Sunday, January 15, 2023

2023 Adventures

 For someone that was seriously thinking their riding career was over, I've got a pretty crowded summer coming up.  Kiki is moving up to Trainer Z's place in the first week of April so that's going to be exciting!  Trainer Z has a 2022 foal that one of her clients bought so Kiki is going to share a field with a lovely, very fancy liver chestnut filly called Vivian that is just a couple days older than her.  Viv is currently living with the broodmares but they're both due in April and she'll need a new roomie.  The timing is perfect.  The two girls can grow up together all feral and hairy in a pasture with Trainer Z's supervision as I learn how to work with a yearling.

Kiki's future roommate, La Vie En Rose WPF (Delaney PF-Donarweiss GGF x Landsong-Lancaster-Langraf I)

From what I've learned so far, they primarily run around hairy and dirty and focus on growing as yearlings.  She'll be coming up to the barn to practice standing, leading, and grooming.  She's also going to be going to some breed shows so she has to learn how all of that works.  Sure, her breeder was teaching her to trot on a lead at three months but it seems like a skill we should keep working on.  I'm planning to enter Amateur Handler and hire a pro for the classes that actually count.  I don't want to make her look bad when the breeder and stallion's owner are so excited.

From Kiki's Christmas photos.  She's on the left, the buckskin on the right is Ozzy (same breeder but unrelated, the class of 2022 was gorgeous)

Alongside Kiki's adventures to breed shows, there's the true star that has his own show schedule.

Someone tried to pick my pocket during his Christmas photo shoot

Theo will be debuting his Second level freestyle with Trainer Z at the first big show of the season in June.  Once she's got her freestyle scores, all attention shifts to making sure he's ready to do flying changes and trying to get those two scores I need to finish my Bronze.  Today we practiced our canter half passe to flying change and the shoulder in to haunches out that you see in Third 2.  We're pretty sure Third 2 is a better test for Theo so we might as well start there.  A flying change going into the corner can keep the drama to a minimum and he is so strong in the transition from shoulder in to haunches out.  The half passe we're getting figured out, the flying change?  Yeah, it's time for me to wake up big boy Theo.  It's been awhile but he popped a buck today and it was fine.  Time to turn that dial up and unleash all the power he's developed with Trainer Z. 

Dusting off the big boy bridle, Theo is so thrilled

Fall will probably wind up with Theo at the regional championships with Trainer Z, showing off their freestyle.  I will hopefully also be going to the regional breed show championships with Kiki but it's going to be harder to get her qualified.  Theo just needs two freestyles over 65% to qualify.  Given his history in freestyle, his professional choreography, and the fact he's being ridden by a pro, he's got a very good chance of doing that.

I'll be just the owner at a lot of outings but I'm still excited.  My dissertation starts this summer with my proposal being submitted so I know I won't have the time to be a full fledged horse mom.  I'm still grateful for every ride after thinking I was completely done.  I'll still be happy even if I'm just part of the cheering section and holding the drool rag to clean up Theo's bridle before he heads in.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Money money money!

 I went and got myself something pretty.  And huge.  Massive some would say.

The Behemoth had picked up enough gremlins that we decided a 20 year career would be enough.  The Behemoth is going to be moved on to a job slightly less demanding.  This is Betty.  Betty is a 2023 GMC Sierra 2500 HD so basically the exact same truck but with only 10 miles on it when purchased.  It's nice having things like a back up camera and integrated Android Auto.  The payments are less nice.  I traded in my daily driver car so the hubby and I are sharing his little compact hybrid and saving Betty for hauling.  We both work from home so one commuter car works just fine.

I still need to get the gooseneck hitch installed but that can wait until after Christmas.  My first hauling expedition looks to be April when I bring Kiki up to live with Trainer Z in her youngster field.  She's got a filly that is just one week older than Kiki that will be looking for a new pasture mate in April when her current friend is due to foal so it will all work out beautifully.  The two yearling fillies will have a friend and Kiki goes straight from her breeder to Trainer Z.   This means I'll have both of my trouble makers at the same address and I can start teaching Kiki to go for walks in preparation for breed shows that start in July.

Two ponies and a new truck means a certain amount of strain on the ol' checkbook.  But that's fine!  I calculated and simulated and it's a totally reasonable lift.  It's fine.

