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Foalin' Around
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Rhapsody, a 1996 Cor Noir filly (July 1997)

e-mail on 4/21/97 "The filly with the cut leg is Rhapsody, the Cor Noir filly out of my best broodmare (Gus's mom). I always felt she had a nice temperament, but now I know she does! She was pretty lame when I got home yesterday, so I know she was in a lot of pain. Babies usually are not so tractable when in a lot of pain. I gave her bute, a tetanus shot and 25cc of penicillin while Gary held her, and then moved her to a different stall and put bedding in it while she was in it. She was calm and attentive and cooperative during the entire thing!

When Gus was that age, he was throwing himself over backward and having terrible hissy fits if he had to be doctored AT ALL.

This filly is going to be terrific. She has great conformation, moves like a dream, and the temperament should make her great to train. And on top of that she will be a beautiful color, almost black and the only white is a nice star."

e-mail 6/19/97 "I have been so charmed by some of the things my yearling Cor Noir filly is doing I thought I would share them with you. She is so bold!

We went on a ride and rode down to the river(which was still at flood stage) and since the yearlings were in that pasture, she and Rondo(the other two yearlings were off someplace else). Rondo refused to cross the irrigation ditch, so ran home, but Rhapsody just followed us right across. Then we crossed some rather deep and fast flowing channels that are usually dry but at flood stage are full of muddy water. Rhapsody, without even hesitating, just followed us through! Belly deep in fast water! But it was only about 10 feet wide, so she didn't have any trouble. Then we wandered around on the rocks (Gary wanted to see what trash (trees and limbs) the flood had washed up on the island) and she just followed along. After we crossed back through the channel, she decides she would like to run around a bit (now on grass) and ran huge circles around us. But (if you remember from the ride you took with us) as you come up from the river it is very brushy with lots of trees, and open grass in between. So she was racing around at top speed, and if there was a little clump of baby trees in her path (3 feet high, 3 feet across), she just jumped them! I never had a yearling who would so boldly just leap ANYTHING in her way like this. She never hesitated, and never took a false step, and was clearly enjoying herself tremendously. When we came to the irrigation ditch she just galloped through it like an event horse at an obstacle. This is all the more amazing since in my experience the fillies are a bit more timid than colts.

The horses mostly don't go down there by themselves, because they can't see the boogies that might be hiding behind all those trees; they like it much better up on the flat where there are a few trees and they can see far, but: The next day I saw her leading Rondo around down there, but he still wouldn't go across the irrigation ditch, so she came back across and led him a merry chase through the thickest brush, where there are downed trees and big rocks and steep slidey slopes, and he gamely tried to keep up, but she never hesitated and leapt everything. Wow! And she never shows up at the barn with a single scratch or bump from these adventure.

And besides that she's beautiful, very smooth bodied and balanced - turned out to be seal brown (actually, she looks like a chocolate-yum).

Amber Benson is a breeder from Ovando, Montana.
Thank you ,Amber, for introducing us to Rhapsody.



 Café Noir- 1995 Cor Noir colt (September 1997)

e-mail on 7/8/97 "A wonderful experience this a.m. - we put a bridle and saddle on Café, he did well …then, in the stall I mounted him…Dieter led me around the stall then we went out into the barn and we walked up and down the barn! Café didn't mind a bit!!!! He was wonderful - must have been all those MANY times I straddled him while he was laying down in his stall, he's seen me 'up there' all his life and knew I wasn't a danger. What a thrill to finally 'sit' on a youngster you so vividly remember 'pulling' into the world!"

Judi Gerhardt is a breeder, creative consultant from Covington, Louisiana
Thank you, Judi, for introducing us to Café Noir




What a surprise to find that the chestnut filly who is "best friend" and pasture mate to my Riverman filly, Merlot, is herself a Parabol daughter!!  The two of them are inseparable.  They often sleep intertwined with one's head resting on the other's back.  As Merlot's dam is expecting a Parabol foal in April, I can say both of these fillies are to be half siblings to the new arrival.  So here they are: Pirouette by Parabol and Merlot by Riverman, together by chance in as distant and remote a pasture as you could find from Hilltop Farm!!

Vicky Lovejoy


By Linda Zimmerman

Perseverance and patience does pay off! Mellow Lark delivered a healthy filly four minutes after midnight, Saturday, July 10, going exactly two weeks beyond her due date.

