Wilga Park Morgans:
Notes and Quotes From Owners of our Babies
This page is evolving ... this is the beginning of Notes & Quotes from the people who have experienced a Wilga Park baby. It will continue to evolve, so please visit again. We have more Notes to add ....
November 2013 - From Nila Latimer, owner of Wilga Park Chancellor (RanchBoss Cortez x Mt Tawonga Natasha)
Hi Kathy and Greg,
I really want to thank you for having the vision, desire and energy to go into breeding Morgans so that nervous riders like me can actually enjoy riding and achieve our goals along the way. I first became aware of Morgans after I lost my warmblood mare and a friend told me not to buy another warmblood. She told me that she had seen a wonderful buckskin Morgan stallion with a “temperament to die for” at the Toowoomba Royal and that I should put my name on a waiting list to get one of his foals because they have lovely temperaments. She said that they are smaller than warmbloods and they have good movement for dressage.
That was such good advice. Our friend introduced us to you 2 weeks after we bought our first Morgans and I was blown away when I was allowed to hold the lead rein of the wonderful buckskin stallion with the “ temperament to die for” and even further blown away when Greg offered me a ride on Kathy’s Mt Tawonga Oscar. That ride made me realise what a dressage horse should feel like … so much power in the hindquarters yet so light and responsive in front.
From then on I secretly harboured a desire to own a Cortez baby out of Mt Tawonga Natasha (Oscar’s full sister) so on 14th November 2009 when you told me that Natasha had had a colt foal, as you know, within 6 hours I had made the decision to buy him sight unseen.
I have owned 6 Morgans over the last 5 years and in that time I have learnt more about dressage training (because I have horses with easy, trainable temperaments) and hoof trimming (because Morgans have good strong feet which don’t need shoeing so I can trim them myself) but above all I have had more fun in that time than in all my other (30 +) years with horses put together.
Temperament in a horse is now the number one priority for me. Once upon a time, I was like most other dressage riders who think that movement is the number one priority for a dressage horse but I have discovered with my first Morgan that one can go a lot further in training a horse with a calm and willing temperament.
Wilga Park Chancellor has his father’s wonderful laid back temperament and the bonus for me is that he also has really lovely movement. It is so nice to own a horse that is calm, willing, extremely trainable, very sensible and yet still has great movement.
He has just turned 4 and still has had minimal work so I am still amazed at what he has achieved. His Champion led pure bred Morgan win at the Toowoomba Royal at the ripe old age of 16 months was so exciting. I still have trouble believing that he went so well as this was his first outing away from home and he’d only had 3 training sessions from Linda Shore.
He is such a great ambassador for the Morgan breed down here on the Central Coast (NSW). When he was 2.5 years old, he went to Adam Sutton’s for 3 weeks for a light introduction under saddle. He was a favourite in the yard and Adam was lucky to get to ride him. After only 7 rides Adam rode him and used him to demonstrate a point he was making to one of his riding pupils! She has recently told me that her next horse will be a Morgan.
With minimal riding in between (due to personal circumstances) he has been to a couple of clinics with Andrew McLean and at each one he manages to convince people that their next horse should be a Morgan. He settles quickly to his work and Andrew is amazed at how easily he performs tasks. He has a lovely suspension in his trot work and does trot halt transitions in 2 strides which Andrew would not expect from a horse for another couple of years.
I was quite worried about taking him to Sydney Equitana 2013 because (again due to other commitments) I was unable to give him the sort of preparation that I thought would be necessary for taking a just about to turn 4 year old to such a busy environment. A couple of days before Equitana and as a bit of a dry run for her education session, Linda Shore gave a free Western Dressage demonstration at our place. I new that Chancellor had only been ridden twice in the previous 5 weeks so I was really wondering how he would cope especially with 65 people sitting beside our arena. Linda rode him a couple of times before the demo and he performed as though he does it everyday. He stood quietly all day in his stable in the Breeder’s Village at Equitana enjoying all the attention he was getting.
I don’t think it’s ideal to give a horse so little preparation for such big events and if I had had the time I’d have done a lot more but it is so wonderful to own a horse that you can work when circumstances permit and have fun rather than feeling you have to work them because otherwise you’re personal safety will be at risk.
I am still a high level dressage 'wannabe' but I’m getting much closer to my goals than I ever thought possible and Chancellor’s giving me even more hope that I might get there one day.