So yeah, right after I did that Theo made it clear that he only wants the Custom Saddlery Wolfgang Solo saddle that Trainer Z had been using because it fit her better.  It also fits me better so no loss there but it's still a saddle purchase.  Ugh.  I'm hoping the good mojo from it being Schrodie's former saddle will rub off on Theo.  I'll freely admit that I really like the saddle and Theo goes like a dream in it so it falls under the heading of buying Theo anything he wants to make him happy.  There is actually a category with that header in my budget.  I'm also keeping the Frank Baines because it's the same make and model that Kiki's breeder uses on her cobs so I'll probably want that in a couple years.

Theo's also scheduled to get his hocks done this month because next season is Third Level work and he's turning 19.  He's sound and we want to keep it that way.  He he also made it clear during his fall crazies that he could use a round of ulcer treatment to get him back to a blank slate before the next show season.  Both omeprazole and sucralfate, please.  As the kids say, I'm broke as a joke.

On the plus side, the crazies were brief this year and I only missed two lessons.  One for crazies, one because I went on vacation (gasp!).  We're already back to work figuring out how to get a quality half passe at both the trot and canter.  We may skip Third 1 and go for Third 2 as it suits Theo better.  The quicker the transitions and movements, the happier he is.  He'll also be hitting the circuit with his Second Level freestyle with Trainer Z in 2023.  We're talking about him qualifying for regionals.  He did so well at Saugerties that it seems like a good idea.  At least it seems like a good idea when it's months away.  It's more a Trainer Z problem than mine, I'm going to be working on my dissertation next September when the championships roll around.  But with a professional in the saddle and new ulcer meds on board, he may actually have a chance at Second Level freestyle.  Stranger things have happened.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Life with Trainer Z

When I brought Theo to live with Trainer Z, I didn't think I'd ever get to ride again seriously.  I wanted Theo to find a leaser or at least have his brain cells reinstalled so he wasn't considered dangerous anymore.  Now I'm in regular lessons, schooling Third in preparation for going after those scores next year, and reaping the benefits of having my very own schoolmaster that is always tuned up.  It's been a huge change for the rider that did everything on her own, showed alone, and lacked consistent training.  It's been very hard to swallow at times that I'm not the one having 'those' rides on Theo anymore.  That's someone else's job now.  I ride the result of her hard work.  Not to say I'm not working hard, Theo does not believe in rider's getting to flop along for free.  But for the first time ever, I have a professionally trained horse.

Who won both of his Second 3 tests with her two weeks ago and went Reserve High Point Second Level in the Open division

Trainer Z's barn is both friendly and serious business.  It's small with ten stalls on the indoor and another seven or so horses living outside full time with run ins.  Her riders are mostly dressage focused with some eventers mixed in.  Not a lot of high level dressage trainers in this area welcome eventers with open arms but Trainer Z loves OTTBs and eventers.  She has a member of the local hunt take her out on trail rides to give her dressage horses a good example, up to and including the GP level stallions.  

The sign next to the door to the ring

That's also taken some getting used to.  Random mutts like Theo rub shoulders with fancy stallions like Schroeder and are taken just as seriously.  It feels surreal.  Today I was heading into the ring while Schroeder was in the cross ties after his ride.  Theo and Schroder know each because they trailered together to GMHA.  We had to scoot Schrodie (no, fancy stallions get no respect from me) back a couple steps so I could mount without him messing with Theo.  The fact that Theo gets the same handling and respect really changes how everyone looks at him, including me.  

"He's the most impressive ride I have right now."  That startled me considering the kinds of horses Trainer Z rides but it's not about the scores.  He's her most complicated horse and her biggest achievement because the margin for error is so small.  He apparently was doing caprioles in his turn out yesterday and getting up high enough to ding the top rail in his turn out.  Even the junior stallions were staring at his behavior in awe.  She knows what he's capable of and the baggage he carries.  He's not a fancy import, born and raised to be a dressage super star.  He's Theo, the wannabe stud with limited coping strategies for his emotions and the nastiest spin in the state.

Sign in the tack room

Today I rode my half passe in the canter and felt him lift his shoulders up and out of the way.  It felt like a completely different gait, a series of jumps instead of strides.  I had my hands up because that's where his shoulders were and I must have been far enough back because he was happy to do it.  He was balanced and powerful, happy to carry himself in the movement.  It was amazing, a tiny glimpse of true self carriage and what the high level riders get to experience.  It's a struggle right now to get my hands up but that's me learning to trust that this is real, it's not fake or him tricking me.  

