POSITIVELY CHARMED
(Gone Gold X Foxton Frosty Dawn)
2007 smoky black silver mare

Thursday June 14 2007 was Frosty's due date. I'd known for several days that she could go anytime; her udder was absolutely huge. Bleary eyed, I sat in front of the foalcam the last few nights... all night. During the day I functioned in that particular kind of stupor that only those who sit around waiting... and waiting... for their mares to foal can truly understand.

Well, on the afternoon of her due date, at 5:15 PM (what a considerate mare!), she put me out of my misery ;-)

Imagine my excitement when I saw that it was a SILVER FILLY!

Testing confirmed our suspicion that Charli has a cream gene in addition to her silver gene, making her the first smoky black silver in the breed! Click here to see Charli's test results.


Charli has an expressive face, broad between the eyes and tapering to a tiny muzzle. She is powerfully built with a short back, a lovely laidback shoulder, a huge hip, and correct feet and legs. Charli's personality is very outgoing and trusting. She has a calm and methodical way about her that reminds me very much of her sire Gone Gold and her paternal grand-dam, Kennebec Topaz.

Charli has some wonderful old bloodlines on both sides of her pedigree, including the midwestern/Sweet's lines, Archie O, Broadwall Brigadier, many generations of Kennebec breeding (from the respected sport Morgan program of Margaret Gardiner), and such famous Western Working Family stallions as Classy Boy, Californio and H-Ken.

Charli’s name comes from the blessing of getting two silvers in a row from Frosty- I feel "positively charmed"! The 2006 result of this same cross, a bay silver colt named Unconventional, can be seen here.

Gone Gold

Adiel's Casino Gold Sweet's Dexter
Eden Rose
Kennebec Topaz Medomak Cavalier
Kennebec Opal

Foxton Frosty Dawn

Foxton Society Beau Society Statusmaster
Dores Day
Foxton Smokey Dawn Topside Midnight
Foxton Felicia

You can view Charli's complete pedigree here.
It includes pictures of many of her ancestors.


Charli, August 2014

To learn more about the very rare silver dapple gene in the Morgan breed,
and to see pictures of many of this mare's ancestors and relatives, please visit:



You can also read the article on silver dapple Morgans
in the April 2003 issue of THE MORGAN HORSE magazine.


More photos of Charli
(click on a thumbnail to enlarge)


Mom and newborn filly getting acquainted.


"I think I can make it..."


Hugs from mama...


...and kisses too :-)


Here she is almost dry. The color looks like a weimeraner dog's. Pinkish-gray skin around the eyes, which are blue-ish. She has a silver gray mane (same color as body) with a lighter gray tail. Not the most flattering picture of either of them, but the milky mouth was kind of cute.


Charli is now 24 hours old. Frosty was enjoying a snack when the neighbors, watching the filly from their porch, caught her attention.


What every good Morgan does best: EAT.


Time for a few canter loops around Mom! Charli looks to have her sire's beautiful movement at all three gaits.


The End ;-)


Three days old. Charli was trying to go check out my old mare Marie, who had come over to the fence and was nickering to her. Frosty soon herded Charli away.


Charli's conformation reminds me very much of Connor's- as it should. Just a squarely built little horse with fabulous underpinnings. Her personality is VERY friendly- it was hard getting any pictures at all because as soon as I'd get down to take the photo, she was walking towards me. Typical Morgan!


I don't know how she had the energy to feel this frisky- it was about 95 and very humid! I had discovered a few days previous (while cleaning up Frosty's tail and hind legs) that Charli LOVES water, so she got a nice shower again before coming in for the night :-)


This was the clearest shot I got of her eyes (which are blue-ish, an indicator of the presence of the cream gene) and skin color (which is a sort of pinky gray). Both will darken in a few weeks. Her mane will lighten. You can also see her silvery gray eyelashes, which are often found on silver dilute foals.


I tied a balloon to the gate, thinking Charli would catch sight of it blowing in the breeze and stop and strike a pose so I could get a good picture. Nope. She literally walked right by the thing, without even so much as a glance at it, in an attempt to (as usual) follow me. I finally got her to pay attention to the balloon by standing by it and rattling it. It did not get the reaction I was hoping for. So here is my "dud foal" picture ;-) She is 6 days old here.


Another of Charli at 6 days old.


Charli at 10 days old. It already seems as though she's been a part of the herd here forever. She is filling out and becomes more beautiful with each passing day. Charli was in a new pasture, so she was exploring everything. It was overcast and I didn't think I'd get any good pictures, but I did get a few. This picture is probably the best one I've gotten so far to show Charli's actual body coloring. So many of the others are too light, too dark, or too red.


