Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Foal photos

Vanna is doing better, and we're hoping to salvage her right eye. So many times a day we chase Miss Backbreaker around and medicate her eye, apply more fly spray and pray/cross finger & toes for her recovery. She did well for her trim last Friday as did the rest, practicing leading and tying torture by humans.

I haven't taken any photo of Miss Vanna's eye - I guess I should to explain the stapling of her right eyelid, but it's not pretty. She looks like a pirate with a squint with one eye partially open. A fiesty pirate with a squint I should say!

As for the rest - which I just had a sudden ephiphany about! All the foals are somehow downline from Callita except for April. Frenchie is her son while Calypso is her grand-daughter and Jamaica her great-grand-daughter! Good going Callita!

Frenchie's foals are really nice but going to be pushing the stick or B size I believe at least Surprise and Corona are almost too leggy! Here are Jai Ho and the twins - Surprise and Corona.
Surprise is the mystery colored foal this year. Bay roan dam and black white pinto sire so we get - The Bonus Bucks munchkins are all in the 24-26" range right now. April is a dink, although she eats like a pig and resembles a keg on legs, she's definitely precious.
Zydeco - the seeker of shade - hard to get a good photo of him in the sun.

And last but definitely not least - Count Your Blessings, that doesn't have a farm name that sticks other than Pretty Girl (isn't that awful!). She's going to be very B size like her mom.

Monday, August 31, 2009

August recap

So much for the daily blogging!

I know I could, but to write 'we fed the horses' or 'we trimmed the horses today', seems a bit boring and not worth anyone's time to read!

I've been looking at some different article type posts that I may add as my taxi service (driving a teenager) will keep me on the laptop at Starbucks for a few hours a day. The price of living in the country didn't include Starbucks stops and hours away from home 'waiting'! rofl

August -

It's been hot and dry. The horses have turned the pastures into dirt pretty much as we've had no rain in months. Fortunately alfalfa is under $10 a bale and grass hays hovering around $12..50, so we're saving a few hundred dollars a month on just hay cost alone.

Tomas was out once, we had to cancel twice due to unexpected events, so everyone's getting long toed again. He's coming this Friday, now the choice the boys or the babies? Both are in need and he can't do all of them at one time. /sigh

I know I've been posting to Twitter, but Vanna managed to go for a double eye injury. Her and mom, Jamaica are in the backyard (my recovery room) as Woody, Rohan and Ringo have claimed the other small paddocks. Vanna is doing well after a few days of treatment. The right eye looks like it will heal completely and she has good sight in it. The left...I'm hoping she won't need it to be removed. It's improved, but she really nailed it. We're giving it a few more days to see if it continues to improve.

Her aunt (Jamaica's half sister), Missy was my first eye injury to deal with. We treated her around the clock for 10 days and her eye got worse and she went in for a removal. Missy was only three days old when she lost her eye, so she's always got on well without it. (BTW - Missy lives at Jenn Davis and is due with her first foal this month.)

Sooooo, we're going to continue to monitor the mighty munchkin that is Vanna and hope/pray she doesn't need to lose her eye.

Woody has lost maybe 5 lbs., lol! He looks a bit thinner and he's definitely alot more comfortable walking, and still hating his grass hay diet. (I've cheated and give him a couple handfuls of alfalfat sprinked around his paddock) He'll get trimmed Friday so hopefully Tomas sees lots of improvement in his hooves. He really hates being locked up, as Rohan through the fence is absolutely no companionship.

Token and Flash
Token, one of our super sweet geldings, went off to become a 4-H horse and project for a friends son. I think they'll do super together. While Dee was here, we got to talking about Flash (Vegas Views Jumpin Jack Flash) and Dee remarked how much she liked him. So we struck a great deal and Flash was loaded up with Token for the ride up to Auburn. Both seem to be doing well, and Flash is loving the one on one attention Dee can give him that I couldn't. I sent an email to his breeder, she's pleased he's in a good home with a clause that if he can't be kept there first rights go to her or me! A real win-win for Flash!

Peanut and Thunder Bluff
Just today, Krissy from a blacksmithing school came by with the intent of getting two minis. One as a companion to her hard keeper mare and another for her companion, educational tool at the school. Peanut was an immediate yes - this will be a great home for her. As I've always felt Peant was not of the quality (had the color and size) of a good breeding animal, but hesitated to sell her to someone that would try.

When we went through the boys pasture, Krissy at first was interested in one of the blacks - Raider (blaze, one blue eye) or McLuvin (ultra friendly no white), but while she was checking all the boys - Thunder Bluff (we've changed his name a gazillion times as nothing seems to stick, but it's Little and Libbe's 2008 colt) kept following her, poking his nose in her face - basically giving her the 'what about me' going over!

Finally she did, which made him really want more, so she decided he was the one for her! He loaded well into her trailer - considering it was his first time - and we caught Miss Peanut who gracefully belly flopped her way into the trailer - hey the back of the trailer step up is above her leg height! So off they went to I'm sure a fantastic home.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

July in review

July sped by - hot and hotter days. The horses seem to fair well in the heat, (my assumption as no one is sick and they stand on top of the hill in the blazing sun instead of in the shade or in the shelters!)

A couple of farrier visits, but I still feel like we aren't caught up. I don't know why, the records say everything is okay, and Tomas is scheduled out through the end of September so... hmmm.

Hay prices have been a bit more reasonable and really excellent quality. The last alfalfa at $9.65 and mountain pasture at $13.30. The alfalfa is close to half what it was last winter. I wish I could store more than 100 bales at a time. I'd be snapping this alfalfa up - the horses aren't leaving a piece of it around!

Since we didn't have any vet visits this month, the dog felt the need to rip her leg open, after hours of course! Our vet referred us to an emergency clinic - which turned out to be a total joke. We take Leilah in and after an hour they come in and the vet tells me it will be $799 to $1,100 to stitch her leg up!! I literally started to laugh and told her she couldn't be serious.

She was but seemed very embarrassed. I told her give me my dog, I'll take her to our vet in the a.m.- heck too many horse injuries I was anticipating a $250-400 bill. She did end up cleaning and wrapping her for free as I think she really did feel bad, but she's an employee there not the owner. I really wanted to tell them all how grossly unfair it was to overcharge this way, but only mentioned it to the vet.

So, the next day our vet $300 as anticipated. I'm so glad my animals plan injuries out, but wish they'd get together and ALL decide to be healthy for a year or two!

Other news - my son has moved out again and this is likely to be permanent, so lost my ranch helper. I need to find someone reliable and trustworthy to help out around here as my daughter is entering the busy teen life this fall. So the next two years until she drives, the mom-taxi is going to be more in demand than not.

This segued into some re-evaluation time for our herd. I had already committed to not breeding this year, and next year is doubtful (I'm dying to try Topper out though!), but we need a major reduction in our workload as the next two years I just don't see a lot of horse time!