It's been a completely different experience since we moved in with Trainer Z.  Theo is whickering happily before his rides and looks like a million bucks so he's clearly enjoying life.  And me?  I'm still getting used to my new role but it's a lot more than I'd hoped for just a year ago.  And when the show season rolls around?  I won't be out there trying to do it all myself.  That sounds like a slice of heaven.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Cob Mob

 I got to visit Kiki!  It was also the day that I dropped off the last check for her purchase and started transferring all of her paperwork to me as she's being weaned.  So I'm broke.  But let's focus on the cute.

Oh dear, Kiki

Poor Kiki, she's going through her first awkward phase that I've observed.  She's always been so balanced and then I came around the corner and just burst out laughing.  Oh, honey.  That butt.  What the hell?  

She's definitely in the middle of a growth spurt.  Her breeder and I agreed that we lucked out that she waited until after her inspection to pull this particular 'hide her behind the barn' phase.  Not unexpected at all, just hilarious for a filly that has hardly had a day where she didn't look perfect.  No, it's not the angle of the picture, she's just ridiculously butt high on the day I visited.  But I cuddled her and gave her all the skritches all the same because I know she'll catch up with that butt soon enough.

Kiki, honey, you don't fit anymore

She's still the sweet, sensitive young lady I've met before.  She absolutely loves to be touched, even on her belly or legs.  She doesn't really care so long as she's getting groomed.  She's putting on her winter coat and while the rest of the class of 2022 are showing how dark they can go, Kiki is sticking to her frosted buckskin look.  She has dark hairs mixed in but she isn't showing any signs of going super dark like the other foals.  She's hanging on to her light buckskin look and I'm delighted.

She's also a total heathen.  She has left  a lot of bite marks on the other foals.  I got to spectate while she reared and goaded the colt into galloping for her entertainment.  I didn't get pictures since I was out of range but she has the colt of the group well entertained.  They're being weaned together due to being very close in age and the other filly her age heading home to Canada today.  It's going to be a rough week for the class of 2022 with one foal leaving and two being weaned.  It had to happen but that doesn't mean it will be an easy week for a mama's girl like Kiki.  She certainly won't be alone but it won't be her favorite day.

A little grooming session with Avanti while I was on rump scratching duty

Back at home, I had an unobserved Theo ride and then he got a mini spa day.  We're going to avoid clipping him until after his last show of the season and then we're going to clip him conservatively since he's got a pro that can wait all day for him to dry if necessary.  The hope is that more hair = less tantrums.  I really don't want to risk Trainer Z.  They have a show together next weekend and then it's the off season for them.  There's a Second Level freestyle to finish and the final polish on his Third Level moves.  Trainer Z and I both have plans for next season.

He's sexy and he knows it

2023 is coming fast and I'm going to have my hands full showing a yearling filly and my Third Level horse (YES I'M GOING FOR IT).  I will catch up on my sleep now because come May?  Sleep is for the weak.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Where Marqui comes from: Taraco Mourinho

 And now for the other half of Marqui's pedigree, her sire.  And honestly, as I went through the exercise I felt like I was looking at a whole other breed when compared to her dam.  It's fascinating how much variation there can be within one breed when they're focused on different goals.  They're all recognizably Welsh Cobs but the differences are pretty substantial.  Marqui's dam comes from US breeding, as did both of her parents.  They were all bred to perform first and foremost.  Her sire, on the other hand, is from the UK and from halter based bloodlines.  I have experience with how different working Quarter Horses are from their halter focused siblings but I didn't really know that happened with the Welsh Cob.

Taraco Mourinho, aka Mario, is an eleven year old Welsh Cob imported from the UK as a foal by his owner.  He was described as scruffy and naughty as a foal, then grew up to be a lovely show horse.  She's ridden him and trained him up the levels in dressage and he has great scores right up to Third Level.  Rumor has it that he's schooling PSG right now but his owner is focusing on Intermediare with her Lusitano stallion and materiale classes with Kiki's half brother.  His inspection noted his uphill tendency in all gaits, excellent type for his breed, being masculine without it being excessive, and for being cooperative at all gaits.  He was awarded Premium as a Welsh Cob and is in the Westfalen Stud Book I.  As he's ridden by an amateur and I've seen pictures of him trail riding and playing in the ocean, his temperament is definitely part of what sold me on the pairing.  Those that have met him describe him as very level headed but with a cob sense of humor.

