A growing interest in the sport of dressage and a riding teacher of that sport, Kaye Norment Smarslik, originally drew me from Quarter horses into the realm of sport horse breeding over 30 years ago. With Kaye’s help, I imported my first warmblood mare, an Oldenburg filly by Welt As in 1984. In 1987, I bred my thoroughbred mare to the Holsteiner stallion, Merano, and the rest “as they say” is history. From these two foundation mares we have developed the breeding program at Maggie’s Menagerie. We now stand 6 Holsteiner stallions and produce 3 – 5 foals a year.
Also through Kaye, I became involved in the original meetings for restructuring and development of the American Holsteiner Horse Association in the 1980’s and have remained involved with that organization since. I served for many years as the Chair of the Breeding and Registration committee, planning and running the annual breeding stock approval tour, chairing two breeding committee meetings each year and addressing association breeding issues not handled in the central office between meetings. Though no longer on the board, I continue to host sites on the annual tour and act as one of the association branders. In 2015 our farm hosted its first ISR/Old site as well.
I am proud of the fact that, with the exception of Cadogen, sired by Conifer, all of our stallions are products of our breeding program, bred, raised, trained and shown by our farm. In addition to the stallions, I have bred many premium and premium select mares with the AHHA including the top scoring American bred mare for the 2012 and 2013 approvals tours.
Since becoming involved with Holsteiners, I have trained and shown in the disciplines of dressage, eventing and hunter/jumpers. I spent many years teaching riding to beginners through intermediate. Some of my students have earned successes in the show ring and others have enjoyed just learning to communicate better with their horses. I appreciate and enjoy both and hope to continue to train both riders and horses for years to come. I am enjoying my return to the show ring in 2015 with my 3rd generation homebred, Rickochet. Watch for us in the jumpers! Or, come to the trial field to see me competing with my border collies.
I have been riding horses for as long as I can remember. I got my first pony for my 4th birthday and have been riding them around and jumping over things ever since. I have worked my way up to grand prix jumpers on two horses who were bred and born on our farm. Bringing these two horses along myself has been very rewarding as well as a very frustrating experience at times. They and the ones before them have taught me a lot about listening to what the horse is telling you and fitting your program to their needs instead of the other way around. I enjoy the process of bringing a young horse along and seeing it turn into a real competitor almost as much as I enjoy walking out of the show ring with the blue ribbon. Although I compete almost exclusively in the jumpers now, I began my riding career barrel racing, then competing in dressage and finally eventing before switching over to the jumpers. I feel like this varied background has really helped me be a better overall horseman and has also helped me relate to the horses and to helping other riders competing in different disciplines. I enjoy teaching and welcome all levels of riders from beginning to very advanced. Watching horse and rider improve and gain tools to better help them do their job is very rewarding. I feel it is far more important to spend a little extra time to make sure that the horse and rider really have a concept down than it is to teach strictly by the clock.
I also really enjoy the breeding side of the farm and helping to plan our future stars and their careers. Watching something grow up that you have helped plan and bring into this world is something of which to be very proud. I look forward to carrying on with our homebreds in the show ring and also helping new students and horses improve and attain their own personal goals.
Mini Prix winner, Welcome Stake winner, top 5 ribbon winner in Grand Prix competitions
Award winner in 3 of 4 International Jumper Futurity appearances including overall winner twice.
Top 10 finisher in YJC 5 year old Midwest Finals in Kentucky.
Cliniced with Linda Allen, George Morris, Greg Best, Buddy Brown, and Ron Danta in the hunters and jumpers
Cliniced with David O’Conner and Bill Hoos for eventing
Handled multiple stallions, mares and foals for their breed approvals
Studied course design with Linda Allen, designer of 1996 Atlanta Olympics
Completed USEF course design clinic with Linda Allen and Richard Jeffreys
Judge at local shows including jumpers and combined tests