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 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.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Rain, hay and horses

It's raining - yeah!  

It's cooler than normal, or so it seems - we've had the weirdest weather this year.  But it's raining!!!!!  

We need the rain, so I'm glad for that.  Not for the mud though.  We have that adobe thick, stick-to-you, type mud that turns into hardscape, unwalkable, cracked yuck the minute it dries.  It would be fantastic if I wanted to build a mud house, but otherwise . . . pass!  Fortunately the ground is absorbing the rain nicely and the mud isn't getting deep.

Fortunately, our hay order was delivered and stored during a break in the weather yesterday, so it didn't get soaked.  Hay price was lower  (another yeah) down to $13.50 a bale alfalfa.  So hoping the price will drop more once we than can start harvesting.  I know we'll never see the other side of $10 again, but wouldn't that be sweet!                                                          

We worked for an hour on the cameras t0 watch the mares at night and I can't get the dang cameras to work outside.  How do you forget something in a year?  They'll work in the house, but move to the deck and nope!  I think I have an antenna somewhere - maybe that's the problem.  I'll have to go through the box again . . .  Being sleep deprived, is not making me a happy camper right now.

Otherwise the horses are doing well.  Everyone looks good with only a few tubby, non-pregnant ones.  I can't keep Ray trimmed down, he has the old style build like his Dad (Houdini) and always is round.  Add to that an enormous love to eat and he's a chunky monkey.

Funny Sonnet, finally has someone to bully - she was chasing poor Savvy around.  Savvy is so docile and sweet, to be chased by Sonnet (who's glad not to be the lowest horse in the pecking order anymore!), was borderline comical.  I always think Savvy is getting pushed off her hay, but her figure tells another story - I can't get her trimmed down either.

Looking at Java today, I'm wondering if she might beat Chiclet to the punch with the next foal.  Calypso is bagged too, so ???   I'd love 2 busy days of lots of mares foaling and be done with it - if they're all born alive and healthy that is.  This is sleep deprivation speaking right now!!!

Well I best go be productive.  Maybe track down the antenna that might be the missing link with the cameras.  argh

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

No more babies yet

Feeding this a.m. noticed we're down to a few bales of alfalfa (lots of grass hay), so called Higbys to get a delivery.  Scott said tomorrow.  Yes!!

Went down to feed the boys and noticed they'd knocked over both water buckets and they're 'drinking spot was a lovely 5" deep mud hole.  The brats.  So waded into the well over ankle deep mud to move the hose and reset up buckets.  Now they won't play with horse toys but give them something they need such as a water bucket they're all over it!

Opening the gate to get in Demon, Miramax and Bonus Bucks raced to meet me.  The gate to get to the house and closer to mares.  Poor boys - they have another year to wait.

It rained today, so hoped it would encourage one of the hold outs to foal, but so far no dice!  

We were gone for a few hours for important stuff (hair cut/color and family visit), so came home to wonderful rainy wet hills - yeah!  Doing a mental raindance for = rain, dryout, rain, dryout for another month or so!

Had to grab Miss April that had somehow in the hour between my son getting home and my arrival managed to pull the velcro off her blanket (likely Sarah did that), and flip the blanket under her belly to drag through the wet mud.  She's such a goof.  Tiny, cute and goofy fun!

Long day, I'm tired and much today before Easter weekend.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Over the weekend

As I was still recovering from this cold/flu - nothing exceptional happened here.  The pregnant mares are still faking the 2 a.m. foaling and not!  So, I'm sleep deprived with still only one foal on the ground!

I did work on our website quite a bit - - but its so darn bloated at this point its going to be work to trim it down!!!  But I will, I just need to keep plowing through it!

On other notes :

- Kathi Donnell will be coming by on a trip down south sometime the next week or so.  That will be fun to have her for a visit.  We haven't seen her since last Fall.
- Easter we're having company all weekend (so probably a foal will be born to keep things fun!), so cleanup this week (I'm in the midst of painting rooms too - so this should be interesting.)
-  I've heard from a few different people that are expecting foals so I'm waiting for foal photos! As some are mares that I bred, it will be doubly exciting!  So, keeping fingers crossed for healthy and live!
-  Pam Brown sent a photo of her little stallion that won Reserve GC Junior Stallion at the recent NorCal Show - what a cutie he is!  All 25" of him.  Gratz Pam.
- I actually started looking at the online sales.  It's not quite as dismal as I'd believed, but definitely not OMG great either!!  I'm working on our sales list and thinking about ads . . .
- Looked through all my outstanding paperwork - ugh!  That is the only word for it.  Last year I really let things go  . . . this year is clean up and get back on track!!!!  I'm feeling poorer already when I look at all the DNA/PQ tests, Permanent registration and four outstanding transfers still.  It's so much easier to swallow paperwork costs in bite size chunks!

Other than that it looks like rain tonight or tomorrow.  I hope so, as I still want the hills to stay green for a few more months and hate the dreaded word 'drought'.  

