Wow, what a week already. Halloween last night, the kids didn’t have school Monday, so today kind of feels like Monday. We have officially hit the half-way mark on weaning foals. We won’t hit half-way on halter breaking until we start the next four this coming weekend. We have had a few blips, but for the most part these foals have been great. Shelby was a bit more of a challenge than we expected, but that is a problem that was solved. C decided to somehow cut his neck after weaning, so he is requiring attention. The great news about C is that he might be the size of a yearling, but he is a rock. We have a halter on him now, but he was injured prior to the halter breaking process, he would still stand there and let me spray the wound. We are now halter breaking him and he is coming along great. With as many foals as we have, there are going to be a few issues, but so far things are working out.
We can officially announce our two Youth for the Young Horse Development Program. Grace Ryan from Beaverton, OR and Jenny Rossey from Cheney, WA have been selected to receive foals from our ranch. Both girls turned in exceptional applications. This program has been a huge success. This year there were 119 applications and 47 foals. At ages 16 and 17 respectively these girls have a great chance of winning part of the scholarship money and prizes awarded on top of the fact that they receive a free foal. We are looking forward to meeting them in the upcoming month. Now that we know where our foals are going, we will begin weaning the two foals and getting them ready to meet their new owners.
As already posted, we shipped out 5 horses last week. This week two foals go to Idaho, one goes to Yakima, and C will now stay with us until he is healed up. The two foals going to Idaho were haltered last Friday so that we could get a handle on them to get them into the vet for coggins/brand/health. On Monday Anna, Kade, and I loaded Dottie Dee and Wright On Laddie and took them on a trip to the vet. They hauled like little superstars. This was their first hauling without their dams. Both loaded well, hauled well, and I tied them in the trailer as they have been doing so great with that. Very impressive foals.
Last weekend we also weaned Gypsy, Rimfire, Yokel, and Ellie. Weaning Gypsy required getting in a pasture far from the house and hauling home. We decided since there were only four pair left in that field to bring them all home to make weaning a little easier in the future. That put too many mares at the house, so we continued to work dry mares at the house and haul out to winter pasture. It is officially November 1. It has been such a warm and nice fall that it makes it hard to accept that winter is on its way. We ended up hauling 8 mares out to winter pasture. There are still about 10 more mares that need to go out, but getting in 8, catching them, deworming them, and loading them is time consuming. We will continue to slowly move the mares out as they come in. The other factor is that we can’t move each mare out until she is ready, meaning she has accepted that her foal is weaned and is ready to go. Otherwise this moving process is just extra stress on the mare, which we do not want.
This week we decided to put our first and only Jackpot foal, Yo, on the market. We have toyed with keeping her as she is out of Pistol, but we already have our AI foal, Charlie, Stinger’s filly, Stunner, and Little Blackie earmarked to keep. We also have to keep Smokey our bottle baby because you always have to keep the orphans. This may be hard to believe, but we really do try to limit how many foals we keep each year.