Posts Tagged With: Breeding

“‘Till [he] Shines Like the Top of the Chrysler Building!” -Annie, edited

Soft whiskers probe my hands. His breath whuffs across my arm, and I shiver.

He nudges my knee, and lowers his head.

He wants it.

I pull the treat from my pocket, and soft lips close over it.


He licks his lips and sighs.

Cappy and I have an understanding. We argue; we cooperate; but in the end, I’m in charge.

Firefly Farm is a hub of activity in the summer. Honey left us yesterday to spend time at Autumn Breeze Acres, where she’ll be bred to Amber Williams’ horse Rolex. He’s the stud I intended for Melody (after Awemost Dun died.) Apparently Honey is acting her usual gentle, sweet self.

Suzi Q. attended two shows this spring and brought home an extensive array of ribbons–and a trophy.

I expanded the mare and gelding pastures, planted a weeping willow tree, and have mowed down weeds in the pasture as they crop up.

Work, work, work.

Time to play.

Today is Cappy’s day. His coppery chestnut coat gleams. (On a related note, my arms are sore.)  He willingly stands on the pedestal, and as of this morning, will do so with a tarp over his body. He lunges–walk, trot, and canter–to the left, and walks on the lunge line to the right. He accepts the bridle and bit. I can lay across his back facing both directions and he stands still. I can use direct reining to make him change direction.

Cappy is brilliant. He’s fun to work with.

In 11 months, Honey will bring a new project into the world. Someone I can take to shows who will earn ribbons. Someone who will stand in the shade of my weeping willow tree and swish his or her tail. I’ll brush my foal until my arms look like that of a bodybuilder.

(Well, maybe not that much.)


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A Coin Toss

Silver gleams as it flips again and again, whistling through the air until it hits a surface.

Dare I look?

Heads. Tails.

It doesn’t matter.

According to the MSU Equine Reproductive Laboratory, Melody has a 20-50% chance of carrying a foal to term in her current state.

Gambling is for fools.

I can’t fall in love again with a foal who may die the second it begins to live.

I can’t bear the odds.

Tuffs Frosted Image 3 - Copy

I’m fortunate to be working with a wonderful stallion and owner at Autumn Breeze Acres in Howell. They’re online at

Tuffs Frosted Image is still our boy.

However, another mare must stand in for Melody.

They’re best friends and rivals.

They love each other and love to tease.

They’re both mine.

Little Honey Bear will be a mommy.

The chances of Honey conceiving are far better than Melody. We’re checking her sometime in the next few days to make sure she’s ready to take the first steps into motherhood.

No coins necessary. The odds are in her favor.


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March 25, 2012 061

I knew it stirred. Deep inside.

Restless, hormonal, and irritated, my mare’s pleasant attitude plummeted. My heart soared.

Then, nothing.

The baby.

My baby.

(Actually, her baby.)

There was a tiny foal in there last year, but she lost it.

My heart belonged to that baby. My expectations, my fears, the challenges ahead–I plunged forward, until–


Today, the veterinarians examined Melody, and concluded that her breeding didn’t take. Again.


All my life, I’ve dreamed of breeding my own foal. My own. From the moment it’s conceived to its last aged breath.


I want it. I ache for it.

This weekend, the head of Repro at MSU will take a uterine biopsy from Melody to see if she can become pregnant.

And if she can keep the baby to term.

Maybe it’s asking too much for a sweet little foal to run around our farm, bucking and playing and snorting and falling asleep on a soft bed of spring grass.

The foal would nicker at me and gently nudge me to say, “More sugar! Now!” and lick her lips and lick the salt from my hand.

I hope.

Until then, the stallion owner has kindly worked to “talk me off the ledge”–that moment of hysteria where I imagine I’m falling into a deep abyss of never-getting-my-dream-baby. Of feeling the despair of a thousand near-misses.

We need one hit.

To return my pleasant mare into the restless, hormonal, irritated, pregnant beast.

My heart will soar again.

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Enter Bachelor #2

We’re at it again.


Tuffs Frosted Image 2


Pulling apart.

Putting together.

Two Vets stood near, waiting for the inserted needle to complete it’s task. The horse wobbled, teetered, and lowered her head. Melody stood in the stall while the Vet put her hand (and a long-corded device) in unmentionable places to perform an ultrasound.


Melody is within 7mm of ovulating. She needs a “shipment” in the next day or so. Mere hours.

We’re waiting.

I spoke to the stallion’s owner this morning about her stallion, Mighty Blue Print. This afternoon, I spoke to her about her first stallion–and then discussed her second stallion.

Together, we decided that we should swap the breeding.

Exit Mighty Blue Print. Enter Tuffs Frosted Image.

Tuffs Frosted Image 3 - Copy


Not really. Neither stallion is Awemost Dun (the original stallion with whom I planned to breed Melody.) However, the second–oops, third–stallion has many positive attributes. He’s a trained Reiner. He has a flat-kneed trot. If I bred him to Melody, the color choices are completely up in the air–there’s no telling what we’d get!

Offspring Color Probability

7.03% –
7.03% –
Amber Champagne Dun
7.03% –
Bay Dun
7.03% –
Amber Cream Champagne
7.03% –
Amber Champagne
7.03% –
7.03% –
Amber Cream Champagne Dun
7.03% –
3.13% –
3.13% –
3.13% –
Gold Champagne Dun
3.13% –
Gold Cream Champagne
3.13% –
Gold Cream Champagne Dun
3.13% –
3.13% –
Red Dun
3.13% –
Gold Champagne
2.34% –
Classic Cream Champagne Dun
2.34% –
2.34% –
Classic Champagne
2.34% –
Classic Cream Champagne
2.34% –
Smoky Grullo
2.34% –
2.34% –
Smoky Black
2.34% –
Classic Champagne Dun

Plus, he was my best friend’s first choice. The best friend ALWAYS has the last word.




Tuffs Frosted Image 1 - Copy

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The Love Connection


Mighty Blue Print

Left: Melody, “Frostys Baby Doll,” my mare

Right: Mighty Blue Print,  “Bachelor Number One”

“When a boy and a girl love each other very much–”

“When someone wants a baby–”

“There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to decide if they wish to expand their family–”

I imagine sitting Melody down for a talk and explaining where babies come from. Instead, there will be all the responsibilities of motherhood with none of the ‘fun’ beforehand.

“Sweetheart, I’m setting you up on a date with a pipette,” has no ring to it. In more ways than one.

Therefore, I prefer to keep her in the dark; an ‘immaculate conception’ if you will.

When horses meet one another and mate in person, there is the potential for serious injury to both the breeder and horses involved. Horses kick and bite and become violent when they’re in the moment.

Therefore, Melody has a date with a pipette-ended syringe. She can dream of boys all she wants, but when it comes down to it, she’ll remain completely unaware of why she’s chunky and moody. I prefer to keep the uncomfortable conversations to a minimum.

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