Cyndi Craig
Donerail Farm
Dressage and Sport Horses
Faxxsimile +++/
2005 Half Arabian Gelding
Five Region 9 Championships in Half Arabian Sport Horse in Hand,
Two Championships in Sport Horse Under Saddle, 1 Reserve Championship in SH Under Saddle, Two Reserve Championships in Dressage and many Top Fives.
Scores to 72% in open, recognized dressage competition.
(Frohwind* x Flash of an Image)
Bred by
 Southern Breeze Sporthorses

Faxx came to live with us at Donerail Farm when he was just 8 months old.  He is registered as a half Arabian and is also registered and branded Oldenburg. He was a premium foal at his inspection, scoring 8.2 on movement. He's done super in Sporthorse In-Hand, winning both the Open and Amateur to Handle Half Arabian Sporthorse Geldings in Hand two years in a row at the Region 9 Sporthorse Regional Championships. Plus, he had the highest score of the entire in-hand competition BOTH years! 

Another photo from the  "Ride a Test," below. There was lots to look at, but Faxx was all business except for giving the judges' stand a hairy eyeball as he went by it!
Photo by Kathy Graves.

Faxx models one of the Regional Championship ribbons he earned at the 2007 Region 9 Arabian/Half Arabian Sporthorse Championships.
Photo  by Reitsport Photography.

 Faxx at the "Ride A Test" Sunday, Feb. 15.  We did Training 1 and Training 2 and got a 69% and a 66%. Faxx turned 4 April 13. Photo by Kathy Graves.

Below: Faxx models his ribbons from the 2008 Regional Championships..

July, 2010
Faxx had a great show at the Region 9 Arabian/half Arabian Sport Horse Championships, coming home with 1 Championship in Sport Horse In Hand, 2 Championships in Sport Horse Under Saddle, a Reserve Championship in Dressage, and 3 Top Fives!  And he's just five!

October 3, 2009
Faxx is coming along well and is already an old hand at showing. He's scored in the 70s 4 times at recognized shows. He had a bad show at regionals in July, just chose that day to be fussier than normal about taking contact.  He did get better, and in our last dressage class, he was Reserve Champion.  He was Reserve Champion in a large Sporthorse Under Saddle class, with 15 horses in it. I was so nervous about the big group class, i almost scratched, but Faxx was super and was not at all bothered about all the other horses trotting and cantering around him! He had a 68.2% USDF median for the All Breed Awards until I took him to one last show in September to get the second qualifying score for our USDF Regional Championships...he was not bad, just really distracted by the very busy facility, and less-than-stellar footing in the arena we competed in. His scores were 62, 63, 64 and 67 - but enough to send our median to the dumpsters and out of the placings. That's ok - he just 4!  He did get the qualifying score we needed, and will compete in the championships the end of October.
Here's some video of him at his last show:

June 23, 2009
Faxx has had a big few months. In May he went to his first recognized dressage show - an Arabian show in Katy. He scored 67-73.5 at Training Level, placed first and second in the Sporthorse Under Saddle classes, and finished his Legion of Honor from the Arabian Horse Association. He will now be known as Faxxsimile+ to designate this honor. Since Fling was lame and i'd already sent in the entry to show her third level at the June HDS show, I was able to substitute Faxx. It would not have been my choice to show him at a huge recognized show, but it was either this or lose the $350 entry fees.  He handled it well - it was very hot! He scored very well in the Training 2 classes held in the outdoor arena, but ran out of gas in the indoor arenas. He still ended up with two scores over 70% and was part of the winning USDF Adult Team, and had the highest average score of the Team competition! He'll go to Waco for the Arabian Sporthorse Regional Championships July 9-12.

April 5, 2009
Faxx showed Training level at a local barn today. It was windy and he had plenty of excuses to be spooky, but he wasa good boy. First, when I was lunging him, a horse got loose from his stall and came galloping straight torward us.  Barn workers got the horse coralled and we continued lunging - then a donky started braying. Faxx had never seen  - or heard! - a donkey before and I think he thought it was an alien life form! Then, as I was riding him over to the competiton arena, some metal gates were swinging in the wind, banging into a mounting block and he spooked big at that. But, he settled down very quickly and got to work. We had to show in the small dressage arena, which is always tougher for me. He is taking contact better and has periods of 'throughness' when I can sit his trot easily.  I sat part of the test - it helps a lot if I can sit the trot going down center line - it helps me prepare him for the halt better. Anyway, he had his highest scores to date - 70. at T1 and 72.2 at T2 and we had the highest score of the show, and also earned the Houston Dressage Society High Score Amateur award! The judge was very complimentary of him and urged me to show him in the FEI 4 - year old test at some recognized shows this year!  Faxx turns 4 April 13!

February 15, 2009
Today I took Faxx to a local barn to do a "Ride A Test" for a little practice before we go to a 'real' schooling show at Training Level. He's improved SO much in the past few months. He is still one laid back guy - he really has no 'opinion' of his own and is very obedient. Today it was very windy, but he settled down to work very quickly. We rode Training Level Test 1 and Test 2, back to back. We still need work on our walk to halt transitions - at home they're pretty good, but still not reliable with the pressure of a show.  We got a 69.1 on Test 1 and a 66. on Test 2. The judge said many of his 7s could easily be 8s with a little more balance and throughness. He got 8s on gaits in both tests.  I went off course, and we missed a lead in Test 2. Next weekend he goes to a real schooling show.

