Posts Tagged With: foal

She’s Havin’ My Baby

So. Breeding.

Two years, and it just didn’t work out. I started by breeding Melody, who miscarried. Later that year, the stallion we’d tried to use as the stud died. There was no chance for a re-breeding.

We later discovered Melody has endometriosis.

Last year, we bred Honey to a more local stallion. She started out as pregnant with twins, and then for her safety had to have a “twin reduction,” which is a nice way of saying that a specialist made sure that only one twin survived.

And then, this spring, no foal.

No foal.

I have friends who have horses who get pregnant if a stallion so much as sniffs them.

But not mine.

Instead, I had heartbreak. Over and over.

This spring, I told the stallion owner to keep her deposit. I couldn’t deal with breeding anymore. The overwhelming sadness creeping through my thoughts every moment of the day shadowed me. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t think.

Everything else is perfect in my life. I have the barn of my dreams. I have an amazing, supportive husband, and three other phenomenal horses. I have boarders for which any normal stable would trade their right arm.

But no foal.

I longed for that foal I’d bred; grieved for it. Went through my day wishing and hoping and dreaming about something that didn’t exist.

But he does.

If you’re a Facebook friend of mine, you may remember that I recently posted a photo of someone that I called “Honey’s Doppelganger.”

Dopp 1 Dopp 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He became mine as of today.

Chex and AJ 2 Chex and AJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My dear friend helped me trailer.

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We followed the glorious sky west, toward home.

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Please meet Applejack.

I know he was meant for me when I saw him online. His markings are just the same as Honey’s. His mother has my initials branded onto her tushie. How likely are these things both to happen? He was made for me, and the universe made sure I didn’t pass him by. I let him, and his mother, play in the indoor arena this evening just for fun.

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I love him already. Thank you so much, Sand Stone Farm’s Rescue Efforts!

If you would like to donate to Sand Stone Farm’s Rescue Efforts, please visit their pages:

-Wish List: http://www.sandstonefarm.info/wish-list.html

-Sponsoring: http://www.sandstonefarm.info/sponsoring–co-sponsoring.html

-GoFundMe Site: http://www.gofundme.com/helping-ssfre

Categories: Foal, Horses, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

“‘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.

Crunch.

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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Wistful Thinking

The winds of change sweep through the farm.

Chickens have disappeared. Swiftie and Buster are MIA. As of this morning, so is Lucy.

Luckily, Gladiator, the rooster; our two guineas, and Nugget, the Americana, are alive and well.

We own six new(ish) chicks; three Barred Rocks and three Australorps.

If Melody hadn’t miscarried, last year, we’d have 11 horses at Firefly Farm.

Sage left a while ago. Her owner found a wonderful home with young children to ride the lovely Standardbred mare and give her all the attention she deserves.

Lexi is now at Silver Fox Stable, owned by a Vet, Dr. Esterline’s, wife. I hear wonderful things about their facility and wish them all the best.

Lexi left on Sunday.

We’re down to 10 horses.

We’d have 11 if Melody hadn’t miscarried last year.

Yet..

This morning I recieved a phone call from my friend Sandy. She’s looking to have me train her horse, Cappy.

We’re down to 10 horses.

I wish, oh, how I wish Melody’s foal were here. I’d be training her or him and working her or him every spare moment.

I can handle training a new horse. It’s what I wish I were doing at this very moment.

Training–oh, training!

I love to train. I love the young ‘uns. I adore teaching them how to behave, how to respect others, and how to be a proper citizen.

I love the way they’re defiant at first, and then calm, then ask “What would you like, Ma’am?”

Then, when I tell them what to do, they give me a great, big, “Yes, Ma’am!”

Spring sweeps over our farm.

Cappy’s adventure begins sometime next week.

I hope Lucy comes home.

I can’t wait until Honey is bred.

Last year’s worries tumble and flow away with the wind. The future is bright.

But oh, how I miss the foal that should have been mine this spring.

Categories: Chickens, Horses, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 http://www.autumnbreezeacres.weebly.com.

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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Categories: Horses | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Vicarious

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–

Nothing.

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

Nothing.

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

Mine.

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.

Categories: Horses, Vet | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Enter Bachelor #2

We’re at it again.

Meddling.

Tuffs Frosted Image 2

Picking.

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.

Success.

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

Fla-ky.

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% –
Dunskin
7.03% –
Amber Champagne Dun
7.03% –
Bay Dun
7.03% –
Amber Cream Champagne
7.03% –
Amber Champagne
7.03% –
Bay
7.03% –
Amber Cream Champagne Dun
7.03% –
Buckskin
3.13% –
Chestnut
3.13% –
Dunalino
3.13% –
Gold Champagne Dun
3.13% –
Gold Cream Champagne
3.13% –
Gold Cream Champagne Dun
3.13% –
Palomino
3.13% –
Red Dun
3.13% –
Gold Champagne
2.34% –
Classic Cream Champagne Dun
2.34% –
Black
2.34% –
Classic Champagne
2.34% –
Classic Cream Champagne
2.34% –
Smoky Grullo
2.34% –
Grullo
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.

Poking.

Prodding.

Praying…

Tuffs Frosted Image 1 - Copy

Categories: Horses, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Love Connection

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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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