Sunday, May 11, 2008

How it all starts

This is how the semen is delivered--in an Equitainer. We call it the "Man in a Can". It is delivered via Fed Ex or airline depending on what day they are collecting the stallion you need, and where in her cycle your mare is---you need to get that semen in there before she ovulates, but ideally within 24 hours of her doing so. This takes lots of ultrasounding to know what is going on in there, so you can predict when she will ovulate---this year in particular, my girls have been all over the map. Some have built follicles super fast, some take forever and a day--all the rules have been broken for us this year, which throws me off my game.

In any event, today started with Gypsy's third ultrasound since Monday. We were on the road at 7:30 this morning, to meet our Fed Ex delivery of Boonsmal Cee Lena semen. Gypsy had given me a little scare Monday morning, when she not only was not ready to be bred, as she should have been, but had absolutely no activity at all. Dr M speculated that she might be one of those wierd ones that was not going to cycle while she was nursing, so I have been anxious all week. She got a new hit of Lutalyse Monday morning, and was checked again Friday morning, and thank God, had a great follicle. So good that she needed Regumate to hold
her until this morning.

This is how she looked just as she was sedated, in anticipation of her ultrasound and insemination. They do not all have to be sedated to be bred, in fact, most of mine do not, but Gypsy is always a little anxious when she is away from her baby girl (who I leave at home for these trips--I hardly need to be chasing that little hellion down Rt 148), so she gets a little resting medicine.

This is what she looked like when the sedative really kicked in.

Barry is doing the super high-tech job of holding her tail out of the way. If you look closely, you can see Dr M is not wearing sunglasses, but this crazy headgear that actually has the ultrasound screen inside of it. As cool as that is for him, I feel like an idiot, because I am so used to looking at the ultrasound machine as he is looking at it, that I keep walking back there out of habit--and there is nothing to see. I console myself by remembering he looks far more ridiculous gazing up at hte sky with his alien headgear on.

For as high tech as some of this process is--some of it is decidedly not. After the semen is warmed from its cool state, it is placed in the mare--via a long pipette type thing. Right up in there it goes--and it is shot in there via syringe. I am guessing sometimes the easiest way stays the best way even when we could probably come up with a more technoligically advanced way to do things.

I hesitated to post any of this---I hate to jinx things by talking about the breedings before we know if they worked. But in this case, I am doing it because it occurs to me that a lot of people that read this blog know nothing about how complicated all of this can be, how much goes into breeding both financially, time wise and emotionally--now a lot of them likely do not care, but now they know anyway. Another reason is that Dr M told me that this was the best semen he had seen in years--superhero sperm maybe, not just motile but highly motile. I called Watkins Equine Breeding Center and told them that. Barry made fun of me, saying that they surely did not care, but I thought they would like to know--and they did seem happy to hear it. Hey, everyone likes to know that someone appreciates their hard work.

Now lets all cross our fingers that this works for us--all the parts were there to make it a great breeding, so lets hope that all the karma that is not science is with us too.


Holly said...

I have said this before and I will say it again, you girls (and boys) who breed horses do far more than I could. It's a complicated process, one I am extremely glad we have but complicated nonetheless. I can remember when a stallion from across the country was unavailable because we didn't have AI. This technology has probably improved the Quarter horse and Paint Horse industry a thousand fold and it's a little wonderous to me.

Anonymous said...

Paige-----thank you-----and I for one definitely appreciate the time and effort you took and spent to "document" this event.

I never would have believed the details that go into breeding much less understand either.

Maybe other friends just needed a "renewal" of the whole concept. Ha!

Wow! ! !

Horse Student Carol

Anonymous said...

Let's hope those sperm got "up in there, stayed, and did their job".
Love you,

Robin Sallie said...

Okay. My fingers are crossed.

Lazy A Ranch said...

I love the lip shot.

Photo of the Whenever I feel like changing it

Photo of the Whenever I feel like changing it


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