I had heard that late deliveries are normal for first time moms, so I tried not to be too anxious, but this sleeping in the barn and listening to baby monitors does wear you out. However, it was all worth it! True to the words of my farrier, Mellow picked a time when I was back in the house, catching some z's in my own bed! We were awakened by the familiar thrashing, moaning, and groaning, etc. - so, I grabbed some clothes and ran to the barn...flicked on the lights and nothing. That is, until I peered into the stall and saw this wet little bundle on the straw, valiantly pushing her way out of the sac.

We had wanted to imprint and immediately set about drying and rubbing her with towels, stopping only to make a couple of hasty phone calls to friends who wanted to be here for the big event and getting our two daughters out of bed to witness this wonderful event.

It is without question a miracle and Mellow is amazing everyone with her incredible maternal instincts. She harbored no resentment as we spent the better part of 40 minutes handling her newborn. We allowed her to be close and lick the foal and it was all very much of a team effort.

Once we allowed her to get up, it was a matter of only 10 to 15 minutes before she was on her beautiful, long Parabol legs. She has his coloring, but Mellow's black mane and tail. Alas, no star or snip or any white on the legs. She is very pretty. Mellow was very ouchy in the first few hours and didn't want to allow the foal to nurse, so at 4:30 in the morning, I had the vet come out. By the time he arrived, my husband had backed Mellow into a corner and soothed her sufficiently to let the foal suckle, proving once again that husbands can come in very handy. As a matter of fact, he had watched part of the Miller imprinting tape with me and is so gung-ho about the whole process that he now spends 20 minutes each evening working with the filly in the stall.

I can readily see that if you don't do it at an early stage, you will soon be outweighed by these little creatures. At birth, she was very scrawny and ribby, but she is filling out on an hourly rate. Poor Mellow took awhile to pass the afterbirth, but that was successful and then she was much more comfortable.

They went outdoors Sunday afternoon for 90 minutes and much to our amazement, the filly (yes, she remains unnamed) was doing laps around the field. I have always felt that breeding is an enormous responsibility and that the work truly starts now. We are attempting to strike a balance between the imprinting  process and letting mother and daughter spend sufficient time alone. You can readily see the benefits of quality breeding when it comes to personality, gaits, and substance (beyond just good looks).


"Twist of Fate"
By Marlene Zavita

Our family bought two Appaloosa mares with foals by their sides in July of 1994. When we went to pick up our herd we received papers on one of the mares and was told she was bred back. We didn't know yet if the breeding took, so the waiting game began. If she was in foal, the baby was expected in late April of 1995. We gathered our papers, horses, and away we went on a new adventure.

Frank and I weren't new to horses, but we hadn't had mares, especially with babies or pregnant. We had broken a few 2 year olds, once had a stud colt until a year old, and four middle aged well broke geldings. As you can see, we were by no means experts, just lovers of horses.

We have four children, two boys - 23 and 7, and two girls - 12 and 9. The three youngest had never experienced horses. We have found something very special about a relationship between children and baby horses - it's a miracle to behold.

Our four month old solid "Appy" stud colt "Bucky", with a calm temperament, took to everyone like a duck to water. It was his mother "Dotti" who was bred back. We knew then that we would take any baby with that kind of temperament. Our one month old solid "Appy" filly "Olivia" kept her distance for another month, but was eventually won over by the loving hearts of our children.

As the months passed, we watched Dotti with great anticipation. Her stomach grew bigger and more round. Then one day, it happened, we saw the baby move! Our family was overjoyed. Our 9 year daughter, Teagan, who had taken ownership of Dotti, began praying for the safety of the baby, a boy, black or dark brown, with a big white blanket. Our mares are roan with spots all over and our other babies were starting to roan. Teagan had always seen blanketed "Appys", so color was important to her. Of course, Dad and Mom wanted a healthy newborn.

Then on the night of May 2, 1995, Dotti began to show signs of foaling. The children and I were watching tapes on foaling to learn what to do. We stayed up three nights in a row waiting. By the fourth night, the children gave up. Now I'm alone - surrounded by peace and quiet and nothing or no one around. My husband works down state during the week so he wasn't able to help. It is the middle of the week, a dark, chilly night, the coyotes yelping in the woods, a barn, the smell of hay, a mare about to give birth, some towels, and me - "Poor Dotti".