She was really enjoying her new surroundings, with more room to RUN!


Charli's head reminds me so much of Roadie's at the same age. Her personality is just like his too, in that she is very amenable to anything I want to do with her, including showers, hoof handling, rudimentary leading (actually, she follows me everywhere, no halter needed!) and - what many foals would find supremely unpleasant- being dosed with Pepto because they have a bit of foal heat diarrhea!  The same calm, willing attitude she displayed while getting her blood drawn for her IgG as a newborn has not changed.


Charli has a lovely trot, but it seemed when she was positioned where the light was correct, she was always coming towards me, so I could not get a good side view. I will keep trying!


Charli at 3 weeks. I think many people would see this picture and think this was a chestnut foal!  Her grayish coat has sun faded to much the same shade as her dam's. Her bluish eyes  are slowly turning brown.


Showing her beautiful trot, just like her older brother Connor's. Three weeks old, July 2007.


I wish she wasn't standing with her butt uphill and in clumps of weeds. But you can see the pretty, curvy lines of her- and that she is no longer black-ish looking!


It was hot, so the horses just wanted to hang out and not do much. I liked this picture though, because it shows Charli's beautifully straight legs. Not bad for just 3 weeks old. I guess you can tell I kind of like her :-)


24 days old: Charli had only met my old mare Marie until yesterday. She is very curious about the other horses. I've started turning Coral out in the backyard, next to the field where Frosty and Charli are, so they could get acquainted through the fence. Coral will be Charli's only "herd" aside from Frosty for awhile, since Pat and Mimi are busy keeping Connor mannerly :-) In the next week or two I hope to turn Coral in with Charli and Frosty. I haven't taken any pictures of Coral in awhile, so this was sort of a two fer deal ;-) Forgive the red clay staining on her- it's darn hard keeping a white horse white!


Coral did a few laps at a canter and Charli had done the same on her side of the fence, but I had been in the barn and didn't have the camera- DARN- Charli was doing the most beautiful trot! By the time I got back out there with the camera she was in dud mode again ;-). But this was a cute pic.


Charli is now a month old. This was her first time out in the "big" pasture. She continues to bleach towards that "biscuit" color that black silver foals become right before they shed their foal coats. It is very different from her birth color.


"Official" one month old picture.


Charli has a new friend- her Aunt Coral. Coral kept nudging Charli, and nibbling on her. I think she expected her to play hard, like her brother Connor did. But Charli is a little lady. Her idea of play is to take a few canter loops, then get a snack and take a nap. My kinda Morgan. And... LOOK at that butt! It goes on forever. Charli is my "chunk-a-foal"! A friend commented that clearly, the good Lord sent me my much hoped for "black" filly. He knew exactly what I needed- it's like she was tailor-made for me :-).


Chunky foal! Charli is now 6 weeks old and at the height of the "milk fat" stage (as my vet calls it). It had just rained, so that is the darker coloring you see along her back, but the dark area on the point of her shoulder and on her face and ears show that her fully shed color will be very dark... at least until it sun fades!


Charli is now 8 weeks old. It's been very hot here for the last few days, breaking the old records. Here are some pictures of Charli's afternoon shower. The horses all appear at the gate as soon as they see me heading towards the barn- they know it is shower time. The first picture is of Charli and Frosty- you see, this water fetish is inherited ;-) There is a little rainbow in between them which I thought was kind of neat. Charli does the funniest little dance once the water hits her- she twirls herself completely around and around so I can wet every part of her (we really need to video it). Her twirly act when hosed we call "rotisserie". The second picture shows the part we call "shake and bake". Or maybe baking is what she's doing BEFORE we hose her off ;-). In the third picture Charli is wet from her shower, her little pigtails are all messed up, and she's dirty from rolling- but she sure had fun gettin' herself in that state :-)


Charli's shed out areas were, at first, nearly black. They have quickly sun faded to chocolate almost as fast as she has shed! It you discount the gray mane, her facial coloring now looks similar to a lot of brown buckskins. The coloring makes her look a bit mulish, but I think it is cool. She has a very sweet expression, which matches her temperament. I feel incredibly blessed to have her in my life. August 2007.


8/12/07: My friend Cassidy came by for her first look at Charli (she'd been out west all summer for a Geology class). She quickly discovered that Charli is a snuggler. Like a cat, or a dog that leans in for attention, when Charli sees people in her pasture she approaches, positions herself broadside to the selected person- just barely touching them- and waits to be loved on. Scritchies, stroking, it makes no nevermind to her. She is not pushy or mouthy. She is a People Horse.


