When Michelle texted me this weekend to tell me that the mares were getting bred on Monday and asked if I wanted to come watch, that was a no brainer. Repro stuff has always been my thing, and this time I actually have some personal involvement. Plus the vet they were using is a really successful repro specialist and I’m a giant nerd about anything breeding related… this was a kid-on-Christmas-morning situation for me.
I made the 2 hour trip down to the breeding farm and arrived just as Sadie was being inseminated. Sadie was quite displeased with these proceedings and not shy about making her opinion known, but it got done. They do P&E protocol when breeding with frozen so that they can pinpoint exactly when the mare will ovulate, and time the insemination just right. I won’t bore you with details but if you want to know more, click here.
After the vet bred Sadie and Lissa, he also had some other stuff to do, so I hung around with Michelle and watched/learned. He did a 16 day pregnancy check on another mare and she had not one but THREE embryos, so he had to pinch two of them. It was really cool to watch him find them, compare them, and then pinch the two less viable ones.
Then he checked out a foal that had just been born the night before (by Quaterback), telling us what exactly he looks for with a newborn check. He said that cracked or broken ribs on newborn foals are one of the most undiagnosed issues that he sees, which I thought was interesting but makes sense. After he cleared the foal he laid out and examined the placenta. He pointed out some issues with the placenta itself and a couple of tears, which means that the mare could have retained some and therefore needed treatment.
Then we went in and looked at all the cool lab equipment: the frozen semen storage tank, the microscope, etc. They had the scope hooked up to a monitor, so we could easily see the sperm swimming around.
Then we went out and saw more BABIES! The chestnut colt is about a month old, by Fursten Look out of a Donnerhall mare.
The filly is less than a week old, a Holsteiner by Cancara out of a Cacique mare. She was super cute, but more shy than the colt.
Then we wandered out into the big mare pasture to give out cookies (a dangerous thing in a herd full of hormonal mares) and so I could say bye to Sadie. She gobbled up everything I had, then followed me all the way back to the gate. Sweet little Sadiebug, she’s a turd but I love her. I told her to do a few headstands to help those swimmers along but she just looked at me like I was stupid. Granted, both of my horses look at me like that all the time.
In 16 days the vet will check to see if she’s pregnant. She had two good follicles in there, so hopefully we at least get one viable embryo!