Thanks again Kathy and Greg
November 2013 - From Alanna Marcham, owner of Wilga Park Jalapeno (Ragtime Oro Blanco x Eagleview Skybeau)
Hey Greg and Kathy, PJ (Wilga Park Jalapeno) had his first steps of training for Classical Dressage on Saturday and he loved every moment of it. Our instructor thought he was a hot spunk of a horse, and he is going for a months training in January. He was so keen to do it and he seemed to really enjoy it. My instructor, Peter Acton, said he will do high level with ease, he said he could train him for Piaffe easily. SO excited, he's going to be the superstar we always knew he would be :) Alanna Marcham
November 2013 - From Laura Collier, owner of 23month old Wilga Park Tamarack (RanchBoss Cortez x Mt Tawonga Marrella)
Wilga Park Tamarack is 23 months old and growing fast –14.2 hands a couple of months ago. He loves a cuddle and comes over to greet me and any visitors when we get in the paddock.
Tamarack is going to be a great trail horse, as he continues to grow braver. Recently, I was given a bag of solar bud lights that needed a new home. When I put them in the dark car, they started twinkling, like a bag of fireflies. Of course, I decided that it would make a perfect challenge for Mr T! When I got home, it was dark, so I hung the flashing bag on the back gate. Holly watched from a distance and Mr T marched straight up and stuck his nose on the bag to investigate. All sorts of things get dragged around his legs and he could not care. He is still fascinated by things hidden under tarps. He is a very curious boy, always checking out anyone walking down the road.
July 2013 - Another story from Shelby Williams, owner of Wilga Park Golden Maya and Wilga Park Linden.
And now for a story about Wilga Park Linden ... A couple of days ago there was a lot of activity in the kid's paddock what with the toilet and shower being installed in the stable shed and, finally, electricity (yay). Of course the kids wanted to help, Wilga Park Golden Maya in particular. As the 'dingo' was digging a trench for the pipes she would backfill, albeit a little prematurely.
Where the plumbers were connecting pipes, Maya would grab a huge plastic bag full of elbows and connectors and shake them all out into the trench while Linden, standing on the excavated mound of dirt, regally supervised. I thought they were doing a wonderful job helping but it was a sentiment not shared by others so I gave them a biscuit of hay each to turn their minds to other things. So, I'm sitting cross legged between the two horses watching them eat, when a large tip truck comes into the paddock laden with gravel. I gestured for the driver to go around us (the horses didn't look up from their food ‘nom, nom’) but, being inattentive to my signs, the driver started coming toward us.
Linden stopped eating and walked over to alert me to the truck coming our way by nuzzling my head. I held my ground and my boy stayed with me with his chin on my head until the truck turned away. Then, and only then, did Linden go back to his hay.
Isn't he wonderful? Of course, through all of this, Maya didn't even bother to look up ‘nom, nom’! I have to say that, where everyone thinks Linden is gorgeous, they think Maya is 'Nicer'. It's selfish of me I know, but I'm only too happy to let them think that because Linden is My Boy. I've been sitting here trying to describe what I mean but can't quite describe the relationship we have … suffice to say it's incredible and such a privilege.
May 2013 - from Shelby Williams, owner of Wilga Park Linden and Wilga Park GoldenMaya
Was picking up poo yesterday when I saw the kids lay down for a siesta so I joined them, laying nose to nose with Linden (Maya snores!). Unintentionally, but with the day being as beautiful as it was, I fell asleep. I awaken to a warm breath and soft nuzzling on my cheek and look up to see Linden looking down at me. He was, oh so gently, telling me he wanted to get up and asking me to move out of the way. How beautiful is that. I can't begin to put into words how much this boy makes my heart sing.
April 2013 - from Cassandra Scaife about her buckskin gelding, Wilga Park Bullrush
Hey there, I just wanted to tell you about how impressed I am with my boy, Wilga Park Bullrush (RanchBoss Cortez x Wilga Park Malaynee).
I came home from work and thought I’d bring Bullrush into my small village house block whilst I prepared his dinner. I opened the human sized personnel access door and went into the dark cave-like interior of my car shed. No horse would follow me into this darkness, I had thought… Wrong! This plucky little Morgan came straight in after me, checked out the lawnmower, said hi to the trailer and carefully managed to turn around in this tight space.
I was hanging on to his bucket of food, not knowing what to do – he did… Dinner time!
November 2012 - Amanda McGill ... about her buckskin boy Wilga Park GoldenSoldigo (RanchBoss Cortez x Red Bluff Paprika)
Wilga Park GoldenSolidago – what a wonderful little (15.1hh at almost 3 yrs) horse! He has given me the opportunity to start a horse myself for the first time ... ever!
August 2012 - Tammie Pike ... about Wilga Park Golden Glory, age 4 yrs (RanchBoss Cortez x Red Bluff Paprika) ...I've just had the most AWESOME ride on Glory!!!
We were way behind Mette & Moonie as Glory stopped to check something out. I told Mette to keep trotting and we'd catch up, as I want Glory to keep confident with all situations. Well I asked for a trot and got a beautiful pace, & then I asked for a canter and got a beautiful lope ... then I asked for more and was rewarded with an amazing gallop that was just perfect - not fast & crazy just big, beautiful and relaxed & when I dropped my energy back she came straight back to a calm walk on a loose rein!