So, I've slashed the prices on the horses (some very drastic cuts) most of the colts/stallions are in the $650-900 range, and the mares are all over $600 to a $4,500. Hopefully we'll get them into good homes, I'm still going to be picky about that.

Part of paring down, I pulled all my daughter's 'show clothes' and photo'd them all along with the 'how to' videos we never watch. I'm going to post them to our site for sale. I'd love to say I'm going to go through all the horse blankets/halters/stuff and list that too, but it's highly unlikely!!

We finally did manage to meet up with Sherry and trade horses. She now has her black and white pinto stallion (Bonus Bucks) and I have Dipper back after many years of wanting her.
It's so funny as Bonus Bucks (sorry Sherry I've already forgot his new name), has really gone full circle over his nine years of life, living within a few miles of where he was born out on the Northern California Coast.

Dipper is double bred Buckeroo. A Buckwheat daughter and Buckeroo great-grand-daughter with heavy Bond breeding on the bottom. She's back where she lived for her first two years of life, still working her way back into the herd - it's a tough crowd here - so many alpha mares that all want to be queen! Right now Twila, Val and Java have made it there mission to make sure she understands where she fits in the hierarchy and that only the furthest pile of hay is hers ... only if they don't want it.

Oh well, I've watched other mares run the gauntlet here, Savvy did last year, and Sonnet and Remy before her.


Woody one of our first minis (my husband's only horse) has developed joint problems because of his hooves. Apparently he grows way more toe than heel, and his every 8-9 week trim isn't working after 10 years. His front left is the worst, but all four were a bit inflamed.

Tomas (my uber-hero farrier) trimmed him into some ugly looking hooves - really cutting back the toe, so at least Woody seems more comfortable. He grows so much toe - I've always called him the Shetland-hoof horse, but it's finally catching up with him. Doesn't it just figure though the $500 pet mini costs me more to trim than the one's that were many thousands of dollars. /argh

So Woody locked up in the run off the backyard/garage area and he's just not happy about isolation and his new diet - grass hay is not his idea of living. I've been sprinkling a few handfuls of alfalfa around his pen - but he's still thrilled with his accommodations. Rohan (the jumper) is penned next (six foot high ex-dog kennel for the win!) to him and Ringo has an adjacent pen too. Neither are wanting to buddy up with the gelding, so I've been feeding the mares with foals extra grass hay along his fenceline. I know the piglet mares will hangout with him for hay!

Foal heads

I was out feeding this a.m. and actually took the camera. How do they actually know I'm trying to take photos? If I don't have a camera they run and jump and play. Camera they clump up and hide or are two inches from the camera lens.

So, many bad photos later, pulled these few of the foals. Practicing with Picasa's collage feature -

  1. On left - Corona, double dilute colt (Frenchie x Java)
  2. Center - Pretty Girl, blue roan filly (Ringo x Una) <3>
  3. Below PG - Jai Ho, buckskin pinto colt (Frenchie x Val)
  4. Right - Surprise, buckskin maybe roan? (Frenchie x Twila) Surprise has four socks, darker leg, then lighter, then light body, blue eyes and is truly a surprise! She's very shy, not outgoing and bossy like her mom!

Over all very happy with Frenchie's foals and Ringo's fence jumping pretty daughter!

These are the 'tall' foals, the three munchins (April, Vanna and Zydeco) the photos were truly awful. April being the character she is was in visiting Woody today - she is about the size of our Australian Shepard, Sabrina, so finds her way into most anything. Vanna is even smaller, but not always as adventurous!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Manic Monday, but its Friday!

Nothing like waking up at 5:35 a.m. to the sounds of stallions screaming. I assumed it was Flash having a shouting match with either Ringo or Bonus Bucks, as we had just moved him in the runway to prep him for his upcoming departure.

Let the dogs out, I peek out the bedroom window - hmm! An extra horse in with the mares. Nice Rohan, how did you get here?

Wake up Anya to come help and off we go to catch an untried stallion that things he's gone to heaven! All these mares and no competition.

Fortunately (most of the time that is!) my horses see an open gate as an opportunity. We all know the 'herd' mentality too, so get one going through the rest are bound to follow! Well Rohan had selected, Patsy, her sister Holly and their dam Maria as his targets to be herded, so they were a bit slow to get moving. We had everyone else penned up, and finally separated Rohan.

No one looked the worse for wear, the geldings - Ray, Token, Ivan and Dash - did look like he'd been after them but no blood!

So no serious damage, other than needing to file another stallion report. I don't know that anyway was bred, but I always assume!

We grab Rohan and take him back down to the stallion pasture (this is about 1/4 mile away), I'd fed the rest of the boys far from the gate, in hopes we'd be able to get Rohan back inside with little fuss. I'm holding the gate, Anya on her way in loses a shoe, she lets him go hopping on one foot, I'm trying to close the gate, Demon slips past us on a mission.

All we see is a red roan blur in a full out gallop heading towards the house. At least he's on the outside of the fences!

Okay time to catch loose stallion number two. (I know I'm seriously gelding a whole bunch of guys this winter!)

We hop back in the van race to the house - no Demon! We cruise by the mares they're all eating peacefully - where'd he go. I see my husband emerge from the house pointing towards Bonus Bucks pasture. We notice he's half through the fence - oh joy. Heading directly for him like Jaws in the movie is Demon. We jump out of the van race over to stop any pending fight. Demon takes off with Anya in quick pursuit. In the meantime I'm trying to untangle Bonus Bucks from the fence. He's managed to plant both front legs through different parts and stick his head through another opening.

Anya catches Demon and ties him up while my husband and I are trying to stick Bonus Bucks back through the fence. My DH, finally lifts him back though and Bonus Bucks takes off. I feel bad for hubby - he was just at the chiropractor yesterday - lifting a 200 lb horse is not highly recommended I'm sure.

We run Demon back down to the stallion pasture and all is at peace again.

It feels so very much like a Monday. /sigh Hopefully that is all the excitement we're having for the day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's getting hot - summer officially arrivd on Sunday - the heat is arriving now!  We're suppose to have a week of 95-100 weather.  Not my favorite.

The horses all are doing well.  

Jai Ho's eye recovered well.  He's likely going to have a small star, blind spot, but otherwise he's fine!  While he was in recovery here, Vanna and April took turns visiting him as those two are small enough to fit through any crack/crevice/hole in our fencing!  They're also the reason the babies this year are not getting their wading pool - I'm afraid they'd drown!

Looks like I may be getting a favorite mare back in exchange for one of our stallions.  A real win-win, as I'm getting a mare I've missed for a few years and the stallion is going somewher he'll be spoiled and have his own ladies.  The downside from him - he may end up a gelding as his new family has always wanted a gelding just like him - hey no stallion is to good to geld, right?

That will be another road trip in a few weeks to exchange horses.

Tomas was out on Friday.  We had 15 more mares trimmed/de-wormed.  I'm always thrilled when the whole herd is caught up.  I just cringe at long hooves.  They all need a good grooming though - we're getting some ugly looking manes out there.  Our schedule the next few weeks is a bit rugged with different events, so who knows what we'll accomplish.