December 15, 2008
Faxx is now a champion under saddle! Ok, so it was a small local schooling show, and it was Intro! A guy's got to start somewhere! He was super for his first outing, scoring 65.5 and 66% with 8s on gaits on the second test. He only gawked at the scary judge momentarily, and then he just went in and did his job. He really probably wasn't READY to show  - our halt transitions leave a lot to be desired and I couldn't get him to show his usual lovely walk, so we scored 5s on that - a double co-efficient. But what a super glimpse of what's to come  - he's so sensible and has a terrific work ethic. Bystanders just could not believe he was only 3, and were also wowed by his lovely gaits. What a great early Christmas present!

November 15, 2008
Faxx is doing super!! He is so focused on his work - he never spooks or gets distracted by anything. He has amazing focus and work ethic for such a youngster. He is starting to have longer and longer periods of going round and on the bit. His canter is so lofty and easy to sit. I have totally 'forgotten' how "big" he is - he is not hard to ride at all. He has the usual 'young horse' problems, which aren't really problems - it's just the stage of training he's at yet. He needs to learn to bend better going to the left - he needs to learn what the leg means and how to respond to it better. But he is getting eIasier and easier to ride, and actually, today, going to the right, he felt like a horse just about ready to show training level! Fun, fun, fun!

November 2, 2008
I took Faxx over to my friend's today. He had never been to her place and there is a lot to see, between the mirrors on two sides, a dog bounding through the grass just outside the covered arena, to the other horses in the field. Faxx was a star. He didn't look at a thing - just went right to work and was 100% focused on the work. everyone raved about him, and he is starting to come on the bit for a few strides at a time. He is very soft in the bridle and will not be a horse that will ever brace against you. Everyone liked the fact that even tho he is tall, he is short backed, which will make it easier for him to collect. He is getting easier for me to ride.  I am beginning to think he might just be ready to show Training Level at the Arab Regional Sporthorse Championships in July after all. Time will tell!

Oct. 31, 2008
I rode Faxx at home for the second time today. He was a good boy. My goal is to ride him at least three times a week. Between Faeryn, Fling and Faxx, I am going to have my work cut out for me, getting enough rides in for all of them each week. Tonight I rode Faxx and Faeryn. I am going to need to ride two horses each day several times a week to keep them all going!  It would be nice if he were ready to show in dressage at the Arabian Sporthorse Regionals next July, but I doubt he will be ready by then.

Oct. 30, 2008
Faxx is home! I went up a few days ago and got him. I rode him one last time under Rick's watchful eye and then loaded him up and headed East!  I was hoping for a joyful reunion with his pasture buddies, but they are being very mean to him - like they've never seen him before!  Faeryn sees a chance to move up from the bottom of the pecking order and she's been especially mean to him. Mike's horse, Rroc, is herding my horses away from Faxx and not letting them 'bond.'  When he is not there, they all get along just as well as they did before Faxx went off to school. Poor Faxx! He probably wishes he was still back in Boerne.  I am sure it will eventually work itself out. Today I rode him on my own for the first time. I followed the exact routine that Rick does - free lunge in round pen, then lunge with side reins, then ride in round pen, then ride in the arena. Of course there was all sorts of 'stuff' going on - the neighbor across the street was having their house reroofed, and the crews were scraping and nailing, and every once in a while, Faeryn would get a wild hair and go blasting around the pasture just on the other side of the arena. Faxx was very good. I am sure I will get more comfortable with this - the main issue for me is he is so much bigger than anything I've been riding in the past 20 years! ;) His canter is really wonderful - very uphill and balanced. The bad thing is, daylight savings time ends this weekend, so next week I'll have to ride him under lights, which he is not used to. I told Mike today these are my last three year olds! I am getting too old for this stuff. ;)

October 2, 2008
Faxx is still in Boerne being trained by Rick Urban. I've been up twice to ride him and he is doing super. riding him is a learning curve for me, tho!  I don't feel like he is going to do anything naughty at all -  it's that he is a HUGE mover. I feel like I am going to be launched to the moon with every trot step, he throws me so high up in the air during posting! It is real work to just learn to 'go with him' and not try and slow him down or get behind his movement. I did a better job riding him the second time I went, yesterday. His canter is lovely - very uphill and balanced, despite the fact he is 16.H and QUITE butt high. He will be 16.2 when he finishes if he catches up to his butt!! Faxx will stay with Rick until Oct. 27, then he comes home and I take over! Faxx has incredible movement, but he probably will advance at a slower pace than Faeryn. Faeryn is built more 'round' and is already starting to seek contact with the bit, and since she's smaller and more compact, everything is easier for her. Faxx is larger and 'rangier' and collection is going to be harder for him - and me, too, due to his size and  huge suspension. It's a happy 'problem' to have, though, and I am happy that it looks like Faeryn will end  up a level ahead of Faxx, for now. I don't like to have two horses showing at the same level. Faxx may not make it to any recognized shows next year, but I am sure he will hit the schooling show trail, along with Faeryn.

August 9, 2008
Yesterday I went to Boerne to visit Faxx and watch Rick work with him. A friend of mine is looking at property in Seguin, just an hour away so we 'multi-tasked" and did both. I have only talked to Rick once since Faxx left - I've had my hands full with other things. I didn't even really ask him what he'd been doing with him. I left him instructions to just treat him like a horse that had never been backed. I trust Rick and his judgment.

