As the world holds its collective breath in the face of a pandemic much is the same in the life of our horses; baby bellies keep getting bigger, shedding of winter coats are in full swing, and youngsters continue to play in blissful ignorance of the global turmoil. I am so grateful for their company at this time – they bring me temporary peace each day as I provide all of their comforts.
We have been watching Daisy and Rea closely as they near their due dates. Although Rea's due date is the soonest (342 days on April 26) we expect Daisy to foal first because she usually foals around 320 days, which would be April 18, and all signs point towards her being on track for that date. She is super round at the moment so we know she will be relieved to finally have her precious cargo on the ground.
Four year old Bellamy (Bonheur/Contucci) will head back into training in June to begin his over fences work with Nathalie Green at Sambea Farm in Nova Scotia. Three year old Dauphinee (Dauphin/Contucci) will soon be backed and then prepped for her Hanoverian Mare Performance Test in August. For now both are still available for a very reasonable price and more info can be found about both on our sales page. We are giving Ziggy a bit more time to mature before backing him in the fall, but will start ground driving both him and Angel this summer.
On to the main topic for this month's update. This year one of my biggest puzzles has been trying to find ways to still use Facebook to find and sell horses after they restricted animal advertising in Facebook groups. One idea that I am excited to try is our new Sport Horse Flash Showcase.
Here is the gist of how it will run...
Each month Star Gazer Farm will pay Facebook to promote one Sport Horse Flash Showcase on our farm's Facebook page. We will post it the first week of each month with the exception of our first post for April 2020 which is live as of today!
Once posted anyone in North America is free to comment on the post with information, photos, videos, etc. about any and all sport horses they have for sale and/or at stud. In search of ads are also encouraged. All breeds welcome but must be suited for the English riding disciplines (dressage, hunter/jumper, and eventing).
There are a few posting rules that can be reviewed on our Sport Horse Flash Showcase guidelines page.
We are going to try this for a year in the hopes that it will gain momentum overtime. We know it won't be a perfect system, but we feel it has a lot of potential to reach a large audience.... and it is free to participate so why not give it a try!
I read recently that you you can rewire your brain for happiness simply by frequently acknowledging the things you are grateful for. "Selecting unique areas of gratitude each day forces you to re-frame your perspective to look for the positive, rather than the negative, aspects in your daily life." Thomas Oppong, How to Train (And Rewire) Your Brain For Happiness. So far 2019 has brought us a lot to be grateful for.
First up we had two new special mares join our family in April. I should know by now that when Ruth has a certain twinkle in her eye that she is scheming something fun. Such was the case when she met me roadside just off the Confederation bridge on a cold January day, declared she had found the perfect mare for me, handed me a copy of a pedigree and a bag of cheese curds, and drove away. After few months of planning and waiting, Belle de Jour and Raven, made their trip from Marefield Meadows in Virginia to our farm. Both mares are nine year old Hanoverians. Belle by Balou du Rouet out of EM Andromache (Arrian/Lortzing/Wenzel I), and Raven by Ruiz Soler out of Rara Avis (Rienzi/Wenzel I/Domingo). I had an instant connection with Belle (Ruth definitely knows what type of mare I like), and Raven is just so sweet that you cannot help but love her. I am so grateful to my favourite enablers, Ruth and Eric, for encouraging me to take the leap of faith on these mares, and I have heaps of gratitude to Marefield Meadows for entrusting their two beautiful black pearls to my care.
Our next bit of wonderful news came from one of our clients in Ontario... the birth of the first Glori foal of 2019. Fanny Lemay's mare, Genny, had a beautiful leggy black colt who Fanny named Noir Par Noirs (Black by Blacks). To see a quick video clip of the little guy visit our Instagram page.
The next Glorioso Noir foal to arrive was much anticipated first foal for Rassicot Farm. On June 24th Emilia (Emilion/Voltaire) gave birth to an adorable and perfect filly named Gamora. This athletic little lady is going to make someone a fun and competitive hunter or jumper someday. The next mare up to foal is our Eden (Donatelli/Laroche) in September.
Bellamy (Bonheur/Contucci) has begun his training with the talented Pearl MacGregor and we could not be more thrilled with how well he is developing; he has become an exceptionally handsome young man. There are several recent clips and photos of him on his page. Gratefulness abounds for having such a gentle and skilled trainer such as Pearl so close to home for starting all of our youngsters.
