(KS Bluestem The Old Guard X Positively Charmed)
2020 palomino splash filly (carrying silver)
See her color test results here.

pictured at five months old, July 2020

After three years of trying via AI and three cycles of live cover with our stallion Positively's Pride, my smoky black silver mare Positively Charmed (aka Charli) finally conceived last spring. It is quite a story- and one I wanted to wait to tell, because well- you just never know.

Last spring I wanted to use my breeding KS Bluestem The Old Guard- who we had tried and failed to breed Charli to in 2018 (no fault of OG's- his swimmers were stupendous!)- on her aunt Coral Forest, since I figured Charli was a lost cause. Ross Kittrell, our now retired vet, checked Coral with ultrasound on a Friday and thought they could ship semen on Monday to breed her Tuesday AM. Tuesday came and darned if Coral hadn't already ovulated and finished her cycle! So here we had this shipment that was going to go to waste. We decided to tease the younger/breedable mares with Pride to see if anyone was in heat and then use the semen on them (I knew the stallion owner wouldn't mind). So we checked Kyrie, our Amish rescue. She was not interested. I pulled Charli out on a whim. She was in heat, just barely. So we checked her with ultrasound, and all signs were a go.

Typically stallion owners send two doses (syringes of fresh-cooled semen) so you can breed your mare two days in a row. When we opened the shipping container we discovered that the top had come off one of the syringes. The contents of that one were all down in the bottom of the container. So we had just the ONE chance.

14 days later and I wasn't even going to preg check/ultrasound Charli- but Dr. Kittrell insisted- he said he just had "a good feeling" about it, and said he'd even do it for free! So I got Charli out of the pasture (she came running to me and he joked, "yeah these Morgans, SO unfriendly!") and into a stall for the ultrasound. We were just chatting away and I was thinking "this is a huge waste of our time" when he said "There's your baby!" I said "YOU ARE KIDDING ME!!!" and he said "I would not kid you about something like that!". I had a few moments of incredible emotion as I processed this and he froze the ultrasound for a picture. He told me we had Coral to thank for this, since we would have never tried breeding Charli if Coral had been ready. I think we have Pride to thank as well, since Charli's cycles were never regular before he came on the premises and after that, she cycled like clockwork.

Dr. Kittrell pulled blood to check progesterone levels and put Charli on Regu-Mate in case she was low, which she was. We did another ultrasound at 45 days, to check for a heartbeat. Again I was skeptical, because some 60% of pregnancies are lost in the first 30 days. But nope, it was still there- and it had a heartbeat!

Fast forward 10 months. April 2 was the first night I kept Charli in the stall on camera. She was due the previous Saturday, but her udder was so small, with the teats imbedded still in the body of the udder. On the 2nd she was just "off"- I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew I'd better keep her in for the night. At my midnight check she seemed fine but a little less interested in food than usual. Her milk had come in as well. She got more restless as the night wore on. At 4:30 AM, after seeing how much moving around she was doing in the stall, I figured I'd better head back out there. I gave her some alfalfa and cleaned the stall, then told her if she was going to do anything, I was there to help her. Darned if she didn't promptly lay down and start pushing!

This was a big baby for such a little mare, and a maiden at that, and Charli had a hard time passing the foal's shoulders. She got up and down a number of times and each time she laid back down I kept light traction on the foal's legs to keep her progress from slipping backwards. Worried, Jim called the vet but by the time she called back, Charli had finally squeezed her new addition out. And... it's a palomino filly! Testing conforms that she has OG's splash gene AND Charli's silver gene as well! She is the only Morgan in the breed to have all three of these particular color genes!

The next challenge was getting the baby up and nursing. We helped her up a few times and tried to get her to find the magic spot, but no go. Charli's udder was not huge and the nipples were still very tiny, so not much to latch onto. I milked a few drops out and gave it to the filly so at least she knew the right spot and smell and taste. An hour went by, an she still hadn't figured things out. Another call to the vet. Again by the time she called back, the filly had somehow applied suction over those tiny nipples and gotten some milk out. The vet said she was right on target for nursing within 2 hours after birth. I am used to the ones who get up and march right over to the udder- no road map needed!

