Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lessons from the Wild (Social Classes and testosterone levels)

I've read or sent this article out many times over the years... It's always worth a re-read and great for those new to stallion care and herd dynamics!

Social classes and testosterone levels...
At the International Symposium on Equine Reproduction in Lexington, Kentucky a paper was presented on the social interactions of the free roaming horses. I would like to share with you my notes from that meeting. I think you will find the information interesting. The information was presented to us so we could help breeding farms with sexual problems that might arise. If we look at how the horse has spent the last several thousand years interacting with other horses, we might be able to detect problems that have arisen since man took over a few hundred years ago . Some of this information is a little explicit, which I suppose is the way veterinarians and their sexually active horses are.

The studies for this report were conducted by graduate students using binoculars over a very long period of time. They studied horses in the wild as well as a free roaming group put together by the University of Florida. The advantages of the University’s group is that they could be brought in for blood, semen, and physical examinations.

The free roaming horse herd basically has two groups. The harem with the one harem stallion, and the bachelor herd. The first consists of a band of mares and its one stallion. The bachelor herd is where all the boys who do not have harems hang out.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday 5-10-10


Please contact us through wescofarms @ gmail.com (remove spaces) for the next week while it is transferred to the new domain server.

What's with the weather? Wet, windy and hmm this is May, right?  Feels like January.  I'm glad for the green as it prolongs our hills being green and the flies aren't out yet - two big yeahs! 

Foaling is still the waiting game.  Waiting on Chiclet and now Libbe to see if they're going to foal in the worst of this new storm or hold out for better weather.  Baybee is also being carefully watched.

Took the camera out last night and took a few photos of the gang and ended up with the roan edition.  Bruiser  has that normal chinchilla color I associate with blue roans at birth.  He could surprise us and go black but I doubt it.  I think he'll like his two siblings and be a blue roan under the baby fuzz.

Bruiser aka Wesco Farms please give me a name!

Kiega aka Wesco Farms ETs Secret Affair showing off his blue roan-ness!
This was a bad angle, but I was trying to get his back, shooting down at minis a big no-no.

Ringo, Wesco Farms Buckerowdyroo, sire of the two boys above
standing downhill - taking decent photos of minis is my curse.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Holistic Horsekeeing

I thoroughly enjoy reading this Enewsletter from Madalyn Ward, DVM - definitely worth a follow if you're into Holistic care for your Minis!  We've picked up a number of tips over the years.

She is on Twitter as well! @madalynward

May 2010

Horse Ulcers: Nutrition for Horses Who Have Had Ulcers in the Past

Holistic Horsekeeping
How to have a healthy happy horse. Volume 14, Number 5
Twitter: madalynward


In This Issue:

1. Horse Ulcers: Nutrition for Horses Who Have Had Ulcers in the Past

2. Online Resources for the Holistic Horse Owner


1. Horse Ulcers: Nutrition for Horses Who Have Had Ulcers in the Past
Horse health care is one thing. Caring for a horse who has a history of ulcers is something else altogether. Owners of horses who have had ulcers in the past are super-sensitive to any signs of possible new ulcers forming, whether it be a horse leaving his feed or experiencing a mild colic.

These owners all want to know: "What should I do if I think my horse is possibly developing another ulcer?"

Luckily, the answer is simple and cost-effective:


Monday, May 03, 2010

Miscellaneous Monday

Another Monday after a busy weekend.  My wonderful elves (Holly & Gary) were out whipping the place into shape - yeah!  All these overdue projects are getting done thanks to this wonderful duo.  I have a year or so of work for them - lol!  That was for your benefit Holly!!!

Sunny went off to Tracy to his new family on Saturday.  The boys herd is shrinking.  We're debating on having Little (Grosshills Littlemans Anticipation) gelded as he's not selling, but we know he'd love to have free run time with the mares.  

I hesitate to do it as his foals have been nice and everyone that has them is very pleased with them, so we'll see.  As fly season is on the horizon he may dodge that bullet until Fall anyway!  

We are considering offering Demon for sale.  I really don't want to, but Ringo is my big gaga baby, and Topper is definitely a keeper.  So, do we need a two roans and a grey pinto stallion - no! 

