Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last Saturday's News........... The Haybarn........

Once we got out of the boys' barn, the next place we visited was the haybarn and the horses that live in there. As you can probably tell by its name that barn was built for storing hay but as our herd has grown part of that space has been used to put stalls.

Because that building never was intended to house horses, its dimensions weren't really suitable for stalls or wide aisles. The end result is an aisle way that's really on the narrow side. The horses on one side of the aisle way can reach nose to nose with the horses on the other side if they chose. In a way that's a good thing for the social aspects of a horse's personality but there are times that reach can complicate things.

There are currently five horses living in that barn and we made our way through in the same clockwise rotation we'd used in the boys' barn. Tag minded his manners and waited his turn while fernvalley got to meet Mizscarlet but Percy didn't mind his when she visited with Doc. I looked up to see Sherry facing Doc and loving on him while Percy reached across the aisle for her shirt trying to steal her away to visit him.

The gelding was not being aggressive. He just didn't think fernvalley should be wasting her time with Doc when Percy in all his glory was right there behind her and I don't know that she was particularly aware of what he was trying to do. She was still intently visiting with Doc much to the chagrin of poor Percy.

The expression on the faces of all involved made quite a picture but fernvalley was the one with the camera. I mentioned it to her so she handed her camera off to me but, of course, by the time I figured out what I was doing the shot was just not the same. Mostly because now fernvalley was aware of Percy behind her so she was trying to visit with both boys at the same time. While Percy was not necessarily content to share with Doc, he also had lost the intense look he'd been wearing when trying to get her attention in a way that wouldn't get him into trouble.

At this point we have barely made a dent in viewing my herd but fernvalley had already learned that these horses love their time with humans. They are not bothered by strangers either. They pretty much see all humans as new friends worthy of investigating. Visiting Louie and Tag on the way out of the haybarn did nothing to change that perception.

The next place we went was around the outside of the haybarn where there are shed row type stalls. The first stalls we visited there were the twins, Surprise and Trouble. It was while we were there I learned that Martin's family had a set of twins born on their farm when he was young. Unlike my twinstheir birth was normal and they thrived with little drama. Martin and I compared notes about their development and such as we continued through the barns. Maybe someday fernvalley will share their story on her blog.

Next to Trouble was Vee, mother of the twins. It always surprises me when I see their faces looking out at me at the same time how much alike mother and son are. We went on down the aisle looking at Echo and then Gypcy with the wound on her chest. After reading about her injury on the blog, fernvalley knew just looking Gypcy was healing quite well but she also got to see the assortment of scrapes all over her front legs that made figuring out what she'd done so hard to do. WE both shook our heads about the messes horses can get themselves into and moved onto the next stalls.

Around the corner were the three gray mares, Hope, Faith and Rose. Fernvalley told me when she was a kid about all she saw was gray Arabians and we talked some the colors that have come and gone out of favor over the years.

Of course, gray was the in color at the time she referenced but from the time I began in horses many people didn't want to deal with grays or chestnuts. With gray being a dominant gene, it was not as easy to breed out but the recessive chestnut gene was definitely easier to avoid. In today's show ring iit is not uncommon to see classes it is not uncommon to see a ring full of bay horses. Sometimes there won't be even one gray or one chestnut in a class. Under those circumstances the bay horses can kind of blend all together and some people are realizing that having a chestnut or a gray can be an advantage in getting seen.

I know that color has never affected my breeding decisions so you see all colors of Arabian horses on this farm. Legs' carries a chestnut gene he got from his mother that carried through from his granddam, Latoura Dare. Most of my broodmares carry a chestnut gene as well. Then three of my broodmares are gray so you would think we would see a lot of gray and a little more chestnut but that has not been the case.

Solidare never gave me a single gray foal but she sure did come through with a chestnut foal. The fact she never had a gray foal though kept the number of gray foals Legs has sired down more than you would expect for a total of only 5. Although the two other gray mares, Lilly and Faye have pretty kept up with the statistics and delivered gray foals half the time. While neither has contributed a chestnut foal, Lilly had one that grayed from chestnut which says that chestnut is possible from her. Faye on the other hand has foals that have grayed from black and grayed from chestnut which suggests she could have a black foal under the right circumstances.

I know that Heiress carries a chestnut gene because her mother is chestnut but we've only seen bay foals from her. Aana's foals have been split pretty evenly between chestnuts and bays although they have all been colts. I guess these last paragraphs tell you when my mind goes when you start talking colors and they do reflect aspects of our conversation as we pushed through visiting all the horses. I guess you just never know where the conversation will go when two breeders get their heads together.

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

Speaking of me with a camera, this picture is kind of an interesting double exposure taken when Legs was a baby.

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  1. When I went shopping for Dee I admit that I really didn't want a grey. While they can be very striking, I had two before, and memories of pee stained white tails and grass stained hips were just too much lol. I would have loved it if Dee had turned out to be chestnut (she actually had a younger sister for sale who was but I couldn't buy another green horse after Page) and I recall thinking how bay was so common, but now I see why! Bay is awesome.

  2. I do wish we had gotten a picture of Percy and Doc, before I realised what was going on. Poor guy must have thought "how rude!" Wanted to say here,I know I got distracted chatting and petting ponies and forgot to get oo many more phots, matter of fact I think I missed all of the mares.But to anyone who wonders, they are all beautiful and as glorious as the rest , I was just busy visiting

  3. I would have loved to join your color conversation. When I decided to breed Annie, I tried very hard to breed for any color but gray. I believe Annie's dam foaled all grays. Annie's sire was bay so I figured I had a 50% chance, at least, to get another color. I think I succeeded!

    How many horses do you have currently? I would love to see them all some day.

  4. Interesting about the color combos that come from breeding. I love gray horses and would love to have a barn full of them but I guess they are harder to come by than bays.

    Glad to hear you are enjoying your visitors.

  5. Yes, I've heard breeders talk colors on many occasions and all you here is a big WHOOSH going over my head. ;)

  6. Start talking color genetics an my head spins. I am a bit behind in this aspect and make no apologies for it. I'm not a fan of chestnut horses but there are a few who have caught my eye and attention. Bays and greys are my choices by far. But then I also like a blue roan too if they are put together right.

    To me a good horse is a good horse, regardless of their breed, color, markings or some other factors people hold them up to. As long as they have brains and know how to use them, I'm good with that.

  7. Sounds like fun, color has always intrigued me as well, there are so many options. I still think a bay is my favorite though, but now I been in the horse business a while, I have seen there are good horses of all colors and color matters less to me now than when my horses were more like pets than using horses.