My mother tells me that “Hoss” was about the 3rd word out of my mouth, some almost 50 years ago. No one really understands how I came to love animals (especially horses and dogs) so much, but I did. I was raised in South Buffalo…The daughter of a steel worker and a stay at home mother. The houses were only a few feet apart from each other, and we certainly did not have horses in the city. I did have a plastic horse on springs that apparently I would ride for hours. That horse resides in my basement even today. My mother was raised on a cattle ranch in Colorado. Her parents came from Yugoslavia and had several homesteads where they raised some Hereford cattle ending in Garner, CO. My mother brought us to Colorado in many summers of my youth, and would always make sure that I would have the opportunity to ride a horse at least once in the summer. I remember loving hay season, as horse drawn hay wagons were used on the ranch and my sister, cousins and I were continually challenged to keep from bouncing off the wagons when they would go over some rough areas. I think I read every horse book that was published, and my mother would tell me that I’d have to apportion my library books between horse books and others.

In my sophomore year of high school, I met another “horse crazy” friend. Somehow we ended up going to a stable in East Aurora, NY to rent horses for a trail ride. I’m still not sure how it happened, but we started working there. Pretty much for free except for lunches, beverages and the chance to ride horses. We’d clean about 22 stalls a day, lead trail rides, test out new trailers of horses bought from the nearest dealer, and after the day’s work was done, we’d saddle up again and go for our own long trail rides. I begged to ride boarders horses. Most of them seemed to enjoy having their horses ridden regularly. I’d ride to a hunt field and jump Jonathan with my friend Sony. I’d work and attempt to show in used or borrowed clothes, an appaloosa named Lost Profit. In my early 20’s, I met my first purebred Arabian horse. It was over a weekend trip to Greene, NY to the Skyline Arabian horse farm belonging to Toot’s and Milton Atwell. They had a mare due to foal soon, and if I was interested, they would finance the purchase price so I could buy it. The price in the late 70’s was $1,850.00. I signed, sight unseen, and that started what was to be Abadan Arabian horses. As I paid on the now born filly (Skyline Velzaddah), they had someone default on another horse. They offered him to me at the time for the balance due, so enter horse number two (Skyline Masada).

I joined the local Arabian horse club (AHANY) and met many wonderful people. People, who came to influence me in enjoying the breed and bringing me many years of joy. There was Virginia, Clarke and Stuart Vesty first. Clarke was just starting his training career at his mothers farm in Brockport, NY. He trained my first Arabians. The Bunn family had recently moved to New York from Houston, Texas. They had the most beautiful Arabian horses I had ever seen. As long time friends of the McNairs, they had many Egyptian related horses and were very kind to me. They would refer to me as their 4th daughter. Robin, Kathy, Beth and I could’ve been sisters. We were all blondes with light eyes. I boarded horses with them, and I was terribly lost when they moved to Missouri. I moved to a quarter horse farm for boarding my horses, and it was at that time I bred my mare to a nice local Arabian stallion. After 11 months of anticipating, a colt was born. Unfortunately, the colt was born with Cerebellar Abiotrophy and could never get up to nurse by himself. The stallion owner refused to believe his stallion had anything to do with it and refused a refund of the stud fee. He would only agree to a rebreeding, which was the last thing I wanted to take a chance on again. My colt, that I called the Little Gipper, was put to sleep at only 2 weeks of age. Meanwhile, my 2nd horse, Masada, was kicked in the chest by another horse. He developed a huge hematoma in his chest, which the vets refused to treat. They claimed it would go away on it’s own. It didn’t. His system became septic, which led to founder, and horse number two was euthanized after months of trying to save him. I visited my friends, the Bunn family at their new home in Columbia, MO. They were sorry to hear of my bad experiences, and made me an offer to take one of their yearlings home with me, if I wanted to arrange transportation to get him there. Marti Gras was a quality colt, with an amazing disposition. He gave me hope again.

To make a long story short, I finally had my show horse and trail horse. He loved both. I placed my mare that never exceeded 14 hands with local friends that had a farm and just wanted a small horse for riding. I brought my gelding to Corky and Edwin Sutton’s where I enjoyed many years of their guidance and friendship, and eventually their help in finding a good home for him. My black lab, Denali, and he pretty much grew up with each other. Finally, it came to a point in my life where I needed to travel too much for work, and buy a home for myself. Mardi Gras was sold to a family when he was in his teens, to what would become his forever home. I left horses thinking I would be back soon. I aimed high in my business life, and work consumed me for the next 12 years. There was something missing in my life. I was a successful business executive, running a profitable division for a corporation I helped to start in 1987. I had become competent in so many areas of business including Accounting, budgeting, sales, human resources, operations, management, and reimbursement. I could buy myself pretty much whatever toy or home improvement I wanted. I found buying so much made only a temporary fix for me. They were objects. In 1997, I suffered a devasting knee injury that was to change my life forever. I was plagued by bouts of depression and anxiety attacks. It was hard for me to shut off my mind from the work that had become my life…my whole life. A life long friend of mine had a grand-daughter that reminded me of who I used to be. She was horse crazy. I promised I would pay for riding lessons for her since it was a luxury her parents could not afford. I told her that at Christmas time in 2004, and said we’d get her started in the nicer weather in 2005. Around the same time, my mother said how I was never happy anymore. She couldn’t remember the last time I laughed out loud, or seemed content. She asked me “What used to bring you joy in your life?” My reply was simple. “Horses”. Though she didn’t support spending money on horses earlier in my life, she encouraged me at that time to get involved again.

I thought to myself “You know horses, you know business, and you know what others desire when they purchase a horse”. “You can do this, and do it the right way this time”. I find great value in purchasing good broodmares. I was determined to find quality bloodlines of mares that were able to show on paper that they were capable of producing not only pretty, but in producing performance. I was determined, that if I was going to do the breeding as a business, I would need to commit and go full steam ahead. My goal was and continues to be, breeding 2-3 high quality, genetically superior horses each year. My plan contains the use of national level champion sires with proven dams. The difference between a manufacturing business and a breeding business is that in manufacturing you are able to predict what you produce as your component parts remain to produce the anticipated outcome. In horses, there will always be the God and nature factor. Using two components (stallion and mare) doesn’t guarantee the outcome will always be the same. I believe in using consultants in the industry to keep me from developing “tunnel vision” or emotional decisions instead of good, logical business decisions.

I enjoy the calculations, research, new friends base, and the challenges that lie ahead for me in this business. My goal is to produce affordable foals that will take as much of the guesswork away from potential buyers as possible. I enroll all foals in all available halter and performance futurities enabling buyers to gain financial incentive paybacks from showing in future years. Since I can’t show them all, I hope to live vicariously through others successes I have passed beyond wanting to show a horse successfully for years at Class A, Regional, and National levels. I’ve obtained my feeling of personal accomplishment from my corporate successes. I just want to be able to feel proud watching what I was a part of developing, produce benefits for the future Arabian horse owners. I believe by staying a small breeding business, I can devote the time and energy to making the best decisions by using the best possible mares bred to their proven best genetic matches.


401K Arabian Horses
Joni Hyrick, Owner
Pendleton, NY 14120-9600
Telephone: (716) 625-6728
Fax: (716) 625-6972
Cell: (716) 867-5277


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