Monday, May 23, 2016

Bad News First

I am back from delivering Frosty to his new home. It was an amazing trip. Couldn't be happier for the big buckskin!! But I am exhausted and having to deal with bad news first...

Miss, the gray mare is not breedable. I dropped her off at the breeding station before I left, knowing she would be coming into heat while I was gone and on my way home I got a call from the breeder and vet telling me that Miss's birth canal is filled with malenomas. Even if we could get her to carry a foal, she would be unable to deliver it.

I took a day to process the information and did a little research on the likelihood of harvesting some unfertilized eggs from her, since I cannot afford an embryo transfer this year, but that particular reproductive science has not been particularly successful and I finally had to conclude that I was just not going to get a foal out of that mare.

When I got home, I talked with the vet a little more about the possibility of waiting until next year to do an embryo transfer on her and he said that considering the rate of growth on the malenomas, it was highly unlikely she would even be able to accomplish that by next year.

So that is that.

Hopefully this doesn't come across as too harsh, but I picked the mare up from the breeding station and delivered her to the vet's for euthanasia.

Outwardly, Miss looked better than ever, but her insides are a different story and I was just not comfortable with the thought of bringing her home and letting her stand around until she did finally start going downhill externally. Who knows how much internal pain she would have to suffer before it became obvious on the outside? I just cannot stomach letting an animal suffer like that, so I just had to make the call that now was as good a time as any for her to be laid to rest. Lord knows the poor mare suffered enough in her life. Her last few years were good. That was the best I could do for her.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

All Tore Up

Finally got my pickup back. A whole week late. They looked very nervous in the office when I walked in to get it. I guess word got around that I was extremely pissed off at them. Thank god they were smart enough to keep their mouths shut though because I'm not sure I wouldn't have blown a gasket if any of them had said anything to me. They just handed me the bill and my keys. I gave them their checks and turned around and walked out. You can bet I will be leaving a scathing comment about their lack of communication and failed time table on Yelp.

As it turns out, I was right on target about when my mares would all start coming into heat. Sometimes I hate being right. The gray mare came into heat on the 1st. Frenchie came into heat a couple days later and Scamper is just coming in now. Beretta was the week before, which wasn't a huge deal because that would have put her foaling date a tish early next year.

It will all work out in the end though. As long as everyone settles on the first try, which hopefully shouldn't be a problem. I'm not worried about whether any of the mares will settle, just whether the gray mare can carry. The gray mare is cycling every 2 weeks again this year. She was the first one I noticed in heat, followed by Belle, followed by Beretta, then the Miss came in again, then Frenchie, now Scamper. Sassy should have gone through her 7-10 day heat after foaling, but I didn't/haven't seen her show any signs of it. It doesn't really matter though, since she foaled earlier than anticipated, I didn't feel the need to move her foaling date up. Both Sassy and Miss are going to be delivered to the stallion before I take off to deliver Frosty. Both mares should be coming into heat during that time frame.

As soon as I get home from my trip, I will deliver Scamper to Utah and may run Beretta to Arizona rather than have semen shipped up. The timing on that is actually just perfect. I have to go to Arizona for a wedding the first weekend in June, so Beretta should be bred by then and I can just bring her home afterward and then go get Scamper from Utah.

That only leaves Frenchie for me to deal with on my own, but come to find out, Moon is pretty handy as a teasing horse. I thought LJ would be a good teaser, but the only mare that responds to him is the gray mare and she just did a drive-by, realized he wasn't the real deal and left. Everyone responds to Moon though. Of course he makes a good show of it for them. He arches his neck, flags his tail and struts his stuff up and down the fence. You would think he was a real stallion. Hahahahaha.

In the middle of this whole fiasco though, I realized that I simply was not going to get water to run on my pasture very well unless I went ahead and dug up the heads and lifted them up at least a foot. We worked so hard to cut all of the silt build-up down and remove the hump that made it difficult for water to run and it just wasn't enough. I fought water all of last year and I just don't want to spend my whole summer dealing with that again. If I had known last year that a person actually could dig those heads out and lift them up, I would have done it then. But I had no prior experience with irrigation and no body told me that was doable, soooo...

