Western and English Riding Instruction
and Hippology, the study of horses

Instructors:  Barbara and Joseph Kostelnik
Assistant: J. Solomon Kostelnik

Working with horses develops many personal qualities that last a lifetime:
self-confidence -- responsibility -- kindness -- fitness --
 physical and emotional wellness --- plus, it's so much fun!
(This site was created and is being maintained using MS FrontPage. 
That program is no longer supported by MS nor our web service provider,
so it's challenge trying to keep everything properly working...)


Sugars UnoHome


Born May 17, 2001, she's registered with the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) appendix, the ICHR (International Champagne Horse Registry) and is also a Quarter Pony (she's 14 and 3/4 hands tall).  She is a very light shade of the rare and delicate amber cream color (cream + champagne on bay).

Skipper W - 4x; Three Bars - 5x; Poco Bueno - 2x; King - 5x; Zantanon - 7x; Joe Reed - 3x; Joe Reed II - 2x; Plaudit; Fair Play; Equipoise; Tiny Charger; Old Sorre; Yellow Jacket; .... plus horses of Clegg, King Ranch, and Waggoner origins.

Current owner: Rev. Barbara A. Kostelnik, Cincinnati, OH

Bred by:  Alvin & Cheryle Van Zee,  Corsica, SD

Sugar is our main lesson horse at this time.  She's excellent even for beginners in the round pen or on the front hill, a good trail horse, has started jumping, and is learning barrel racing and poles.

Our prized lesson horse, the Arabian gelding Amir Halam, at left below, also partially trained by us, passed away in November of 2011 at the ripe old age of 31, after helping several generations learn to ride and win ribbons at horse shows.  Sugar (at right) learned from the best.

Click these thumbnail-sized pictures featuring Sugar Champagne Lace to see them full-sized:

Sugar is a very muscular, "typey" Quarter Horse.  She now weighs over 1100 lbs (by weight tape).  We've cut her intake, but it seems to be "in her genes"... she has a wide build (bone & muscle).

Lessons have resumed after a long break.  She is still beautiful, friendly, calm and bold.  We've begun working on speed -- and now we're ready to move THAT part of her training up to "the ball field", where the barrels are!  (See "The Facility") If you'd like to help with that, you may qualify for an additional discount!



We ride in all sorts of weather.  Here, Sugar waits for her rider.

Riding in fresh snow, preferably while it's still falling, is THE BEST!


These next four pictures are from the very first lesson for these two young ladies, so we were leading the horses in hand, and letting the girls just get the feel of sitting on a horse's back at a walk before we began fine-tuning.  Thanks to their moms, Sarah & Kelly, for their photos!

Barbara leading Sugar during a young lady's very first ride in late July.  She hadn't even started using the stirrups or reins yet.

Stopping for some verbal instruction from Barbara during the lesson.

Barbara leading the young lady on Sugar just before their first real lesson.

Pastor Joe, one of the assistants with whom Barbara has been blessed, looks on.

Below: sometimes Sugar and Doc look like twins, but most of their color genes are different.

Doc's base color is chestnut; Sugar's is bay, and she also has a champagne gene.

Then, they each have one cream gene.

Sugar's brown mane & tail are heavily "frosted", and when Doc's are dirty, they end up looking very similar!

One way to tell them apart: Doc has black skin with pure pink under his white markings, and Sugar has pink skin with freckles all over, and no white markings.

This is just some of the hippology taught here!

Two un-posed pics of just Sugar that same day:

A study in champagne facial freckles:


Sugar being worked by our assistant, J Solomon
... and see how he ends up sitting on her with no tack at all.
Being watched by our other Assistant Instructor, Joe,
who had been cleaning a dirty water trough with that brush.

June 2010...

As of 2010, she was over 14.2H and over 1,000 lbs. Can you say "easy keeper"?  We kept cutting her food back, but she kept gaining. The weight tape said around 1050 lbs.


