Monday, November 26, 2012

Two years later

Celena is one of the Minis we "got back" two years ago from a person that well, there are words for people like that, but I'll try to keep in PG.

Two years ago, Celena had disintegrated frogs, thrush so bad her hooves bled (you could smell it from 10 feet away) and close to a one on the Body Scale chart.  Celena before leaving our place had been weighed at UC Davis and came in at 350 lbs., on their scale.  Too see this was heartbreaking.

Fortunately she's a tough old Mini, and recovered completely from years of neglect.  Here she is today at age 20 enjoying her retirement with the other old ladies.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Fall update

Greetings Miniature Horse lovers.

I'm off track again on keeping up on this blog, but life has been busy, so I do apologize.

Part of being busy has been successfully reducing our herd down from the 54 we started with in December 2011 to 33 as of today (November 7th).

We were a bit lower but unexpectedly added a new stallion (Fallen Ash Scouts Oscar "Oz")and two new mares (Half Measures B&W "Bea" and Half Measures Lord of the Dance "Dani" upping our pinto quotient by two black and one buckskin pinto!  We also hadn't anticipated but happily took back one mare because of the new owners real life issues.

Fallen Ash Scouts Oscar "Oz"

Half Measures B&W "Bea"

Half Measures Lord of the Dance "Dani"
Dani's a little thin in this pic but has put on weight here.

We did lose one mare to colic (April) which was traumatic in early July.  Two others, Mardi Gras and Lalique, went into a permanent retirement situation as they are ones we'd taken back from awful situations but neither has the temperament for pet homes.

We're keeping fingers and toes crossed that all the rest are in great places.  You know the kind of  homes we hope for - as in lifer, we love this Mini so much we won't dump it in a couple years and will give it great care -  type homes.  It has been hard letting some of them go (two of them are still here - Jamaica and Vanna - which is going to be hard to have them leave, but they're going to an awesome place in the next few months.

We didn't breed for 2014, but Ringo did have a night out, so we're wondering if we'll have some blue roan or black (the only colors he seems to sire) in April - hoping not, but the stud reports are being filed just in case.

Woody (he's the "W" in Wesco Farms)

Woody, one of our first Minis is off rehabbing with a kind friend, Veneta, as we've been fighting founder with him for two years, and she has a better setup to deal with him at this time and a farrier that is literally a phone call away.  Our farrier, Tomas, is great, but he lives at a distance so is only out about once a month.  We're hoping for Woody to turn around in the next couple months and be able to come home.  We'll just have to keep him off spring grass and monitor his time out. The last report from Veneta's farrier was he was doing well and wouldn't need to be trimmed for five weeks.  We were assuming 2-3 weeks, so great news.

We've also (as I think I'm nuts at times!) added a couple of new varieties of chickens and a flock (only six) of guineas to the mix here.  The new chickens are beatiful and the guineas well - they're guineas!  Chicken Little should have been called Guinea Little - they constantly think the sky is falling!

That's all for this update, I'll try to be more regular about posting, but life is so busy as of late there just isn't enough time!

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Update midyear 2012

We're on the downward side of 2012, the economy sucks, hay prices are high ($14 a bale here), drought is predicting higher food prices and we have a presidential election coming up with two candidates that, well I wish there was a third.

But other than that life is good.  It could be better, but it could be a hell of a lot worse!

We've been fortunate this year, as we've exceeded our goals on reducing our herd number.  We started 2012 with 52 Minis and are currently at 30. That definitely was more leaving to new homes than I'd hoped for, so yeah!  We still have a few left on the sales list - three of the nicest colts/junior stallions we've produced as well as a couple of under 28" mares and one retiree.  There are a couple other mares I'm considering selling, but haven't made it up for sale yet!

I'm very excited to see what some of the horses that went to other breeders produce in 2013 and on, plus it's great to have new (and old) friends planning breeding and training with horses that we've raised.  Always nice to think you're going in the right direction!

So where does that leave us?

We have six or so that I class as retired or pets; three breeding stallions: Topper, Jelly and Ringo; and fifteen breeding age mares: Una, Jiji, Valentina, Sarah, Dresden, Annie, Remy, Comet, Patsy, Swan, Baybee, Savvy, Blessings and Rose.

