I thought you
might like an update on Bonaire. He continues to be incredible! I
was riding him on Friday and my trainer came up to me after and
said, "I never go out on a limb about a horse Terrie, but this horse
is going to be a great horse." But then, you and I knew that all
along! He will make his show ring debut this spring (under the
Flying W Farms name of course!). Rick is going to do some cross
country on him over the winter to give him something else to do.
Bonaire loves to run fast. You just lean forward and close your leg
and it's like flying! I have some terrific pictures (if you don't
count my nerdy helmet!). I'll have to send them. He is so grown
hello and I hope you and your family have a safe and wonderful
June 25, 2007
I wasn't even looking for a new
horse when I saw your ad in the back of Dressage Today. I grew up
showing American Saddlebreds and have always loved Friesians, so was
interested in the Georgian Grande. I checked out your website and
FELL IN LOVE! After talking with you and viewing the video of some of
your sale horses, I was hooked! I called my mom and asked her if she
wanted to go to Ohio and see your horses. She could hardly wait to
leave. My husband was hoping I would come home without another mouth
to feed. Silly boy!
We arrived at your farm and
stopped close to the entrance and a group of yearlings came barreling
over the hill. We were so thrilled. They were all lovely and the
farm was beautiful. Mom even hopped out to take a picture .
We had such a
wonderful time looking at yearlings. I didn't see a single one that I
wouldn't have been proud to have in my barn. Robin took us up into
the pasture with Koning and his mares. Oh my gosh! I wish you could
have seen the joy on mom's face when Koning stuck his head in the
window of the truck to visit with her! The first time mom ever saw a
Friesian (they did a dressage demo at the Arabian Nationals one year),
she said if she ever won the lottery she was going to buy one for me
whether I wanted it or not!
As we were visiting
Koning and his band, I noticed one of the foals lying next to the
fence and told Robin I was concerned it was going to get up on the
wrong side. Sure enough the foal popped up, in the next pasture!
Robin and I joined forces and were able to herd the little one down
the fence line and through the gate before there was a disaster.
There were so many truly outstanding mares and babies. I tell
everyone I've never seen so many terrific horses in one place!
After talking with
Robin and telling her what I was looking for, Flying W Farms Prince
Bonaire (Koning and FWF Cauvery) was the first yearling I looked at
(Robin said you would kill her for showing him to me as y'all had just
brought him up from pasture and not in "show" shape) He was such a
darling and mom immediately fell in love with him. Although we looked
at many well groomed yearlings, I kept going back to scruffy Bonaire.
Narrowing the decision down to two possibilities, I sought your advice
and you said to take Bonaire (boy were you ever right!).
On the drive back
to Columbus, I called Jim and told him I had bought the most wonderful
yearling. Needless to say, he was a bit skeptical when he saw the
pictures (my brother thought I was nuts). I tried to explain that he
was a diamond in the rough and he had awesome gaits. I have to say
though, that even I was surprised when he came off the van in San
Antonio. My little duckling had turned into a swan!
through like a champ and began to grow, and grow and grow! I remember
when he hit 17.1 as a two year old I wrote and told you I was going to
put a book on his head! ( I can ride him easily though I am only
Not long into his
two year old year, I started ground work with him. He was a charm!
Never put up a fuss about anything and willingly accepted both the
bridle and saddle without a hitch.
He continued to
grow (yikes!) and was 17.2 as a three year old when I started riding
him. Although I wanted to be the first one to ride him, my schedule
did not allow for the consistency necessary to ensure it was a good
experience for him. I looked long and hard to find just the right
person to start riding him and was lucky to discover Rick Urban. He
has a reputation for developing self confidence and courage in the
youngsters and everything I heard proved to be true. He and Bonaire
took to each other immediately and are still great friends. Rick knew
I wanted a grand prix prospect and after working with Bonaire, told me
he thought I had made the right choice! This is
huge as Rick is ultra conservative when
evaluating young horses. But it certainly reaffirmed what you and I
have believed all along.
I was so excited
when I finally got to get on Bonaire myself!
By the time he was
three, he was beginning to understand how to carry himself and come
through, stepping up to my hand. He is so amazing!
He is at home now and thinks
life is all about him! He still takes his daily swim in the water
troughs (it's a little hard on them and I've changed all of them to
the big rubber ones as he kept knocking holes in the bottom) and
stretches out in the sun for his naps. He knows he is the
neighborhood darling and immediately goes up to anyone to see if they
will give him treats. It's impossible to tell him no. He wuffles me
all over looking for treats whenever I get close. He is very careful
not to knock me down (which at 17.3 and 1600 lbs would not be a
I am so enjoying riding him. He
is very in front of my leg and continues to develop "schwung". He is
rhythmic and forward which is an absolute joy as so many really big
horses can get stuck to the ground. I got on him yesterday after two
weeks of no riding due to rain and he was supple, forward and
through. I so love this horse.
I'll keep you updated on his
progress. I plan to start showing him in the spring.
Take care and tell Robin hello.