to welcome our second Friesian mare Popke! She is a beautiful Star mare who happens to be Liefke’s mother!! She is gentle, sweet and a fantastic mover (I see where her daughter gets it from). There’s only one problem… telling them apart! Although Liefke is now taller than her mother, it’s hard to believe how similar they look. I often find myself confusing them. When Popke arrived Liefke immediately recognized her and gave her a soft sweet nuzzle. Such treasures!
Popke (right) is adored by everyone! Especially her daughter Leifke (left).
I’ve been around horses all my life. I grew up on a hobby farm in Ontario surrounded by a variety of horses; Quarter horses, Appaloosa, the usual garden variety purchased for their attitude not necessarily their breeding. My parents wanted their girls to be raised in the country surrounded by nature… And horses. I rode my first horse while in diapers and promoted myself to a beloved small Shetland pony at 3. My parents were brave to hand me the reins at such a young age, but I’ve been described as “determined” when it comes to horses.
My beloved pony Peggy taught me a lot about the friendship that can be offered by a horse. She was small, trustworthy and determined. She let me do almost anything. The phrase often chimed from barrel racing through our apple orchard “Look Mom, no hands!!”. My poor mom. I moved on to another Shetland pony, Trisha. This one a little more stubborn, but just as entertaining and devoted.
My parents bought me my first horse at the age of 8, of course she was named Black Beauty. She was a 2 year old Quarter Horse cross. I’ll never forget the moment I first saw her. Big, black, shiny and as soft as satin. This precious mare taught me almost everything I needed to know about love, trust and dedication. She was definitely the horse that changed my life. I learned to ride everything from Western, to Jumping and settled on Dressage. We competed successfully and I bred her for two beautiful babies.
Those babies are now retired and I’ve started a new journey with a beautiful majestic creature who, yet again stopped me in my tracks. I trained on Friesians while in College and fell in love with the breed. I know that our journey has just begun. It’s that feeling you get when you look at a horse, the quiet understanding, acceptance and unspoken honesty. From the first picture I saw of her, I knew she was special. She has traveled across the country (literally) and now that I’ve had a few weeks to get to know her I can confirm, my instincts were correct! She’s a one of a kind… An amazing soulful friend. I look forward to all our adventures.Welcome home Liefke. I call her “my Swan” because she curls her neck around me like a hug and scratches my back.
More updates to come! This weeks lesson: the hose. For Friesians have much hair and with all the rain here… Mud is a problem. So far we are learning to understand the noise of the hose and that water can be fun!!
Last week Liefke arrived safe and sound from British Columbia. She was in a great mood and extremely well-behaved. Tasha and I were very pleased with her conformation and temperament, she’s extremely sweet and willing, she loves to please.
She is currently doing a lot of grazing and getting to know her new broodmates, a Hannoverian, Swedish and her new pal Smokey the Shetland Pony. Tasha is also getting her used to wearing a fly sheet and mask, she’s taken to it quickly but has a strong distaste to the sound of velcro.
Liefke is very affectionate and is giving and receiving lots of love from the kids and trainers, welcome to your new home swan!