Kirsty, Barb and Tuppence

Barb has been in our family since she was 2 years old. Initially she belonged to my sister who used her as a broodmare and over the years she has bred 7 foals.

I took her on as my own when Barb was 14 and put her under the saddle. She's a lovely horse to ride, always safe and sensible, and loves to jump. These qualities made me decide to breed from her when Barb was 17 as I knew I wouldn’t be able to find another like her!

This foal was going to be bred for my next horse so I wanted a horse I could do a bit of everything on. I’ve always been lucky to have genuine horses that were safe, well-mannered and sound so the stallion’s temperament as well as conformation and athletic ability were very important to me.

I had to be extremely critical of Barb and take into account her conformation, attitude and her workability. These all need to be assessed and you must be realistic. Is your mare good enough to breed from?

Selecting a Stallion
The process of choosing a stallion for Barb took a while. There are so many stallions out there to choose from which is great in one respect but also so confusing! Luckily my sister has a keen interest in breeding and bloodlines and recommended a few bloodlines to stick to.

I remember watching Emerald jumping at the Olympics in 2016 and saying to my sister ‘wow that is the stallion I would use on Barb’. Unfortunately his stud fee was out of my budget at the time.

I attended the Stallion Show at Bury Farm with work in 2017 where we saw Escape Z who is by Emerald. When he came into the ring he was just 4 years old and very impressive to watch over the fences. He was very balanced and well behaved and his type suited my mare. He is very compact to Barb who is a bit long.

Barb’s Pregnancy
From the moment I decided the stallion I was going to use I needed to find a vet that could do the AI on Barb; I had to monitor her seasons so I could time the insemination correctly.

I kept her on the same high quality feed alongside Gut Balancer as she was in work 5-6 times a week so she was fit and healthy and turned out daily in a herd of mares. Barb took first time at the beginning of May and I added Baileys Stud Balancer to her diet. I carried on working Barb up until mid-November when I decided to stop riding and instead carried on working her from the floor.

The next step was to find somewhere for Barb to foal down where she would be comfortable and well cared for. Fortunately Writtle College had a stud near to me and the foal was due in their term times so it was agreed Barb would go there. She arrived at the college in February 2018 to give her time to acclimatise and eventually foaled on Wednesday 18th April to a filly foal I named Tuppence.

Everything went smoothly thankfully and Tuppence developed quickly with both her and Barb receiving regular farrier visits and visits from Baileys to manage her nutritional needs. And of course lots of visits from friends!

Tuppence was weaned at just over 6 months which went smoothly. Both Barb and Tuppence were on Gut Balancer and knowing that weaning can be stressful I included some Acid Ease and Quick Fix into their diets to help support their gut through a stressful period.

Breeding Tuppence has been an amazing experience! I think people imagine how the foal may look when it is born and I couldn’t have imagined anything like her. In my eyes she is perfect.

It’s been mostly a great experience, there have been some stressful moments along the way, and I would love to do it again but for now I am just going to enjoy being a part of Tuppence’s life.

Kirsty's Foaling Tips
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