Hi there and welcome to the 'about us' series. We are lucky enough to know so many of our amazing customers through social media and love hearing all about you. So we thought it was time we introduced you to all things McMaster Family!
Today I thought I would introduce you to the newest equine member of team E-C; my foal Spartacus aka Foalie (or if you're my brother, Jet Ski which sadly seems to of stuck as a name).
Around November time last year, I saw a post from a Blue Gate Gypsy Cobs breeder right here in Tasmania and my goodness this canter was the cutest thing I had ever seen! Which says a lot, because I'm secretly an Arabian and thoroughbred fan, so to of fallen in love with a Gypsy Cob baby was a bit of a surprise! Then a couple days later I was browsing through Gumtree when I came across his ad and I sent it straight to my father, who let me tell you, was not as smitten as I was and funnily enough did not want to buy him as a Christmas present. He said something about me being an adult and buying my own horses, much to my horror.🤭
However, with a startup business and knowing we were about to go into a drought with hay prices going up I knew it realistically couldn't happen... So I tried to keep him out of my mind *spoiler alert it didn't work*.
And then around late November we arrived home from picking up hay to find our big white horse (Cruze) had sustained a pretty serious cut to his leg, which of course meant he couldn't be ridden. Working from home, mostly alone, means if I usually try to avoid riding alone, with the exception of Cruze. He is about as quiet has a horse can be, even though he is the laziest horse you ever will ride! This led me to think about bringing another pony of mine into work and in turn I made the heartbreaking decision that I really was going need a bigger horse. Everyone says foals grew up before you know it, so I suppose we'll be putting that theory to the test 🤣
The worst thing you can do, when you've fallen in love with a horse online is to go and meet them. But that is exactly what I did. In my defence, I was planning on buying a weanling in the coming spring/summer when I was more prepared. One thing I have noticed about all the Gypsy Cob breeders, is that they are all so willing to show you their horses and help you in anyway that they can! You might of noticed we used a Gypsy Cob in some of our recent marketing photos, who is also owned by the lovely Blue Gates Stud which is where Sparty is from.
Thankfully there are a lot of people out there who want the perfect second pony for their children and Mia was able to find herself in the perfect home where she is treated like royalty.
Before deciding on buying any horse, I always like to go and look at another similar horse so you have something to compare to. Thankfully I have a super supportive family (and a brother learning to drive who needed the hours) so we had a road trip to the other end of the state to look at another foal. While I also contacted some mainland breeders and got a feel for the breed standards. At this stage my heart was pretty much made up by then and on the way home from the other horse I had decided what I was going to do.
So then came the couple month wait until he was home! One of the best things about buying a horse from a local breeder is that it was only an hour drive and I could really be involved with him from an early age. Which meant I could visit him weekly and watch him grow with his siblings.
Sparty is now at our property and from the moment get got here, he has acted like he's lived here forever! He's wayyy too quiet for his own good and is very independent. Just the other day, he ran under two electric fences so get could get into our big paddock and watch our neighbours use a chainsaw!
Blue Gates Spartacus:
Sire: Wattlelane O'Bryan's Winchester (IRE)
Dam: Trinity (Foundation IRE)
Having Sparty on a great diet is super important to me. He is having Equiherbal added to his nightly feed and not only is he super shiny, his mane has grown a couple inches down and is getting seriously thick! From starting when he started on it, his feathers have nearly doubled in thickness. We started him on it when he first arrived, soon after weaning, naturally he was a little stressed and thankfully Equiherbal is known to help calm nerves. Not only is Equiherbal all natural, it is also owned by a fellow Australian small business owner!
It contains copper, Vitamin E, Selenium, Manganese, Potassium, Folate, Chromium, marine source calcium (which acts as a pH buffer in the gut) Biotin (Biotin helps convert food to energy as well as activating metabolism of amino acids and proteins that promote hair, hoof and coat growth and condition. Equiherbal also contains Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids in the perfect ratio of 3-1, a plant-based protein that promotes the manufacture of amino acids for muscle building and condition. It also contains antioxidants that assist in blood cleansing.There is also significant B group Vitamins which help to support the nervous system. You can learn more about it here.
We are hoping Sparty reaches 14.3 in height (and not just width) and continues to stay healthy! Just last week the little terror was kicking at his stomach and looking at it quite a lot, so of course I panic called the vet. Only to find out it's not colic, he was just trying to itch his stomach with his back feet (cue the facepalm) 🤦♀️
Massive thank you to Jo Green for letting me use her photos of Spartacus as a baby and for being a total legend!