The day to day operation and events of a small Thoroughbred Racing Stable using unconventional training methods
Thursday, July 14, 2011
"To Breed or Not To Breed"
I've worked at breeding farms. I've foaled babies. I've taken care of broodmares. I've handled stallions. Doing all of that for other people is a different ballgame than to operate your own breeding enterprise. For one, you don't have nowhere the hired manpower.
My broodmare band is small but, as far as I'm concerned, good quality and conformation. It's not a large band of mares. In total, I have 4 actual broodmares. This excludes Molly, who was very enthusiastically hollering at Doodle today when I brought him up to tease the girls. I'm not really counting Molly into the broodies gang because she is going to be running this fall.
Cat D'Or AKA KittyKats, is 17 hands at the stick and as much as I hate to say it, sort of resembles a stick. She's tall and lanky. There is nothing wrong with her conformation, she's just, well, tall and lanky.
"Cat D'Or" by Cats At Home x Ruthann D'Or
She's a sweet mare who can be very stubborn and was a monster under saddle. No one could hold her and she just wouldn't quit going. Tough to train according to my good friend Mark, who trained her through her career. Kat has some ankle track jewelry that would flare up during training repeatedly. Kat was retired from the track last winter.
Yesterday KittyKats was letting us know she's in season and wants a date with Doodle. So today, we pulled her out of the pasture, put her up in the barn and brought Mr. Hot Pants up to her to see where we're at. Kitty is a maiden mare, which means she's never been bred before. Nature takes care of a lot of things but that doesn't mean they automatically know what to do and when to do it. Kitty is also a dominant mare. She'll squeal at anything. Another mare comes up. Squeal. She smells a pile that's not familiar. Squeal. A ball of mane hair off Doodle after mane pulling. Squeal. 'Course the first thing she did was "Squeal!" at Doodle.
Well, he squealed right back but he sounded like he meant it a whole lot more than she did. So we sniff and snort noses. We squeal some more. Kitty turns her butt to him and winks. Poor Doodle is about to have a heart attack. This, no doubt, is the equivalent of the nerdy guy with glasses going to a bar and the hot brunette in stiletto heals coming up to him and raising her mini skirt to flaunt her garter belt.
Around she turns again and we have more of the mysterious and undoubtedly raunchy sweet nothings whispered between their two sets of nostrils. Again she whirls around and winks and this time, backs up close enough for him to sniff her right on the tail.
By nature, mares are all hoochies. Period. There's nothing subtle or endearing about these mating rituals. If human females acted that way, the whole race would be dubbed whores. Watching, or participating in the mating rituals of horses is not for the faint-hearted or easily embarrassed types. It is what it is, the way mother nature intended.
We take Kitty out to the roundpen. I wait a moment and follow with Doodle. Now mind you, all the other mares are hollering in the pasture. Every horse is up on their toes. This is exciting stuff!!!!! Who can think straight when there is all this exciting stuff happening?!?
Apparently not me. In the hustle bustle and excitement, I missed a crucial detail which turned the whole breeding event into a fiasco within seconds.
I've bred Doodle before, myself. He also covered a couple of mares last year. The routine is that you lead him to the mare (or vice versa) while one or the other is in a stall. Shank is over Doodle's nose. Take the mare out and get her situated to breed. Walk Doodle a couple of rounds and put the chain from over his nose INTO HIS MOUTH.
Well, shoot me and the horse I rode in on, I forgot. Doodle thought it was still "play silly games with the mare to get her ready" time. God God Almighty, that poor horse was so excited and over-excited and then again excited, his "weewee" was mushroomed like a giant bistro umbrella, he kept smacking himself with it, no doubt to try and get some relief. Kitty just stood there and waited and waited while Doodle kept nuzzling and hollering and nuzzling and got frustrated, because he thought that's what he was supposed to do, since there was no chain in his mouth, which would have told him it's actually time to breed: Mount, Insert "weewee", Do the Do and Dismount.
He ended up running in circles, completely losing his head (his brain tends to shrink in size when he gets THAT excited) and had to be cold hosed for a while. The poor guy probably has blue balls tonight.
On the up side (I don't mean his up side, which was up for a long while after), I did realize my mistake shortly, fessed up to my friend who was there helping and we gave up before the scenario actually took on disastrous proportions.
Tomorrow, we give it another go. This time the chain will be where it belongs. Along those same lines, I'm hoping the "weewee" will go where it belongs as well. And I gotta do this shit another 4 or possibly 5 times in the next few weeks, at a minimum. The expression "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" comes to mind....
The moment was in a way Shakespearean... To Breed Or Not To Breed? Today's answer was a resounding "No!"