With any luck, my sweet little mare, Annie, will soon be living her dream. If you’ve been following along with Horse Goals or Bust, you already know that I made the decision to breed Annie this year and purchased a breeding to Bet Hesa Cat (an AQHA stallion who stands at the renowned 6666 Ranch in Texas).
In February, I enlisted the services of Dr. Richard Marrott from Elite Equine, who specializes in equine reproduction. Together, we put together a breeding plan for Annie that started when she came into heat early in mid-March.
Once she came in heat, we loaded Annie up in the trailer and drove 75 miles to Dr. Marrott’s clinic for a pre-breeding exam. This included palpation, ultrasound, and a culture for infection. Dr. Marrott was very pleased with Annie’s level of fitness, and he said she presented as a much younger mare. The ultrasound showed two large and healthy follicles forming, telling us she is a fine candidate for breeding. All good news and ahead of schedule so far!
We plan to breed Annie on her next heat cycle, about the time this report is published. On March 31st, Rich hauled her to the breeding facility in Penrose, Colorado (about an hour and a half away), where she will stay for about a month. When she comes into heat, Dr. Marrott will monitor her progress and order the semen from the 6666 Ranch, with split second timing for her insemination.
If she settles on the first round (fingers crossed!), he will be able to confirm her pregnancy just five days later. He wants to keep her for a second test at 14 days to make sure she is not carrying twins (which would make the pregnancy very high-risk). After that, she will be ready to come home and resume her normal life—at least for the rest of this year. By the end of the year, she should be noticeably pregnant and craving pickles and Oreos.
I am thrilled at how seamless this breeding process has been so far (*knock on wood*), but we have only just begun. Of course, you get what you pay for, and this deal’s expensive! Once Annie is settled in pregnancy, our focus turns to her health, nutrition, and well-being. Rich is rebuilding our foaling stall while Annie is away, to make a perfect “crib” for Annie’s foal. More upgrades will follow in the coming months.
Keep your fingers crossed for Annie and me, and check back in a month for a big announcement!