PDA

View Full Version : Silverwood Farm/Art Deco?



Moho
Oct. 4, 2006, 11:23 PM
I passed a sign for "Silverwood Farm" the other day and thought I would slow down... this is, in fact, the final home of the famous Art Deco -- sire to my own horse and star of the farm's gorgeous website www.silverwoodfarm.com.

After confirming that this was, in fact, the correct Silverwood I was surprised to see that the outskirts of a facility were very different from what I expected. (Although anything but a gold barn and spotless pastures would probably be below expectation ;) )

I don't want to make assumptions -- I didn't tour the whole property, I just drove slowly by.

Has anyone else been a little caught off guard when they have seen the home of their beloved horses parents?

flshgordon
Oct. 4, 2006, 11:33 PM
I'm not positive, but wasn't that farm almost completely dessimated by a hurricane a couple years ago? Seems like they lost nearly all the structures and insurance didn't pay off much.

I don't know a lot about the farm, but have always thought they have really nice stallions.

onetempies
Oct. 4, 2006, 11:35 PM
I'm not positive, but wasn't that farm almost completely dessimated by a hurricane a couple years ago? Seems like they lost nearly all the structures and insurance didn't pay off much.

I don't know a lot about the farm, but have always thought they have really nice stallions.

They got hit HORRIBLY by a tornado. Massive massive damage to many structures on the property.

Moho
Oct. 4, 2006, 11:46 PM
I wish I had known -- I surely would have done something to help with cleanup, etc.!

Regardless of his size, I will always have a place in my heart for Art Deco (as my horse's dad and because he brought paints to the warmblood world in my opinion) and more equestrian businesses should have professional websites like Silverwood's.

Moll
Oct. 5, 2006, 03:55 AM
Well as for your question number 2, I would say the owner of the horse probably knows a bit better than some rival trainer that happened to see the horse a couple of years ago.

What a bitchy post.

time fault
Oct. 5, 2006, 04:23 AM
Her meaning may not have been conveyed in the best of ways, but she is just a fan who was expecting to see more. Silverwood is a breeding farm that used to be a dairy farm and from the bio the Halls have done a lot of work to develop it. Yes there was a tornado but construction was well under way when I was there last year so I hardly believe it still looks like it was just blown through. When I was there it looked like a nice breeding farm where the foals have the much sought after herd environment with the place being all pasture.
Height is definately a forgivable thing. Everyone's eye is different and when the trainer saw him he probably was not in the same shape he was in when he was three in germany getting his height recorded by the KWPN. We know how the muscle development affects the withers. My mare was every bit 16.1 1/2h when she was 15 and now that she's 21 I bet you she's lost that good 1 1/2 inch and is now a solid 16h.
One thing's for sure, Hall of Fame is definately 17h. He was massive when I stood next to him.

ESG
Oct. 5, 2006, 06:41 AM
Um, it's a breeding farm. And a very nice looking one, at that.

And yes - oddly enough, even well-kept horses at pasture get <gasp> muddy. :eek:

Moll is right - what a bitchy post! :no:

egontoast
Oct. 5, 2006, 07:35 AM
Moho, I guess you don't know it but you are insulting a very reputable breeder. What sort of hustle and bustle were you expecting to see at a breeding farm? It's not like a boarding facility.

Pretty is as pretty does. Lovely horses have been bred there. Go have another look at the website and look at the horses.

PS did the trainer measure the horse?

rebecca yount
Oct. 5, 2006, 07:46 AM
I think it's very inappropriate that you apparently entered a property without an appointment, a quick phone call to see if it was okay to look around, or an escort who could have perhaps answered your questions better than people on a bulletin board, many of whom may never have visited the farm in question. If you did enter the property, that in and of itself was questionable; if you did not enter and have a discussion with someone but have posted as you did, it is even more inappropriate.

You may not have ever run a farm yourself. Things happen: tornados, workers quit or don't show up, emergencies happen that cause one to have to leave a barn quickly, perhaps without the stalls done yet because you might have to take a horse to a clinic to save its life, all kinds of things that can cause disruption of a normal routine or maintenance. This is a working breeding farm--not everyplace is an Iron Spring or a Hilltop and many people who breed very nice horses in perfectly adequate conditions do not have unlimited funds. Some horses do better in a quiet environment than they do in "hustle and bustle".

Here is a link to the website's (which you say you have reviewed) discussion of the damage from the tornado. This was just two years ago. Be sure actually read everything and to look at all the photos and click on the links to newspaper stories:

http://www.silverwoodfarm.com/tornado.htm

If you want a "straight picture", why don't you contact the owner? I agree, the post was "bitchy" to the point of being almost libelous. You suggest that the owner is being dishonest about the height of a retired horse? What would motivate you to post these kinds of things on a public bulletin board?

Daydream Believer
Oct. 5, 2006, 07:57 AM
What a bitchy post.

Wow...for sure...I winced reading this one.

As for muddy horses...well come to my farm and I'll show you some hairy and dirty ones too. Breeding farms usually have a lot more to do that groom broodmares that live outside.

I have seen Art Deco up close some years ago and he gave me the impression of being well over 16 hands...but who gives a crap if he isn't? I mean honest to GOD...what is the stupid fixation people have with 16 hands? :confused: He is a lovely stallion and coming on her and saying stuff like that..true or not...is totally uncalled for.

egontoast
Oct. 5, 2006, 07:57 AM
Hmm is this the same trainer who told you that your horse (by Art Deco?) would not make it to 3rd level. Perhaps she has a problem with SW's success.:confused:

Honestly your post reads like you think you are exposing a fraud and that you think the website is a sham. I wish people would not post this type of garbage without doing some research.

If Silverwood was not so wellknown and respected this type of thing could negatively affect business.

PS Go over to the sporthorse breeding forum and search Silverwood.
Here's a thread on Sempatico (not too shabby):
http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=58237&highlight=silverwood

Damage caused by tornado

http://www.silverwoodfarm.com/tornado.htm

ise@ssl
Oct. 5, 2006, 08:42 AM
We've bred to Art Deco several times - our first two geldings out of a 16.1H TB mare were 17.2 and 17H. A mare is 16.2 - which is just fine with me - she produced two champion premium foals - one of which is a mare (16.3H) who went premium mare this year and her first foal was premium and he will by 17H. Size isn't everything but the quality we've had is excellent.

As far as muddy horses - well breeding farms ...I own one have muddy horses. We try our darndest to keep these mares and youngsters out as much as possible so they are healthy and happy.

Liz faced destruction on her farm that would probably have driven many people out of the business forever. If the OP thinks money grows on trees to rebuild when insurance doesn't cover everything - it isn't true.

I must also say - I've been breeding for 20 years now - as far as quality of service from stallion owners - Silverwood is at the top of the list for that. And even into his later years - Art Deco still has TREMENDOUS semen - all of my Vets commented on it.

I've seen more than a few fancy pants farms with all the carved signs, fancy arenas, etc. that can't collect a stallion without a few days notice and send you crap when they do.

Also - our farm is a closed breeding farm FOR A REASON. Anyone coming in without us knowing about it ahead of time would be asked to LEAVE. Call and make an appointment if you want to look at horses including stallions - I'm sure you have a cell phone and could have obtained the number from information. We don't want people coming in who could bring something from another farm. As far as "hustle & bustle" - breeding farms aren't like boarding facilities. We are usually up at 5:30 AM and do alot of work before most people have their morning coffee. Training of young horses is usually one at a time in the arena. Barns with stallions usually collect in the late afternoons. And most breeding facilities I know don't have many employees - we do about 3 people's work ourselves.

naters
Oct. 5, 2006, 08:53 AM
The OP didn't say she had toured the farm, merely slowed down and looked as she was driving by.

However, if the post is a genuine question, and not meant to be negative, I do have a suggestion:

Contact them personally.
Offer your assistance to help in any way they may need to help recover from a tornado hitting the farm.
Mention you have an Art Deco baby (such a beautiful stallion, have a mare by him at our barn).
Maybe if you are helpful, they will let you meet the horse?

egontoast
Oct. 5, 2006, 09:12 AM
The fact that she only slowed down makes it even more irresponsible to make this claim:


I was oblivious that the barn was not world-class/not like the website

If the OP was sincere she could have found out much more about the place by looking at the website. There is an ariel photograph and also information about the tornado damage. I thought the OP was supposed to be familiar with the website?

:confused: :confused: :confused: . Weird.

naters
Oct. 5, 2006, 09:26 AM
The fact that she only slowed down makes it even more irresponsible to make this claim:



If the OP was sincere she could have found out much more about the place by looking at the website. There is an ariel photograph and also information about the tornado damage. I thought the OP was supposed to be familiar with the website?

:confused: :confused: :confused: . Weird.

Whole heartedly agree. But didn't want to have someone accused of trespassing either ;)

Moho
Oct. 5, 2006, 10:09 AM
I apologize if I seemed bitchy... I love my Art Deco baby and Silverwood Farm's website and bloodlines are what we need in this sport.