So here is a little bit of joy in the midst of a time of trial. She "told" me she wanted to be called "Ariel". Ariel is linebred along the old Midwest/Sweet's and Kennebec lines, with a lot of other good old bloodlines in the mix. Her sire's tail male goes back to the famous CDE and National Pairs Driving Champion, Kennebec Count. Her dam is the only full sibling to the well known bay silver stallion (now gelded), Unconventional.

There was quite a genesis to Ari's registered name. I knew I wanted a "magic" themed name, since her dam is "Positively Charmed" (so named because I felt "positively charmed" to get 2 silvers in a row from her dam) and because Ari's conception was nothing short of magic. But a search through the Registry online showed a LOT of names with "Magic" in them, and I really wanted something unique. I like simple, one word names, and I don't use a prefix. And so Ariel is officially registered as Conjured.

Ariel is on the reserved side, but is cautiously friendly (and loves butt scritchies!) and becoming more confident about everything in her surroundings. She picks up all 4 feet, has been trimmed many times already, moves her body in response to pressure, and she leads. We are working on fly spraying (she's pretty good but wants to walk away some times). She LOVES being hosed off (and will "volunteer" for a shower when I am refilling their water trough). I hoped to find her ideal new owner- someone who is calm and patient and able to break training down into baby steps, using approach and retreat, rather than being "dominant"- and found that in Jennifer Poulin-Novaria.

Jennifer is from the Poulin family of horsefolk, extremely well known in the dressage and CDE world- her cousin Larry Poulin drove Ari's paternal great great great grandsire Kennebec Count to his many CDE wins. To make things even more exciting, Jennifer owns Count's last intact son, Kennebec Charis- who is out of Kennebec Opal, Ari's maternal great great grand dam! And Ari will (hopefully) be bred to him in the future, for some fabulous linebreeding on the great old Kennebec blood. I want to thank all of the wonderful folks who inquired about Ari- I've honestly never had so many excellent potential buyers to choose from, and in the midst of a pandemic no less! You are all wonderful, and your interest in our lil Ariel was very much appreciated.

KS Bluestem
The Old Guard

Kansas Buffalo Soldier Kell's In Kirby's Honor
Burchtree Roxanne
Sweet's Jada Babe Sweet's Jet Hawk
T-Bone Card's Fancy

Positively Charmed

Gone Gold Adiel's Casino Gold
Kennebec Topaz
Foxton Frosty Dawn Foxton Society Beau
Foxton Smokey Dawn

You can view Ariel's complete pedigree here.
It includes pictures of many of her ancestors.

Ariel volunteers for a shower on a hot day, July 2020

Ariel in motion, June 2020 (2 months old)

Ariel getting a quick grooming and hoof trim, December 2020 (8 months old)

More photos of Ariel
(click on a thumbnail to enlarge)

About 4:45 AM on Friday, April 3, 2020. Ariel enters the world (Charli is not quite sure what just happened!).

April 5, 2020- Ariel at 48 hours old.

April 6, 2020- three days old.

Ariel is fascinated by her great aunt Coral, who is equally fascinated by Ariel. Coral foaled Thunder, a half sibling to Ariel, on April 22, 2020.

April 8, 2020- Ariel is 5 days old now. Her blue eyes appear to be darkening to brown, starting from the outside of the iris.

More 5 day old pictures. Ariel went into a slightly larger paddock and had a lot of fun racing around.

April 13, 2020- Ariel is now 10 days old. She went into a bigger pasture today. Charli was happy to have more grass!

A little family group. Great Aunt Coral and great grandma Topaz are on the other side of the fence.

Another shot of Ariel's eye, which continues to darken.

