Thursday, November 10, 2016

Breeding Journey to Date

I can't believe that Jetta is already nearly 11 weeks pregnant! Here's what we've been through so far.

  • I spent forever and a half deciding on the stallion. I've loved Mirabeau for quite a long time... I've probably been following him for about 4-5 years. I made a huge spreadsheet with all the cremello stallions that were an option, mostly warmbloods, including one QH, a couple TB's and a Akhal-Teke. Columns included registry, cost for collection and shipping, availability of fresh semen, what area that stallion succeeded in, progeny, height, genetics, conformation, jumping style, and any pros or cons. Top pick was actually Limet Hurry, an FEI dressage stallion. Only to email the owner and find out that he was deceased. Second pick was Crown's Ace of Pearl, from the UK. I tried to contact the owner several times about whether semen was available in the US and got no response. So with those results, my top three picks were Milky Way, Mirabeau, and Yeager, all of whom are sired by Mascarpone. I loved Yeager a lot, he's a fancy eventer who I really like, but he's a buckskin so chances are I may have ended up with a bay baby. Which is fine, but if I'm going to breed, I want to get exactly what I want, which is a baby with some color. I don't plan on doing this twice! (For now at least ;) So Mirabeau it was! He's the right height, conformation, and jumping style I wanted. His babies are all gorgeous. Only downside was that he's in Stallion Book II for RPSI, the registry I plan on for my baby. He was towards the top of my price range, but I really liked him so I went with it!
  • I took Jetta in at the end of July to have a breeding soundness exam. She ended up having a large anovulatory follicle (90mm! A normal follicle is more like 30-40mm at the time of breeding, 35mm being the "magic number" for breeding) that had to go away before she could grow another normal follicle. We gave her some SucroMate (GnRH analog) and prostaglandin to facilitate it's rupture and regression. 
I stole this from the internet, but this is exactly what her anovulatory follicle looked like
  • A week later I took her in to see if the anovulatory follicle had regressed, which it had. I then talked with the breeder to make sure she would be able to collect Mirabeau when Jetta would be in heat (I had the option to short cycle her a few days apart so it would depend on what worked best for the stallion owner, plus it was past the breeding season of August 1st, so I was lucky the stallion owner was willing to work with me during her show season)
  • Two weeks after being short cycled, I dropped her off at the vet's so she could be bred! She had a growing follicle on the Tuesday I took her in. They bred her Thursday and she had ovulated by Friday. Of course I was in Nicaragua this whole time with extremely limited WiFi and no cell service so I was biting my nails the whole time, especially because both the vet and stallion owner called me - I could see that they had called but I couldn't listen to the message or call them back! Turns out she just needed my SSN for shipping the semen, but luckily my vet came through and gave hers instead.
  • At 19 days I took her in to be ultrasounded to confirm the pregnancy and I saw my little nugget! 

  • I got Jetta approved for breeding with the RPSI, mare book I

  • Then a week ago I took her in to check for a heartbeat, and if we were lucky, get the fetus sexed. Jetta was an absolute pain about standing still so no sexing was done, but I got to see my baby's itty-bitty fluttering heartbeat! I was so excited to see it, I was trying to keep my hopes down just in case because it's so easy to lose the embryo in the first 60 days. I might have cried some happy tears.
What my baby currently looks like

I am over the moon excited about my little nugget growing away, it's now the size of a chipmunk! At the 80 day mark it has developed into horse shape from the little sphere it was on our first check. It's only about 4 inches long at the moment, so not very big. I'm slightly tempted to get the baby ultrasounded again so we can get a sex, mainly just so I can narrow down the name choices and reduce the suspense. I keep getting asked whether I want a colt or a filly, but I honestly don't care either way, so I might just let it be a surprise... we will see!


  1. Enjoy the element of surprise! It's kind of fun to not know the sex in advance.

  2. So excited for the little nuggett!!

  3. Quite a process! Glad you're having fun. :-)