I was simply expressing my surprise when I drove past the facilities -- I have, of course, dreamed of one day visiting the home of that world-class bloodline and amazing website... perhaps anything less than a golden barn would have done:) , but you have to admit (if you have seen the website/Art Deco and then see the barn, it is a little different).

Also, I am not trying to suggest the owners are lying, I was only seeing what people's thoughts were (that had seen Art Deco themselves) about his size... I only asked because my horse is 16h and came out of a 17h mare.

egontoast
Oct. 5, 2006, 10:22 AM
No, we don't "have to admit" anything.

You still don't get it.

A world class barn does not relate to the physical structure but to quality of the horses and care given to them.

Besides, some people actually prefer the older barns . Sadly, soon all the great old barns will be gone.

egontoast
Oct. 5, 2006, 10:55 AM
(if you have seen the website/Art Deco and then see the barn, it is a little different

No, because the photos are on the website. You are not making sense. :confused:

Alpha Mare
Oct. 5, 2006, 10:59 AM
My Art Deco mare, that I dearly love, is smaller than both her parents. She has a small maternal granddam that we think is her influence. She is a chestnut daughter of a bay mare & Art Deco (black & white pinto) so she is just chock full of recessive genes.

Her full brother is 16.1, she is 15.2. Go figure.

Agree with the other responders to the OP. Make an appointment to see the stallions with the owner.

BTW, a friend once measured a number of stallions in quarantine and the heights varied an inch or more (usually less) than their recorded heights - some were spot on, some were lower. THere is variance in where the measurer holds the stick that can give/take height as well as how the horse is feeling - they are usually 'up' at the inspections. It is not all a plot on the part of the stallion owners.

Tiki
Oct. 5, 2006, 11:25 AM
1. Art Deco is NOT small - I have seen him many times in the flesh. Some of his offspring are - I think Liz said it's mostly chestnut mares - which I and one of the other posters have. However, they make up for it in excellence. Mine has had 4 foals, all Premiums - one of them the top scoring colt in the country in his year of inspection!!

2. It is a breeding farm - as noted - NOT a show barn or a boarding barn - the priorities are different. She has safe and secure stalls for stallions - 6 of them!!!!! And lots of pasture and paddocks for mares and foals.

3. She is one of the nicest and most responsive stallion owners to work with that there is in the business and will do almost anything to ensure that you get a foal from a breeding to one of her stallions.

4. She holds 3 inspections there every year, ISR, the GOV and RPSI - a tremendous amount of work goes into hosting an inspection and she does 3 of them!! She is also one of the few inspections that takes stallions and has the facilities to have them there safely.

5. The house is rundown????? HUH????? It's a beautiful old farmhouse that they have had to almost gut and rebuild and it's gorgeous, with prize winning flower gardens. Maybe you think it looks rundown because they've put up a huge development almost in her side yard with those 'pretty' but quickly thrown up new houses with pretty lawns and it (to you) may look run down in comparison.

6. The indoor was cut in half and the whole front half of it blown all over the county by a tornado. So were most of her fences and a couple of run-in sheds. Her horse trailer was crushed. So was the mobile that her MIL lives in. Part of the roof on the house was severely damaged. Huge, gorgeous, old trees on the property came down all over everything. It's been a tremendous amount of work righting everything again - especially with a not helpful insurance company.

7. Your trainer sounds like pure sour grapes.

8. Your post was incredibly, amazingly, shockingly bitchy!!!

Auventera Two
Oct. 5, 2006, 11:33 AM
The owner of Silverwood Farm actually posts on this board. She has posted in the Breeding Forum on ocassion.

Yes, I would probably get a hint of wonder and worry if I saw the conditions you did, but they did get destroyed by a tornado recently. She had photos on her website of the destruction. One of the photos showed her horses standing in deep water that used to be their pasture.

I don't think your post was bitchy at all, but rather genuinely curious and wondering - what the heck?? And also your concern makes sense, being that you are so closely connected to Art Deco - having a foal from him. I too have checked out the people and facilities of my horses' sires and dams, just out of curiosity. If you had no knowledge of the tornado, you would have every right to wonder what the heck is going on.

But yeah, I imagine the facility was a little more spectacular before the tornado. :)

Here is a link to the "tornado page" that Liz put on her website. It shows the magnitude of the destruction.
http://www.silverwoodfarm.com/tornado.htm

egontoast
Oct. 5, 2006, 11:52 AM
TS, which part of this would you worry about? the muddy horses? Your comments are almost as ignorant as the OP's comments.


After confirming that this was, in fact, the correct Silverwood I was shocked to see a small group of muddy horses, a run-down house and indoor, and no sign of any workers/clients/regular hustle and bustle so to speak.

People who have been on the property say the house and indoor are not run down. You can see the condition of the indoor and a little of the property in the inspection photos . The OP can see from the aerial photo on the history page of the website she admires so much that any activity would not be out by the road but back by or behind the arena. According to the website you can only see the roof of the arena from the road. Stallion paddocks are behind the arena. How could she possibly make such an assessment by driving by?

The foot just goes further and further into her mouth.

I do not believe the OP is being honest about her intentions here.

It does not add up.

Auventera Two
Oct. 5, 2006, 12:05 PM
I was simply expressing my surprise when I drove past the facilities -- I have, of course, dreamed of one day visiting the home of that world-class bloodline and amazing website... perhaps anything less than a golden barn would have done:) , but you have to admit (if you have seen the website/Art Deco and then see the barn, it is a little different).

I have had the opportunity to tour a few breeding farms before. Some of them were spectacular, and some were very ordinary. The most notable was Dan McWhirter Quarter Horses, who stood the world class, AQHA and NSBA Hall of Fame pleasure stallion, The Invester. They are super incredibly nice people, but their facility was very much like any of ours.

I was expecting to see glamour and ritz, but in fact there was mud and normal paddocks and even a dirty stall or two. :winkgrin: I think for me, it wasn't a feeling of disdain or condemnation, but rather a "Wow, they're just like ME!" It made me feel very at home that they were salt of the earth people who put their britches on one leg at a time, just like me. There was the casual unrolled hose, the trailer parked out front missing a wheel, and things like that.

Their horses were phenomenal and I still don't think I've picked my jaw up from the ground. But their babies were all together in a big paddock that was kind of muddy. The punkins had burrs in their little tailes, and were friendly and curious. They were not china dolls locked in stalls in full body suits which is what I had expected.

I love that farm and those people, and they took fantastic care of my mare while she was there for breeding. But their farm was just as ordinary as mine, and I guess it was a shocker, but not in a bad way. Their site is wonderful too: http://www.danmcwhirter.com/

egontoast
Oct. 5, 2006, 12:17 PM
But their babies were all together in a big paddock that was kind of muddy. The punkins had burrs in their little tailes, and were friendly and curious

You and the OP need to get out more. I think you will find that most breeding farms let the youngsters be youngsters living in a herd and do not bring them all in each day for grooming and primping!:lol:

Auventera Two
Oct. 5, 2006, 12:35 PM
You and the OP need to get out more. I think you will find that most breeding farms let the youngsters be youngsters living in a herd and do not bring them all in each day for grooming and primping!:lol:

Many barns competeing their babies in halter commonly pamper weanlings and yearlings. When your weanlings and yearlings look like this, trust me, they most certainly ARE pampered, sweated, stalled, etc. I grew up in the AQHA show world and babies were commonly stalled and then allowed turnout in small groups to the indoor arena, or individually in a larger paddock where they could run. They were not commonly housed together in a large group in an outdoor paddock with a run in shed. Their coats were meticiulously groomed, and weanlings at 5 and 6 months of age stood cross tied to be body clipped and blanketed. They were doted on and received a tremendous amount of human interaction and attention. They were taught to square up and get on the trailer like a big horse and go to a show.

I was happily amazed to learn that Dan and his wife allow their babies to live "out" and they don't push their halter career at a young age.

http://www.jlperformancehorses.net/specklufkin.jpg (weanling)
http://www.rockingmqh.com/StraitSierraARWCb.jpg (world champion weanling)
http://www.4barm.com/rocker02.jpg (yearling)
http://www.carolinefyffe.com/shows/972/dsc_0224_std.jpg (yearling)
http://www.carolinefyffe.com/shows/972/dsc_0128.htm (yearling)

egontoast
Oct. 5, 2006, 12:41 PM
Out in a herd, wild and wooly, is the norm for youngsters on a a sporthorse or wb breeding farm. I think most horse people consider it healthy and appropriate to raise athletes this way.

Not sure what your point is with the show pics. These horses are tarted up for inspections and shows too. Did you look at any of the inspection photos?

I think I'll give up now.

TWF
Oct. 5, 2006, 12:45 PM
Totally inappropriate and libelous... MoHo...who are you?

Silverwood Farm was the pioneer breeder who developed the Colored Sport Horses in the US. I remember the day Liz unloaded her first crop of Deco babies at Devon...what foresight and vision! I respect the work of decades she has devoted to breeding and contributing her flair and talent to promote the uses of the Internet. Her sites and those of her clients are without question informative, innovative, pro-active and lovely. I have been to her farm..it is not unlike any other privately owned breeding farm. Liz is genuine, gracious and will make her time and horses including, her stallions, available to her visitors.

