When breeding a horse, you learn more than you ever wanted to know about horse breeding, whether you like it or not. Like, while most mares will refuse to accept the stallion once they have ovulated - thereby notifying you that they are DONE being bred and it's time to go home now - my mare will not. She likes the boys, and all the attention, and is happy to hang around the barn for weeks, just waiting for her turn.
What's wrong with that? You ask. (Besides the whole Lohan-esque sluttiness factor of course) Well, after your mare is bred, the vet needs to come out to your house, use this cool portable ultrasound thingy
(just like the one the O.B. uses to tell you if it's a girl or a boy, only the horse one involves an extension cord, a handful of lube, and a very long plastic glove. Witness a mare scan, and your annual OB visit doesn't seem so bad)
and with this, the vet can tell if your horse is pregnant or not. Unfortunately there is no equine version of the pee-stick pregnancy test! The vet check is the best method, and if your mare is not pregnant, you have to start trying right away to get back on that ovulation schedule. At over a hundred bucks a pop for a vet check, plus trailering back and forth to the stallion, you want to be as efficient as possible to cut down on costs and time spent. Not to mention the fact that breeding season is also foaling season, and boarding your horse at the breeder's takes up much needed stall space for those new moms and babies, who need to be kept separate from the herd while the foal is still so little.
So, having a mare who wants to just hang out with the boys and take her own sweet time is not the optimum situation when faced with budget, time, and space constraints. Such is the life of the suburban horse owner. In England and Ireland, where these horses come from, reproduction takes a more natural approach. A selected band of mares is turned out to pasture with a stallion, in acres and acres of rolling green grass ...
oh, I'm drooling! A midwesterner transplanted to the desert - I miss GREEN! ...
Anyways, the stallion will be able to pick out the mares in estrus, breed them, be done, and if they come back in heat, breed them again. It's all very "free love" and relaxed, like a horsey commune.
Chroi is now back home after our second trip to the breeders, and hopefully this time did the trick. The amazing Kim over at Desert Jewel Gypsy horses scanned Chroi daily and had Lenny breed her every other day until she ovulated. We're glad she's home and crossing our fingers that she is in foal. I'll keep you posted!
Picture (right) is of my latest crush, Shiredale's Flint, another Lenny baby. Just like Keira, Flint could crawl into your lap if he could - what a lover! Another example of why Lenny is a great stallion - his foals all have that sweet temperament. Not to mention the cuteness! Pictured with his beautiful Mama, Dinah. (P.S. Flint is for sale, so call Kim if you are looking for an amazing chestnut colt!)