Blogs

Expected 2023 foals

  Expected 2023 foals Despite a hard summer we are looking forward to the 2023 foaling season with 2 special foals 2022- What a hard and sad summer… Never having had to deal with any horse in my care colicing before (well nothing serious- some gas colic that passed on their own) I had two surgical case of colic in the summer of 2022. Two cases that could only be resolved by surgery. We sadly lost Rascalina to what looked like a post foaling colic just 12 hours after the birth of her filly. She was never quite right after the birth and it just got worse with...

The foals of 2022

3 beautiful foals this year. 3 lovely souls, cherished and expected and dearly loved right from the start. 4 good mares that took care of them the best they could and allowed them to be born safely and grow up well. I think they fit in well with my constant goals of : well bred, well handled and well raised. Superstition (Morricone/Kreation (Rubinero/Donnerhall): the black shinny pearl   Like her brothers before her, she was born very a very sensitive but sensible soul. Thin skin, impressionable, not overly fond of humans and generally finding their touch a bit much at first. Less sensitive by far than Pavarotti (v....

When should I wean my foal?

Highlights: For those of you that dont have the time or the inclination to read the whole article here are the highlights: When ?-After 4 months old and once the foal has shown some consistent independence from his dam, the longer you wait the more the foal will be mentally equipped to cope with the separation. How ?: The best method will entirely depend on your set up, there is not one best method that fits all situation-sorry. For more information on my humble opinion on the plus and minus of each method the rest of the article. Key Points: Overall the focus should be on preventing injuries...

Expected 2022 foals

The never-ending summer. On August 15th the breeding season came to an end at the farm. It had been 16 weeks of work to get there. 112 days of thinking about breeding, wondering and pondering, checking mares, ordering semen, and counting days. With two mares open (not pregnant): Zigami and Rascalina, the idea was to start early and to breed Kreation after she had foaled later in the season. Or so the plan was… We had two custom foals planned for clients for those two mares. The stallions were carefully selected, the contracts were signed and we were ready to go in mid-May when the mares started to...

Halter training for the new foal-Part1

How do I halter train the new foal?   Foals start out well: feral. They are leggy bundles of instinct that know nothing of the cushy captivity they are born into. The instincts that have served them well for millions of years of evolution will be constantly clashing with the world they will live in and the demand that will be put on them for most of their lives. For that reason, it is important that we ease them into our world as sensibly and as compassionately as we can. Just like young children and dogs, the first period of their lives is the most formatives. Brain plasticity...

Halter training for the new foal- part 2

Part 2- the catch and release phase Once mom and foal are settled, are healthy and comfortable in their environment there is no reason to wait any longer. Every time we feed the mare her supplement (2 -3 times a day) we take the opportunity to catch the foal. We work in a fenced-off area or in a shelter so that there is some limit to how far the foal can go. With her nose in the bucket, the mare is generally a nice passive helper. The young little horse is usually afraid of us tall bi-pedal creatures and being afraid of new weird things is the default...

Halter training for the new foal-part 3

Part 3-Introduction to the halter You might have noticed that until now no halter has been involved. Why is that? The main reason is you are only human: the moment you have a handle on something you will want to use it. Why is that a bad thing? Our tendency when handling any horses is to grab the halter and tell the horse where to go. It might sound redundant or pedantic but babies are not born halter broke. They are not even born with an understanding of giving to pressure. Fun fact: it’s actually the opposite: you cannot push (or pull) a foal’s first reaction,  because its...

Halter training for the new foal- part 4

Part 4- Leading in hand. For a few weeks now, the foals have been haltered regularly. They can be caught anywhere (in the paddock, by their dam, away from their dam, or even in the middle of the field) and have zero issues with the halter, the leadshank, or being touched anywhere including the ears the nose, and the legs. At this stage, I prefer to continue to loop a soft leadshank around their butt, and over the back, when I lead them around,  but now I often just let it draped there or across their back and rely more and more on the halter to control the...

Halter training for the new foal -Part 5

Part 5: The final touches A foal that stands to be haltered, that leads well, that accepts grooming, and picking up his feet has a good solid base for further education down the road. For many, that will be enough and they will be left alone until it is time for some more formal education. For others, it will be the bare minimum as they will also need to learn how to be bathed, sprayed, clipped, loaded into a trailer, trot in hand and stand on the line for shows. We go beyond in our handling of foals but not for any particular utilitarian reasons (we do not...

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...