Lesley's Life-long Path with Horses

 

This is a little trip down Memory Lane with the founder of Blue Fountain Farm, Lesley Deutsch.  Lesley is now pursuing a semi-retired horse career in Bonnie Scotland !   (Note - you can click on the images to enlarge them)

 

Day One - 

 

 

This is where it all started. This was my dad's cousin's cattle ranch in Livermore, Ca, circa about 1957?   My dad is holding "Trixie" (yes, I remember her name), and I'm behind my brother in the saddle.

Here I am again on Trixie another time with my older cousin, Diana, whom I admired so much. I was also so jealous of her because she could ride anytime she wanted!

The obligitory photo with the pony in the city that most any city dweller in this era has in their files somewhere (again, around 1956-57?)

Day Two -

These next images are of my very first horse, "Chiquita" a little 14H Mustang/QH, who I got when I was almost 15 yrs old. I bought her for $185 dollars from a Safeway bulletin board.  

Even though I was first exposed to horses on a cattle ranch, I always wanted to jump - so without ever having had a lesson, I taught her how to jump. And jump she could! 

Can we say "Geeky?" But you have to start somewhere!

This is me on Chiquita in our back yard on our 1/2 acre lot in the suburbs. I made a jump and used an irrigation pipe as the pole. I'm in a bareback pad and, though you can't see it, the jump is 4' high - she could have gone under it. I just grabbed on around her neck, and away we went!

 

Jumping at a Pony Club show at the old Buckeye Ranch in Lafayette, Ca.   As long as the jumps weren't too wide, she was impossible to beat - she could jump high and go fast!

 

At another horse show - I was so proud of the hunt coat that I made in Home Economics class!

 

Bareback Equitation.

 

I was even a part of a drill team - the Buckeye Centaurs. We did most everything at a run!

 

Day Three - 

Now on to my once in a lifetime horse - Lucky Moment - aka "Moses". I bought him off the race track for $400 - he was nine yrs old and had raced for 6 years. Within 4 years I had offers of over $20K for him, which was a lot of money for a horse back in the 70s!  

He LOVED to jump and didn't know the word "No" when it came to jumps. He was ewe necked, lop eared, splay footed, cowhocked and only 16.1H, but damn, could he jump! These are images from when I first got him.

Me on Moses when I first got him, and my sister, Wendy, on Chiquita.

Our first horse show - we later figured out how to keep weight on him. This was at the old Potomac West, which is now Brookside.

A bit more polish, and starting our career of winning blues everywhere we went.

Day Four -

Now to the meat of why this horse, Moses, was so incredible - jumping. He was a jumping machine! I was just a dumb kid who kicked and went, and he probably liked it that way - I basically just stayed out of his way. He would jump any thing from anywhere, and he could go FAST as well! There will never be another like him.....

To say he had heart is an understatement - he always gave it his all. This was in Santa Rosa, Ca.

 

This was our first class "A"  show at Indio, Ca. - and I was scared spitless! This fence was the second in a line of two, and where we were supposed to take 5 strides (who counted strides back then?)............ we took 4.  And, yes, we did clear it!

Our infamous 7' puissance wall!

Again, talk about heart - a couple of weeks before the Grand National at Cow Palace he had tripped lunging and opened up his knee. That didn't stop him!

 

The last fence of a jump off at the Grand National at Cow Palace - fast and high!

 

One of his wins at the Cow Palace.

I don't have any action photos of us, but here we are in Mexico representing the USA in Grand Prix competition. What an experience that was - both good and bad! Long story - ask me sometime!

Day Five - 

I spent the summer of 1980 in Ireland running a riding school. While there, among other duties I was in charge of getting a 3 yr old home-bred mare, “Jubilee” ready for in-hand competition at the prestigious Dublin International Horse Show at the end of the summer.

Lisderg House where I worked for the summer.

Jubilee in her home pasture 

We drove her to the Dublin Show grounds in a Peugeot car pulling a Brenderup-type trailer (!), in the rain, with bad windshield wipers and no defroster. Somehow we made it. We got her groomed and braided up, and in she went with Mr Griffith.

She loved being a show horse! 

