Saturday, January 24, 2015

Catlow's baby

All along I knew I was going to have Catlow bred too.  I'm almost more excited about her baby.  I feel she has more positive attributes to pass along to a foal that I couldn't get out of quarter horse breeding.  She has stout bone, big feet, and a very nicely balanced body with a big stride, and to top it off, she has a beautiful head.  You can't find quarter horses with stout bone and big feet anymore.  I've looked.  I'm sure they are out there, but they are not the ones that are being advertised and siring dozens of foal.  Catlow is often mistaken for a quarter horse with her very balanced body and big hip...and I think it is a shame that her foal could not be registered as a quarter horse.  I think she could do a lot to improve the breed.  I fear quarter horses are going the way of thoroughbreds...such a limited gene pool.  It didn't start that way; quarter horses had a very diverse beginning, with mustangs figuring prominently into their foundation stock.  But now, after generations of selective breeding, many of them do not resemble their founders at all, not to mention being plagued with some genetic issues due to "line" breeding (another word for "inbreeding"). 

Years ago, when I was first toying with the ideas of breeding my special girls, I considered a gaited horse for Catlow.  She almost moves like a gaited horse sometimes, and she has a big overreach with her hind end.  I think she'd match well with a gaited horse.  But, I am a bit stuck in my ways and just like the way quarter horses look.  IF I ever decide to have another baby from her (unlikely, but I can't predict the future), I might go with a gaited horse.  I of course get a lot of insight into gaited horses from my "heritage" Tennessee Walker breeding neighbor.  I think I would look into a Rocky Mountain Horse first, and Tennessee Walker second....but that's beside the point....right now Catlow will be having a foal sired by Rawhides Slvr Bullet!

Not only is he a wonderfully built stallion with a solid reputation of having a good temperament, but he is also a well known reining stallion that was successfully shown...and grullo on top of that!

Of course I've played around with the color genetics (I was a geneticist in my former life you know...)

Offspring Color Probability (Catlow X Bullet)

25.0% - Red Dun
25.0% - Chestnut/Sorrel
12.5% - Black
12.5% - Bay Dun
12.5% - Bay
12.5% - Grullo

I'll be using the baby as an all around horse, and mostly a trail horse.  It's crazy to think that my special horses are almost in their teens.  Catlow is 11 this year and Cody is 12.  By the time their babies are ridable, they will be 15 and 16!!!  I think it is a good time to think about replacing them someday, not that they could ever be replaced, but the timing is right.  By the time the girls are slowing down, their young'uns will be developing into solid horses themselves. 

It's kinda funny spending time with the herd now.  The mares are definitely starting to "show" and are 7 months along (only 4 months left!!!).  They are slowing down.  I can sense the fatigue in them.  They just aren't peppy and almost act like sometimes it is too much work to get moving from a standstill.  Don't get me wrong - they are still plenty agile and I see them galloping in the field and cavorting still (saw Cody rearing up and picking on Chico the other day), but they are really taking resting seriously these days.



The weather has been above freezing the past couple of days and Stormy has needed a trim for a while, so I brought her into the new barn and got her done.  I just think she looks gorgeous tied to the wall that will be my tack room eventually!

And I might as well show more shots of our barn/garage/shelter.  It has it all and is PERFECT!  Aside from the fact that it is not finished yet.  But our builder does quality work and I will not rush him.
Front side - this building will double as a haul in clinic for horses and some small animals eventually.  The garage area will be heated for large animal exams, and there will be a small side room that is also heated with water that will serve as a small animal exam/surgery room.  There is clear panel instead of tin above the stalls to allow ambient light in so that the barn will not need to be lit at all during the day.  It works really well.

From the back.  The horses will have access to the shelter area at all times, and the stalls will be only for bad weather, and feeding supplements (mostly the stalls are for me.  My horses have never had them and never seemed to want them.  But I will have fun being able to still visit them when the weather is bad)

The stalls area.  Just got the first door on today.  It is all rough sawn oak.  The builder's father saws it from his own woods.  We got a great price on it.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mid-winter pregnancy



You cannot imagine how excited I am to see these babies.  Yes, Catlow is expecting too.  I was afraid to tell you because I know the internet can run wild with people's opinions on breeding horses, especially mustangs.  But there is no way I am going to be able to only show Cody's foal and leave Catlow's secret just to avoid other people's opinions. 
To be honest, I think Catlow's foal will be nicer than Cody's, but I guess we'll see.  If Catlow has a colt, her foal will probably be placed with a close friend, otherwise, it is mine forever!  I love Catlow to pieces and I want a piece of her to carry on.  I have plans for these foals.  I am so excited!!!!!
Cody is due beginning of May.  Catlow is due mid-late May.  Expect more foaling updates as the time progresses.  Right now the girls are right around 7 months along.  We are getting closer!  And I think my barn will be finished just in time to get them accustomed to their new stalls for foaling.  I'll show pictures of it at a later date.  The new barn is more than I ever imagined I'd have in a barn for my horses.  We are all so spoiled.
Stormy says she doesn't get why the other girls are getting spoiled and she's getting left out....she doesn't like it one bit.

Actually, they all get fed supplements together and so Stormy isn't actually left out at all, but after everyone else walks away when they are done, Stormy sticks around hoping to beg more out of us.

Someone is happy to oblige.  While I feed the horses, my daughter is busy concocting her own mixes of salt, rice bran, and alfalfa pellets.  Mostly it is salt, but as long as their are a few pellets in it, Stormy will eat it happily.
My supplements right now consist of beet pulp, a little rice bran pellets, alfalfa pellets, Purina Enrich Plus pellets, and top dressed with salt.  Sometimes I mix in a little hoof supplement for the biotin, but not every day.  I am hoping that Catlow will not lose any weight this winter, because she can't...she needs to work on growing a healthy foal.  Her teeth were addressed last spring (nothing wrong with them), and I'm doing more free choice hay rather than rationing them this year.  Chico of course doesn't need that, but I don't want to separate him from everyone else.  And so far, this winter has not been as cold or snowing as last winter.  Last winter was extremely harsh and is why all my horses lost a little weight, but Catlow the most.  But this winter is not over I shouldn't make any predictions yet.