Boy was I in for a surprise! Faxx has only been there for 15 "working" days and Rick is already walk/trot/cantering him - not only in the round pen, but all over creation!  Faxx was relaxed and happy - and was completely at home at Rick and Judy's. I just knew he would be. Their place is set up for the horse's happiness in mind, and they are both superb horse people, and just good people, period. Rick really likes Faxx, and it's evident that Rick gives Faxx a lot of confidence. Faxx hasn't given him any trouble, and Rick gave him high praise for his work ethic and 'trainability." Woo hoo!  

I took some very bad pics and video - the glare was so bad I could not even see what I was filming in the little screen on either the camera or my video camera. But I'll attach what I've got. In the small video clip I keep moving the camera down because it was spooking Faxx as he came around my side of the round pen each time.

Rick riding Faxx at canter in round pen HERE
Rick riding Faxx at walk around property HERE

July 20, 2008
Well, Faxx is in Boerne by now. I hauled him to Magnolia to a horse show so Rick Urban and Judy Campbell could take him home with them to Boerne. I was so proud of how calm Faxx was. When I got there, I parked at the edge of the big field where everyone warms up and tied Faxx to the trailer with a hay net. Now, Faxx ties just fine at home, but he's never stood tied to a trailer. And here he was in a place he'd never been with all these horses working in the field - but he was just super. Just stood calmly munching his hay and enjoying the view! When I tracked down Rick and Judy, I moved Faxx to an empty stall next to one of their clients' horses, a lovely big pinto warmblood. Faxx felt right at home, since he lives with two pintos.;) The two geldings proceeded to play and play through the slats of the stalls, and when it came time to go, the pinto got on the trailer first, and Faxx was eager to get in right behind his new-found friend!  Rick really liked Faxx, and i think his calm, unflappable nature will be a really good match with Faxx. So Faxx will be in Boerne until the end of Sept. or possibly the end of October. As soon as Rick thinks Faxx won't kill me, I'll start going up on a regular basis to ride him. I know Faxx will progress very quickly with Rick.

July 12, 2008
We are back from the Region 9 Sporthorse Championships in Waco.  I trailered Faxx to my friend Margaret's barn on the north side of Houston, and transferred Faxx and all his 'stuff' to her trailer and then we headed out. I forgot how HOT it is at this show. Theoretically, the competition arena is air conditioned, but I don't think they turned it on this year until the morning of the competition and it was hot EVERYWHERE. I was really glad I was not competing in the under saddle stuff this year. Margaret showed her lovely purebred gelding, Apollo, in the morning and got Top 5 in the Open class! Apollo is the same age as Faxx, and equally laid back. We are lucky to have such easygoing three year olds! Oddly enough, Faxx was more antsy in the show ring than anywhere else. I managed to not go off course during the walk this show but felt he only showed 'so so' during our first go-round. They were very quick in scoring and posting the results this year. I was still walking Faxx around between our two classes and just checked to see if anything was posted and they already had our score - a 79.3. I believe I said "Holy Crap" right out loud. It was the highest score and there were only three more horses to be scored, so I knew at this point we at least had a Top 5. That took some of the pressure off for the next class anyway! I felt he was fussier in the trot in the second class, but I felt I got him set up better - and we scored a 79.5! He won both the Open and the Amateur to Handle HA Sporthorse Geldings.  His scores also ended up being the highest scores of the entire in-hand division of over 100 entries for the second year in a row. He also was Supreme Half Arabian Champion and he got a lovely bridle.  I was very proud of him - he has grown up a LOT in a year. He stood tied outside the stall while I braided him (it takes me an hour!) and he fell asleep as forklifts, go carts, Gators and a veritable parade of people and machinery went by him. He never batted an eye at anything the whole time we were there, plus he settled in fine and ate/drank/ and did not get stressed about anything.  Showing him in -hand the past two years is going to make it so much easier when it's time to show him under saddle!  And speaking of that, next Sunday he goes to Rick Urban in Boerne to start under saddle. I will miss my big bruiser - he'll be there two months and maybe three. Just depends on how he does. I think he is ready. It is going to be very difficult to not make a complete PITA out of myself, constantly pestering Rick and Judy about his progress - but I will try to contain myself! ;) Whenever Rick feels he's ready for me to climb aboard, I'll make regular pilgrimages there to ride him. Hopefully next week I'll have pics from the show, but they'll pretty much look like last year's, except now he's 16H! Add still growing, since he's butt high AGAIN.

View small video clips of Faxx. These aren't the greatest - since I could not hold the camera AND the lunge line, Faxx got a bit 'wound up' when Mike's horse, Thor (aka "Butthead") kept charging at Faxx from outside the round pen. But you get the idea. ;)

