Friday, August 28, 2015

Gearing Up

Without a doubt, I am a goals oriented person. Last year, even though I wasn't rodeoing, I did manage to keep after the horses enough to make some progress...This year, not so much. Without any specific 'reason' to ride, I may have put off working horses more often than was warranted. But now that some of the things that kept me so busy and preoccupied...and worn out...have slowed down...I have more time to ride. Aaannnddd...

Well, geez!...I'm having a hard time getting ramped up again. I clean pens, spend time brushing and fly spraying, move em back and forth to turn out and just don't seem to get anyone rode regularly enough to move them forward.

I decided the best way to put a stop to that was to look around and find a few of the bigger Fall barrel races to enter.

I picked out 3 that I wanted to attend. Just found out that the dates for one of those conflict with a friend's bachelorette party though. Part of me is pulling to go to the barrel race anyway...but man, I have missed so many of my friends's important dates; bachelorette parties, weddings, ect., etc....That I wonder why these girls still invite me. So bachelorette party it is. To make up for missing that barrel race, I found another one to go to. LOL

The first one up is in Utah. Only 3 weeks from now. Yikes!! This is the same arena I went to with Frosty last Fall when it rained and rained and rained...And Frosty tried to buck me off in the warm-up pen. LOL. Hopefully the weather is better this year. ;-)


The second race will be in South Dakota the first weekend in October. Man, I haven't run where they are having this race since...2001. OMG!! Fourteen years? Where the heck did the time go?

Third race I picked out is in Las Vegas. Not at the South Point!! For the longest time I so wanted to go to some of those barrel races at the South Point, but now...I dunno. I have heard so many horror stories about horses that got sick, locked barn doors and stolen tack that I'm like...Meh, maybe not. This race is the first weekend in November...and what better way to spend my birthday than at a barrel race...In Las Vegas!!

I will get a chance to get at least a couple runs on Frosty before the first big race, which we desperately need. I'm really hoping he comes back at the 2 seconds off mark. He feels like he wants to go out and make a run, but what his time will be is questionable. I will be taking Moon with to these races, but won't compete on him. Partly because the air quality has not been good and partly because I've got a game plan I'd like to implement to try to help get Moon over some of his gate anxiety, as well as try to get him more focused on going left. Rather than make one competition run, I will work on some exhibitions. Moon only gets his adrenaline pump at competitions and I think he just needs to work through it a few times, without making a competition run. I wasn't the only one affected by how difficult things got for Moon and I in the arena. Switching directions on him was like flipping a light switch for me....But it's going to take some time for Moon to trust that we aren't going in there to 'fight' each other around the pattern.

Of course, I cannot forget about the Fall races in Moab. Two of my favorite races of the year. One is the middle of October and the other is at the end of October. I am kind of hoping that LJ will be ready to crack out by the end of October, but that arena can be a bit overwhelming for a raw beginner. It's a small arena and they are kind of 'running into' something at every barrel; the chutes, the aluminum grandstands, the tractor, and there isn't much stopping room between the eye and the fence, which babies don't really appreciate. Nevertheless, LJ will be going with to all of these events and learning the ropes. In many ways, making the run is the very least of what a horse has to learn about competition life. Unlike Frosty, who was (and can still be) intimidated by all of the activity surrounding an event, LJ finds it incredibly fascinating. Getting and keeping his attention is not easy. Once it all becomes old hat though, the competing part will be easy for him. :-)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bullet Points

Geez...I don't even know where to start and where to stop anymore. A bunch going on...

* The farrier was out to put shoes on Frosty and LJ. He did a decent enough job and both horses are traveling freely again. That means I can finally get a barrel run on ole bucky. Let's hope the 'bucky' part merely refers to his color. ;-)

* The vet came and drew blood on my gray mare. Apparently there is a blood test that verifies pregnancy in mares. It's highly accurate after the 70 day mark in gestation and Miss is over that. Fingers crossed there is a baby 'Tiny' cooking!!

* The farmer came and hayed my pasture. Fifty-six mid-sized square bales (the 750# size). The mares and Ruger are currently happy as clams and mowing through oat hay bales. I put a grass hay bale out too and they have barely touched it.

* Water has been run over my pasture again and the grass is taking off. I'm gonna have some happy, happy ponies in a month or so.

* It's taken most of the summer, but Flashy is finally taking off and starting to look like he should...

Man, I love the hip on this colt!!...

* The last of the fillies that Frenchie produced for the Fulton's sold on their sale last weekend. Another $18,000 2y/o. My mom went down and saw her in person and said she was cute, cute, cute!!...
BF Shesa Streakin

* The Fulton's held back the 2 geldings that Frenchie produced for them and I got to watch the videos of one of them, BF Streakin King making his futurity debut. He placed in the top 25 both days and 17th in the average of the Cornhusker Futurity. The same guy that rode Frenchie's son (Flashy's maternal 1/2 brother), also rode a CS Flashlight filly (Flashy's paternal 1/2 sister) in the futurity and she placed 16th in the average. It tickles me to get a glimpse of what the future holds for my lil' man. :-)

* I was thinking I would wean Ruger at 5 months, but he is doing so good living with the mares and Beretta is not bred back, so I am just going to leave him on for another month.

* I'm ready for 'summer' to be over! I'm tired!! LOL. I'm looking forward to Fall weather, the slowing down of the watering, weeding and mowing and cooler days so I can work horses all day instead of trying to cram whatever I can in before it gets too hot. I can feel the change coming.

