Jess and I bought Big Red in June and both of us have been looking forward to the first crop of foals from him this coming spring. She bred her gorgeous quarter horse paint, Serenity (A Diversified Rose) and I bred my palomino, Rain (Cant Stop the Rain).
As a maiden mare, Rain was not very receptive to say the least. She was more of a witch on steroids. Teasing Big Red, luring him over and then BAM! Thankfully, she only hurt his pride, but after a couple of successful covers, I was happy that "that" was all over with and we could look forward to a little, or rather big bundle of join this spring.
There are so many qualities about Rain that I love, not to mention I do love the blondies. She is extremely smart, quick and agile. She's got a powerhouse rump and her confirmation is top notch. With all that said and done, I do wish she was a pinch taller. At 14.3 hh, she could stand to be 15 or 15.2 hh. Then maybe Dan would ride more. Okay, okay, probably not.
Needless to say, I have been looking forward and imagining the foal she would have. Until about late September. Rain and Beddy had been pastured with Big Red for a little over a month when I noticed some alarming behavior - Rain was acting in heat! We were preparing to leave on vacation and if she was in fact open, I didn't want to have an August foal next year, so I separated her out.
I knew I could take her down for an ultrasound, but wanted to see if I could find an easier alternative. Lo and behold, there is a pregnancy test for horses available - Wee Foal. I took the $30 gamble and ordered one up. With a similar concept to the human test, the WeeFoal test requires horse urine and then tests the hormones in it. You might be thinking, "Just how do you plan on collecting a sample?" Well, thankfully I know Rain frequently relieves herself prior to being fed. Thus, I waited until we started to feed hay.
The first day I fed hay, I came prepared with my clean vessel in which I would collect the sample. I waited and waited and waited. I waited again on the second, third, fourth, sixth day and as the seventh day passed, I wondered if I would ever get a sample.
I was on my way home from work and I stopped as I do most every night to feed the horses before I continued up the driveway. I looked around in my car and thought to myself, "What if she actually pees tonight? I don't have anything to collect it with. Wait, Anders sippy cup is here and all it had was water in it, so it's clean." Yep, poor Anders had to sacrifice his sippy cup as I headed over to the round bale.
Rain was the first to the fence line. It was as though all of the stars had aligned. She came up, turned lengthwise along the fence and waited for her share of hay. I forked some hay under the fence and then noticed that all too familiar squat - she was peeing! I lunged to grab the sippy cup off the ground and stretched my arm between the fence lines. Yah! I got a sample!
I was proud as I walked through the door with my fresh, warm sample in hand. While I got all sorts of looks and had to swot away the little hands that wanted in, I put the WeeFoal test to the test. I read the instructions twice and then went to work.
I waited the ten minutes and then noticed one line appear. A few minutes later, a second line! I double-checked the instructions again, but those two lines meant she was not pregnant. I had my doubts as she doesn't have the soggy belly like Beddy and with her acting in heat, I was preparing myself for this outcome.
There's always next year and we'll try again Raino.