Monday, May 18, 2009

Foal watch begins

Lisa, at Laughing Orca Ranch, has begun Mare Watch Mondays for my Arabian mare, Annie. (Why didn't I think of that?? Anyway, great idea, thanks!)

We are anxiously anticipating Annie's foal. She is 16 years old and this is her first foal but Annie is in excellent health and spirits so I anticipate that everything will go well. Pregnancy has agreed with her, she is very calm nowadays whereas she was extremely flighty in her younger days. She used to kick a lot, so much that I worried about her being a mama. Now, she is gentle and patient and I can work all around her. I am glad that I waited to breed her until she settled down, however, I worried that it would be too late to ever have a foal. You can read about the challenging breeding process last year, here.

Her mother, Fantastka, was a winning racehorse in Poland and became the Polish National Champion mare before she was sold at the Polish sale for a price of $240,000 and imported to the United States. Annie's sire, AH Gallant, by the fabulous El Paso, was also a winning racehorse and register of merit racing stallion and a halter winner at age 16! I didn't want to lose her pedigree. I could never afford a horse with her bloodlines again. When I saw the flyer for Kakhem Sahib, I knew he was the "one".

Kakhem Sahib is a son of the famous Khemosabi. Khemo, as he is affectionately called, has been reserve champion working cow horse three times.

Isn't he pretty?Besides being a show horse, he's also ridden around the ranch. He's got a great disposition, is an outstanding performer, and looks good too. What more could I want? Oh, and he stands 15.1hh so maybe Annie, at 14.3hh, will produce a taller foal than herself. (fingers crossed)

I don't really care what sex the foal is as long as it's healthy. I haven't decided it's future either, since I am currently unemployed but I was hoping to show it.

I was checking on my mare's gestation at a great horse website called Justamere Ranch and this is what I found out.

If your mare was last bred on 7/10/2008, then your soon-to-be foal is now approximately:

45 weeks or 312 days old.

Considering that a mare's average gestation is 335 days, you should be seeing your new addition in approximately 23 days. Please remember, however, that your mare could foal several weeks earlier or later and still be considered to have a "normal" gestation.

Although you should monitor your mare, you probably won't need to spend eleven months of nearly sleepless nights. Normal gestation for a mare lasts about 335 days, with some healthy foals born as early as 300 days and others taking over 360 days. However, foals born before about 320 days are usually weak, have a low birth weight, and may require intensive care. Environmental factors, sex of the foal, and age of the mare can all affect the length of gestation. Foals born during the early spring are often carried a week to ten days longer than foals born during late summer. Colts are usually carried a couple of days longer than fillies. Mares tend to carry their foals longer as they age - usually about one day longer for each year of age over ten years. Mares seem to follow a pattern year after year therefore good record keeping helps to predict when an individual mare will foal.

This means that she could foal a little sooner than I've been anticipating. Or a little later, lol. She is huge and I think the foal is moving back some. I also noticed that her bags are filling. Hopefully, she'll wait a couple more weeks though, June 7th is a full moon.


Melanie said...

Oh Val, she looks gorgeous as a broodmare!! And I love her flea bites! I cannot wait until her foal arrives. While all foals are cute, Arab foals can be especially cute, with their tiny dished faces and long legs. (Not that I am partial to Arabs or!!!)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Great pics of Annie. I can't wait to see her in her new role of Mama. :)


Tammy said...

Anxious to join your mare watch! Annie looks great. Love the stallion!

The Wades said...

Fun fun!! I just love a new baby! :) Can't wait.