Artificial Insemination (AI) – A process that involves depositing good quality semen into the mare’s uterus at the right time, taking all necessary precaution to reduce infection.
There are many reasons why I decided to plan my barn the way I did, there are many reasons why I decided to complete an Artificial Insemination course and there are many reasons why I choose to try for early foals but all my reasons are due to my own personal thoughts on breeding and what suits me.
I’m employed full-time, up at 6am and home at 6pm, the work load I complete on my own and would never complain, breeding is a passion, every day is a school day and everything must work for me as an individual. Therefore, the stallion and mares must be cooperative in all manners, you can’t have a mare trying to get out of the stocks when you have fresh semen ready to be inserted.
To start at the beginning we needed to control our mares estrous cycle which is affected by light, turning the barn lights on at 6am and off at 10pm has given the mares 16 hours of “artificial light” and sure enough come February the 5th we saw our first mare “show” to our stallion.
This year we have 4 seasoned mares and 1 maiden, the seasoned mares are faultless with AI but we certainly prepared our maiden well in advance, washing her vagina, bandaging her tail and teaching her to stand quietly in the stocks well before AI could take place.
We invested last year in a set of stocks, a dummy mare and an AI “kit”, we successfully inseminated 4 mares, the mares were not a problem but teaching our stallion was certainly a challenge. The aim is for the stallion is to “flower” or “called belling” (which basically means he reaches the point of no return before ejaculation), I won’t go into detail, but our stallion went from being unbelievably shy to being obsessed and overly keen with the dummy! All his actions have been noted for future reference as his mating behaviour certainly changes with individual mares (such as he flowers and ejaculates within seconds with one of our mares but takes 4 or 5 minutes to even get aroused by another one of our mares). His sexual response (libido) certainly has increased this year with a very mature and sensible attitude.
AI takes less than 5 minutes to complete, from collection to insemination but preparation takes nearly an hour…
Many factors affect collecting from a stallion with an AV, temperature, the tightness or pressure that surrounds the AV, some like it loose whilst others like it tight, we have not experienced a “non-collection” from our stallion so I guess either we are doing what he likes or he really isn’t fussy? The last reason is the amount of lubrication (Ky jelly) used, remember, you are trying to mimic a vagina, if the AV is too slippery or too dry many stallions won’t ejaculate, I think we have this lube sorted 😉
As soon as our stallion sees the AV, the screaming starts, to an inexperienced person the noise is quite frightening but to a breeder its music! We are ready, hard hat on, steel toe capped boots, mare ready and stallion ready. The stallion’s stable is opposite the dummy and we put the mare in the stable parallel to him, her stable is opposite the stocks. We watch and wait for the stallion to become aroused and just as we see the flowering, we open the stable door, timed to perfection within a few strides he’s on the dummy making love to the AV like it’s his right and duty!
Our stallion likes to have what I call “his cigar moment”, after ejaculation, he always turns his head to the right, as if he’s looking at the mare – “was that good for you?”. He climbs off the dummy in a daze and he’s returned to the stable! The mare is then walked into the stocks and inseminated…
We have collected many times during February, we are convinced we have at least three mares pregnant but two just didn’t feel right, we’ll soon find out at their 16-day scan. At this first scan we gain vital information, first a positive pregnancy, secondly the detection of twins and thirdly by the size of the oocyte (egg) we can work out when ovulation took place and therefore predict the foaling date.
As a qualified AI technician, I can only use fresh and chilled semen, I can not use frozen. I am only allowed to use my certificate within the UK as per the Veterinary Surgeons Act 2010 No 2059. I must adhere to all limitations of disease control, for this reason I do not stand my stallion at public stud and do not have boarding mares here at Redheart Appaloosas, it’s just too impractical.
It will be wonderful to have all mares confirmed in foal earlier in the season to enable our stallion to compete back under saddle for the 2020 show season without him loosing weight fretting over in season mares…
Looking back at two years with Talismans Redheart.
Ghost was imported from France and is our smallest mare, currently standing at 15hh, she has an adorable kind and quiet personality. We like her very much, the last imported horse added to our gene pool…
Unfortunately, whilst playing with the young stock, she sustained an injury to her hind leg. We are thankful she’s sound, has nice breeding and put together quite well, therefore she should complement her future foals. Unfortunately, she’ll never see the show ring due to a cosmetic scar, accidents do happen!
Listed on the ApHC Hall Of Fame, Ghost has SUNDANCE and BAMBI E on both sides of her pedigree, her sire adds APPACHE, JOKER B and PRINCE PLAUDIT whilst her dam boasts RED EAGLE, PATCHY, RED EAGLES PEACOCK and PATCHY JR.