You are obviously uninformed ..not a fan..perhaps..fishing for something..otherwise why name the farm? Just pose a generic question instead of sticking a finger in the eye of THE person responsible for the fact you actually have an Art Deco baby! So leave her alone..you are totally alone on this thread. Disgusting!

dressagedevon
Oct. 5, 2006, 12:46 PM
I know how they feel at silverwood, our farm was hit by a tornado this past april. Even though it was one that was just forming it ripped the roof off of our new barn (we had been finished with it for two days). My husband and I plus a few friends built it from scratch. We didn't have insurance on it yet since we had just completed it! It was horrible we were on our way to put the horses in the barn when it happened, our horses took off through the paddock and we were wondering why, as my husband and I stood outside our back door holding feed buckets it went by, it also moved our horse trailer about 4 feet from where it was parked. So I can only imagine the horror from an F3. I am just so thankful none of their horses or humans were hurt. Tornados suck!!!

Auventera Two
Oct. 5, 2006, 12:48 PM
Perhaps I should have specified WB or Sporthorse breeding farms since that is what we were talking about. This is the norm for youngsters on this type of breeding farm. Out in a herd, wild and wooly.
My point was that I was amazed to learn that a world class farm could look and feel just like my very own farm. This was in response to the OP's observation that Silverwood Farm wasn't shining with glitz and glamour. YOU chose to single out one line from my post and tell me I "need to get out more" because I don't know what I'm talking about. I was clearly speaking of QH babies at a QH farm when you told me I need to get out more because I don't know what I'm talking about. So I corrected you. ;)

Anyway - I wouldn't support anyone wishing to be hurtful or slanderous about Silverwood either. I just thought that perhaps the OP's post was made out of genuine concern or curiosity. But I really don't know.........

Tiki
Oct. 5, 2006, 12:56 PM
Warmbloods/sporthorse babies in the Olympic disciplines are not pampered, stalled, groomed to within an inch of their life, and although we do show them in breed shows, they are not by ANY means of the imagination thought of as 'halter horses'. They also grow up to compete successfully under saddle, which I understand many of the QH halter horses do not. It was just noted on another thread that Idocus won the young stallion championship at Dressage at Devon (a 'halter' class if you will) many years ago, and has since competed in the Olympics at Grand Prix and just came back to Dressage at Devon last week to win again at Grand Prix.

We bring our babies in from the field, brush them off, sometimes bathe them, clean up the halters and bring them to a show, braid them and bring them in the ring. They go back home, off the trailer and back out into the field. They're not kept market pork fat. Maybe the OP came from a QH background. Who knows, but it did sound as if there was an ulterior motive in the post.

citydog
Oct. 5, 2006, 01:32 PM
"database error"

citydog
Oct. 5, 2006, 01:34 PM
The original post had me speechless.

What the hell does it matter if the *barn* isn't "world class" (whatever that means--does it have to be polished mahogany and brass or is some sort of hardwood with teak detailing and powdercoat steel ok? Geez.) or if the *house* is "run down"?

The horses (which one would hope are the important part of the equation) are lovely and have food, water, turnout etc. etc. And "muddy"? So effin' what?

Maybe it was just a grand lapse in judgement from the OP to post all the identifying details, and maybe she was just innocently in awe that such a fancypants horse had such a, let's say, "unostentatious" home.

But there sure seems to be some nastiness in there.

slc2
Oct. 5, 2006, 01:43 PM
the description is the norm for sport horses which as babies need to be outside in groups and running around in whatever weather in order to grow, develop and be strong healthy adults. the owner of silverwood is a very nice person and knowledgeable. i'm sure she is doing the best she can under the circumstances, but wow, thanks for the concern.

art deco was and always will be a super stallion that many people have offspring from and just love.

Auventera Two
Oct. 5, 2006, 01:48 PM
... which as babies need to be outside in groups and running around in whatever weather in order to grow, develop and be strong healthy adults.

Absolutely agree! I only wish more people could see that.

Oakstable
Oct. 5, 2006, 01:51 PM
Liz Hall is a class act. I only bred one mare to Art Deco years ago and my foal's pic is still in her slide show. I think of Liz fondly as she has always been good to mare owners. A friend of mine has bred to Sempatico for two years in a row, and Liz always delivers the semen on time and is among the stallion owners that people LIKE to deal with -- year after year.

My Deco foal was one of four full siblings. The two brothers were both well over 17H and the mom was 16.1.

The OP may have been asking innocently but very naively.

Most of us keep our youngsters outside and they are rough looking.

I know a warmblood facility built on major financial investment and all the youngsters live outside without even a run-in for rain. (We don't get a lot in SoCal.)

Horses are healthier left outside.

It's not fair to comment on the appearance of anyone's operation in a forum.

Critters Everywhere
Oct. 5, 2006, 02:20 PM
Wow. What a post. Here I thought when I opened it that it would be more raves & wonderful info about my all-time favorite stallion. The stallion I'm saving my pennies in the hope that by the time I reach a point in my life where I can justify breeding a foal, he will still be alive & well & have available semen.

I can understand being startled, as someone else mentioned, that such famous stallions get to live such 'normal' lives...complete with the joys of rolling in mud. Or at how peaceful the farm was without people running everywhere. Especially, as was also mentioned, if you are used to the quarterhorse or Arab world where the horses, including babies, are blanketed, clipped, stalled, and under lights at all times with turnout strictly restricted.

And as far as Art Deco's height. Pfft. He's an old man. We all get a bit smaller as we age. Just ask my grandfather (he's about 6" shorter in his 70s than he was in his 20s). And I don't know ANY horse who looks as big out relaxed in its pasture as they do all gussied up & "on" for a show or a display. For that matter, a 17.2h TB that my trainer had in for training awhile back looked about 16h when you saw him even in a short distance away.


I think the OP owes Liz an apology.

Home Again Farm
Oct. 5, 2006, 02:30 PM
What a simply awful post. If it was not meant as sheerly mean spirited the OP could use a few lessons in tact and writing.

The OP's attitude is one reason we have no sign, no big gateposts and no hint to the public that we are where we are.

My mares and foals are out 24/7 for their own benefit. They are allowed to be horses. My barn is maintained for their benefit, but not for show.

eggbutt
Oct. 5, 2006, 02:35 PM
I passed a sign for "Silverwood Farm" the other day and thought I would slow down... this is, in fact, the final home of the famous Art Deco -- sire to my own horse and star of the farm's gorgeous website www.silverwoodfarm.com (http://www.silverwoodfarm.com).

After confirming that this was, in fact, the correct Silverwood I was shocked to see a small group of muddy horses, a run-down house and indoor, and no sign of any workers/clients/regular hustle and bustle so to speak.

How did you confirm this?


When I pointed this out to area trainer, they also filled me in on the fact that when they saw Art Deco years ago he was "barely 16 hands." (I know that height can be hard to judge, but the website said 16.2h).

Now I don't want to make assumptions -- I didn't tour the whole property and I never saw Art Deco myself. .

But you DID "tour' the property uninvited? Are you sure you didn't see Art Deco hidden under all that mud he must have been standing in?


How is it possible, in the small horse world that we live in, that 1. I was oblivious that the barn was not world-class/not like the website and Art Deco might not be 16.2 or 16h, 2. This trainer seems to think the horse was much shorter than the website advertised and 3. I can't get a straight picture of what the place and horse are all about from anyone or anywhere!

You don't hesitate to bring up the name of Silverwood or Art Deco but you don't mention the name of the "area trainer"! What "straight picture" are you looking for?

I have mulled over this post all morning and it's so inappropriate on so many levels. MOHO, you really need to get a grip.....as has been mentioned previously, homes of great and famous stallions can be the creme de la creme like Hilltop or Iron Spring Farms where visitors are ga-ga at the sumptious surroundings, or they are farms like mine and others just trying to make a living and get by and enjoy the work. If Art Deco wasn't what he had been advertised to be in every way he certainly would not have been as successful a sport horse stallion as he was.

Shame, shame on you MOHO for being hurtful and obtuse for reasons only you must know.

Auventera Two
Oct. 5, 2006, 02:37 PM
I can understand being startled, as someone else mentioned, that such famous stallions get to live such 'normal' lives...complete with the joys of rolling in mud. Or at how peaceful the farm was without people running everywhere. Especially, as was also mentioned, if you are used to the quarterhorse or Arab world where the horses, including babies, are blanketed, clipped, stalled, and under lights at all times with turnout strictly restricted.

Yep, that's kind of how I took the original post. And maybe because I've been in that situation of realizing that some "big name" barns are down to earth and the ponies get to be ponies, including glorious mud rolling! :winkgrin: (their favorite past time!)

illusion21
Oct. 5, 2006, 02:59 PM
That is quite a rude posting. It makes me mad just reading it.

I lived on a breeding farm all my life. Yes its filled with muddy horses in "run down" pastures. No, people don't go out everyday to brush them for the people like you who drive by and expect the "world class" breeding farm.

You may see a "run down" place while others see the most well known breeder in the business with premium foals and successful stallions.

Maybe you should take a step back and realize it is not about the look of the farm. It is about the horses.

duh.