Photos from Westfalen NA

Marqui is Mario's first purebred Welsh Cob foal.  Before her, he'd been crossed with WB mares with great success.  His filly Mata Hari was the #1 KDR in the Westfalen inspection tour 2021.

Photo from Westfalen NA

Mario is an import from the Taraco Stud and his breeding was not performance focused.  The Taraco stud is more focused on color and breed show performance.  The did start producing partbreds aimed at the dressage market in 2020 but the cob program is focused on buckskins and palominos that do well at Welsh shows.  Genetically speaking, Mario was supposed to be a buckskin or a palomino or even a double dilute with a smoky cream (homozygous dilute) dam and buckskin (heterozygous dilute) sire.  Naughty, naughty Mario from day one.

Mario's sire was Danaway Flash Jack.  Flash Jack was a multiple time champion at the Royal Welsh show as a colt and as a stallion and is a popular stallion in the UK for the halter breeders.

Photo from Rainhill Welsh Cobs

This is where the conversation gets complicated and I'm going to temper my comments.  Danaway Flash Jack is butt high.  Very butt high.  It's not the ideal conformation for a dressage horse.  Or saddle fitting for that matter.  It's a thing in the Cob stallions that show in hand.  Watch the Welsh breed shows in the UK on Youtube and you'll see a definite trend for the horses that are from halter bloodlines.  Part of the topline issues can be contributed to the way the cobs are presented (heads way up high especially when moving, parked out at the halt), excess weight, and lack of strength over the back.  And he does have a lovely head and eye catching look but it's not a horse built for performance in harness or under saddle.
Photo from Rainhill Welsh Cobs

Mario's grandsire is Trevallion Flash Jack and you can see why his son shared his name.  Just a tiny bit of similarity.  Trevallion horses show up in a lot of places including performance horses.  Northforks Cardi goes back to Trevallion Royal Consort as his sire's sire.  Falcon, the broodmare that just got added to the Mare Book I as Premium at age 22, also has Royal Consort as her sire's sire.  Another one where it's hard to find pictures of him, his Danaway son was much more popular.

Photo from Rainhill Welsh Cobs

Mario's granddam on the sire's side was Trevallion April.  She's a bit of a chunky monkey but was also a champion at the Welsh breed shows in the UK.  Little butt high but not like Danaway Flash Jack.  

Photo from Rainhill Welsh Cobs

On the bottom of the pedigree, Mario's dam is Paith Magical Rockset, a smoky cream mare that was well loved by her owner for her sweet temperament.  

Photo from Taraco Stud

Hard to tell much about her from this angle but super sweet face, I think Mario got his expression from his mother.  He also seems to have gotten more from his dam's side than his sire's side when you look back one more generation.  Rockset's sire was Paith Magical Meredith.  The bottom of his pedigree is mostly Paith.  Comparing Mario to his grand sire Meredith, there's more than a bit of family resemblance.

Photo from Rainhill Welsh Cobs

His grand dam on the dam's side is Paith Flying Rosalind.  No luck in finding a picture of her since she wasn't a champion and I've only found two offspring for her, one of which was Rockset.  

I had to share Mario's 5 generation pedigree because it gets a bit . . . repetitive back in generation 4 and 5.  Nebo Black Magic and Pentre Eiddwen Comet both show up five times.  Which makes sense given the history of the Welsh Cob.  Comet was foaled in 1946, just after World War II which devastated the Cob population.  He was part of the Premium scheme that encouraged owners of quality stallions to get their boys out there.  One of his sons was Nebo Black Magic who was foaled 1962.  He was so popular it's hard to find cobs that don't have him somewhere.  

Photo from Nebo Stud

Given his parents, smoky black Mario must have been a disappointment for the breeder.  He's definitely a dilute but he's not palomino or buckskin.  Instead he's the perfect coloring and markings to be a dressage horse.  Marqui does seem to have taken after her dam more than her sire (not a shocker from what I'm learning) but you can see her father in her longer neck and her expression when I get side eye.

Yeah, that expression is already familiar to me.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Rhythm is king

 aka My continuing attempts at figuring out collection with a horse that did not read any of the training books.  Any.  At all.  NONE.