Click HERE for Faxx Video One
Click HERE for Faxx Video Two

May 18, 2008
Faxx has earned another championship! He was Champion Half Arabian Sporthorse Gelding In-Hand at the Spindletop Arabian Horse Show yesterday.  I showed him in the Open and Amateur to Handle classes and he got a 76 in our first class (Open)  and an 83 in the second one (Amateur). Faxx showed about the same in both classes - I went 'off course' in the first class - forgetting that the walk is done on the small triangle, not the large one. The judge told me I went off course, but I had no idea how, or even if, it would affect our score. Well, it did affect our score, significantly. She gave Faxx a 5 on his walk in the first class, and a 9 on his walk in the second. A four point difference that put Faxx in second place by two points in the Open class. (In dressage shows, you only get penalized 2 points going off course.) He won the Amateur class (beating the horse that beat him in the Open class) by 5 points. Lesson learned. You can be sure I will never make _that_ mistake again!  His score of 83 tied for the highest score of the show, earned by a Half Arabian mare. The mare won the tie-breaker and was Champion HA and Faxx was Reserve Champion Half Arabian. He was very laid back despite the fact I was running late, and this show was more organized than most and our class was much earlier than usual.  I barely had time to unload my stuff, give Faxx a quick going over (I had braided him at home that morning) and literally jog over to the show arena! My friend Margaret's nice purebred gelding, Apollo, won both his classes and was Champion Purebred Gelding, so a great day for us both. Next up - the Sporthorse Regional Championships in Waco in July. In the meantime I will be doing sprints on the treadmill at the gym so I can run better with him, and I will definitely practice my in-hand showing skills!

April 25

Faxx is home from “kindergarten.”  He spent a month at a local trainer learning to be backed and walk and do some trot. His ‘schooling’ was cut short by the fact the guy decided to go to Spain for a riding gig. Faxx is very happy to be home – and I am more firmly convinced than ever that even a good boarding stable is a bad thing for most horses. This place was immaculate, the stalls were clean, water buckets were clean and always full. But the facility was not very Faxx friendly. Turnout was only 6 hours a day in small paddocks, and when he was in his stall, he couldn’t see anything – no windows to the outside, not much activity and he could not see the arena and other horses being ridden. It did not make for a happy Faxx. He was more ‘wired’ there than anywhere else I’ve taken him. It took him two weeks just to ‘settle down’ enough for the guy to even think about getting on him. So, he only got about ten days of actually having someone on his back while he was there.

In July, after Arab/HA Sporthorse Regionals, Faxx will go to Rick Urban and Judy Campbell in Boerne.  

 Rick rode a horse for me a long time ago when they were still located in Magnolia, near Houston. He did a super job and I am sure he will be a very good match for Faxx. Rick does eventing and also shows client horses in dressage, and he is a very quiet, fearless rider. Anyone who does prelim eventing is fearless in my eyes! Even better, their facility is very open – the stalls have views all around, and Faxx can see the arena from his stall. Plus, he can be turned out just about as much as I want. Rick also rides them out in a big field, which I really like – since I myself ride out in the field more than I do in my arena.

So, I worked Faxx in hand for the first time since he got back – we did some long lining in the arena. My goal is to get him steering much better before he goes to Boerne. And what a sweet, forgiving guy. I am always amazed about HOW MUCH outside rein you have to have to keep them straight – at one point Faxx ended up turned around, with the long lines wrapped around his butt and he just stood there looking at me like, “What now, mom?”  He is no longer going behind the vertical at the slightest touch of pressure on his mouth and is accepting the bit much better. I really just cannot wait to ride him – and if I had more experienced help on the ground (besides my husband ;)) I would probably hop up on him for a tour around the round pen!


March 30, 2008

Faxx had to delay the start of "school" because on the Friday before he was supposed to go on Sunday, he came in for dinner with a huge front leg. It was so swollen and sore, he would not even put his foot flat. I seriously thought he had a bowed tendon - that's how swollen it was. I could not get an appointment with the 'sports medicine' vet until the following Wednesday, so I did my standard "stall rest/icing/hosing/sweating/wrapping/hand walking" protocol. By Wednesday the swelling was almost gone and he was sound at the walk - I was not even going to bother with trotting him out until we got to the vet. It was obvious he didn't have a bowed tendon, but I was afraid he could still have some tendon damage - a strain or even a tear.  I was really relieved when he trotted out sound at the vet, and the ultrasounds showed no problem at all. The vet cleared him to go for training as early as the next day, but I wanted him to have a few days of turnout before he went to 'school' so he did not go until  March 23.

It is a huge change for him, being at a boarding stable where he gets 6 hours of turnout as opposed to home where he is out 24/7 unless it's bad weather. There's also a lot of horses and a lot of activity he's not used to. It really took him a full week to settle in.

I talked to the trainer today and was surprised to find he got on Faxx today. Now, Faxx is a good boy, but he has a tendancy to 'scare himself.'  His first reaction to something is usually a 'big' reaction, but then he's usually fine. I told James that when I left him. Sure enough, James got on Faxx just fine (I'd gotten off and on him about 10 times before he left, so he was fine with that.) But when he asked him to walk forward, Faxx bolted  - but then stopped on his own accord, with legs planted wide - just like he does when he does a 'spook in place.'  James said he then walked him around uneventfully, got off him, got back on him and Faxx walked off just fine the second time. That was almost exactly what he did the first time I lunged him with the saddle. It was bronc city the first time - but 'ho hum' pretty much from then on.

So, I look forward to the next report to see what happens. I am sure Faxx will turn out to be a solid citizen like the rest of his 'relatives' (Faeryn and Fling). It may just take him a little longer. He is not being naughty - he is just a bit more immature than they were at the same age. I also told James that if he thinks Faxx just isn't mature enough, I'll just bring him home and we'll try again in a few months but he said he didn't think that was the problem - he is just more 'reactive' than his sisters.