Anyway, if it rains that should bring on foaling and the moon is getting full too -  both good signs - lol!!!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Just another Saturday . . .

Still sick. No new babies. Gorgeous weather.  Horses are all fine.  The rain is going around us again!

So today as I still feel like crap and other than visiting Sarah and April for a bit, I worked on our website.  It's been literally decaying away the past year as I've been unsure what I wanted to do with it or how to change improve it.  

Well, as I'm still on the fence as to what do to with it, and I've been working on learning better html and css to incorporate that, but that's a whole 'nother story!!!

As, I've had a fondness for adding green for some reason  - the color of Spring or I don't know what - but I've been adding it in!  I'll probably hate it and think it's garish in a couple of months but at least it looks different!!

I've updated some pages, but so much needs to be completely reworked and much needs to just be deleted.  I've decided horses that I no longer own and/or are not directly in my horses pedigrees - well lots of those pages are going to go.

I've also been working on a better table to display pedigrees as I know most people (or so it seems) aren't interested in a full pedigree, just the first few generations.  Heck, if it's not DNA/PQ tested anyone there is no guarantee what is listed is correct anyway!!!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Sick again

It's April.  The weather is beautiful (a touch windy but sunny and warm) and I'M SICK!!!  As I'm sipping TheraFlu right now hoping to feel a tad bit better - I'm wondering what I got and where!

As to the horses.  Everything is status quo.  No new babies.  Little April is doing well and Sarah is being a fantastic mother.  We did blanket her last night as the temperature dropped to just a tad too cool for my tastes and a new foal.  

I had planned to take a few new photos today, but the thought of going outside and the bright sunlight - naaa!  So my son fed the horses and checked them all.

TheraFlu is done, I'm going to bed!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Fun of farming living . . .

The past few weekends my DH, Frank, and the kids had loads of fun (pun there!) as they rerocked some of our low spots and walk-ways.  

We realize we're going to strip-mine a whole hill to get rock everywhere we want it, but it was a start!  (We have a mile long driveway that the county does NOT maintain, and the potholes were getting dangerous!)

We just rerocked the private section of our road (had it professionally done and it looked fantastic for a week before a huge storm washed mud across it!) but living with hills and heavy rain - ugh!  So low spots are mostly filled and part of the driveway redone.

The utility trailer (backend of a truck - I've wanted one of these for years!!!) has been so useful for the many dump runs, Home Depot visits and now loads of gravel!  I was lucky to get an 8' one so plywood lays flat - something I would not have thought of but the contractor guy (DH) did - Craigs List ftw!!!!

Farrier Visit

I love it when the horses are cooperative and we can get through trimming day easily!  Ringo, all the retired mares and pregnant ones are now done.  

Sarah (with her embarassingly long feet did not get trimmed as she took one look at Tomas and was having nothing to do with him near her new baby!  So, she'll have to wait to the next trim date in two weeks.

We scheduled trimming days out through the end of May - and it will take that long to get caught up after missing two appointments earlier this year.

I wormed them all, and Anna (lucky girl!) had the joy of bag washing.  

The mares are not very interested in having anyone near their privates until the warm water works its magic and gets rid of all the built up crud - then they'll practically spread their legs for it - lol!

Only a few of the mares have bags (Chiclet, Calypso and Java), the rest are almost no-existant.  So, I'm wondering if they'll be going in May instead of mid-April.

Everyone is shedding so badly its flying hair everywhere.  I'm ambitious this year to get everyone bathed, cleaned up and photo'd before June.  It sounds good in theory, but life seems to get in the way of plans - lol!!!

It's suppose to rain this weekend - so Calypso will probably foal.  

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

April 1st fun

As can be expected, Ringo found another way into the mare pasture.  He's like a raptor from Jurassic Park, always testing fences!  He found a loose place - boom! - he's in with the mares!  At least I always know where the fences need to be repaired!

He had them all herded into a tight group along with most of the geldings, except Dash.  Apparently Dash was his 'threat', although Dash has been gelded for 2+ years!

Fortunately he's very calm about being recaptured and went directly to his hay for breakfast.  Such a fun morning!  He did this between 7 and 9:30 as at 7 he was still locked up!  The brat.  I'm toying with putting a mare in with him so he won't feel the need to jump fences, but I really don't want to breed this year.  Geldings don't work as he knows the difference - lol!

Other than that, Sarah and April are keeping all the attention of the mares on them.  Grandma, Tina, has been standing guard on the other side of the fence admiring her new grand-daughter. The rest of the preggers are watching the new baby closely too.  Mom and baby seem to be doing well.  Sarah seems a bit uncomfortable, but is eating and drinking well, so I'll watch her and give her a bit more banamine if she doesn't seem better this afternoon.