April 18, 2020- Ariel went into a bigger pasture. Like her mother, she was happy to have more grass!

May 6, 2020- Ariel is now one month old. Here she is talking to her grandsire Roadie (Gone Gold) through the fence.

Enjoying a bigger pasture. Her eyes continue to darken, but are still blue-ish.

May 12, 2020- Ariel met a few friends. Topaz was happy to stay with her grand daughter and great grand daughter. Rosie headed back to the gate after a short while, wanting to be put back in her stall to escape the bugs. It was still a good experience for Ari!

May 14, 2020- Ariel and Thunder have become great friends through the fence. I'm not sure I'll actually put then in the same field together because they will eventually have to be separated when one or the other goes to a new home, so it is probably better that they are not TOO attached.

May 21, 2020- Ari is about 7 weeks old now.

Ari is getting more confident as time goes on. I was surprised when she marched right up to this bag I was using as an "ear getter"!

June 4, 2020- Ari is two months old now. Here eyes are still mostly blue, but are darkening around the iris. Her skin is a little bit of a mauve color.

June 7, 2020- The foals have not had many visitors due to Covid19, but today Jim's friend Lamar Mauney and his daughter Mary Grace visited. Ari was happy for the extra scritchies.

After our company left, Jim took a couple of pictures of me and my Ari-Fairy foal.

June 15, 2020- It was a rare cool summer day, overcast, so I left the horses out for the afternoon. Then storms passed through late in the afternoon. The first pic is Ariel snoozing before the storm. The second pic shows the rainbow over them after the rain passed.

June 23, 2020- Ari, like her brother, is a bit butt high right now. Her skin color continues to be weird (you can see in the rolling picture it is a pinky-purpley-gray color everywhere) and her blue eyes are still slowly darkening.

July 3, 2020- Ari is now three months old. She is completely shed out except for a few tufts on her hips and butt.

I've registered Ari as having blue eyes, but that will probably need to change, as the brown continues to creep in.

Thunder and Ari love each other. I am keeping them separate because eventually they will have to go to different homes, which will be stressful enough for all concerned. They do enjoy visiting through the fence meanwhile.

July 12, 2020- Ari with Rosie and Kyrie, at dusk. Taken from our back porch. It warms my heart to see Ari making friends.

July 14, 2020- Tonight was Ari's turn to meet The Big Ball. She gave it a good long look, and then walked right up to it.

It was a hot evening so I didn't ask them to move much for pictures. But they obliged me a little.

August 4, 2020-Ariel was 4 months old yesterday! Isaias dumped a bunch of (much-needed) rain on us yesterday, so it was not a good day for pictures. This is Ari's "OMG, What Is It" look (first picture), and then a little distracted scratching before going to investigate the new item I'd brought out to show her (next pictures).

Circling warily. Charli had already walked right up to it, so Ari was no TOO concerned.

"Not so scary after all!"

I moved the tarp after she'd checked it out on the fence. She marched right up to it in its next location.

"I came, I saw, I conquered!" Finally, I put the tarp on the ground to see if Ari might walk on it. Took less than 3 minutes! First she sniffed it, then she put her front feet on, then all four feet! This filly has come a LONG way from the scared-of-everything little baby she was her first few months. She is now Lil Miss Sassy Pants and not much scares her- just like her dam.

September 3, 2020- Ari is five months old and weaning time has arrived. We'll start, gradually, this weekend. Charli will just be in the next paddock over during the daytime and Ari will stay with her friends Rosie and Kyrie. Charli will go back in with Ari at night for about 5 days. If it all goes well by the following weekend Ari will be completely weaned, but with Charli still in the paddock next to her for awhile. Then it will be her brother Thunder's turn. It's a sad time for me, but my babies are growing up.