Ghosts blood line is predominantly Appaloosa blood but go back 15 generations on the dam side and you’ll see WAZIR 1863, a grey Arabian stallion who was an undefeated racehorse and one of the most successful and famous stallions in Egypt.
A look back at 4 years with Caricks Redheart.
Myka joined us at the age of two in November 2016 from Doncaster, England. She completed one season in the ring and was mainly shown by a junior.
Myka always looks for the mud and has a very affectionate character. Standing at 15.2hh she’s a great asset to our broodmare herd and has proved to an excellent broodmare.
With 28/30 Appaloosas in her 5 generation pedigree we see her sire, Drea Yakima Firshado has ApHC Hall of Fame horses, Red Eagle, Bambi E and Sundance 500 whilst her dam, Lambrigg Dollar Girl bloodline’s trace back to BRIGHT EYES BROTHER, JOKER B, THE EXECUTIVE, WAPITT (1966), PRINCE PLAUDIT (1963) and RUSTLER BILL (1996).
She has many Quarter Horses listed on the American Quarter Horse Hall Of Fame – LEO, DEAPTH CHARGE, JOE REED, JOE REED II, OLD SORREL, SOLIS, JOE HANCOCK, OKLAHOMA STAR, BILLY GLEGG, POCO BUENO, SKIPPER W, THREE BARS as well as OLD FRED (PHBA) and just to add for a giggle, SIRI SHEIK (1945) owned by Paula Cooper 😊
Myka’s pedigree is also steeped with some impressive Thoroughbred racehorses – West Australian (Triple Crown winner), BOLD VENTURE (won Kentucky Derby G1, Preakness Stakes G1), ST GERMANS (leading Sire in 1931). BLENHEIM (won The Derby in 1930), ROCK SAND (1903 British Triple Crown Winner), THE TETRARCH (leading Sire in GB & Ireland in 1919), SANSOVINO (winner of Epsom Derby 1924), BLANDFORD (Three-Time Leading Sire in Great Britain & Ireland 1934, 1935, & 1938), GAINSBOROUGH (winner of the English triple crown), MUMTAZ MAHAL (Champion 2YO Filly in 1923), PHALARIS (leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland in 1925 & 1928), MACARONI (won Epsom Derby 1863) and many more…
A look back at 11 years with Princesse Pascale.
Imported from Austria as a weanling, Dam of Evee, Ben, Reality and Rookie and Grand Dam to Revelation.
PP spent her young stock days in the ring before being backed and ridden away. Standing at 16hh she’s the tallest and most laid-back mare we have, she’s proved to be an exceptional broodmare.
With 30/30 Appaloosas in her pedigree, her bloodlines are traced back to 8 horses listed on the ApHC Hall Of Fame (The Appaloosa Horse Club Hall of Fame was established in 1986 to recognize the unique contributions and positive impact individual horses have made on the ApHC).
DOUBLE SIX DOMINO, JOKER B and RED EAGLE are found on both sides of her pedigree, whilst her Sire line boasts PATCHY and SUNDANCE and her Dams line enriched with BRIGHT EYES BROTHER, MIGHTY BRIGHT and PRINCE PLAUDIT.
Influential Quarter Horse stallions such as OLD FRED 1894 (PHBA Hall of Fame), JOE HANCOCK 1923 (AQHA Hall of Fame), POCO BUENO 1944 (AQHA Hall of Fame) and KING 1932 (AQHA Hall of Fame ) are found. We also see the Thoroughbreds, ROCK SAND 1900, “a leading British two-year-old of his generation he became the tenth winner of the Triple Crown in 1903, winning the 2,000 Guineas Stakes, The Derby and the St. Leger Stakes” and ST FRUSQUIN 1893 “the best British two-year-old of 1895, wins included the Middle Park Plate and the Dewhurst Plate., 2000 Guineas, the Princess of Wales’s Stakes and the Eclipse Stakes”.
PP is the shadow of Catori and a Foundation broodmare in our herd, her breeding is a huge asset to the Foundation Blood Lines here at Redheart Appaloosas.
DOUBLE SIX DOMINO 1943 “was a National Champion Get-of-Sire in 1970 and placed in the top five in Get-of-Sire in 1960, 1962, and 1964. “he sired many colorful winners in halter, performance, and racing–including 246 registered foals with a collective total of 23 performance points, one Register of Merit and one bronze medallion”.
