Bur-Dals Ginanah, a registered
Arabian mare, loves Megan Novotny
Megan(left) and Kristen(right)
lead Supreme Tsamaz, a 3/4 Arabian mare.
Megan leads Supreme Tsamaz
Kristen leads Tsammie.
Notice the hands
around the saddle horn!
Hey, this horse is easy
Allie Gushura makes friends
with Supreme Tsamaz in the arena, about the only dry
place at Windt im Wald Farm on May 21, 2004.
It's time for Allie
to mount. Tsammie is certainly ready.
Allie plays with
Tsammie in the arena.
"Oh, wow! This is
such great fun!" Both Allie and Tsammie are doing so
In December 2003 the Country Critter Journal
printed a coloring picture of a team of two horses pulling a sleigh
with a couple of people, some Christmas presents, and a dog. The
winners of the coloring contest would be from two age categories,
5-7 and 8-11. During the first week of January 2004 Windt im Wald
Farm called the families of Megan Novotny (age 7) and Allie Gushura
(age 9) to let them know that these girls were invited to a free
riding lesson at Windt im Wald, aboard a “wild and crazy Arabian
horse.” Winter 2004 really hung on with lots of snow, ice, frigid
weather, and terrible driving conditions, making it very difficult
to award the prizes to the two winning contestants before spring.
At last spring arrived, bringing with it the sunny, balmy days
of May and at last an opportunity to meet both Megan and Allie and
their families. As the Fickle Finger of Fate would have it, April’s
showers extended well into May, and both winners were faced with
showers when they arrived here at Windt im Wald Farm. Thank Goodness
for our enclosed 60’ x 120’ riding arena. Often it has not seemed
big enough, but it worked well during Megan’s and Allie’s visits.
While the rain poured outside the arena, we were all warm and cozy
and having fun.
On Saturday, May 15, 2004, we were pleased
to meet Megan, her older sister, Kristen, and her parents. All the
horses in the barn were likewise pleased to meet the members of
the Novotny family. Bur-Dals Ginanah, a little grey purebred Arabian
mare, was particularly pleased with the attention and love that
Megan lavished on her, and both girls made Supreme Tsamaz feel very
important. Tsammie is a ¾ Arabian mare and the head horse at the
farm; she helps us break young horses on the trail. Very soon Tsammie
had the Novotnys offering her treats. She always knows how to wind
humans around her pretty nose. After the girls put a halter on Tsammie
and led her to the arena, we discovered that Kristen was just as
fond of horses as Megan.
Megan, whose legs were far too short
to reach the stirrups on the saddle, learned very quickly how to
direct Tsammie with just a pair of reins clipped to Tsammie’s leather
halter. In just a short period of time Megan was totally on her
own, directing Tsammie to walk, stop, back, turn left and right,
and trot, all the while sitting very straight and confidently.
Kristen did just as well. Though her legs were longer than
Megan’s, her feet did not fit in the stirrups either. She sat Tsammie
well and quickly mastered the whoa, go, left, right, and back signals.
She was particularly adept at getting Tsammie to hold a trot while
maintaining her balance nicely.
As for Tsammie, she was the
center of attention, receiving pats, hugs, and tons of kind words
from these two polite young ladies. Tsammie, ever the mistress of
knowing how to say “Yes” on cue, won everybody’s heart.
the week of May 21, severe thunderstorms became a common, but not
welcome, occurrence. Allie Gushura and her dad, Bob Gushura, were
certainly brave during the frightening weather of Friday, May 21,
2004. They arrived just as a terrible electrical storm brought hail,
frightening wind, rain, and falling trees. Even more frightening
was the loss of power in the barn and in the arena. Nevertheless,
Allie was obviously happy and excited to meet Tsammie and vice-versa.
Allie’s dad was both knowledgeable and calm around all our horses,
and we all soon agreed that a horse’s behavior was more the result
of its handling than of its bloodlines or its particular breed.
As we walked in the rain to the arena, we were certainly grateful
for the emergency light at the back door. As a result of that light
and the two open arena doors, there was a little daylight, but not
much. It looked dark enough to be evening at 5 PM. In order to get
pictures, we and Allie’s dad used flash attachments. Good old Tsammie
did not even flinch as the flash attachments went off. Additionally,
Tsammie walked over a plastic tarp and over plastic PVC pipe without
losing a beat. She even walked into an old brittle plastic swimming
pool just to show us that nothing, not rain nor lightning nor flashbulbs,
would make her feel uncomfortable.
Once Allie was in the
saddle she was able to direct Tsammie to go, whoa, trot, walk, turn
left and right, and back up. Again, like Megan and Kristen, Allie
worked Tsammie without a bridle or bit. Although both doors were
open, Tsammie never attempted to walk out of the arena, but followed
Allie’s directions. Once Allie had dismounted, Tsammie demonstrated
her famous ground tie and let Allie play with her.
you, Megan and Allie, for entering the 2003 Christmas coloring contest.
We are happy that you gave Tsammie a good workout and helped prove
that Arabians are not wild and crazy! We are pleased that Tsammie
demonstrated that no horse needs to be handled roughly to be able
to perform willingly. You all did such a great job!
forward to having a new coloring contest in late 2004. Watch for
it in the Country Critter Journal!