Another of our beloved boys who is thriving especially well this year is Glorioso Noir. He has fully settled into the routine on the farm and has been a joy in every way to work with this year. We are also quite proud of ourselves for how much we have learned over the past year about stallion management, handling, and collection. I am super grateful (and still very surprised) for Eric stepping up to learn how to run the AV; he definitely has earned a lifetime supply of brownie points for it. So very grateful for the stallion owners who have shared their knowledge with us.... although some lessons just had to be learned under fire... for example we now know a wrapped bale of silage looks very much like a breeding dummy to Glori. :-) There are still a few more weeks of our breeding season left and we are offering great deals to those mare owners still looking to breed their mares this season.
Our 2017 & 2018 youngsters have started their ground work training and are taking to it like fish to water. All three are proving to have willing characters, sharp minds, and even temperaments. Dauphinee doesn't mind what you do with her; she is just so happy for the attention, Ziggy Stardust enjoys playing "games" with an enthusiasm that makes me laugh every time, and De Angelo is so earnest that I just want to hug him when I watch him working out what is being asked of him. The future looks bright for all three rock stars. Check out each of their pages for recent photos and videos.
I was super grateful to receive updates this spring from Valerie Leighton on Poodle's 2015 son by Schwarzenegger, Superbad (now named Spudnik II). Spud has started his over fences training and has already been successful at a few hunter shows in the Edmonton, Alberta area this season. Valerie had this to say about her beloved boy "I absolutely adore him. He’s a sweetie to handle and extremely honest and willing, with talent to boot!". All of Poodle's foals hold a special place in my heart so I always appreciate receiving updates from their owners, it makes missing them so much more bearable.
I could fill pages listing the things I am grateful for, not least of which would be the farmers who supply us with our hay and feed, neighbours who rush over to our rescue when yet another tree falls on our fence line, friends who share in our joys and sadnesses (so much of both when horses are involved), family who understand why the horses always come first, our vet who accommodates my work schedule by coming to the farm at o'dark thirty to do ultra sounds and who is always just a phone call away, iced cappuccinos with shots of expresso, hot showers, good food, good books, Dalmatian cuddles, and, most of all, for being lucky enough to live on the beautiful and gentle Prince Edward Island with the person I love most in the world.
It has been 313 days since my last update. :-) I see that my last entry in June talked about all the projects we had planned for the summer... the good news is we got almost all of them done... on the downside we were really really really tired by the time the snow started to fall in November so not particularly inspired for website updates. My goal for 2019 was to slack back on the projects so that I had more time to actually enjoy my horses, maybe even sit on one once and awhile, but it is hard for a leopard to change their spots so while the snow is still falling my spring project list seem to be growing like it has a will of its own... I got projects... they're multiplin'! There is a reason why our contractor refers to me as “an ambition woman”.
So here is a brief rundown of the past 313 happenings on the farm...
First up, after months of hauling to Aileron Stables to collect Glori, we finally got our collection facilities set up on the farm in August. Glori and I logged a lot of kilometres together; I like to think of it as a bonding experience for him and me, and, on the up side, I got to spend time with one of my favourite people, Ruth Hanselpacker. They say it takes a village to raise a child... I am learning it also takes a village to breed horses. I have so much gratitude for the help given me from Ruth, Elisha Massong, Carol Kraus, Anne Wallace and all the other people who have shared their expertise with me this past year.
Once set up at the farm for collections Stephanie, Eric, and I enjoyed a lot of 5:00 a.m. mornings together since all three of us have day jobs. Not so terrible for Eric who is one of those weird morning people... but I am pretty sure Stephanie and I were at stage 4 sleep deprivation by mid August... and then foal watch for Eden's foal started (who needs sleep anyway?). On August 26th Eden birthed the most beautiful and sweet black filly by Glori. Her new owner, Anna Osinga-Bouma, gave her the lovely name Giadora.
Despite being three months younger than Angel it was not long before Giadora was calling the shots, showing signs of the confident mare she will someday become. The two foals quickly became inseparable, so it was bitter sweet to see Giadora leave for her home in April. Thankfully our pony, Arthur, has proven to be a weanling babysitter extraordinaire on top of his regular duties as stallion companion.
