Thursday, July 18, 2013

Collection Achieved

Ok, how many of you read that title and pictured collection work under saddle? Not surprising, but this deals with Roscoe. After a couple of months of failed attempts to coordinate mare seasons, shipping and holidays, we FINALLY kept a collection appointment.
Of course Wednesday was one of the hottest days yet that we have had, so Roscoe was covered in sweat when we brought him in from turnout. We decided to hose him down before loading to make him feel better. I knew it was really hot when he actually stood on a loose lead while I hosed him off. Mr. Hydrophobic said that the water felt pretty good.
He loaded well, a good sign. Then we could not find our printed directions to ERC. I put them in the glove box and I think my dad or brother took them out. Luckily I remembered the street name and used my phone. Traffic cooperated and we made it just before our 1pm appointment.

Mr. Sunburn Nose waiting for his turn

Murphy's Law, we were ready, but they were not. They were just finishing an embryo transfer and trying to load the mare. She, a very big girl, was not in the mood to get on the trailer. 20 minutes, grain, a blindfold and some candy later she eventually got on. Roscoe chilled in the trailer calling occasionally to the other horses.
Once they had the area set for Roscoe, we unloaded him and handed him off to the doctor. He handled having the chain in his mouth great and walked with her like a gentleman. Mom and I decided to watch the process safely behind a metal rail in the shed. When Roscoe entered he remembered what this place meant. They provided him with a draft mare for his stimulation. I think the doctor forgot that Roscoe had special needs as to where the mare is positioned. He got excited with the mare behind the tease rail, allowed them to clean him, but he would not mount the phantom. At times he would get distracted and soften. Eventually the doctor remembered that Roscoe prefers the mare to be by the phantom and that he has a tendency towards mounting sideways.
The mare was moved to the side of the phantom and the handler tried to aim Roscoe for the opposite side of the phantom. Tried being the key word there. Roscoe mounted faster than they expected, then proceeded to follow the mare when they moved her away. They tried a few more approaches, but no success. The doctor called a break and sent Roscoe out to graze.
Mom and I were impressed with the way they handled Roscoe's behavior. They corrected him when needed, but always gave slack when he listened. He has definitely been a super star for us at home, when we see what he could be doing to us around the girls.
After the break they put the mare closer to the phantom. Roscoe was a bit frustrated at this point and got nippy. He knew what to do, but could not seem to put it all together. So the doctor had the handler bring him to the phantom and then he put the collection tube onto him while he was on the ground. That stimulated him to thrust and eventually to mount. He mounted straight and stayed in the tube. They used the larger phantom, so Roscoe looked a little silly when mounted. I guess the smaller one would be too small for him. Then they let him dismount. Poor boy, his muscles were quivering and he was sweaty.
The doctor had to check that A. he ejaculated and B. the quality was good enough. The handler walked him out to the grass and we changed to our lead line with out a chain to let him graze. He settled right back into gentleman mode more interested in eating than the girls. That kind of behavior is what we hoped to get from him. Fortunately he did ejaculate and his quality was good, so he was done. Collection achieved.
We walked him over to the barn to use the hose before loading him again. Roscoe got a bit wiggly as Saphiro was looking at him. I guess the big boy still scares him. We had to remind him that this time he gets to go home.
I sent a text to the breeder saying Roscoe did his job. Now it was the mares' turns. She called today to say both mares had been bred. The wait and see begins. He might have one more mare this year, but I am not sure.
Overall the process was enlightening and worth going through. It certainly made me glad Roscoe is on joint medicine already. I am also glad he is getting this training young. His manners around the mares truly benefits us.