Birth Announcement!

Luna the spotted draft mare delivered a spirited, strapping colt in the wee hours of the morning.  Both mama and baby are doing great!

The colt’s daddy is Jack Flash, a Gypsy cob stallion imported from the UK. This particular cross gave a 2% chance of producing a chestnut tobiano, yet that describes him!  He looks like a miniature war horse with a perfect chanfron-shaped blaze. The foal will be registered as a Gypsy Sport Horse.

We are tossing around name ideas, playing with baby and doting on mama,  We look forward to a future full of adventures in trail riding, medieval reenacting, dressage, eventing, and just horsing around. It all begins with a natural horsemanship foundation!

We wish you all a Happy April Foals Day!

newborn gypsy sport horse foal

Welcome Luna

Luna and her soon-to-be-born Gypsy Sport Horse foal joined our family on winter solstice this year.

Luna Spotted Draft in foal to Gypsy Cob Stallion Jack FLash

Luna Spotted Draft in foal to Gypsy Stallion Jack Flash

Luna had been through four owners since April, through no fault of her own. Luna is a 4 year-old Spotted Draft mare, small despite her Shire blood. She’s sweet, sound and healthy, like so many equine victims of today’s economy.  A foreclosure loomed large in Luna’s recent past, as well as a cancer situation.  She was huge with foal and facing uncertainty with her now-trademark Mona Lisa smile.

We needed another horse like a fish needs a bicycle but Luna needed a safe place to foal.  As has become our mantra during this challenging season in our country, it’s not about what we need but about what needs us.

The sire of Luna’s baby is Jack Flash, a registered Gypsy Cob stallion imported from the UK.  (His owner took the original picture at their Dakota Winds Ranch, and Susan Gallien at Blue Moon Gypsies worked her magic to photoshop the wire fence out of the foreground.)

Jack Flash Gypsy Stallion

Both Luna and the foal will go through our foundational program in classical dressage and natural horsemanship before they specialize.  I can see Luna as a great little all-around mare- fox chasing, local shows and events, dressage… and of course donning garb for medieval reenactments.

Right now it matters not if we are just the open door to their happily-ever-after home.  Luna is happily munching hay on this blustery winter day, Mona Lisa smile keeping her foaling time secret, watched over by people who love her.

First Barefoot Trim

We tackled Luna’s hooves today, beginning what we hope will be an uneventful recovery process.  When we first looked at her, her owner told her reluctance to move forward was due to the added weight of pregnancy.  Forget the foal, her feet were a mess!  Every step must feel like walking on glass shards!

Flares in her hoof walls indicate laminar stretching and separation.  OUCH! The separation is also evident in the stretched water lines.  Subtle red marks indicate angry bruising. Overgrown walls and bars concentrate concussive and shearing forces with each step.  There is a Youtube video that illustrates this with revolting clarity–I’ll dig it up.

I just trimmed her front hooves.  The hinds can wait ’til tomorrow.  Healing is a process.

I asked Mark to walk her out to check the results in motion.  Tentative at first, Luna gained confidence in her newly found comfort as she walked.   Rebalancing the hooves caused a heel-first landing.  Her stride–and her topline–lengthened.  You could see the relief on her face!

Luna LF Before Barefoot trim

Luna LF After Barefoot Trim

Rolling the toe takes the pressure off the lamellar attachments, allowing them to heal.  Over time we’ll see the tubules begin to grow straight down.  The flares and resulting bruising will disappear.  The water line will shrink. The whole hoof capsule will tighten up, supporting the internal structures–and the whole horse–with the integrity for which it was designed.

 Luna LF Hoof Before barefoot trim

Luna LF After Barefoot Trim

The lighter coloration of the freshly rasped hoof is decieving.  To me it looks like there is a much greater difference between the heights of the structures.  In reality, the weight bearing surface is pretty smooth.  The bars and bottom of the wall are trimmed way down to help distribute the weight bearing load.

luna RF Hoof Before Barefoot Trim

Note the extra toe length as seen in the left front-before shot cracked and broke off a few days before.

 Luna RF After Barefoot Trim

Luna RF Before Barefoot Trim

Luna RF Hoof After Barefoot Trim

 I’m excited!  I think Luna has some darn good feet hiding behind the signs of neglect!