Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses Part 6

GS Khochise & Scandalous

The beginning of the Baby Boomer Dream starts here

Before I begin on the adventure of breeding my dream Arabian horse, Scandalous, to the son, GS Khochise, of the legendary Khemosabi, let me give you a little background both Arabian horses, Scandalous and GS Khochise. I've always like to have the names of my horses reflect their personality in some way. While I didn't name this horse, Scandalous definitely suited the mare. The breeder, Shannon Armstrong, had settled on that name because as a young filly, she had come into heat very early and well, her behavior was pretty scandalous. As the mare matured, her behavior in heat didn't change much. She was very vocal and the horse did a lot wall kicking.

In the big training facility, the trainers had an apartment up over the front part of the building. Below them were the office, groom rooms, tack room, wash rack and laundry rooms supposedly so the Arabian horses wouldn't be keeping them up at night. The stalls themselves were the big Barnmaster metal stall, which can be pretty noisy with kicking horses. So in the far back of the barn there were a number of stalls with rubber mats on the walls. Scandalous was relegated to one of those, and she could still keep a person up a night when she was in heat.

Scandalous had one foal before I bought the mare. She was only covered by the stallion, Aikon once. Everything went smoothly. The only exception was she did experience a small tear in delivery that required a couple of stitches. The mare had a large, flashy bay colt with four white socks, star, strip and snip and a huge attitude. Aidol thought he was the king of the hill. The colt had just been weaned when I began working at the show facility and the mare was 'recuperating' from the little monster chewing all of her mane and tail off. (He matured to be 15.2H and did awesome in the show ring as a western horse at age 3.)

While GS Khochise was relatively an unknown in the breeding shed as a sire of winning Arabian get. His half-Arabian get were tearing up the show ring in western pleasure and already included national winners. GS Khochise himself had a limited show record with a regional championship in a 3 year old halter futurity and other local and regional wins. Later in his life however, Khochise would change owners and his star would begin to rise. GS Khochise would become the winningest Arabian show horse in history with 38 national titles and over 70 regional awards in various disciplines including halter, show hack, hunter pleasure, western pleasure and trail.

Fast forward two years, I was still working at the Arabian horse training/show barn but most of the horses there were show horses. A couple of the stallions there were breeding mares but not a lot. I was getting a little bit of experience understanding breeding, mares cycling etc. but still had a lot to learn. When it came time to breed my own mare, I was asking lots of questions but mostly doing what I was told.

We had the Arabian mare (horse) cultured in preparation for breeding. Once the results confirmed the mare was clean, she was bred. The stallion had a heavy show schedule but the mare's 'scandalous" nature adapted well to his limited time at home. All we had to do was tease her once or twice and the mare would come right into heat. The mare was covered once and the stallion was off and gone to another Arabian horse show.

About fourteen days after the mare was bred, I came into work one day to find my mare had been examined by the vet via ultrasound.(unbeknown to me or I'd have been there) Scandalous had settled twins. They hadn't pinched one of the twins because I wasn't there to authorize the procedure. But the following day a different vet was at the facility and the trainers had him pinch off one of the follicles. Then the trainers packed up Arabian horses and equipment and off they went to another Arabian horse show while I stayed at the farm, barn sitting. While they were gone the first vet came back one evening to deal with Scandalous's twin pregnancy and I had my first experience with an irate vet (and I do mean screaming at me irate) because he'd come out of his way to take care of my mare. I guess it's ironic that my very first experience in breeding Arabian horses started off on a rocky road with a mare that settled twins. I quickly learned the way not to get stuck in the middle was to be in charge. To do that meant I had to do a lot more reading and so it started.

When the mare was checked again, I was there. Scandalous was open. The mare had absorbed the second pregnancy as well. Again she graciously accommodated us by coming right back into heat when we teased her with the stallion. It was a good thing too, because the show string was leaving in just a couple of days and this time they were to be gone for three full weeks. GS Khochise was one of the horses going to be gone that full duration. So the mare was covered once by the stallion and then he went off to the Regional Championship shows. There he won one of his first regional championships in western pleasure.

Scandalous stayed in heat for four more days after the stallion left. I counted every day knowing the longer she stayed in heat the less likely we were to catch her. By the time we hit day four we figured there was no way that the Arabian mare was bred. There was no way a stallion's semen would live that long. Or would it? When the mare (horse) was ultra sounded fourteen days after she went out of heat, Scandalous was checked in foal with a single pregnancy. GS Khochise had inherited the fertility (and motility) of his legendary father, Khemosabi who was still settling mares up until he died at 33. My dream of being a horse woman and breeding Arabian horses was off and running, I had a foal due in June of 1990. No farm, but I was on my way!

To be continued....

Part 7

1 comment:

  1. Hi MiKael

    Thanks for your comments on my blog, it is good to hear from you.

    I know how hard that must have been to write about the twins from Sassy and Lauriette. I hope things settle down for her soon and also sometimes it helps to put things into words on paper, it helps get it all out.

    I think we may have a baby tonight, I am on my way out to check on her now.

    I havent been checking the cam very often, been having a bad few days with this depression thing, need a kick in the butt to get me started.

    Hope you are well and that it is warming up for you too, our mud is drying slowly.

    Give baby a hug for me, let me know what you are thinking for his names, along what lines and I will see if I can come up with something too, you never know LOL.