Auventera Two
Oct. 5, 2006, 03:48 PM
Is it possible that the OP was just shocked that the farm wasn't another Hilltop or Iron Spring? I don't think any of us would ever have facilities like that, and in fact most big name breeders don't even have facilities like that. :eek:

Liz's website is absolutely top-notch, professional, and first class. I have admired her site and stallions for years. Maybe the OP was just expecting to see a Hilltop or Iron Spring type facility based on the first-class website and stallions? Maybe she was a bit shocked to see that top-notch stallions can live at ordinary places?

RNB
Oct. 5, 2006, 04:06 PM
I do not know any of the parties involved however it just burns me when someone posts something like the OP did and does not identify themselves!!! I seriously doubt the OP would say something like this to the farm's owner!!! Cowardly behavior Moho....just plain cowardly!!

Debbie Hanson

WBLover
Oct. 5, 2006, 04:18 PM
So maybe the house needs a coat of paint?

I would much rather buy from a breeder who makes the HORSES number one priority than one that has a spectacular house and top of the line barn and doesn't care for their horses or is a real snot to deal with.

If having the babies outside to grow up in the most optimum conditions for their health and development means they have some mud on them in the rainy season of many areas of the country, so be it. I think what you posted took a lot of BA**S! Maybe your trainer is jealous, and misery loves company so she is trying to make you question the credentials of a very successful breeder.

eggbutt
Oct. 5, 2006, 04:33 PM
I've been waiting for Moho to respond all day and she hasn't (pardon me if "she" is actually a "he"). Perhaps she has not had an opportunity to log on since her OP and subsequent post were last night. I notice Moho is either a relatively new poster or just doesn't post much.....but regardless, I do hope Moho does come back and clarify her post and/or her intentions.

On the best of days I promise some could find fault at my farm and wonder what's going on....heck, we even have an old outhouse :eek: still standing in the middle of one of the pastures....quite quaint to say the least and is a real conversation piece :yes: :yes: :yes: ! Our horses aren't spotless and neither are the barns and house.....but we're all happy, super healthy and very safe.

Moho
Oct. 5, 2006, 04:37 PM
I am so SORRY that my OP came off as rude. It seems like my naivete and curiousness came across as mean, when I was really just trying to start a conversation.

I guess I was wrong to assume that my love for the bloodline and Silverwood's reputation would trump any questioning I might have had.

Please note that I did not realize what a breeding farm was like before I drove past, did not mean to suggest that the place was unsafe for the horses and certainly didn't want to suggest that the website lied... I was simply putting my experience out there to get FEEDBACK.

If this bulletin board is not about feedback and constructive thoughts I will surely go away... especially since so many of the posts just assumed I was trying to be mean and were unbelievably bitchy in response.

I will assume from the responses that no one is even reading my follow-up posts, so I feel a little silly even posting this.

Jeez!:cry:

eggbutt
Oct. 5, 2006, 04:43 PM
Hi Moho....I indeed HAVE been reading your follow up posts and only found one other post other than the original....perhaps I missed others and I apologize if that's the case.

Thank you for your response. We've all been blasted at one time or another after posting something on this forum. I did read your post many times throughout the morning to see if I read a different "tone" and each time it sounded really degrading.

Oakstable
Oct. 5, 2006, 04:54 PM
Moho,
I cannot imagine what kind of conversation you expected to have regarding your "impressions" of Silverwood. You said you were driving past. Gee, I hoped you would be 10 years old ...

At least you saw the strong reaction you got and you can learn from it.

pinecone
Oct. 5, 2006, 06:56 PM
I have seen Art Deco up close some years ago and he gave me the impression of being well over 16 hands...but who gives a crap if he isn't? I mean honest to GOD...what is the stupid fixation people have with 16 hands?

I wanted only to respond to this comment.

The point is not whether or not people have a "fixation" with "16 hands". The point is truth in advertising. The point is that too many people misrepresent the sizes of their horses, making the horses "bigger" and the ponies "smaller", to the point where it's hard to believe anyone any more.

If a horse is 16 hands, call it 16 hands. And let the buyer or potential breeder decide if a 16 hand horse is what they want. Don't call it 16.2 because you think you'll have a larger target market.

My comments, by the way, are only in response to the remark quoted above. I have no idea how big Art Deco is. This is not about the size of Art Deco. This is about false advertising, and the poster who says "who gives a crap" if a horse isn't the size it is advertised to be. I "give a crap", as do my clients. Every sane reasonable person should "give a crap" whether or not a horse is represented truthfully.

Carol O
Oct. 5, 2006, 07:28 PM
All points taken. Can we move on now?

Bogey2
Oct. 5, 2006, 07:42 PM
All points taken. Can we move on now?

:lol: :lol: :lol:
of course not....I am sure there are more who want to pile on!

Alagirl
Oct. 5, 2006, 08:40 PM
I haven't read anything, but as it was suggested, the owner is a COTH member, *Pintofoal* and she posts on the breeding forum.

PiedPiper
Oct. 5, 2006, 08:54 PM
I have been to the farm and see Art Deco and not sure where this poster is coming from nor do I think it is really possible to see the barn from the road.

Regardless, looks like any ole breeding barn around these parts. I would be much happier, if I didn't like the look of a place, that the money is going into the breeding and horses than frivilous things like flowers and fresh paint.

sid
Oct. 5, 2006, 10:55 PM
Oh crap, Pied Piper. Does that mean that you didn't like my gardens and fresh paint ...while my stallions were perfectly groomed for any old passer by? And the babies and mares were tucked into their mahogony and brass appointed stalls? (BIG GRIN!)

Clearly, this is a really terrible thread. Liz Hall has been a pioneer and champion of sport horse breeding. We all know it and admire it and emulate her professionalism. I know Liz, not well, but my contact with her has been such that I feel the need to defend the OP's "allegations".

The OP was pretty ballsy to post what he/she did. It was ridiculous and I'm so glad to see the response to it from all here.

Had she kept up on sporthorse news (especially about her love of Art Deco) she would have known that Silverwood suffered a terrible force of nature that would have closed most farms.

But regardless of that fact (and the OP's insensitivity)...ya know, I've probably lost breedings to people who stop in unannounced, despite the sign that says "by appointment only" and that I can instinctively tell are SO disappointed that Argosy or Boleem are hanging out like any other horse.

"Catching them" , having had an extremely wonderful roll in the mud and and living the life that is needed for horses to be healthy, seems to be disappointing to them. Couple that with babies who are out in the pasture growing up, getting what they need AS HORSES, seems to disappoint them, regardless of the fact that they are seeing sound and healthy individuals.

To tell you the truth, I don't want to breed my stallion to these types of people.

Brangelina and TomKat "stargazer types" sometimes encroach in the horse world, I guess. The OP seems to be that type by posting such an inflammatory and provocative thread. Yeesh...

Liz, if you're reading this thread, I hope you know you have a lot of admirers among breeders and true horsemen. Ignore this.

Cartier
Oct. 6, 2006, 07:33 AM
I see the OP’s post as being more about the disparity between the OP’s expectations and reality. The truth is that we all try to put our best foot forward with our websites, some are more skilled than others. Our websites are advertising… and like all advertisers, we only show the good stuff. We don’t show the photos of what really goes on at a breeding farm. Oh god, I hate to even list the photos we could all show… of what foaling is actually like; of what we all look like during and just after foaling; of what breeding is actually like; of what stalls look like first thing in the morning… for that matter, of what I look like first thing in the morning. :eek:

Geez- O- Pete, even Martha Stewart with a full time staff of 50 couldn’t keep everything spiffy 100% of the time. It just isn't possible. We are all human, and unless we're on some sort of chemical accelerant (speed), we can only work 8-10 hours a day… things aren’t gonna be perfect every time someone drives by. :no: Hell, in my life, I'd settle for perfection once a month. :lol: At some point we all have to accept the line between what we’d love to see our farm look like and what we can actually keep up with.

Still, I can see where the OP might have a certain expectation… that is all it was really… an expectation… and maybe there was a bit of a disconnect between the OP’s expectations and reality. That might simply reflect really good advertising. No need to jump all over this OP person. How about we set the person up as a breeder… and in a few years we can all drive by the OP’s farm… and then come and post about what we see. :lol: :winkgrin: Things can look a lot different from the inside looking out. :cool: ;)

One last thought: maybe, just maybe… the OP suffers from the delusion that people get rich standing stallions and breeding horses.. just typing that sentence has made me laugh so hard I can’t see the key board. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

PiedPiper
Oct. 6, 2006, 07:39 AM
Sid

Of course not! I LOVE your place! Shot I could live at your place myself, just snuggle up in one of those big stalls. :D But, and then I am ducking and running, I do believe I saw a little mud on a horse while I was there. Just a smidge on one of the babies who was enthralled that there were guests! :lol: Oh wait, in my defense, I was there in the dead of winter so no flowers!!!! :lol: :lol: But the footing, on crap the amazing footing in that indoor. You could tour the US giving talks on proper footing.

I think I was thinking of Fairview's as well. Just down home, comfortable, place to be at.