Silhouette, my gaga horse, was as usual the first to get her hooves done.  She actually was standing in front of Tomas giving him the 'me first' look, so he trimmed her without a halter on - she's a true lover of any attention.  Being overindulgent with her - guess who's been in the backyard since munching on lawn, roses, peach tree leaves and her hay.  Sis is one of the few horses I've had that truly seems content away from other horses.

Sales inquiries have been a bit slow, but reading some of the sale ads online - $100-500 for registered horses in the Mid-West and it's no wonder.  Between the economy and the hay prices - our luxury items just aren't selling.  I just hope the hay prices do not escalate back up to the $17+ range like last year.   It' dry now but there is still some crispy grass out on the hill.  No one looks skinny that's for sure!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Road trip

We (daughter and I) did a road trip to Bakersfield to deliver Missy and son to their new home. Missy aka Las Doradas Miss American Pie is an overo bred mare that I've really enjoyed having here for the past couple years. Her former owner, Penny Radulivich, did a great job working with her and Missy is easy to handle.  She's a superb broodmare (easy foaling, lots of milk, etc.), with the added bonus - I love her pedigree as she's an American Eagle daughter! One of the few left in the USA. She'll be missed here, but went somewhere she'll be appreciated.

The weather has been nice so it wasn't nearly as hot as we'd expected, but I still had the AC blowing in the van keeping us cool - so I thought! We arrived to Missy very sweaty, but otherwise okay, and her colt apparently no worse for wear from the five hour drive. He's been a very robust, self assured little guy with such a beautiful springy trot, almost wish we hadn't sold him - lol!

We visited a bit with Brooke and her horses then back on the road for the return trip. It's a fairly quick 1.5 hours to Coalinga and the the required stop at Harris Ranch for filet mignon! Harris Ranch makes definitely on the top 5 steak places I've been anywhere in the world, so we always stop either going/coming from Southern California.
Happy and very full we made it home in less than 12 hours with stops.

I love delivering in the van versus pulling a trailer. Not necessarily the odor (I'm sure we're a joy out in public - lol), but being able to drive at freeway speed, we can see/hear the horses and it's much easier to park, get gas, etc. Just love it over the truck/trailer! I need to do is take photos of the modifications to the van. I can't take credit for any of them, but I'm thrilled with what was done!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It's been about two weeks since I last wrote anything - I've been reading blogs on how to blog - scary some of the suggestions! Others make you realize you're very boring, so why bother - lol!

Oh well, soldier on!

It's hot, the grass is shriveling up, the horses are almost completely shed out (belly hair is almost gone), so they're looking sleek and shiny. Everyone's a bit chunky, except for Flash - he's proving to be the hardest to keep weight on, but no one is skinny here!!!

I finally ventured on the forums again (SHG) today. It's the first time I've been on any online horse related forum since last Fall. I definitely needed the break. Getting to cynical about some of the people in the Mini industry!

Other things -

We've had the farrier out again and he's coming again on June 5th. Hopefully we'll be caught up, as the foals need to be done.

Our fly predators are out, not seeing a drastic reduction in flies yet, but putting them out monthly should help. I want to get the fly traps up too.

We have baby pools that need to be filled for the horses to. The boys have been making their own mud wallow, as they pull the water lose from their bucket every day or so, but the mares do enjoy the afternoon squirting and rolling. If they'd only not break sprinklers - lol!!!

Another mare loss -
Sad news, we lost one of our mares, Wesco Farms Ravishing Ruby, was found dead in the a.m. when we went out to feed. She was (we thought) a healthy three year old, as she hasn't been ill, no sign of struggle/colic/nothing, in good flesh, eating the day before fine, so ?? We're at a loss as to why she died, but I don't necropsy as 9/10 they'll tell me it's inconclusive and I still have a dead horse. We just hope she didn't suffer and is in a better place now.

It is a bit weird though, usually we lose a foal to some foaling issue, dystocia, etc., but this year all were born easily and have been very robust/healthy, so odd to lose a mare.

Speaking of foaling -
We're done - yeah! Two more colts to finish out with five fillies, four colts for 2009. I'm pleased with what the stallions sired and these foals will have to fill our cute baby mode as I don't plan to breed until 2010 or 2011.

I seriously need to reduce our herd number, so can't see continuing to breed until that is accomplished. As picky as I am about selling, it will likely take two years to get the numbers down - lol! It would be nice to be able to just sell to anyone that shows up with $$, but I'm not that way. There's no guarantees on a good home, but if I get a bad vibe from a potential buyer, or the questions aren't answered, etc., it's a no go! So, it will be a slow process!

Enough of that!

The foals are doing great, I wish I had pasture cam's so I could watch them play. April, Zydeco and Vanna look like three stuffed animals cavorting about. Very cute, little shorties!

April and Zydeco

Almost forgot the new foals!!!

These two will be in the grey zone of 'who's your Daddy' as they fall in the time when Ringo jumped the fence. We DNA/PQ all foals as a matter of course anyway. It will be interesting to see who Daddy will be though!

I'm guessing Ringo on this one out of Miss (Las Doradas Miss America Pie). Her and her son are already sold and will be going to their new home Saturday, so we do not have a name for him yet. Wesco Farms fillin the blank! Handsome colt though.

This guy, based on color, I'm assuming will be a Frenchie foal. It will be interesting to see the results! Dam is Valentina (Wesco Farms Brazen Beauty Toy4Me). As Val is a bay pinto and Frenchie is a dilute/silver (we think), it's more likely he's the sire than the blue roan Ringo! As I was listening to the soundtrack of Slumdog Millionaire when thinking up names - he's got the great one of Jai Ho! That's the song they're playing at the end which loosely translates to Hallelujah (how I feel with foaling season over!), so Wesco Farms Jai Ho it is!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday prep work

Moved the boys down from their pasture to the two adjacent to the house - tomorrow is trim/deworm/clean up day!  It's suppose to be in the high 90s to 100 so we'll see how motivated we are in the clean up department! 

I'm hoping to at least put bridle paths and clean up heads a bit as we need new photos for registration and the sales page.  

The yearling boys are a wild bunch, fortunately they travel in a pack so get one moving they'll all go!  McLuvin is still very friendly and always looking at them like 'What's your problem?'  Rohan has adopted the boys as his herd and he moves them around like a stallion with mares.  Herd dynamics are so interesting to watch ... the Jan Goudall in me!

Ringo could see them on the other side of the house, so his knickers are in a knot!  He actually is very social and enjoys being with the boys, but Mr. Fence Jumper, it borders on pointless to put him out with them at all.

Missy and Val still have not foaled - probably waiting for the extreme heat wave we're having this weekend.  We're getting fans set up tomorrow just in case and the swimming pools will be out by Saturday too.

The foals are all doing well.  I'm very please with the overall look quality that Bonus Bucks, Frenchie and Ringo have sired - wish Frenchie and Ringo's were a few inches shorter, but they're foals are nice!