Well, raising 2 of the heads was easy enough. The 3rd one was poorly put together, so that one is being difficult (still working on that) and the 4th...Well, lets just say...That one will not be getting lifted up. All of the up stems are plastic, except the end one, which is metal. It would cost a fortune to have an extension made for it. On the other hand, digging it out and replacing it with plastic and then redoing the cement plug at the end is not really any cheaper. If it wasn't for the fact that the air bubble stem was rotted through and fell off when I dug out around the head, I would just fill it back in. I KNEW something was leaking around that head, but I thought it was just because the seal on the head was bad. Nope!! Well, now I am waiting for a welder to come and repair that piece so that I can fill in around the head and can turn my water on again. This turned into a much bigger pain in the ass than I anticipated, but that just seems to be how my luck goes. Mostly, it's having to all of the work alone that makes it so difficult. The hubs has absolutely no interest in any of it and trying to find help that knows what the hell they are doing, this time of year is next to impossible. I know so little about all of this that it makes for slow going for me. Every time I don't know what to do, I snap a bunch of pictures and head to the irrigation supply store. Thank goodness those guys are extremely knowledgable and really helpful. I think they find me a bit of a novelty. Of course, I have spent a butt-load in their store over the last couple of years, so that helps a little bit too, I suppose. LOL.

Well, at least I have my pickup back. I never realized how helpless not having a pickup made me. It's been a long, long time since I have ever been 'afoot' like that. I did not like it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cha-Cha-Changes

Well, just when I think I have everything worked out...something always has to completely mess up my plans. The latest fiasco has rendered me incapable of getting Frenchie back to SD in time to get bred in a timely fashion...again.

Awhile back I had a weird little accident with my dually. I swerved to miss a huge truck tire that had shredded on the interstate and without even going off the road, somehow managed to ram a mile marker post through the floorboard of my pickup. I cannot even explain how it happened because I have no clue. The pickup was scheduled to be in for repairs, they originally said 5-6 days, but when I dropped it off, they said 10 days...Well...it's been 3 weeks and my pickup is STILL at the repair shop. Needless to say, I am beyond furious. I specifically told them that I HAD to have my pickup back by no later than the 1st of May. MH is going to have to take over dealing with these people because if I have to talk to the idiot behind the counter again, I very well may go postal on all of them.

So the Frenchie to Pistol breeding is off...again...

Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something?

Whether it is or if this is just another example of extremely poor customer service...

I have to move in a different direction. I simply cannot leave Frenchie open again this year. I hadn't even considered breeding her to anything else this year, so I had to take a step back and evaluate what all I had going on.

I pick each stallion/mare cross for specific reasons and I just cannot randomly change which mare goes to which stallion. Except for...

That brown stallion, Second Painted Sign. I can pretty much pick whatever mare I want to to breed to him. I know that neither of the Tiny Watch mares will work on him (and they are both booked elsewhere). Sassy is booked and that foal is already spoken for, so I cannot use her either.

Up until this whole pickup deal turned into a nighmare, the only mare I had available to breed to that stallion was Beretta.

Well, now that Frenchie will not be getting bred to Pistol...I got to thinking...

I actually think she would be a better cross on the PYC stallion than Beretta. Frenchie is a mare that can handle A LOT of speed being added to the mix and she has consistently put her nice hip, stifle and hock set on her foals. In my (humble) opinion, she really strengthened up that area on her foals by A Streak Of Fling. So it stands to reason that she would also do the same thing on the PYC stallion. *I don't necessarily dislike his hockset....but it is a tish higher than I like and he has the typical length from stifle to hock that you see on most race-bred stallions...which is also a tish longer than what I prefer. Frenchie could fix that, while the stallion brings a whole lot of speed to the mix.

I actually like the idea of this cross vs. breeding Beretta to him. It just seems more right in my mind. So that is what I am going to do.

I also decided that rather than leave Beretta open, I am going to go ahead and breed her back to Mags. I have my heart set on having a Mags/Beretta filly to keep for myself and while Beretta is only a 7y/o, I can say with some measure of certainty, she will probably not have as long a life as normal. Beretta got obese over the winter and even after I started controlling their feed again, she has not lost any of the weight. The excess weight is causing problems with her bad leg. I finally had to get her up and restrict her diet even more and start her on a light exercise program. It's a difficult situation. She cannot stay this heavy because it is wrecking her leg and yet any sort of demanding exercise is painful for her too.

I think I can get it all under control, but it did make me realize that if I want that Mags/Beretta filly...I had better not hold off too long. I can only hope that the all-colt cycle breaks this next year and I will actually get a couple of fillies out of some of these mares who are on limited time.