  She was topping 1000 lbs regularly; she had put on still more muscle. Solomon rides bareback with just a halter whenever possible.

August 2008...

Click these thumbnails to see some August 2008 pics of a trail ride Joe was about to have. Some of the pictures are large.

This saddle and bridle are Joe's lightweight synthetic saddle, a bridle he got at Equine Affaire with a matching saddle (not shown here), and a bit he got recently to facilitate his one-rein stops with Doc.  Sugar is usually ridden in a rust-brown leather Western saddle, and a matching bridle with a jointed egg-butt snaffle.

We all practice "humane Western riding".

This means no harsh bits, no spurs, no whipping, & no tie-downs.

July 2008...

My best former riding student having a trail/field ride. 
(I wasn't giving lessons that year.)
She even took her around a few barrels that day!


April 2008...

BACK THEN, I WROTE --  "In exactly one month she'll be 7 years old, and has matured into a 'real horse'. What does that mean? Well, for one thing, I've been calling her 'my little filly' for far too long... now that she's 7, she's definitely a grown-up -- a mare.
But also, she was a late bloomer, like our Doc, and just finished *growing* recently."
(Or so I thought.  She weighed just under 1,000 lbs then.)

Here is a video capture (a still, not clickable) of one of her first canters up The Front Hill  (see The Facility).
That's good old Amir grazing calmly, loose, on the right, and me at the bottom of the hill, from where I sent them off.

The short video of that canter, taken by her dad on my (non-video) camera, is here (this was my first video on a web site, AFAIK, and it's not very good at all, sorry.) After waiting a while at the bottom to be sure she's completely under control, and the rider is completely prepared, she is asked to canter up the hill, and then breaks into a trot at the top.  Click here to see the .mov video

March 2008...

This was what they called "the blizzard of 2008". The snow drifted so much from the wind that you can't tell how much we actually got. We had left the horses in their stalls during the storm, and when we turned them out the next day they were still muddy from before the snow. But the snow was soooo pretty...these are just the pictures of Sugar, since this is HER page.

May 2007

Pictures from two days before her 6th birthday, in May 2007, after a bath with a dark blue color-enhancing horse shampoo! It was all I had that day. It stained parts of her a bit, temporarily.  Some of these pictures were meant to illustrate the "swirly" coloring that many dark-pointed champagne horses have on their lower legs.

The next week, I took one to show her Arabian-like, dished, etc. profile.

Jan-Mar 2007


2004 : The pictures and text in this next section are from 2004, when Sugar was about 3 years old.

Sugar as a youngster, April 9, 2004, winter coat.
She was exactly 14H, barefoot, with a stick,
and 850 lbs by a weight tape, back then.
(Quarter Pony registry eligible!)


sugar_ride_l.jpg (123029 bytes) I enjoyed riding her bareback, just because I could. She didn't neck rein yet, so when I had only one lead on her halter, I could only turn her in that direction!

She soon after this learned to neck rein.

sugar_ride_bend.jpg (86480 bytes) I trained her, using treats, to bend her neck around to whichever shoulder I tap.  All of our horses do this. ANYTHING for treats...
sugar_ride_f.jpg (71981 bytes) A pause. Please excuse my casual, slightly tilted seat. I think she is nicely muscled, though she still has a rather immature build for nearly 3. When she finishes I think she will be a compact tank!
(and I was right!)
sugar_low_r.jpg (95449 bytes) This is a combination "how I trimmed her mane and tail" (took off a lot of the lighter hair to show the darker base color. It all grew back quickly and they have been left long and natural ever since!) and overall body shot. It looks like she has a wonderfully sloping shoulder!
sugar_pose_l.jpg (136583 bytes) Other side. I trimmed the top, white/yellow layer off her tail and trimmed the bottom sun-bleached ends off, too. I thought it might have been all sun-bleaching, back then, but have since realized that she just has an extreme amount of "frosting", as some champagne-creams do.
sugar_rump.jpg (71423 bytes) Just a rump/tail shot. Shows the frequently-observed champagne dorsal shading. I only removed some of the white/yellow hair because she looked like palomino or perlino, and I wanted to show her true amber cream coloring better. Some day I may test her for dun, especially if I ever breed her.
sugar_mane.jpg (162459 bytes) Interesting mane shot, though unflattering to the filly overall.
sugar_rear_2.jpg (190085 bytes) This is a little game we used to play when we are both bored with round-penning.  I wave the whip at her forelegs and say "up-up-up!"  She not only doesn't do it any more, she REFUSES to do it, which is a good thing.
sugar_rear_1.jpg (122167 bytes) Sometimes she played it more enthusiastically than others!  Young horses are more playful, and more inclined to both get high above the ground and lie down on the ground.

