Registry choices

Gina’s due to foal in mid-to-late April, which somehow seems both terrifyingly soon and impossibly far off. One of the things I’ll need to do when her offspring is born is register it with one of the various warmblood registries that it ought to be eligible for.

One of Gina’s daughters. I’ve met this one as a grown-up!

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the reasons I chose to breed to Mannhattan is because he’s approved for ISR/Oldenburg NA. Gina’s approved, too- she was approved long before I bought her, and her previous offspring have been registered with ISR/Oldenburg NA. However, Mannhattan is not active with ISR/Oldenburg NA; according to the organization, his offspring are eligible for registration, but require a letter of parentage verification and a DNA test. I don’t anticipate that being a problem, but learning that made me take a deeper look into what some registries require for foal registration. Mannhattan is currently active with the German Oldenburg Verband and Westfalen NA/RPSI, so I looked at those registries in addition to ISR/Oldenburg NA.

ISR/Oldenburg NA

Registration requirements for ISR/Oldenburg NA are:

  • Presentation at an ISR/Oldenburg inspection the year it’s born. This shouldn’t be a problem, as there’s a farm near Oklahoma City (~2 hours from me) that usually holds an inspection in the fall.
  • Out of a mare entered into one of the Registry’s Mare Books. Done! Gina is entered into the Main Mare Book.
  • By a Registry-Licensed or Approved stallion. Done, as long as I provide the letter of parentage verification and DNA test.
  • Approximate cost: $370
    • $60 for DNA kit
    • $120 for membership fee + transfer fee (to transfer ownership of Gina to me)
    • $30 annual fee for mare that’s used for breeding
    • $160 registration entry for foal

German Oldenburg Verband

Registration requirements for the German Oldenburg Verband are:

  • Presentation at a GOV inspection. The stud that stands Mannhattan hosts an inspection in the fall; it’s about a two hour drive.
  • Both parents are GOV-approved. Sire is approved; dam is not. Gina would need to be inspected and approved in order for her foal to be registered with GOV. I have no idea if she’d be approved. The GOV’s rulebook states, “Although we will continue to accept TB mares, they must be of high quality, both mentally and conformationally, have very good elastic and flowing gaits, and preferably have competed well in sport horse disciplines.” Gina has lovely gaits, good conformation, and is mentally pretty solid (despite all the joking on her I do), but she certainly hasn’t competed at high or notable levels of sport horse disciplines. Somehow, I don’t think being Introductory Level Schooling Show Champion is what the GOV is looking for.
  • Approximate cost: $500
    • $100 for membership fee
    • $150 for broodmare inspection fee
    • $250 for foal inspection, registration, microchipping, and DNA typing

Westfalen NA/RPSI

Registration requirements for Westfalen NA/RPSI are:

  • Presentation at an inspection. This ought to be a piece of cake, as there are two inspections in Oklahoma, one of which is less than an hour from my house!
  • By a licensed stallion. Done, as Mannhattan on the roster of the Westfalen NA/RPSI Studbook I.
  • Out of an eligible mare. Gina is eligible for approval by Westfalen NA/RPSI; her inspection results would determine which book she would be entered in. Provided the judges didn’t find her completely hideous and she was entered into Mare Book I or II, her offspring would be eligible for German papers and a full brand.
  • Approximate cost: $425
    • $100 for membership fee
    • $130 mare inspection/registration fee
    • $185 foal inspection/registration fee
    • $10 office fee

As you can see, none of the registries differ significantly from one another in either requirements or cost. I will probably register the foal with ISR/Oldenburg NA simply because it’s easier, and I won’t have to get Gina inspected. However, I’d welcome your input! Do you have experience with any of these registries? Do you prefer one over the other?

Breeding (and life) update

Whew, where did the last few weeks go? This time of year is always fairly busy for me, but the last month has been a whirlwind. I spent half a week in Denver for my sister-in-law’s wedding at the end of September, and went to Houston for the USDF Region 9 Championships with work the day after I got home. I saw Andrea and JenJ in Houston, which was delightful, even if the weather was blazing hot and uncomfortably humid. I took last week off work (well, I did a bit of work from home) to rest and regroup; I really should have taken this week off, too, since my mother is driving out this week for her annual visit. Oh, well.

Candy going over ground poles like NBD

At any rate, when I haven’t been out of the state, I have been doing horse things! I’ve been riding Candy as regularly as I can. I’m pleased to report she seems to have conquered her fear of ground poles and has been putting in some really quality work. I’m hoping to take her cubbing this weekend, but that’s entirely dependent on if my farrier can come out and put shoes on her.

Moe went to a show.

Moe began treatment for EPM before I left for Texas and seems to be responding well. His symptoms were very mild anyway, but he seems much less stiff and lethargic than he was before beginning treatment. His lesson kid took him to a dressage schooling show while I was gone, and it sounds like it went pretty well.

Pregnant mare and hairless mare.

And for my most exciting update: Gina is doing a great job of growing a foal! I took her in for her scheduled pneumabort vaccine and an ultrasound last week. Gina is currently at 5 months gestation, and everything is looking great. Gina’s vet was pleased with how the amniotic fluid, placenta, and fetus looked. I was excited to see something that actually sort of looked like a horse during this visit; while baby spent most of its time squirming away from the vet, I did manage to catch a glimpse of an eye, an ear, and one tiny little foreleg.

Gina doesn’t look pregnant to me (I think she just looks kind of chubby), but a couple of friends have commented that she’s getting a broodmare belly. My vet is happy with her condition and advised keeping her in normal work as long as she seems comfortable. I don’t plan on hunting her this year, as I haven’t been keeping her very fit, but Johnny has volunteered to ride her throughout the winter. Gina seems to enjoy toting Johnny around, probably because he doesn’t ask her to do anything very difficult.