Speaking of foaling - still waiting on the ladies. Chiclet is starting to bag up, but isn't due until June 2, but early could be umm today!  Hoping she'll hold out another couple of weeks.  Babyee is just getting a bag too.  Interesting to see who's your daddy on her foal! Fence jumping stallions obviously spread the love around!

We had a family powwow today, and we did decide to breed Topper to 4-5 mares for 2011 foals.  As Topper has never pasture bred, it may be a learning experience all the way around and we're likely to have fewer foals then the fence jumpers are siring this year!  Just in case he takes to pasture breeding like the rest have, we're not taking any chances and only allowing him a few mares.

WCR Top Cop

The mares we agree on Patsy, Swan, and Valentina.  The others we're going to consider tomorrow - Twila, Dresden, Annie, Sarah, Callita and Comet.  

Our biggest concern is Maria. She cannot stand to be separated from her daughter, Patsy. I mean not at all. Not minutes.  Not AT ALL! 

Wesco Farms Demons Checkered Past (Patsy) 
Patsy is five this year, but Maria treats her much like a newborn foal at ALL times.  So the dilemma is do we separate them and give 24 year old Maria a fit, or let her in and potentially get bred?  I don't think she's cycling and hasn't for a few years, but either way is bad.  She really gets hysterical even trimming her (concerned she'll have a heartattack or colic) if they aren't together.

My mares and their oh so quirky personalities!  Need to do a short story on Java the uber mom... lots of personality here!

Our internet tower is up and running - another big yeah!  So, we now have fast internet service direct to the house.  Soon it will be goodbye to ATT!  Loving this fast speed too!

Our website will be going down this week, and hopefully the main pages will only be offline a few days.  Reconstructing the whole site - 300 pages - ugh!  So likely to have a streamlined version of what it is now.  Saving all of the information to disk though - so it will likely show up here - lol!!!

This is one of my favorites - Charlotte you said it all well!  Check out Reflections if you want to see some gorgeous Minis (link below).

One of these priceless gems - wish I had penned it!


The Miniature horse mare's secret code of honour is as old as the breed itself and is ultimately the breed's best kept secret. No Miniature horse mare shall ever produce a foal before it's time. (It's time being determined by the following factors):

1 .No foal shall be born until total chaos has been reached by all involved. Your house must be a wreck, your family hungry and desperate for clean clothes, and your social life non-existent.

2. Mid-wives must reach the babbling fool status before you foal out. Bloodshot eyes, tangled hair and the inability to form a sentence mean your getting close.

3. For every bell, beeper, camera or whistle they attach to you, foaling must be delayed by at least one day for each item.

4. Vet check, add a day, internal add three. If you hear the words, "She's nowhere near ready. You'll be fine while I'm away for the weekend."  Wait 12 to 16 hours and pop that baby out!

5. Owner stress must be at an all time high! If you are in the care of someone else, ten to fifteen phone calls a day is a sign you're getting close.   When you hear the words "I can't take it anymore!" wait three days and produce a foal.

6. You must keep this waiting game interesting. False alarms are necessary! Little teasers such as looking at your stomach, pushing your food around in the bowl and then walking away from it are always good for a rise. Be creative and find new things to do to keep the adrenaline pumping in those who wait.

7. The honour of all Miniatures is now in your hands. Use this time to avenge all of your stable mates. Think about your friend who had to wear that silly costume in front of those people. Hang onto that baby for another day. OH, they made him do tricks too! Three more days seems fair. Late feedings, the dreaded diet, bad haircuts, those awful wormings can also be avenged at this time.

8. If you have fulfilled all of the above and are still not sure when to have this foal, listen to the weather forecast on the radio that has been so generously provided by those who wait. Severe storm warning is what you're waiting for. In the heart of the storm jump into action! The power could go out and you could have the last laugh. You have a good chance of those who wait missing the whole thing while searching for a flashlight that works!

9. Make the most of your interrupted nights. Beg for food each time someone comes into the stable to check you. Your stable mates will love you as the extra goodies fall their way too.

10. Remember, this code of honour was designed to remind man of how trully special miniature horses are. Do your best to reward those who wait with a beautiful filly to carry on the miniature horse mare code of honour for the next generation of those who wait!

From Reflections, a miniature horse ranch, Charlotte Lupton  12-1-2002