Friday, February 25, 2011
And This is How It's Done
Breeding horses is not for the faint of heart - have I said that already? First there's the whole process of getting a mare in foal, then surviving eleven or so months until the foal is actually born. Twine, mother of Gracie and Leo, was our first mare due this year. She is a bit of a challenge reproductively - she has aborted two foals in four years, so every year we're holding our breath. Last year she went to Kentucky to be bred to first-year sire Einstein, which for me upped the stakes again - it is always heartbreaking when a mare loses a foal before term, and this time the owners had spent a lot of money in transport and Kentucky board, which would make me feel even worse if Twine didn't get there. Once she got near the point where she had aborted previously, I'm pretty sure every day I said to her, "Hang onto that baby, Twiney, we need a genius around here!"
Usually Twine foals at around 338 days, so my stress increased every day past that. She has always been textbook, telegraphing when she would foal, but of course with all I'd convinced myself was resting on this foal, I was sure this was the year everything would go wrong! Despite that, I'd even given him a name - and I didn't even know if it was a colt or filly. Silly human!
Well, last night, at 355 days, after following her usual lead-up, Twine foaled a dark bay colt. It was her usual easy foaling - though a little bit tougher because this boy was bigger than either Gracie or Leo at birth. From there he was very methodical - up in 45 minutes, and once he got his bearings, he zeroed right in on finding that first meal. I think we have our genius. ;-)
As with Twine's other two foals, he's showing all the signs of having that same gregarious personality. I'm hoping Hummer (a maiden who was bred five days after Twine) was watching carefully and taking notes from the stall next door, because, dear Hummy, that is how it's done!