Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Foal Meet and Greet

This past weekend we made the drive to Indiana to meet Roscoe's foals. The trip started with a sad moment when Peggy could not go. She has been there for all the big moments and was so looking forward to this visit. Peggy is also our navigator, so part of the trip was slightly off our normal course when we followed GPS. Eventually we were on the right track and only ran into traffic at points along 70. Between gas/food stops and traffic we lost an hour and a half causing us to get to Indiana at 920 pm as the sun was setting. There was just enough light to see the foals.

I crawled into bed at about 3am. Late nights are the norm for me when I visit Lisa. This time it was tough since we wanted to beat the heat and see the foals in the morning. Seeing them in the light finally was so much fun. The pictures can only tell you so much. In person they are so much more.
Fair warning, lots of pictures to follow.
Baby D
He looks so big in the pictures, but is actually about the size of the filly and mini me.
He looks more like his dam's side, but there are moments when you see Roscoe in his expression.
His brothers keep him on his toes.
During halter training he started out reactive, but he figured out Mom and the halter were not scary.
And he has a strong Canadian fan.
I will be excited to watch him after weaning.

Baby Royal
She is one of the first to ask for scratches... well more like demand.
She is a nipper like her daddy was as a baby. I was picking up feet, the farrier in me coming out, and she got me right in the butt.
She is a total sweetheart and is buddies with Baby D.
Her blaze is as cute as it looks in the pictures.
She is so much like Rosemary in personality. This girl will test and question. She makes you earn her trust. We did not manage to get a halter on her, but there was progress.
She holds her own with all the boys.

Mini Me
When I called him mini me, I did not realize how true it was. This guy is totally Roscoe all over again.
He likes to come up behind you which Roscoe did also.
This guy has an awesome neck.
He seems to take to new things. His halter session was quick since he let me put it on right after he and Rosalee chewed on it first. Then we played with leading, which he did well. I see Roscoe's brain coming through.
He may be the middle child, but he holds his own with his siblings.

Baby E
This guy has the cutest head!
He is, as Lisa says, a thinker. He watches and reads a situation before joining.
He remembers his lessons. He was another one that did not wear the halter, but the next day we could handle his head better than before.
He was fascinated with the warmblood mare.

Baby Ff
This guy is the one that comes up to you first, which I did not expect since his sister last year was not as quick to approach us.
He looks a lot like Roscoe too, but he is much sweeter.
He put the halter on easily and even did some leading.
He is the baby of the group, but is as big as Baby E and Mini Me.

We did not get to see them move a lot with the hot, humid weather, but they all have huge walks. And let me just say, it is hard to tell them apart sometimes.We did get to see last years colts and this years baby maker who is Roscoe's Uncle. Of course we also had to keep the mare's in heat away from said baby maker.

Current Stallion on duty
Reveille and Echo

And now for some random pictures of the foals

Baby D and Mini Me
Baby Royal, D, Ff

Baby D and Ff knocked over the fly spray

The other thing that happened was that we chose who would come to Virginia later this year. Coming to Indiana, I had narrowed it down to two:the filly or Baby E. I already have a chrome red boy and they seem to be getting a lot of attention, so I told Lisa she could list them. Though after meeting Mini Me, I wanted to pick him up and take him home. It was a tough decision, but in the end we decided on Baby E. He had me from the day he was born, so I was not surprised he won me over in person too.

So we named him Castleberrys Esquire since he is such a thinker and is so classy. His barn name is Ember. This is because even though he is black, he has redhead in him. Plus we saw him come out of his shell and become the instigator for playing. Ugh, now we have to wait months for weaning. Hopefully Peggy and I can make another trip out there soon. Especially since I missed a chance to meet Jen and Connor this trip. They are only an hour and a half from the breeders. Ah well I did not have my riding clothes anyway. Next time definitely.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy 5th Birthday Roscoe!!!

Can you believe my baby is 5 years old????

Where the heck has the time gone? Roscoe is a once in a lifetime pony, who we will probably never experience again. Even when his foal comes home it will not be like Roscoe. He was with us for so long even before he hit the ground. I can't say how many time I watched him kick Rosemary's belly and cause her to grunt. I think he will be my baby forever. His birthday also marked his first father's day and his sire's 9th birthday.

Roscoe and I had another ride out in the front field. This time we flew solo, though Peggy was right in the house. He stood perfectly while I mounted using a step stool, which was a slightly lower step and caused more pull. Roscoe knew it was work time and settled right in. His trotting downhill was more balanced and he figured out it was tough work. Eventually, he tried to come down to walk. I told him we were building his butt and the girls would like him more. We even did a little canter up the hill. I am kind of addicted to the Roscoe I get out in the field.