* I have been focusing my time on Moon, Frosty and LJ. Those are the three I want to have in shape and ready to haul to some of the big Fall barrel races. LJ won't be ready to make runs unfortunately...but I can haul him with, and start doing some exhibitions. I think once he gets the hang of it, he will come on pretty good. LJ has really matured this year, physically AND mentally. It's time to make something of him!! :-D. You have to realize, this is very exciting to me...I'm like 5 years ahead of what has become 'normal' for me. LOL. A 5y/o that is broke AND loping the pattern? Good lord...I haven't been able to accomplish that for eons. Hahahahaha. I'll pick up Shooter and Jet when the weather cools off and I have more time to spend with them. And then I can work with my 3y/o more consistently as well. Poor little sweetheart. She follows me around like a puppy dog every second I spend with the mares. She desperately wants to be part of the 'in' crowd. :-)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Totally Disgusted

Boy...Am I in an ill mood!!

I have been wondering if my gray Tiny Watch mare settled...or not. I had her ultra-sounded at 2 weeks and there was an embryo there. I breathed a sigh of relief and have kept my fingers crossed that the embryo continued to develop.

Normally, a mare goes back in for a 60 day ultrasound to confirm pregnancy and heartbeat...

However, due to Miss's circumstances, I have gone round and round in my head whether it was worth it to do that or not. Miss lost quite a bit of weight in just the week she was at the vet's and I saw how stressful it was on her when she was being ultra-sounded. The poor old girl would just tremble and shake.

I didn't really want to stress her out like that again. I worried that if she had settled that the stress might just cause her to lose the pregnancy. And since, at this late date, there is nothing I could do about it if she was, in fact, open. Regardless of whether she is bred or not, this girl requires a little extra care, so she would be getting the same treatment. I opted to just wait and see how it played out.


A few weeks ago, I noticed that after urinating, that Miss continued to 'wink' for an unusual amount of time. That's representative of mares during a heat cycle. However, while I watched all of the other mares go through their heat cycle, I never saw Miss act any more 'in heat' than the winking. Not that I ever saw her ever act actively 'in heat' in all of this time anyway. She's pretty darned quiet about it.

All this time, I have remained in contact with the previous owners and had at least 3 in-depth conversations with them in the last month. In one of those conversations, I discussed everything that I just talked about here.

The other night, I had Miss out for her evening grain and as usual, while she ate, I went over and started feeding the boys. The mares (and Ruger) are all in a dry lot on the west side of the house. The geldings (and Flashy) are down at the barns/pens on the east side of the house. Always, when Miss is done eating her grain, she just goes over to the hay bale by the red shed and starts eating hay. When I am done with the other chores, I come back up, open the gate and she goes back in with the mares. This particular evening, I was picking a pen and heard Flashy starting to nicker...in a VERY manly voice I might add and I look up to see Miss standing beside Flashy's pen...squatting and peeing.

FULL BLOWN HEAT!!!

Sonava....

Oh man, I mean to tell you...My heart just sank.

Now, I know that people talk about having mares that show heat when they are in-fact bred. We sort of thought that was what Sassy was doing after her first breeding. But the most I have ever seen this mare do to show heat is lift up her tail and squeal a little and that is like, right AT ovulation. I've never seen her squat and pee before.

I was so heartsick I couldn't sleep that night. I mean...I have 2 years invested into this mare + a stud fee + semen shipping costs + the vet fees...And I am pretty darned sure that this will be the only year that Miss will be able to carry her own foal. She's getting 'fragile' and the melanomas on her tail are growing. I believe that I can keep HER comfortable for another year or two, but probably not her carrying another foal. Anything she produces in the future will more than likely have to be done by embryo transfer.

I knew she was a high risk when I bought her, so I was already thinking about these things anyway. But man...Realizing I was not going to even get a baby this time around...That hurt!!

Well, I put my sorrow out there on fb and the previous owner is sympathizing and out of the blue she CASUALLY mentions that 'Oh yea...She showed strong heat the first 2-3 months she was bred when we had her too'....

Wait...WHAT??

WHAT THE FRICK DID YOU JUST SAY????

I wanted to reach through the computer screen and throttle the bitch!!!

Now...I could understand, if we had not been talking all along...if I had not specifically mentioned;

#1- Kind of thinking she was showing heat and not sure if she had settled or not
#2- Not wanting to stress the mare out to do another ultrasound

I mean...If you are a breeder...And the person you sold a horse to was expressing concerns over seeing signs of heat...Wouldn't you at LEAST mention the fact that when YOU had the mare she DID show strong...actually stronger than normal...signs of being in heat, when in fact she was CONFIRMED in foal? Especially when I am expressing concerns for the mare's well-being and opting NOT to do another ultra-sound?

So I went from being heartsick to absolutely smoking fury!!!

WHY would she not have told me that?

Are people just that goddamn stupid??

Rather than blow up at her on fb, I deleted the post. I cannot even compose a private pm to tell her how upset I was that she failed to divulge that information in any one of our previous conversations. I mean...THAT is important information to have.....especially considering the circumstances. I mean, I have gone out of my way to answer their constant inquiries about 'how are the mares doing?', 'can you send pictures?', 'Oh we miss them so much'....

I do have to say, I love my vet. Bless his heart! He called me after he read my fb post and said, 'When do we need to see her?'. I explained the situation to him and we discussed holding off at this point. I may go ahead and have an ultrasound done later this Fall, when the weather cools off. The stress shouldn't bother Miss as much then and her weight will be back up to where it should be, so maybe she won't seem so fragile. Luckily, I had already talked to the stallion owners and explained my position about not wanting to do a 60 day ultrasound to them and they were fine with that. She said she has coddled many an old mare along and understood completely my desire to avoid any undo stress and she went ahead and put Miss on the stud report.

I AM relieved to learn that expressing strong signs of heat doesn't necessarily mean that Miss is open. She could still be carrying 'Tiny' and I have my fingers crossed that she is. I just wished I had known that she has done this before. It would have saved me having a total meltdown. Ugghhh!!!