'Tis the Season

It's that time again – foaling season. My favorite time of year. Our babies have just arrived back from Moore Equine South – my husband and I choose to send our mares there this year to have reproduction expert Dr. Chris Berezowski and his crew foal them out and re-breed them. Although foaling the mares out is one of my favorite aspects of this job, with several mares due to foal we felt that our animals could receive 'round the clock care from Moore South and would benefit from their large stalls and expertise.

Plus, with two 2-year-old children, I'm still trying to catch up on sleep from the previous couple years

On the day that three of our mare and foal pairs arrived back at our place, I was ready and waiting with my camera. The mares who have not yet foaled were obviously very curious to meet the new additions.

And as horses are, there was a fair amount of dust kicked up when our herd was reintroduced back together into the pasture…

I'm happy to report they got it all sorted out and no one was injured in the process. The mares were happy to get back to grass and the babies were just excited to see another part of the world.

My own babies have been pretty happy to take it all in as well. They love going out to the pasture to see the “beebees!” as they call em…

(In case you're wondering – yes, we've been working hard to try and get rid of the binkys… I think this is harder on Mom that it is the kids. But hey – at least this one matches his new yellow boots!)

There is a lot to consider when you become a breeder of horses. As you might be able to tell, I obviously have an emotional attachment to my animals. The mares and foals pull particularly hard on my heart strings. But in today's day and age, we really have to think hard about several considerations before we breed.

Firstly, we have to have a plan for each baby before we even think about pairing mares with stallions. We have to commit to taking care of all their needs for several years – feeding, shelter, deworming, vaccinations, medical and hoof care to name a few. Then those animals need training because today's industry demands animals that are “user-friendly” and have some level of work into them so they can go on to be useful for someone else. We have to market them and we have to be prepared for the fact that they may not show any level of potential until a few years have gone by.

With the Grinch on his forehead this little guy however, is already proving to us that he is a character…

We have chosen to keep our herd small. Each year Clay and I are committed to producing a certain number of foals from mares that we have hand-picked over the years.

But sometimes Mother Nature also has a say – even when you make plans, foals don't always happen as you figure…

For instance, this little guy showed up in our pasture yesterday morning between the morning and noon check:

The mare didn't display any waxing and therefore, had us completely fooled. As several of our mares were pasture bred last year, it has been quite the challenge to keep up with them! We've done pretty well for getting them over to Moore South, I'd have to say, but we were lucky the weather was so beautiful yesterday. Our green pasture served him well for his delivery and arrival into the world.

Mother Nature also sometimes has something to say when it comes to numbers. Even when you have a plan to breed a certain number of mares, occasionally she has a different blueprint in mind. That's the hard reality of being a horse breeder.

In today's world of “overbreeding,” this may actually be a good thing. It's Nature's way of keeping the numbers down.

Clay and I still have one more foal to hit the ground and we are waiting with anticipation for its arrival. As I peruse Facebook and see all the new babies our friends are also welcoming, I'm wishing y'all the best of luck! May your foals be healthy and bright. And may we all have plans for their futures.