When midnight passed, things started to happen. Dotti was beginning to foal. I recalled the tapes we had watched. Dotti was lying down and starting to push. Legs began to appear, black legs, then a nose, a dark nose, and knees, "crazy" knees (crazy to me). It almost looked like someone had sewn white pieces of spotted material on the foal's knees. Dotti managed to get the foal out up to its shoulders, then I had to help. She pushed and I pulled and prayed; after five more pushes, out came the foal. Wouldn't you know, God answered the prayers of a little 9 year old girl. In my lap, I held a beautiful, big, dark chocolate, white blanket, "crazy" patches on all four legs, healthy baby colt.

As anyone could imagine, I immediately started calling our colt "Patches". A month and a half passed, Patches was big, strong, and beautifully imprinted. I was in the market for a riding horse for myself and as I searched for another horse, my story took another twist.

I called on a 3 year old Arabian gelding in Tower, Michigan near Onaway. Our family took the hour ride north to the "Double-L" Ranch. When we arrived we were surrounded by beautiful spotted "Appys". Strange, I thought.

Before we could even get parked, the children started yelling, "Look, look, there's a baby just like Patches!" Sure enough, there was a small baby lying in the straw. It was dark brown with a big white blanket. "Oh well" I thought, "the similarities could never go any farther". Well, I was dead wrong. We ran out to the paddock and the baby stood up. We gasped, "Could this really be?" We were staring at a twin to Patches. When we stopped our ooh-ing and ahh-ing, we went to ask about the Arabian.

We met up with LeeAnn Van Houten whom we had met a year earlier. She took us down the road to the pasture and showed us her beautiful Arabian gelding. I am an Arabian horse lover from way back and standing before me was a beautiful Arabian, but "fate" was not whispering his name in my ear. It was whispering of a little filly, just like our Patches.

We left LeeAnn, telling her we would call the next day. I wanted to see what fate had told my husband. We discussed the Arabian, but could not get over the likeness of the filly. "Was this a twist of fate?", I thought. I called LeeAnn the next day and told her we didn't want the Arabian. "Is that little filly for sale?", I asked.  "Yes?"  "Can we come see her again tomorrow?" She agreed and I thanked her. I told her all about Patches and she told me to bring all of the papers when I came by.

The next day when we arrived, the pull on our hearts was even stronger. I put my deposit on the filly and got some facts. She's out of "BJ's Lightning" and "Chic's Gypsy", she is also a Ranger bred. I asked about "lightning strikes". Lee told me the stallion and mare have to carry the gene. Lee then looked over my papers (I'm horse paper ignorant). She informed me Patches had a good breeding: Plaudit, Wapiti, Sonny Boy, Rimrock Silver Quill and another twist, he's also a Ranger bred.

We now have our babies together. We had to wait four long months to get our filly. Along with the wait came the "name-game". It had been on my mind for a while that this experience was such a twist of fate. Then I thought, "Twist of Fate!, but what do I call her?" 

Oddly enough, that was solved for me by an answer on the TV show, "Jeopardy". Kismet, meaning fate or destiny. Our baby girl now holds the name of "BJ's Twist O'Fate" and "Kizmet" with a "z" for her stable name.

Life sure has its "Twists of Fate" and the great north holds a lot of promise for the future of Appaloosa lovers everywhere.


A "Noble" Birthday
By Trisha Bostic

It's not everyday that you wake up and there's a foal outside your bedroom window. Well, last summer that happened to me. Hi, I'm Trisha and I'm 13 years old. Here's my story about my little Noble.

I always wanted a little foal that would be my very own baby. A foal, that I could train and teach all the stuff I knew and wanted us to learn together. Well, on the night before my birthday, I was in bed when a loud rumble came from the driveway. It was a foggy evening so I couldn't make out the exact detail of the vehicle that was arriving. I went back to bed thinking it was probably my dad's truck since we were having the trailer fixed. And, I finally went to sleep despite the noise.

ITS BIRTHDAY TIME!!!!! I thought today would never come. I heard a foal whinny and looked outside my window and there he was. A BLACK COLT!!! - My dream foal. I decided to name him Noble Intentions. We call him Noble for short. When I first saw him, I thought he wasn't for real - there was no way that I would be getting my very own foal.

But now, almost one year has passed and Noble and I have a very special bond. He follows me when I need him. He's halter broken and can already lunge. I'd have to say that my 13th birthday was the best day of my life. Never in a million years would I have thought that I'd get my own foal.


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