And to say we are over the moon with our first foals sired by Hobbit would be an understatement.
Acorn has had a filly (pictured here at 36 hours old) and Lola has had a fabulous bay dun colt. Both foals are lively and cheeky as you’d hope they would be and we’re looking forward to seeing how they progress.
With the breeding season in full flow, many breeders are taking deposits on foals now, ready for them to go to their new homes at weaning. It therefore seems appropriate to explain how American Quarter Horses are registered and what paperwork you should expect to have when you buy a new registered AQHA foal and take it home. Read on…
It’s our favourite time of year!
It’s that time of the year again when I start seeing gratuitous foal photos all over my Facebook feed from other breeders. Always fabulous, because there are some utterly amazing foals out there, bred from some fantastic horses, and I love seeing where other breeders are going with their breeding lines and what their stallions are producing.
It’s also that time of year where I have to seriously think about who is going to be covered by Hobbit after they’ve foaled, arrange transport for which ever mares are going to be sent to outside stallions (not happening this year because of Covid-19) and depending on how the mares are after foaling down, decide on who is going to be either retired from breeding (Topsicana last year), or be given a year off being a mum (possibly Acorn this year). Read on…
…but I’d like to give you back now please!
Well, what a start to the 2020 breeding season!
At Christmas, when Huw and I were sorting out our breeding programme for the spring and summer, it didn’t even occur to us that by the time we came to March and thinking about breeding the first mares of the season, that we’d be in the middle of a global pandemic and “locked down”.
We barely even registered news about Covid-19 in China in December, other than to sympathise with families who were losing loved ones and we certainly didn’t think we’d be in a position where the UK had ground to a standstill with everyone staying at home, schools closed until September with children learning from home, and a run on toilet paper, hand soap and flour in the supermarkets. After the wettest winter on record and the house flooding at the beginning of March, we were looking forward to a mud free, dry spring where we could finally get out and ride. Read on…
Like many people who were horse mad teenagers in the 80’s, I grew up on a diet of superheroes with names like Harvey Smith, Ginny Leng, Lucinda Green, John Whitaker and Nick Skelton. (Yes, I admit it dates me outrageously!). BSJA Show jumping and Eventing was the route I took at a fairly respectable amateur level, I then moved into classical dressage and I then slowly become thoroughly disillusioned with riding horses and the horse competition world to the point I barely even hacked my horse any more, let alone competed. If you were to ask me how I rode Western, I would answer “very badly”. (Incidentally, that’s still my answer!).
It’s also fair to say, I fell into breeding American Quarter Horses by accident. It’s a well known story (and a running joke between us) that Huw forgot our anniversary one year and so bought me a pregnant AQHA mare (Acorn) to make up for it because he couldn’t find a decent enough Lusitano for our stud without going to Portugal.
It’s come to that time of year again, when we’re actively marketing the horses we have for sale.
Many breeders sell their foals at birth, to go at weaning, and take deposits as they are born to then have them go in the autumn. We take a slightly different approach to many other breeders, partly because we don’t want to tempt fate (yes, we’re a bit superstitious), partly because we wean at 7 months, then get our foals professionally handled and started properly, and partly because a number of years ago we took a deposit on a 3 month old colt who the day after he was sold decided to jump barbed wire instead of go through the open gate next to it and I had to explain to his devastated new owner why she wouldn’t be getting her horse. Not something I want to repeat. (Yes, Jimmy, we’re looking at you!). This means that by the time our horses are ready to go, it’s usually the New Year and they are around 9 months old. They’re ready to go and do things straight away and they’re happy, steady, sane horses who understand what their new owners are asking them to do and so don’t get themselves into trouble.