With Field Day over and a lot of barn chores caught up with, week 9 was overall a really quiet week at the barn. The most exciting part was Monday morning around 4AM - our first foal was born!
Miss Starlano's john mule foal by Protege was born at 4:20AM. The foal managers decided to call him "Ben" for the time being. He is sorrel and a very sweet little man. He swishes his little tail around so much, just like Protege! He was born about a month early and has some digestive problems in his first few days, so the university vets have been keeping a close eye on him, as well as Kelli and the foal managers.
A few weeks ago, we got in a new hanoverian mare, Pfluffy. Kelli palpated her for the first time Monday, and she was pretty well behaved. She is a very food-motivated mare, so the grain peace offering goes a long ways. We discovered that she had a 41mm follicle, so Kelli wants to get in touch with Rainbow Equus Meadows, where she was bred. With her donation, we also get a free breeding to any of the Rainbow stallions - so I told Kelli she should do Landkonig! I hope that is who she will end up picking; he has made some pretty phenomenal horses. We will palpate her again tomorrow and hopefully breed her.
Kelli was not able to get ahold of Susan at Rainbow, so we are waiting to scan Pfluffy until tomorrow. Hopefully she won't have ovulated, but if so, we will most likely short cycle her so we can get her bred. Protege got to move back outside (he was inside because of the muddy outside conditions) and I stripped his stall so it would be ready for another horse/him when it starts to get rainy again.
Not an exciting end to the day, but I fed dinner and got to hangout with the barn's rooster, Cornelius. He's a pretty handsome dude.
We scanned Pfluffy in the afternoon since Kelli had gotten in touch with Rainbow and confirmed Landkonig (!!!!!!) as the stud. She ovulated, so we will give her a shot of estrumate (Prostaglandin) on Monday and short cycle her so we can breed her in the next week. I cannot wait to see her foal, and I will definitely be attending the 2019 auction to see who ends up with that foal! Whoever does will be very lucky. Here she is a few days after she arrived, not the most attractive photograph of her - but she is lovely!
I also found out that I will not be riding Protege at Mule Days this year, due to the fact that the rules changed and now only one person is allowed to ride him all week. As much as I would love to compete with him for the entire week, I would not excel at any of the western disciplines. With that being said, I do still get to ride him to help prepare him for Mule Days, and I get to start on Friday!
Thursday - meh - tease and chore day! No excitement.
Friday morning was branding day for the 2017 foal crop. All but our thoroughbred yearling were branded with the UC bar. I have never watched horse branding prior to Friday, so it was fun to experience. The UC horses are freeze branded on their right hip.
Around noon, we started our palpation list by palpating Miss Starlano to see where she was at in terms of foal heat. She looks like she is growing up a follicle on her right ovary, so if she holds out and doesn't ovulate until day 9 post-foaling (or later), we will go ahead and breed her on her foal heat. Kelli is thinking she will be bred to an Andalusian stallion to make an Azteca foal for next year.
Later in the afternoon after I finished class, I got Protege out to tack him up and ride. I was not nervous at all, even though we had quite a large number of interns watching us. He was a little bit of a challenge before I got on, but as soon as I started asking him for different things he was extremely well behaved. We walked, trotted, and cantered each direction and he was a gentleman. He gaits are very smooth, but very small, and I felt like a giant on him! I guess donkeys are a little tougher than horses though, so I don't think he minded. Watching his ears as I ride is pretty darn cute.
Today was not overly exciting, but we received a client mare to be boarded until we can get her bred to Protege. The veterinary school will be taking care of the palpations and the artificial insemination, but they will let us know when we need to collect Protege and we will be in charge of collection and formulating the breeding dose. The mare looks like a little sorrel quarter horse, so she will surely make a cute little sorrel mule.