Counting the Days till Spring

Counting the Days till Spring

Yonahey, one of the Florida Girls, finally decided to have her baby.  If you read my last blog you might remember that the average gestation period for mares is about 340 days and Penrose had waited 356 days.  Well, Yonahey beat that with waiting 368 days. Late Sunday night, Yonahey was showing almost no indication that she was thinking about foaling, but lo and behold about 3:30 AM Monday she started pacing her stall…  At 3:45, her water broke and at 3:53 she delivered a bay colt.  Once she decided it was time…she wasted no time!  Her colt is by Old Fashioned and weighed in at 115 lbs. Like his mom, he was in no hurry to get up. He spent the next two hours squirming around his stall before deciding to see how those long legs worked. With the frigid weather, we had the heater on to warm the area for the baby (remember his mom is one of the Florida Girls).  Besides the single digit temps, we now had ice covering the snow, which made it to dangerous for the babies to get outside.  So for their comfort the heater was used to warm the stall. Well, this colt decided he REALLY liked the heat.  Every time the heater was angled away from him for one of the other babies, he would stand up, look around and whinney.  And he would stay agitated till the heater was back on him. This high maintence boy seems to be the only one counting the days till...
Anxiously Waiting !

Anxiously Waiting !

Penrose — does she have a sense of drama?  Yes, she does! As you can see, she is a pretty 5-year-old maiden (carrying her first foal) mare by Lemon Drop Kid out of Tasha’s Delight.  That means she’s a full sister to WILKINSON, who is a multiple graded stakes winner of $464,000.   She’s a sweet girl, one of those polite mares that doesn’t push her way to the feed pans or waterers.  She was “due” to foal Jan 20, 2015. If you are not familiar with pregnant mares, let me tell you… their personalities and mood swings can change over their gestation period similar to women’s.  BIG diference is that mares carry their foals for  11 months plus another week or so, an average of 340 days. Welllllllll, Penrose decided that she was not average… she held that baby for 356 days. Meanwhile she has an owner who was anything but average in his anticipation of “his” first foal.  Thanks to text messaging we can, and do, communicate frequently with our owners. Let me share…. 1/13 /2015 Owner:  Hi there!  Plan on visiting your farm and my horses January 26th.  me:  That will be great. Penrose is starting to show a few signs of getting close.  Owner:  Hopefully she foals before I get there.   1/18/2015  Owner:  How is Penrose?  me:  She is good… not looking to be a mama too soon. Owner: Over a week?  me:  She has decided she is not ready.  Maybe before you get here.  Owner:  I hope so !  1/22/2015  Owner: I’m sorry but I have to cancel.  me:  So sorry to hear that.   Owner:  Me too. 1/27/2015  Owner: How is Penrose?  me: ...
Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

The story this week is the weather.  Record snowfall on President’s Day in Paris, KY and by Tuesday morning, we had temps hovering around zero, and below.  We thought that was bad until Tuesday night we had more snow and minus TEN degrees below zero on Wednesday. We started today (Thursday) with minus six degrees on the thermometer and wind blowing around and drifting snow that had already been plowed, thank you very much — for a windchill of minus 20. We had a predicted high of 5 degrees (no, I didn’t leave a digit off) for today.  The predicted low tonight is minus 20 degrees (that’s actual, not what it feels like with windchill).  The sun is shining, the sky is a gorgeous blue, and it’s beautiful, but OMG enough already. Good thing the current guests at The Guesthouse wanted a relaxing five-day getaway because they are snowbound on the farm.  They came in a day early when they saw the snow forecast for Paris, so they could make sure they got here.  Little did they know that for three days almost everything in Paris and Lexington would be closed! When they arrived on Sunday, I took them around the farm and introduced them to the horses, pointed out the Mint Hogs (including Tinner’s Storm, grandson of Secretariat) and stopped at the Nursery Barn to see the four babies (only 24 more to foal). Chuck (my husband) and I watched the weather that night and wondered if the snow was really going to be as severe as they were predicting.  YES it was!  Monday morning, it started snowing about...
Golden History ’15… a handsome colt

Golden History ’15… a handsome colt

This colt is our largest foal so far this year.  He weighed in at 133 lbs and as you can see, he is very handsome.  He’s by Sky Mesa and the first foal out of Golden History.  Side note: Foals are known as their dam’s name plus the year they are born until officially named through The Jockey Club.  So this colt is “Golden History ’15”. Golden History started thinking about having her foal on Wednesday, but decided to wait until 1:50 am on Friday 13th. This picture was taken while both mom and baby rested a while after foaling.  After a bit, he started squirming around the stall for about an hour before he stood and shortly after began to nurse. Foals are so fun to watch, I could spend most of the day at the barn.  They all have their own personality which shows almost immediately… from shy to ready to walk out of the stall with you.  It’s so sweet when they nuzzle Mom’s leg and then start nursing. The funniest thing they do is try to remember how to lay down, and it another of the cute things foals do.  When they are only days old, once they are standing and they want to rest again, they walk around until they almost fall over because they can’t remember how to fold those long legs to get down. You just have to see it.   I posted a video of Golden History ’15 on our YouTube channel doing just that.  I hope you check it out.  🙂   Click here  to view the video, and I hope you’ll...
D’ Chili Pepper filly

D’ Chili Pepper filly

D’ Chili Pepper (by D’Wildcat) is a beautiful chestnut mare from Florida.  You can tell she’s from Florida because she asked for her own blanket upon arrival and I think she has tried contacting her owners, Pam and Don Mattox, to let them know it has gotten really cold in Kentucky.  Since she does not have the natural fur coat like the Kentucky girls have, she is wearing her blanket a lot – even in the barn at night. For those who have not been around a breeding farm, let me give you a little idea of a typical day for a pregnant mare.  Mares (a term used to describe a filly that is 5-years-old or pregnant) will stay outside – where they prefer – until about 30 days prior to their due date.  At this point the mare will be brought into the barn by 4:00pm, where her full feed bucket and water bucket are waiting in her stall.  Yes, her stall… girls will be girls, they like their own space so there is no switching stalls on them. They stay in until the next morning when they are fed again about 4:00 AM and let back outside by 8:00 AM.  During the night, there is a person called the Night Watchman who watches the mares and looks for signs that say they are close to foaling.  When there are enough signs that foaling looks imminent, the foaling team is called.  They will watch and/or help the mare deliver a foal. So, back to D’ Chili Pepper…. you can always tell when she has finished her feed because she likes to bang her empty feed bucket on the...