I get the impression that the OP expected the barns to look like what you would see on the Middleburg Stable Tour.

Auventera Two
Oct. 6, 2006, 08:48 AM
I see the OP’s post as being more about the disparity between the OP’s expectations and reality. The truth is that we all try to put our best foot forward with our websites, some are more skilled than others. Our websites are advertising… and like all advertisers, we only show the good stuff. We don’t show the photos of what really goes on at a breeding farm. Oh god, I hate to even list the photos we could all show… of what foaling is actually like; of what we all look like during and just after foaling; of what breeding is actually like; of what stalls look like first thing in the morning… for that matter, of what I look like first thing in the morning. :eek:

Still, I can see where the OP might have a certain expectation… that is all it was really… an expectation… and maybe there was a bit of a disconnect between the OP’s expectations and reality. That might simply reflect really good advertising. No need to jump all over this OP person. How about we set the person up as a breeder… and in a few years we can all drive by the OP’s farm… and then come and post about what we see. :lol: :winkgrin: Things can look a lot different from the inside looking out.


That's kind of where my posts were pointed too. I didn't really read it as a rip on the breeder, but rather as a shock that the barn wasn't what the OP had expected to see. Much like my experience in visiting McWhirters. I wasn't critical of them at all, but I was genuinely shocked that it was not what I had expected. And the only reason I expected it is because their website is so fantastic, top-notch and professional. The photos and stallion video they sent were incredible. Extremely professional and carefully poised and positioned so that no garden hoses or muddy paddocks were shown. And that's just fine. Every one of us has those muddy lots and clutter. I don't believe any horse person truly expects breeding farms to be 110% spiffy and perfect. It's just that that's the impression you get when viewing their spectacular advertising material.

I used to have a large website (but not horse specific) and I only put the very best of the best photos on there. Why would you post the photo with the broken down haywagon in the background?? Why would you post the photo of the beautiful chestnut horse with a fallen tree in the background? No, you pose your animals in such a fashion that they are flattered, your farm is flattered, and your website is flattered. But the truth is - ALL of us have junk, clutter, mud, etc. even if we don't show it on our website, and that can be a shock to people.

I even photo shopped crap out of ocassional photos to make more appealing pictures! You know, the neighbor's kid running naked through the picture, or the unrolled hose laying in the lawn. Things like that make your site look less tidy or professional, and people do NOT typically show those photos.

But if somebody stopped by at any given time, THEN they would see the broken down haywagon, or the stack of round bales that went bad, or the burning pile. Those things are unflattering, and downright embarassing, and SURE wouldn't make it to the website!

So yeh - I can definitely see where people might be shocked or surprised with separating website from relatity.

sid
Oct. 6, 2006, 08:52 AM
Cartier...your post cracked me up. AMEN!

Auventera Two
Oct. 6, 2006, 08:57 AM
I wanted only to respond to this comment.

The point is not whether or not people have a "fixation" with "16 hands". The point is truth in advertising.

....This is about false advertising, and the poster who says "who gives a crap" if a horse isn't the size it is advertised to be. I "give a crap", as do my clients. Every sane reasonable person should "give a crap" whether or not a horse is represented truthfully.

Agreed 100% with this, even though its not related to the original topic. I have since found out that my mare's sire was just BARELY 15 hands with shoes on, when he was advertised as 15.2+. Well, that 2+ inches means alot. Now my horse is topped out at 14.3 and a smidge when I was hoping she'd at least hit 15 or 15.1. So yeah, I'm pissed. I'm pissed that the breeder measured the stallion with a cloth tape standing on the grass. It's not the end of the world, but when you stand a stallion, you have an obligation to supply CORRECT facts. When I saw the stallion in person, I did question the size and was assured it was correct. Out of the blue I got an email from the stallion owner 3 years later asking how my filly was doing. We chatted a bit and I mentioned she was perfect in every way, but I was hoping she'd get a bit taller though. That's when I got the "Ooooh yeah. Well, I should tell you.........."

ise@ssl
Oct. 6, 2006, 12:32 PM
Something doesn't fit here people.

The OP referenced her opinion on Art Deco's height relative to what is stated in the advertising. This implies she saw him in person. I know for a fact from speaking with Liz Hall that Art Deco DOES NOT GET TURNED OUT - he hates it. If anything she will put him in the indoor.

SO - did the OP actually invite herself/himself onto the property to look around? And then not speak with the owner before posting this reference to "run down house/etc.".

Come on OP - you can try to re-write this but it just doesn't fit together.

ise@ssl
Oct. 6, 2006, 12:38 PM
Something doesn't fit here. The OP was driving by and makes rather negative opinions about the condition of someone's property - a business as well. This person clearly never spoke to Liz Hall about this before posting here.

She/he further references the height of Art Deco in person relative to advertised which implies - personal observation. Art Deco doesn't get turned out much - if ever - he goes in the indoor. I know this from Liz - he just plain hates turn out.

So! How did this OP see the horse? Did she invite herself/himself onto the property - when people weren't there and make assessments - leave and head to the computer and keyboard to post these comments?

Sorry - it just doesn't fit.

DownYonder
Oct. 6, 2006, 12:44 PM
If the OP and some others posting here think that all well-known stallion stations are like the Taj Mahal, maybe they should go visit Sandro Hit and his buds at Paul Schockemoehle's place. Functional and workmanlike are the words to describe it - not fancy or grandiose in any sense. The OP would probably be shocked to see all those famous stallions standing there with 5-inch long whiskers and bushy, unruly forelocks, etc. And, although the main stallion barn isn't too bad, many of the other barns have rather small, dark, windowless stalls and narrow aisles. It's not exactly as most people envision it.

petitefilly
Oct. 6, 2006, 01:04 PM
This is all quite funny to me. To some people it is all how things *look*, and not about the reality of the situation. A good horse can be housed anywhere by anyone and be in fantastic condition. A hovel can be a palace, and vice versa. :)

I'm going to change the subject now with more of a thought on how we even buy horses. My friends and I have always joked that you should never ever show up to purchase a horse in you best car, you should always have a beat up 1972 truck in the back forty to rev up for any horse buying expeditions. People see a nice truck or a sporty BMW and the price of the horse is never going DOWN. :) Also, if you take the same horse you have at home in your small six stall backyard place and board at a ritzy indoor for a couple of months you will increase the purchase price by twenty thousand dollars.

It's all in perception, folks. People do not want to see the stallion of their dreams in ordinary po-dunk, or along the side of the road. They want to see "Pizazzz" and a fanfare to entice them into feeling like it is all worth their trouble. Money talks, no one walks.

Honestly, you all jumped on Moho and set her straight, but I bet more than a few people agreed with her and did not have the nerve to buck the system and post in agreement with her. I know it as sure a' shootin'.

I can get about $50.00 a lesson if I go on the road to teach, but now that we have a dandy new indoor, the prices can go up as far as the limit will allow. People want glitz, you heard it here first. You never know who is worth something to others, think about the last days of Howard Hughes.

tidy rabbit
Oct. 6, 2006, 01:18 PM
I have 2 sons by Hall of Fame. Both beautiful wonderful babies. One is 19 months and nearly 16'3 and the other is 4 months and about 12 hands now. Both Premium foals. Perfect xrays. Perfect temperments.

I expect that we'll have a 3rd one of the same breeding within 2 years.

WBLover
Oct. 6, 2006, 02:00 PM
Ise@ssl--the OP didn't say SHE saw Art Deco in person--her trainer told her that HE or SHE saw Art Deco and he looked shorter than advertised.

I'm sure the trainer has some sort of axe to grind with Silverwood--who know why else they would make such off-handed remarks to a student who owns an Art Deco baby.

Auventera Two
Oct. 6, 2006, 02:11 PM
A trainer (or anybody) saying they don't think a stallion is 16.2 hands tall, gives me no impression of wanting to grind an axe. :uhoh: Rather it sounds like just a passing comment about a local stallion. You could say this about any horse. Or you could say anything - like are you sure he showed 2nd level? I was thinking he only made it to 1st. Etc. People talk about the facts surrounding particular horses ALL THE TIME. If you don't believe me, read the Breeders forum here. They constantly jabber about height, careers, owners, trainers, babies, etc.

My friend and I had a conversation about her QH gelding in which I said to her, "Are you sure he's cow bred because he sure looks pure Impressive bred halter to me." She then talked about how she didn't really know because she never got the horses's papers. She's one of my best friends! I certainly have no ax. Just a passing comment in conversation.

Geeze - some of you people need to remove thine cobs from thine arses.

CapitolDesign
Oct. 6, 2006, 03:37 PM
I would imagine that anyone going to see an equestrian facility (accidentally passing or by scheduled visit from across the country) would be as surprised as MOHO after looking at Liz's awesome website and hearing about Art Deco (who needs no introduction).

Let this whole thread be a testament to how well Liz has done with her business and promoting these breathtaking horses:)

Just think of MOHO's experience as the horse-equivalent of meeting your favorite movie star for the first time: there is no way he/she is all you dreamed they would be.

