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March 2023 Horse Report

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!

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5 Comments

  1. Congratulations Annie! Can’t wait to hear when she is in foal. My friend is doing the same with her mare Sadie as you are with Annie, but they are a bit behind schedule. Sadie has never shown any signs of being in heat over the years, but she is healthy and has tested in heat before, they just can’t be sure when she IS in heat. Have you ever heard of “tickling” the vulva to see if a mare is in heat? The vet strokes her vulva and if she in heat, she lifts her tail. If she is NOT in heat, she clamps it tight to her butt! It is a new concept to my friend and all of us waiting for good news.
    Sadie is an older maiden mare so all of us hoping for a good result have our fingers crossed too. Anxiously reading/watching about Annie and Sadie’s journeys. Here’s to future happy pregnant mares and beautiful foals next year!

    • Hello Debra, No, I haven’t heard of that. We are very excited for Annie. Sincerely, Diana

  2. Julie,
    This is Cara Voss up in Montana. I am getting ready to AI my mare in about 2 weeks. I was intrigued reading your post. What test is your veterinarian doing to confirm a pregnancy at 5 days? I usually ultrasound at day 14 but I am interested in learning more about the day 5 test.

    • I believe they check for an embryo via ultrasound, but have to check again at about 2 weeks to confirm its implanted in the uterus, again by ultrasound. Which is why she is staying for a full month.

      • good to know. Hope she will not get too
        lonely, although she has shown mostly good spirits at times of change. She is such a sweetie.


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