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I Thought Breeding Was Supposed To Be Fun?

This Blog Post has been sitting in my Drafts for like, ever, because I don't want to convince myself of something and then end up being wrong.. So I began drafting this while things were heavily 'what ifs', which it still is, but we will have answers after our Vet appointment on March 3rd.

Unlike my typical posts, this one has nothing to do with Kai, the faults within my personality, or how boring my life is.  In fact, this one is about one of my other horses, who I rarely mention.

If you didn't already know, I have 3 horses.  Kai and Kidd are commonly blogged about, however you rarely hear about my beautiful, sweet and colourful 1999 Thoroughbred broodmare, 'With No Knickers', or affectionately referred to as Nikki or, most often, Nik.  I'll save you all the boring background information, but to sum it up she was born on my In Laws farm.  I sold her years ago on their behalf, and bought her back last spring but this time in my own name.  The woman I sold her to was moving her family to another province, and was taking on the city slicker life which left no time, money or space for Nik.  She originally bought her as a casual barrel prospect, but I honestly don't think she ever rode her more than a handful of times in the 3+ years she owned her, because she had far less experience than she led me to believe.  Regardless, Nik was well cared for while in her possession, and that's truly all I could have asked for.  That being said, I didn't hesitate to snatch her back up and bring her home as soon as I heard she was willing to sell her. I had no idea what I would do with her, but nevertheless I brought hooked up my trailer and went to get her.

Within a day or two of bringing her home to the Farm, she started to cycle.  Suddenly, I knew what I would do with her.  I discussed with my FIL about breeding her to their resident Stallion, a graded Stakes Winning Thoroughbred..  Nikki had a foal by this stallion before I sold her on behalf of my in laws, so this would be a repeat breeding.  Knowing the stallion had some issues the previous breeding season due to his age, we weren't sure we would even find success.  Never the less, we decided to give it a shot.  

I hand bred Nik on April 25, 27 & 29. Roughly 21 days later I teased her, and she seemed to be cycling again, so we hand bred her again but the Stallion had some issues (old), and we were never confident he bred her fully. In June, when she was due to cycle I teased her morning & night on what would have been day's 20, 21, 22 & 23 following her previous cycle, and she didn't accept the stallion. Sadly, I became really busy and couldn't continue teasing daily until she cycled, so I presumably missed her. On July 8th, roughly 31 days after when she would have been 'due' to cycle previously (however i 'missed' her), she showed some interest in the stallion, but certainly wasn't in 'raging heat' and it only seemed to last about 2 days, so I only got her covered once. That being said, she didn't she tease like she had on previous attempts.. it was more like 'oh hi friend, you're cute' and a slight tail lift, vs previously being quite the hussy.... She stood for the stallion, but again he struggled and we weren't confident in it being successful.

Given our climate and lifestyle (racing in the summer), it was becoming too late to continue trying to breed, and we were far too busy, so I booked a vet appointment for July 12th thinking if she caught, it would likely be from the April *or* May breeding and should be 'obvious' and just hoped for the best, though I was already pre-disappointed because of all the issues we ran into with the stallion (age related). I later found out from a reproduction specialist it's still just as easy to miss at that stage for an inexperienced vet, but I took her into the local Vet, who I wouldn't consider 'great' by any means. I am new to breeding and had never used him previously for Repro stuff, so I figured why not - ignorance is bliss they say. To sum it up, he was confident she wasn't in foal, but was 'due' to cycle in 2-3 days based on the 'follicle' he was allegedly looking at. As a last ditch effort, I teased her morning & night for 10 days straight, and she never showed any interest. I gave up and carried on with life. In hind sight, previously mentioned Equine Repro Specialist believes he may have been looking at a cyst, or in the case of being severely incompetent, looking at an embryo from the most recent covering during her short, lack-luster covering.

Thinking she wasn't pregnant, I booked her into a stallion for May 2017, and because it's Thoroughbred stuff it has to be done via Live Cover, which means taking Nik to the stallion who is roughly 5.5 hours away.. no big deal for an open mare, right? Well... There's a chance she might have the reproductive system of Mother Mary herself, and somehow be in foal from 2016 Breedings. Not a big deal, if I didn't 'want' her in foal to the stallion from 2016, I wouldn't have bred her.. but.. I'm *really* nervous about taking her and a foal south to someone's house - someone who I've never met, and hope for the best. I know i personally am not a fan of wet mares coming to be bred to our stallion because it's always a pain dealing with someone else's foal who's hardly halter broke while trying to do Live Cover. Not that it matters, but our stallion is no longer standing at stud so we don't have to worry about it for now..

As such, I made other arrangements for 2017, and paid half the stud fee to book Nikki in to Cherokee Country for a 2018 foal.  Now fast forward to now, and i'm being coerced into thinking there is a possibility that Nik has the productive system of Mother Mary, and is in fact pregnant.  While  you might be saying "but the Vet said she isn't", keep in mind pregnancies are regularly missed, and there is a stage around 3 months gestation that it's nearly impossible to tell.  Either way, this is my current stresses but I will soon rest assured, as we are going to the vet on March 3rd to be certain, as well as do all the necessities required prior to going to be bred to Cherokee Country later this spring.


  1. Hm interesting - I'll be super curious to hear what the vet says!

  2. I think breeding is about 10% fun, 15% excitement and 75% anxiety

    1. Bahah, at this point that might be a generous guess, but so true!


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