It was a full class, and in the end, “Jubilee” won the prize of first place! I’ll never forget Mr Griffith, who was a very reserved man, kissing my hand and telling me that it was because of all my work that he was able to fulfill the dream of a lifetime - he had never been to this show before.

Yay - Jubilee! 
Sadly, the following February, Mr Griffith had a heart attack and died at the age of 54. I have always felt so honored that I was able to help him reach his dream, the summer I was in Ireland.

Day Six -

Day 6 brings me to my other “once in a lifetime horse”, my black Hungarian Lipizzan stallion Siglavy XI-6 - aka “Jozsef”. I was lucky enough to go to Hungary and purchase him as an unstarted 3 yr old in the fall of 1995, and he arrived 6 months later (what a saga) in California. He was another phenomenal presence in my life. He sired many purebred and crossbred babies, and was a favorite at exhibitions and shows wherever he went.  
Unfortunately, possibly due to an injury as a youngster, he developed a ligamentous instability in his neck, and had to have spinal fusion surgery while in his teens. He lived quite a few more happy years, but finally had to be put down at the young age of 18. What a time we had while he was here at Blue Fountain Farm, though - I will never forget him!

One of his many ads while standing at stud

This image, taken off a video, is the first time I ever saw him in Hungary - it was love at first sight. He floated across the courtyard!

He was in the main stud barn in a tie stall with other stallions - the standard way of housing horses in Hungary.

Just one month after his arrival, and only about 2 weeks after I got him started under saddle we put on the "Gold Country Horse Festival" to present Jozsef. We had 1000 people show up that day! He was so cool, and loved crowds so much, that even though he'd only been riddden for 2 weeks, I knew I could ride him in front of the crowd!

Schooling at home.

He had such a great work ethic - he always gave it his all.

He was great on the trails, could pull a carriage, move cattle,loved to jump - your basic all round type horse in a gorgeous, black package!

 

He wasn't above giving me some lip!

 

All you had to do, once he was taught to piaffe, was "kiss", and he'd go right in to it.

 

More piaffe in a beautiful setting.

 

The elegant show man - again, he loved being in front of a crowd!!

 

Strutting his stuff.

 

Playing at home.

 

Loved my boy!

 

He loved his kids, as well.

 

Day Seven -

And, finally, for Day 7, I’ve come full circle……. after all the jumping and dressage with the most memorable horses a girl could ever have, and after working overseas with a special family and wonderful horses, I’m back to my original roots of riding western - Cowboy Dressage to be exact - like I was doing on Day One of this challenge. I now have a “bevy of beautiful buckskins” to ride in Prado and Dancer (I really didn’t look for the color it just happened). I guess they couldn’t take the country out of this gal, and as long as I can keep riding, that’s just what I’m going to do! 

Prado at home - a little dress rehearsal for his debut freestyle at the Cowboy Dressage Finals in 2014

Same day as previous photo

He's such a cool dude.

Prado and I did a garrocha freestyle 6 weeks after I purchased him. He was so nervous he could hardly see straight, but he listened and held it together. I know I can totally trust this horse.
Photo by Lee Folino

Doing our thing
Photo by Lee Folino

More freestyle
Photo by Lee Folino

He's so elegant
Photo by Lee Folino

Prado gets so nervous sometimes he does his own piaffe!
Photo by Lee Lee Folino

Dancer likes doing garrocha as well.

This is Dancer with about 60 days of riding under her belt showing Cowboy Dressage, and doing me proud!

Dancer LOVES playing with cows!

She is such a trouble maker!

You called? Dancer is such an imp!

The princess at home

Prado is such a love bug!

Photo by Victoria Johnston

It's hard to take photos when they keep coming up to you.......
Photo by  Victoria Johnston

Him loves him's ears scratched!
Photo by Victoria Johnston

Nah - I don't have any fun with this boy........
Photo by Victoria Johnston

See you down the trail!

 

Thanks for joining me on my little tour down memory lane.  Horses have, and (obviously) continue to be, a major part of my life.  Here's to a continuing future with these wonderful beasties!

© 2013 by Lesley Deutsch and Blue Fountain Farm. Proudly made by Wix.com

All images copyrighted by Blue Fountain Photography, or Steve Morrill