All the young horses are maturing nicely, and Bellamy, who will be three years old this May, heads for training soon with the wonderfully talented Pearl McGregor. Look for him in the show ring this summer! We are anxiously awaiting for all the horses to shed out so we can get some new photos and videos. Our yearling colt, Angel, has become so pretty I squee like a fan girl every time I see him.
The AGM for the Eastern Canada Hanoverian Breeders Club was held in our province for the first time this past March. It was so nice to meet other breeders who share the same enthusiasm for the Hanoverian breed, and a great way to get us excited about our breeding plans for this season. Huge thanks to businesses that supported our event: the club and Aileron Stables for covering the costs of the meeting rooms; Star Gazer Farm and Capall Warmbloods for providing snacks; Omega Alpha and Illsley's Feed & Farm Supply for donating fun door prizes; PFERA Inc. and Amanda Stright for their presentations, and Dr. Martha Mellish for the tour of the Atlantic Vet College's large animal hospital.
Glori has really blossomed over the winter; it makes me so happy to see him so content. He has had quite the exciting life traveling from Germany to New Mexico to Ontario, only to end up in an apple orchard in PEI with his bossy pony and chicken friends... maybe not as fancy as he is use to but we think he likes it. We are offering new options for breeders this year wishing to use Glorioso Noir on their mares; we will continue to offer the traditional live foal guarantee contract, but now also offer a by the dose option. As always we offer discounts for multiple mares booked and for mares based in the Maritime provinces.
Well there it is... a glimpse of our crazy 313 days that was filled with lots of learning, laughing, crying, stress eating, coffee, projects, adventures, foal cuddles, fence painting, sleep deprivation, coffee, wonderful friends, death threats to alarm clocks, and more coffee.
Being true to my description as an ambitious woman I will have some other exciting news in the coming weeks... I promise not to wait as long for my next update.
Good luck to all for the 2019 breeding season!
As always my ambitions are bigger than the actual manpower and time I have to complete them, but as Leo Tolstoy said, "spring is the time of plans and projects." It has been an extremely chaotic past few months but in the most wonderful of ways.
First up is very exciting of news... Daisy gave birth to the most perfect little black colt named De Angelo! He is by Dauphin and has a pedigree stacked with top level dressage horses such as De Niro, Donnerhall, and Hohenstein. Daisy's sire Donarweiss is a Grand Prix dressage horse in the U25 division, and her dam, Larissa, was shown to 4th level dressage. De Angelo will make an excellent upper level dressage prospect for someone looking for a lot of talent and good looks in a 15.3hh package. I am slowly adding to his page and hope to have a recent video added by the end of the weekend.
Glorioso Noir is looking fabulous this spring! It seems life on PEI is suiting Mr. Tall Dark & Handsome very well; I was deligted to see his coat blossom with dapples once he shed out his winter coat. We are still in the process of putting the together the finishing touches our own collection amenities at the farm but in the meantime are utilizing the generous help of Ruth at Aileron Stables with our collections. His semen is looking great and so far we have shipped to one mare in Ontario which resulted in a confirmed pregnancy after only one breeding. We will be breeding the bulk of our mares this month and in July because the weather in the Maritimes is quite chilly in the spring, so we prefer our foals to arrive in late spring or early summer. We actually had snow this past week!
A couple weeks ago we moved Poodle and our yearling Hanoverian filly, Dauphinee, to Rassicot Farm to spend the summer in the care of their aunt Stephanie. Poodle will come back to our farm in the fall at which time we will send our pregnant mares to Rassicot for the winter. Pictured left is Poodle at Rassicot Farm.
Our Hanoverian colt, Bellamy (Bonheur/Contucci/World Cup IV), turned two
years old the end of May and is developing into a very handsome young gelding.
This gentle boy with upper level dressage potential is still available and
we have loaded new video to his page.
