Summer has arrived along with lots of growth in the pastures! We believe strongly in daily turnout ~no matter what the weather. The horses need to get out of their stalls and be a horse! Our pastures do not look like golf courses but they are safe and fun for the horses. We offer night turnout and day turnout. Below are some of pictures of turnout last night. Pretty happy horses!
Grandaughter Calista showing The Roger's beloved "Cash" some love after he gave her a super fun trail ride. He is purebred Shire that has a heart of gold.
Well time flies! Especially the past two years! We survived the 2020 pandemic with a new appreciation of our farm. What a great place to stay socially distant! Our horses bring us so much joy. Yes, they are work. Yes, sometimes they have injuries or are not perfect. But, everyday they bring a smile to our faces. An appreciation for their grace and power. We hope you enjoy horses as much as we do.
Our newest horse family member is Furstendell, a 2013 Oldenburg gelding.recently imported from Germany. His barn name is Z. What a character he is! Z acts like a big Labrador puppy on the ground. He is a blast to ride and has a super mind. Custom Saddlery and CW Saddles, Julie Wietzel sponsored his lovely saddle. It is an Icon Star. The saddle really represents my philosophy in horses. It takes from my past show experience in the Western disciplines and combines it with my passion for dressage. As you can see in the photo the tooling on the cantle is gorgeous! I firmly believe in the old saying "We are merely a collection of our past experiences". I celebrate that idea~ I have learned something from each and every horse I have ever ridden and each and every horse professional I have met. I am thrilled that Custom Saddlery could help me express that philosophy with this beautiful saddle. I am sincerely grateful!
Let us just say that this is what we would all like to do to winter! Kick it aside. It has been a real doozy! We have had temperatures go from 60 degrees to 0 degrees in a 24 hour period. That is very hard on the horses systems...heck, for humans too! We work hard to keep lots of water and lots of hay in front of the horses at all times. We do still turnout everyday even if it is just for an few hours so they can move around. This past week we had a couple days it was Below zero with windchill in the -40 range so we just got everyone hand walked. I for one am counting the days to spring 40 days as of today. February 8. In the meantime, we will just keep kicking up our heels when we can!
The weather this summer has been so warm! 90's are not the normal range for Ohio! Dolce got a haircut from his favorite body clipper Deb Polander. At 18 hands Dolce makes Deb's job easier for clipping his belly:) He loves the attention and stands quietly for the whole body clipping. We have clipped several of the horses that are in competition this summer, something we normally don't have to do. However, with extreme temps and high humidity we have found that clipping these hard working guys and gals makes them so much more comfortable!
Arielle Brodkey and L'Aristo showing at the Dressage Derby hosted by Lake Erie College. It was a hot and stormy weekend but somehow we missed the downpour for the outdoor rides! Arielle got her first qualifying score for 1st level. Super happy for this dynamic duo!
This cutie is a new addition to Rockin K Ranch. Pulled from a kill pen in Wisconsin, Rhett is settling in happily and steadily gaining weight and muscle. He is around 18 months old and has the sweetest disposition! His owner, Elisa Holmes, was searching for a horse when she saw him on a warmblood breeders Facebook page. Eowyn Brewer goes monthly to a kill auction to save what she can from slaughter. It is so very sad that each month she sees pens full of young horses along with pregnant mares going to slaughter. Elisa fell in love with Rhett from just photos and purchased him and had him shipped here to his new home. So very happy to be part of this happy ending and new beginning to young Rhett's life journey ! We think he and Elisa are going to be a fabulous partnership!
Janet Foy was once again at Rockin K for a clinic. We had 26 rides over the three days she was here~ Lots of great learning experiences!!! Janet is a dynamic coach/trainer and as well as bringing her 5* Judge smarts to the party. For those of you that are not familiar with what a FEI 5* judge is~they are pretty darn rare! There are only 4 in the US and two of those are retired. There are 33 5* judges in the world. They are the judges that are approved to judge the World Cup competition, Pan American Games and the Olympics. Extremely high standards and approval by their peers make this a pretty elite group! We are proud to have Janet represent the USA! Janet was joined by her husband Mike here for the clinic. While we were doing horsey stuff Mike and my husband, Jack got to play! They enjoyed fishing to great success on Lake Erie. They went with four other friends and limited out with 57lbs of Walleye. Great on the grill one night! We froze some to fly home with the Foys as well. We also enjoyed a dinner party here at our home for all the Rockin K family along with the riders from the clinic. Really a beautiful evening and great food! Please join us in October when Janet comes back for a Fall clinic.
Summer is here and with it brings night turnout at Rockin K Ranch! Pictured here are Jenny Smalley's four beautiful boys enjoying their outside salad bar! Weather has been so bizarre with hot then cold temps. Last week we had 90 degree days and with the wet ground from rains our pastures all shot up. Our hay field is ready to make as soon as we get 4 days with no rain predicted. Weather stations have not been very accurate lately. Makes a farmers life a big expensive guessing game! In the meantime, we are mowing pastures and all the lanes and trails before they all become jungles~ Gotta love Mother Nature.
Heidi on L'Aristo (aka Leonard) with proud owner Arielle Brodkey. ~ Leonard has been working very well for his mom, Arielle, and myself. We are preparing a Musical Freestyle test for him. If you have never seen a freestyle please check some out on youtube. They can be quite fun at shows. The horse and rider do the required movements for the level of test they are showing to music. They are judged on Harmony, artistic value, and quality of movements. USDF Musical Freestyles start at Training level thru 4th level. FEI Freestyles have Intermediary and Grand Prix freestyles. Grand Prix Freestyles are in the Olympic Dressage tests. Fun to watch the horse dance to the music!
