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Things Don't Always Go the Way We Hope...
I am always sad to hear that each year a few mares have resorbed or aborted a fetus or a mare will die giving birth or a mare will just not get pregnant after numerous tries. This year I also hear of mares shutting down due to the Heat. I just got word from a loyal breeder that her mare resorbed, and she thought she was pregnant almost ready to have the foal.. It would have been a spectacular foal as a full sibling is wonderful. I feel I must make some comments.
~~ Breeding is not a business for the faint hearted!! I almost stopped before I really started when my first foal ever by Donavan was stillborn!! As I have learned from my vets who I trust completely , mares are the hardest animals to get pregnant and to have successfully hold a pregnancy. They are fragile animals.
~~Everything can affect them, their emotional environment, stable environment, light, weather, activity , age, etc. They don't do well if they try to have twins, and they can get infections, and there can be hidden problems..and there is just bad luck too.
~~And Timing is everything. It only takes one sperm to do the job, but getting it to the right place at the right time is the trick. If at all possible , bring your mare in to our clinic and let the vets with Donavan manage the insemination. Next best is to take your mare to your vet, so she is there when ever a check up is needed. So I want to stress that there is great joy in having these foals, but there will be disappointments and there can be high financial costs, and frustration.
~ In Donavan's case, frozen semen is a good alternative, since with proper vet management, you can be ready exactly when the mare is!!
~~ As a stallion owner and a mare owner, I have seen it all from both sides, and all we can do is pledge that we will keep Donavan as healthy and able as we can and we encourage you to really take the time, spend the money to have your mares checked and kept healthy and communicate with our vets. Have your vets talk with ours and we will try to make it as pleasant and successful an experience as it can be..but knowing ..nature is in charge!!
~~And also remember, you are working to have a foal with great talent, excellent breeding and valuable in monetary terms ..so focus on the end result.. Dr. Andy Schmidt always says, the only thing we can really count on with the mares is that we cannot count on them! wwc
We can Learn Something New From Every Experience ...
Just returned from a super trip to Texas,(Fall 2005) to see my daughter and son-in law, and to attend a Hanoverian inspection with them and their first Hanoverian colt, Donnacha, (Dunny) out of his AHS approved Dam, Eve of Victory. They also brought a TB mare , a former eventer, Dona Valliant, to see if the AHS would be able to approve her for breeding. She is in foal to Donavan for 2006, and years ago, before she was with our daughter she was approved by the ISR/OldenburgNA.
The Donavan colt was very well received and praised for his entire impression, movement, conformation, Praise was given for the improvement Donavan made on Donnacha's AHS approved TB mother, Eve of Victory. TB's often show a bit flatter gaits, less than super feet, and leaner, less substantial legs and conformation. Donavan "fixes " these!! The judges were Volker Ehlers and Vanessa Carlson, two very highly esteemed breeders and part of the judging team this year for the AHS. Volker remembers Donavan when he first came from Germany, and saw him at his 100 Day test in CA! He commented on what a nice stallion he was. I must say I was very proud of that colt!! He was a very well behaved 3.5 month old colt.( he is for sale..see Sale page).
The day did not go so well for the mare Dona Valiant. (aka Nellie). First off , it again came clear, that one cannot bring a TB mare, or any mare that is a bit nervous to be away from home, to an inspection without practice..and if she is the nervous or a herd bound type, do try to bring her the day before, perhaps lunging her prior to handling in the ring. My daughter's situation was such that had not been possible..so she learned. Also, Remember TB's must score higher overall than Hanoverian mares, and must earn a 7 on trot and at least 6 on walk.. Nellie was very much praised for several of her conformation points with high marks for head and legs and feet, etc..but she was too up tight to show a good walk and trot, so though they liked her type for a TB mare that would be entered into the AHS stud book , they could not pass her that day. So like many others, my daughter will have to investigate whether this mare , with some more preparation and work, actually has a more reaching, relaxed walk ( I think she does as I have seen it at home,.) and if she can show an improved trot..and whether it is a good idea to bring her back to the AHS with her foal to try again.
I am talking about this as I hope this will give some of you more insight into how to approach an inspection with your mares, especially the TB mares that Donavan crosses so well with! Please read the information the AHS puts out on the website and in the stallion book, on videos that are available. It is a bit of work , but so worth it. Some of Donavan's most successful offspring so far have Approved TB Dams!! The Warmblood registries need a certain amount of TB blood to keep the ideal they have for their breeds. Of course this advice holds true for all of your mares!! wwc
Proper Nutrition for New Foals. Watching out for joint , leg and foot problems.
I hope to compile some information and advice I have received from my veterinarians regarding the problems a breeder can encounter with the new foal and their development of good joints , too fast growth rate, and how to counter the problems.
Coming soon. wwc