Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A bath, and the best news!!

Bay Girl today decided to give new meaning to the phrase ridin' dirty....

They see me rollin' (in the mud)... they hatin'...

At this point I am not sure which horse is the more disgusting one, Pangea or Bay Girl. These girls LIVE to waller in their own filth. They could go head to head in a mud wrestling competition and I'm not sure who would win. If there is moisture in the air or on the ground or in the dirt, they are there in a heartbeat and grinding the mess into their hair.

Therefore, she got her first bath in FIVE MONTHS immediately following this. (There was literally no way to give her a bath with Elvis attached to her! Not my colt, not my place to risk taking him outside of his pasture!)

She was relatively well-behaved for it, sort of. She's a bit rusty when it comes to handling... there was a fair bit of wiggling and some screaming at first. She was not amused with having her face washed either, so I got the worst of it off and left it on a positive note.

Happy girl was very pleased to be clean.

And now..... THE BEST NEWS. (I had to save it for last!) I called the ET facility again today after not hearing back from them after I left my last message. (I figured a bit of harassment couldn't hurt.) I told them it was weaning time, and I wanted the mare. "All right," he said. "All I need is a check and she's yours."


It is all thanks to my readers that this is happening. Without your generous donations, this might never have become a reality. Because of you guys, she is going to come home with me and be where she belongs. I don't know when Elvis' owners plan on sending her back, but when they do, all I have to do is show up at the ET facility with a trailer and a check, and I can take her on home.

And I'm thinking I finally have the perfect name for her.... Imogen. I haven't decided that 100%, but as with all my horses, the perfect name almost always just leaps randomly out at me from absolutely nowhere. I love it.

Weaning Day HAS ARRIVED!

There are many unexpected good surprises in this world. For example, if someone brings you ice cream for no reason in the middle of the day - that is a good surprise. Or finding five dollars in your dirty pants pocket - that is also a good surprise. All of these and other good surprises pale in comparison to the good surprise I got yesterday near the end of the day, however. Out of nowhere, it was decided that yesterday was weaning day for Elvis... finally, the long awaited day had come!!

We pulled Bay Girl out of her field for the farrier (who, remember, is not me) yesterday afternoon, and it was decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to wean. We just pulled her out of the field and led her off, and left him behind with his Zoie. Since he actually was spending 90% of his time with Zoie anyway, he boinked around for a minute and tossed his head, then settled back into eating, Zoie at his side. As for Bay Girl, she stood perfectly still for her trim, only screaming a few times for Zoie (who screamed back). Afterwards, we put her out in the back mare pasture with three other small (and either very old or somewhat crippled mares), and proceeded to watch her get her butt whooped by the smallest, most crippled, and lowest on the totem pole. Poor thing.

The next morning, I'm pretty sure Elvis had all but completely forgotten that he ever even had a mother:

And as for Bay Girl, she was not amused about being put out in a field of mares who hate her. She spent the entire day following me up and down the fenceline, screaming for me, running to me whenever I appeared:

She'll settle in soon enough... although she won't be there long. I don't know what her plans are in terms of how long she'll be at this farm, but I have another call into the ET facility's office. Hopefully they call me back ASAP!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It is hard to keep track of hundreds of horses.

After a few failed returned phone calls about Bay Girl, and after finally (FINALLY) making contact last week, I had my work cut out for me concerning finding information relevant to finding out exactly who Bay Girl was in enormous the recipient mare herd. I heard there are something like six hundred head of horses out on their property, so understandably they are numbered instead of named, and not well remembered by the staff. I was asked by the head vet to figure out the name off Elvis' owner, in order to figure out exactly which mare they had lent out to him, and I did so. A few MORE failed phone calls later, I finally got ahold of him, and passed on the owner's information. "Ok, let me look up the name.... ok, found it. Yep, so this is an A-brand mare, right? She has an A with her brand?" Ah.... no. No, she does not. "Oh... well that is the only name in here that matches that, so they must have the wrong mare and foal!" Ah... well no, I think it's the right one. "Well, let me ask my secretary if she can find the mare from the description you're giving me... the donor mare was not Marguerite du Por Favor, was it?" Ah... no, I don't remember the name but it was definitely not that. "Well, let me get back to you next week."
Thankfully, less than a minute later, my phone rang again. "Hey, I found her! The donor mare is Go Mecham Gold, right?" Yes! Yes, that's the donor mare. "All right, well the recipient mare is tag number R95, so remember that." No problem... sure will. We spoke briefly about it, and agreed that I would call back again closer to weaning time in order to strike a deal. Now that it has been a few days, I think I am actually NOT going to wait until weaning time... they are so hard to get a hold of anyway that I risk missing my opportunity if I don't solidify it now. I'll be calling again this coming week and saying, look here mister... this is happening and I'll be there to sign the paperwork whenever you want!