I Love Glory and the amazing horse she is, but also Parelli which has enabled us to accomplish so much already. What a way to start my Sunday, I'm still on cloud nine :)
Tam & Glory on one of their rides
July 2012 - Sue Bendotti ... about Wilga Park Golden Ash (aka Flynn) (RanchBoss Cortez X Red Bluff Paprika)
... Went out again on the boy Saturday and Sunday - he's having to have the ‘speed within gaits’ talk with me now that he's the older one of the ride. He can do the little trot like the others but he just aches to show us both how biigg his trot can be. He keeps it together, but after we left the others yesterday, and I said ok, he just flicked those legs out in his huge trot home. We loved it! What a trot he can pull. Just a magnificent feeling to be aboard! He is very proud of it, too, I must say.
If I was a gazillionaire all my buddies would ride morgans. Thanks again for this funny, lovely, beautiful horse that you bred :)
August 2011 - Sue Bendotti ... about Wilga Park Golden Ash - 4.5 years old
I LOVE my Wilga Park boy.
Wow! What a happy horse he is ... confident, communicating, comfortable. He is so smart and so ready to cooperate, at times I really have to remind myself of how green he is in the usual (hours under saddle) sense of things. So balanced mentally and physically in himself that he feels much more mature.
I am so impressed with how much stronger/more balanced he feels in his gaits in a mere 8 rides in the past fortnight after 2 months off, preceded by about 6 weeks riding , preceded by 6 months off. His ability to just go with 'the deal offered today' is great. "Easy-going" doesn't do him justice. There are times this year, and last, when I have felt pretty nervous when we pick up the canter in the bush. He looks after me, waits for me to get my balance, sort out everything and then he 'asks' if he can stride out a bit.
Anyway, under his care, I am over my nervousness and our rides are just fun! fun! fun! I can't tell you how good that is.
Thankyou for breeding the kind of horse that even I, as a nervous rider, was able to take on from his early hours of starting through to now, with the minimum of fuss. I feel safe, we have fun. I know that he listens and responds, naturally he asks the same in return and we work to find the compromise. Of course, I credit Tammy-Lee with a major role in reading him/me and providing on the ground (well horseback actually) advice over the past 2 years. We could never have achieved this without her, and in fact, I wouldn't have dreamt of taking him on without her knowhow and shared riding.
July 2011 - Amanda McGill ... about Wilga Park GoldenSolidago (RanchBoss Cortez X Red Bluff Paprika) - 16 months old
photo at ANMS April 2011
Thank you Kathy and Greg once again for my 'little' Morgan.
Solidago has been such a pleasure to own and is so much easier to do anything with than any other horse that I have owned. He is such a beautiful horse. I love to watch him have a run and play in his paddock. He has such a long easy stride and a beautiful stop.
I took Solidago to all of two shows this year (his first two outings) and he was an absolute dream to handle, nothing seemed to phase him. Brought some blue ribbons home too!
I entered him in the Led Obstacle Class at the National Morgan show in Toowoomba (his second show) which meant that I needed to teach him how to go sideways between two rails on the ground while straddling a third. I actually didn’t start teaching him until a week before the show and wondered if I was being a bit unfair to expect him to pick it up so quickly.
Well, I was so proud of him. He picked it up so much easier and more quickly than other horses that I have taught. I spent about 10 minutes a session maybe 5 times in the week leading up to the Nationals and that wasn’t just working on sideways. Solidago was so good at it that I only had to hold my dressage whip (only used it for the shows) upright in front of me and he would go straight sideways for me. He is just so willing.
I have always loved horses but I don’t think that I have loved a horse as much as I do this one. He’s very special!
June 2011 - Tammie Pike ... about Wilga Park Golden Glory (RanchBoss Cortez X Red Bluff Paprika) - 16 months old
(written to someone to describe what owning a Morgan is like)
Well, where do I start! I had always seen Glory from the day she was born, but she didn't grab my attention as I wasn't looking for another horse. I thought her cute and full of personality like all of Greg & Kathy's foals.
It was Glory's first ever outing (The BIG Toowoomba Royal, of all places!!) She was tied up to the float like she had been doing it for a long time. Then I had to lead her (which was only about the 3rd time being led) to the Ring, and she was amazing, she was so confident and so willing. Other horses around her were getting freaked out about different things including some concrete bollards which we had to walk past. Instead of following the herd and getting scared, she walked straight up to it (me following) and put her nose straight on it and sniffed and chewed it! That blew me away. I bonded with Glory that day like I have never bonded with a horse before, and she just had to be mine.
I have to tell you, too, that I have been around Morgans for 8 years now, and they will never cease to amaze me!
