The Class of 2021 – The First Blade of Grass…

After days out in the ménage the next step for our 2021 foals is turn out in a small paddock. It is hard for them to understand why their dams just want to eat after a quick check of the boundary, a gradual reintroduction to grass for the mares is especially important.
 
After they settle and their heads go down, we wonder what the first blade of grass tastes like for a foal?
 
We are in May and Spring has not arrived, the days have been OK, but the nights are still too cold and wet to leave the foals out. Since birth, each mare and foal have increased time out over a two week period, building up the length of time to reach a full days grazing before coming in for the night.

 

The Class of 2021 – The First Turn-out

In conjunction with Farm & Stable Supplies for supporting the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) UK 2021 Photo Competition. Thank you 🙂

There is no doubt turnout is best for new-born foals, enabling them to develop physically and mentally. All our mare’s and foals have individual turnout in the safety area of the duracorral before they are turned out in the field together.

Here are the first few days of their lives outside the barn…

 

The Class 2021 – THE FIRST 48 HOURS

In conjunction with Farm & Stable Supplies for supporting the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) UK 2021 Photo Competition. Thank you 🙂

Can you imagine being born within 4 walls and then the door is opened, a new environment awaits you but also the realisation of what your legs are for…

Our post foaling check list is quite extensive, but only then can we relax and enjoy our foals knowing we have done our best to ensure their well-being.

Here are some clips from The Class of 2021, showing their characters within in the first 48hrs of life outside the stable.

Here is a little video:

The Class of 2021 – STAGE 3 – Passing The Placenta

In conjunction with Farm & Stable Supplies for supporting the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) UK 2021 Photo Competition. Thank you 🙂

STAGE 3 of foaling is known as delivery of the placenta. The mare’s uterus continues to contract after foaling which causes the placenta to be expelled BUT so much more happens before the placenta is expelled.

So, the foals are safely out, either our mares get up or our foals crawl to their dam’s head but either way the umbilical cord breaks and the foals begin their first mission, to get to their feet. Their second mission is to find the milk bar, both missions are challenging, we only intervene if required to do so.

Our mares’ bond with their foals by licking, nuzzling, and nickering to them, it is wonderful to watch.

During the processes of the foals’ natural instincts, to stand and feed, the mare’s body is constantly experiencing the pain of contractions, the ultimate result we wait for is a placenta that is completely intact.

Once we are satisfied the foal has properly latched on and nursed, the foal has urinated and passed the meconium and most of all the placenta is intact, only then do we leave them, knowing we have done everything possible to ensure a great start to their new life.

Here’s a little video:

The Class 2021 – STAGE 2 FOALING

In conjunction with Farm & Stable Supplies for supporting the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) UK  2021 Photo Competition. Thank you 🙂

As the contraction persist, we witness the bulge of the white fluid-filled amniotic sac from the vulva followed by every breeder’s delight, two front feet and a nose. We wait and watch and talk to our mares, we know our mares well and they need to know I am there.

As the contraction persist, the feet and nose pop in and out of their vulvas, it is common for a mare to get up and back down as she repositions her foal for ease of delivery. The head and front feet are now out… Then, a few hard pushes that result in the shoulders passing through the birth canal and eventually the foal is out!

Telling them how well they have done and keeping everything calm, they whinny and look at their new-born and stay lying down which is beneficial for the foal to receive as much blood as possible to pass through the umbilical cord.

Right or wrong, we always pull out the back feet out, we know too many stories of foals trying to crawl whilst the feet are inside the mare whilst she is led down, the result can be detrimental to the mare, so we take no risks.

Whilst the foal is out, we gently clear the nasal passage of any fluid, imprint them before the mares get up or the foal crawl to the mares head and allow the bonding process to begin.

Either the mare will stay down, and the foal will start to crawl towards her, or the mare will get up and their first meet is just beautiful. This is their first bond, all our mares are great mothers, they are kind and do their foals well, we leave them bond.

Here’s a little video:

The Class of 2021 – STAGE 1 – Signs of imminent FOALING

In conjunction with Farm & Stable Supplies for supporting the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) UK  2021 Photo Competition. Thank you 🙂

The Redheart Mare’s – Stage ONE of foaling and the imminent signs!

We keep our mares in a strict routine and when the doors are shut and a loud “night night” is yelled down the barn, the horses know it is quiet time and safe to foal.

Before foaling begins the mares must go through STAGE ONE of labour, a point prior to foaling when the mares look like they are showing signs of colic, box walking, kicking their bellies, rubbing their rear ends, lying down and getting up repeatedly, holding their tails up, looking at the flanks, nipping or kicking at the abdomen, sweating, frequently urinate and pass droppings, walking around, picking at bits of hay, pawing the ground, some show signs of yawning, chewing and generally looking restless with an obvious change in behaviour and generally looking uncomfortable.

We watch them closely as we wait for them to settle and not get worse…this is due to a hormone released which creates uterine contractions and the foal rotates from its back, onto its belly with its forelegs and head extended towards the mare’s vagina, it moves into position for ready for delivery.

It can last for hours with “breaks” in between or it can be consistent before foaling commences, either way, all mares are different, their pain thresh hold levels are different and all will show some of the signs mentioned. We watch them with a careful eye especially the maiden, she really has no idea what’s going on!