Yesterday, Bay Girl, Zoie, and baby all took the opportunity to come trotting over to me for breakfast from understand their shed (it was *gasp!* drizzling outside and none of them wanted to be wet). It is hard to evaluate Bay Girl's movement without being able to do more than just catch her at random moments running in the pasture, but I have seen enough trotting and cantering to know that she possesses three phenomenal gaits. She absolutely blows Pangea out of the water in terms of gait quality (but don't tell her that!). Time will tell if she is on par with Gogo in the same terms, but from what I have seen, she is. That trot took my breath away - huge, sweeping, floating and fluidly sound. The only thing I can fault her on is that she has a very, very slight outward paddle to both fronts. There isn't any sort of weird conformation fault that adds to this, so I'm not worried. Once in awhile I will also catch her cantering off, or in full sprint mode, and let me tell you... that girl is FAST! Her canter is huge, uphill, and pure. Every time I see her move, all I can think about it how awesome she is going to be once under saddle. And every time I touch her, every time she lets me walk up and pet her face, I get chills and butterflies in my stomach, thinking about how lucky I am to be able to be trusted enough for that kind of interaction.

Yes, I'm definitely calling again next week. This mare HAS to be mine.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Houston, we have contact!!

It's about bloody time, but I finally (FINALLY!) have made contact with the ET facility. FINALLY! I had to track down the vet's cell phone number, but it worked!

Andddddd no definites yet. Despite the fact that the last time I talked to the facility they were able to give me all the information they had on Bay Girl just from her description, the vet was unable this time to figure out who she was. (D'oh... it was the woman secretary who figured her out last time... don't ask a man to do a woman's job!) He asked if I knew who the donor mare was, and who the owner was. I had no idea, but told him I could find out easy enough. He told me to go ahead and do that, then give him a call back and he could figure out how much he wanted to let her go for.

YES. We are one name away from finally securing a deal. YES.

So now I have some sleuthing to do! But ahhhh, we are ALMOST there!!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Is she pregnant? .... let's flipping hope not!!

Bay Girl right after she came back with Elvis:

And Bay Girl now:

A few of you asked last time after seeing Bay Girl's enormous pendulous belly whether or not she is pregnant. I doubt it - highly doubt it, if you want to really know - but anything is possible. She was, after all, at the ET facility when she foaled out. She didn't come back for a month, meaning she very well could have been bred on her foal heat. However, the possibility of a current pregnancy is pretty low. For starters, ET facilities usually keep their recip mares for some time after flushing, conceiving, and inserting the embryo back into the recip mare. Several pregnancy checks usually take place before the recip mare is moved on, to ensure a healthy and viable fetus. Secondly, I was told that the owners of the foal (meaning this year's foal) are charged $1000 if they don't send the mare back to the main farm. If that recip mare was carrying someone else's foal, they sure wouldn't want to risk that mare not coming home, would they? That would be a huge liability issue. As Elvis' real mother died last year, there will be no more siblings from that crossing, so he will have no reason not to send her back (the owner, that is). Unless a stallion got out right after she foale out, then she is probably not pregnant.
So the question now becomes... WHY the huge belly?
My thoughts are a few-fold. First, she has probably had a few foals in a row, back to back. Coupled with the fact that she may have never been in work at all, and that can lead to gravity doing a pretty terrible number on your topline. Second, parasites. She may have a wormy issue going on - won't know until we get a fecal done on her. Thirdly, diet. most of what she is eating is an eh quality roundbale and some sweetfeed and oats. (Not my choice.) She could do with better quality forage, a probiotc, and a gut health supplement for sure.
It was brought up to me that she may have a ligament issue in her belly - saggy, weak ligaments can keep a tummy hanging loose and low. I think that is not her problem, as the ruptured ligament mares I have seen are all dramatically sunk downwards. Bay Girl's sagginess is more outwards than anything, and has been developing post-pregnancy instead of happening in a one-time event.

So in other words, I think not... but you never know. Let's just HOPE not!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

And then, he ate her tail.

Poor Bay Girl. Poor, poor Bay Girl. Not only does she have an enormous pendulous gut, but now the little bit of her tail that she had left has been mostly consumed by the Red Pest. Awww MAN! It was so pathetic to begin with too.

Some detangler and a quick bang later and I seem to have made it somewhat more presentable...

Even the Tailmasta (that's me) can't do a full revival on this one. It's pathetic.

And the enormous belly just keeps getting bigger and bigger.... definitely concerning. Since she still isn't mine yet, I am limited in what I can do for her, especially since Elvis is still nursing. A fecal and a deworming, starting a quality probiotic, and switching to a better quality forage are all on the immediate to-do list once I get her home. (Still no word from the repro facility.. sigh.)

Elvis is 5 months old today, and you know what that means: weaning time is now just ONE MONTH away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

D'oh, silence!

Still no word back from the ET office unfortunately. It's very hard to get ahold of these people - another call and their answering machine appears to not be in use at the moment. UGH!

Well, I guess we're still on hiatus until we hear back from them. But just wanted to keep everyone updated in the meantime! Cross your fingers that I will actually get to talk to a living, breathing person sometime in the next century!