Exciting news, Cierra is bred!! For real.
With the exception of one recent above average temperature week, we have had a very cool Spring. Mares in this general area are not cycling. Many breeding attempts have and continue failing. Our vet said it is very humbling. He has been doing everything medically that he can.
No one completely controls Mother Nature.
Cierra wasn't cycling on her own either. She was given a series of shots to help. They checked and rechecked Cierra, to ensure ovulation timing. Once again, we were told the timing was ideal. Semen was ordered.
On May 5th Cierra was bred for the first time this year.
The collection we received was the best one we were sent. Our vet checked the motility when he returned to the clinic, after breeding Cierra. It was still at 70%. Pretty good considering semen loses potency with time and exposure. Our chances were higher than in the past.
We didn't get our hopes up. Last year her first breeding was April 8, then bred again on April 29. She was bred a third time on May 18. Her fourth and last failed breeding was June 5.
Today (fourteen day wait) we got good news. Thankfully, her fifth (on the fifth) overall breeding took.
We learned the bred follicle (the circle above) floats around unattached until about 17-18 days. It continues forming attached to the uterine wall. They suggest rechecking the embryo 28-40 days and can hear a heartbeat around 28 days. We asked when they look for twins. The vet said they would have been able to see them already.
Cierra has one very early stage foal, beginning to develop.
WOW...it looks like Brad might get to live his dream after all. We are fully aware there are a jillion things that could change or go wrong. There is a very very long time to wait. 320-362 days, depending on the resource. If everything goes well. Gestational calculators put Cierra foaling in early April (10th or 8th). She is a maiden mare, so who knows.
We are already further ahead than we were last year. One baby step at a time. I am SO happy for Brad (and Cierra)!!