Sonesta
Oct. 6, 2006, 04:28 PM
Just think of MOHO's experience as the horse-equivalent of meeting your favorite movie star for the first time: there is no way he/she is all you dreamed they would be.

Good analogy.

Moho, rest assured that Art Deco is just as fabulous a stallion as you imagined and that Silverwood Farm is one of the best breeding operations out there for sport horses. Don't worry about the lack of glitz. Remember "All that glitters is not gold." and "Diamonds are some of the ugliest stones on the outside when they are mined."

Xhltsalute
Oct. 6, 2006, 05:18 PM
...the horse-equivalent of meeting your favorite movie star for the first time: there is no way he/she is all you dreamed they would be.

No kidding!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: Catch Oprah with no makeup. That woman is scary looking.:D

mazu
Oct. 6, 2006, 08:28 PM
I would imagine that anyone going to see an equestrian facility (accidentally passing or by scheduled visit from across the country) would be as surprised as MOHO after looking at Liz's awesome website and hearing about Art Deco (who needs no introduction).

Let this whole thread be a testament to how well Liz has done with her business and promoting these breathtaking horses:)

Just think of MOHO's experience as the horse-equivalent of meeting your favorite movie star for the first time: there is no way he/she is all you dreamed they would be.

Please! We're in the middle of a very important pile-on here. We don't need no rational responses. :mad:

sid
Oct. 6, 2006, 09:30 PM
CD - so true! I met Robert Redford back in the early 80's (he popped into my office and said "hi" when he was visiting my company). I was really shocked that he was really short and had serious acne scars.

But that incredible sexy smile made up for it all (hot flashes revisited!) In the end it didn't matter if he didn't seem like what I saw on film. He's proved himself over and over again in his trade. I was impressed with his warmth, good looks and good films.

The point is, of course stallion owners market their stallions in the best possible light...whether it be in photos, videos or websites (not my website though ..I wish I was as talented as Liz!). It would be stupid not to show them at their best...but THAT by itself does not constitute false advertising. To keep them in "bubble wrap" to have them on call in order to portray what is seen in ads would be almost inhumane.

But it's true. As "Petite" said...perception is the truth to most. That's why we scramble to get our stallions clean and shiny for visitors on a moments notice -- to try to fulfill the perception that people see in the "glossy" ads. In the end, the ads may attract breeders, but they don't make these stallions good as stallions. They have show or get records that attest to that -- that's what really counts in the end, no?

Either the OP is neophyte, or she took some bait from her trainer who is probably just jealous of Liz's success with her stallion(s). It's just unfortunate that the OP didn't have the tact to leave the name of the stallion or farm out of the thread started.

To the OP: When people visit unannounced, well, you're going to see a horse like any other...or even like you might look. In my case it's no makeup, bad hair day, probably not even showered, wearing sweats...with horse "junk" of some variety staining my my clothing from head to toe (yikes!). But I've been told that I "clean up well"...(grin). That's the "uniform" for us breeders...it's messy work WAY beyond the normal "boarding facility" venue that some who want to breed come from. We are single owners of many horses, often with little dedicated long term help. We look like that so our horse get the very best of everything...including being allowed to roll in the mud and let their manes grow ocassionally.

As far as the height question accusation (and it was an accusation) -- Deco has been breeding for years, he's been approved by a multitude of registries. Who would purport to be a fan of this stallion would be niave enough to believe that all those registries that "sticked him" are wrong? Like any other aging horse (or person) changes in looks and body condition are inevitable. Perhaps I'm a little defensive here about aging stallions (and my own aging!). My Boleem will turn 24 next March. He too will not look like his "movie star" stallion photos or like he did Dover catalog shots that have been commonly seen. AGING should not have to be defended. Their semen still passes on the good looks and athleticism that allowed them to be approved for breeding in the first place.

OP: If you love your Deco youngster so much, it might do your soul good to call Liz and apologize for this thread. I would bet she's seen this thread. She has nothing to defend..and remember, SHE made your youngster that you love so much even possible for you to enjoy.

sid
Oct. 6, 2006, 10:13 PM
I asked Susan to post this for me since I seem unable to sign on to the COTH forums, thank you Susan.

I must say when I first started reading this thread my feelings where quite hurt, they still are smarting a tad. But so many of you had such kind comments and I truly thank you for that. Again and again so many of you in the horse community have been God sends for us.

I was stewing about this as a mucked the stalls (yes the get done everyday-twice a day at that) And then I thought to myself you know, over the years you've heard much worse about myself, my horses, etc. Unfortunately sometimes It's the nature of this business Is my place a Hilltop or Iron Spring? no, and I have never claimed it to be. As a matter of fact I have on my website the place is an old farm that we have been renovating for the last twenty years, with old houses/farms it never ends.

I think what hurt my feelings the most is that I LOVE my farm, I am proud of my farm and all we have done with it and I am thankful for what I have. I like to think of my place as charming there aren't that many 1800's Farms still operating as such. I am also thankful that I have what I do, so many others who I know in this business who work their butts off don't have a facility anywhere near as nice as I think mine is. But hey I will admit at the moment the place looks a tad shabby, I haven't weed whacked in awhile (weed whacker bit the big one) I gave up on round up, about a month ago when it seemed every time I sprayed it would rain. The house needs a coat of paint, but we got the porch re-roofed and the foundation fixed this summer which took priority over the paint. There are un chopped down dead trees, huge tree/debris piles from the tornado throughout the farm and they are going to be there for a lot longer, there is only so much one can do.

This farm is pretty much a two person operation, myself and my husband, we do the best we can and like others we have other things in our lives that happen, we have both been dealing with serious heath issues with our mothers and my husband has a chronic back condition. I'm not trying to make excuses, but we are ordinary self employed people doing the best we can. I love my farm and I think it is beautiful despite it not always being perfect.

Concerning Art Decos height he was officially measured by the Dutch kuering jury when he was present to them, that is what they measured him at and (in cm, but converted that is what it equals) listed his height as that in their stallion book (when he use to be listed with them). When folks ask me about his height I say he is just a hair under 16.2 which if he has just had his feet done he is 16.1-3/4. Anyone who has been in our barn prior to our re-claying and matting the stalls would be looking at a horse that was at lest 6" lower in their stall then cement isle way, which over the years has made folks think that the horses where little. I was so happy the day we got those stalls leveled up.

Now as far as the OP driving past, not sure what activity she/he would have seen from the road, unless I was in the front yard or front paddocks. You can not see the Mortan barn/indoor from the road, other then the roof, you can not see the back paddocks or rings, etc. All you can see is the house, springhouse, bank barn, roof of indoor barn and the front paddocks. The front paddock has my 28 year old pinto mare Heaven & Hell, Wrickster a 19 yr. retired from breeding Han mare and one pregnant Art Deco pinto mare. All of the horses here 20+ with the exception of two are FAT, HEATHY and HAPPY. The two who are not are a 16 year old crippled broodmare who has a foal at side and doesn't look so spiffy a bit dragged down and no topline and my daughters pony who unfortunately we are going to have to put down because of a suspected brain tumor, I haven't had the heart to do it yet though.

Lately as there seems to be a never ending list of to-dos and every time we take 1 step forward it seems something bad happens and we take 3 steps back, I ask myself why I am still doing this. I sometimes try to think of ways to quit, but then I realize I love what I do, I love my horses and I love my farm and the struggles are worth the rewards.

So there it is a bit on Silverwood, sorry to have disappointed you.

Elizabeth Potter-Hall
Silverwood Farm - The world's finest collection of pinto Warmblood Stallions. Standing at stud: Art Deco, Sempatico, Hall of Fame, Spectrum and Sempatico.

Sonesta
Oct. 6, 2006, 10:28 PM
You are a class act, Liz.

YankeeLawyer
Oct. 6, 2006, 10:41 PM
I see Liz got here first, but I just wanted to say that my farm is in the same town as Liz's, and I have driven past her place many times on my way to our trainer's. Besides the fact that the OP's post was unbelievably nasty, it is quite unfounded, IMO. Silverwood is so charming; I always admire that farm because it is an authentic, older Virginia farmhouse, and there are just so few of these around. That is the farm I would buy, not some dumb cookie-cutter place. They just don't make places like that anymore.

I can also attest, as can many others who post here, that the amount of things that must be done around any farm are neverending, and any good horseman is going to prioritize the care of the horses. At our place, my barn and horses positively shine, but God forbid someone drop by the house unannounced!! And when you are doing any kind of construction or remodeling, it seems impossible to keep things looking as one might prefer.

In any event, I am proud to count the Halls as neighbors and I think it is unfortunate that some people can't see beauty in a home unless it hits them in the head like a 2x4.

slc2
Oct. 6, 2006, 10:53 PM
If I didn't see a youngster outside romping around in the mud the majority of the time, I would never buy him. I never want to see sport horse babies kept in stalls or turned out in indoor arenas for a few minutes a day. They will never become athletes that way.

Frankly, I don't like to see breeding farms spending millions on fancy showcase buildings and then making up for it by cranking up the prices on their animals out of sight of any normal person's ability to buy one. That kind of business may appeal to the trust fund set, but not to me. I LOVE coming to a farm with a beautiful old farm house and discussing different projects with the owners. I like seeing reasonable, sensible housing, and lots and lots of outdoor time for youngsters. I WANT my horses to live a natural, healthy life, not an artificial one.

