Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men and an Arabian Horse Breeder.

In Dec of 2005, RO Lervick Arabians was having their yearly winter sale of Arabian horses. On their sales list was an Arabian mare than I had been coveting since her birth. I called to find out the horse's price. Then asked my husband if we could borrow the money against his retirement fund so I could buy this mare.

Asking Dave to borrow and particularly against his retirement is not something I would normally do. He knew immediately how much I wanted this Arabian horse. He checked into it and I made arrangements with the farm manager, Dennis Wigren, to put a deposit on the horse until the rest of the money arrived.

To say that I was excited was probably the biggest understatement of the year. The Arabian mare, Bint Gamaay Rose, has an impeccable pedigree. She's by SH Phantom Echo and out of a Gamaar daughter, making her the youngest Gamaar granddaughter in the world. The Gamaar bloodlines are getting harder and harder to find and any real study of Arabian horses' bloodlines knows how valuable they are. I already own an Arabian mare that is a genetic 3/4 sister to this mare and have really appreciated the cross with my stallion, Scandalous Legacy. I was really excited about the possibilities getting a generation closer to Gamaar. The plan was to breed her in March or April so I I could find out if my intuition was correct as soon as possible.

The Arabian mare was already in foal to nationally renowned stallion, Out of Cyte, for a January foal. She had had two foals previously, both fillies. I was crossing my fingers and hoping for another filly so I would have a third Gamaar bred Arabian mare.

Moving a ten months pregnant mare into a new herd is a delicate situation. Even though they had assured me that she was an easy horse to get along with and not a problem with other mares, you just never know how a mare is going to react when she's in foal. Instinct is an amazing thing and what a pregnant mare is going to see as a threat is a whole new ballgame. On the other hand I was concerned if I didn't introduce the Arabian horse to the other mares before she foaled, with a foal at her side it could be even more challenging.

Part of my problem stems from the fact I have a lot of horses on small acreage. My horses live in stalls and get rotated out for exercise. The mares with foals I try to keep out as much as possible. I didn't really have the room to put this horse in a field by herself for the whole time she would have a foal at her side. If the horse was going to get much time outside, the mare needed to fit into the herd.

I started off with the new horse on the other side of the fence, getting to know the other pregnant mares. None of the mares was due to foal until March so the early foaling of the new horse also added to the dynamics. My believed if I could get my mares to accept the new horse as part of the herd before she foaled, even if she turned out to be low on the pecking order, they would give her space with her foal. The horse's introductions over the fence were pretty noisy but it didn't appear that any of the mares had a major gripe about the new horse in the herd. At least that was a good sign.

Finally the day came that I was ready to introduce the new mare into the other pregnant mares pasture. The horses did a little running around at first and some screaming but nothing scary. It was only a matter of minutes and grazing became more important to the Arabian horses than the new mare. I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking I was out of the woods. You'd think after twenty years with horses, I would know better.

To be continued....
Part 2


  1. Your killing me with these two be continued stories!! lol!

  2. I had trouble posting this so if this comes through twice please delete this one:

    Oh boy, somehow I think that I know the outcome to this story, not as happy and content as it may appear. I have been in this position too but fortunately the outside mare (the black one) had her baby last of all of them so they all had a chance to get to know her well.

    We actually have an Arabian farm about 5 miles down the road from us here. They have really big acreage and it is nice to see all the mares out in the fields, but I rarely see babies even though the mares all appear to be in foal. I did stop in once a few years ago but I believe they have a new manager there and she has fixed the place up nicely, and manages the horses much better than the previous guy. They had some "runs" out the back of the one barn which is where I think they turn the mares and their babies out when they have foals, and they arent visible from the road. I need to stop in again, they have a big indoor arena too.

    We are still cold and miserable here. I love your comment about us not bouncing as well as we used to LOL, gave me a good giggle, thanks.

    Hope you have a great day and looking forward to the next instalment.