Our two yearlings are also looking quite beautiful. Pictured below are our Hanoverian filly, Dauphinee (left), and our Andalusian cross colt, Ziggy Stardust (right). Ziggy was castrated 2 weeks ago so is now enjoying the relaxed lifestyle of a gelding. ;-)
Returning to the topic of my over zealous ambitions. :-) We have gotten a lot done around the farm over the past few weeks, but the to do list is still quite long, and I may have to come to terms with the reality that I may not get a vegetable garden in this year. I have laying hen chicks arriving next week and turkey chicks in July that I need to get ready for. We have started the stalls in the new barn, but they will take some time yet to complete. We did get the new run in shelter finished last week which is a huge relief. The breeding corral should be complete by the end of the week (fingers crossed). I was very excited to have the concrete finally poured for the support for the phantom and I took perhaps a bit too much amusement in scandalizing the cement truck driver by explaining what the phantom was used for. The new lab in the barn has been slow to materialize but should be done by the end of the month. Every spring always seems to involve more fencing and this year was no exception. We were so blessed to have my sister, Robyn, and her partner, Jonathan, drive all the way from Liverpool, Nova Scotia, just to help us paint fence on the one sunny day we had this past week. I am so pleased with the results of all our work. Now to find some time to actually ride my horse before it is winter again. ;-)
March is but days away and we can hardly contain our excitement for the upcoming breeding season! Our new barn/run in shelter is almost complete, with it just needing a few finishing touches. The horses are all starting to blow their winter coats which always boosts our mood here on the farm, because it means spring is soon here.
With all the recent shedding spree going on we have also become quite aware that an extra set of hands would come in very handy around the farm. We have decided it is time to finally open our farm up to a new team member! We are offering a great part time working student opportunity for one deserving horse crazy person. More information can be found on our Join Our Team page. This should appeal to any young person considering a future in veterinary medicine or any equine related career.
In other exciting news we are offering a great Saint Patrick's Day Special for any mare owners looking to breed to Glori this season. We are offering 25% off for any mares booked by midnight on March 17th!!! Breeding season starts as of April 1st so take advantage of this deal while you still can. More information about Glorioso Noir can be found on his page.
I leave you with this fabulous quote from L.M. Montgomery: “March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.” Fingers crossed that this is the type of March we will enjoy this year on PEI. ;-)
Winter arrived on PEI like a lion the just before Christmas and we have been busy battling the struggles that extreme cold temperatures can cause on a farm.
We also had another very exciting new addition to the farm! Our newest broodmare arrived the end of January. Rea is a 17.1hh elite eligible Hanoverian mare by Regazzoni out of a Davignon mare. She is settling in well and we are eager to see what foals she and Glori will produce together.
Our other new broodmare, Cindy, will arrive in December 2018 after being weaned from her 2018 foal. Cindy is a 16hh bay Hanoverian broodmare belonging to Little River Hanoverians. She is by Certus out of a Welfenschatz mare. She has produced many quality foals in the past so we are quite pleased to match her with Glori this spring.
That will be all the broodmares we will be adding to our herd this year. Which means we can officially announce our broodmare line up for the 2018 breeding season. In total we will be breeding 6 mares to Glori this spring.... so we are already brainstorming for "G" names! :-)
That is all the news for now. I am hoping to announce in our next update that our new barn is finally complete. For now I leave you with some photos of our very furry horses enjoying the winter weather.... as much as the humans complain I think it is the horses favourite time of year. ;-)
We are very pleased to announce that our beloved 2016 Canadian Warmblood filly Korra (aka Starfire) by Schwarzenegger out of Icy Poodles has been sold to a fantastic new home in Missouri with dressage rider, Katie Shellenberger. Selling horses is always a mixed bag of emotions; we grow quite attached to the young horses we bring into this world and raise that saying goodbye is always difficult. As anyone who has visited our farm over the past two years can tell you Korra has been a special favourite of ours and it is not easy to say farewell to her. However knowing that she will go to someone who will love her as much as us and develop her to her full athletic potential makes us very happy.
Korra will depart for the USA in two weeks along with our other mare Starfish (aka Czaftig) who is heading to her new home in Virginia. We are glad she will be traveling with someone she knows.
In other exciting news we break ground on the new barn in just a few short weeks! Of course it means yet more fencing, painting, and contruction work but it will be very worth the labour when it is complete. The new addition will consist of two box stalls for ship in mares, a breeding shed, and a 10' x 25' run-in shelter.
Glorioso Noir is now activated with the Hanoverian Verband for 2018! We are so happy with how this handsome gentle stallion has settled into life at our farm. He and his pony, Arthur, have become great friends... so much so that we discovered that Glori has been feeding his fat friend his high calorie haylage at night when they are stabled next to each other! So much for Arthur only getting the "diet hay". :-) Below is an older picture of Glori I found that I really like because it does a good job of showing his nice long legs and fabulous shoulder. Check back in December for some fun holiday promotions!
