Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like you to meet the cutest embryo you will ever see:
P is at 32 days today, and we checked the embryo for a heartbeat. It was there, tiny and pounding away, like a little black pinprick flashing on the screen. The embryo is that white thing in the middle of the black blob - the blackness is the fluid in the sac. My little future champion is between 1/2"-3/4" right now, small marble or grape size.
(If you want some more details on fetal development, check out this link!)
For the next few months, we don't need to do much. We'll recheck her in the fall to make sure baby is still in there and doing well - we could opt to do 45 and 90 day ultrasounds, but since we have a heartbeat now, it's not really necessary, not to mention the fact that if she loses her pregnancy we won't rebreed her this year, it's just too late in the year and summer is hard enough on her as it is). She needs to keep moving as much as possible in her paddock/pasture (her stifle isn't up for much, if any, saddle work anymore, so this is probably my only way to keep her fit). Her nutritional requirements up until month 8 stay the same, and I'm quite happy with her diet as is (high forage, high fat, very low starch/sugar, balanced vits/mins). I'd like to keep the chemicals and drugs out of her as much as possible while she is pregnant, so we'll use a lot of discretion for dewormer and play other things by ear (like the other day, she had a painful eye that swelled itself shut when a bug got into it - we got the bug out but she needed banamine to help the swelling and pain in her eye. She is fine now, but that obviously was not something we could have avoided!). She'll need her rhino shots - current recommendations for those are 3-5-7-9 months. At month 8, a lot of things will be changing and things will be altered. Until then, her job is to eat and be healthy and keep growing her little fetus!
On the O front, we've been dealing with torrential rain (which is very weird for Texas in June), but inbetween huge storms we have been able to get out and road-ride some more. I don't like to pound her down the road a lot, so I am fairly judicious with what we do, but we are able to get some really quality work done. I really, really like the double on her. I wasn't sure on the first day, but since then she has just been *awesome* in it. She stretches out to the bridle, is responsive to aids, and is starting to get a little more sideways step in her lateral work. We're just doing rudimentary things like leg yielding at the walk (and starting to at the trot), and starting to do stuff like turning on the forehand and some really poor walk pirouettes, but she is learning the idea of moving individually off of each set of aids. I am probably going to have to put spurs back on as well - for being as hot as she is, she is quite sluggish off my leg aids sometimes. It seems a little silly to be using a double bridle when you're just teaching the horse to go forward and sideways, but you gotta do what works for the horse.
I made a splurge purchase and ordered my own curb and bridoon. The bridoon is double jointed, and the curb has a very short shank and a low port. I really think she will like this combo. The bridoon I am using is single jointed, and the curb has a pretty high port and super long shanks. I don't need THAT much action by any means, so something smaller and nicer will suit her just fine.
What I purchased:
The huge shanks and single joint on the bits I borrowed. The curb is way more than I need. And I added a nice touch to soften up the skinny little bridoon: a Fruit Roll-Up! She LOVES Fruit Roll-Ups and opens her mouth happily for her bits, which is a big thing for her. That's obviously not a forever thing, but she is soft and pleasant and thoughtfully mouthing her bits as well as taking a really nice contact in them, so for now it's perfect. Also pardon the figure-8, that was on the bridle originally but got removed and traded out for a plain cavesson:
Also, who thought of the genius idea to combine a Back on Track saddle pad AND a Thinline pad all into ONE THING? S gave this pad to me as a trade-out for my Back on Track standing wraps that I never use anymore. I use this pad all the time now and I love it! I don't think it makes a difference in O - even after hours and hours of hard riding, she has never had any sort of back soreness or problems - but it is so nicely made that I use it all the time. I'm almost afraid to wash it!