Here is a little video:

The Class of 2021 – FOUR WEEKS PRIOR TO FOALING

In conjunction with Farm & Stable Supplies for supporting the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) UK  2021 Photo Competition. Thank you 🙂

Let us go back to November 2019 when we stabled our 5 mares through the winter months under at least 11 hours of artificial light, come early February 2020, our mares were cycling and obviously in season. We collected semen from our stallion and artificially inseminated the mares.

At their 14–16-day scan, the Vet was able to confirm the mares were pregnant and by the size of the embryo’s we could work out what date the mares ovulated. From this date, we worked out the estimated date of their foaling due dates.

From the time of conception, the mares lived a normal life out in the field within the herd. During the third trimester of pregnancy, foals do the majority of their growing, so we start the mares on a little stud mix and gradually build up the quantity.

With one month to go, the mares are introduced into a new routine, being stabled each night, each mare has her own stable, this enables her body to build up immunity to her new surroundings which are passed onto the foal. The mares are dewormed, have a Flu and tetanus vaccine and the last trim from the farrier prior to foaling, all are routine for us and all for the benefit of the mares and foals as we start our new evening TV show… Foal Watch.

We are now prepared, if there is anything missing from our foaling kit, it is sleep! No matter if this is your first foaling or your 100th, you do not want to miss it…the thought of creating a life and not being prepared to take accountability for any complications that might occur is something we take very seriously.

Counting down the days, we observe their udders and vulvas at 6am and 6pm, these are key to all the signs of imminent foaling. As the week approaches to each due date, we take note of the loss of appetite for hay, they have adlib hay and as soon as this becomes bedding, we know things are starting to progress. As we increase their hard feed, we introduce a sloppy grass mash with salt, this ensures they drink plenty of water to prevent their droppings change to a firmer texture.

As we watch their evening stable TV routine show, we note their behaviour, we like to say it is a “textbook” foaling but never have we witnesses two foaling’s the same, not even from the same mare. Every mare has a different pain threshold, but the fact remains they all must go through the same process with or without those obvious signs they are supposed to show us…

Here is a little video of our 5 mares:

Appaloosa Horse Club UK – 2020 Show Series

As one of the ApHC UK Directors, I personally have been extremely busy during the “lock down” coordinating the ApHC UK virtual shows, Redheart Appaloosas is one of the main sponsors and on this basis we believe it only fair not to compete in the competition ourselves.

Never thought so much work was involved but what an absolute honour, a pleasure and how exciting it has been, the promotion of ApHC UK and the Appaloosa in the UK has certainly taken presidency on social media. I’m only too happy to help promote the Appaloosa Breed and help offer our members something to aim for during these unprecedented times!

We have used every “spare” minute to organise these online show but we are near the end.. The Spring, Summer and Autumn Shows have been completed successfully and now I prepare the Champions and Reserve Champions for our three Judges, Louise Hunt, Sally Chamberlain and Bev Beresford Batten  to decide who our Champion of Champions will be…

Redheart Appaloosa updates will resume shortly, we have so much news to tell you…

Check out ApHC UK Face Book page HERE

See The Appaloosa Horse Club UK Website details HERE

View the YouTube Entry Videos HERE

Redheart Appaloosas New Pasture

It certainly has been a very wet winter, we’ve never fed hay in MAY before!!!

None the less, the sun eventually came out and the spring grass was evident, the herd certainly will benefit from Dr.Green.

 

Contentment…

 

Virtual – Appaloosa Shows for 2020

Due to the current situation of COVID 19, it is without doubt social distancing is in place to help prevent the virus spreading and to ensure unnecessary stress on the NHS. This has resulted in ALL social events being cancelled – with good reason and we certainly understand and are not complaining.

Many of the Clubs, Societies and event organisations have taken this opportunity to promote their interests, their breeds and keep all equine enthusiast’s entertained by way of Virtual events and photo competitions.

As Directors of the ApHC UK, its certainly beneficial to notify our members of these events that will promote the APPALOOSA BREED, one very special event that Redheart’s try to attend each year is Royal Windsor. It one of the most prestigious events and is a highlight for us to promoting our Appaloosas, its a well organised event over 5 days and we recommend a visit, especially in 2021.

The actual physical Appaloosa Class at Windsor is restricted to the British Appaloosa Society, however  their “OPEN” Appaloosa Class for  Virtual Windsor 2020 attracted a huge amount of interest… here some of the fantastic entries from Instagram at  #virtualwindsorclass22, including our own.

 

Royal Windsor Horse Show announced the Top 10 Finalist today from a total of 79 entries. The judging of this class will be streamed on Saturday 16th May, 2020 as part of Virtual Windsor Show Week.

We are extremely proud to see two of the finalists represent Redheart Appaloosas. Redheart Reality, image taken at Royal Windsor when he won his young stock class and took Reserve In Hand Champion in 2018 and the second image is Redheart Reflection owned by April Woods (submitted by her mother – Lian Woods).

Redheart Reality

Redheart Reflection

Here at Redhearts we sincerely wish all competitors in the final the BEST OF LUCK!

Bundle of Dreams – Amelia Storer

Carms Before Dark -Joanne Prestidge-King

Causin A Rumpus – Danielle French

Desired Edition – Megan Share

Hendrefawr Razzamatazz – Jade Oxley

Mont Blanc – Danielle French

Stamford Pride – Penelope Oliver

Taihirion Florida May – Rachel Cutter