Haymeron Park Ruby Jane
Haymeron Park Ruby Jane's Story
Haymeron Park Ruby Jane (aka RJ) caught Greg's eye at the tender age of 4 months!!
On our trip to Victoria to participate in the Australian National Morgan Show in 2004, we took the opportunity, as we always did, to visit the Morgan Studs after the Show. Jo and Rick Hayes kindly welcomed us into their home, as they had from our very first trip in 2000 to find a Morgan as my riding horse.
This particular year, Greg was on the look out for the perfect mares to suit his very own Morgan horse breeding program. Greg kept his plan fairly well to himself until the end of our trip.
RJ obviously had the attributes Greg was looking for and by the time we had arrived home, Jo had agreed to let us purchase her.
RJ arrived at the age of 10 months looking like she had been bathed and conditioned especially for the trip. Her coat was in show condition. She walked off the float looking like she had just stepped out of her own personal beauty treatment salon. She was totally unfazed by the huge trip from Victoria.
RJ shortly after arriving at Wilga Park, with Di Howard and Greg
A few weeks after she arrived, I decided to give RJ a hose to clean some of the mud she'd gathered after some rain. She looked so beautifully shiny prior to the rain, and I wanted her to look beautiful for some visitors. I hosed and scraped and hosed and scraped until RJ was looking more like the beautiful, clean, shining foal that had stepped off the truck. I made a mental note to ask Jo what product she used, as RJ's coat was simply gleaming.
I will always remember Jo's laugh when, a few weeks later, I asked her what products she had used to make RJ look so good. She said, "That comes from the inside, Kath ... from what I have been feeding her and from lots of brushing."
Two things jumped out at me from that remark ... RJ had never been hosed in her life before and she behaved as if she had experienced it a dozen times. The other was the excellent level of nutrition that Jo had given this young girl in her early months of life.
RJ continued with that same attitude to everything new in her life. She began to hang over the fence when we were riding the older horses, as if she wanted to be involved. She would leave the other horses to stand at the gate, looking for our attention.
She was saddled at 18 months of age and then when she was three, Linda Shore started her for us.
Two weeks after RJ had arrived at Linda's place, we decided to go for a Trail ride with our other Morgan friends. Linda brought RJ along with her warmblood gelding and I was the lucky one to be RJ's rider.
I was quite nervous getting on a horse that had only one week of ridden training. To be riding her out with four other horses, two of them also green broke and one a stallion (RanchBoss Cortez), was an astonishing thing for me to be contemplating.
However, I need not have worried. RJ was like the sensible old trail horse that had been ridden down that track a 100 times. Even as we passed a piggery shed with noisy, squealing pigs, she didn't flinch. I felt comfortable cantering her in the group, as she listened well, did everything I asked immediately and did not speed up at any stage. She was confident on the trail and was happy to be in the lead ... or behind. What a Treasure of a horse! One week under saddle and behaving like a Veteran.
RJ and I went to a couple of Dressage competitions which she won - again amazing me by walking past a lot of chicken coups and other odd things on her way to the white dressage arenas that she had never seen before, without looking sideways.
She became a Show horse and won her Champion and Reserve Champion sashes with stiff competition.
The young RJ being a Show Horse
RJ matured and joined our Brood mare paddock. She has provided us with awesome babies who are independent spirits. They stay out of trouble and seem never to suffer paddock injuries as RJ teaches them from an early age to keep a little distance between themselves and milling horses. You will see them just that metre or two away from the horses vying for first position at feed time, and you will never find RJ or one of her babies caught in the corner of a yard or paddock whilst other horses are about. A thinking, sensible mare.
As soon as one of RJ's babies has a halter on, they are ready to do your bidding. They give themselves completely to the relationship and are so very quick to learn and so light on the aides, it is quite amazing.
RJ's breeding is pure Lippitt and with Cortez, who is Western Working bloodlines, she produces quality foals that are classified as Foundation Morgans. We feel very priviledged indeed to have this beautiful mare producing Wilga Park babies.
RJ in 2008
RJ's first baby, Wilga Park Lisianthus is now under saddle ... she had accepted the saddle and rider just before her third birthday and prior to her being sent off to be officially 'started'. Her owner, Lisa Wong, did it all with her friend Lara, who was the first rider. Lisi's starting process will be spent simply refining things a little. Another Legend ... just like her Mum!
RJ with baby Laelia in November 2012