Someone is pregnant in the Otte Family! No, it’s not me – it’s Stormy Girl Surprise, Erynn’s horse.
For Christmas this year, I promised Erynn that we would get Stormy pregnant. She had five babies before, but none in the past 7 years that we have owned her. She’s an older mare, about 16 or 17 years old. We really did not think it would be difficult to get her pregnant. Boy were we wrong! I went through secondary infertility, so all of the terms and such, I was pretty familiar with.
I contracted with someone to do artificial insemination but my gut instinct was telling me not to continue down that path. Erynn really wanted a Freisian Paint Stallion to breed to and we happened to find one fairly close that could be “live cover” (or live breeding). I called and found out they were not actively breeding the stallion but after I told the owners, we just wanted one foal out of Stormy that we could keep and train (a sport horse for Erynn), and would become a part of our family, they agreed to it. We were thrilled! The first cycle we bred her, was a bad cycle. We drove her four hours up to just North of Scranton PA and ended up leaving her there for a few weeks. We brought her back, and as we suspected, no pregnancy.
Dr. Hess of Hess Equine Veterinary Services locally said that Stormy was housing too much fluid in her uterus, and we had to breed just right in the hopes of possibly getting a pregnancy (for those who are interested in this process, read about the mares with fluid HERE). The outlook was looking quite grim, but we were going to give it a good go. Bill instructed us exactly what to do regarding timing (drive four hours, one breeding session, and four hours back), and then flushing her system multiple times after breeding, as well as I had to give her shots of oxytocin for two days straight.
What have I gotten us into?
Here’s Stormy as if you follow this blog or know us, you know is Erynn’s pride and joy. She has had Stormy for 7 years. Stormy is well known at Muddy Creek Meadows as she was born and raised there. Well, technically she was born at the Conewago Trail Riders camp ground as a total surprise during a trip.
I’d like to introduce the majestic Taser…. half paint, half Freisian…… He is such a gentleman. We were amazed that his owner, Molly, at 17 years old had raised him from birth and had trained him in excellent ground manners. It was like all she had to do is look at him and he would cower to her adorable petite self! It was a lot of fun to watch their relationship.
So, because we are complete weirdos, we decided to do a bride/groom picture for laughs…. yes, we did….. haha!
Notice that Stormy and Taser are complete opposites.
Stormy ovulated exactly when Bill said she would (confirmed on ultrasound) and he had set up the scene exactly as it needed to be in order for conception to occur……..we then waited the longest 14 days ever. Here’s what we have……….. a perfect little pregnancy…… We are shocked! Baby is due between May 14th and May 29th….. and you aren’t going to believe this. Erynn’s birthday is May 21st!!!!
Here’s our little Stormageddon’s first picture!
So what color will their baby be? We have no idea!!! We’ve tried the genetics calculator and there are so many combinations. Taser and Stormy are the total opposite. Here’s our chart…. The final height of the baby is in question too. I think Taser is 15.2 hh and Stormy is just under 15.0 hh. Erynn didn’t want a 17 hh horse as Erynn is petite, and she plans on training this foal from day one. Stormy has produced a 16 hh baby, and her father and mother were 16 hh. Taser’s dad was a 17 hh Freisian. So again, we have no idea what will happen. Erynn said she would be thrilled with anything between 15 and 16 hh, 17 scares her a bit… haha! But back to color, who knows! I do know that the light color is very dominant on Stormy’s side. The paint color is not very dominant on her side. A blaze and socks is pretty dominant if the babies are dark as two of her babies that were not light colored did have that. One of her babies had two blue eyes (that look like they are surrounded in eyeliner). The genetics calculator could not specify a percentage higher of one color than others. It could be a paint or it could be a solid color or even a bay. We have no idea.
Be prepared, folks, this is going to be the most photographed foal ever. We are going to document everything we can. I suspect some camping out at the stable will occur in the hopes of catching the birth on video. Oh, and a new fun little word. This baby? Is going to be a freewalker paint. Love it!