Johnny’s favorite part of riding is giving Gina a silly hair style.

The winter should help me get back on a more regular riding and writing schedule; the only remaining trip I have on my calendar is with work to US Dressage Finals in Lexington next month. If you’ll be there, let me know! I’d love to hang out with someone other than my coworker and boss.

Breeding update

Gina went to the vet for a pregnancy check on Wednesday, and I’m pleased to report she is in foal to Mannhattan! There were actually two embryos in there, which is somewhat common in Thoroughbred mares. Twin pregnancies in equines are bad all around, so my vet pinched off the slightly smaller embryo. (My neighbor joked that we should have done an embryo transfer to one of her mares.)

Is Gina cooking a mini-Gina in there?

My vet also recommended that Gina receive Regu-Mate to support her pregnancy. Regu-Mate is a synthetic progestagen which is most often used to suppress estrus; however, it’s sometimes recommended to help mares with low progesterone levels maintain pregnancies. (My vet recommended it due to Gina’s embryo absorption last year.) If you’re interested, Equine Reproduction has a thoughtful article on the subject.

Like last year, my vet recommended that Gina continue her usual diet and exercise regime. She advised that I’d probably want to stop riding her around month eight of pregnancy, but until then, it’s in Gina’s best interests to stay in good shape. I’m sure all the lesson students she regularly terrorizes are thrilled.

I’m just as excited about this cross as I was last year. I’ll even grudgingly accept a gray colt if it jumps like its sire!

Young Mannhattan jumping


Adventures in breeding 2017

Last year, I decided I’d start the breeding process earlier in 2017. In 2016, I bred Gina in June; by time vet determined she’d reabsorbed the embryo, it was September, and I didn’t want to rebreed then. (No one wants to be born in the awful heat of August!)

This year, I had a uterine culture on Gina done right before I left for Rolex. Last year, my vet Dr. H had advised leaving the Caslick in over the winter, which I did. Unfortunately, the uterine culture came back positive, and after I returned from Rolex, I dropped Gina off for uterine treatments.

After the uterine treatments, I opted to keep Gina at the vet until Dr. H could AI her. I got a text on Friday that Gina would be ready to breed on Saturday, and on Monday, Dr. H let me know that Gina could go home. I picked her up and briefly talked to my vet. She advised me that the AI went smoothly and Gina ovulated right on schedule. I’ll take Gina back in a couple of weeks for the first pregnancy check- cross all your crossables that everything goes well!

Stephanie and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day(s)

After spending a very pleasant week in Mason City, Iowa at the USDF Region 4 Championships, I came home on Monday night and was greeted by a desperate, frustrated Johnny, two guys from a water damage restoration company, and three city utility employees.

A root ball had blocked the city’s sewer pipe, so sewer water was flowing out of our toilets and bathtub; it had been happening nearly all day before our sewer cleanout line could be located. Once it was located and the cap released, water drained into our yard instead of into our house (a vast improvement).

Our partially remodeled bathroom’s tile and brand new cabinets are expected to be fine, but about half of the other things in the house are a loss: the master bedroom carpet, one of the spare bedroom carpets, the hallway bathroom, the hallway hardwood flooring, some of our furniture. The walls will have to be opened and our insulation replaced and the studs dried out with dehumidifiers and fans. We went through something similar a couple of years ago when a pipe burst, but the sewage component makes this a bit more of a mess. Our homeowner’s insurance won’t cover the event, as the problem occurred with a city structure, so we’ll have to negotiate with the city for reparations for the damage. For now, Johnny and I are living large at the local La Quinta, the dogs are having the time of their lives at the barn, and the cats are living at home outside (they can’t stand the noise of the fans).

You might say, “But Stephanie, don’t you have a nice, new house to move into?” Well, sort of. We’ve been attempting to close on it for three weeks, but a problem with the deed has prevented us from doing so. The people we’re purchasing it from sold a chunk of pasture to my barn owner a few years ago, but the county never actually redrew the boundaries for either property or, apparently, recorded the transaction. Even now, we’re not sure if we’ll be able to close on Friday or if we’ll have to wait until Monday.

And I’d just paid off my vet bill… :'(

Despite staying up far too late on Monday night, I dragged myself out of bed to take Gina to her vet appointment yesterday morning. Gina was full of piss and vinegar in the cool morning weather; she galloped around the pasture, bucking and squealing at me and nipping at Moe. She was scheduled to her 3-month ultrasound and a pneumabort vaccination. The vet inserted the ultrasound wand and looked. And looked. And looked. And finally told me what I’d already realized- “Looks like she’s re-absorbed the pregnancy.” She said it was fairly uncommon for embryonic death to occur post-heartbeat check, and assured me that we’d done everything by the book and that if I re-bred Gina in the spring, it probably wouldn’t happen again. (Most early embryonic death occurs between implantation at ~16 days and heartbeat establishment at ~45 days, and mares who chronically have trouble staying pregnant lose the embryo in that window.)

My breeding contract guarantees a live foal, and is good for 3 years, so re-breeding next year is definitely an option. My vet advised doing a uterine culture in the spring just to be sure Gina is clean, leaving the Caslick in, and proceeding as usual. It should be a moderately less expensive endeavor next year, as I won’t have two uterine cultures and treatments to pay for.

It isn’t all bad, though! Now that Gina’s not pregnant, there’s no hurry to get Candy ready for hunting by January. I can enjoy a full season of hunting on my best mare, and I can continue to work on improving my First Level scores through the winter and next year. Gina’s lesson kids can have just about a full show season on her next year. My budget is a bit more flexible now that I won’t have another mouth to feed in the spring. And let’s face it- that foal was probably going to be a gray gelding anyway!