And Roscoe ended up getting a late birthday gift today when I received a message at about 9am. I had basically figured there would not be any breeding this year for him. Since the babies were born, there has been interest, but no inquiries. So imagine my surprise when a mare owner asked if she could talk to me. She said her mare was not pregnant and the stallion she was using was showing for 10 days. She wanted to know if she could get a collection by Tuesday, Wednesday latest. My jaw dropped. The collection center likes to have 24hr notice, so it was a total hail mary as to whether we could get him in. I called and they said they would look at the schedule.
Get cleaned before his date with the phantom
Then the mare owner said that the vet wanted to wait until the next cycle, so I called and canceled my request. BUT, then had to re-request when she asked to continue the process despite what her vet said. Bless ERC, they pulled it off. Roscoe had a 2pm appointment and the mare owner had paid all within 45 minutes. Whew!
Next I had to call Mom and Peggy to arrange the trailer and coggins search. Both pulled it out and we were ready by time I showed up from work. I have a really nice boss who was happy I was using my "Use or Lose" vacation time. Seriously everything was going so well, this just had to be meant to happen. The good kept coming, Roscoe loaded like a star and we had time to get gas and lunch. We even arrived 15 min before the appointment.
I let the vet know that he had done live cover last year and was a bit wild. Since he was trained at this facility I hoped he would click back to his training. The handler came and put the chain through his mouth and led him towards the breeding shed. Roscoe knew what he was there for and was already dropped. They made sure he was listening before bringing him in with the teaser mare. When I told the vet Roscoe tends to go towards the teaser mare when he mounts the phantom, the vet said they would try it with the mare staying at the teaser bar. Roscoe's training kicked in immediately. They present him to the mare, get him ready, then turn him away to clean him. Then if he maintains his readiness, they bring him to the phantom. At first I thought Roscoe would need the mare closer, but after only a short time he mounted the phantom and the AV was in place. The vet keeps the handler apprised of the process with simple terms. Peggy and I laughed when we heard, "Ejaculating...ejaculating...Still ejaculating." Seriously, how much can a 14h pony have? Then it was done and Roscoe and the handler were walking away. I was so glad the process was smooth. I would have hated to have them fit him in and him be a tough case. The vet told us we could help the handler load Roscoe and wait while he checked the quality. We caught up the the handler as he walked Roscoe on the trailer. He said he was glad to have an "easy one" during his day. We were proud stallion owners. He is so smart!
Peggy went inside to ask about the fencing they use at the facility and came out with the okay to leave. The vet came up to her and said "There is only one problem with his collection" with a serious face. Peggy said her heart stopped. Then he said "he does not have enough bookings." The quality and quantity along with the above average motility made Roscoe's collection the best they have seen all year. That is a definite improvement from when he was tested as a 2yr old. The vet said there was enough in the one collection to breed 13 mares. That boy is potent!

So everyone cross your fingers and hope that the mare takes tomorrow! That would mean a Roscoe baby next year.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Super Ponies, Baths and The Countdown

After Roscoe's super little jump session, I worked Comrade and Rosemary over the same set of poles.
Remind you of a certain Roscoe baby....

Ah, The Sprinkler
Comrade came ready to work and impressed me with some of his moves after time off. The pole work got his hind end working, which allowed him to pull off some great walk to canter transitions. He could not carry the canter long, but that was okay since the transition was correct. I focused on the transition and Comrade came through, literally, both ways. I ended with asking him to pick up canter over the jump. Soon we will get Comrade back into shape.
Post bath Beauty

 With Rosemary, I dropped the jump to a raised trot pole. She is not a jumper, but still could do with raised pole work. We had to work on straight. Little girl had a hard left drift. Once I closed the left aids, she traveled well through the poles. When I asked her to canter, the gait was more together and less strung out. A definite improvement for Rosemary. I really liked her more compact and up position. Poles can help so much.
"I can lift my foot"
Though Winston decided he would just knock the jump over when I asked him to walk over it. Ah, well he made up for it with an awesome impression of a hunter pony. I let him trot with big strides, on a long rein around the arena going both directions. Before he would break into canter, but not this time. He opened and flowed so smoothly. Then I did ask for canter and it was wonderful. Same long rein, same long strides. Someone was feeling good. We changed direction and he quietly picked up the correct lead. Considering he had a long time off, he acted as if he had worked everyday.
Winston is so handsome

Post bath Grey again :)

Clean Pony!
And to top off my string of great rides, Roscoe and I went out of the arena. Yeah, we have done trail rides before, but this was asking him to work in the front pasture. I did have Peggy come and watch for safety. The front pasture is where everyone, but the Red Boys, have normal turnout. The rare time the Red Boys get to go out there, they run around. So Roscoe thought he would get to play when we walked into that pasture. It took a minute and some walking around for him to get that he was suppose to be working.

Clean Chrome
Then I had my pony back and we trotted around. Roscoe had to figure out how to balance up and down the small hill. To the left, he tried just rushing. Then to the right he sat down so quick it startled me. Eventually he found a smoother answer. Roscoe also discovered that trotting uphill is hard work and decided he would maintain one speed. I need more rides out of the arena with him so we can work towards a show. I can't wait to canter him out there where there is more room. For this ride, I kept it short and positive.
In between all the riding during the super hot weekend, Mom and I gave all six horses baths, pedicures and sheath/udder cleanings. Luckily the wash rack is indoors and has hot water.
Dottie enjoyed her bath

A picture of clean DaVinci lasts longer than the real one :)

Comrade got to go out front while Roscoe dried

Roscoe and Rosemary were the only ones who complained. They both hate water dripping down their bodies. I am so glad to wash away the last of winter.
Lisa and I were comparing belly spots between Roscoe and Mini me. Mini's is bigger, but Roscoe's has more character. His "V" marked him as ours from day one.
And now I begin the countdown, next week we travel to Indiana to see the foals. Finally!!! Most likely we will pick the one who will join his father and granddam while we are there. Decisions, decisions. This way the breeder can list the others for sale. I love seeing the comments about all the foals. Comrade's nephew seems to have a Canadian following and people hoping for a dressage future. A definite possibility for him. The other two Red Colts remind me of Roscoe as a baby, probably because both are line bred. Ugh, the wait is too long. I will have Alanna's cross stitch to work on during drive since my sister finished the pattern, so my hands will be busy.