Vicki Ferrara and Vicky Ridge enjoying their beautiful boys on a gorgeous day! Sure would be nice for weather to stay like this! Our trails meander through the woods. We have three different trail areas. The Beach Property is area of 50 acres that is a mix of woods and meadows. King Arthurs Woods are a heavily wooded area named by our sons, Jake and Jarrod when they were riding ponies and pretending to be Brave Knights! The Island property is named for the island of woods that sits across a dam between our duck swamp and a pond. Jack has a lot of fun providing and maintaining nesting duck boxes. We are also blessed to have many songbirds around the farm. Blue birds are plentiful along with Orioles, Grossbeaks, Finch, chickadees etc. Love hearing them at first light and until dark!
DG Edorijke (aka Dutch) had a great time down at the gorgeous new show facility, Brave Horse, in Johnstown, Ohio. Weather was a bit rainy to say the least but the sun did make some appearances!. Dutch and I competed in the 4th Level Freestyle both days. We are having a lot of fun learning this new "dance" tougher. Our music is Mission Impossible ~James Bond themes. Makes for an exciting tone to "strut" his stuff to! He can get quite exuberant as he listens to the music and knows when we are going to extend the trot or do his extended canter. Dutch really does seem to enjoy it! I know I sure do! We also had Lisa Van Nieuwal with her gelding Absinthe along with Vicki Ferrara and her gelding St. Brogan show. They both did well for their first big outdoor show Vicki had the honor of riding her test in a torrential downpour. Brogan handled it all very well for being just a 5 yr old. Vicki always has a smile on her face no matter what! Such a fun person to spend time with!
The farm is really starting to green up. Grass is growing and there is lots of mowing and planting to do. I love flowers and have a vegetable garden so I have lots of work to get done around riding. I would not have it any other way. As I always say, It beats going to the gym!
Jack and I walk a few miles every morning with the "Pack". The dogs have full liberty of the farm but for some reason they really love their morning walk with us. We check fences and horses and they all check out what critters may have crossed through the property. Gracie Mae (white and brown dog to the right of picture) is a PBGV (fancy French rabbit dog) she will come across a smell and bellow out a howl which brings the rest of the pack to back her up in case it really is something. Occasionally there is a slow enough squirrel that makes a bad decision to run in front of the pack. Doesn't end well for the squirrel. This picture is one of the many lanes that we walk and ride on around the farm. The lanes lead to different sets of trails we have throughout the farm. Our Rockin K ladies love to ride here!
Spring is finally here! After a fun short season in Florida we are back to Ohio! Dutch and I were grateful to train under the talents of George Williams again this year. I have been lucky enough to ride with him for the past 8 years! Time flies when you are having fun....Dutch had just finished a ride in Global Dressage Show in Wellington, Fla. for this picture with Jack and George. This was our first show of the season and we (really I ) were a bit rusty! We both need some serious ring time. We look forward to this show season. George will return to Rockin K end of June when he returns from Europe working with the US Young Rider Team. He has quite the busy schedule jetting around the country giving clinics and working with the different USA teams. He and his lovely wife, Roberta have made Ravenna their home for the past 5 seasons.
While in Florida I got to spend some time with my good friends Janet and Mike Foy. Here we are at the Freestyles at Global. One of the few that Janet was not judging! Sitting next to Janet is such a blast at a show. She is gives a running commentary of what is going on in the ride. It is such valuable knowledge. As a 5* FEI judge she really doesn't miss a thing! Janet has just returned from jugging the World Cup in Paris. Janet has been such a wonderful mentor for me in Dressage. Janet started out as a Rodeo Queen so we both have cowgirl in our backgrounds. I met Janet 9 years ago in Houston where I rented a barn to train for a couple months in the winter. My horses were both young and I didn't need to show...just ride in warmer climate. My son, Jake and his family live in Houston so he suggested I come there...what a fun time we had! I had just purchased Dolce and we were both very much a work in progress! Dolce was an inexperienced gangly guy. I had him really moving very nicely ~ for a hunter! "EEK! " Janet yelled at my first ride with her...."Why are you riding him in a hunter frame?!" And so it began....Lessons with Janet. She and I went to the Houston Rodeo together that week and have been friends ever since. Janet now comes to Rockin K twice a year to do Clinics.
I returned home from Florida early so I could coach some of the ladies of Rockin K. Lisa VanNieuwal, Helen Welch, Susan Lipstreau, and Vicki Ferrara competed in their first ever Prix DeVille at Lake Erie College the first weekend of April. Spring hadn't shown up yet so the morning snow showers made for some pretty "spicy" horses! However, these ladies worked together to win Reserve Champion of the Training and First Level teams. As you can tell by their smiles they were pretty thrilled to have competed. Two of the team had never competed in a recognized show! So very proud of their hard work and dedication. It looks to be a fun show season coming up! Let's just hope spring is here to stay now!
Two of our retirees enjoying the spring greens! Jan Hatch's, Leo and Ominous , owned by Jill Zuk are buddies in our retirement area.
Hi, I am Heidi Kohl. I am a life long horsewoman who is blessed to be married to my best friend, Jack, for the past 39 years. We were college sweethearts at NCSU where we both were on full scholarship for sports. He, football, and I swimming. Together we have a great time on our farm, Rockin K Ranch. We really love what we do. I teach and train horsemanship. and currently show dressage. I have earned my USDF Bronze and Silver Medals on horses that I have brought up the levels. Jack loves playing on the farm with his big boy toys!