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Blog Hop: A Tour of the SEC

Blog Hop: A Tour of the SEC

This barn tour blog hop comes from L. Williams of the blog Viva Carlos! It took me a while to stop drooling over the facilities at her new barn, but once I’d finished cleaning the puddle off of my desk I figured this was a good chance to share a little bit more about my own stable (plus I’m always looking for an excuse to wander around taking pictures).

Here’s an over head view of the equestrian center via Google Maps, with turnout paddocks marked in ,
riding areas marked in , barns marked in , and the Ready Area marked in .

The equestrian center has four barns. The northern most barn is filled with horses that are owned by the owner of the facility and is also the barn the Farrier works out of. The other three barns are occupied by boarders (like me!). At last count the SEC had over 100 horses in residence, with the majority of them in the Main Barn where Ezhno and the R2R lesson program horses are housed. Trainer A (the owner of the R2R program) owns something like seven or eight lesson horses and partially leases around five more from other owners. Each stall has a laminated placard on the front that lists the horse’s owner, trainer, vet, and feed information (you can see Ezhno’s in the recent Christmas decoration photo I took).

The 9 Aisle (left), the Center Aisle (mid), and the Far Aisle (right), all of which are in the Main Barn

The Ready Area is attached to the Main Barn. It has a kichenette, the R2R office, dozens of tack lockers, a small locker area, and a heated bathroom, plus five sets of cross ties in the main area and two more sets back in the wash racks. It’s where I take a majority of my pictures of Ezhno, since I always have my phone on hand and he stands patiently in the cross ties.

Ezhno in the cross ties and wash rack (which are through the white door at the end of the cross tie area)

Trainer A and Trainer M use the whiteboards at the back of the cross tie area to map out their schedule of lessons and training horses for the day. R2R has two tack rooms, both of which are at the very end of the cross tie area on the right (just before the door to the wash racks). My tack room is back by the restroom (just to the left of the picture I took of the cross tie area). I casually share my tack room with a young teen that just got her first horse (Star) right around the time that I bought Ezhno. She keeps her horse at home, but hauls her in every once in a while for a weekend to use the facilities (she wants to train her horse to run barrels), during which she stows her stuff with me.

My tack locker (left), the R2R western tack locker (mid), and the R2R English tack locker, all three of which are in a bit of disarray during the middle of the day, lol

One of the best parts of the SEC is the amount of riding space we have on site. We have two indoor arenas, known as the Main Arena (attached to the Main Barn, 80′ x 210′ with deep footing designed for gaming) and the West Arena (across the parking lot from the Main Barn, 80′ x 192′ with a lighter footing meant for performance riding and jumping). The lesson program typically uses the West Arena, since it’s closed to haul-ins, and I usually end up riding in there while lessons are running throughout the week (it’s like auditing from the back of a horse!). There is also a 60′ round pen that was recently rebuilt and two outdoor arenas (150′ x 300′ each, though they’re currently a little overgrown and wet).

Our most unusual attraction is probably the track, though. The track itself is 3/4 of a mile and there’s a 20 acre cross country/trail course in the middle of it (!!!). The track is too muddy to ride on right now, but during the dryer months the footing’s suitable for everything from cooling out to going for a gallop and the owner mows down the grass so that the obstacles (mounds, logs, barrels, bridges, tires, giant weathervanes, tents, pool noodles, ponds, etc.) and jumps are available for use. I’ve never gone over any of them (they’re high, man!), but maybe some day…

The Main Arena (left), the West Arena in action (mid), and the covered area outside the West Arena (right)
It was too cold/wet to get pics of the outdoor stuff LOL

The SEC also has something like 50 turnout paddocks, though the nature of a big boarding barn means that horses are typically turned out without a buddy (so any socializing has to happen over the electric fencing). If there was one thing I was going to add to the barn, it would be bigger turnout pastures with the option of group turnout.

Altogether, for the $400 I pay in monthly board, the SEC has all the facilities I could dream of (and it’s about half the price of similar stables just thirty miles south). More importantly, I love the lesson program and have made more progress over the past ten months of instruction under the Trainer than I have in my entire history as an equestrian. That’s invaluable, and it’s why I have no intention of moving Ezhno in the near future. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Blog Hop: Ezhno’s Family Tree

Blog Hop: Ezhno’s Family Tree

This post comes by way of one of my favorite horse-related blogs: the $900 Facebook Pony! Yesterday Amanda (rider of said pony) posted an unofficial blog hop (that originally started with Emma from ‘Fraidy Cat Eventing) about her horse’s pedigree. I’ve glanced at Ezhno’s pedigree before, but that was the inspiration I needed to do a bit of poking around on the internet to find out more about his (rather unspectacular) lineage.

ezpedigreedoneRight off the bat, it was clear that Ezhno’s champagne coloring comes from the sire side of his pedigree. He’s got a total of four champagne ancestors in the first four generations of his lineage, all of which are on his daddy’s side of the gene pool. His sire is California Champagne (AKA “Fred”), a 2002 sable champagne APHA/ICHR ranch horse stallion owned and bred by JMJ Stables in Eatonville, WA. Here’s links to a couple of videos plus cute pics:



California Champagne was sired by Good Gold Almighty (Ezhno’s grand-stud, lol), a 1996 classic champagne APHA/ICHR that went by the barn name “Peanut”. He was another ranch/cow horse (apparently I really do need to test Ezhno out on cattle at some point) that was also owned by JMJ Stables. Oddly enough, it appears he passed in 2005 at the young age of 9 (scary thought, when I remember that Ezhno is 7), presumably from either sickness or an accident (?). There’s not a lot of pictures of him out there, but here’s one of him as a two year old (top) and a couple of low quality pics of an older GGA:



California Champagne’s side of Ezhno’s pedigree were all bred pretty young, so there are pictures of CR Black Buttons (1994 black tobiano APHA stallion) out on the interwebs, too. I’ve never shown APHA before, so I’m not quite sure how to read his show record (what’s the difference between a point and a credit, and how many points is a lot of points?), but it looks like he’s done a little bit of halter and western pleasure. Here’s pics of him:


Ezhno’s dam is a harder story to uncover. A look at his APHA paperwork tells me that Yippi Ki Yay (1998 APHA mare) was owned by JMJ Stables when she was bred, but she doesn’t appear to have a show record and I couldn’t find any images of her online. On top of that, the dam side of Ezhno’s pedigree were mostly bred age 10 and above, so Yippi Ki Yay’s sire/dam were both before the internet age. I’ve sent an email out to Ezhno’s breeder in hopes of getting baby pictures and pictures of his dam, but until that egg hatches that side of his pedigree is a mystery.

There were a couple of names I’d at least heard of on his pedigree (Jetalito!), but most of the horses in his lineage have notes on their All Breed pages that include phrases like “Paternal Siblings are…” (AKA “I’m not as cool as my half-siblings” 🙁 ), and there’s only a couple with show records. Way back in Ezhno’s linneage (generation three) I found Buckaroo Bandit, an AQHA race horse with a record of 21-4-5-3 and $17,041 in earningsnot particularly impressive, but it’s cool that he has a race horse in his bloodlines somewhere!

Otherwise there wasn’t much of note (which is pretty much what I expected when I started this endeavor) but that doesn’t make the research any less fun. And of course I love the end result of his pedigree very much.