The last couple weeks of her pregnancy I was getting baby fever like there was no tomorrow, but once I got her in, I didn't even get a chance to build up a good head of steam waiting for the arrival. I hadn't even started midnight and early morning checks. The little booger just dropped out of nowhere. A little bit of golden perfection...even if he is the 'wrong' sex. Hahaha.
(photo at 4 days and beautifully edited by Chelsi)
It's all good though. A person certainly cannot understate the value of an uneventful, uncomplicated birth.
It is now time to start getting mares moved around to various stallions to start working on next years crop. It was a godsend to finally get a colorful foal. The 5 foals before Hawk were all varying shades of bay and 2017 looks pretty 'bay' again. Hah!
Frenchie is going back to SD to get turned out with our Oklahoma Star-bred stallion. 100% chance of bay there. I am really hoping that the cross will produce another Shooter, but hopefully one that is a little more compact.
Miss, the gray Tiny Watch mare, and Sassy are going to a local reining stallion, Starlights Starbrite...
Sassy's 2017 foal by Starlight is already spoken for. The Gray's Starlight/Colonel Freckles/Peppy San Badger cross is a proven nick in reining, working cowhorse and ranch horse versatility circles, so there is no question that this will be a good baby. Although he is a solid bay, Starlight is pretty flexible in the colors he is able to produce. Not always, but very often the foals have the color and chrome of their momma.
Breeding Miss, the gray mare to Starlight gives me slightly mixed feelings. Obviously this is not normally the direction I would ordinarily go with her bloodlines. It's not an unjustifiable cross...It's my standard run/cow cross, just in reverse. It's just not a 'fashionable' cross by barrel racing standards. Basically, it's the best cross I could come up with locally and with a breeder who has experience getting older/difficult mares to carry a foal. I don't believe that actually carrying a foal will be difficult for Miss. Her overall health has improved tremendously over this last year. It is more than likely a hormonal issue that needs to be addressed, something my vet did not take the time to look into with her last year. Even though the cross isn't as 'fashionable' as I have been trying to produce, I do have confidence that it will be a nice one. Both Starlight and Miss have lovely temperaments, both sides are highly proven athletes and the Gray's Starlight bloodline, just like the Colonel Freckles bloodline, readily lends themselves to any speed that it is crossed on. This cross is really my only chance of any color next year. LOL. Starlight's handler said he is pretty good about reproducing gray, if the dam is gray. Maybe I'll finally get the elusive gray gene to show up. Hahahaha. We are really hoping it doesn't show up on Hawk. To date, he is still the only non-gray, palomino son of Mags and both A and I would really like it to stay that way.
The brown Tiny Watch mare, Scamper is being bred to First Prize Stone...
This cross should be absolutely fan-tab-ulous!!!! With all of Scamper's racing blood, this very well may be my first 'race horse'. Stone's breeder seemed pretty keen on the mix. I already know that the Mr. Jess Perry blood crosses well on the Tiny Watch blood. One of the stallions I picked out, but couldn't afford this year IS a Mr. Jess Perry/Tiny's Gay cross. Of all of the babies, THIS one is the one I hope will be a colt. In spite of the more than likely 'plain bay' color I will get from this cross, this one should be stallion material.
I have been waffling with what to do with Beretta this year. Last Fall, I told A that I wanted to rebreed her to Mags. Then I kind of got freaked out by the number of babies that would be coming in 2017 and thought maybe I aught to leave her open so I don't get overwhelmed by numbers. Now I am debating whether to use the paid-for breeding I have from Letta Hank Do It last year. Obviously, LHDI is dead, but I was offered a breed to Second Painted Sign in place of LHDI. I have thought long and hard about who I have that would cross the best on Second Painted Sign and really the only cross that works in my mind is Beretta.
Second Painted Sign is no 'slouch' stallion...
He's a son of PYC Paint Your Wagon, out of a Vital Sign/First Down Dash mare. He has a speed index of 101 and is multiple grade stakes winner. He is also the racier-type made horse that Beretta needs to take her bulk down a notch (or 2) and lengthen out the muscling. The breeder said he has a really easy going, kind disposition, which is also important to add to the mix with Beretta. It would seem that the easy-going attitude is a family trait because this horse's full sister was so easy going that they almost washed her out of race training, however come race day she blew the doors off the competition.
If I don't use this breeding this year, I will lose it. I hate to lose out on $1,000 breeding fee, but I don't want to put a baby on the ground just because of that reason either. :-/. I think I will continue to ponder this through the month of May. I'm warming up to the idea, but will perhaps wait to see if the gray mare is going to carry or not. If we cannot get Miss to carry past 14 days this year, then I suspect any hope I have of getting a foal out of her is gone and I can move on and breed Beretta to this guy instead.