I rarely have the luxury of an extra person to get ears/heads up when I am working to get good photos of the herdlet, so I asked Cassidy to help me get a few shots of my motheaten creature. The photo sessions always go quicker if you can get a couple of good shots right off the bat, rather than waiting for the subject to gaze majestically off into the distance on their own ;-) While the plastic bag certainly got Charli's attention, it wasn't long before she was following Cassidy all over trying to check it out.


My friend Lisa Holec and Charli, late August 2007. Lisa owns Charli's great-aunt Foxton Fawn, also a silver dapple. Photo by David Holec.


Frosty and Charli one evening just before sunset. It is starting to feel a little less like summer and more like fall, with cooler temperatures as the sun starts to go down. Weaning time will be here soon. September 2007.


Jim offered to help me get Charli's head and ears up for her three month old pictures, but when he came out to the field with his "attention getter", it was a big sheet of plastic, which Charli has seen before and already decided was No Big Deal. So, off he went to move some cedars he'd cut down, with the tractor. THAT got Charli curious about what he was doing, so she started watching him, and here's what I got. September 2007.


Charli is now officially four months old. Tomorrow is the day breeders dread- weaning day. To that end I put the herd into a new pasture so that when I take Frosty out tomorrow she will be on the other side of the property. Charli hadn't been in this field before and she put on quite a show. That fluffy white tail up over her back made her look a bit like a deer as she flitted about. October 2007.


Another pic taken on Charli's last day with Mom.


Frosty and her Mini-Me!


In this picture Charli looks so much like her grandsire, Casino, especially in the head. Well, I guess she has Roadie's head because Roadie looks so much like Casino in the head. At any rate she is just a series of gentle curves, precisely the way I like 'em :-)


Charli calmly sailed through weaning, with the help of her friend Coral. Today I put everyone on the last patch of green grass that we had saved. Putting the horses in a new paddock is always a good photo op- especially when it is cool and windy! November 2007.


11/8/07: My sister Aimee visited us from Ohio this past week. She too has the "horsey gene" and has two of her own, though they are not Morgans. I am trying to convert her of course, and here is Charli helping me in that endeavor. After all, no one can resist a cute Morgan foal!


I've always wanted to do a Christmas card with a picture of Jim and I with all of our Morgans. With two of our mares off on lease, it couldn't happen in 2007. So I took a cute holiday picture of Charli; I wish I had a Santa hat for her, too!


January 2008 has been unusual in that we not only got snow once, we got it TWICE- in one week! The last significant snow we had here was in 2002. Here is Charli feeling good at the start of the first snow flurries.


Charli has grown up and slimmed down over the winter and is now a more refined young lady than the roly poly chunkster she was last fall. May 2008, 11 months old.


The twosome- a bit like Mutt and Jeff at this point as Coral has gotten so tall and Charli will likely remain pony-sized! May 2008.


You can't tell it so much here but I notice at certain angles her head looks just like Roadie's did at the same age. The neat square muzzle, the eye, the shape of the ears, all are from Roadie. The profile is more Frosty, but with a bit more refinement.


A sun-faded Charli, mid August 2008, with Coral.


October 4, 2008: Our annual fall event at the farm is the Southern Model Horse Convention, now in its 21st year and always held the first Saturday in October. SouthCon was designed as a way to promote Morgans amongst model horse hobbyists. It works- several SouthCon regulars now own Morgans!

During a break in the show on Saturday morning, a group of folks went out in the pasture to get pictures of the horses. Charli was following everyone around and seemed particularly attracted to the long lens on Kim Abott's camera. Kim decided to show her how to take a picture. After all, Morgans ARE smart, right? (OMG I cannot count the number of times I have been grateful that they do not have opposable thumbs!)


March 1, 2009- Georgia had a rare event- a snowstorm! We got about 4-5 inches, and lost power for 12 hours. It was an adventure! This was Charli's first experience with snow (not just flurries) that had actually accumulated on the ground. She really enjoyed herself... as you can see! I was thrilled to have gotten some fairly clear shots of her rearing, despite the overcast skies and heavily falling snow.


March 2, 2009- A bit more sedate Charli in the snow the next day.


May 2009- almost 2 years old.


August 2009.


Another August 2009 picture of a frisky Charli, running with Coral.


September 2009- Charli wearing the vintage sterling halter I found on ebay last fall.


October 2009.