We only had one bit of diarrhea with Surprise at foal heat.  We'll see if Una's filly has it (she didn't get Foal Response or mom dewormed the first 12 hours).  I'm doing an non-scientific test if Foal Response and deworming with Ivermectin on the mares helps prevent foal heat or not.  Twila/Surprise was the one foal we found dried and although we gave them the combo, we're not sure how old she was, so . . .

I really need to carve out time to get caught up on paperwork, it keeps falling further behind.  Nine years I was always on time or early, year ten I've fallen apart in that department!  Oh well, nothing that's not fixable - just extra fees to get it all in order!  I have a three week break from being a taxi coming up, so hopefully will get caught up on the outstanding backlog of papers!

I'm going to be very glad when the boys are all done tomorrow, right now I'm dreading it though - lol!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

New foal!!

Another filly - yeah!  And a total surprise one at that - 

Wesco Farms Count Your Blessings BR
This is Ringo's first foal (Wesco Farms BuckeRowdyroo:  Little Kings Bagheera Buckeroo x NFC Rowdys Lil Chiclet), and he apparently made good on my promise last year that I would breed him to two mares with his fence jumping twice last summer to get in with these mares.  

Una (Wesco Farms Bella Luna: Las Doradas American Eagle x Las Doradas Etoile de Mar) and he have always had a moon over the fence thing going on, so not surprised she was the one he covered!  Hopefully the only one!   She apparently didn't listen when I told her she could be done foaling last year with her son Shaman.

I have two more mares that we're watching that will now go on the 'who's your Daddy testing' list. The other nine mares were not bred back last year, but will be suspect and thoroughly checked and watched for the next two weeks.   Well Ringo's June 19 & 23 fence visits from last year extend my foaling season.   
As for Miss Una, she apparently hid being pregnant very well (versus Cajun who now looks 'un-pregnant' again) and did a fine job foaling out too!  

Mother's Day a.m., Frank ran an errand and came home said all the horses were up on the hill - should have been a sign go see what theyr'e doing as they only congregate on top with a birth or some other exciting event.  As a Mother's Day present my daughter fed the horses for me, so apparently either missed the little stranger or Una didn't come down with the rest of the herd and someone miscounted!  

I was totally spoiled for Mother's Day (slept in, no chores, breakast made by my hubby, my son washed my car in/out, flowers, chocolates and letters from the kids - great day!), there was no indication the horses were doing anything out of the ordinary.  We rarely see them during the day at this time of year as once they go back out they only come down in the evening for water, so didn't suspect a thing!
So today when I'm out feeding I notice Una, Annie and this little black stranger.  Annie came down to eat and Una made her way down once the rest were busy with their piles.  So we caught her (thinking she'd just had it), but this was a very robust I'm-not-just-born foal!  We locked them up and she's been doing laps racing around, very independent little girl!  All legs (a definite B mini) the Shetland blood is showing in this cross - lol!  Otherwise a nice looking foal.  Doesn't have the big bug eyes I like, but otherwise well put together.
What bothers me - I've been sleepless for weeks watching the wrong horses - lol!!  I've been watching Missy (Una's half-sister) for a week sure she's having it, but no!! 

There is comedy in this somewhere, right?  


Monday, May 04, 2009

Just another Monday

Started off this morning by finding Ringo - my raptor ala Jurrasic Park fence tester - had in his vigerous fence testing way found another spot in the fence and was out cavorting with the mares.  This time he had a pack of followers, with Deva kicking everyone away from him.  Not much good it did as he zeroed in on LeeLee and even my yelling and Deva's kicking was going to stop him from doing the deed! 

We don't know how long he was out, or if he had a busy morning or not, but there goes my plans for no foaling season next year and a new stallion report is in order!

Well at least it should be a nice cross if it took as Ringo is our Buckeroo grandson (also a Rowdy grandson) and LeeLee is a daughter of World Champion Senior Stallion Little Kings Bay Ablaze on top and heavy Johnstons/Gold Melody Boy on the bottom.  I just looked at Ringo's webpage and had to cringe - awful photos of him! Oh well that's not surprising seeing how poorly I man a camera!

I guess Ringo's repeated in/over/under fence testing along with yesterday Ivan getting into the stallion pasture - missed his friends now that he's a gelding? LOL!  Being chased across 20 acres of hills changed his mind on that!  Anyway, this seems to be a clear indication we need to redo all our fences!  

Well if the economy stays on track (ie horses keep selling/DH stays employed) we'll be getting Lindeman back out to refabric the perimeter in a couple spots and do something about the deplorable interior fences that are in major need.

Ugh, I dread that bill!  

Other fun - worked on our website today adding pedigree info to the foals pages, and photos.  I really need to delete alot of the information on there or combine it so it's not so unwieldy.  It's out of date in some sections, and just a plain mess in others - but nine years of it growing and adding, it was bound to happen!   So, I'm plugging away at it, between everything else that needs attendance.  It will likely take awhile as I could do it on the laptop while doing all the waiting I do (a teenage daughter that doesn't drive yet!), so maybe it will get done sooner than I think!

Mares & Foals
The mares & foals are doing well.  If it doesn't rain tomorrow I'm going to try and get some new photos of the foals.  I'm very happy with what Bonus Bucks and Frenchie sired and the mares are all doing excellent jobs in the mother department.  We've only had one foal heat diarrhea with Surprise (oh so lovely on a light colored horse).  She was the one that received Foal Response the latest, instead of right after foaling (well when they're ready to stand that is!).  So far we've been pleased with this product.  It may be actually doing nothing, but we've had very robust healthy foals with a minimum of foal diarrhea since we started using it.

Note to self - order hay!  I generally write this down and forget until we're down to the last four-five bales.  We're truly luck Higby's is sooooo good at getting hay to us in a timely manner.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Regular stuff

Had the farrier out, the gentleman with the backhoe and on the phone with two potential buyers so fairly normal day!

Lady was laid to rest next to Shakira and Tangerine (my only adult minis we've lost so far) in their valley.  It far from our house/well (anything actually), but somewhere we go by daily.  

Farrier visit
My farrier (Tomas Hererra - if you're in the Sacramento are he's awesome) was out.  As we'd had Lady pass, the three foals, Ringo needing more running room - the boys we intended to trim turned into trimming mares instead.  I had bribed my son to help (money speaks to starving college students), so all I had to do was help catch and deworm - yea 3 hours of sleep I'm cool with not standing around holding horses for the farrier!  Especially as I had my son working and Tomas was feeling good he did 17 minis versus our usually 12-14.  We're a bit behind with weather and health issues this year, so some were getting awful looking.  

I decide too, that as my son was here, its a good time to do Cajun - catching her requires a catch pen and two people as I've seen her knock a full grown mini mare off her feet trying to get away - she's a nightmare trim - I would post photos of how we tie her (for her safety and ours) but PETA would like be picketing me - she's that bad!  You have to cross tie Cajun and tie up one foot to get near her back legs, even then she'll try to sit like a mule if she can or lean on you - it's oh so NOT fun!