Anyone who knows me knows that October is my favourite month of the year! No flies, cool temperatures, and, best of all, the colours! We FINALLY got all of our new fencing painted and we think it looks smashing! I found an old "to do" list from early September that said "Saturday paint fence first coat, Sunday paint fence second coat".... hahahaha! I was so naive; it took 4 days to paint just the first coat and there will be no second coat. ;-)
Our youngsters are all developing very well. I am looking forward to spending some time over the next three weeks working with all of them before winter arrives. I have a few recent photos of each below and you can visit their pages by clicking on their photos. Happy October everyone!
Star Gazer Farm is excited to announce our partnership with Rassicot Farm. We have many exciting plans for the future of our two farms working together to produce exceptional performance horses and ponies. We made our partnership official by welcoming a new handsome man to our family this past Monday! We would like to introduce Glorioso Noir... although to many North American warmblood breeders he is a familiar face.
Glorioso is a 17.1hh Hanoverian stallion by Glorieux o/o Grosse Liebe x Grundstein. Glorioso has an impeccable pedigree and is a testament to the famous G-line Hanoverian. His sire Glorieux won the Bundeschampionate and was the winner of his stallion licensing and reserve champion of the performance testing. Glorieux is by the immortal Goldstern. Glorioso’s damsire is the legendary Grundstein. His dam, Grosse Liebe, is the mother of three other licensed sons. Her dam, Luna, is the mother of popular Landkoenig.
Glorioso is a beautiful black stallion with suspended gaits and excellent conformation that makes him equally talented for dressage and jumping. He completed his 100-day stallion testing in Germany and finished in 11th place out of 40 stallions, placing equally well in both dressage and jumping. Among the highlights of his scores were an 8.0 on character, temperament and willingness to work, and constitution. He received an 8.0 on jumping ability and an 8.0 on his trot. Glorioso competed in the young horse dressage classes as well as in the hunters and jumpers with a junior rider.
His foals tend to inherit his long legs and well-set neck. His offspring have light, elastic movement with excellent conformation and character. He is a unique stallion that crosses very well with Thoroughbred and Appendix mares by adding substance, jumping ability and movement to his get. His foals have had successful careers many disciplines with regional and national championships. He is truly a stallion that produces offspring for all disciplines- jumpers, dressage, hunters and eventers.
For more info, video, and photos see his page: www.stargazerfarm.ca/stallion
Will be available to a limited number of outside mares in 2018.
More details to follow in October 2017.
We had a great day at the Maritime Hanoverian inspection watching 17 stunning foals being presented for registration. We were very delighted to have our Dauphinee (Dauphin/Contucci/World Cup IV) asked back into the Top 5 ring. The judge had some very nice comments about her suitability as both a dressage and broodmare prospect. He also noted her presence. Czaftig is proving to be an excellent producer with having her offspring in the top 5 ring two years in a row (her colt, Bellamy, was reserve champion last year). We hope that she continues to make exceptional babies for her new owners.
Daisy (Donarweiss GGF/Loredo/Paradox I) was presented for stud book entry and was approved for the Rhindlander stud book so her foals will now be registrable with Rhindlander studbook! :-)
Every year I underestimate how much work it is to take horses to one of these events and I was so grateful for all the helping hands I had > Kelly Boulter, Callie Campbell, and Katie Smith you all made for a great pony pit crew. Once again Eric and Stephanie were in charge of handling the horses in the ring as well as keeping me somewhat sane.
Last but not least I am so very appreciative of all that Ruth Hanselpacker and Nick Graham have done to promote the Hanoverian breed in our region and for all her work making these inspections happen. Congrats to all the other breeders on their very fine foals! The Maritimes provinces are becoming a great place for people to find top quality horses.
We have some exciting changes coming to our farm and will be making an announcement later this week... stay tuned for updates. :-)
Star Gazer Farm is excited to announce that our beloved Czaftig (aka Starfish) has been sold to Lauren Schwartzenberger of Virginia. Starfish has been a great broodmare for us producing two beautiful healthy foals in the past two years, and she is currently carrying a foal by Dauphin. It was a very hard decision to sell her but made much easier once we found her such a spectacular new home with someone I know will love her as much as we do. Starfish will stay with us until she is weaned from her 2017 filly and then will make her way to her new home (and a warmer climate) in December.
