The Adventures of Breeding "V", Part 1
"V" is a 16.2+ 2009 Jockey Club mare by Finality out of a Dixieland Brass mare. She was given to my close friend from her previous employer, who represented Canada at the 1996 Olympics in 3-Day Eventing and continually produces and trains horses to the CCI*3+ with hopes of making it back to the Olympics. V was a potential Olympic hopeful, but unfortunately sustained a suspensory injury that ended her career at that level of riding despite over a year of attempted rehab with some of the best vets available. While i'm sure it was a tough decision as she *really* liked the mare and regularly joked "don't you know you're a red-headed TB mare?!", it wasn't feesible to hang onto her, as she will never likely return to that level of riding again, though she is likely sound for lower level/basic riding and will hopefully be a lovely broodmare. My friend is going through a very transitional stage in her life and is not prepared to do much with her at this time, so she has been signed over to me for, at minimum, the next year and potentially indefinitely. I have decided to throw my feet to the fire [again] and attempt to get her in foal.
I work at our local College and luckily for me, we have a fabulous Animal Science department on campus. As staff, I am able to take advantage of the services available as often during specific labs they need animals. The Chair of the Department happens to be a Vet who's main area of focus is Equine Reproduction, and when I inquired regarding breeding V via AI for me, she jumped at it. Though their lab is sooner than I had planned to breed her, we got all our ducks in a row and moved V to the campus at the end of March, where she will remain until she's confirmed in foal, provided she cooperates.
The Stallion I chose for her earlier in the winter is Parcival, the KWPN Stallion recently brought into Canada by Mountain Creek Sport Horses. I have drooled over this horse for as long as I can remember, and though I thought really long and hard about it and attempted to smash my rose-coloured glasses, I'm still confident that I made a logical decision in selecting him for V.
Yesterday on April 3, we brought V inside for the first time do perform a Breeding Exam and ensure reproductively speaking, she is a suitable candidate to becoming a broodmare. While her anus is slightly inset to her Vulva, everything else looked great internally. The Vet mentioned it could be because she's a bit on the thin side (working on it), but we discussed using Caslicks to prevent possible fecal matter making it's way internally once she's confirmed in foal. Because it was V's first time in this strange place surrounded by a cattle handling system and baby lambs frolicking in straw, plus a class of intrigued students staring at her nether-regions, I chose to stay at her head and reassure her, and therefor didn't get to see much of the other end but I'm okay with it. Honestly, they're saving me hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in Vet bills in exchange for the students being able to take it all in, so if it means not getting to see the Ultrasound Machine, i'll live, though I secretly hope at her next appointment she's content to hang out on her own so I can watch more.
Though she wasn't too sure about going into the breeding stock at first, in typical V fashion she quickly relaxed and was content to stand quietly. We determined she is in heat and will likely be ovulating in the next 36 hours or so, so I imagine that helped her desire to stand there as she was 'winking' and backing into the Vet as she cleaned her Vulva post-exam, lol. She had (as Vet said) "a football team of follicles" with one being at 4cm, however many others ranged from 2.8 - 3.8, so we decided to wait for her next cycle. Based on her behavior a few weeks ago and how things looked inside, we guessed this is her second cycle of the year and it didn't look great to breed on. As previously mentioned, I didn't plan on breeding her until May as this is a bit early for our area, so i'm not opposed to waiting. We agreed to meet again next Tuesday (the 10th) and scan her again and see how things are progressing.
While I don't want to get a head of myself, this foal will likely be for sale, and if it goes well I hope to re-breed her for a keeper (i'd love to keep the first one as it will hopefully be smaller but I fear Hubby will divorce me lol!). Both V and the resulting foal will be presented for inspection, though I haven't decided which route I will go yet. While I'd love basically a reincarnation of Parcival with V's wonderful disposition (I only say this as I haven't met Parcival so I can't speak to his character from a personal stand point), but part of me hopes for a plain bay colt so it's easier for me to want to sell it, lol.
I don't have any great photos of V and she's currently a big, walking shedding machine but I hope to get some better photos of her this summer.. but what's a thread without pictures so..
Parcival, KWPN Stallion