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April 2023 Horse Report

closeup of Annie's face

I was planning to write a much different report this month, hoping to announce the pregnancy of my sweet mare, Annie. Instead, I am reminded that nothing worthwhile is ever easy. In lieu of a birth announcement, please allow me to talk about some of the finer points of what this process looks like for Annie.

In case you missed it, as part of my own personal “Horse Goals or Bust!” I decided to breed Annie to one of my all-time favorite AQHA stallions, Bet Hesa Cat—a handsome roan cow horse that stands at the 6666 Ranch, and whose size, conformation, and pedigree cross very nicely with Annie’s.

Rather than have Annie travel to Texas, the pertinent parts will travel to her, and she will be artificially inseminated. Toward that end, we drove 100 miles to drop Annie off at the mare-care facility, at the end of March. There, she is under the watchful care of Dr. Richard Marrott, of Elite Equine Veterinary Services in Cañon City, Colorado.

Although Annie passed her pre-breeding exam with flying colors, presenting as a “much younger” mare would, it turns out that on the inside, not so much. A tad past her breeding prime at the age of 16, Annie has what is sometimes referred to as “old maiden mare syndrome.”

A maiden mare is one that has never been bred, and consequently, her reproductive organs are not in ship shape. Nonetheless, Dr. Marrott successfully inseminated Annie the first week of April, and she did indeed create an embryo. But due to the “hostile” environment of her uterus, the embryo failed to attach. The good news was that she produced a viable embryo (step one). All we need now is a friendly place for him (my wishful thinking) to land.

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Additional good news is that this is an entirely treatable condition. Since her failure to settle into pregnancy, Dr. Marrott has flushed her uterus, infused it with medication, and flushed her again, pulling off bags of disgusting yuck and leaving a sparkling clean (and substantially more friendly) uterus behind.

As I write this report, Annie is just a few days away from her second round of insemination, and Dr. Marrott is very optimistic about her chances. She will be bred again on or about May 9th, and we should have news of the success two weeks later, with ultrasound confirmation.

I really miss having Annie at home. I miss seeing her, grooming her, and riding her. Mostly I worry that she is unhappy, lonely, or stressed, even though I know they are taking excellent care of her. But I am hopeful that in the end, both Annie and I will be thrilled with the results. Annie has always been enamored of baby horses, in ways that are blatantly obvious. I know she will be thrilled to have a foal of her own, and I look forward to having a youngster around my barn again.

Meanwhile, we are crossing our fingers and hoping for a colt! Rich has been busy converting stalls in the barn to make a luxurious, tongue-and-groove paneled foaling stall with a large, attached nursery pen. Nothing but the best for our gal! We are bringing onboard an older companion mare for Annie, so she can spend the summer lolling in her private paddock with her friend, away from the ornery geldings who tend to pick on her.

So cross your fingers for us and stay tuned! I hope to be writing that “much different” horse report next month.

Julie Goodnight (signature)
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  1. I will say a prayer all will work out for Annie and you! Selinda

  2. Excited for Annie’s journey. Hope new life breathes within her soon.

  3. Fingers crossed for Annie and all of her people. It was nice to meet you at Equine Affaire Columbus. Best of luck, sounds like a great cross!

  4. I thought you were going to suggest need for a recip mare. I understand completely the stress all around in breed a teenish mare. I have only good thoughts of a colt outcome. Mine resulted in a colt. 😍 Go Anne!

  5. Oh silly me got teary eyed when reading this. We love these horses of ours so much. It’ll be so fun to see Annie with her own little baby soon. Pure optimism here! She’s in the best hands.

  6. Hope you get good results this time. Your story is very interesting.

  7. Fingers crossed Annie takes this time, she would be such a good momma.

  8. Best Wishes for a beautiful foal!! My last baby horse is now my 16 year old pleasure horse, he is my Physical Therapist and Mental Therapist. We Trail ride 4-5 days a week. Handsome, also.
    ps: I’m 82

  9. Send Positive Baby Vibes to Annie🤞🤞💕💕

  10. So excited for you and Annie – I will be anticipating great results!! She will be a great Momma! Love reading about all your news! What a great man Rich must be !! Making a special home for the “hopefully” soon to be Momma

  11. I hope everything goes wonderfully and you have the perfect colt next year!

  12. I enjoy reading how you “pamper” your horses, for an entirely selfish reason. It is life confirming since I often get teased for going above and beyond for my one horse in a boarding stable. And I just learned the joy of baby horses this last year as a friend bred her horse with Peptoboonsmal lineage to Call Me Mitch resulting in the most beautiful filly with brains and bravery demonstrated by day two. Now a yearling with Mitch confirmation showing through, I wish I could just spend whole days with Phoebe and she’s not even mine. You must be so eager. Hoping and wishing for your desired outcome and thanks, as always, for sharing the journey. Be careful what you wish for with a gelding, eh? I mean, you could get a wascally trickster like Newton.

  13. Prayers that she will show an embryo soon attached in her uterus.

  14. wishing all the best for that baby to hit the ground running and sparkling bright

  15. This is great news, and I have tears in my eyes after reading this. Potentially 2 babies from Annie next year. Hope you find a good surrogate mare and this second shot takes.

  16. We’re all pulling for Annie. Thanks for sharing the specifics— helpful to others who might find their mares in the same predicament.

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