May 2011 - Tammy-Lee Penny ... about Wilga Park Summer Beauty (RanchBoss Cortez X Eagleview Skybeau) (aka Chance - 4 yrs old)
Wilga Park Summer Beauty (aka Chance, 4 yrs) and Tammy-Lee
Hi Kathy & Greg
May 2011 -Suzanne Bendotti ... about Wilga Park Golden Ash (RanchBoss Cortez X Red Bluff Paprika) (aka Flynn - 4 yrs old)
photo at 3 yrs old
Hi Kathy & Greg
We rode the uber-relaxed Morgan pair this afternoon. Totally deluxe...asked Flynn to trot for an hour with a couple of short breaks...good muscle building stuff. Took him to the final 5 minutes before he stopped thinking about grabbing snacks, so shows how much energy he has. A few lovely canters in there too. He just rolls along ... no rush.
And then coming home our new phone book was sitting on top of the meter box, so, unusually for me with my previous horses, I just plucked it off, showed him and marched it home on the pommel. Not a problem...I love how calm and brave he is. I will never tire of his 'whatever' attitude ...good boy ...oh and I had been admiring of how uphill he was until this wk when i realised his croup had done a catch up...is he still growing?? I am already finding humps to stand on! and he was 15.3 last time I measured!! stop! oh well...he feels gorgeous to ride and as long as i can clamber on , all is good, once up he feels just right...
Just had to tell you that I am LOVING riding the buckskin boy...he is sooo rock steady to ride. he is light off my leg and quick to respond either up or down the gears and really just a total delight. And I've worked out that he thinks verbal praise is the bee's knees, so he's getting that in bulk. Tam commented the other day about how pleased he looked with himself while we were riding and I said I hope he always does. It should be fun for both of us, beyond anything else, so I felt really good about that.
I am officially wrecked for any other horse...oh well. :) ... Suz
June 2011 - Jan Tucker ... about Wilga Park Serjania (aka Jack - 3 yrs old)
Adult Riding Club!! He was an absolute star!!!!!! He is the most divine creature, he takes everything in his stride. They had a group of horses doing a quadrille class nearby and Jack was enjoying the music.
The children's group was next to us ... he could not care less, he was actually better behaved than a couple of other horses in our group. The lesson went for an hour and we even had a nice canter at the end and then I called it quits for young Jack
When we got back to the float and I took his bridle off he was standing there half asleep - poor baby! He had a nice feed of hay and then back on the float with my daughter's pony (Robbie) and back home. He travels very well on the float. The instructor thought he was lovely and I think a bit surprised at how well he went considering his age. The people in my group could not believe how well behaved and laid back he was for such a young horse ... as well as being so cute and gorgeous :)
June 2011 - From Annabele Rose (8 1/2 yrs old) ... about Wilga Park Chambourcin (RanchBoss Cortez X Mt Tawonga Natasha) (3 yrs old)
I am Annabel Rose and I am learning to ride Champy at Gill's place (Shibui Morgan Stud, Victoria). I rode her for the first time on Sunday the 12th June.
I loved riding her and she helped me to trot really well. I was good enough to go on a little trail ride with Gill and my mum. I also started to learn how to jump, with trotting over poles on the ground, I found that hard but on the last try I talked to Champy and we did it.
I absolutely loved riding her, she was even better than Pancho.
Annabel (aged 8 1/2)
From Gillian, Shibui Morgans, Chambourcin's owner ... July 2011
From Michelle Moller about Wilga Park Tibouchina (RanchBoss Cortez x Mt Tawonga Marrella) - now 2.5 years old. (Photo at just two years old)
Tibouchina at just 2 yrs old
June 2012 - Tibba Two is great. A very sweet girl and less feral, flirty and fiesty now – more mature and lady like. She is going well, out ponying with Oakey & Molly. She started cantering whilst ponying the other day and rode out with another pony. She thought that was interesting. However she does not care to do too much work. Lounging about in the paddock, eating, is her favorite past time rather than exercising. I got on her the other day and had a walk and then yesterday day another walk and a jog. She has a long way to go but if I do not have time to get her going I will send her off to someone in October.
From Michelle Moller about Wilga Park Tibouchina -18 months old - (RanchBoss Cortez X Mt Tawonga Marrella)
2011 - Tibouchina has now changed in temperament ... from baby to teenager ... and I can't wait to see what kind of young lady she is. It is amazing how you can see them change in mind, not just physically.
The only thing I say about Tibby is that she is a 'feisty, feral, flirty, filly' who stands her ground (with other horses). This is one thing that is not changing about her. She is funny to watch with the others. If they give her cheek she just tells them to bugger off or you will get a pair of heels in your face. She can buck and kick and loves it. Can't wait until she is old enough to ride.
MORE TO COME ......