March 9, 2008
Faxx is going to school!  I was going to wait until summer to start him, but he's matured mentally SO much the past two months. Plus, the guy I found to start him is going to be unavailable May-August and I really don't want to wait till fall to start him.

So, next Sunday I will drop him off at the trainer. This guy has been riding a friend of mine's horse and I went over and watched him ride and was pleased with that I saw. He is very laid back, has a super seat and quiet hands and nothing they do fazes him. He's also less than a mile away, which will allow me to bring Faxx home on the weekend so he can romp with his buddies in the 24/7 turnout he is used to. I think that arrangement will help him a lot, mentally, too. I've always thought it was setting up a young horse for 'failure' to lock them in a stall hours and hours and then expect them to have the attention span to learn something when they finally get out. So, Faxx will stay for 60 days and hopefully he will earn his 'diploma' in walk/trot/canter and steering. ;) I stressed to this guy I do not want him rushed, to take his time and not to try and put him in any sort of frame - I just want him happily and quietly going forward and steering. Nothing more.  It is going to be very hard for me not to be a PITA owner, calling every day to see how he is doing but I will try my best to resist the temptation. ;)

February 17, 2008
Faxx is now 16H at the butt and 15.3 at the withers - with a regulation measuring stick. He will be three in early April. I keep telling him to quit growing! And he's shedding already!

He is definitely starting to mature mentally. He participated in a longlining clinic in late January and was a very good boy despite the fact it was a totally new concept for him. I ordered some good leather longlining reins and they came yesterday, so today he got worked in hand for the first time in awhile. First I got on and off him several times while Mike held him. Ida Anderson, who was the clinician for the longlining sessions, suggested I get him totally bored silly by the mounting process before he goes off to be started. I had gotten off and on him once several months ago. So today I got on and off two or three times with absolutely no reaction from Faxx.

Then I tacked him up in the longlining gear and went into the big arena to longline. Previously I've only longlined him in the round pen.

He was a very good boy and very forgiving of my lack of skill at longlining! It is very difficult to steer in straight lines. You need much more outside rein than you can ever imagine! And of course, steering is a totally new concept for Faxx. I can see where this will really make it easier on him when he gets started under saddle. This way, the steering with the bit will be a familiar concept to him, and the only thing new that he will have to think about will be the rider on his back in motion. It is really good to break the learning process into as many tiny little 'bites' as possible for the horse. Especially one that is sensitive or maybe a tad bit immature. Faxx is both - but honestly, he has made HUGE strides in the last few months.

Yesterday I just worked him free in the round pen for a little 'join up' work and the neighbor behind us was doing something that made a loud noise just as Faxx was passing that side of the pen. He jumped a few feet off the rail, went right back to the rail and just kept trotting - no taking off or wild antics. And when he got to that 'scary' spot along the rail again - he just kept on trotting calmly and didn't react at all. I was very happy to see that. I think he is going to be quite sensible under saddle.

January 12, 2008
Well, Faxx started the year off right with two wins and a Championship at the Houston All Arabian Show in Katy, Tx. I showed him in both classes and he was SUCH a good boy!  He earned a wonderfully gawdy silk flower garland for being Half Arabian Champion Gelding. I think Faxx thinks he won the Kentucky Derby! He might have been the high score Half Arabian - they were VERY slow to post the scores and I didn't stick around to see. He is now half way to his Legion of Honor award and he won't be three until April! We're definitely planning to go to Sporthorse Regionals again this year, and our friend Margaret, and her purebred gelding, Apollo, will be going too, since HE won the purebred gelding Championship! I wish we'd gotten pictures of them together!

2007 Show Highlights:

United States Equestrian Federation Horse of the Year Awards, Region 9
  • Third place, Half Arabian Sporthorse
Region 9 Arabian/Half Arabian Sporthorse Championships
  • Champion, Half Arabian Geldings In Hand, Amateur to Handle 
  • Champion, Half Arabian Gelding In Hand, Open
  • Supreme Champion Half Arabian
  • High score of in-hand division

January Jubilee Arabian Show
Katy, TX
1st place H/A Gelding Sporthorse in Hand Open
1st place H/A Gelding Sporthorse in Hand Amateur to Handle
Champion H/A Gelding Sporthorse in Hand
High Score Half Arabian

Spindletop Arabian Spring Show
May, 2007

1st place, H/A Gelding Sporthorse in Hand, Amateur to Handle
2nd place, H/A Gelding Sporthorse in Hand, Open
Reserve Champion, H/A Gelding Sporthorse in Hand

December 20, 2007

It's official. Faxx placed third in the USEF Horse of the Year Awards for Region 9 in H/A Sporthorse. That is truly impressive, since he only went to three shows, and can only compete in the in-hand classes since he is not under saddle yet. It wa a very competitive division and he was only four points from catching the Reserve Champion. The two horses who beat him both compete in Show Hack, Sporthorse Under Saddle AND the in-hand classes.  He will start under saddle this next spring and the goal is to show in dressage at Regionals in '09.

July 24

Faxx went to the Region 9 Arabian/Half Arabian Sporthorse Championships July 12-15. He showed in two Half Arabian Sporthorse in Hand Classes. I showed him under the hunter judge in the Amateur to Handle class, which was first, and then my trainer, Brooke, showed him under the dressage judge in the Open class.