Fortunately Tomas deals well with her and isn't resentful about having to trim her.  He does alot of petting and talking to her, while she does alot of glaring back and sending out hate body language messages!  Tomas is very good with the minis, never abusive which I've seen in the past (part of her problem the guy that trimmed her as a foal I found out!)  We've tried bribing her with carrots, treats, etc., I've even had Bonnie Fogg read this mare and its just her personality.  She doesn't care for humans and lets you know it!

After she was trimmed, I said goodbye to Tomas and told him I'd see him in two weeks and went to feed the rest of the herd.

I think we may have a great home for Peanut - yeah.  I wonderful family that does not want to breed is considering her and we're thinking it might be a good fit.  Peanut is one of those mares that just doesn't do it for me on the conformation scale and I don't want her ending up in a breeding program just because she's small and buckskin, so this seems like it might be an ideal situation.

I think it's naptime again.  Three more weeks . . .

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Three-fer night

In the last post I mentioned we had lost our senior mare, Stouts Ladybird.  

Later than evening, I'm out telling the pregnant mares about Lady passing, and mention (yes I talk to my horses!) that the next one to have a filly will have our new 'Lady' in remembrance.
I guess that got them all in the mood as we had three foals born that night! 
She's looked ready for two to three weeks, but apparently the moon and planets were aligned correctly for her, so when I went to check the mares about 1:30 a.m., I see a silver-something foal running laps around Java in her side of the shelter.  I thought Twila's daughter, Surprise had got in somehow and was half curious as to why Twila wasn't having a total wingding, but when I got to the shelter its a newly born, soaking wet colt.  This one is all stallion from his first minutes of life - he's pawing the ground, lifting his upper lip (flemen), very loudly announcing he's here and acting like he was a few days old not freshly minted!
Now is the fun with Miss Java.  She thinks I'm evil as either I'm going to steal her baby or stick something in her or in her mouth that is not pleasant.  Mind you I've owned this mare since she was four months old (she's nine now), BUT she is Jazz Jubilee's little pistol daughter (Jazz is half sister to Cajun my mare with her own broomstick!), Java definitely takes beyatch lessons from Auntie Cajun!  I finally get him caught and treated; dried off and blanketed; then back with very angry Java!
Picking up all my paraphernalia, I head towards the house, half way there I look back to see Chiclet release a huge pile of manure - oh no - that was a clean the bowels out poop!  She circles twice and down she goes.  
I ran and grabbed more supplies and clean towels/blanket returning just in time for her foal to be born - sac has broken half the foal out, so I lift her up onto a clean towel, drying what's emerging.  Chiclet is up immediately (very clean deliver - I love old stretchy mares!), breaks the cord, so I treat that, check equipment - filly yea! 
Chiclet won the Lady contest. 
Her daughter is another lively one, solid black with a huge forehead covering blotch of white.  I barely have her dried and blanketed and she's talking and wanting to get up! Very insistent our new little Lady she  was up and standing within 10 minutes.  Clean up everything and waiting for Chiclet to pass the placenta when Jamaica laid down and said me me - my turn!!!! 
You must be @#%% kidding!  
 I checked her, yep a nose and one foot facing the wrong direction a bit of an angle and up not down, the leg almost up to its knee is out.  An oh crap moment! 
I start yelling for the kids  (at 3:15 in the a.m. - so glad we have so few neighbors!).  While I'm waiting on them, I get her haltered and up and try to check - being less than 28" and a maiden there isn't hardly room for a finger, so I tell Maxim get the van ready, hand Anya the lead to walk her out to the van and go in to call UC Davis. 
We drag miserable Jamaica to the van, keeping her up - still no progress on the foal.  We load her unhappily in, leaving her loose. 
Anya and I leave, with Jamaica stomping around the back of the van, terribly unthrilled with this new experience.  Fortunately, we're only 15-20 minutes to UCD, we're almost there when I hear distinct foal sounds.  Anya says no that's Jamaica in pain, that's why it sounds different.  I hear it again and said that's a baby!  Of course no street lights on the country roads, and being well equipped no flashlight on us, so we keep driving to UCD.  Anya goes to let them know we're there, I check to see Jamaica standing with her new daughter sprawled underneath her screaming like a banshee - definitely very much alive. 
Jamaica had delivered her and the placenta (still attached), so we figure we're at UCD and they had awoke the emergency surgery team (the vet and I had thought this was a c-section for sure), so one vet grabs the foal.  We attached the ramp, lead Jamaica down and into the emergency room.  They check both and everything seems in order, considering the presentation I had, Jamaica was tear/bruise free which I thought was surprising.   I'd really like to know if she had Vanna with a leg back or her rolling and farting in the van just gave her some extra room!  
Jamaica all of a sudden realizes that the little stranger trying to stand unsteadily is hers, and starts calling her.  I'm so thrilled as often I've seen the maidens want to exam the new invader but don't seem to have that instant bond.  She takes to the I'm a mom immediately - yeah!
UCD was fairly gracious, one vet was trying to lecture me that as this was a dystocia I was likely to face a dummy foal and I should leave her there for 48 hours as a precaution.  I wanted to say it wasn't much of a dystocia if she had it on her own in the van!  She proceeds to tell me it was abnormal for the placenta to be delivered so quickly after the foal was born (or at the same time).  I calmly told her in the 150+ minis I've delivered, I've found it to be relatively common.  She then stated that minis are at a much higher risk for retained placenta.   I repeated to her again 150+ .... only one retained placenta.   I really wanted to say let the ink dry on your diploma, deliver a few hundred mini's then call me, okay!  I didn't though - but it was tempting!!   I'd love to know who writes their educational books.  Most of the vets are fantastic at UCD, but every new class there is always one . . .
We've been very delayed on the whole naming foals this year as nothing seems to be coming to me (a rarity!), except for Jamaica's foal.  As she was born in our white van we're toying with the name Vanna White! (hey it sounded really funny at 5 a.m. on the drive home!) Vanna has stuck for her ranch name at least, but I'll likely 'pretty up the Vanna White part - LOL!
So all three mothers/foals are doing well today. Missy is on deck with Val and Cajun not far behind.  May 17th is my ending date - so only a couple more weeks, then I'm off foaling duty until 2011 or 2012!  It will be weird after 10 years of this to not be foaling out mares next year, but I think I just might enjoy the sleep!

Wesco Farms - name to be determined 
with parents named Frangelico Flashback and Java Jive . . . poor guy 
you know it will be different!
(Wesco Farms Frangelico Flashback x Las Doradas Orions Miss Java Jive)

Wesco Farms Remembering Lady BB
(Las Doradas Bonus Bucks x NFCS Rowdys Lil Chiclet)

Wesco Farms Miss Vanna White BB
(Las Doradas Bonus Bucks x Wesco Farms Jamaica Me Crazy)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Passing of a Lady

06/12/83-04/29/09 R.I.P.

