Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Maisie and Nibbles

So as most of you know, I am back to work the 12 hr shifts now as a nurse.  Recently, I was working the night shift in the ICU and new that Todd was going to be busy working the sale colts for our upcoming sale on September 21, 2013 in Great Falls, Montana.  I told Todd that I thought it would be fine if  he took Maisie (turned 6 on Aug 24th) with him but he had better leave Ashlyn at home with her grandma.  Though Maisie lives, eats and breaths horses, Ashlyn is "cautiously getting to know them."  Everyday that Todd is riding in the arena barn or any where else on the ranch for that matter Maisie is right there literally soaking it all in.  She has amazed Todd and I from the get go in how observant she is and how she then applies it to her pony Sunny D.
   Well, it was about noon when the bunch came in for lunch and of course Maisie had to wake me to tell me that I just had to come watch her come and break "Nibbles" of course I was like sure just let mamma get a little bit more awake (had been sleeping 3.5 hrs at this time).  In my mind she meant that she was standing out side the working pen, while Todd was in the inside working the colts with Maisie maybe getting to pet one every once in a while.  Todd was pretty quick to say "You gotta see this and you should bring your IPAD."  So of course then I was pretty intrigued and decided there would be no going back to sleep after that and off we all went.
    So as a mother, who wants to keep her child safe, I can honestly say I pretty much "freaked out" when I saw Todd let Maisie go into the pen with the "Nibbles" all on her own.  I was about ready to pull her out by her collar all the while giving Todd a good lashing himself for even thinking of allowing this to take place (what the ???????? was he thinking).  Todd was quick to assure me that it was gonna be just fine and to start recording.
    I was pretty amazed at what I saw through the recording of the IPAD, in fact I was truly baffled that this little colt whom until today had only been handled 2 times and for about 15 min each time.  "Nibbles" proceeded to allow Maisie to "sack him out", pick up his feet, throw a coat over his head and all the while never make a wrong move.  Complete trust on both participants part.  AMAZING. 
    When I got back to the house that night, Maisie wanted to watch the video.  Todd and I let her watch it and she was pretty impressed with herself.  Then Todd and I watched it and we were in complete awe of our 6 year old horse whisperer.  We both quickly noted that while she was leading  "Nibbles" she was "releasing pressure" and  applying pressure at all the right times.  She stayed in the safe zone of the horse at most times as well (maybe not quite when she was playing with his feet)!  She was even able to get the colt to back up with pressure to all the correct areas.  Because of the wind you cannot hear her, but Maisie is explaining her every move to her younger sister Ashlyn and she had a reason for all of request of "Nibbles."  It is truly exciting to know that at least one of our daughters is horse crazy and that the philosophy of "teaching our girls the basics and reasons why the basics are done" before turning them loose on their own to ride and partake in equine events is paying off.  Not only for a solid foundation but for safety reasons as well.  Don't forget to post below and tell Maisie what you think, she is always open to learning more!
"Nibbles" is Lot 77 TS PERKS STARLIT SYMBOL (PERKS STATUS SYMBOL X STARLITE ROYAL SUGAR) in our 18th annual production sale.  His sire is an own proven barrel horse by DASH FOR PERKS and his dam is a proven and a proven producer out of PADDYS IRISH WHISKEY.  "Nibbles" has full and half siblings that are proven in Open Reining, barrel racing, breakaway, halter and Ranch Versatility.  He has a full brother and a half brother that are being kept as stallions and he has a full sister that is currently in training with Judy Myllamaki and will be headed to AZ this winter for barrel futurities.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


So recently Todd had to go and do a routine check on the mares and the foals.  You see not only have the 150 head of cow/calf elk been wrecking havoc on the fence but also on our horses.  The mares and colts really do not like it when the herd of elk hope are in their pasture, in fact they despise it so much that they run right through the barbed wire fence!  Needless to say not a good thing.  Todd had the camera on him on this particular trip and caught a picture of TORI (QUEENS ROYAL RANSOM) that we just could not resist sharing.  And since I was sharing the photo I decided to share her story as well.

