From the Foaling Barn

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The New Recipient Mares Arrive.

Our New Recipient Mares

Last week our two new recipient mares arrived from Royal Vista Southwest in Purcell, OK. We named them Michelle and Rosanne, after the owners of the stallions whose embryos each one is carrying. This way we keep it straight in our minds which mare is carrying which embryo--Michelle is carrying a Spooks Gotta Gun embryo and Rosanne is carrying a Smart Spook. We like to give them real names, because we treat them just like we treat our other mares. I hate it when recipients arrive with white plastic collars with their numbers emblazoned in black. I know this is a necessary evil at big farms, and most big time horse owners don't get so attached to their horses that they care about the anononymity of recipient mares. But we're small time and and relatively new to breeding horses. All our mares are well-loved and well-cared for, and we take care of them personally every day.

Both mares are big and handsome. I'm really interested to see the foals they produce, because our donor mare, Shin N In The Finals, is a short, stocky mare, and all of her foals so far have been small like her. I'm hoping these big mares will produce bigger foals. However, I've read many academic studies that all say there will be only minor difference in the ultimate size of the foals, no matter how big or small the recipient. Well, this should be an interesting experiment.

Michelle, a handsome, bay is pretty laid back. She leads well and is nice to be around. Rosanne, a sorrel who appears to be the dominant one, is head shy and we've been having a little trouble getting a lead rope on her. But both mares are in isolation for two weeks--in stalls at night and together in a small paddock during the day. We've been working with Rosanne everyday while we have her confined, and she's getting much better about letting us clip on the lead rope. She's fine once we have her and she leads quietly. She's very attached to Michelle, and wants to follow her, so she now comes to the gate immediately if I take her friend out. I'm sure she'll be just fine.

We isolate all new horses who come to the farm. When we send our own mares down to Texas to be bred, , they, too, spend two weeks in isolation when they come home, just to make sure they haven't brought back any diseases. I especially like this practice with recips, because it gives me a chance to get to know them and assess their personalities.


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