Tomorrow the farrier will be here, so if any foals are born tonight, I'm praying for quick/easy delivery of a healthy foal!  I'm only going to have him do that pregnant mares, retired ones and Ringo so 12 tomorrow.  I know I'm going to be dead on my feet by the time he's done!

First foal photo

Proud mom, Sarah, (Wesco Farms Tricked Me Tina) with her 12 hour old daughter, April.

First foal!

So, while I was typing the blog about marestare, blah blah blah . . . Miss Sarah (Wesco Farms Tricked Me Tina) decided maiden-shmaiden she was having her baby on her due date so there!

I went out at 2:30 a.m. and found Sarah with her new daughter (a lovely buckskin pinto filly) standing there like an old pro!  She was out in the pasture with two of her friends fast asleep and the rest of the pregnant mares grazing in the distance.  Her mother, Tina, and the other retirees were munching hay in the adjacent pasture.  My appearance alerted all of them and the baby's first whinny brought them all running to inspect the new baby!  Thank goodness Deva wasn't there (she's uber mom and will show any new mother how it's all done from cleaning to nursing!), as Sarah was a bit distressed to have all her herd-mates oggling her new baby!

I love the first foal every year.  All my horses - mares, geldings, young and old - will line the fence to watch the new addition.  The proud mother usually by day two or three is parading their prize around showing off!  

Back to the foaling . . .

I grabbed baby and and led Sarah to a private (no neighbors) run and she immediately settled down.  (She is such a good mare!)   Her baby is very alert and talkative - Sarah doesn't answer yet as I'm not sure she's figured out what this little stranger is!  The foal had passed it's meconium as a large portion of it was on her mother's face and passed even more after we gave her some colostrum.

To be on the safe side we milked Sarah (I love Udderly EZ Mare!) and gave 48 cc of colostrum (she gave us close to 80 cc of thick, sticky, glorious colostrum, so the rest is in the fridge!) and 1/2 tube of Foal Response to the baby.  

We haven't seen the foal nurse yet, so this is purely precautionary.  Sarah didn't resist much to the milking, one almost kick, then she relaxed and let my daughter milk her while I held her lead rope and talked to her.  I was glad to see she was so cooperative, as some new mom's are not always so thrilled with anyone poking around back there - whether it be a sore bag or being ticklish.

I gave Sarah  .5 cc of banamine and a full dose of Ivermectin and we left her happily munching  her hay.

Now for a name!

Sarah's registered name is Tricked Me Tina as her mother, Tina, delivered Sarah on our hills a few weeks early in the early evening - a rarity for us - as most of our foals are born between 11-2 at night or 4-6 in the morning.

Sire is Las Doradas Bonus Bucks (black and white, blue eye'd pinto), so two pinto parents . . . homozyous maybe?  That would be great, but healthy and alive is what we wanted, so I'm pleased!!!!

Barn name might be April.  Registered name Wesco Farms ?  

One down, eight to go - hopefully they'll all be this perfect!!!!

MareStare . . .

Watching nine mares.  I've read the Excel spreadsheet that shows nine names and said seven to myself.  I count the horses (nine mares) and say seven to myself.  People ask how many foals are we expecting and I say seven.

 I guess I'm still in denial that we have NINE MARES PREGNANT!!!!  We only bred 13 total (including three that aren't ours), so basically of the 10 that are ours NINE ARE PREGNANT!  Great statistically speaking but I seriously expected 3-5 as we used two new stallions.  I guess they'd been saving up so to speak!

Oh well.  Hopefully healthy!  If we can get all fillies, great conformation and color - it will be a fantastic foaling season - lol!!!

Well it's 2:27 a.m. - Calypso, Sarah and Chiclet are due now, so I'm sure they'll wait til I fall over asleep from exhaustion to foal or while I'm running my daughter to the dentist tomorrow.  I won't mind if they can do it without problems.  

As Calypso lost her last foal to GOKW (God Only Knows Why), so I'd really like her to have a live one (her only surviving foal - Jamaica is pregnant this year too!).  Calypso is one of our smaller mares - she's right around 28" (registered 28.50") and carries overo - not that she's produced it but she carries it!  

Sarah is a maiden and hopefully will be just like her dam Tina, popped out 14 foals never lost one!  She's a gorgeous mare (Little Kings Echo Diablo x Pences Tina) with her dam's movement, sire's prettiness and a wonderful personality - unlike her half sister Cajun that is a @#$% on wheels!  

Chiclet is one of those overly placid mares, so I'm hoping she'll do fine. She's our Rowdy daughter and I'm crossing my fingers for another filly from her.

The rest of the ladies-in-waiting are due in the coming three weeks, except for Dresden.  She's the only one due in May.  All even if they go long should be done by mid May.  I'll be glad of that. It's too hot here to have foals in the summer.  So unless Ringo's jumping the fence last year brings some surprise foals I'll be sleeping the night through by June - lol!!

Crossing fingers we'll have a good foaling season and praying for healthy live foals and healthy happy mares for everyone!