Tori is an own daughter of DASH TA FAME X THOUGHTOFASAQUEEN.  With DTF and Royal Sovereign on her papers she really is a queen.  Top that off with her having won around 15,000.00 on the track and being retired 100% sound you have the real deal.  Todd and I started the search for a mare like Tori in the summer of 2010 after suddenly loosing a phenomenal DTF mare.  We knew that the loss of one would mean a replacement but also knew that it would be incredibly tough to replace the mare that we had just lost.  Todd and I have found that over the years we have had great luck in crossing our DTF daughters on any one of our stallions (PADDYS SHOTA MERADA, PERKS STATUS SYMBOL, and our freshman sire FRENCHMANS SHAKE EM) producing tough competitors all around. 

We found Tori through a friend of ours, Jill Lane.  Jill new she was for sale in OK and since we trusted Jill and Jill would be going to OK we decided to do something that we rarely do......buy sight unseen.  Of course we had multiple photos and very thorough vet exams done first.  Liking everything that we had seen with Tori and getting great vet exams we decided to have Jill stop in and check her out for us. 

Back in 2010 OK, was going threw a horrible draught (still is) and Jill said that if you could imagine the mare with more weight on, then she would be a good mare.  Again, we trusted Jill and told her to bring Tori home for us.  Well Tori came home and though we were prepared for a under weight mare, I don't think we were prepared for the mare (6 mths pregnant as well) that stepped off of the trailer.  Tori was a rack of bones and needed at least 300 lbs added back onto her.  Over the next few weeks, we carefully fed Tori back to a healthy weight and could see that the mare we brought home was going to be a huge asset to the TREASURE STATE QUARTER HORSES program.  Tori is a super kind mare that lets Maisie and Ashlyn hang all over her in the fields and has passed that on to last years colt and this years as well.   Seeing Tori in the above picture in knee high grass put a smile on my face as I am sure it does hers.  We are happy to say that Tori has found her FOREVER home here on the ranch!!!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"you need to work everyday and stop volunteering to help Dad so much!"

"You need to work everyday and stop volunteering to help Dad so much!"  Yes, those are the words of my 4 year old daughter Ashlyn at 645 a.m. today. 

You see for the last 12.5 years Mom has worked a Mon-Fri 8 to 5 nursing position.  Recently, I went back to shift work (12hrs) and thus work a variety of days and nights.  Being that Treasure State Quarter Horses is 30 miles away from the nearest town I have commuted all of my life.  Thus an early riser.  When Maisie and Ashlyn entered the world my daycare became my mom.  So of course I would shake them out of bed nice and early, drop them at my mom's, only for them to grab their blankets and crawl up on her couch. 

Well with doing the longer hours at work, I have opened up alot more days at Treasure State Quarter Horses to be home and helping Todd.  Of course the morning still starts early, with a large pot of very dark coffee being the kick off of the day.  The girls have really liked having me at home up until this morning.  After Ashlyn threw out her well thought out comment I asked her to explain and she told me that "when you go to work Dad takes us to Grandma's in the morning and we get up on the couch and don't have to go right outside to work.  We can relax a bit.  If you weren't always volunteering to help Dad then we could spend more time relaxing."  Of course Maisie thought this idea was the solve all as well and said, "Maybe you could schedule to help dad on Saturday's?"  

I explained to both of the girls that while they both had valid points and some great ideas that they just would not work for our lifestyle.  I tried to explain to them that "scheduling" days in for Dad were not an option as this was a lifestyle we lived not necessarily a job. I explained to the girls that I was not volunteering to help Dad, I was working side by side by Dad in hopes that one day Mom would not have to work away from home as much.  Though I love being a nurse, my ultimate goal is to one day work next to Todd and my girls and ride our great horses and barrel race on the weekends (you know, live the American Cowgirl dream).  I don't think that I could ever give up the nurse in me and would have to continue to fulfill this need a least a couple of days a weak.  So what does want think or do in those life lessons moments?  Would love for you all to share your feedback below.

