Friday, May 18, 2007

AMF Spring Update

We continue to enjoy watching Windy’s third foal and first filly develop. Since the last posting, we've decided her registered name will be Troublesome Kisses, as her sire’s name is RSA Troublesome and Windy’s is RJ Kiss The Wind. We call her Kisses. Windy’s 2006 foal, AMF Xtreme Kiss, comes when called by his barn name “Kiss” and so far it’s not confusing. We own Windy’s first foal too, Windstorm GTC, whom we call Cairo.

As of yesterday afternoon all of our horses are vaccinated for the season. We own 14 now and 11 are here on the farm. Not so strange since we're an Arabian horse breeding farm.

The three that aren’t here are Jay, Legacy’s Renoir and MAF Last Dance. Our three-year-old Arabian gelding Jay is spending the summer at a friend’s farm with a teenaged girl as her 4-H project horse The girl’s parents may decide to buy Jay in the fall, so we’ll see where it goes. I’m pleased he’ll be well looked after, will learn some new skills and has helped to paste quite a large grin on the young lady’s face.

Legacy’s Renoir is our five-year-old Arabian breeding stallion. At the end of April we made a business decision to move him to a new training center named Shada Inc. located in Elk River, MN. This is Renoir’s first year as a breeding stallion. A veterinarian comes to Shada three times a week to collect his semen, which is then cooled and made ready for shipping to whatever mare owner in the continental U.S. has paid to be bred to him. We plan to breed five mares to Renoir ourselves for foals in May and June 2008. Renoir will also be trained and shown in halter classes by Jerry Schall. Ian may show him too in some amateur owner to handle (AOTH) classes. As soon as Renoir has professional photos and video done he will be listed on the Shada site and we will begin an advertising campaign within the Arabian horse community.

MAF Last Dance (“Mona”) is a beautiful chestnut-colored Arabian mare that we are buying from Whispering Pines Arabians in South Dakota. She is pictured at this link:

Mona will come to us in late September bred to a palomino-colored American Saddlebred stallion named Goldmount Royal Design Mona has had four Half Arabian foals by Royal and they are all eye-catching!

We’re also leasing a mare from a friend in western Wisconsin. VG Elambra is a 10-year-old chestnut-colored Arabian mare. She has awesome bloodlines and should cross nicely with Renoir. We will know on May 29 if she is pregnant by Renoir. Provided she is in foal, Elly will stay with her owner in Wisconsin and carry her foal to term there. The foal will come to us when it is weaned at four months.

In April, Ian traveled to Illinois to pick up Khatalina Bey, a mare we bought from Salem Ranch She is 13 years old and what we call a flea bitten grey mare. We will breed her to Renoir too. Ian’s trip to Salem was uneventful, but on his way back the two right rear tires of our 1-ton dually sheered off on the interstate as he was pulling the trailer loaded with the mare! He got to the side of the road, called me, I called the Illinois State Troopers and they got Ian, the mare, truck and trailer to a truck stop mechanic that was able to get everything fixed and/or replaced in three hour’s time … and for $1300! Neither Ian or Khatalina Bey was hurt nor did she need to be unloaded during any of the repairs. She stood happily in her trailer stall eating hay while surely wondering what was going on!

We had some unexpected news yesterday when our vet Dr. Jennifer visited. Missy, the black bay Thoroughbred mare we bought sight unseen off a slaughter truck in October, absorbed the foal she was carrying sometime between November, when she was confirmed in foal by Dr. Jennifer, and yesterday. When we got Missy she was underweight and in general poor health. We put her on a good feeding regime, treated her arthritis and brought her into a stall every night. Sometimes Mother Nature steps in when things aren’t going well, and this is the case with Missy. Now she is strong, the correct weight with a coat that glistens in the sun has a good attitude and should be ready to breed and carry a foal to term for us. We will breed her to Renoir next month.

Earlier in the month Dr. Jennifer operated on Whisper, our three-year-old cryptorchid stallion. A cryptorchid means that one or both of its testicles have not dropped and to geld them ("fixing" them so they cannot breed) means abdominal surgery under anesthesia to search and remove the undeveloped testis. We bought Whisper last year at an auction for $75. We learned a week later when the vet came to geld him one of the reasons why he was so cheap. He has always been a delightful horse, easy to handle and handsome as he gained weight with good feed and care. Once started under saddle, which will happen this year, he will make someone a great trail horse.

Recently we said good-bye to Heide, who cleaned stalls for us during the winter months. We hired Tina as our part-time barn manager in early May. Tina comes with two years experience working for a horse vet, likes to organize, owns her own Arabian horses, including a breeding stallion, and can come every other day to attend to whatever needs doing in and around the barn.

Our farrier comes on Monday morning to trim hooves and put shoes on tenderfoot 19-year-old Bentley so that I can ride her this season. She’s a lovely, well-behaved ride.

Last weekend a girlfriend came to the farm for the first time. After we walked the pastures meeting the horses and toured the house to see its renovation progress, we sat outside snacking on goodies she’d brought and Lisa commented how reading this blog makes her tired. As I look at what’s written, knowing what I edited or did not include, I can see why!


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