Thursday, October 30, 2008

First Scans

All good. 'Lady', positive and single. Was a right 'filly' in the crush, but nothing too serious. She just seems to cope badly with 'firsts'. 'Showtime' also positive and single:) 'Alex', a mare who lost twins at full term 2 seasons ago, is proving to be a little more difficult. We scanned to to see where she was at. 4.2mm on the right, 2.7 on the left. Both pear-shaped and ready to go. We served her in the yards and turned her away, looking at scanning her in 21 days. Please oh please....only one! She is a lovely big mare and will make great foals! Only disappointment was 'Maddy', and there is no real surprise there as she was transitional cycling when she arrived....went on forever! So she had a nice big follicle on the right, ready to go and should come in to season in the next 24 hours. Done.

I had to go out and molest the filly a bit more today: Most unusual looking girl! If she stays chestnut, it will be a dark liver, but I suspect she may even go gray? Bay would be best.....but I think the phrase 'clutching at straws' may be applicable!

Very sprightly girl with loads of personality and still no name. Rocketess? Ramona? Roux? Reallyfunnycolour? Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

At Last:

To JK My Penny (a JK Mazurati mare) and by JK Rodin, a filly foal, born outside my 'viewing' hours! I was too embarrassed to admit that I had read the calendar wrong and Penny wasn't actually due until 2nd November, not October. Duh. So I have been checking her morning and night for the last week or so. She had bagged up enormously...which is usual, but no waxing and not a lot of softening behind. Yesterday morning, I was running late and had a town appointment and missed her visit. She must have waited until the car got out of the driveway and then....

Very leggy, very well put together, jolly funny colour!!! Here's hoping that burnt orange will turn into bright bay? Lovely long white stocking at the back and no mistaking the diamond on the head for anything but just that! So now we need a name? Its got to start with 'R'....

Busy on the farm right now too: We have picked over 800 lambs away so far, the cattle are done, crutching was done on all the ewes on Tuesday and today we are shearing. The place is a hive of activity (and look what I am doing!! Lazy tart!). Reuben is out on the vineyard, debudding what vines didn't get frosted and the clouds are rolling in ominously.

Red has been out for a quiet hack today, through the forestry etc. But was full of beans and a little more exuberant than I like. So, we popped onto the river bed and did a couple of lengths of upstream/downstream. Usually that would tire a youngster out? I have obviously got the feed/work ratio wrong still! His gate opening today was super - no barging or buggering off. Lovely leg yielding and standing quietly while his overweight and overbalancing rider fussed and fecked about with the latches. But if you think we were going to walk up the big show. And as for passing the huge (read: tiny) branch on the (very narrow and scary) ridge....holy hell. Might be needing some new joddies....

Calves all doing well. Including Falkor!!!! He has had a couple of rough days, but nothing that a jab of duplocillin hasn't fixed. His sight is way better and his hearing seems to be well improved too? No 'fits' for a week now, so looks like he is going to be just fine...although, a little bit 'special'! (Still tends to forget to pull his tongue back in after feeding.....)

Pic is of Lavenderlilac, Falkor and Hugo on the end. Lavender is getting too big to mess around with now - she can actually lift me off the ground with one little headbutt...and it's not a good spot to lift from.... It's been fun doing 3. They all hang out together and play. Noice:)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rain, Glorious Rain...

After a few tense weeks, remembering the drought stricken conditions we have only just recovered from, we finally got some good rain today. 20mls in half an hour with a huge thunderstorm and now just nice and steady. Good Stuff! I even managed to get Red worked before the skies opened.

Lilaclavender Cow and Hugo Moo were joined last night by Falkor, The Luck Dragon. (Sigh...) Greg had to carry him 300 metres to the hilux, and about 2 metres from the back of the truck, tore a muscle (or something) in his calf (HIS calf MUSCLE!) and hit the deck. Falkor TLD (sigh...) rode home on the deck of the truck with Jack and Greg; Very cute, snow white with big floppy ears - hence the name. We wondered why his mother had gone off and left him...and all was revealed as soon as we got home. Falkor TLD, appears to be blind, deaf AND epileptic! Bloody hell. Worse luck, he is feeding happily (in between running in circles and flipping out) and I cannot bring myself to 'do the deed'....and nor can Greg! Lavenderlilac and Hugo are doing great, big and fat and very bolshy. They seem quite interested in Falkor and his antics...

