An Equine Maternity Primer

With buzz in the air about breeding Flavie, we thought we’d make this week’s blog all about babies.

Did you know?newborn foal

  • A newborn horse is called a foal. Female young horses are known as fillies, and male young horses are known as colts.  Adult females are mares and adults males are stallions — or geldings if they’ve had the snip.
  • Foals are raised by their mothers. Most times, a foal will never meet its father as mares are generally shipped to a stud farm for breeding, or bred using artificial insemination.
  • A mare’s gestation period is 11 months.  Mares can continue to be ridden for the majority of this time, but should be put on rest for the last two months of pregnancy.
  • The best time to breed a mare is in the spring, from May to July, so that the foal will be born in the spring the next year when grass is rich and nutritious.foal in field
  • pregnant mareMares who have been bred several times earlier in life are much easier to get into foal late in life.  Flavie had four foals before she came to us, which makes her a proven broodmare.
  • Often it is hard to tell whether a mare is in foal, and signs of belly enlargement are only present during the final stages of pregnancy.
  • A newborn foal will often stand up within two hours of birth.
  • Within four weeks, the foal will start eating solid foods such as grass, hay and grain, and are typically weaned from their mothers around four to eight months of age.
  • If a foal matches the bloodline and specific characteristics of a certain breed, they may be registered as part of that breed.
  • There are often specific naming conventions for certain breeds.
  • For example, a Canadian Horse foal must be named after a) the farm they were born at, b) the name of their sire, and c) a name starting in a letter designated to all Canadian foals born that year.Flavie
    • Rochefort Satan Flavie – Rochefort is the farm name, Satan is the sire’s name, F for Flavie was the letter used in 1996.
    • Coldingham Dylan Jack-Thunder – Coldingham is the farm name, Dylan is the sire’s name, J was used in 1999.
    • Calo Heros Jolie – Calo is the farm, Heros is the sire, Jolie was born in the same year as Jack as they both start with J.
  • The baby-daddy we’ve picked out for Flavie is Legacy Hasard Tango (aka Django) who belongs to our friends Veli and Sherry Leväaho, and the 2017 letter is E, so Flavie’s foal will be named Red Colt Tango E____.  We hope to be taking suggestion on ‘E’ names come the spring, so start collecting them now!

You can help make Flavie’s foal a reality by contributing to her GoFundMe campaign.

Help Us Breed Flavie

Current & Upcoming Classes

Riding, Horsemanship and Mounted Combat classes start up again this week.  Register by Thursday to ensure your spot!

Beginner Riding & Horsemanship

This six-week series will teach you to groom, tack up, and handle your horses as well as get you started in the saddle.  By the end of six weeks you should be ready to teleading in handst for Horsemanship Level 1, and a second run through the course will get most people to Riding Level 1. Choose between Saturday or Sunday classes — or take both to get you to your goal twice as fast!

Saturdays 21 May – 25 Jun, 4pm – 6pm
cost: $300 for 6 classes

Riding & Horsemanship Level 2

The Level 2 course covers the same topic areas as Level 1 but in greater depth.  You will progress through the Horsemanship Level 2 curriculum while continuing to work on achieving your Riding Levels 1 or 2.  If you are unsure whether you should sign up for Level 2 or Beginner, just pick the class which has space.  The courses run simultaneously and riders are informally assessed during the first class, with placements shuffled to make sure everyone is riding with a group of the appropriate level.

Saturdays 21 May – 25 Jun, 4pm – 6pm
cost: $300 for 6 classes

Horsemanship Level 3-4IMG_2794

This six-week course is intended to get you through either Level 3 or Level 4 Horsemanship, but there are no prerequisites.  That means anyone who wants to learn about saddlery, vet & first aid, grooming, foot & shoeing and other stable management topics can take the course.  A great way to learn about horse care, taught by certified Pony Club alumni.

Saturdays 21 May – 25 Jun, 4pm – 5pm
cost: $130 for 6 classes

Jack 2Riding Level 3+

Welcome to the Open class!  Here you will further hone your riding skills, adding jumping, cross country, quadrille and mounted games work as you work towards your next riding level.

Saturdays 21 May – 25 Jun, 3pm – 4pm
cost: $200 for 6 classes

Mounted Combat Fundamentals

This five-week course covers the Mounted Combat Skills for the Green Spur.

Saturdays 21 May – 25 Jun, 6:30pm – 8pmChris vs Jen
cost: $120 for 5 classes

Intermediate Mounted Combat

Students in this five-week class will spend approximately an hour and a quarter each week working from horseback on longsword, spear, and grappling skills, as well as mounted games and general riding exercises.  The remainder of the class is taken on the ground and from the falsemount, working on more advanced weapon and unarmed skills.  Students should have their horses tacked up and warmed up ahead of class to maximize training time.  Participants who do not yet have their Green Spurs may take part in class from the ground and falsemount.

Saturdays 21 May – 25 Jun, 6pm – 8pm
cost: $160 for 5 classes

Jennifer Landels heads up Academie Duello's Cavaliere Program. She has been swordfighting since 2008, and riding since before she could walk. She started the program as an excuse to combine those passions.
Read more from Jennifer Landels.