Meet Magnolia Hill's sweetheart, Delilah ...and her friends.
Come meet Delilah…she is our English Suffolk draft horse that is the heart of Magnolia Hill. Suffolks are listed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy under the status “rare.” There are only 150 in England, and in the U.S. , fewer than 1500. This breed has a rich history of draft use going back to 1506. Isolated from their neighbors, the farmers of England’s Norfolk and Suffolk counties needed a draft breed to plow the heavy native clay soil, so they developed a docile agricultural horse with power, stamina, health and longevity. The farmers needed their horses to till and harvest their own lands, so horses were seldom sold. The Suffolk has therefore remained relatively unknown, and also pure and true to its original type and purpose.
This not only kept the Suffolk relatively unknown but also pure, remaining unchanged and true to his original purpose: to be a strong and faithful worker for his master. Of all the draft breeds, the Suffolk is one of the oldest in existence with records dating back to 1880. Crisp’s Horse of Ufford, the foundation stallion of the breed was foaled in 1768.
A Suffolk draft horse is always Chestnut in color, but there are different shades of Chestnut. Delilah is 16.1 hands high but studs may stand up to 17 hands or more. She weighs 1700 pounds. The Suffolk is a horse of splendid disposition and easy temperament. She exhibits a ready willingness to work, great endurance, and the quality known as “Heart”, the inner determination to push on.
Q. How much feed does a Suffolk need?
A. How much any animal eats depends on many factors, including their age, workload, where they live and more. Most will need 35-40 lbs of hay per day, plus some grain. They need more grain when they are working, lactating, or breeding. They will drink 15 - 25 gallons of water per day.
Q. What color are Suffolks?
A. Suffolks are always chestnut in color, though there are many shades ranging from light to red to dark. The mane and tail can also vary in shade.
Q. How many Suffolks are there in the US?
A. There are only between 800 and 1200 Suffolks in all of North America.
Reference: American Suffolk Horse Association
“You’re invited in celebrating the love of the horse with its beauty, athletic ability and unique personality. My love affair with the horse began on the antique merry go round that I rode as a child along with the movies as I watched Dale, Roy and Trigger… and who could forget the Lone Ranger’s, “Hi-o Silver, Away!” Growing up, horses were in the movies or on television. But now, each day going to the barn I love the warm velvet noses that greet me at the gate for our horses are not so much possessions, but members of our family. In times past, horses were necessary to earn a living and feed a family from pulling carts to herding cattle, but today they seem to just feed our souls. The smells, the sounds, the touch are what make these wonderful animals very special to me and caring for them, feeding, watering and grooming are all a pleasure as I am in awe of God’s creation once more.”
- Alda Ellis
Delilah loves Wedding Day and gets dressed for it. She gets a bath early in the day, brushed and groomed. Her toenails are polished and her mane is braided with roses. Roses are added to her collar.
On wedding day, Delilah gets a bath before she gets dressed in her silver and leather harness. Delilah gets brushed after her bath, and her mane is braided. Her silver harness is polished to perfection. Roses and ribbons are added before she is hitched to the carriage.
"Maggie is the official "greeting committee" of Magnolia Hill. She is our rescue from the humane society, yet priceless to me. Maggie is never far away from my shadow and loves to ride in the golf cart. "- Alda
"Our Fancy Fan Tail Doves love to watch the party from their very own rooftop."
Horses are such social animals, and always need a companion. The newest member to our family is "Baby Blue", a black French Percheron. He is quite the character, and does not pull the carriage quite yet. He loves attention, and loves getting his picture taken.We think "Blue" was named such for his rich deep color...it is so black, it looks blue. Blue is in training, and just has to watch Delilah get all the attention on wedding day. Both Blue and Delilah are Draft Horses.
Even in the snow, Blue is always in Delilah's shadow. The two are never far apart.
The Girls spend most of their day on the water, but meet Buddy at the barn every morning for breakfast... a scoop of corn.
Blue loves to have his picture taken. On wedding day, he is tall enough to hang his head over the fence and greet all who walk by with a friendly gaze. Sometimes he will call for Deliah if he can't see her.
"Maggie and I go to the barn every day to check on horses and our doves in the new aviary. Oh how we love our animals!"
“Velvet Noses” Alda’s book,
available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com (Harvest House Publishers)
Suffolks are listed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy under the status “rare.” There are only 150 in England, and in the U.S. , fewer than 1500.