Theo says he's fantastic and haters can exit stage left

It's been pretty dang amazing picking up my riding again with Theo playing the role of school master.  He's being ridden at a high standard most days of the week and it shows in his body and his expectations.  Trainer Z isn't going to put up with a lot of non-responses so he's gotten much lighter.  He's also gotten strong enough that doing the job isn't a big problem in his mind.  Trainer Z also rides him straight which means he's balanced enough to make up for my little (massive) physical issues.  When I get on him, I have a very level base underneath me which pushes me to ride in balance.  My shoulders aren't truly square since that's not physically possible but the weight is even and I'm not lurching off to one side or the other.  Kiki will benefit from this one day.

I'm very, very lucky to have this opportunity.  Theo's got a clean change in both directions now and by the time I'm given the green light to start playing with them, they're going to be pretty much confirmed.  I got to skip most of the struggles over the past six months while Trainer Z got those cleaned up and fully installed.  Theo knows me and we have our own, unique little relationship that results in us having fun even when we're screwing things up.  Might have crashed through some caveletti yesterday but it's still fun.  Just a little relapse into jumping reflexes at the exact wrong time.

Down side?  Theo is the freaking weirdest horse to ride in collection.  Trainer Z struggled with this as well until she was in a clinic and they stumbled on the fact that he doesn't feel like other horses.  He doesn't feel 'forward' in collection.  Trying to get him to feel 'forward' pushes him off his natural rhythm and the whole dang pyramid falls apart.  His impulsion powers up more than forward.  He's super willing and upward transitions are very prompt but you never feel like he's really going somewhere.  Both of us find it very weird to ride compared to other horses and at least for me it's been hard to get comfortable.  Because you must have forward!  True, but impulsion doesn't always feel like a drag car waiting to tack off down a track.  Sometimes it feels more like sitting on a rocket ready to launch.

When he's in collection you know you have all of this power but it doesn't feel like it's going anywhere.  The wild part is that it's just a feeling, it doesn't reflect what's going on.  From the ground, it looks great and he gets 7's and even 8's for the technical scores.  His hind leg is taking the weight and he's relaxed and balanced and responsive and all that.  There's a reason his simple changes are his strongest movement.  But he's got that short back, small moving front end, and no mental interest in going anywhere in a hurry.  Apparently he knows you pay the same fee at a show regardless of how long you're in the ring and he's going to get his money's worth.  When he goes into collection, his cadence slows a notch and he does his powerful fancy prance with a very active hind leg.  He'll get there when he gets there, it's not like the judge is leaving.  Allowed to do things in his natural rhythm?  He's got some serious bounce.

Nothing wrong with his collection for a mid-level horse, just feels totally wrong

We were practicing his half passe in trot now that I'm figuring out how to get and hold that collected trot.  First we did haunches in, shoulder in, haunches out, 10m circle, all at random so he was really on the aids and I could feel him moving into the outside rein on both sides.  Then it was half passe while worrying only about holding the rhythm.  It's so easy for him to go sideways, my job is mostly to set up the shape and then make sure his rhythm doesn't change.  Don't lock down, keep the aids moving and keep the rhythm, worry only about the rhythm and what the hind legs are doing.  I went to change bend and rebalance for the corner and he really started to bounce.  I glanced at the mirror and sort of yelped.  My 18 year old mutt looks like he's considering passage?!

Trainer Z laughed because yup, there's a passage in that collected trot.  She's been working his half steps in hand but the passage offers are all him.  He loves the mid-level work and gets excited when we're doing it.  He's an odd duck in that he heats up as the ride goes by and his most animated, fun work is at the end when other horses will be getting tired.  I'd been riding for 50 minutes when he decided he wanted to show me just how big his trot could be.  Not that it felt forward.  Added bonus, he's developing a real medium out of that collection.  Which also doesn't feel as forward as it should.

I feel better that even the professionals agree that Theo feels weird.  He will be so on the aids that you feel like you're on a ticking bomb but he doesn't feel like he's going anywhere.  He's not stuck, he's just going the way he does.  Is it mental?  Is it physical?  Probably both.  He's not really built to cover ground and he's a lazy, lazy boy.  If he was my FEI prospect we'd have a problem.  But for a Third Level school master, he's pretty darn perfect.

