In the spring of 1994, we traveled to the beautiful farm owned by Tom and Carol Wood to meet them and deliver KA Golden Bubbles for breeding to Windfall C, a grandson of Pulque++. There are no words to describe the experience of seeing Windfall for the first time. Foaled on Pulque's birthday, Windfall C was the mirror image of his grandsire and was incredible. He took my breath away.
Tom and Carol are delightful hosts and graciously brought out, in addition to Windfall, his sire Windfire, his uncles, Que Natta, Lazim and C Wildfire, his aunt, Burgundy Bourbon. All were magnificent, handsome and beautiful in their own right. I was forever bitten by the Pulque++ charm and decided, on that day, to make every effort to preserve the legacy that was Pulque++.
Over the next 14 years, in a combined effort with my partner, Barbara Siebenhausen, we have diligently bred for athleticism, willing dispositions, substance, balance, usability and trainability, while focusing our efforts on gathering descendants of Pulque++ via the sireline for optimal linebreeding and performance excellence in our foals.
Thus, five years ago, Irish Gillan HC's life was planned in the PPP by the mating of BT Sun Dancer and Lov Que Soraquett. Gillan has been everything for which we dreamed and hoped. He's got it all - presence, balance, substance, a willing heart and quick mind, with a joie de vivre that is obviously and quickly apparent. Gillan loves life and he loves people. He was born to ride.
Saturday, at the end of Gillan's third week of training, five years of awaiting his maturity came to fruition. Gillan's First Ride!!
For those who's kids have embarked on the parent's plan, stepping out with assured confidence and ability - you will know how I felt at this big moment. Jenny has worked diligently to provide Gillan with the skills to communicate with and receive instruction from his rider. The big moment arrived and Gillan was ready.
As Jenny stepped into the saddle, mounting several times to give Gillan ample experience of newfound weight on his back, I found myself holding my breath. What was I thinking? He's bred for performance excellence. He's been raised to be user-friendly and handler-responsive. His pedigree boasts generations of performance champions. What could be my worry? But, here were my hopes and dreams in bigger than life, living color, and the Pulque Preservation Program was about to be PROVEN. Yes, I was holding my breath. This was Gillan's Big Moment.
Gillan never faltered, bless his heart. Jenny sat astride for a few moments, letting him adjust to the carrying weight, then she clucked and Gillan walked out without hesitation. He was calm, collected and accepting. Pulque++, you would have been very proud of your great grandson! I know I sure was! Tom and Carol - Gillan was The Star on Saturday!
Jenny worked Gillan both ways of the arena, switching directions, weaving different ways, circling numerous times. Then she asked for the trot, using the same directions for a variety of movement. Then came the canter ... never a falter from Gillan, never a misstep. He looked like he'd carried a rider all of his four years of life. Within the first few moments of Gillan's first ride, he was under saddle and all was well. Jenny was wearing a very big smile and so was I. This was a moment of true SUCCESS!
As Gillan was receiving his nice cool bath at the end of the work session, I patted him, while having flashbacks of Windfall C, Windfire, C Wildfire, Que Natta, Burgundy Bourbon and Lazim going through my mind. The Pulque++ Legacy is alive and well in Gillan, his brothers, sisters and daughter. Saturday was a milestone for us. We're headed in the right direction.
Thank you, Jenny, for moving Gillan forward, onward and upward. His reining career is in the not-so-distant future, very alive and very well!
Happy trails to one and all,