Farrouk – (Gelding Standardbred 15.2hh)
Farouk is undisputed king of the herd. His early racing career initially promised great things, with many wins in the first year. He was pushed too much too soon and could not keep up with the better classes, so he was sold on. Luckily, we saw him and decided to buy him as many of these trotters don’t have a happy ending once their career is over. It took some retraining but he is today an excellent obedient horse as professional now as he was then. He was the rock of the herd on that difficult journey from Wales.
Ambrogio – (Gelding, Andalusian. 16.1hh)
We bought Ambrogio as a stallion 6 years ago and have had 4 foals off him during this time, although he has had many more as we were prepared to lend his services out to many who came and asked for them!. We gelded him in the spring of 2010, after we considered his quality of life as a stallion was too poor to bear and he has since lived happily out with the herd as opposed to the solitary life imposed on a stallion by the circumstances. Ambrogio provides a lovely ride and a trot to die for. His gallop is somehwat slow however, probably due to all his early life being kept stabled up and doing nothing but the odd parade.
Enola Grey (Mare, part-bred Andalusian. 15.2hh)
Another lucky find for us, Enola is a very pretty half Andalusian. She has a docile character and lovely disposition but is a little green. We have been riding her out to give her some of the experience she needs.
Enola has given us 2 foals (in 2008 and 2009), called Valentino and Persephone. Both are sired by Ambrogio. They can be seen on the “non-ridden” horse pages.
Saskia (Mare, Local Sicilian bred. 15.3hh)
Saskia is a big powerful mare, bred and trained by our friend and neighbour Mario, who turns out excellent horses. She worked for Mario in her first years herding cattle. She is very agile and good at her job and Andrea just fell for her when she saw her in action. Due to her willing and gentle nature she accompanies us out on almost all our rides.
Saskia has given us two foals in 2008 and 2009. Her first colt now belongs to our friend Sandro whilst her filly, named Qalbi, has just been started and we plan to ride her quite a bit this year.
Genghis Khan (Gelding, Cross-bred Paint 15.2hh)
Khan is one of two half brother foals, caught in the Roman hills, destined for the meat wagon. Thankfully we saw them in time and bought them. We started Khan last year and have done some thirty rides with him to date (2013). As predicted he has turned out to be a superb horse, brave, confident and willing. At five years he has still some growing to do..
Tobias – (Gelding, Local Sicilian bred. 14.3hh)
Tobias is half-brother to Saskia, bred by Mario, having the same mother but different father. At 5 years, he doesn’t seem destined to reach his sister’s height, although he does have her robust construction. We have had Toby since he was just under one year old and have started him ourselves. He has the sweetest temperament and was ever so easy to train. We have ridden him out on some very long rides and we are delighted that nothing seems to fluster or bother him. I can truly say that he seems to be one of those few horses that cannot comprehend that humans could harm them in any way
Persephone – (Mare, Part bred Andalusian. 15.1hh)
Persephone, seen here with her grey Dad, Ambrogio, is 3/4 Andalusian as her mother, Enola Grey is half bred Andalusian. Oddly, born from two greys she is a bay, as was her brother Valentino, born a year earlier and now belonging to a friend of ours. Persephone was started a year ago and we have managed a number of rides with her. She is proving an excellnet horse showing spririt and strenght tempered with obedience.
Qalbi – (Mare, Part bred Andalusian. 15.2hh)
Qalbi is daughter of Ambrogio and Saskia. Surprisingly at five years she is still growing and seems likely to surpass both her parents in size. She was born on the same week as her half sister Persephone and was exactly the same colour, but she is a grey and started greying at around 1 year. She is a gentle loving mare and shows signs of being a lovely horse.
Pharoah (Gelding, Welsh Cross-breed. 12.1hh)
In spite of his size, number two in the herd, Pharoah must be one of the cheekiest and most mischevious around. He seems able to escape from almost any enclosure, and is very clever and quick-learning. Pippa has, unfortunately, outgrown him having done superbly at the last Alia Gymkhana, winning her class and taking 3rd overall in 2007. Pharoah now works by taking children for short rides and is used for teaching youngster beginners.
Gypsy – ( Mare, Welsh Cob Sec. C. 14.1hh)
Gypsy is a lovely black Welsh Cob, given to us a few months before our coming out to Sicily because her owner passed away and her family wanted her to go to a good permanent home.
She is full of character and lively to ride. Herding sheep is second nature to her, showing her past with the sheep on the Welsh mountains.
Ginny (Mare, Welsh Cob, Sec A)
We look on Ginny as the baby of the herd even though she is not the youngest. Its just that she is a small pony and a gentle timid one, often bullied by all the rest. To make up for it, she gets very special treatment from us. Unfortuantely, Ginny acquired a terrible desease in the spring of 2008 and we nearly lost her. She has not fully recovered and is unsteady on her legs. Notwithstanding this she loves to be out and gets around reasonably well, although she cannot naturally, be used in any way.
Ginny was Pippa’s first pony and Pippa loves her. She has ridden her along many of the trails in our valley.
Blue (Gelding, Crossbred Paint)
Khan’s half brother, Pippa called him Blue because of the colour of his eyes. Blue has stayed well short of his half brother’s height. We havn’t actually measured him but I say he is around 14 hands at 4years old.
Blue was quite a frightened little foal when he arrived, but lots of work with him has shown marvellous results. He is now a trusting, loving pony who comes to play and loves cuddles. We have briefly backed him and are confident to have him going well eventually.
Phibi (Filly, Part bred Andalusian)
Phibi was bred from one of our best mares Laila, a halflinger, and born in 2011. As with all our foals the sire is Ambrogio. Unfortunately Laila (who was 24 years old) passed away unexpectedly one day and the little (6 months) darling was adopted by Gypsy who cared for her most attentively till recently. They are still very close. She shows some of her mother’s spirit and is expected to be somewhat taller than her mother’s 15hh, especially due to the Ambrogio influence.. Her colour, identical to her mum’s, serves as a reminder of lovely Laila.