I told Ashlyn that I would make her a deal on this very morning that would allow her to go to her Grandma's for a couple of hours while Maisie, Todd and I worked the young ride horses if she would be willing to help in the afternoon with the moving of all the grain troughs so that we could start feeding the mares and colts.  For Ashlyn the thought of sitting on the couch for a couple of hours was a great idea and she was all for it.  For Maisie on the other hand saddling Sunny D up and going for a morning ride was the ultimate day.  Her last words before we crawled up in the saddles were, "Man, what a beautiful, perfect day!"

As Todd, Maisie and I left the barn on our early morning ride I was in no hurry to break out ahead.  Todd and Maisie on the other hand were off and running.  At that very moment, I was so glad not to have been "up ahead" as from the back I was able to watch Maisie sitting so proudly on Sunny D looping down the field, singing "lets go to the show, get on with the show, baby let's go!"  Turns out this was going to be "the perfect day!"  So Treasure State Quarter Horses had a next to perfect day, now let's hear what everyone else's "perfect day" involved.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Introduction to my family

So recently I was asked if I had a blog page for our website.  My response, "No, what would I blog about?"  The answer given to me was tell me about you, your family and what TREASURE STATE QUARTER HORSES is all about.  From looking at the website, this contact could see the horses but stated that he wanted to know what myself, my husband and who we were.  So as I lay here tonight unable to sleep you get my first blog......and introduction to my family, the lights of my life, my pride and joy and my rock solid, stand-by-you husband!

Todd recently celebrated his 40th birthday, though one would never know this if you saw him.  To be in the physical shape that he is in at 40 years of age most people could only dream of.  Todd grew up in Havre, Montana to Phil and Judy Ford and has two older sisters.  He was your typical "city kid" that was an all star athlete that excelled in running, football, basketball, baseball, basically you name it and he was great at it.  Todd is what I consider one of those very gifted people in the world that once they put their mind to do something they will do it and they will do it well.  Not only that but if he puts his mind to something he does the research and applies what he learns until he does it right and passionately.  This trait has not only followed through in his athletics over the years but also as a husband and father.  My children and I could not have picked at better person to provide for and support us. 
Todd is an avid hunter that has multiple trophy whitetail bucks mounted on our basement walls and has also accomplished successfully harvesting 5 trophy bull elk with his bow and arrow and it about to go after number 6. 
A little unknown fact to many that see Todd ride or train on his horses or even speak pedigrees with him:  until Todd met me in 1997 he had never even been on a horse nor did he know that they could come with registration papers or what the names on the papers meant.  But just like everything Todd does he dedicated himself to becoming a great rider and then colt starter.  He positioned himself with some knowledgeable trainers for hands on experience and then dived into reading and watching DVDs on colt starting.  It never ceases to amaze me (or anyone else for that matter) when I watch Todd with the horses that he did not grow up with them and that he has self taught himself so much.  Todd has spent countless hours pouring over pedigrees and doing the research behind each name on the set of papers we own and there is very little that will slip by him. One might even learn something they did not know in talking with him.  With the exception of PC MR SUN PEPPY, Todd has helped pick out PADDYS SHOTA MERADA, PERKS STATUS SYMBOL and FRENCHMANS SHAKE EM all based off of what crosses would enhance our strong set of broodmares.

Maisie is 5 years old (until August 24th) going on 25!  Our first born is a self described "free spirit and cool cat."  No kidding those are her own words.  She entered this world on the run and has never slowed down.  To have Maisie's energy and outlook on life would be wonderful.  Never one to sleep as she just might miss something, this horse crazy little girl would spend every waking minute riding her horse Sunny D.  She spends countless hours "training" Sunny D as she watches Todd's every move on his 2 yr old ride horses and mimics each and every  one.  Truly amazing that someone so young can do so much so correctly just by watching and applying.  Maisie claims that when she turns 18 she is gonna to live in a little old Girl Scout house about 4 miles from home so that she will not have to have a job, she can come to our house for food and she can just "ride all day and be free." Love her innocence  I see a serious equine competitor in our hands.  In her spare time she has an obsession with flowers and gardening.  She loves her little sister fiercely and is always out to protect her.