December 20, 2009- Today I had the pleasure of meeting Eliza and Greg Cilluffo from Hillcroft Farm in Boyertown, PA. They are here in the Atlanta area visiting Greg's parents who live in Marietta (about an hour from us). Some of you may know Eliza as Barb Laudenslayer's daughter (Barb had the grulla stallion Stormwashed for awhile). I had met Barb on a previous visit years ago, so having met the mother, it was neat to meet the daughter too! We spent a fun afternoon yakking about Morgans, of course! It was a little too chilly to hang out in the pasture for long, but I did get a couple quick shots of them with Charli and Coral before we headed up to the house to warm up. Thanks so much for stopping by Eliza and Greg, let's do it again sometime!


December 2009- I'd always wanted to do a Christmas card with all the horses on it. So when I saw these pet antlers at the Dollar Store, I had to get them. The next step was taking a picture of each horse wearing the antlers, then creating the Christmas card you see here.


February 13, 2010- We had a rare snowfall in Georgia so I was up early to take pictures of the horses having fun in it. Charli loves to pose for pictures so I got more photos of her than the others! The snow was nearly all melted by dusk. It was fun while it lasted!


April 4, 2010- Easter- Jim took this pic of Charli and I this AM before we got cleaned up and headed off to church with his parents. It's not the first time I've sat on her while she was lying down, but usually he isn't right there with a camera :-) Charli was snoozing in the backyard after a night well spent - getting a belly full of new spring grass.

I love it on full moon nights (
you can see everything almost as well as daylight!) and when I go down to let Pat and Mimi out of the drylot for the night, usually the 3 other mares (Topaz, Coral and Charli) are all lying down in the field. So I sit on all of them, and scratch their necks, which they love. They put up with me so well!


On Friday April 30, Kristal Homoki arrived here with her Mom's stallion Springlake Palidin and Willy's Liberty Belle, a 2 year old filly, on her way to FL and her Mom's farm. We spent a fun weekend driving around to visit other Georgia Morgan owners, Sue Martin and John and Joyce Hutcheson. Sue went with us to visit John and Joyce. What a fun, Morgan-y weekend! Here's Charli with Sue and Kristal.


August 2010- Charli has gotten very faded out this summer and is truly a "horse of a different color"! I liked these pictures a lot but what I didn't notice when I was taking them was that my lens was very dirty. So these have a bit of an unfortunate murky tone to them that I was not able to completely correct in PhotoShop.


9/27/10- We've had a dry September, after a summer with plentiful rain. Our grass was beginning to shut down and I've been feeding hay for several weeks now, when I usually don't have to start til the end of October. Sunday we were blessed by an all-day, all-night drenching rain- 3.5 inches total. The grass greened back up overnight. Don't know that it will grow much more but at least it doesn't look sad and pathetic any more! Just before sunset, another small system went through and gave us more much-needed rain. The sunset was quick to follow, leaving the sky the most incredible colors- and there was a full double rainbow. I had the wrong lens on my camera to get the whole thing and the light was fading fast so I just grabbed a couple quick shots in the hope that some of the color would turn out in the pictures. And it DID! I was so excited! Here is one end of the rainbow- I had just called the girls to hurry up and get in the picture and here they come, with Charli in the lead. Coral is behind her and Maddy, who was reluctant to quit grazing, is behind. The other 3 were in the drylot so aren't in the picture. The second picture is Charli posing for me, showing the other end of the rainbow.


1/10/11- SNOW! which was ice at this point due to sleet on top of it. The temperature did not get above freezing for five days- atypical for us here in Georgia- so it did not melt quickly. This snow (well, ice) was on the ground for a week and shut Atlanta down completely due to treacherous road conditions.

Taking pictures in a snowfall is a challenge. The camera gets wet, fogs up (I was constantly cleaning and drying the lens) and I got a lot of blurry pictures in the low light but actually did better than I thought I would :-). The third picture was the "money shot". Charli is so photogenic and I always manage to get good pictures of her without any effort, even when I am really trying for pix of the others.


My sister Aimee and her almost-3-year old daughters Lucy and Neve, who are from Ohio, visited us on June 10, 2011. That's Lucy petting Charli. I don't think Charli had ever seen such a small human, and she was very interested in the girls!


July 2011- These 3 are all descendants of my buckskin mare, Kennebec Topaz. So it is kind of a family portrait :-) L-R is POSITIVELY CHARMED, aka "Charli" (Gone Gold x Foxton Frosty Dawn), 2007 smoky black silver mare; middle is CORAL FOREST (World's Edge Goldoak x Kennebec Topaz), 2004 palomino mare, and right is AMBIENT LIGHT, aka "Marty" (Gone Gold x Spring Lake Katefly), 2010 palomino gelding.


