Monthly Archives: June 2014

Esprit de Cor

Esprit de Cor article

Click the image to read the article.

I feel like a good follow up to welcoming Fey to the family is sharing an article I wrote this year for the Thoroughbred Issue of the magazine.

I’ve wanted for a long time to write something about Nancy Gosch and Wood ‘N Horse Stables, but I put it off because I was concerned about conflict of interest and if I did write it, I wanted it to be good. How could I do her justice?

Once again, my unsolicited mentor Denny Emerson told me to hitch up my big girl britches and get it done… conflict of interest be damned. Okay, he didn’t use those exact words, but he convinced me. Mrs. Gosch deserved it, and I knew it.

I could not have completed this article without the help of Mrs. Gosch’s daughter, Margaret, and for her I am extremely grateful. Together we discussed the best way to go about gathering information, interviewing Mrs. Gosch, and the direction of the story.

Mrs. Gosch was an important person to many people for many reasons, but she was a pioneer of American sport horse breeding. Her program produced athletic horses that both amateurs and professionals competed with great success. My Sam came from Wood ‘N Horse, as did Camden – Fey’s daddy. It was fitting for her story to be included in the Thoroughbred issue and focus strongly on her breeding program.

While not one of the most stylish articles I’ve ever written, this story is one of the most important. It was my hope to represent Mrs. Gosch well and make her proud.

Click the image above to read the story. WordPress was grumpy about the file for some reason, so the PDF displays kind of funny. But I hope you enjoy it!


Welcome Cor de Fe!

No matter how many years go by, no matter how many times I’ve been told “it’s different when they’re your own,” I’ve never wanted children. But ever since I was 12 years old, I’ve wanted to breed event horses. Fast forward many years, and I finally had the opportunity.

Cor de Fe is a miracle baby bred by Elisa Wallace, another student of Mrs. Gosch’s, who owns Camden (Cor Magnifique), the last living stallion from her program. Camden is like the quintessential combination of all Mrs. G’s years of breeding. He is by Boc and out of Cor de Rose, who is by Mrs. Gosch’s other foundation stallion, Johnny Can Hop. Fey’s mother is Leap of Faith (Malthus x Marty My Love), a Holsteiner/TB mare that Elisa competed to the three-star level. Fey is her first filly.

Baby Fey!


I’ve been keeping an eye on Camden and his kids for many years. I remember when Fey’s birth was announced on Elisa’s website. I checked regularly for updates on the little red filly, but there were none. Then one day last year I connected with Elisa at a horse trials. She told me Fey had sustained a hock injury in the pasture that would prevent her from being a performance horse, but she would likely make a lovely broodmare.

And I picked her up last weekend. 🙂

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Hai!

Fey is a delight. She is incredibly sweet and loves to cuddle. She is very curious but very trusting too. She’s all legs and looks a bit like a deer sometimes, yet she is lovely to watch move and is certainly built and bred to jump. She is technically Sam’s niece, as Camden and Sam were half-brothers through Boc. She has that very distinct Boc eye, and her being an elegant, feminine chestnut mare makes me think of Breezy.

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Fey is four this year and has some growing left to do. I tentatively plan to breed her in spring 2015, which gives me time to save some coins and research stallions. I have not 100 percent decided which direction to go with a cross… more TB or more Warmblood. But I’m already thinking of names!

I’m excited but not without reservations. This is really scary to undertake! I’m not independently wealthy. There is always the possibility of millions of things that could going wrong. One side of my brain (the practical side) tells me I’m nuts while the other says give it a shot (it will be fun!).

Before making a decision about Fey, I spoke with Denny Emerson. His breeding program also stems from Cormac through Royal Core, the sister of Boc’s dam. He said that I may as well give it a shot now while I have the chance instead of waiting and being disappointed later in life.

So I’m going for it. It’s a big new adventure and we’ll just see what happens.

I told Katie, the barn manager where I board the girls, that it was very exciting but nerve wracking too. She replied, “Good things usually are.” I like that way of thinking. So here’s to new adventures and our newest addition to the menagerie.

Fey and the pony. My girls! They are in love.

Willow and Fey


The Hardest Part of Riding is the Ground

A lot has happened since my last post: I announced a dressage show in GA, photographed at Rolex in KY, published the Rolex Feature issue in a week (Go Team!), had Cortney’s family in town for a visit, covered CHC International in GA, and spring finally showed up. 

Oh, and I fell off the pony.

It was really silly. I stopped to pick honeysuckles and forgot about the hot wire fence across the boards next to us… the wires in the pony’s field are not turned on… I was bareback and not holding on to the reins or neck strap (I know, I know). Pony touched her nose or flipped her tail over the boards or something and took off like a shot. I remember watching her spotted butt get further away as I hovered in the air thinking “what happened/I know what happened/What an idiot!/This is gonna hurt.” I “lawnchaired” as Cortney calls it, and I may or may not have kicked myself in the eye with my own knee. Either way, I landed on my back, Pony took off (I don’t blame her), and I lay in the dirt for a second trying to decide if I could get up.

I could. 

I walked back to the barn, and Kate met me with the pony in tow. I haven’t fallen off in a long time (like, years.), and I know the whole “get back on right away” thing, but my back was injured and I wasn’t risking a second fall just to prove a point. The pony was not being bad, she got popped in the nose by a demon fence post. 

Anyway, I went the next day looking like a battered woman to the urgent care. I didn’t have any broken bones, but here a week-and-a-half later, I’m still having acute pain in my left hip. Granted I haven’t been “taking it easy” like they told me too.

I went to a dinner at Naomi’s the same night and we had a good laugh about sitting on the “cripple couch” as she held a cold compress to my face and she rested her very broken leg on my lap. 

I share this story not looking for sympathy, but for a laugh I guess. I keep visualizing it in my head over and over, and it makes me giggle… just picture honeysuckles flying, my shocked face, and the pony screaming back to the stables (she has a great gallop) wondering “WTF?”

I know I have a tendency to be very trusting of my horses, and I don’t micromanage their footsteps. However, had I been holding on to the reins or neck strap I likely would have stayed on and she wouldn’t have been so frightened. Ultimately, I shouldn’t have stopped by the hot fence at all… so many lessons to be learned. Either way, it’s a good story! And a tricky scheme by Pony to have a couple weeks off. 

So it goes with horses (and ponies!). Onward!

P.S. I have internet now! Like a normal person. So plan on more regular posts, especially photos!