It has been a really fun past 10 days with my new little foal! I named her Rey (show name still to be determined) and she is hysterical and so full of herself! I know you all were probably scratching your head thinking when the hell did she breed her horse? How did little Rey come about? Well even if you weren't I'll still tell you ;)
|Baby Daddy at age 2? 3? Idk|
|Baby Daddy now!|
This wasn't a decision I made lightly- I had been considering breeding Marley for probably 5 years at this point but hadn't quite pulled the trigger. I did lots of research, pulled apart Marley's pedigree, thought about all the scenarios, and who would be the baby daddy. I knew I wanted to breed her to either an Irish Sport Horse or an Irish Draught so when a should be really nice stallion basically fell in my lap I couldn't not breed to him!
|First XC school with Marley in 2012?|
Last spring I took Marley to the vet for a breeding soundness exam, asked the vet if I was crazy as shit, and they gave the typical neither yes or no answer but that Marley was overall a nice horse. In June I took her to the farm where Aviator was being collected and a bit later Marley was bred. The next 15 days I was so nervous and excited and when I took her back to see if she took, there was no baby. My heart did sink a little bit but the vet said even though she was a maiden mare we should take a culture of her uterus b/c the insemination timing was perfect (and seriously the semen was about as fresh as you could get except for live cover) The results came back and Marley's uterus was really dirty. I decided to do the round of antibiotics and try one more time. If she didn't take after cleaning her up then that was it.
|BN Schooling HT August 2013 with Marley|
On August 13th, 2019 I took Marley to be bred one last time and 15 days later there was a black dot!!! At this point I was still nervous after having a failed attempt and Marley having a dirty uterus so I barely told anyone that I bred her. My parents knew, and few close friends knew, and of course my husband knew. As the months went on and Marley was still pregnant I did start to sigh a little bit in relief but still not telling a soul about possible baby. Once we got to the last trimester I did start telling a few more people but wasn't announcing it on any social media.
|First born foal- full Irish Draught- his mom is REALLY nice!|
Then May came and a few of the other mares that were bred to Aviator started having their foals and I couldn't help but get excited for July. He was only bred to 6 mares this season and mine was the last one to be born. The other 5 were all little colts and 4 had come out healthy (one sadly was a red bag baby that came early so the owner didn't catch it in time to save the foal) Starting on June 28th I set my alarm clock for the middle of the night so I could go check on Marley. I kept up night check on Marley though for a few days in July when I realized I might of been over thinking Marley's foaling signs and stopped going down at 3am and just did my normal night check at 12. Then on July 9th I thought hummm.... Marley's hind end does seem a bit more relaxed.... oh hummm her teats have started to elongate....no wax though.... so that night when I woke up at 2:15isham to do late check I really thought about going back to bed b/c I had already been overthinking everything! But I scolded myself and said "she is getting close... suck it up and go check" and thank god I did b/c when I got down to the barn Marley was in stage 1 of labor!!!
|Welcome to the world Rey!!!|
At this point I was wide awake and called my friend LL who had wanted to be there when Marley foaled and 20 minutes after Marley laid down there was a cute little filly!!! The only filly by Aviator to boot!!! Thankfully everything went smoothly with the delivery, standing, nursing, pooping etc, and Marley was super attentive and even though she didn't wax up and milk was streaming everywhere she had plenty of colostrum and when the vet came to check on her later that afternoon all was well.
10 Days later I am still enjoying all the silliness that Rey has brought to the farm. She loves zooming around the pasture and Marley is such a great mom. I did have a tiny bit of hope that Rey wouldn't be grey but with 2 grey parents.... yeah... she's grey. I'll enjoy looking at her blaze while it's visible before it fades away...
|Love this little face|
I know there's a long road ahead to being able to ride Rey and a lot can happen, but in the meantime I'm enjoying each moment as it comes. This might be the only foal I breed myself but you never know!!! I do hope she will get a friend by the time she's weaned (my friend JG bred her mare too) but haven't ironed out all those details yet. We'll see what happens!!!
|trying to graze like mom|