This week the foal module is in the spotlights. Breeding a foal is a rollercoaster of emotions, but one of the most awesome things to do. Naturally breeders have a goal. To breed a successor, a high-quality sports horse, everyone has their own dot on the horizon to work towards. My initial goal was to breed a successor for my mare, a future sports horse. The entire breeding process caught my attention. In such a positive way that I want to develop it professionally. In addition, the tendon injury of my mare returned (there was a 50% chance). Occurred due to an unlucky accident, horses just do not have any sense for self-preservation. Luckily, I caught it in time so she can spend her days in the field as a breeding mare (she loves it). Well, if her foals do not accidentally kick her tendon with inflammation as result and loss of the embryo, which happened this year… Breeding is never without risks. Goal now though is to create a successful jumping/eventing and dressage line. Foundation has been created and now it is a patience game, building on that foundation and a strict selection of offspring.
The first foal I bred was born in 2019. Seems like it was just yesterday when he came out of his mum all folded with those never-ending legs. He is now 2,5 years old now and over 1,70m. I need one of those kitchen ladders to be able to get on when we start work eventually. He is absolutely lovely, and a lot like his mum character wise. Introvert, willing to learn, bit focussed on his owner and in need of confirmation and time to process new things. Short working sessions to avoid the moment of explosion with lots of breaks so he can take his time to process. Result 20 minutes later: he does it all in one single go. This year a beautiful mare was born. Same pedigree and totally different. Extrovert, expressive, knows what she wants and how to show it. Loves to cuddle and isn’t afraid of anyone after she decided humans can be trusted. A castle just as her brother, they grow up so quickly. You blink twice and they are waiting for you head over the gate they couldn’t even reach halfway few months earlier. You almost see them grow in front of your eyes!
Horses have reached about 92% of their total height at 3 years. A larger horse is fully grown when it is 8 years old! This has to do with the closing of the growth plates. This starts with the coffin bone at birth and continues all the way to the atlas which closes last. Stallions and geldings are even 6 months behind in development compared to mares. A smaller horse is fully grown around 6 years old. The larger the horse, the longer it takes for them to grow. It is important to take that into account when starting your young horse and the amount of work is done. Variety and pauses are key. Every horse is different and needs a personal approach taking into account the internal development. A horse can look mature for its age, but growing plates still need the same time as any other to close.
The foal module contains a growth list to keep track of the development of your foal. Fun to see if there is a trend regarding your breeding mare. She might give large foals indifferent of the stallion used, or maybe the stallion genes have a lot of influence. Or just to see if your foal is following the curve or not.
In the past years I at least found a new passion, and I am looking forward to develop the breeding lines. The pre-order period lasts till the end of November. So, make sure you order your modules in time to have them delivered before the holidays.
What would be your goal as a breeder or maybe you already have one? Let me know in the comments on the socials.