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.



Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Nice barn! I can't wai to see it all finished.

I can't wait to see your babies hit the ground. I'm a little jealous. After Scout was born I said, "Never again!" But babies are so darn cute, and the suspense is actually a lot of fun. If Bella didn't have bad stifles I'd consider breeding her. She made a pretty darn good baby the first time around.

Kara said...

Did Bella have her foal outside? I plan to keep the girls in overnight when their foaling stalls are ready, but I'm thinking Catlow will be more comfortable outside.

Shirley said...

Good solid bone and feet are so important, and with all the "specialized" breeding that QH's have been subject to over the decades that has not been at the top of the list- I am happy to say that my boy throws good bone and feet on his kids. But then, he has the old breeding, and I try to breed to mares that are good and solid too. No dainty over-bred Doc Bars for me!
I'm really looking forward to your foal pics!