Ashlyn is 4 1/2 and aspires to "stay little" all her life and is truly upset that she is growing.  She wants to be little but do big girl stuff in her words.  The polar opposite of her big sister, Ashlyn would be content to sleep till 10 every morning and then chill for a bit before starting her day.  She is the proud owner of Mini Min (her miniature pony) whom after falling off of this spring, would rather just lead around or brush her.  When asked if she is gonna ride each day the standard answer is, "I am gonna start again next week, Mom!"  I have heard this for the last 3 months now.  Maybe next week.  Until then Ashlyn is perfectly happy building sand castles in the barn while the rest of us ride.  At the ripe age of 4, one can tell that Ashlyn has been gifted with her dad's speed and athletic ability.  Light as a deer on her feet and sprinting every where she goes.  Another competitor but this time on the track field instead of the arena floor I do believe!!!!  In Ash's eyes Maisie walks on water and she would be lost with out her.

I (Una) am holding steady at 34 years of age. I have 2 younger brothers and was raised here on the ranch in the Bear Paw Mountains. Like Maisie I grew up a horse crazy girl and can still remember saving all of my 4-H money and odd job money for one thing and one thing only: my own horse that I had sought out and bought!  I was able to accomplish this at the ripe ole age of 14 when I convinced my Grandfather Bill Young, that he should convince my parents Ted and Barb Crowley to let me go to the Crago Quarter Horse sale.  I was beyond elated when my parents agreed and off we went.  What a quick trip; down one afternoon, to the sale and directly home after the sale as it was hay season.  We did not come home with an empty trailer either.  2 weanling stud prospects and one weanling filly.  My first stallion FIREMEAWINNER (Taylor Jess Tivio x Win or Loose) and first broodmare where in that trailer.  The above horses along with a group of 4 broodmares that I had purchased from the late-great Bubb Nunn became the start of TREASURE STATE QUARTER HORSES!  I continued to do 4-H, work for Cowan Select Quarter Horses in the summer and beg the bank for more money as I built my heard up over the years.  Always under the support of my parents and grandpa.  Not gonna lie, by the time I was 18 the bank had given me enough money to buy a nice house and all my friends thought that I was crazy to be in debt for horses.  But I had a vision and wanted to see it through.
Jump ahead to present day and that herd has been built up to 3 stallions: PADDYS SHOTA MERADA, PERKS STATUS SYMBOL, FRENCHMANS SHAKE EM and the late great PC MR SUN PEPPY.   All of these stallions were proven money earners or are currently in training and on track for a great career.  The broodmare band was hand selected and devised to enhance our program as it grew over the years.  As we all know "behind every great man stands a great woman."  Todd, I and my parents spent countless hours selecting some of the top bloodlines in the country to compliment our breeding program.  Today we proudly have a mare line up of approximately 40 mares and many of them are proven them selves or proven producers.  Our mare lines include own daughters of DASH TA FAME, BULLY BULLION, A STREAK OF FLING, FRENCHMANS GUY, PC MR SUN PEPPY, SHINING SPARK, PADDYS IRISH WHISKEY, ROYAL QUICK DASH, ANNIES LITTLE PEPPER, DOCS OAK SUGAR,  just to name a few. Though there has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears in getting TREASURE STATE QUARTER HORSES where it is today I can proudly say it has been worth every effort. 
When I am not helping on the ranch I work as a registered nurse in the CCU/ER in Havre, Montana. Recently new to this position, but not to nursing (13 years), I sometimes have no idea what day of the week it is with the combination of working days and nights. I do know however,  that GOD put me on this earth to help and care for people and I love my job.  I enjoy taking photos and even though I have hundreds on my camera I rarely find time to down load them...haha! 
Recently, I have gotten the itch to barrel race again and have the perfect horse in the works.  "Pearl" is out of PERKS STATUS SYMBOL and our mare STARLITE ROYAL SUGAR.  Currently "Pearl" is living the life in Arlee, MT under the guidance of world champion barrel racer Judy Myllmak.  I realized "Pearl" was something special right of the bat and thus wanted to give her all the chance in the world to go on to be something, hence she has been in professional training and is making great strides to be a top futurity horse.  I cannot wait to get her home though and be able for Maisie and I to go down our little local road of barrel fun.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed getting to know my little family of four and the base of TREASURE STATE QUARTER HORSES and until I cannot sleep again..........