Yamsi was our first Fjord,; he is physically well-balanced, active, and impressively athletic. We loved him right from the start and never anticipated the eventual outcome ... after years of waiting and preparation and getting Yamsi started under saddle, Gwen had to admit that her introvert nature and Yamsi's extraversion were never going to be a comfortable match, and that neither she nor Yamsi were as happy as they each deserved to be as a result.
We are ecstatic that Yamsi did find his perfect-fit partner — an energetic left-brain extravert with not only good horse skills, but also with the drive to continually improve those skills and other equine knowledge. The cherry on top is that the beloved childhood mount of Yamsi's new human became available, and now Yamsi and Ranger have an amazingly close and special friendship, something that Yamsi never was able to experience with any members of our herd.
"Yamsi" is one spelling variant of the Klamath word for "place of the north wind"; that kind of says it all right there. However, it is also the name of a cattle ranch in Southern Oregon that has been dedicated to the evolution of a more integrated, natural way of working and living on the land. Yamsi's care and training has followed that philosophy as well.
Tolliver's dam Willow (below) is a steady-eddy gal, trustworthy and nonreactive in any situation; Tolliver's sire Tsjalle is a well-built, athletic stallion with outstanding work ethic and "try". Tolly got much the best of both parents. While Tolly was still with us, we took him out on trails and to the indoor course at Oregon Horse Center (photos here). It didn't matter which one of us was handling him — Tolliver was attentive and eager to try anything that was asked of him.
Tolliver's dam retains her placenta, and yes, repeated placental retention is genetic. It was a no-brainer to us that we would castrate Tolly to ensure the buck would stop with us, but we were pretty shocked (and dismayed) at the amount of interest in Tolliver as a stallion prospect despite our full disclosure.
Tolliver's new herd consisted of his mom Willow (below) and two Fjord geldings (who definitely benefited from Tolly's penchant for being the "activity director"). We loved getting updates and photos from his new human partner while it lasted, but an unexpected turn of events resulted in Tolliver being sold when his human suddenly moved, and sadly we've already lost touch with him.
Tolliver is usually a surname, but occasionally it's used as a given name for boys. As one of our friends exclaimed, "It's like Oliver, but way more cool!" It also just so happens that "Tolliver" is the 8th generation in an unbroken line of "T" names going back through his sire's ancestry. which is also pretty cool.
Wynston is everything he was bred to be — a solid, versatile, and intuitive Fjord BFF! Wynston was always ahead of the curve in his essential training, and in turn, that allowed him to find and join his new human partner early in life.
Wynston is definitely an "LBE" with more "whoa" than "go". He enjoys human attention, has remarkable patience for his age, and his learning style is to take a few moments to sort things out. Wynston accumulated some trail time before leaving — without mom — and we always found him a pleasure to handle.
Wynston now answers to "Ben" and his new human partner keeps in touch with regular updates, photos and stories.
Wynston means "joyful stone" ... and indeed, Wynston has a cheery disposition with a rock-solid temperament and build. He is also very much "a chip off the ol' block" — a mini of his mom Winny. In hindsight, Wynston is fine as a registered name but not a good call name — it annoyed both Winny and Wynston that their names were so similar.
Willow was Jim's riding horse for three years and a broodmare for two seasons, and we truly expected her to remain here indefinitely. Then Willow's broodmare career was cut short by the revelation that she has some less-than-ideal reproductive traits that we cannot ethically risk perpetuating (including but not limited to repeated placental retention). With Jim's equine time devoted almost entirely to Linus (Willow's first foal), and without a foal for her to nurture, Willow wasn't getting as much action as she wanted and deserved, and we could see that without pregnancy or a foal to raise her status in the herd, Willow wasn't happy.
Gwen had always said Willow would make an outstanding therapy horse, so when a therapy opportunity arose with Bergmann Equine, we weren't about to stand in her way. Willow has now been a pet, a pack horse, a trail horse, a mom, and a therapy equine — truly a versatile Fjord!
Willow's two foals: Lost Creek Linus (retained) and Lost Creek Tolliver (above).
We definitely do NOT call horses by their breeder prefix instead of their given name, but Willow had answered to "Willow" for all but the first few months of her life and through three prior owners, so we went with it.
"Legolas" was purchased to be Jim's future riding horse and a friend for Yamsi (above), knowing that our Arab mare was in her final years. It turned out that Legolas had a lot to learn from us (including that mare!), and we in turn learned a lot from him.
All that progress still didn't turn Legolas and Jim into an ideal team, however, so — with some sadness — we sent Legolas to be started under saddle and eventual consignment. Our choice was resoundingly the right one, and the timing was perfect. Legolas now answers to "Fenrir" and his new family — human and equine — is a truly good fit — everyone is happy!
We always enjoy Fenrir's appearances in photos and videos on Instagram: @allthewildplaces and @jason.n.gardner