The Elusive Baby Horse: Final Chapter

In case you weren’t aware, this business of breeding horses is obviously not for me. Paige had her final ultrasound last night and is unfortunately not pregnant. Some things aren’t meant to be. Or so I keep telling myself. Let’s talk about this, because wallowing in it is totally healthy, right?

I’ve wanted a baby from QTs Gold Mastercard since I was still in college, though obviously is was a complete pipe dream at that point because no job=no money. And no money was definitely the theme of my life for my senior year of college and first year post college. Not that my basic needs weren’t being met. I was living with my Dad and he took care of the essentials, including all of the expenses for the horses that I owned at that point, but breeding Robin (the only mare on the farm at the time) wasn’t an option.

A Soft Spot for Stars- The Elusive Baby Horse: Final Chapter

Copper always came in for Robin’s appointments. He’d neigh for her and she’d get anxious otherwise.

Once I found employment, it was part time, but sufficient to pay the bills, etc. Except that we bought a foreclosure that was in pretty awful shape. Like remove the walls to the studs and re-insulate bad. So we made that happen with help from a few amazing family members and friends, doing a lot of the work ourselves and with said family/friends. We were also planning a wedding, which also drained the funds pretty thoroughly. It was a very DIY wedding, so we definitely saved in some places (my mom taking care of the catering herself, and using the farm/front porch of my Dad’s house for the ceremony).

A Soft Spot for Stars- The Elusive Baby Horse: Final Chapter

I’m not kidding. This was the ceiling upstairs after I spent very little time tapping it with a hammer. It wanted to come down.

During all of the house restoration and wedding planning, I got a full time job. Yay for benefits! My husband also had full time employment. We were married in September, and moved into the partially finished house (den, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen finished) after our honeymoon. We still had several rooms to go on the renovation (entire upstairs, including a bathroom, small craft room, guest room, and the downstairs dining and living rooms), but imagine my surprise in October to see that a stud fee to QTs Gold Mastercard was being offered for facebook auction to benefit a horse rescue. All I had to do was comment to bid. That’s too easy. So I bid $350 and was elated to see that I got the breeding! My excitement over winning the breeding wasn’t the cure for everything though. In November, my father was diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease. This remains the worst news I’ve received in my life.

Fast forward a few months and it is breeding season. It was time to start watching Robin’s heat cycles, except she doesn’t show heat. She’s weirdly affectionate when she’s in heat, but that’s not a great indicator. After a couple of ultrasounds, we knew she was ready to bred, so I ordered the shipment, it was sent via airplane to the nearest airport. I took a day off and drove an hour away to pick up the shipment and then drove back to meet the vet at the farm. Dad went with me to pick it up since I’d never been to the airport there. The road was clearly marked, so I could have made it myself, but the outing was more enjoyable with company.

A Soft Spot for Stars- The Elusive Baby Horse: Final Chapter

Robin didn’t turn out to be bred after the first shipment, and I didn’t pursue breeding her again that year. The gravity of my Dad’s illness was settling in. Where would we be in a year, and was it fair to add a foal to that? Unfortunately my intuition was remarkably accurate. My father passed away in May of 2014, around the time Robin would’ve been due to foal had I rebred her.

Fast forward again to breeding season. I bought Paige a month after my Dad passed away (retail therapy for horse owners…) and planned to breed her to QTs Gold Mastercard because she’s the more reining/cow horse type of the two mares. Unfortunately they were unable to ship semen from him, so the owners offered to allow me to switch my fee to either one of their other two stallions. I chose Dun It With A Whiz, their AQHA son of Hollywood Dun It.

A Soft Spot for Stars- The Elusive Baby Horse: Final Chapter

Not pregnant, but her tail looks great after some Santa Fe spray and a good brushing.

I had two shipments sent to Virginia from California, and during transport the motility suffered for some reason. They’ve successfully bred several mares this year with all but Paige catching on the first shipment. We aren’t sure what went wrong. The stud owners have been very accommodating with our requests for shipments, and very generous when the motility was compromised on the first shipment. I’ve decided not to breed again at this time. I’m kind of tired of not having fun with my horses.

My goals for this year are kind of flopping. I may do an update on that this week if it isn’t too depressing. A is coming in this weekend, which is something I’m looking forward to. I think Copper’s brother, Oliver, got the word to him somehow that she’s planning on bringing her dressage saddle to influence him to try to look fancy.

A Soft Spot for Stars- The Elusive Baby Horse: Final Chapter

A on Oliver, Copper’s half brother.

I say this because AFTER the vet left, I walked up to water/check on Copper and Kricket. Copper apparently managed to overstep and slice his heel bulb. As much as he romps, I’m thoroughly impressed that it took him 8 years to make that happen, but last night really wasn’t the time. I’d just found out that Paige wasn’t pregnant, then had the vet check Chloe, who agreed with the farrier that she had foundered. So both of the donkeys are on stall rest getting hay rations for the next week or so. They aren’t impressed at all. Emma has to be kept in with Chloe. They’re so bonded that it would be too traumatic for them to be separated.

Copper didn’t appear to be lame, but honestly I didn’t spend lots of time checking on him. I pulled him in, hosed it, slathered it in Corona, and turned him out. He got brownie points for standing untied with his lead rope thrown over the gate in the barn aisle while I poked his injury. He’s always been good about me treating him. Vets on the other hand…ehhhh…let’s just say I’m okay with the fact that the vet had already left when I spotted it. 😉

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