 Stouts Ladybird left us today for greener pastures over the Rainbow Bridge.  Lady as we've known her for the past nine years was a wonderful Miniature broodmare.  She embodied all the great qualities anyone would want in a Miniature horse - fabulous disposition, intelligence, easy keeper, robust healthy, excellet broodmare all this wrapped up in a gorgeous true golden palomino package.

A daughter of Montanas Misty Moon out of Fishers Lady Sorrel, Lady contributed her genetics over the course of her breeding career, producing sixteen foals.  Her last foal -  daughter, Wesco Farms Ladys Swan Song - we still have and she's on the short list for never going anywhere!

I had originally purchase Lady and then another daughter of hers (Sunshine) as a replacement for Lady as I loved what this mare produced and how she produced them.  Unfortunately, we found out Sunshine prior to coming to us had suffered froma severe dystocia and was infertile (she now has a job as a driving mare!).  Lady had three colts while here, and we made a pact/promise that her last foal if it was a filly she could keep with her forever.

Lady apparently agreed to that, producing her Swan Song (sired by Samis Roger Rabbit), a lovely perlino filly.  Her and Swan were constant companions for well over two years, in fact she nursed Swan until she was 18 months old! 

The majority of her foals are attributed to other breeders, so I don’t know their whole history, but many have been in  well known breeding programs across the country.  I do know our Swan’s full sibling, Artie (Wesco Farms Artful Roger) is in Japan, and another son, Bullet, received a Top Ten driving at the Nationals.

Over the past few months it has been noticeable that Lady really was, for want of better words, tired and slowing down.  We have another 26 year old (Pences Tina) that still cycles and flirts with stallions, while Lady has been sleeping and laying down more than she normally ever had.  I felt we were counting her months or weeks if not days, so we were hoping for a peaceful end to her time here or an obvious sign she was ready to go. 

Up until today she’s maintained good weight, and been bright and alert – just noticeably slower.  Over the weekend I told my husband I think she’s near the end.  We’d find her away from her pasture-mates (of the last 20+ years), sleeping or laying down, just dozing at odd times.  This morning she seemed a bit disoriented but went to eat with the rest of her buddies.  

When we came home a few hours later she was down were we’d last seen her eating.  We raced out to her, only to find the essence that was Lady already gone.  She was still breathing, but she wasn’t responsive and didn’t seem to know or care we were there.  We called UC Davis and they had a team out within a half hour.  We said our good-byes to one of the matriarchs of our breeding program this afternoon with heavy hearts, yet knowing she’s going to a better place.

Here are a few of her foals that we've known - 

Wesco Farms Rogers Lady Swan Song

Wesco Farms Artful Roger (Artie) 
and Las Doradas Shoshonee Sunshine (behind to the left)

Wesco Farms Simply Impressive

Las Doradas Rockin Robin

Saturday, April 25, 2009

You know you live in the country . . .

- when you move your stove and find where the mouse has been hiding and can clean it up with out screaming

- when you have multiple rolls of duct tape placed strategically around your property with packing knives and baling twine for emergency repairs

- when your loving cat brings half of a snake and you wonder where the other half is again without screaming

- when you have different sets of work clothes depending on how dirty and gross the job is

- when a relaxing day is when all the living things are accounted for and healthy

- when only other country people can appreciate that farm equipment, tools, etc., really does multiple at night - except if you truly need it then its missing

- when de-ticking the dog is a regular spring time event

-when you order fly parasites and actually know what they do

- when someone else feeds for you, so you get to sleep in, is considered a truly loving act and feels luxurious

- when you stop noticing the aroma of your (horses/dogs/cows/pigs), that city people pick up on right away

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Technology.  In many ways it doesn't affect most of what we do with our horses - they don't care if we blog, tweet, add a photo to a wall, use facebook, myspace, a forum, email, or cell phones.  They want food, water, buddies and to be safe above all things.  I'm sure at times my horses look at me more as maid service and a complete annoyance (when the farriers truck is driving up or I'm approaching with a syringe!).  So they don't give a flying fig about all the new changes that make our life more interesting.  I won't say easier as the learning curve and keeping up is a bit of a challenge for aging America!

But these tools that are purely for our own convenience are wonderful ways to market your horses and share the passion and love for your breed(s) of choice.  I'm all about making American Miniature Horse #1 breed of choice and would love to have people call them Minis versus minis as in they are Miniature Horses (a breed) versus miniature horses (a height).  I won't go off here on that tangent as that is a long rant!

I will share though, there is another side of me that loves all things techie (yes I'm a multi PC, laptop carrying, Iphone loving geek) and I've used the most current innovations for marketing (former realtor with one of the first websites in the area back when people were still cold calling!).  So as soon as my 'pet' purchase turned into a business - Wesco Farms was on the web and has been with its current address since I think 2000.  

(Another post in the making - bloated/out of date websites - ours is in dismal shape.  I've been learning html and css sheets when I can, but life has been busy and things keep stalling out.  So
our hard to get around site sits.  I've stored way tooooooo much information on our site over the past nine years and I'm going to start deleting all the extas that I don't use.)

I will admit though, I get a kick whenever I meet someone and tell them my name - they're polite but the blank look of non-recognition is there.  Then someone invariable tells them the ranch name and I get the "Oh I know you!"  I always inwardly smile as, not to be mean but no they don't know ME, they know Wesco Farms website, not me personally.  I was segueing into that . . . as  I'm tackling - after much resistance - the new frontier: Facebook , Twitter and a few other of the social ways to connect online.  

Another admission - I have a hard time believing anyone cares or wants to read some of the things I might write  -does someone really want to hear about my yummy protein shake for breakfast? or that what I'm reading?  My friends or family maybe, but strangers?

So, I'm stretching my need for privacy muscles and putting bits and pieces out there.

What I've enjoyed so far is Twitter.  I've been surprised how much and also surprised at the lack of Mini people on.  I know that will change over time, but I've been avoiding it for a good year or so, so thought there would be an established group by now.

Another one that I've been randomly using and have asked Chad the site owner to add a Twitter account to is CattleGrower.com this is aimed at all things rural (which most of us are) so you might want to give it a looksee. 

So, what's your favorite?  I'd love to hear from some people - Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, other?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Foal #3 for 2009 and a bit of a ramble

It's been a busy week so far and HOT - unseasonably hot in the 90's in April!!  The AC has been on, breaking my rule of never before May, but sweltering in the house was not an option.

The horses are doing well, I can't believe Java and Missy have not foaled - they're orca size, but I know horses can get bigger, its just halfway through foaling season and in zombie mode - I want to sleep!!!   

Anyway, on to #3 foal.   Calypso's foaling was textbook and unconventional at the same time.  I've been watching her since mid-March, and seriously since April 1st.  She's had a few foal losses, although non that I can attribute to her, more ID10T errors, but that is another long story!  With this one, she's been keeping her legs crossed and refusing to foal.  Apparently Sarah and Chiclet were not the buddies she wanted around her at foaling!