It really is nice to be in the ballpark of what I'd planned to have as our total Mini herd back in 1999. Too bad it only took 12 1/2 years to get there!  What a roller coaster of learning it's been. You sometimes wish you could have a do-over, but I'm not sure what I'd change. I figure for each negative there have been some immense positives. Horses I wouldn't have, friends I never would have met, etc.

What's in store now?

One getting caught up on all the outstanding registration paperwork before the end of the year.

Two, as we chose to NOT breed in 2012 as we were reducing the herd numbers (although Ringo did jump the fence one day, so we have have some Ringo 'gifts' in April 2013), we are considering breeding in 2013. Which ones and how many will really be determined by the economy more than anything.  I tend to see-saw between breeding the proven mares and breeding the ones I've never bred (some are past five years old now).

Three, my never-ending search for the perfect stallion. I really don't see me getting another stallion until 2014, but I'm keeping my eye out.  I will eventually find that under 31" bay or black homozygous pinto, proven, aged 3-11, double registered, with a show record stallion one day!  Yeah, I know not sure 'exactly' what I want right? lol  That and hopefully adding another mare or two over the next year or so.

Four, rejoicing in a lower feed/farrier bill for the remainder of the year.  It does look a bit empty out here, considering in 2010 I had close to 70 Minis.  That is another consideration come Spring 63 acres of spring growth grass and less than 30 Minis - founder may be a concern for the first time. So, I'm thinking on how best to rotate horses around to avoid that.

Just because - here's a couple of photos.

Kind of hard to see, but that's Noomi and Cleo (Great Pyreness) watching the road. From this hill they can see out to our road and behind them down to house and up/down to where the horses are.  They so darn smart!

Binks - unbrushed/ungroomed waiting for his farrier trim.  Excuse the crap in the background, we were doing some down/dirty registration pics and of course he looked pretty nice.  If we'd had him 'posed' somewhere scenic, I wouldn't have got two that were decent!

Binks (Wesco Farms Best Guesstimate FF)

You can see the mare/gelding herd up on the hill watching and waiting for breakfast.

Baby Tox, being tormented by the humans.  His first trim (we missed his original appointment) and halter trauma.  He was 100% sure I was going to eat him, but what a fiesty little guy, he really thinks he's all that and a bag of chips!
Tox (Wesco Farms DN Gamebreaker) we 'thought' was black at birth but he's turning into a gorgeous dark bay.  He has the 'tude and movement to be a wonderful show prospect.  Now to get some decent photos of him.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Another day, another farrier visit.

Tomas was out early today, but it was a 'mare' day which for some reason takes a lot longer than the days we have the boys trimmed.  I tell people when they come to buy their first Mini, get a gelding and take the hormones out of the equation.  I mean seriously mares have so much more good/bad/okay days - I'd take a gelding as a pet/companion/only Mini any day.

Most were fairly cooperative though, I was glad it wasn't windy that seems to make them more 'in a mood'.  We finally caught Comet, who was very overdue, and she got trimmed - big yeah!  She's easy to handle once you catch her, it's the catching part.  Celena one of our rescues from 2010, was showing she's fit as a fiddle, by making sure we got a workout catching her.  Twenty years young and she did quite a few laps around the paddock before she decided (I do say she!), had ran enough and allowed herself to be caught.

Bad news, well not horrid, but not great - Woody's still in a very sore recovering from founder state. This is the second year he's having issues.  UCD isn't really sure what's going on, and just call him a management issue.  He's not overweight, gets plenty of exercise, but has a bad metabolic reaction to spring grass.  Just weird, as he's been on pasture his whole life, but at the glorious age of 13, he's decided to have hoof issues.  So next year he's definitely on dry lot starting in April to avoid this.  We put him back out with the main herd, as the exercise should do him good, and everything is bone dry out there, so grass to eat but it's not fresh and pretty like it was two months ago.

