Coach E – Sold

Congratulations to Judy McDonald on her purchase of Coach E! Judy will continue to develop Coach and bring her along as a show horse, with also the hopes of enjoying her chasing the hounds in the next few years.


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Great Beginning



This past weekend started the year off with some positive energy at the Poplar Place Farm February Trials in Hamilton, GA. Louis was in the Open Novice division and showed a lot of maturity in many different ways.

As usual the Dressage was quiet and relaxed with a score of 28. Stadium was a steady and balanced round with all the poles left in the cups. I felt a more mature horse on the cross country where he is becoming confident approaching the fences and is developing a point-and-shoot mentality. We finished Sunday on our Dressage score and was also honored to receive the Thoroughbred Incentive High Point Award for our division.

With this placing, Louis is now qualified for the American Eventing Championships this fall. That was one of my goals for the 2017 season, and I’m so happy we met that goal so quickly. The other goal will be moving up to Training Level after a couple more outings at Novice. I want to make sure all the parts are in the right places first.

GO Louis! GO Thoroughbred!



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More Cowbell and Matti Ready For 2017

It’s  an interesting story how More Cowbell and Matti Burns came into each other’s lives.


It started with a phone call from a parent researching horses to purchase for their daughter. I remember I was competing at Poplar Place Farm with More Cowbell (Benny) when my cell phone rang. Nancy (Matti’s mother) inquired about Benny and I went through my usual vetting questions to see if they qualified in being a possible buyer.

We had a good conversation, but Matti was young and inexperienced with green Thoroughbreds, so I suggested they look at more seasoned horses elsewhere. I could hear Nancy’s surprise in her voice when I turned her away.

Fast forward 2 months later, I’m at Chattahoochee Hills with Benny at his Training Level debute, and my phone rang at stabling. It was Nancy.


“Zeb we’ve been following you and Benny for months. Everything points to you and your horses. It’s a strange attribute you have as a trainer and seller to turn away a buyer, and be so honest about your horses. I appreciate that and its a rare trait in the horse world.”

We continued to talk over details and logistics. Nancy and Matti bought Benny as I was driving down Interstate 285 going home to the farm. It was a risky agreement for both sides, and I know we would all agree that we are so very blessed that Matti and Benny’s relationship has grown into something that all riders young and old dream about.


When Benny left for Massachusetts, he was a dapple grey. It’s been a couple years and he has lost most of those dapples, but within that time, I’ve got to watch Matti and Benny turn into a complete success in Show Jumping and Eventing. I’m proud that More Cowbell was a Little Kentucky Farm Thoroughbred. Together Matti and Benny are going to have so many more beautiful moments together.


GO More Cowbell! GO Matti! GO Thoroughbred!

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Betsy SOLD


Congratulation to Sandra McDonald on the purchase of our beautiful Betsy. We are so pleased that she will be Eventing with you and that its a start of a long and successful partnership together.

GO Betsy! GO Thoroughbred!

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Mark Your Calendars! January 1st


If you have a Thoroughbred, flip the lip and be sure to have a few apples and carrots ready to wish them a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! January 1st is recognized as a Thoroughbred’s birthday regardless of their foaling date. By age 2, they’re eligible to begin their racing careers.

The Thoroughbred breed originated back to 3 founding sires in 17th century England. Here in North America, The Jockey Club was developed in 1894, where all Thoroughbred racing stock is recorded.

Male (unaltered) horses are considered as ‘colts’ until the age of 5. If they breed to mares, then they’re called a ‘stallion’. If they’re gelded, they’re called geldings. Females by age 5 are called ‘fillies’, after that age they’re called ‘mares’.

The tattooed lip of a Thoroughbred is a wealth of history and information. Thoroughbreds who have completed race training and are prepared to run, or has raced, will have 6 tattooed images. They document the year the horse was born, identifies the horse (name) and the owner on The Jockey Club recorded papers.

The first image begins with a letter and that letter signifies the year the horse was born. For example, ‘A’ is the year of 1997 and ‘B’ is 1998, and so on. Once you go through the entire alphabet, you go back to ‘A’.

If you have a Thoroughbred, but not their papers, take a deep breath and relax. Look at their lip (if the tattoo hasn’t faded) and contact The Jockey Club. They will be able to assist you in finding answers. So, celebrate this special horse and meaningful day with love and appreciation.



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Q & A With Kelsey Byrnes of Devoucoux


 1) What was it that first attracted you to work for Devoucoux?

As a certified equine sports massage therapist, I was continually fixing sore horses from poor saddle fit and being asked my opinion on current saddle fit and which saddle is best for the horse. That lead me on the search for the most “horse friendly” saddle. Through my research I felt that Devoucoux was the company that really put the most thought, care, and research into developing saddles that truly worked for the horse by providing the most comfort possible to them. I was immediately attracted to Devoucoux’s passion for the equestrian sport and their ability to bring innovation into their products while holding true to the amazing craftsmanship that goes into every saddle they make.

2) What does being a Technical Advisor mean?

Being a technical advisor means I am an expert in saddle fit for the horse and rider. Devoucoux sends all new technical advisor to our headquarters in Biarritz, France for 3 weeks, where we received hands on training from Jean-Michel Devoucoux himself. While in France we visit the tannery where our leather is created, our research & development department, spend time in the workshop where all of our saddles are made, and visit local barns to learn about saddle fit. It is amazing to see passion and dedication everyone at Devoucoux has towards our products.


3) What 3 specific things makes Devoucoux tack stand out from the competition?