This was Faxx’s first overnight show and not the best situation since he would have to go up on Wednesday, a four-hour trailer ride, show on Thursday and then stand in a stall until Lisa finished her classes, which were on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. But he was a good boy other than some initial airs above the ground when Brooke lunged him the first time on the showgrounds.  

I showed first under the hunter judge, who had been giving wildly erratic and very, very low scores at first, but apparently got 'talked to' at the break. She was penalizing horses for minor cuts/abrasions -- the kind of things horses get unless they're stalled 24/7 and bubble-wrapped! I was a bit worried because Faxx lives outside most of the time and he and my husband's gelding play the 'bite face' game daily and he usually has a few battle scars to show for it!

However, by the time we showed for her, she made no mention of his several pretty obvious 'war wounds.'  I could tell by the comments she was making to the scribe that she liked him when I set him up. The only negative comments she made were due to his age and expected, like his lack of muscling over his topline. He was the tiniest bit rangy-looking - keeping him at the right weight has been a real challenge.

He walked well and kept his composure during the trot triangle. ;)  He ended up with an 86 and won his class, and that was the highest score of the entire in-hand portion of the show - 111 entries!

Faxx's open class wasn't held until 8:30 p.m. - the first judge had been delayed at an airport due to bad weather and the whole show eventually ended up about five hours behind schedule. Brooke showed him under dressage judge Bill Solyntjes and Faxx had pretty much had "enough" by this time, but hadn't had enough to be bored. We were hoping he could just hold it together for the four minutes it would take to show him! LOL!  I was watching from the in-gate so did not have a good perspective, but my heart stopped when he jigged one step during the walk.  His walk is his strongest point and I did not want him to screw it up!  Fortunately he settled down and marched right along. I held my breath as he went into the trot. He was a tiny bit rambunctious on the last leg of the triangle, but was good along the long side opposite the judge where it counts the most.

He ended up winning that class, too, with a 73.5 from Bill. I was happy he won both classes because I knew if he had won the first, but not the second, people would think his earlier win was only due to some odd judging by the first judge.

So he brought home two bronze trophies, two huge champion neck sashes and two large "Top 5" ribbons. He is also qualified for Sporthorse Nationals, but we are not going. It's way too far - either Idaho or Virginia, I forget which this year - doesn't really matter - either venue is much too far to haul a two year old.

We got home around 10 p.m. Sunday night. Faxx and Lisa were SO happy to be home and Faeryn and Fling were SO happy to see their mommy!  Faxx was just happy to ssee the ten acre pasture instead of the inside of a 10x10 stall!

The photographer got some great shots of Faxx and as soon as I get them I will post them here.

July 2, 2007
Faxx is learning to be a big horse! He's now lunging with bit, bridle and sidereins and is accepting the bit nicely. He is really a nice mover and a sweet and easygoing fellow. Now, he just needs to STOP growing! LOL!  Maybe I can talk Brooke into just backing him in the fall when he's two and a half, then next summer when he will be three, we'll lightly start working him.  We got the class list for Regionals and Faxx's in hand class is one of the largest of the whole show.  We have shown  against about one third of the horses in his class, but the rest are unknowns. I think he is looking more mature and has a better topline now than the last time I showed him. He was looking a little rangy so I increased his groceries a little and the lunging with sidereins has helped his topline a little. Now I guess I should practice working him in hand a little, ya think? ;) I really do hate showing in hand! I think it's the running part of it!

May 26, 2007
Faxx went to his second rated Arabian show today. He's matured and filled out a bit since the last time we showed him in January, I think. He is an old hand at showing now. it was No Big Deal to him at all. It probably helped that this was the same facility we went to in January. He is still very wiggly when standing for the judge though. Neither Brooke nor I could get him set up very well and even when we did get  him set up fairly well, he moved. So we really need to work with him.  Despite  that, he earned a perfect 10 on movement for both walk and trot - with me and with Brooke. Our next show will be regionals in Waco in July. 

February 19, 2007
Faxx has  mastered everything one would expect of a horse his age - and more. He will be two in April and he loads and rides quietly in a trailer, is good when taken to new places, stands quietly to be saddled and he lunges quietly with a saddle, and knows walk-trot-canter voice commands on the  lungeline. This week I put the bridle on him for the first time and by the third time I'd put it on him, he was wearing it quietly without any fuss. Next up I'll start ground driving him - probably this summer. Mentally, he is much less mature than Faeryn, but that's typical for the colts.