Until the fall crazy times get here.  Then all bets are off.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Where Marqui came from: Stonecroft Gold Medallion

 Hold onto your butts, I'm going to try to figure out bloodlines.  Apologies for my lack of proper conventions when discussing bloodlines, it's a learning curve.

Marqui had a great inspection and all kudos go to the breeder that made the match.  I still feel weird that the ribbon goes to me when, frankly, the award should go to the person that created the pony in question!  But she insists and I'll happily hang up my first red and white ribbon.  I do feel like I should be a better advocate for my filly and get to know the bloodlines that created her.  So here we go, dam side first since I've met her and like her quite a bit.  You get to bond with a pony while cutting out very secure yarn braids after an inspection.

This is Stonecroft Gold Medallion, aka Bonnie.  She's an 18 year old broodmare that just got added to the Westfalen Mare Book I.  Didn't get a movement score due to the flooding and her complete refusal to participate in this nonsense when it's storming out but still got a 7 as she's that darn pretty.  When the ponies aren't listening, Bonnie is generally considered the nicest mover of the broodmare band.  Her personality is more stand offish than the other mares but she will do anything for a peppermint.

She's had several foals for this breeder so Marqui has several half sibs.  2017 was the bay colt Quillane Rhaego who is off doing the hunters.  2019 she had Quillane Accolade who is in a dressage performance home.  He was just approved as a stallion for Westfalen.  2020 was a buckskin colt named Quillane Rubik.

Quillane Accolade (Gallod Auryn x Stonecroft Gold Medallion), photo from Wolf Run Farm

Bonnie's sire is Stonecroft Bold as Brass (aka Freddie), known as a driving cob that competed in combined events with his owner at the Novice level.  His breeder and owner is Marsha Himler and he was foaled in 1997.  Marsha Himler was on the board of directors for the Welsh Pony and Cob Society as well as a performance judge.  I found this picture of him and, well, it's kind of funny.  A little well placed censoring.  But he's got a big trot that his daughter definitely inherited.  Little bit of family resemblance as you go through the generations.

Poor Kiki trying to show her movement in a flash flood

Freddie's sire was Parc Dilwyn, an international champion from Parc Welsh Stud in Wales.  I've seen a lot of Parc horses in performance cob pedigrees and Freddie is mostly Parc lines.    No luck in finding a picture of Dilwyn.  I'll keep hunting but there are a lot of Parc stallions out there and it's hard to find pictures from forty years ago.  Per a video I found, the stud was still operating and competing in hand and under saddle in 2012.  When I look through lists of great cobs, I find examples like Parc Lady and Parc Rachel that are lovely, substantial mares with solid top lines.  There is a tendency to be butt high as is the fashion in the cob world but nothing extreme.  Parc horses do show under saddle and in harness as well as in hand.

Freddie's dam was Gweneth Pres Y Penrhyn, a chestnut with a wide blaze called Pres, that was foaled in 1976.  So yes, we're already looking at horses born before I was born.  Penrhyn Stud was based in Buzzard's Bay, MA and played an important part in the introduction of Welsh Cobs to the US.  Penrhyn was focused on creating solid, well rounded horses that could try lots of different disciplines while keeping the type and character of the Welsh Cob.

Photo from Welsh Review

On the bottom of the pedigree, Bonnie's dam was Thornbeck Golden Deilen, another cob owned by Marsha Hilmer.  Everyone that knew Deilen comments on how her daughter is basically her twin.  I'm going to keep hunting for a picture of her since so many people remember her but she appears to have dodged cameras since the internet became a thing.

Deilen's dam was an import which adds a level of complexity to my research.  The ones living in the USA are easier since the cob world is small and you hear about the ponies' personalities and barn names along with their performance record.  The names are also much easier for me to pronounce.  Cen-Y-Cerrig Y Penrhyn was from the UK and registered in Canada.  Deilen's sire was Cwmfelen Golden Eclipse and was also Canadian.  He was a palomino that was mostly used to produce crossbred ponies.  

I noted Dafydd Y Brenin Cymraeg both top and bottom of the pedigree.  He was certainly a handsome fella, look at all that bling.  I can see that movement in Bonnie.

Photo from

So Bonnie is performance bred with driving in mind.  She never pulled a cart and instead got some points in western pleasure with a young rider before becoming a broodmare.  Marqui certainly carries that big trot forward for another generation.  

Next time, Taraco Mourinho!