MY GUIDE TO ZIDANE’S BABIES
I always dreamed of running a stud alongside my trekking centre and the arrival here of my gorgeous Dutch Warmblood stallion Zidane made that dream come true.
His offspring are now stunning young horses and you have all followed with excitement their progress from birth to growing up and training.
Because I clearly think I live on a ranch I have named them all after American states. But now it turns out that people are a little confused!
Obviously you all know who the daddy is, but it is the mothers who are getting mixed up. So I have been asked to give you a Who’s Who to the babies – and here is part one.
Dakota is my first born, foaled in 2012, and so will always have a very special place in my heart. His mum was Nicoh – registered name Nicomis – my gorgeous Grade A Appaloosa mare.
We had fun with a sweepstake to guess date of birth, sex and colour – but we were all really surprised when he was born. He had very unusual markings – he was black, white and grey patches and spots. He was stunning, one of the best looking foals I have ever seen.
I named him Dakota because I thought he looked like an Indian war horse. He was always very inquisitive and even now is always the one that gives things a second look. He is a thinking horse.
Now he is out on the treks he has to have his hand held a little bit, he needs his rider to give him confidence. You have to stay one step ahead and make his decisions for him..
It took a while before I was able to put my experienced riders on him but this year he has really flourished and is attracting a lot of fans.
We sadly lost his mum a couple of years ago and riders who enjoyed riding her now like riding him. He has the same floaty paces. In September he made his debut on the Sheriff of Lichfield’s ride and stepped up bravely to tackle a big day, I was very proud of him.
As he has grown up he has lost his unusual markings and is now a grey and Appaloosa spots are appearing.
Now a five year old, Oregon was born in 2013 and he was our surprise foal. He is a beautiful golden dun and his mum is Wispa, our Highland cross mare.
Readers of my blog will know that naughty Wispa escaped into Zidane’s field on the quiet and went on to produce this wonderful dun with a black dorsal stripe and black points who now stands at about 15.2hh.
He really belongs to my daughter Georgia, who helped to deliver him as a foal, and she trained him herself. They have a lovely close relationship but now she is so busy at college she allows him to be used as an escort horse and to be ridden by some experienced clients.
As a foal he was really bold and not scared of anything, a very different character to Dakota. He was quite a good little escape artist too.
He has grown up to be a super confident horse and has a very laidback attitude to life.
Georgia’s next plan is to teach him Western riding. Won’t he look fantastic in Western tack!
Next to arrive in 2014 was Indiana, Nicoh’s second foal and Dakota’s full sister. She was such a pretty new born foal, chocolate bay with a white star, a totally different colour to her brother.
She was a much more confident baby and was quite cheekily inquisitive. Dakota doesn’t really like cuddles very much but she is the opposite, she loves to be loved.
Indiana has beautiful floaty movements too, but while Dakota is dainty like their mum, his sister is a grey version of Zidane. Indiana has a bigger build and more powerful strides. I think she will fill out to be a big and strong horse.
I have been training her for a while and have just started taking her out on the Chase, where I have found her to be bold and confident.
Our instructor Lucy has her eye on her as a future dressage prospect. We are very excited to see how she will progress in 2019.
Her birth colour has now disappeared and she is also a grey, developing Appaloosa spots.
Look out over the next couple of days for part two of my guide to the babies.