Greetings to all, thank you for logging on and reading my blog. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a member of my herd, his name is Brego. Brego is an eight year old gelding that I have owned since he was a weanling. He came to me from a dear friend in Billings, Montana, Howard Zankner who used to be a Morgan breeder (as was I).
I had purchased a black mare, gelding duo from some local people here in the Flathead Valley who described them as a brother-sister pair of Spanish Barbs about 16-18 years of age. I was more interested in the gelding for my father-in-law to ride but they weren’t really willing to split the pair up, so I made them an offer they could refuse…..only they didn’t. It turns out that the mare made an excellent trail horse for my wife. ‘Kit’ as we called her was a very gentle soul and gaited to boot. This mare also proved to be an excellent herd manager; she gave the most subtle corrections to other horses and they gave her the utmost respect. After a couple of years Kit seemed to be slowing down and not feeling well so we had the vet check her out, x-ray the feet and do some blood work. His report came back that she was actually in excellent condition for her age which he placed at about 29-30 years. I know I should have had a pre-purchase exam and this wouldn’t have been such a surprise.
Howard and his wife Jean stopped by for a visit a few months later and while I was showing Howard this mare and how she moved, Jean grabbed the reins from me, mounted up and cantered away. I thought Howard was going to faint as Jean had not been on a horse in 15 years. I knew right then what I had to do. I told Howard to go home and get his trailer because I was giving this mare to his wife. They were both retired and I knew that they wouldn’t be putting any hard rides on her. Well, this is where the story gets better. Howard was still breeding a few Morgan mares and later that fall he purchased a yearling Lippitt Morgan stallion which he promptly turned out with his entire herd. In spite of my admonitions about the risk of such an arrangement, Howard would not be deterred. The following spring he had foals dropping, including one out of the 30 year old mare.
This little dark colt hit the ground and promptly unfolded and started running, picking up speed with each lap. He proved to be such a rambunctious colt that Howard had him gelded quite early. Howard returned the favor and told me to come get this colt as he had limited space and still had mares and fillies. I named him Brego. I started ground work right away, saddled him at two but didn’t climb on until three. He proved to be a slow maturing colt physically and mentally so I did not do much more with him until five and really haven’t ridden him extensively until he was seven. Some horses benefit from this patient approach.
I never did get any papers on Kit or her supposed brother (we called him Roman) and we have determined that Roman was probably a son to Kit, not a brother. I used Roman quite a bit and trained him for horseback archery. He now lives in Hamilton, MT with my good friends Steve and Janie Vogt where he still loves to gallop down the archery track. Both of these horses exhibit a great deal of Spanish characteristics from their movement to their conformation. Brego looks a great deal like his brother, his movement is a bit different but there is no denying the relation. I am also noticing a lot of very similar behavior/personality traits. I enjoyed working and am so impressed with Roman that I have been unwilling to part with Brego. He has been a challenging horse to deal with at times, but he is a very athletic mover with movement that you wouldn’t expect from a 15 hand horse.
This year our focus is to prepare him for some Hunter/Jumper time with my wife. I will also be using him for some Western Dressage clinics that I am doing and there is always Horseback Archery. We currently have him at a local indoor arena where the work has begun, stay tuned for updates.
Thanks for reading.