I like to think I am an open minded person and that I will try anything at least once, I have had some major adventures over the years with the ponies but breeding was never on my list, I had no intention of ever breeding and I knew nothing about it.
BUT…… sometimes life gives you lemons, and for me, if life gives me lemons I make lemonade!
On purchasing Fiona, I was filled with dreams of training her up through the levels and reaching my goal of Grand Prix, however she became lame and we needed to rethink our strategy.
So after much goading from the girls on the yard I set to work finding a stallion.
Once I got on board with what was clearly the entire yard’s dreams this for me was relatively easy, I know what I like and I was very clear on what I wanted.
My shopping list
Temperament - Fiona has the most wonderful temperament on the ground so I felt I had this covered.
Trainability – I needed something a bit more workman like, a bit more down to business under saddle, I am fine with “hot” but they must be rideable. – Fiona is hot tempered and will blow up for no reason what so ever, she is also not very forgiving if you get it wrong or try and tell her what’s what. Chestnut mare…… need I say more???
Build – I wanted something fine and elegant, Fiona is stunning but she is a big girl, I am very little so wanted something hopefully smaller or at least finer, with a longer neck. My only critic about Fiona is her neck, it’s a little short.
Movement - Fiona’s movement is to die for, rhythmical and floaty not to mention huge, but she does find the sitting work an effort so just some uphill accurate movement is all that’s needed to compliment.
Looks – well stunning of course! And Black, I would like a black. A black colt, I am indulging or an Orange so they fit in hehehe
So with my shopping list compiled I started scouting the internet for an Oldenburg stallion based in the UK.
It did not take me long to find the Wonderful Shamwari Debonair, bred by Heather Stack of Larshill Stud and was currently standing at Woodlander Stud, he was Number 1 in the futurity dressage rankings. His sire is De Niro, who is largely known for his rideability and willingness to work. The line also includes Donnerhall, Show Star - Sandro Hit and Rittmeister.
So onto finding out how to breed – What an education, I threw myself into the deep end and did as much research as I could. I was rather unlucky with my recommended stud vet who after three attempts was fired!
A huge learning curve for me but the one thing that sticks out in my mind is listen to your gut, I doubted myself constantly but because of my inexperience and because she had been recommended but I knew something was being missed.
Once within the hands of Woodlanders vet it was confirm Fiona was not cycling correctly and that was why we were not falling pregnant, so once we realise we put her on regumate and poof we had a pregnancy!
I thought the hard work was over at this point but the worry I felt over the next few months were to give me grey hairs.
My precious Fiona and her little growing baby were all I could think about, the bubble wrap was in full use and we still manage to get the worst mud fever I had ever seen, which quickly turned into lymphatics and when the vet passed me the antibiotics I think my heart missed a few beats. I was so worried about them.
Needless to say the mud fever cleared up and the months went by.
She did bag up 8 weeks before and waxed up 6 weeks before she gave birth just to keep me on my toes. It
was a running joke as time went on that she would wait and panic me on my wedding day.
But my marvelous girl with no help or fuss gave birth to little Luna on the 18th of July 2016 – 2 days after mine and Ryan’s wedding. What a wedding present!
Left is Luna at two months old and right is the first ever picture of her when she was just born.