Tuesday, 10 March 2009

This week at Ednovean Farm

Lizzie settling down with her supper this evening

Lizzie as you can see is blooming with Danilon's first foal - in fact groping for her cross over surcingle of her night rug, the other night, I joked that you could fit a brigade of Gurkha's under the vast expanse of her stomach. Still Lizzie is content and is usually already installed in her stable ready for her tea at night. We will bring her into the main yard as her "due date" gets nearer and eventually Charles will set up his camp bed in the tack room with the cat on the end as a guard "dog" for the final countdown.

Mean while Belle has taken up a lot of our time of late. After much soul searching and bearing in mind her warm blood elite status (not to mention the credit crunch) we elected to put her in foal to a warm blood stallion and chose Lizzie's sire the Holstein Lenard. Lenard has been dead for many a year but we are allowed some rare frozen semen held at West Kington Stud and think and hope and pray that the resulting progeny MAY be our next stud stallion - so a filly is more or less guaranteed.

Our vet has scanned Belle throughout her last season to monitor her usual ovum development and we have kept the stable lights switched on in the evenings to help her to start cycling regularly and on this oestrus our vet has already scanned her three times this cycle, monitoring her follicle from less than point 2, to 2.4 and then today with the sudden warmth and sunshine a mega leap to 3.5. This was the news that triggered the ordering of the frozen semen from the stud (who had already been on the phone to check Belles progress) I must admit i did ask if the size of the erupting follicle would prejudice the quality of the foal but no the eggs are all the same size but there will be a greater amount of hormones in a larger sack which may trigger a better ovulation/fertilisation. So now I know! Hmmm Our vet will return at midnight tomorrow night to deliver an Ovuplant injection to help to trigger ovulation and then the semen should be inserted on Friday with a further scan in the afternoon - followed by a possible second dose of semen - followed some hours later by washing out the womb (advice from a previous owner)


And if all that doesn't work Danni will be happy to oblige as Belle is growing stronger and fitter by the day and will quite be able to handle Danilon very very soon!

Of course Sootty is a far greater expert and the result of his latest sniff test is "Not yet" but he definitely had a spring in his step today and will grow more and more "opinionated" as Belle progresses through her oestrus. This definitely gives me the opportunity to practise controlling the shoulders with the outside rein as i move my hand across to hold him on his line as he spooks at this and that. Danni, ever the gentleman mostly concentrates on his hay net.

We've only managed to work in the school twice with Danilon since our last PMG course but I have been working to improve the angle on our Shoulder in and the amount of flexion in our Travers. The halt to canter is progressing nicely but the first few steps appear to be on the spot at the moment so perhaps a snappier depart from the leg is necessary. I think tomorrow I will again concentrate on cantering the straight lines in the school - the centre line and the diagonals - ridden with balance and rhythm they do imbue a free balance to the horse.................and I wonder who will be sitting up with Belle at midnight waiting for the vet..........Charles??