Timing of frozen insemination.

The popularity of frozen semen appears to be on the rise as technology becomes more commonplace and knowledge, and availability increase. Breeders are always on the lookout to have access to the best and most marketable sires available and a lot of them are only offered with frozen semen. As we saw in our previous blog on frozen semen (The agony and ecstasy of frozen semen.) there are definite advantages and disadvantages to using frozen semen. One of the main challenges is this sensitivity to timing. It always made me curious: Why is frozen semen was so sensitive to timing in regard to ovulation? Back to basics. The...

Tick Tock The Breeding Clock

When it comes to horse breeding timing can be everything. During the breeding season, horse breeders are not only frazzled and irritated by the lack of sleep and perpetual worry and anxiety but also because we have to keep track of many key milestones and numbers. Why is this so complicated you ask? Because the vast majority of sport horse breeders use artificial insemination, hours of the breeding season are spent calculating the timing of everything from ultrasound evaluation to the injections of hormones,  insemination, and pregnancy checks. There is also the timing of the FedEx pick up and delivery, the meeting of veterinarian and the regular activities...

Potomac Horse Fever and the breeder.

This winter, at almost exactly 8 months of gestation, Zigami aborted her Rotspon pregnancy without any warnings. It was understandably a gutting experience to lose a foal from any mare at any time but this was a cross I was really looking forward to. It was to be Zigami’s first full warmblood foal. It raised many questions of course. Why? Why now? Was it infectious? Is my other pregnant mare at risk? Could have I done anything to prevent this? What went through my mind? Of all the causes for abortions in mares, the number one culprit is placentitis: it’s a very general term that means that the...

The Agony and The Ecstasy of … Frozen Semen.

I really struggle every few years when it is time to re-stock the semen tank with frozen semen. Owning horses is risky, breeding them even more so. But breeding them with frozen semen can be both extremely convenient AND extremely risky financially speaking in this case…. The ecstasy: The choices Frozen semen can truly be the candy store of the Sporthorse world. The selection and variety are just incredible. You can breed to old favorite stallions as well as the up-and-comers. Olympic caliber stallion, or their sire. You can breed to stallion stationed in Europe or in Australia. Rare breed or rare colors not available anywhere near you....

Speak stallion to me…

  This the season. Stallion service auctions are in full swing, the glossy magazines are being printed. You are casually looking at some stallion to maybe breed your mare and you come across an ad that advertises a good-looking lad for what looks like a very reasonable stud fee. Before you think this might be a good deal let’s understand the meaning of what is really being advertised here. Like everything horse breeding has its lingo. Here are some terms to help you keep track of all the glossy advertisements flashing around if you are considering breeding your mare. Stallion: what is in a word? Stallion: a male...

Why breeding horses is not really a business.

Breeding horses is not really a business. (Or at the very least: a business like no others.) Tax season is around the corner and I have to compile expenses and revenues. This time of the year is always a moment of brutal honesty when it comes to the money aspect of breeding and selling sport horses. Numbers don't lie. Pretty pictures don't pay the vet. Once more I have to ponder the economic realities of the year that was and look for ways to improve and to "sharpen the tools" as one might say. I do breed horses in order to sell foals and young horses. I do...

Top 10 questions to ask a breeder.

So you’ve found an ad that catches your eye, something about that young horse makes your heart leap and you think to yourself: “This is an interesting prospect!” You probably have your own set of questions that are right away popping up in your head. I wanted to share with you what questions I, as a breeder, wished I was asked more often and as a bonus, I will tell you why I think those answers matter. (This is not just for sport horses, in fact, I purposefully tried to remove any specific breed bias here.) For those in a hurry: here are the top 10 questions and...

A study in contrast- the foals of 2020

The 2020 foals have reached their 6 months birthdays. Every year, every foal comes into the world with its own characteristics and they slowly evolve into the horse that they will be as adults. Watching the beginning of this journey is always fascinating. In almost all aspects this year’s foals couldn’t be more different from each other. One is small, refined, sensitive, insecure, and black. The other is big-boned, self-confident, quiet, and pale palomino. The black colt-Pavarotti (aka Zoom)-Fabregas x Kreation This little guy is like a little butterfly coming out of his chrysalis. He was vulnerable and soft and sensitive but he is learning to cope with...

Shame in the breeder’s mind.

I recently came across the work of Brené Brown. Nope, she is not a pedigree expert or a famous dressage rider you never heard about. She is a scientist that studies strong and complex emotions, such as shame, the same way other scientists study supernovas or platypus. She wrote a whole book about it, about shame called “I thought it was just me.” Like any scientist, she first defined what shame was, found what its natural habitat was and where we were more likely to find it. She also studied how it is created and how it adapts to its environment. She went further and also proposed ways...

Good bye 2020

The solstice, the shortest day of the year is for me the real turning point of winter, the start of the New Year as the days begins to lengthen. On that day I always like to reflect (as I wait for the sun to finally appear over the horizon so I can go out and do chores!). 2020 was a terrible year for so many and I feel that every day in the reports we hear and the stories we tell and share. The way society dealt with the pandemic this year has both elated and depressed me. But for us here, 2020 was a great year. What...