Liz's farm and Sue's farm are places where I feel I can go and have some one represent a horse honestly and fairly, and care about making a good match for me. When you go to their farm it's their home; it's not some distant investment that they never see. That's the kind of person I want to do business with. Because I respect them and admire what they are doing.

Liz is a class act all the way, and she has beautiful horses and provides them with excellent care and housing. Her selection of stallions is super. She has nothing to come here and apologize for. Not to me, anyway.

patch work farm
Oct. 6, 2006, 11:50 PM
I have known Liz for approx. 10 years and she is a class act. She is actually quite humble for all of the talent she has (and let's not forget Jeff!). I am appalled that someone who owns one of her stallions' offspring would even start such a thread. It may not have been mean spirited in your own mind but quite obviously has elicited a lot of emotional feedback (for Liz's side to say the least).

I also find it interesting that you say you saw the barn...you cannot see it from the road, [so it would seem to me that if Art Deco was in fact seen, then someone was trespassing, hhhhmmm, trespassing is illegal here in VA.]

Liz is an amazing artistic talent-which can be seen all over her farm and throughout her gardens, as well as her ability to be laid back (so hustle, bustle wouldn't work on her farm at all).

When I first got the call about the tornado hitting Silverwood, I drove over to see what help might be needed, in the process I had to climb numerous trees in the road to get to her farm (I think I was more frazzled) when I arrived, Liz seemed somewhat in shock (who wouldn't be) and EXTREMELY frustrated at not being able to get through to her insurance company but her first priority had been to make sure all of the horses were ok and secure. To say that her facility is not up to your expectations is ridiculous, just what were you expecting? Not sure what your motivation was in this post to begin with and all of your apologies are a bit too late.

I also happened to catch your comment about "Paints"...are you aware your horse is a Pinto?

To all of us, as breeders we take these types of posts personally because we do work so hard to produce quality horses that people like you want to ride.

Bugs-n-Frodo
Oct. 7, 2006, 01:49 AM
Liz, I am glad you had a chance to post on this thread. I remember the tornado and I remember how much you did to try and get your place together after it happened. Selling your foals, selling stallion contracts and the auction. You have every right to be proud of your place, you and your husband have put a lot of work into it and into your breeding program. Most of us know and appreciate that and, speaking for myself, I have NO DOUBT in my mind, nor have I EVER had a doubt, that your horses are EXTREMELY well taken care of from the youngest of the foals, to the oldest of the mares to the lovely stallions you stand and... even the occasional pig. ;)

Bogey2
Oct. 7, 2006, 06:41 AM
Yay Liz! You are like a lot of us out here...working it yourself to make a living...which means there is peeling paint, weeds and lots of cob webs. But, there is a lot of great care and love in this type of operation!
To the OP, you should drop in with some cookies and an apology when you are next in the area.

slc2
Oct. 7, 2006, 08:49 AM
the old gal we took lessons from in ny forbade anyone to ever knock down a cobweb. cobwebs mean spiders, and spiders kill flies.

egontoast
Oct. 7, 2006, 08:50 AM
I see that Moho has now edited the OP , in case anyone should be confused. She owes LH an apology for trashing her well respected breeding facility on a public forum. It was an ignorant thing to do, especially since she only 'slowed down' and did not go in. Why name the facility if not to cause trouble.

And people complain that replies are 'mean' on the bulletin board.
Insert 'Rolleyes' here.

Think before you post.

shea'smom
Oct. 7, 2006, 09:26 AM
Gee, I feel like I need to go clean up my farm in case any passers by want to criticize it on a national BB.
Art Deco has always been one of my dream stallions.

cosmos mom
Oct. 7, 2006, 09:46 AM
This is one of the issues with public BB's. The OP has complete anonimity. The OP could be a competetor of SF, a 12 year old girl that dosen't actually own a horse of her own but collects Breyer's models, or she may be exactly what she says- an owner of Silverwood Farm offspring and a misguided sense of what is appropriate.

PiedPiper
Oct. 7, 2006, 10:48 AM
I am sorry but even the "revised" OP stinks. Just b/c someone has delusions of granduer does not make it the recipient's fault. I am not sure what Moho was expecting but maybe a reality check is needed. I am sure if she/he properly toured many of the Virginian breeding farms they will find out what to expect and what not to expect from the owners and breeders.

I think the silver lining is that Liz is seeing how wildly popular she, her husband, and her horses are to the horse community.

SillyHorse
Oct. 7, 2006, 11:01 AM
Please! We're in the middle of a very important pile-on here. We don't need no rational responses. :mad:
Thank you, mazu! Someone needed to jump in and keep this thread on track.

NoDQhere
Oct. 7, 2006, 11:26 AM
I remember reading a stallion owner's "byline", "JELOUSY IS THE MOST SINCERE FORM OF FLATTERY". :lol: I think that may be the case here.

Not that Liz needs anyone to defend her! The reputation of Silverwood Farm is as STERLING as you can get :yes:

I can relate to Liz's love for her farm. We too, are farmer's and it is a never ending, 24 7 job. But it is also rewarding beyond words.

Funny how the most critical of "potential customers" are always the ones who want a 16.3 hand, 4th level, rideable by anyone, 100% sound, drop dead beautiful, steller show record, blah, blah, blah. And they are willing to pay up to $10,000 for the "right" horse :lol:

Liz (and family) keep up the good work. You are an inspiration to all of us :yes:

Tiki
Oct. 7, 2006, 06:48 PM
Wow, you got someone to offer up to $10,000 for a horse like that??? I brought a gorgeous Mannhattan gelding to an invitational sport horse auction one time (we WERE invited). My reserve price, and a very fair one I might add - he was either a yearling or a 2yo - was $7500. A man came to the stall and asked if he could go in and look at him. I let him. He looked him all over, said he really liked him and could I take him out and walk and trot him up and down the barn aisle. I did. He said he loved him and asked what my reserve price was, that he wanted to buy him on the spot. I told him the reserve was $7500. He started screaming and shouting and stamping his feet and said that was outrageous and he'd give me $750 for him on the spot. :eek: :no: :confused: Needless to say, I came home with him.:lol:

Tiki
Oct. 7, 2006, 06:55 PM
Oh my, has the OP's post changed - and not for the better. Art Deco's 'final home'? What on earth does that mean.

Maybe the barn s/he saw from the road WAS the bank barn. The whole top of that is Jeff's workshop, and if youse guys haven't seen Jeff's work as a sculptor, Oooooooohhhhhhhhh mmmmyyyyyyyyyy!!! He does the most incredible work!!!! The bank barn is a little old, and the stalls underneath are a little dark - after all, they're under ground - what d'ya expect??? But they're safe and secure and I've used them gladly and gratefully for inspections before.

The main barn, which you CAN'T see from the road is a very nice barn with roomy and safe stallion stalls, very neatly kept. Again, it's a breeding barn. Hilltop and Iron Spring are a combination of breeding, showing, training, lessons, and certainly at Hilltop, lots and lots of continuing education with outsiders in all the time (by appointment, I might add), and both owned by people who have far more money than I could even dream of in a lifetime. Both farms are also about 500 acres. I couldn't afford the land or the staff to maintain that. I'll be happy when I get my very own 30 - 50 acres in retirement and it will be a 3 person operation - me, myself and I!!! :D :D :D :D :D

crestline
Oct. 7, 2006, 07:42 PM
Liz-
I know I've never seen your place and have only spoken to you a handful of times... but I wanted to just make a point to say that all of us that have ever rebuilt an old farm without the lovely benefit of a family trust fund feel your hurt feelings right now. You should be proud of all that you've done...

When you make the horses a priority there always will be that "one more thing that I meant to do today"....it's just part of the deal. We all know it....anyone that doesn't know it has clearly never done it!

Please don't take the negative post to heart...the breeding world needs it's dedicated breeders....what else are the folks going to ride :)

mazu
Oct. 8, 2006, 02:21 AM
I think there's a real issue that's being missed here (no surprise, this is a personal attack of a thread and feathers are inevitably ruffled). This isn't personal to anyone; it's a general response to the idea that we're silly if we care what a breeding program's facilities look like.

Web-savvy breeders know the importance of a website that best represents their operation because they know that people associate "pretty" with "quality." Do they not realize that customers have the same "pretty=quality" response to the facility itself? No matter how silly this thinking might be? It's natural for customers who've seen a bells-and-whistles website to feel disappointed by a less impressive facility, even a little "had." I've felt this way before, like when BOs put out pictures that make a glorified sandbox look like a hippodrome, then you see the actual arena and feel misled.