September 21, 2020-Ariel is an official weanling. We are actually 8 days in, but neither she nor Charli were completely happy about the situation until today. Ari had a week or so previous where she was separated from mom for the afternoon, then back in with her at night. And of course she has her friends Rosie and Kyrie for support. It did not help that I started weaning Thunder, who was generally very accepting of the afternoon separations from Mom, but would call now and then, which would set off a chain reaction of screaming from Ari and Charli. UGH. Then Hurricane Laura interrupted everything last week as they all had to come in the barn to avoid the 6 inches or so of non stop rain we got over a day and a half. We are now back on track, thank goodness!

October 13, 2020-Ariel has been a bit under the weather for a few days with diarrhea. The vet suggested Power Packing her for 5 days so that is the plan for now. Hopefully it works. She has been dewormed monthly, but the encysted larvae are not killed by those regular doses of dewormer. She and Thunder got their first shots today. Thunder was great for his, Ari was good for the first two but unhappy by the third.

November 7, 2020-Ariel's diarrhea cleared to maybe 90% better after her PowerPac, but a week later, it was baaaack. UGH. Many days of washing that little hiney later, I gave up and called the vet again. This time they ran bloodwork (that was an adventure as Ari is now thoroughly sick of strangers and their needles!), did a fecal, and sent a sample to UGA for them to run a diarrhea panel. NADA. No infectious disease, no parasites, her bloodwork was perfect. The vet put her on a 10 day course of Metronidazole and Saccaromyces, a probiotic. Within 24 hours her stools were normal- a sight I haven't seen in almost two months. Here is Ariel sharing dinner hay with her friend Kyrie, former Amish driving horse, our Forever Morgans rescue.

November 27, 2020-Ari met a new "thing". It was a great "ear getter"!

The look I got when I first brought out the umbrella. She was keeping an eye on it- but notice the snack-to-go!

A little bit of action, but then- curiosity.

"Hi, I am Ariel, the Fairy-Horse of the Cedars. Who are you?"

March 10, 2021.

April 22, 2021- Ariel's last day at Brookridge.

April 25, 2021- Jennifer Poulin-Novaria and her brother Bill Poulin made the long trip down from Maine to pick up Ariel this past Friday. Ari's introduction to the trailer was done with her completely at liberty and she went from tail flagging and eyes wide to learning to get on and off the trailer calmly four or five times in about 30 minutes before we finally locked her in. A small bucket of grain and a curious Morgan nature was our friend! Ari had a bad case of stranger danger after a couple of unfortunate experiences with a new veterinarian, but was immediately drawn to Jen and continually went to her, which could not help but make me smile and smile. It was a much too short visit at just over two hours in total including a nickel tour to see Ari's relatives and the rest of our lil Brookridge herd and to change a trailer tire that had picked up a screw on the way down and fix a few things on the hitch (helpful handyman hubby Jim was thankfully home from work to notice and fix everything). Ari traveled well and is now safely home.

It's a bit sentimental... Ariel's great grand dam Kennebec Topaz traveled down from Maine as a yearling with our late friend Doug Norton in 1993, and now her great granddaughter has returned to bring some of that Kennebec blood back to Maine. Thank you so much Jennifer Poulin-Novaria for giving our very special miracle filly such an excellent home. I miss her, especially her pestering me while I cleaned her pasture daily (!), but I know she is in the absolute best hands! 

April 26, 2021- Ariel at home in Maine at Jen's. Thanks for the pictures, Jen!

June 2022- Ariel with owner Jen Poulin Novaria's daughter. THIS is why we do what we do!

October 2022- Jen and Ariel attended a Martin Black clinic, where Ari was lightly started under saddle. Ari had some opinions about the groundwork portions- she did not like a strange horse getting in her space- but did well at the under saddle part. On the left is one of the trainers riding Ari, and on the right Jen is up doing a short group ride with other clinic participants.

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Learn more about the very rare silver dapple gene at the Silver Dapple Morgans Project.

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Jim and Laura Behning
75 Glass Spring Rd.
Covington, GA 30014
(770) 385-1240
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