Late Summer 2003

She's 2+ years old here:

Sugar_rump_03.jpg (143914 bytes)  barb_on_sugar.jpg (162770 bytes)  riding.jpg (588234 bytes)  Sugar under-color of mane.jpg (170653 bytes)  Sugar_front.jpg (264177 bytes)  Sugar_head.jpg (191391 bytes)  Sugar_left_moving.jpg (264585 bytes) sugar_l.jpg (67110 bytes)  Sugar_leftx2.jpg (220426 bytes)  sugar_original_mane.jpg (155705 bytes)  Sugar_mane_face-big.jpg (250853 bytes) 

I only sat on her back once or twice that year, to protect her young, growing bones.  A couple of these pictures show her mane upside-down, revealing the dark colors underneath the top frosting. I've included an under-tail shot for educational purposes... here is the un-tanned skin of a 2+ year old amber champagne + cream. I think it's amazing that her tail skin, though sprouting a good bit of brownish hair, is an un-freckled shade of pink!

May 2002

The pictures in the row below were all taken by her breeders, the Van Zees in South Dakota, in May 2002, at exactly one year of age.

sunny-head.jpg (122789 bytes) Mvc-027s.jpg (158279 bytes) Mvc-025s1.jpg (106168 bytes) Mvc-022s.jpg (93365 bytes) Mvc-019s.jpg (143261 bytes) Mvc-020s.jpg (84591 bytes)


And here are my favorite foal-imprinting pictures of her, also from the Van Zees:

sunny_alvin_1.jpg (32010 bytes) sunny_alvin_2.jpg (35710 bytes) sunny_alvin_3.jpg (68307 bytes)

Sugar's AQHA dam (mother),  Lace of Savage

Sugar is appendix (pretty far back) AQHA through her dam. 
Her dam has speed in her pedigree; she goes back to the famous Thoroughbred race horse Go Man Go.  To see the other famous horses in her pedigree, and how many times they appear,
return to that part of this page.


Her Sire --  Sugars Uno, aka "Cane",
now has his own page!

Sugar has the quiet disposition, speed, and rare color genes
of her ranch-work-bred sire (father), pictured there.
He's now at stud in Germany!
They told me, back when he was in in South Dakota,
that he was the fastest horse on the ranch! 
He, and his dam, helped with the state's yearly bison round-ups! 
That's one terrific ranch horse.

Sugar came to me as a yearling, so she never had the opportunity to chase bison.
Click the headline-link above to see many good pictures of Sugars Uno. 

In addition to all of that performance in her pedigree, Sugar should produce about 50% champagne foals, and when you add the cream gene in we'll have a 75% chance of some dilute color every time. She has finally been tested for the various dun genes, and has none.  But we're not going to breed her now, anyway, because she's still a maiden at age 17 as of May 2018.

She was originally registered as "Sunny Champagne Lace", but I officially changed her name to
"Sugar Champagne Lace" before she was 2.

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[ Sugar ] Doc ] Amir ] Bill ]

CONTACT INFO: you may EMAIL or PHONE Barbara at 513-385-6735 (or text at 513-356-2817)
The stable is on Blue Rock Road, which is named after Blue Rock Creek,
replete with slate and shale, which is more or less ... "Blue"!