The horses at Galleywinter are the backbone of the farm and the work we do here. They're the true teachers, the wise ones. Each one inspires us with their beauty, athleticism, unique personality, and willingness. Their ability to change often exceeds our own, which we are paying attention to. Their social life, ie their herd, is extremely important to them and we do our best to keep adjusting it to keep them satisfied yet challenged if need be. Hickory and Kalea are our youngest - they benefit from a youthful, playful relationship with each other, while looking to older horses such as Blaze or Dulci to teach them the ways of the herd.
Ali Witez was a beautiful black Arabian out a double Witez II-bred mare National Champion Egyptian Arabian, Ruminaja Ali. I raised Ali from a foal. Ali was a gem and served Galleywinter Farm admirably as patriarch and teacher to all the early students. Ali was a love of my daughter Caitlin when she was just starting to wear clothes. Always very calm and willing to go up the mountain, Ali passed away at 26 due to complications of Cushing's Disease.
Beloved Blaze, our most Senior Teacher left us in physical form on April 23, 2018 - but he will live on forever at Galleywinter. He picked a beautiful coming-Spring afternoon to say goodbye. Blaze was a true one of a kind who taught us so much about boundaries, personal power, toughness, and most poignantly - tenderness. He lived a long and healthy life and knew his own mind right up to the end.
So many thanks to all of Blaze's students over the years. The wonder, appreciation and kindness you offered taught me the essence of true horsemanship - our different species growing, learning and healing together. Please hold and honor his great spirit in your own way, and stay tuned for more gatherings to honor those "ordinary" moments and great rides!
The namesake of Galleywinter Farm, and its first matriarch, Clary was born in 1983 in Texas. Her registered name, Galleywinter, was taken from the farm where she was born. Daughter of a Witez II son, Witraff - himself twice national champion racehorse, Clary got into the heart of every student at Galleywinter over the years. She had the softest nicker, loved bodywork/energy work and was always ready to go somewhere. On her last trail ride in the Monongahela National Forest of WV at age 28 she came into camp with a fresh step while the other horses were pooped out. Clary loved our paint horse Blaze and had many a conversation with him about various things.
Clary passed away in September of 2014 at age 31.
"Clary was magic in the round pen, so graceful and attuned, light as a feather."
The current matriarch of Galleywinter, born in 1997, Dulci is a Bay Quarter Horse/Saddlebred cross standing 15.2 hands. Her name comes from a fictional character in the novel Don Quixote, his true love, the most beautiful of women, Dulcinea del Toboso. Dulci came to Galleywinter in 2005. She demonstrates her big heartedness every day. She is our lead mare and imparts a lot of confidence to the younger horses she hangs out with. She has taught us so much about having a lot of drive and what to do with it!
21 years old and 14.3 hands, Felipe is 100% Arabian and 100% charming. He was a gift to the Horse as Teacher programs and has been a phenomenal teacher to many women over the years. His sensitivity, softness and natural ability to reflect human emotions has helped all of us become better communicators. He has tirelessly taken many women over the mountains of the Blue Ridge, and gets softer, calmer and more responsive with each new student.
A beautiful bay roan Quarter Horse mare from Big Valley Ranch, Ginseng was purchased as a 4 year old by a long term horsemanship student. She came to Galleywinter as a green horse in 2010 and was brought along in our horsemanship lessons and classes. She's confident and curious. Currently going beautifully under saddle and the picture of serenity. On trail rides, she is the meeter and greeter for the group. She loves to be with people, particularly her owner. Roans are so pretty, changing color almost daily.
Super sensible with very fancy-moves, Hickory came to us from Big Valley Ranch in Monterey VA, the product of two parents bred for reining. Hickory is a silver grullo Quarter Horse gelding. Grullo is a coveted and rare color in the horseworld and every day we see why! His presence at the farm was born of an intention to work from a clean slate with a couple horses. It's a work in progress.
A beautiful black Morgan Horse, Lark is the first horse of an amazing client. She came to Galleywinter 5 years ago. Her sire and dam are both outstanding individuals. We were lucky to find her having searched for a Morgan horse many years. Beautiful in-hand, now very supple, great on the trail, tireless, never taking a wrong step. She is a true introvert and has taught us a lot about how to pay closer attention to the workings of such a horse.
Willow is a Registered Half-Arabian, a beautiful Buckskin, now 10 years old. Her dam is of Bask lineage so she brings some very elegant movement when we pull back the veil of her mellow Quarter Horse sire. She's a "perfect" size at 15 hands and has the smoothest trot we've ever ridden - very good for the older human body. Willow has taught us much about the importance of riding in alignment, as well as not making assumptions.