Saturday, June 30, 2007

Breeding Season Finally Gets Started at Our Small Arabian Breeding Farm

Some of you will remember my post Breeding Season Decisions for the Small Arabian Horse Breeder a while back. Since that series of posts, I haven't said much more about what was happening here at Rising Rainbow Arabians as far as breeding was going because in all actuality not much was happening.

While I had made the decision to breed the mare, Bint Gamaay Rose that I had bought in Dec of 2005 specifically for the purpose of breeding, I had not really done much to see that it got done. I think that after all of the problems I had had trying to catch her in season last year as I described in Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men and an Arabian Horse Breeder I was really dreading anymore obstacles breeding this mare.

I'm really good at dragging my feet when it comes to doing things I don't want to or that I dread. So it didn't suprise me when the middle of May rolled around and I still hadn't bred the mare.

I had finally decided how I was going to go about getting the mare bred and it was going to take three people to do it. It's hard enough around here getting two of us together to do breeding but getting three with Dave and Colleen both having impossible work schedules was a tall order.

I was sure that the best way to try a live cover on this mare was to treat her like a maiden mare. Having a vet stick his arm up a mare's who-who with a straw of semen is just not the same thing as having two horse bodies flailing around together. As frightened as Lucy had been just getting close enough to the stallion to tease, I had no idea how she would react to him rearing up over the top of her to mount. So I planned to have one person holding the mare (that would be Dave's job) and two lines on the stallion.

The reason for both lines on the stallion was to increase control. Since it was to be our first breeding of the season, we could expect that the stallion would be more excited than if he was breeding a regular season. That could mean he'd be a tad on the pushy side. If the mare freaked out and the stallion was pushy, it could be a wreck. The added second line on the horse would make a wreck more manageable.

Once I had it figured out "How" I was going to deal with the situation. Deciding to get it done was much easier. All I needed now was to catch the mare in heat AND be able to get my help all together at the same time during daylight hours.

Finally the middle of May I caught the mare beginning to show signs of heat. She was getting pretty vocal with the other mares screaming a lot for what seemed like no reason. If another mare even looked at her she squealed.

Then I noticed she was doing some rubbing to the top of her tail and she was spending time visiting with Andy (Heiress's 2 1/2 month old colt). So I took her up to visit with the man himself, Mr Legs, and she was a bit uncertain in her response to him. She did strike and kick out but it just didn't seem to be with her usual gusto. So I continued to watch her and put my crew on notice for a possible breeding "event."

The next day I turned Legs out in the field right next to the mares. This is something that I do pretty regularly. My stallion has been socialized with other horses since he was a baby and just like Andy trying to tease mares throw the fence, Legs has grown up with this scenario.

He's used to a mare in heat being out of reach on the other side of the fence. It doesn't stop him from sweet talking her and sometimes he even rears trying to figure out a way to mount her "through" the fence but he doesn't get aggressive or abusive because of the obstacles. Nor does he try to take down the fence.

So when I put him in the field next to Lucy, she had the whole day to warm up to his advances. Just like the other mares she made regular trips up to the fence to talk with him. He'd run up from wherever in the field he might be, I'm sure calling her name and ready to whisper sweet nothings in her ear.

By the end of the day, Lucy didn't want to leave Legs. She had finally turned her tail end toward him and was assuming a breeding posture. He tried to accomodate her but the gate was in the way. But the important part was she got the chance to get used to his rearing up and standing behind her. It was definitely time to breed Lucy. Now if I could just get my crew together.

To be continued..............

Visit Blog Village and vote for this blog Here daily


  1. Beautiful photo. Interesting post to read too.

    Abraham Lincoln
    —Me as Moses—

  2. Just stumbled on yuor blog today, and really enjoyed reading through it. I love horses, but yours are stunning

  3. Lovely horse and what a story! (made me blush!)

  4. Great entry! I'm looking forward to reading more. Also...thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment and wonderful advice! I appreciate it. This will be my first time showing outside of 4-H (which it's been well over a decade since I "graduated" from the club) AND with my own horse. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks again.