I had been out around 12:45 a.m. giving the preggies some alfalfa so I could check all of them. I decided for some reason to open the gate allowing the two groups back together - it gives them more space and bottom line I'm a bit unconventional with my mares - they're all use to being together and isolation is torture for them - at least they think so.  Besides Miss April has been getting in with them she's way to curious!

So, I opened the gate and was checking everyone - Calypso waddles through and starts neighing - her daughter Jamaica answers and comes running.   They look like two bookends, as wide as they are tall!

**Short digression
Jamaica is Wesco Farms Jamaica Me Crazy - sire is Little Kings Echo Diablo -and she's a maiden that we're crossing our fingers will be issue free her first foaling.  I will have five generations of this line, so that will be exciting in itself!  Jamaica's the smallest bred mare other than her dam and we waited until she was a full five years old to breed her.   When we thought the kids would show Jamaica was my daughter's favorite - this is their first show and our first clipping attempt - pretty pathetic I know! **

Back to the birth.  

Calypso is walking in a very determined fashion to the area where the pregnant mares are fed - this is about 400 feet past the gate, thru two other gates/smaller paddocks.  

I'm watching the mares (by flashlight) making sure no one is bothering Sarah and April.  She seems thrilled to be back with her buddies and they're all acting fine.  

Calypso reached her destination the dry dirt area by the water trough (glad she missed the overflow muddy area).   All of a sudden she lays down, rolls, stands rolls again and goes down - stiff legged.  I run over and her water broke.  

I'm thinking it figures you stinker!!  Here in the dirt with all the others around and now you want to foal!  I forcibly make her get up as the sac and a hoof are emerging!  I drag her by her mane into the runway next to the house.  No easy task, as this is half the way back we just came, but I'm pulling her with one had, flashlight in the other, screaming like a banshee for help - cell phone is in the house of course!  

 I get Calypso into the run, and she goes down again.  I look fortunately its two hooves and a nose coming out - the sac is still intact so I leave that and just keep traction.  My daughter comes running with the foaling kit as I bark orders to my fantastic assistant (thank you Anya), and she retrieves a few other things for me.

I'm keeping traction on the foal, but allowing Calypso to do the pushing.  Out comes foal and as soon as his (it's a he!) hips were cleared, I broke the sac and began cleaning off his head, and massaging him awake.  We're happy  - healthy, black and white pinto, cute and all the right parts in the right places!

Calypso apparently un-thrilled with this process, jumps up, breaking the cord and walks away!  Most of my mares are way to curious about their babies and would be all over them, but no she takes off walking around.  

So we dry the foal off (he's on a clean sheet), towel him fairly vigorously, do all the foal checks as normal.  By then she's passed the placenta - this is all in about 15 minutes from her water breaking.  I have my daughter halter her so we can introduce her to her son.  She's not interested at first, but we proceed with Calypso's post foaling work and start to milk off some colostrum for the foal.  He's laying there and finally she goes 'Oh! Is that mine?'  Now we have determined mom wanting to see her baby!

He's more active although unable to stand on his own yet, so we hold him up to give him some Foal Response and a bit of colostrum.  Then put him back on his towel and leave them alone for a few minutes.  My son came home - the uber-milker - and he milks out twice the amount of milk/colostrum that my daughter and I could get - so I gave some more to Zydeco and froze a bit of it.  We use Udderly EZ (no I don't get paid, but I do rave about this product!!) as it makes milking a mare soooo much easier!

We ended up milking Calypso on and off for about 24 hours as she has fairly flaccid nipples that aren't quite inverted, but are hard for foals to latch on to at first.  Zydeco was wearing so much milk on his face I wasn't sure he was actually getting any!  But everything is going fine now.  She's been doing great with this baby and if the rest of the foaling season goes like this we'll be very happy!

Introduction - Here is - 
Wesco Farms Zydeco
(Las Doradas Bonus Bucks x Las Doradas Calypso Queen)
His name is in keeping with the whole Cajun/Creole flavor that began with his grand-dam Mardi Gras!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Welcome #2

Welcome foal #2 - Wesco Farms While U Were Sleeping.  I've toyed with the names -  Caught Off Guard and While U Were Napping,  Ha Ha Fooled U - as Twila pulled a fast one.  

All our energy has been focused on Calypso, Chiclet and Java so she went off in the corner, quietly had her daughter (yea a filly!) and was very nonchalant about the whole thing!

As for specs on this filly - color is anyone's guess!  Dam is bay roan, sire is listed as palomino but I think he's silver and he carries overo.  So, we'll have to see what she changes into!

She does have blue eyes, white legs, facial white and legs that are looking B size likely or very tall A.  Twila is being a fantastic mother, so we're happy for her.  

Other news 

- We're officially on the last month of foaling, as everyone is due today, with last foaling dates (unless someone goes over) of May 17th.  So, we're praying for healthy and alive foals, healthy mares with an extra pretty please on the fillies with color!!

- Sassie found her sister Peanut's hole into the pregnant mares pasture and is now in there.  Deva has overly curious daughters (heck our whole herd is!) that see a 3" opening and must go!! So both those stinkers need to be booted out.  Peanut eats so much she's almost as round as she is tall.  
- Its really hot today for April.  Someone said it should be in the 90's so ugh!  Too hot for that!

-  Good news from Kris Murphee - Zorro x Bonnie produced a black colt -unexpectedly from a pinto x buckskin, but there is that chance.  Fortunately healthy and alive - those are always my goals.

- Bad news from Jen & Susan Davis - Chocho hiplocked in a bad delivery and her black colt died.  They did like the foal well enough, so Cho is coming back in a few weeks to bred back to Bonus Bucks.  Poor ChoCho mooned after him and followed him around like a puppy so I'm sure she won't mind!  That was their second black colt this year.  Seems like Northern CA is having the year of black colts!

- My most senior mare Stouts Ladybird, I'm not sure if she's reaching her end of days, but she seems to really be slowing down.  She's 26 and just seems more tired everyday.  She eats, is in good flesh, etc., but lays down more to sleep and just seems  . . tired.  Tina is also 26 and is very robust, still cycling and acts 10 years younger than her age.  So, I'm not sure if I'm worrying unnecessarily, she's not acting off or sick, she just seems tired.  That's the only way to put it.  I was going to let them out on the hills, but may hold off.

- I need to get on to ordering fly predators.  They really help and with the heat we're having now the flies will start popping out.

Thats about it - off to go check the new foal!

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's a beautiful day . . .

Warm, sunny, a few whispy clouds and no wind.  

No wind is a big plus here at certain times of the year - when we first
 moved here not recognizing the unique weather pattern we had I watched a metal shed (9x12ish size) roll over a fence, take out a pipe from our well - can we say fire hydrant water shooting 35+ feet, continue rolling, jump another fence and land on another building!  We've learned to secure things since then!