January 13, 2007

Faxx went to the January Jubilee Arabian Show today to compete in Half Arabian Sporthorse. Brooke showed him in the open Half Arabian Sporthorse Geldings class and I showed him in the  Half Arabian Sporthorse Geldings Amateur to Handle class.
He was such a trooper! We ended up waiting around hours and hours to show. He ate his hay, he calmly watched tractors dragging the ring - his only 'fault' was youthful exuberance occasionally after standing around doing nothing for several hours and then being asked to trot in hand. ;)
Fortunately, Brooke showed him first and he was a star, behaving very well. The scores and results were not posted by the time I had to show him. You show individually in sporthorse, and the judge has a score sheet very similar to a dressage test. The horse is judged 40% on conformation, 40% movement 10% overall impression and I can't remember what the other 10% is offhand. There was about 30 minutes between our classes and Faxx had just about had Enough by the time I showed him and the wind had really kicked up. So I had 15.2 H of youthful exuberance to contain while running in hand as fast as I could. Yeah, right. ;)  You have to run a triangle and making those turns is HARD! Somehow Faxx's legs and mine got a little mixed up and I stumbled on the last leg of the triangle, and as we screeched to a halt right before running over the judge (with me thinking "stop, please stop!" ) and red faced and about to die from exertion, the judge says "I'm going to have to ask you to do that again."  Fortunatly I engaged my brain before I said "*&%^  I'm not doing that again". ;) I took a big breathe, brought him to a WALK before each turn and finished with a much better performance than the first time. Maybe next time I should practice before we get to the show, ya think?
So, finally they posted the results and Brooke won her class of 6 with him, I won my class of 7 and he was Champion Half Arabian Sporthorse Gelding AND he was High Point Half Arabian!  Regionals here we come!!! He was the  youngest horse there except for one weanling showing in the Arabian Colts/Stallions class. And, funny enough, despite my poor 'performance',his score with me showing him was only .27 lower than Brooke's!! I guess they really DO judge the horse and not the handler! ;) He got LOTS of compliments and lots of incredulous looks when we told people he was only 21 months old! LOL!

January 10, 2007
Happy one year anniversary, Faxx! It's hard to believe, but Faxx has been a member of the family for a year now. Watching he and Faeryn roughhouse in the pasture tonight, I'm sure she is happy he came along - as well as Fling, since she got relieved of 'babysitting' duties for Faeryn once Faxx joined us. 

January 6, 2007

Well, the entry form is in the mail and Faxx is going to his first 'real' show a week from today. He will show in the Sporthorse in Hand, Geldings 2 and over. I really don't think we're ready - but I never think I'm ready to go to a show.  Brooke is going to show him in the open class and I am going to show him in the amateur class. It's going to be interesting since running isn't exactly my "thing!"  He is also a little hairier than I would like, but I just refuse to body clip him. Hopefully we'll have a nice warm snap in time for the show and I can get his hair to lie down. I am wondering just how long it will take me to braid his mane, considering he is not wild about getting his mane pulled. ;) Poor Faxx, he's having to learn early about the life of a 'show horse.' ;)

November 30, 2006

I desperately need new photos of Faxx. He is turning into one handsome young man. He is going to go to the ARABS January Jubilee and show in Sporthorse In Hand in a bid to qualify for next summer's regionals. He is now 15.1 at the withers and he's two weeks shy of 18 months old.  His coat is short and sleek, even though we're heading into winter and the other ponies have started growing winter coats. So I've been putting a turnout sheet on him when it's cool at night in an effort to keep his nice slick coat. I definitely do NOT want to have to body clip him for the show, since he lives outside most of the time.

Today we got a "blue norther" and the temp dropped about 40 degrees within 20 minutes. Since it was 78 when I left for work at 6 a.m., Mike brought them all in and put sheets on them before it started raining. Tonight it is going to be near freezing so Faxx is wearing his heavy blanket and I dug out a hood I have not used in nearly 15 years. I put it on him while he was eating and he did not even notice! LOL! Typical teenage boy! He looks very comical in his hood - but he seems to feel very important wearing it. I think he thinks he is a superhero -- Fabulous Faxx - fighting for truth, liberty and more carrots! ;)

October 10, 2006
Time flies!
An update on Faxx - he now has been introduced to the saddle! Since the surcingle was a 'ho hum' event, I assumed the same would hold true for the saddle. It was ho hum when I put it on his back, ho hum when I girthed him up, ho hum when we walked to the round pen. However, that's when ho hum ended!  I asked him to go forward and he went straight up in the air. Then landed, and then bucked. Then reared, then bucked again. Without moving a single foot forward! I was stunned, but finally remembered  -- 'When you're in trouble -- SEND THEM FORWARD!"  I waved the lunge whip at him and he shot forward, doing a pretty good bucking bronc imitation for one lap...then we were back to "ho hum." It was so funny. Ok, well, it wasn't funny when he was standing straight up in the air! Luckily, after his intitial brain fart, everything was ho hum again - both directions at walk, trot and canter for about 10 minutes. Then we quit. Ten minutes is about the most I do with
them at this age. So, I'll be curious to see his reaction next time we work on this.
Otherwise he's been busy doing what young boys apparently do best - trying to kill himself! Two weeks ago, as I was watching them, they all got a burr up their butt and were running hell bent for leather in our ten acre field. Faxx came around a corner, his legs went out from under him sideways and he slid toward the fence and his legs went UNDER it. In getting up, he RAKED one hind leg on the fence and had a nasty looking, but totally superficial, cut. He just stood there with his leg up in the air, looking at me like "HELP!"  I took him and hosed him for about 10 minutes, sprayed some furacin on it and he was good to go. No lameness at all. But what a momma's boy! LOL!
Then Thursday evening he came in with a big cut on his face. More washing and furacin. Then Friday night he came in with one rear leg swollen and very hot. We did 15 minutes
of hosing and I painted my DMSO/Furacin goop on it, bandaged it, gave him bute and kept him up for the night. Saturday morning when it was still swollen and hot, I took him to the vet and left him so they could 'work him in' and ultrasound him to make sure he had no tendon damage.  All was ok - just some bruising, no real damage done, but ever since Lisa had a massive tendon injury I always get them ultrasounded if I even suspect one. I picked him up Sat. afternoon and he got restricted to the round pen for the weekend with more bute and leg sweating. By Sunday night the swelling was all gone, and it was cool, so he got out of "jail" Monday.  I told my vet I have not had a BOY in about 10 years and they sure play rough! The girls
never seem to come in with all the bumps and cuts! He prescribed a rubber stall for the next few years! LOL!