I'm not saying go back to fisher price my first webpage designs or undersell yourself, but do consider that customers form impressions from websites and aren't happy when these impressions turn out to be wrong. It's not just a matter of what your website "actually" says about your facility, it's how you present the whole operation. People get to expecting things.

egontoast
Oct. 8, 2006, 06:10 AM
That doesn't apply in this case though, does it. The aerial photos of the property ARE on the website. The destruction photos ARE on the website. The person just drove by and did not tour the place .There is nothing on the website to suggest golden stalls and chandeliers.

http://www.silverwoodfarm.com/home.html

YankeeLawyer
Oct. 8, 2006, 08:41 AM
Also, while I "get" that some of marketing is about image, breeders aren't selling their facility, they are selling HORSES. A good breeder's website presumably touts the quality of the horses' bloodlines, performance, etc, not whether they have a red carpet of rubber pavers fronting the barnyard, or carriage lanterns on the aisleway. And a smart buyer would understand that each and every one of those carriage lamps would be accounted for in the price of the foal they are looking at. I'd personally rather not pay a premium for someone else's decor, all other things being equal.

Besides, people who don't own farms rarely have any clue what they cost to build and maintain. I can buy a chandelier for the same or less than my Orion lights, but I think chandeliers are gaudy and unsafe in a barn. My barn is built for the safety and comfort of my horses, not some random trespasser.

And finally, as some others have indicated, some might try going to the top farms in Europe that are producing internationally competitive horses. That might open some eyes. They do not look like racehorse breeding facilities in Kentucky.

tradewind
Oct. 8, 2006, 10:09 AM
I would like to to say to Liz is that while I dont know her personally, only by reputation, I too would be hurt by the OP post...Having bought a total dump of a farm, and working hard for the last 4 years, things are still not where they should be...we have survived the aftermath of a hurricane, in which only 5 trees fell, but on five different fenced areas, (which we had just got done having put up)flooding the barn, etc etc, and the unforseen need for a new well..its a never ending thing..I get discouraged at times, and the last thing I need is for someone to drive buy, get a small taste of things, and then post such nasty crap on a huge BB, and I dont even have a huge reputation to uphold...I think your reputation speaks for itself and you need not pay any mind to someone who obviously has the intellect of a sea slug...Enjoy your antique farm, your gardens, and your friends...treasures like that dont come along very often, and continued success not only in the horse world, but in the restoration of your farm after the tornado

Riva
Oct. 8, 2006, 12:01 PM
Not to go off on a tangent, but I will...

I didn't realize that Jim Kofford rode Art Deco in the past. (I love Jim - I take clinics with him whenever I can).

I would love to see more Spectrum offspring too. What a beautiful horse that is. Anyone know why we don't see more of his get around? Also, is he showing at all?

2Horse
Oct. 8, 2006, 12:03 PM
Liz, You have absolutly wonder full stallions and stock. One of these days I will breed my mare to them.:yes:
A real fancy place doesn't always mean quality. Believe me I have worked at two multimillion dollar places and I was totally disappointed in them. Not only in their stock but the way things were run. Image was everything to these farms, not the true health of the animals.:cry:
I would rather go to a functional, safe, horse friendly farm to breed my mare or to purchase. I know that what all glitters is not gold, first hand. I know you have put in your blood, sweat and tears. I appreciate that.
I know I will probably never have a place as nice as yours. I just hope when people come to buy or breed, they will understand my horses come first. Not fancy stalls or what ever.
Don't be bothered by the OP. Please know you have people who understand and LOVE your horses! I think you are doing a GREAT job!:yes:

slc2
Oct. 8, 2006, 12:06 PM
the original post is really depressing, actually. people are just so gossipy and snippy, and they have so many clever justifications for doing so.

ESG
Oct. 8, 2006, 12:50 PM
Liz, I've never had the pleasure of meeting you or your gorgeous horses in person, but I've been an admirer from afar for many years. Please don't take to heart the sniping of someone who's apparently not only gratuitously nasty, but is cowardly enough to pretend not to be when confronted. Obviously, this person has a hidden agenda somewhere, and not one you need to let bother you. Know that those of us who were Art Deco fans before will continue to be. And of your and your spouse's resilience in the face of such adversity as the tornado, I can only say, "Bravo!".

And I invoke the explosive diarrhea curse on all insurance companies who pull what yours apparently did. My SIL is still trying to collect on her policy from when Hurricane Wilma put a tree through the roof of her house. Fourteen months later, they still have tarps over the roof to keep the rain out - and no money. :mad:

petitefilly
Oct. 8, 2006, 01:29 PM
I LOVVVVE my gelding, a Hall of Fame son, he is fabulous!!! :) :) :)

Just want to say that the aerial photo of the farm looks like an absolute gem of a farm to me, I can only say that *charm* is something a lot of people do not appreciate these days. Every one wants new and newer, and newest, and down with old farms, old towns, build the new Wal-Mart and get rid of the little shops. It is pervasive in our society and sadly the young suffer because they do not really know what life was like forty or even twenty years ago. I still maintain this is an issue of perception, and we all know that we do not appreciate the same value system.

I know somewhere in the mind of many is that the Halls make mucho bucks from stud fees and selling youngsters so their place should be a "prize showplace". I've even had people look down on me for being able to afford my gelding, and my farm, it is called "sour grapes". This goes both ways in life, you never know who is going to diss you. Jealousy is the supreme form of flattery, and if someone has this ilk to spread it makes their life somehow more fruitful to gossip and snipe. Take it all from where it came and chalk it up to the sullen and weary in the world, they are not your friends and you cannot make them happy.

I do not care what or where my horse came from! I would not trade my, Magik Marcker, Hall of Fame son, for all the tea in China! <Photo on my profile>

Twiliath
Oct. 8, 2006, 09:19 PM
I'm going to take a chance and weigh in.

It seems that everyone here worships Art Deco, Hoffy, and the owners of same and get very defensive of them - "very respectable", etc.

Just to let you what can happen when you're blinded by the emperor wearing new clothes: A close friend of mine leased a TB mare to the owner of Art Deco at Art Deco's owner's request. My friend did not seek this out. The deal was as follows: The mare would be bred to AD at least twice - the owner of AD would get a foal and my friend would get a foal. The owner of AD got her foal, my friend got back an aged TB mare 400 lbs. underweight, stuck in the far back pasture, and full of worms. It was not sure whether the mare would survive or be breedable.

If you ever are tempted to enter into such an agreement, make sure that you get the first foal.

Best wishes to all.

citydog
Oct. 8, 2006, 09:24 PM
More "anonymous" nastiness. Way to open yourself up for a libel suit.

Look, I have no connection to Silverwood Farm or Art Deco, but think it's really cowardly and smarmy and weasely for anyone to come on and make accusations like that on a bulletin board. Either make your point about barn blindness without naming names, or have the guts to use your real name and stand by (and be prepared to back up) what you say.

Geez.

Twiliath
Oct. 8, 2006, 10:13 PM
The truth is not libel. My name is Laurie Higgins and I stand by what I say. If you have issues with the truth, so be it.

citydog
Oct. 8, 2006, 10:21 PM
Well, Laurie, I don't have issues with the truth at all, just with folks posting really negative, potentially harmful accusations without their own identifying information. Of course, you're still giving second hand information...

I'm sure the mods will step in if they feel this stuff is inappropriate.

indyblue
Oct. 8, 2006, 10:31 PM
WTF? Laurie , what the hell has your post got to do with anything?Are you sticking up for the OP whos saying the place looks run down by taking it a step further to include horse neglect?What a nice person you must be to post that on the internet.Second hand as well with bits missed out I bet.Get a shrink!!!

patch work farm
Oct. 9, 2006, 12:00 AM
You know, I live by the adage that there are three sides to every story...your's, mine and the truth. I am sure there are other parts to Laurie's story that might be missing (like Liz's side of the story).

I sold an aged Elite Hanoverian mare to Liz several years ago, she got 3 beautiful fillies out of her, each by a different stallion. After her filly was born last year, the mare ended up with a huge cyst that the vets thought might burst and kill her. Liz spent many days/nights nursing this mare and giving her the needed drugs to keep her fighting any infection. Two vets told her she should stop paying for all of the meds and just put the mare down.

I am happy to report that the mare is still alive, happily retired and fat. Does this sound like someone that starves her horses? After two vets told her to put the mare down, she perservered to keep her alive for retirement, it would have been easy to just get rid of the extra expense but she chose not to. When you have an ax to grind, many important details tend to be forgotten.

Sabine
Oct. 9, 2006, 02:33 AM
What a sick thread- it reminds me of one of those horrible drive-by shootings here in Southern California...but it had one really great rewarding aspect to it- after weeding thru 5 plus pages- it was nice to get to know the 'Virginia gang' and those lovely ladies that live in romantic farmhouses, breed great horses, stick up for each other and will hunt a drive by dumbo down...no matter what...

Still not decided if Moho is incredibly infantile or rather advanced- but then it's not really important anymore after finding all this power on this board...
nice to hear more about all of you breeders and the Virginia folks!!! must come out and check it out- I promise I will make appointments first and I love muddy babies...:)) and the land and the way things used to be...not so friggin' perfect...we're all stressing each other out with this crazy perfection obsession...any shrinks on this board...??? Comments??

Weatherford
Oct. 9, 2006, 05:25 AM
All right. That's enough. I know there is a full moon, but that is no reason to go back to sniping at each other. This is closed until Erin checks it - then SHE can decide if there is a need for further action.