In late 2003 we were living in Oshkosh, WI and were landlords plus Gary worked outside the home. Dawn was a stay at home mom. In October Gary’s mother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. We had told Gary’s parents they would not have to go to a nursing home and we would take care of them.
Up until she became ill we thought we would bring Gary’s parents to live with us. It became clear that we had to go to them so during Thanksgiving in 2003 we packed up our bedroom sets and we all moved to Gary’s parents to help Gary’s mother with her last days. While there she asked us to stay and care for Gary’s dad. We made the decision to move to Borth, which took almost a year.
We put all the properties on the market and moved our two children to a new school. Once settled, our 10-year-old daughter asked if she could have a horse. We had to make sure we were available to care for dad and as Gary was raised on a farm and had experience with animals we decided to look for a horse. Dawn and Becca were at a place not too far from where we lived that raised Arabians and a couple yearling fillies decided they would make good owners, so we negotiated a price and became owners.
It didn’t take long to realize that boarding was very inconvenient and expensive. There was acreage and buildings available at Gary’s parents place so we negotiated a value to reimburse the estate for the land and buildings of the homestead and started to convert the buildings into a stable and fence in the land for corrals and paddocks.
In May of 2005 we brought our horses home. In April of 2006 we purchased a black straight Egyptian Arabian, Jamala Akira, a coming 2-year-old filly from Ohio and in November we purchased a 9-year-old, green broke straight Egyptian Arabian mare, Athena Ann, which became the horse Becca rides. These 4 horses became the foundation of our breeding program.
White Cedar Posts were the first product we offered for sale. We looked around for several months to find a place to buy the white cedar posts and finally found a supplier in northern Wisconsin. We could only buy in bundle quantities so we thought there might be a market for them. We decided to buy several bundles for resale and our sales business started.
The MAC chelated vitamins and minerals was our second product. As our goal was to breed the purest and healthiest animals possible, our research pointed us toward proper nutrition for foal development. We found feeding a chelated mineral, which if formulated properly is absorbed at around 95% and greatly increases the muscle and skeletal development of the foal and maintains the highest level of health in the grown animal.
We found a small company focused on producing the highest quality chelated vitamin and mineral supplement available. As we started using the MAC, Metal Amino acid Chelate, product we noticed the horses coats became softer and shinier, the hooves stopped chipping and breaking, and the animals just didn’t get sick anymore. We became a dealer and then the state distributor and when the owner of the company became ill, we pretty much took over the MAC brand.
Next, we found Chaffhaye, premium pasture in a bag. Prior to finding the Chaffhaye we noticed in feeding our herd that the animals would be hyper and edgy a lot of the time. We started trying various feeds. We realized all grain feeds, whether a mill mix, bag mix, or pellets, are high in starch and sugars, which made the horses hot. Then we found the product called Chaffhaye which is high in nutrition, and low in starch and sugars. It’s bagged alfalfa or grass with a guaranteed nutritional value for each bag.
We started feeding the product instead of grain and immediately our herd calmed down and became a lot more harmonious. Also, because the product is full of probiotics, we never have any issues with colic or digestion. In fact, in the years we have used the MAC and Chaffhaye, we have not had a vet visit for anything except reproduction, shots, and injuries. We first became a dealer and when the distributorship for the state became available, we accepted.
When we first brought our horses home, we used shavings as bedding as that was what the stable used where we purchased our first two horses from. We also incorporated pellets into the mix to try to increase absorption as the urine always got under the mats and the odor was overpowering. We had tried most products available, which are all some form of wood, then we were introduced to the Best Cob Corn Cob Bedding.
We were blown away at how much it absorbed and how fast it worked. It literally captures the urine before it can run under the mats. It has almost no dust and controls the odors better than any wood product. We again started as a dealer and when we were able we accepted a state distributorship.
We use the same philosophy in breeding and the products we offer for sale, only the best product is worth passing on. This same philosophy will guide us for whatever horses or products we offer.