Monday, December 29, 2008

The Good and the Bad

Well, the Bad first. Some of you will remember that at the Kentucky Horse Park I got news that my mare Moira, in foal to Magnatli, had apparently slipped her foal. Well, no fetus was found in the stall or the paddock, so Doc palpated her leaving us all with a question mark - at 6 months it is apparently difficult to be sure. Her uterus was large, but he could not find a foal as it "might" have slipped over the pelvis and be hard to find. OK, so we did a progesterone level test on her - it was 3.9 which was indicitave that she was still in foal. Just re-palpated her at 9 months, and the results were the same. Large uterus, no foal. Bad luck - I was very much looking forward to a Magnatli colt out of Moira.
On the other hand, Gekla is looking extremely pregnant (in foal to Magnatli) and extremely content with life, and she is due February 16 - I'm hoping this will be a filly. So that's the good part - just got to hope it stays good!
Ah, horse breeding - there's lots of good and lots of bad, but my many years at it have proven, to me, at least, that the good very definitely outweighs the bad.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Winter and Old Dogs

November and December in Virginia are prime riding months- between 50 and 60 degrees, dry and crisp, a great time of year to get in a lot of schooling time. Not this year, though. It has swung wildly from 65 degrees and pouring rain to 25 degrees and 50-mph winds without any kind of pattern at all, making any form of riding routine impossible. To clip the horses would leave them frozen on the bitter days, but they get too hot at 65 degrees to do any serious work. The weather made it impossible to get our outdoor arena finished this fall, so with the ground being either slick as a skating rink or frozen into ruts, it's been nothing but frustration watching them standing around.

Comes December 27, and wow ! 58 degrees and sunny, run and get the tack !

Kazak, the old veteran, knowing him well I put him on the lunge to get his bucks out, 10 minutes of craziness and he was done, lathered but happy. We'll go for a hack tomorrow in the morning when it's cooler, he has a really bushy coat.

Kuma, the youngster, I also put on the lunge line to watch him go and assess where he was at, he hasn't done a stitch of work in almost 6 weeks. It still never ceases to amaze me, 21 years into this breed, how easy they are to get fit and how little it takes to condition them, or I should say, for them to condition themselves. Kuma, who lives out 24/7, does his daily laps down his fence line keeping an eye on the weanlings nextdoor, and even without any formal work in almost 2 months, didn't break a sweat or blow out a match after his pipe-opener.

Watching him trot happily around like he could go on forever, I decided to jump in and enter the endurance world with him this spring, he never wears out and he cheerfully will do whatever I ask, so I guess if I can ride hellbent for leather on a foxhunt for 4 hours, I can do so out on an endurance ride too, and I might even have a chance to look at the scenery while I'm at it ! We'll see if this old dog can actually learn anything new...

Hope it was as nice a day wherever you are as it was here today, hope for spring is still alive !

Central Asian Equines

Friday, December 26, 2008

Winter Weather

Here in Western Washington, we have an abundance of snow. Usually, we get 4 inches and within a day or so, it's turned to mud. Not this year. We have up to 4 FEET in places, it's been snowing for over a week, kids didn't have school most of last week because of the weather and we're tired of it!

Of course, with lots of snow, comes the challenges - frozen water buckets, frozen hoses, blocked gates to paddocks, snowy roads, and last but not least, too much snow on the barn roof. We spent most of Christmas day shoveling off the arena roof, although we only made it part of the way. Temps went up in the afternoon, and we're hoping they go up more. Today, we'll be back up again, shoveling away. Horses are up to their bellies in some paddocks and the charm has worn off. The kids are asking 'when will it end'? Probably just in time for school to start again. On the positive side, it sure is pretty and we can really appreciate it from the top of the arena, as we take a break from shoveling. It does make me very glad that I've got enough hay and grain and a frost free water hydrant though!

We're supposed to get some warming this weekend, and I'm all for it. I think the kids, husband and horses are too. Dogs and cats have just curled up in front of the woodstove, and don't seem to mind a bit.

I'm dreaming of a muddy New Year!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

My post from November said that winter had arrived early in Michigan, it has been an artic winter for sure. Yesterday our low was -1 f (and windy) and our highs have been in the teens and it will not stop snowing! The mares have been out in the pasture with a barn for a run in(and they are mostly snuggled in the straw, not outside) everyone else has been in the barn for the last 3 days and the 3 horses with-out heated automatic waterers have had their buckets almost frozen solid by morning. Shirley recently sent an email asking what we were all doing in the snow. Well Shirley, I for one am wishing I was in Florida with you!!!! I would say Magnatli and Metman are wishing the same!! Do you need a barn hand for the winter? It is a good thing that Teke's are good with confinement, the Teke's don't mind at all being locked in the barn, my sons Paint horse cannot stand being in and is going crazy. Teke's are so easy and low maintenance!

We wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Anne-Marie, Bob, Bobby, Cassidy and Karissa Rasch
Freedom Run Farm

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hello Everyone
Well, Christmas week is upon us. All of my stalls have plastic red bows on them - I think they are pretty, but the horses are not enthused if there is more than just a breeze blowing through the shedrow. I mean, being plastic, the bows crackle & crunch - sooooooo scary! But, by New Year's - by the time I take them down - they will all be totally acclimated - until next year!
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and a New Year full of happiness!