Our yearlings, Bellamy and Starfire, are both still developing well. Below are some photos of them both as well as a video of their progress in learning to crosstie. There is more information about both of these beauties on our sales page.
We managed to shoot a bit of video of Daisy this month. We will be taking Daisy to the Hanoverian inspection on September 1st to present her for approval.
We have our last black dot of the year! 🎉 Czaftig was confirmed in foal to Dauphin this afternoon. This is a repeat of this cross so the 2018 foal will be a full sibling to our beautiful 2017 filly, Dauphinee.
Huge (HUGE!!!) thanks to our vet Dr. Martha Hagar at Kensington Veterinary Clinic for all her work with our horses... she goes above an beyond and I sincerely appreciate it!
Speaking of above and beyond once again this year it has been an absolute pleasure working with Ruth Hanselpacker at Aileron Stables, stallion owner, semen chaffeur, therapist, etc.
That wraps up our breeding season with two mares in foal to Dauphin... we are already brainstorming "D" name ideas for Daisy's and Czaftig's 2018 foals.
When we decided to get into breeding horses the one thing we severely underestimated was how challenging it is to get good sales video of the foals and yearlings... especially in the middle of a heat wave! I have more footage of them napping in the sun or of the insides of their nostrils (from them insisting on being on top of me while I try to video them) than I do of them actually moving. However I was able to get some short videos of a few of our youngsters on July 22.. yeah that was a couple weeks ago but I have been busy. ;-) We plan to get some better video of all of our youngster at the Hanoverian Inspection on September 1st at the Crapaud Agriplex.
Dauphinee: 2017 Hanoverian filly by Dauphin out of Czaftig
Ziggy Stardust: 2017 Andalusian cross by Barolo out of Icy Poodles
Bellamy: 2016 Hanoverian gelding by Bonheur out of Czaftig
I always forget how much work comes with foaling season on the farm, and as a result I completing overlooked updating the farm news page.... so I have a lot of news to report!
First up I have archived the NEWS page on this site because it was becoming slow to load with all the photos I had on it. I am hoping by using a blog page instead for farm news it will load faster for everyone and I can continue to share lots of photos. :-)
In May we welcomed a new boarder to the farm named Sara. She is a beautiful 22 year old Irish Thoroughbred mare who has recently retired from a career in dressage. She is settling in great and especially loves her new handsome boyfriend, Sierk.
On May 4th we welcomed another 4 new faces to the farm... of the tiny fluffy variety! Matilda gave birth to a litter of four healthy kittens. Being born on May 4th and having a dad named Darth we just had to give them Star Wars names so we named them Finn, Kylo, Leia, and Rey. Finn has since gone to a new home to be a house cat, but the other three will stay here on the farm.
Then came the foals!!! On May 29th Poodle gave birth to a perfect colt by the Andalusian stallion Barolo. He was up on his feet in minutes and at only a couple hours old was doing canter pirouettes around his stall! We have no doubts that he will make a fabulous upper level dressage prospect. We felt he was worthy of a superstar name and settled on Ziggy Stardust. Two days later Starfish delivered a stunning chestnut Hanoverian filly by Dauphin. With her incredibly sweet demeanour we felt the name Dauphinee suited her well. We predict filly will be suitable for both the dressage and hunter disciplines, and will make an excellent amateur mount with her exceptional temperament. To see more info and photos of both visit their pages by clicking their photos below.
The yearlings Starfire and Bellamy seem to have grown up while we were busy with the new foals... it feels like I blinked and they each grew a foot! Both are already showing promise of the athletic and beautiful horses they will be someday. Click on their photos below to see more information and photos on their pages.
Finally I am happy to report our new arena fence is finally done. We are so thankful for all our friends and family who pitched in to help build it. We are also very happy to announce that our beautiful Daisy (Donarweiss GGF/Loredo/Paradox I) has been confirmed in foal to Dauphin for a June 2018 foal.
Star Gazer Farm
Breeding Hanoverian and Rhineland Warmblood horses for the competitive amateur rider.