So to feed the horses without eating hay or wearing it is a wonderful and exciting.  My feeding outfit is ugly to the extreme - low ride muckboots, old pants, 2 knit shirts (mock high necks), a long sleeve sweater, floppy hat, sunglasses and gloves - I wear this gawd-awful outfit as it keeps the majority of the hay from contacting  me - and I wear it year-round rain or shine!  You see, I have a bit of a contact allergy to grass hay and alfalfa, plus I hate having my hair full of hay, plus I hate having my hands look to much like they belong to a ditch digger (a slight vanity I know!), plus I'm part vampire and hate being in the sun - so I dress in my peculiar yet practical way, not for pretty!

I took the camera out and took many horrid photos of the horses - why can they looks so breath-takingly awesome yet I can capture the exact moment they open their mouth, turn their head or do something else not cute . . . bleah!

NFC Rowdys Lil Chiclet (our Rowdy daughter)


Las Doradas Orions Miss Java Jive
She's looking very rotund (from the side - dropped/bagged) and I'm going to laugh if she beats Chiclet and Calypso.


Retired mare Tanglewood Farms Maria (yes missing an eye), 
with her two daughters
 Wesco Farms So Chic (Holly) in the middle, and 
Wesco Farms Demons Checkered Past (Patsy) with the lovely gaping mouth.

Four photos to get this - and this is the best so just imagine the rest.


Las Doradas Cajun Courtesan - 
the sneaky mare has been hiding she's pregnant!!!


Sarah (Cajun's half sister) with daughter, Miss April at 17 days old

I have a few of the boys but they still need to be edited and reduced in size - my camera takes them sized about 24x30 something, but the quality is good.  Now to just get a good photographer behind he lens!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ten "Must Haves" in Your Foaling Kit

Foaling Kits are important to have prepped and ready.  You can't cover everything, but most normal and many problem deliveries can be handled if you're prepared.

I'm sure everyone has their own personal set up and favorite 'must have' items.  We've tried different containers, stuff over the year and for the past few have used two plastic tubs - clear with lids - one the most used items, the other the dry items - blankets, rags, towel.  There are more things we keep on hand for foaling and horse emergencies - but for the normal and/or mild dystocias below is what is in our kits.  Between January-February we inventory, clean, throw out or reorder as needed.

I have a dystocia chart that I review annually (also the books Blessed Are the Broodmares and Blessed Are the Foals).  I've delivered over 150 foals, but a review always helps.  The first few years I had a written checklist in a plastic sleeve in our box to go over to make sure I didn't forget anything - it really helped keep me on track those first few foalings.

Other very important prefoaling must do - make sure your trailer is ready to go should you have to transport.  If you work with a specific vet let them know your mare is close too.  If you can, have your trailer hooked up just in case you'll likely never need it!  

On to the foaling kits!

Main foaling kit  - 
  1. Nolvason and a bottle/bucket to prepare a dilution (for dipping the cord and/or sterilizing hands, etc.) I use an old style film case or shot glass size jar for dipping and a bucket for everything else.
  2. Petroleum Jelly (vaseline is a name brand) for lubing.  I buy these at the Dollar stores and use one tub per incident (no mixing or contaminating that way)
  3. Clean towels, rags and a large sheet (dry off the foal, clean up mare, self) The sheet I like to put under the mare for clean delivery)
  4. Clean pair of scissors (sterilize with the nolvason
  5. Miner's headlamp (you wear on your head for hands free light)
  6. Phone with the vets telephone number preprogrammed  (not in the kit but ready)
  7. Extra pair of hands (friend, child, spouse) Okay hard to pack but oh so helpful!
  8. Garbage Bag for placenta
  9. Halter & lead for the mare
  10. Rubber gloves
Post Foaling Kit -
  1. Banamine (dose mare after foaling) with fresh syringe
  2. Ivermectin (dose mare after foaling) with fresh syringe
  3. Foal Blanket (a couple different sizes)
  4. Child size enema (dump out the contents and filled with warm water and a drop of soap)
  5. Udderly EZ (the easiest way to milk a mare) with a 20cc syringe
  6. Foal Response (dose the foal)
  7. Child's nasal aspirator (in case nose's need to be cleared)
  8. Digital thermometer (I buy new every year)
  9. Camera for that first baby photo (check the battery/card so its ready)
  10. Package of baby wipes (they're just great for everything)

So, what's your 'Must Have' items?

Monday, April 13, 2009

The past weekend . . .

Fun weekend - no babies of course - but a fun weekend anyway.

My DH's family came up for an Easter visit on Saturday (including friends and family from Germany), so it was a full house.  It was really great seeing everyone - especially my husband's aunt as it's about every five years we actually see her. My MiL cooked German food  - roladin, potatoes, red cabbage, salad and two types of dessert - a wonderful feast.   All I had to do was hors'deouvers - spinach dip, crudite, cheeses/meats/breads/crackers and everyone was happy!

While all this was going on, I'm of course semi-awake from watching Calypso.  She's been bagged, slab sided and looks ready since FRIDAY night!  So of course nothing.  I turned her out with Sarah during the day the past two days - still nothing!  It's cold and windy tonight so perfect weather to foal - NOT1

The rest of the mares are looking larger - I'm not sure Java can get much bigger, she's bagged, edema, waddling, so soon.  

Whenever one lays down, I'm sure this is it, but alas no.  Every year around February I think the mares can't get any bigger and they do.  Then March the same thing - by the time they foal I'm sure they're going to explode!

Kathi Donnell had came down on her way to deliver Mic to his new home, so spent a couple days with us giving us a chance to catch up on all things mini!  

I went with her to deliver Mic to his new family (Brooke Adams in Bakersfield - I didn't catch the ranch name).  They have a nice set up for their growing herd and their horses look so well cared for!  The hit for us though was the new twin baby goats!  OMG!!! They're so cute.  If someone bred 10 lbs goats wouldn't that be a hoot?  Adorable. 

It's always fun to meet new mini people and I love looking at other people's herds, set ups.  I always take away something new to try, etc., or one of those - duh why haven't I tried that!

We stopped at Harris Ranch off I5 for dinner for melt-in-your-mouth steak dinner.  It was excellent and we were stuffed.  I was glad Kathi drove as I was so sleep from the meal we'd have been in a ditch!  A long trip Winters to Bakersfield, 13 hours round trip.  We both slept well that night.  I didn't make it to bed until after 2, this running on 3-5 hours a night sleep is going to catch up to me one of these days!

Other news, Bonus Bucks has another foal on the ground, this one over at Imperial Acres.  A fine healthy black colt out of Jenn Davis' mare, Lady.  Unfortunately there goes the hope of Bonus Bucks being homozygous with a solid black son!  Oh well.  I was hoping he was homozyous as the rest of my mares he's bred to are not color producers!

I had to reschedule our farrier visit this week (educational opportunity presented itself so we needed to jump on that), so Tomas won't be here until the 30th.  I hate getting off track with trimming as it seems months to catch up.  But some things can't be helped.