* Innovation
* Expertise
* Harmony created between horse and rider

4) Some horses are hard to fit due to conformation flaws. What can you do to try to find a good fitting saddle for those more difficult fittings?

When I am looking to make a saddle for a horse the first thing I do is evaluate the morphology of a horse. I always take their entire conformation into account but there are a few parts of their conformation that really play major roles in saddle fit and I focus on those parts. I carry a wide range of demo saddles in my car at all times along with fitting shims to be able to create the best fitting saddle no matter the conformation of the horse.


5) What custom services does Devoucoux offer?

Devoucoux offers a number of custom services. When building a saddle I always think of it as the top part of the saddle is for you, the rider, but the bottom part of the saddle is for your horse. So, for the rider we first pick the correct size seat and seat type, then we find the correct flap length/forwardness. For the horse I create a panel and girthing system that is going to bring them the most comfort and work best for their morphology.

We also offer multiple leather options to choose from. In our double flap saddles; grain calf, grain buffalo, full calf skin, and full buffalo. For our mono flap saddles we offer full calf skin or full buffalo. After you decide on your leather preference you can choose the color you would like that leather in; Medium Brown, Dark Brown, or Black.
If you would like to go even more custom we also offer different color options for saddle accents that are fun and really make the saddle stand out.


6) Where can people go to try saddles?

You don’t have to go anywhere, I come to you! Most appointments take place at your barn, but I also go to shows almost every weekend and am available for fitting appointments on site. Fitting appointments are always free and really fun!

7) What does someone do if they need repairs for their Devoucoux tack?

Devoucoux has two repairs shops in the US, one in New York and the other in California.
If you need repairs done on saddles or tack please contact me and I will get your tack sent to one of those workshops to get repaired. Also, if you already own a Devoucoux and want the fit checked on your horse I am happy to check that for you.


8) What is your contact info?

Cell phone: 334-717-1960
Facebook: Kelsey Byrnes – Devoucoux Technical Advisor

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Buyers In Sheep’s Clothing

It is usually articles in well circulated publications titled “Buyer’s Beware” that frighten the you-know-what out of the readers when it comes to the shady underworld of horse sellers. As a seller of Thoroughbreds for the competition world, I’ve gone through great lengths of marketing all my horses with clear and honest representation. I’ve been told numerous times that honesty is a rare trait in the horse world, and I can agree. But it goes both ways as a buyer and as a seller.


I vet buyers before they come to the farm to try the horses. I ask questions relevant to what their requirements are and then I tell them what mine are in order to buy a horse from me. Some may consider it intrusive of me. . . I think its smart.

For some strange reason there seems to be an influx of potential buyers who shall I say, are a smidge dishonest and come from La-La Land. The meetings are always a learning experience, very memorable and downright frustrating.

I hope to provide fellow sellers a peek into my experiences and how even the sweetest looking buyer in breeches is potentially someone in sheep’s clothing. Here is a list of interesting and true tidbits that will leave you nodding, shaking your head, laughing, and slack-jawed.

  • I use to ride at the Intermediate Level of Eventing in the 1990’s.
  • I was on the ‘Real Housewives’. I’m sort of a celebrity.
  • I’m close friends with George, Joe, Karen and Bruce.
  • I want my vet to do the prepurchase exam. You’re going to have haul to their clinic in South Carolina, or Florida, or Alabama before I decide if I want your horse.
  • Your horse must pass a prepurchase exam 100%.
  • I don’t like chestnut mares even though there’s zero scientific evidence to the fake stereotypes.
  • My dream is to ride in the Olympics. Can this horse take me there?
  • I want to ride in the Rolex 3-Day in 2 years. I only want to spend between $2K – $5K for a horse.
  • I know everything there is about Thoroughbreds and racing. I took a class.
  • I have to sell my horse first before buying a new one.
  • I just started looking for my perfect unicorn. Your gray fits everything I’m looking for and then some. But I need to try 20 more horses before I make a decision.
  • Can I come back and ride your horse a second, third, fourth time?
  • I’d need to take your horse on trial for 30 days before I decide on buying.
  • How do I know your horse can jump?


  • I spoke to my trainer and she said since you won’t pay her a finder’s fee, she told me to look at other horses.
  • I keep my horses on pasture board. I take their shoes off. I only feed Bermuda and Fescue hay.
  • I weigh 200 lbs. and I’m 5’4″. I want to buy a horse to help me lose weight.
  • My 12 year old child can ride anything. She jumps 4′ fences on a 31 year old local school horse.
  • Woman wears $1200 custom Italian boots and a Rolex, but offers less than half the price of the horse.
  • Can you make video of your horse free jumping, loading on a trailer, standing while being groomed and get it to me by this afternoon. I want to make sure it’s husband/boyfriend safe.

LKF Howie-2_web

My final experience is a doosey! After wasting my time for over 7 hours, and the person was still not making a decision to purchasing a horse, I was asked, “Is this horse fast?”

Exhausted, we walked out to the back pasture, I opened the gate and took the bridle off. I smiled at the person and slapped the horse on the rump and watched him gallop full speed down the hill and out of sight. “Was that fast enough for you?” I asked.

So to the buyers out there, I want you to know that I’m a straight shooter and I want to sell you one of my horses only if you’re honest with me and don’t play games. You’ll be lucky to have one of my Thoroughbreds to call your own.

Don’t be that person in sheep’s clothing.

GO Thoroughbred – GO Little Kentucky Farm!



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