false hope

Well, sadly third time was not the charm. Cierra's third AI pregnancy check was a very very disappointing day. We were in disbelief. When you hear things like "perfect timing" and "we got her this time" a person gets their hopes up. You expect the AI breeding to take this time. It did not. No one knows why. No answers. AI is one big guessing game, with Mother Nature doing whatever the hell she wants.

Once again, Cierra had ovulated early. We learned this about her with the earlier AI's. The vet planned for it. Might be why she didn't catch the third time? Even if her ovulation "was very fresh". Brad has an increasing feeling she just can't get pregnant, for whatever reason. We keep asking, and the vet keeps insisting everything they checked indicates there is no reason that Cierra cannot get pregnant. 

Brad decided to try one last time. A fourth and final attempt at AI. It is not fun having the vet do uncomfortable things to your sweet mare, over and over. And over. Pretty sure if you could asked Cierra, she would rather not go through this rigamarole. Especially when it is for nothing. Plus, they stop collecting from the stud some time in June. It just gets too warm in the southern States.

At this vet check, Cierra was in heat and her ovaries measured at 32mm. They ordered semen and planned to breed her the next day (Saturday). 
Knowing she keeps ovulating earlier and earlier. The goal has always been to breed her before she ovulates. If you have been following along, this has not been the case the past two times. The first AI should have taken, but then there is the maiden mare thing and odds working against the process. 

Because the AI was being done on a weekend, Brad & I were more involved with the process. We were asked to pick the semen up at Fed Ex. The clinic was suppose to give them our names for pick up. They didn't and Fed Ex could not find the shipment. 
Panic started to bubble up. We had no tracking number. Eeks! It all worked out. Guess we should have asked for a shipment for MJK Dudes Dream Girl. After all, her name was on the container. Lol. 

potential baby buckled in safely

We zoomed calmly made the long drive home, hoping to get there before the vet on call arrived. With 5 minutes to spare, the AI process started all over again. It was an interesting experience. Different vet, different equipment and what they normally do in the clinic is done on the road. Dr. C is very good at explaining and extra thorough. 

I had to hold the liquid gold vial for her (good thing I didn't drop the precious stuff, or this post would be about getting a divorce!) and we got to SEE the swimmers through her portable microscope! The last time I looked through a microscope, was tenth grade in Chemistry class. I forgot how totally cool it is!!

Dr. C said motality was at about 60. I have to admit, I was surprised how they calculate it. We had a good laugh about the whole thing. Guess it is kinda hard to count the little scramblers.

We talked about the difficult breeding season this year, and frozen semen vs cooled semen vs live cover. Breeding a horse certainly has been an interesting experience. Brad doesn't know if after four failed AI attempts, he would try breeding Cierra again next year. There would no doubt be some serious discussions. 
Maybe this AI will lend itself to different results? The variables seem different, but I am not getting my hopes up.  We will know in a couple weeks if Cierra is bred, or not.

maybe this is the winning stud card?


Shirley said...

And this is exactly why I don't AI my mares. it's so darn expensive! Up here in Canada it's about 1000 for vet fees and mare care every time you try. Gets to be a very expensive foal.
I sure hope this time everything goes according to plan!

Linda said...

I'm sorry. I hope the 4th time works, but honestly, having just had a foal, and the all the worry that goes with it (alot!!) it might be a blessing in disguise if it doesn't work out. I have decided I never, ever, ever want to breed a horse again, OR, as is the case with this one, where my daughter did the breeding, even support the whole process. It's not for me. The retained placenta. The constant vigils to see if she's nursing properly. The extremes of cold and heat. Nope, not for me. But good luck!

aurora said...

Wow Shirley, that seems expensive. Although, adding related visits together US isn't far behind. For us, it has been either four visits each time (check for productive heat, AI, check for ovulation, and check if bred) or three visits for the times Cierra ovulated early.

Linda, breeding is not for me either and we haven't even managed to have Cierra bred. However, it is Brad's dream to raise and show his own horse. He loves Cierra so much and wants her redeeming qualities passed on.

I truly hope he gets his dream, a foal out of Cierra.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Well, that’s a bummer that it didn’t take again. I’m sure it’s not only disappointing but expensive too. Breeding isn’t for me I just have no interest in it And don’t know enough about the whole process so I leave it to the people that do. Good luck with Cierra!

Linda said...

Well, one thing, if it takes later, you’ll have a later foal, and that might help you with the weather aspect. But your barn is so nice, it probably won’t matter a lot! And Cierra is younger than Cowgirl, so you’ll probably have less complications. Good luck. I hope he gets his dream, too.

aurora said...

Thank you! If it is meant to happen, Cierra will get pregnant this time. One can only hope.

Both vets continue to mention what a tough year it has been for breeding here, and how all the mares are off. Regardless of breeding method used. It is not just us. Our main vet said his mare took three times.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Oh I hope she settles this time. Some mares are just not meant to be mamas.

Val Ewing said...

Don't give up on Cierra. My mare Cheyanne was 25 when we used her to 'teach' a young jack as she would always stand for a donkey or any gelding. My husband said she was a floozy. She was so good at her job, she got preggo!
Bad us for breeding such an old mare. But it was worth passing on the gentle manner of the mom and the dad.

Would Brad consider putting it off for a year--- if this doesn't work---- and trying a live cover?

aurora said...

Not sure Val. I don't think Brad would consider live cover for Cierra. We looked around locally for several years prior, and did not find any studs that would be a good match.

Val Ewing said...

Ok. I guess it wasn't so hard for me since we had a stud here already. I can't imagine how hard it is to find the appropriate one!