May 20, 2006
Another milestone for Faxx. He went to a little open schooling show put on by a local Arab club. It was held at Great SW Equestrian Center, which is about an hour and 15 minutes from home and is a huge show complex. He's only ridden alone in the trailer three times in his life and never this long tied like a 'big horse.'  He was actually so quiet in the trailer on the way over there I had these awful thoughts of "did he fall out the back?"  But I'm just optimistic that way. ;)   He was quite ready to get OUT when we got there, and although he rarely talks at all at home, he hollered a LOT.  He was too agitated to eat hay in his stall at first, so I led him around. He was a bit worried about all the 'stuff' in the aisles at first - you know, the usual horse show stuff - lawn chairs, tack trunks, etc.  But the longer we were there and the more I walked him around, the calmer he became. Of course, that's the idea. ;)  I actually showed him in the Half Arabian halter class, but I made no real effort to work with him in-hand before the show. I'm just not "into" the Arabian type halter. They now have "sporthorse in hand" halter at some of the recognized shows, and the horses are shown just like warmbloods are in hand. And I'll make an effort to show him in that some day. (I'll hire a handler, tho - I am awful at showing in-hand!)  This wasn't one of those sporthose classes, tho. And it also didn't help that I refuse to cut his whiskers. And he has a short mane. And a banged tail.  ;)  It's my way of rebelling against the "over clipped, greased up" Arab show halter tradition. I also showed him in a plain black leather halter, not an Arab halter. So of course, he was second out of two entries. But he trotted when I asked him to trot and walked when I asked him to walk, and stood pretty quietly in the ring. So mission accomplished. He was  mighty happy to get home and I am sure he had a lot to tell Faeryn!  Watch out, Faeryn, you're going to one of these little shows next! ;)

May 13, 2006
Faxx had a big day yesterday. I had a little spare time on my hands so I decided to put the surcingle on him again. This time I used a big fat fluffy fleece pad so my surcingle, which was not QUITE small enough for him last time, would fit without any danger of sliding around. I put him in his stall to do it and I tightened it up almost as tight as you would a girth. He just stood quietly and didn't mind it at all. Next I walked him around his stall in it - didn't want any fireworks in the aisle of the barn! That was OK, too, so I took him out to the round pen along with a lunge line. Faxx has never been lunged, but I planned to turn him loose in the pen to see how he was with the surcingle and if he was ok with it I was going to have a  very short Lungeing 101 lesson. Faxx thought the surcingle was very ho hum even trotting around the round pen so I very quietly waved the whip at him to ask for canter. He gave one little surprised kick and then just settled into a relaxed, unhurried canter. I said "whoa" and he stopped immediately, so I clipped the lunge line on and he learned to lunge. Although there really didn't seem to be much "learning" to it - he trotted when I asked him to trot, cantered when I asked him to canter and stopped when I asked him to stop! All total I guess we spent 10 minutes in the round pen. So we quit. I guess he is trained to lunge now! LOL! It's not something I will do often - he's really too young. But it's good to keep young minds busy! And it makes everything so much easier and less traumatic (for everyone involved!) when they sort of 'grow up' being expected to be handled and worked, etc.

Then I measured him. He's been busy the last two months - growing. He's now 14.2 at 13 months almost to the day. And that's with a "horse show legal" aluminum stick with arm and bubble level! He grew two inches in two months. I think he's going to be a big boy! Hopefully no bigger than 15.3-16H. But, he's leggy and not wide bodied so I'm really not worried about him getting too big. Plus he is such a light, airy mover, you just know he's going to be like that under saddle, too! I can hardly wait. But I will. ;)

April 12, 2006
Tomorrow Faxx will be one year old.  By the fall he'll probably be wearing a saddle and by the time he is two, he should be ground driving. Depending on his mental maturity, he may get backed as a two year old, taught basic walk, trot and canter and then turned back out to grow up some more. Although he looks physically mature, I think he will be slow to mature mentally. He's very shy compared to Faeryn, so we need to do things to build his confidence. He will be going to some open schooling shows to see the world this summer, so he also got a lesson on trotting in hand today and he was super. Last time I tried, just me jogging next to him scared him. But today he was an old pro at it. I also put him on the cross ties in the barn to groom him - the second time I've tied him there and he acted like he'd been doing it all his life. Last time he got a little scared. He whinnied at me for the first time yesterday. I think he's finally bonding with me. He had bonked his eye on something and it was really swollen and teary yesterday and he let me open it up wide and probe around with no restraint.  He just put his forehead in the crook of my arm and stood there afterwards. It was definitely an "Awwwww" moment.

April 6, 2006
Isn't Faxx a handsome fellow? He and Faeryn both are looking more and more like "small horses" and less and less like babies. I thought he would never shed, but he's actually pulled ahead of Faeryn in that department. This photo was taken 4/2/06,  just 11 days from his first birthday. He's 14 hands exactly. This weekend we had trailer loading lessons. It took us about 30 minutes to get him in, but after the first time, it got very easy.  He's a little shy, but very sweet. 

Isn't that a sweet-faced boy? He has the lovely Frohwind neck! He was about 10 months old here and had just come to live at Donerail Farm.

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