Tox (Wesco Farms DN Gamebreaker), our only foal for the year is doing great.  We threw Rose in to keep him company (she's two) as she loves the babies, so they're fast friends and he spends more time playing with her than following his mom around.  I must say for a solid black colt he's darn nice.  I was hoping he'd go grey (I know who wishes for a grey horse - but I like them!), photo-ing a black horse is definitely an art form.  I get black featureless blob pics of him sadly.

That cross was definitely one I would repeat (Buckeye WCF Dance All Night x WCR Sheza Savoire Affaire) awesome bloodlines and it shows!

We decided to NOT breed in 2012 as I'm trying to reduce the herd number and I'd like to see the Mini Horse prices bump up a bit.  I shouldn't have said that in Ringo's hearing.  The brat decided to jump the fence and was out all night with the mares.  A long stallion report will be sent to AMHA/AMHR and we're crossing fingers/toes that he didn't get much action in the 10 hours he was out.  So he's in a well fenced (high an strong) pen for the summer.  Love his babies, but I'd like to pick the when, where and who for his little 'blessings'.  So, we may have a couple of foals next year - late April/early May.  He's sired 50% blue roan/ 50% black so, we'll see!

Horse sales have been good, not great, but steady. We've placed twelve Minis this year in some really nice homes and they all seem to be well loved - so yeah there!   There are still 16+ on the sales list, a few that are going to be extremely tough to see leave.  But I need to have less to manage by next year, so sticking to the list as painful as it may be!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mare Stare

and the sleepless nights continue....

Yes, it's that time of year and the Mares are doing the usual "keep them guessing" game.  Jenn Davis is here foaling out her mares, and Baroness, the first to foal, waited until I drove away the other day, sneaky wench that she is!  Less than 10 minutes after I left (we ASSUME, she though we all left), she popped out her new daughter.  Later that night her half sister Honeybun, graced Imperial Acres with a gorgeous red colt (sired by Demon).

Now we're on the wait mode as Savvy and Gemini seem to want to attain the proportions of beached whales!

Breeding dates, I know Savvy only has a matter of days left (okay a couple weeks, but it sounds better to my sleep deprived brain to think in days!).

Monday, January 09, 2012

January 9th update

So what's up with the weather?  Granted it it's gloriously warm, but it's the first time I've ever seen sprinklers and irrigation going in January or actually had to water plants.  I do hope the rain will eventually come!  Not missing the mud, but definitely missing the green!

The horses are all doing fantastic, and we're getting ready for the 2012 sell down.  It's time to get serious with meeting my goals of under 30 Minis, so this year is it!  We've reduced prices on many of the sale horses, are posting ads and are ready to make some deals.  There are a few more horses that will be added to the website, but we have 25 for sale right now.

Cricket aka Wesco Farms TC Defiantly Different, (WCR Top Cop x Wesco Farms LM Rowdys Anticipation), just left for her new home on Saturday.  Going to miss her, but she went to a great place.

Cricket - Wesco Farms TC Defiantly Different

This came across Facebook today:

To all of my horse friends you will understand........To everybody else you will now understand why us horse people are crazy. I love this......

Ten Ways To Get In Shape To Own A Horse

1. Drop a heavy steel object on your foot. Don't pick it up right away. Shout "Get off, stupid! Get off!"

2. Leap out of a moving vehicle and practice "Relaxing into the fall". Roll lithely into a ball, and spring to your feet!

3. Learn to grab your checkbook out of your purse/pocket and write out a $200 check without even looking down.

4. Jog long distances carrying a halter and holding out a carrot. Go ahead and tell the neighbors what you're doing. They might as well know now.

5. Affix a pair of reins to a moving freight train and practice pulling it to a halt. And smile as if you are really having fun.

6. Hone your fibbing skills. "See hon, moving hay bales is fun!" and "I'm glad your lucky performance and multi-million dollar horse won you first place - I'm just thankful that my hard work and actual ability won me second place".

7. Practice dialing your chiropractors number with both arms paralyzed to the shoulder, and one foot anchoring the lead rope of a frisky horse.

8. Borrow the US Army slogan; "Be all that you can be'. . . (add) bitten, thrown, kicked, slimed, trampled."

9. Lie face down in the mud in your most expensive riding clothes and repeat to yourself: "This is a learning experience, this is a learning experience . . ."

10. Marry Money!