Greg had to see a GP about his 'sore paw' and keeping him company was Deke, the foxy who visited the vet with a suspected fractured jaw.....or poison......or something..... The vets are most perplexed and Deke is now racking up a huge bill from all the multiple xrays and painkillers etc. He'll be loving the attention - and the 'inside' life. They are keeping him in overnight and we hope to know more by tomorrow.

No more 'horsey' news for the week. Aside from the fact I have been checking Penny frantically for the last few weeks, waiting anxiously for her to foal, only to go back to my books and discover I am a whole month out! She is due on 2nd November....NOT October. So as silly as I am, I am takes the pressure off as I was juggling grazing a bit too fiercely with all the incoming clients mares'. And as Greg has just unloaded 440 lambs this week, as well as 162 R3 coupled with the rain...we should be good from now on. Red is being brought slowly into work with lungeing daily (which he appears to dislike). His growth spurt seems to have abated and now we are going to battle the spring grass. Will be interesting! I am really looking forward to climbing back on, and now have a goal - the December dressage series!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Busy Week:

Haven't posted for a week or so....been FRANTIC!

Had EQUINE STUD SOLUTIONS for a 2-day course here last week. I have had several enquiries from both North and South Islands, for fresh chilled semen to JK Rodin. He has never been 'collected' from, so we needed to teach him all about the 'phantom' and the AV unit. It was a pretty big ask of ESS to train a 23 yr old stallion, who has always performed 'live cover'. We had a really full-on 48 hours...

The ESS unit was really well set up, with constant hot water for the several different AV units, a pretty comprehensive little lab unit, complete with incubation, refrigeration, multiple microscopes and computer linkups - very impressive! The phantom was easy to set up and very stable, although Rodin was pretty aware that it was lacking in some of his basic requirements for lovin'! We alternated between using the phantom and 'live cover' ground collection, as I had a couple of lovely quiet broodies who stand like rock.

Jessie was very brave - diving in at the crucial point in time to grab the Old Boy's 'old boy' and wrestling the bugger into the AV unit! At first, Rodin appeared to be completely horrified at the interference - and rightly so! But libido won over common sense and finally Jess managed to get the AV on without the massive RETREAT! Full marks to Rodin too. He is such a lovely kind stallion to handle, nobody was ever in any danger, although he pulled some pretty pissed off faces at me during the whole process! The last act for day 2 was for me to have a go at getting the AV 'on'. I was a bit nervous....he is a VERY big boy and I know that Jessie is as strong as an ox (although obviously WAY prettier!) and I was going to be gutted if I couldn't keep up. But I was off the hook as soon as I picked the bloody AV up. There was no way I could lift and manoeuvre it with one hand, it was just too heavy when full for my pathetic wrists. So Jessie dived in (again, bless her).

We used 'Ducky' for the last serve. She is a darling wee mare and was on day 4-ish of oestrus so quite irresistible to our aged romancer. Unfortunately, too irresistible. With one fell swoop, he thrust aside the much tired-of AV and went straight for the money shot!!!

Had to laugh. Cunning old bugger!

Still, really pleased with our achievements for the 2 days. We achieved so much in so little time - and my confidence level with teasing and serving has soared. It was great to have such a professional team, Keith and Jessie, who were calm and confident every step of the way. They knew just when to push ahead, and when to retreat. And I have to say that after 48 hours being handled by Keith, Rodin is being far more respectful to me! I can confidently stand in the corner of the large yard with a cycling mare 20 feet away, and ask him to "stand", and he won't move a muscle. Brilliant!

Since then, I have successfully served 5 out of 6 mares in the last 4 days. The little darlings all came on at once (handy) and I have been running faster that a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs! I was so pleased to see Rodin had been eating all of his dinners....til I saw the bl**dy rams licking the bowl clean this morning. Rodin standing back and watching them bemusedly. Anyone got suggestions for boosting his appetite? And what about hanging feed bins? Which are the best?

Pet quota has gone up by one. Lavenderlilac cow has been joined by Hugo moo. Very dehydrated, cute little orphan bully boy. Have jabbed him with some drugs, got electrolytes into him and fingers crossed he will start to at least smell better soon!

OK. Fingers falling off. Til next time:)