JOKER B 1941 “a 1962 National Champion Get of Sire. World & National Champion Sire. Champion Running Sire X2. First place in the 220-yard race in 1956. Sire of 3 World Champions, 9 National Champions and 1 Running Champion. He was an influential sire, and during the 1960s this horse was greatly responsible for the promotion of the Appaloosa breed by way of his extensive campaigning and numerous public appearances. JOKER B. sired 196 registered foals and passed away in 1966”
RED EAGLE 1946 “He was a charismatic horse and was the first National Champion Halter Horse. National Champion titles include Get-of-Sire and Aged Stallions, both in 1957. He greatly influenced West Coast activities during the 1940s and 1950s, sired 74 registered foals and passed away in 1971”.
PATCHY 1939 “bred in the ApHC’s first year and became known as the “picture horse” because of his vivid colour and correct conformation. Foaled in 1939 and passed away in 1963”.
SUNDANCE 1933 “He antedated the registry and was a popular sire. A participant in the U.S. Government’s remount program”
BRIGHT EYES BROTHER 1950 “He was shown lightly but greatly influenced the development of the breed. BRIGHT EYES BROTHER sired 128 registered foals, and four bronze medallion winners–one of which accumulated 69 halter points”.
MIGHTY BRIGHT 1960 “He impacted the breed substantially. Though injured as a youngster, MIGHTY BRIGHT was an outstanding sire with offspring winning consistently. He sired 188 registered foals, including six bronze medallion winners in halter and performance and a total of 54 performance and 16 halter points”.
PRINCE PLAUDIT 1963 “a top sire with get winning in both halter and performance events. A two-time national Get-of-Sire Champion, PRINCE PLAUDIT sired winners of one gold, three silver, and 19 bronze medallions. He sired 637 registered foals and 45 of his get also produced medallion winners. PRINCE PLAUDIT won a bronze production plaque in 1976.”
KNOBBY 1918 – although “unregistered he was known as “The Lamb Horse” and “one of the most famous Palouse Country Appaloosa stallions”. “Owned by Guy Lamb. He was a blue roan with black spots and was of pure blood, coming from the herd of Sam Fisher, the Palouse Indian Horse Breeder. Sam`s tribe had not been involved in the Nez Perce War, and had kept their horse herds intact. This meant they were a source for Foundation Breeders.”
A look back at 7 years with Redheart Pascalius.
Evee is our first homebred filly retained to enhance our bloodline breeding forward. Sibling to Ben, Reality and Rookie, Dam to Revelation and she’s by the same sire as Reus.
Evee spent her young stock days in the ring before being started. Built like a table, standing at 15.2hh she a very straight forward mare and has adapted to broodmare life exceptionally well.
With 62/62 Registered Appaloosas in her 6 generation pedigree, its full of history with lots of ApHC Hall Of Fame names – DOUBLE SIX DOMINO, JOKER B, RED EAGLE, PATCHY, SUNDANCE, BRIGHT EYES BROTHER, MIGHTY BRIGHT and PRINCE PLAUDIT from her dam, whilst her sire KISS MY FINEST HEART has added another line of RED EAGLE, APACHE, PATCHY, SUNDANCE and APACHE II.
Evee is a fine example of Foundation Appaloosa breeding, producing the third generation of Redheart bloodlines here at the stud, she’s also a fine example of how an Appaloosa’s coat colour and pattern can change with the LP gene.
A look back at 12 years with Peyres Catori Cat.
Imported from France as a weanling, Dam of Reus, Easter, Blanc, Regent and Relentless and Grand Dam to RU and Reality.
Catori spent her young stock days in the ring before being backed and ridden away. Standing at 15.2hh she’s the leader of the herd with a priceless character and we think excellent conformation.
With 27/30 Appaloosas in her pedigree ( 3 Quarter Horses) her blood lines are traced back to PLAUDIT and SULLY lines on her Sire’s side, with GOER (“The all-time leading sire of Appaloosa foals, with 703 on record to date, GOER made an immeasurable impact on the Appaloosa breed–setting a standard for conformation that will remain for generations. Sire of over 48 bronze and two silver medallions, as well as 46 Register of Merits”) and THE EXECUTIVE (“The stallion now has more than 40 medallion winning sons and daughters, diverse in their talents as winners in halter, pleasure, jumping, reining, roping, cattle classes, trail, side-saddle, and racing”) on her Dam’s side, both who are listed in the ApHC Hall of Fame – A place where “The Appaloosa Horse Club Hall of Fame established in 1986 to recognize the unique contributions and positive impact individual horses and people have made on the ApHC”.
She’s the Appaloosa that started Redheart Appaloosas and the mare that’s always put on a pedestal, aka The Matriarch…
You’ve made your memories, experienced the highs and the lows.
They’ll soon become anniversaries, so make plans before this dawn.
Look up, look forward, sit high and ride on, because before you know it, 2020 will soon be gone.
Happy New to you from Redheart Appaloosas x
- Paula Cooper
- Why Redheart?