July and August 2011- I was hoping to get something good enough for the Rainbow calendar contest. Not sure I've gotten one I think is "the one" yet.


Here's the picture of Charli I ended up entering in the calendar contest.


October 7, 2011- The first Saturday in October each year marks the date we host the Southern Model Horse Convention here at Brookridge Morgans. Designed as a way to introduce Morgans to model horse hobbyists, SouthCon is now one of hobby's longest running live model horse shows, and can claim the honor of being THE oldest show in the southeast. One of the features of the show is that everyone is offered a chance to ride a Morgan after the show is over. This year's show, held on Saturday October 1, had entrants from at least 3 southern states and the competition was INCREDIBLE. Easily the best we have EVER had.

Unfortunately the show run a bit late and it was dark and too cold to ride afterwards- which was missed by the younger entrants, who visited with the horses outside all day. Coral (palomino) and Charli (smoky black silver) were particularly obliging. Here they are standing patiently while 3 little girls doted on them, fed them carrots and braided their hair (the hot wire was off for the day, in case anyone was wondering :-)).

I've posted a few of my favorite pictures on the show website, and I've posted the rest to Facebook here. Enjoy the beautiful equine artistry!


2/10/12- Dr. Nichol Schultz from the University of Minnesota was here this morning to collect blood samples from our Morgans for her study on EMS (Equine Metabolic Syndrome). The horses were fasted for 6 hours overnight, blood was drawn, then they were given a couple of syringes of Karo syrup (a glucose challenge), we waited about an hour then blood was drawn again. The blood will be analyzed for glucose, insulin, ACTH, triglyceride, and nonesterified fatty acid concentration. Also, hay and pasture samples were taken, and we will receive results on everything!

They are up to 220 Morgan samples now, hoping to get about 60 more, with the remainder of the 500 horses they are using as a sample group being made up of other breeds. To learn more about the study, and see how you can participate, go to the EMS website.

Everyone was so well behaved- I was really proud of them. They do tend to think the Karo syrup is wormer, so I figured Pat would put on his best avoidance show (he did, he HATES dewormer) but that the others would be pretty tolerant. I told Nichol that Charli would be the easiest to give the Karo syrup to- that we would not even need a halter, because she will suck even the nastiest wormers right out of the tube and look for more-  all while loose in the pasture! She is a weird horse! Any way, sure enough, Nichol said this is the EASIEST horse she has EVER had to give the Karo syrup to :-) We went out to lunch afterwards and had a great time! Nichol is also one of the researchers working on the flaxen study, so we had a lot of colorful conversation :-)


September 27, 2012- I was climbing the ladder to get some apples down out of our apple trees for the horses, and Charli looked so pretty watching me (see that hopeful anticipatory look in her eyes? ;-)) that I ran into the house for the camera and took a couple of quick candids. Note the unusual reverse dapples she gets when in transitional coat. You can tell her favorite pastime is eating. Yes, she's a porker, but I am doing everything I can to keep that weight in check.


I like to throw the apples out into the pasture because it amuses me to see the horses run after them. Here Charli is doing just that (the white foam on her lips is juice from her previous apple). Unfortunately, I don't think she burned enough calories to account for her treats ;-)
 



September 2, 2013- A series of pictures I took in an effort to get something to enter in the 2014 Rainbow calendar contest. The light was not real good that day but the subject looked pretty good :-)


My attention getter for photos today was a big exercise ball. Here is Charli checking it out.


January 28, 2014- An artsy picture of Charli's eye in the snow.


February 13, 2014- More snow! It's not often we get two snowfalls in one winter, but this has not been a normal winter. Charli was having a lot of fun and I was happy this picture came out as well as it did!


August 16, 2014- Charli became laminitic in early July- a bit of a surprise because I had been very careful with her pasture time and diet, due to her tendency to pudge. At any rate, she responded well to 24/7 drylot on a slow feed system and these photos were taken 6 weeks later, as was the video at the top of this page. I will have to be extra careful with her in the future and it may be that she will have to stay in the drylot permanently during the spring, summer and fall.


This picture of Charli won a spot in the Rainbow Morgan Horse Association's 2015 calendar! The top 12 photos were determined by member vote. We are very honored!


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Learn more about the very rare silver dapple gene at the Silver Dapple Morgans Project.

 
To learn more about color in the Morgan breed, visit the Morgan Colors website.


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Jim and Laura Behning
75 Glass Spring Rd.
Covington, GA 30014
(770) 385-1240
morgans@mindspring.com
 
 
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