"ARIEL"
registered name TBA
(KS Bluestem The Old Guard X Positively Charmed)
2020 palomino splash filly (carrying silver)
See her color test results here.


After three years of trying via AI and three cycles of live cover with our stallion Positively's Pride, my smoky black silver mare Positively Charmed (aka Charli) finally conceived last spring. It is quite a story- and one I wanted to wait to tell, because well- you just never know.

Last spring I wanted to use my breeding KS Bluestem The Old Guard- who we had tried and failed to breed Charli to in 2018 (no fault of OG's- his swimmers were stupendous!)- on her aunt Coral Forest, since I figured Charli was a lost cause. Ross Kittrell, our now retired vet, checked Coral with ultrasound on a Friday and thought they could ship semen on Monday to breed her Tuesday AM. Tuesday came and darned if Coral hadn't already ovulated and finished her cycle! So here we had this shipment that was going to go to waste. We decided to tease the younger/breedable mares with Pride to see if anyone was in heat and then use the semen on them (I knew the stallion owner wouldn't mind). So we checked Kyrie, our Amish rescue. She was not interested. I pulled Charli out on a whim. She was in heat, just barely. So we checked her with ultrasound, and all signs were a go.

Typically stallion owners send two doses (syringes of fresh-cooled semen) so you can breed your mare two days in a row. When we opened the shipping container we discovered that the top had come off one of the syringes. The contents of that one were all down in the bottom of the container. So we had just the ONE chance.

14 days later and I wasn't even going to preg check/ultrasound Charli- but Dr. Kittrell insisted- he said he just had "a good feeling" about it, and told me he'd even do it for free! So I got Charli out of the pasture (she came running to me, and he joked, "yeah these Morgans, SO unfriendly!") and into a stall for the ultrasound. We were just chatting away and I was thinking "this is a huge waste of our time" when he said "There's your baby!" I said "YOU ARE KIDDING ME!!!" and he said "I would not kid you about something like that!". I had a few moments of incredible emotion as I processed this and he froze the ultrasound for a picture. He told me we had Coral to thank for this, since we would have never tried breeding Charli if Coral had been ready. I think we have Pride to thank as well, since Charli's cycles were never regular before he came on the premises and after that, she cycled like clockwork.

We pulled blood to check progesterone levels and put Charli on Regu-Mate in case she was low, which she was. We did another ultrasound at 45 days, to check for a heartbeat. Again I was skeptical, because some 60% of pregnancies are lost in the first 30 days. But nope, it was still there- and it had a heartbeat!

Fast forward 10 months. April 2 was the first night I kept Charli in the stall on camera. She was due the previous Saturday, but her udder was so small, with the teats imbedded still in the body of the udder. On the 2nd she was just "off"- I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew I'd better keep her in for the night. At my midnight check she seemed fine but a little less interested in food than usual. Her milk had come in as well. She got more restless as the night wore on. At 4:30 AM, after seeing how much moving around she was doing in the stall, I figured I'd better head back out there. I gave her some alfalfa and cleaned the stall, then told her if she was going to do anything, I was here to help her. Darned if she didn't promptly lay down and start pushing!

This was a big baby for such a little mare, and a maiden at that, and Charli had a hard time passing the foal's shoulders. She got up and down a number of times and each time she laid back down I kept light traction on the foal's legs to keep her progress from slipping backwards. Worried, Jim called the vet but by the time she called back, Charli had finally squeezed her new addition out. And... it's a palomino filly! Testing conforms that she has OG's splash gene AND Charli's silver gene as well! She is the only Morgan in the breed to have all three of these particular color genes!

The next challenge was getting the baby up and nursing. We helped her up a few times and tried to get her to find the magic spot, but no go. Charli's udder was not huge and the nipples were still very tiny, so not much to latch onto. I milked a few drops out and gave it to the filly so at least she knew the right spot and smell and taste. An hour went by, an she still hadn't figured things out. Another call to the vet. Again by the time she called back, the filly had somehow applied suction over those tiny nipples and gotten some milk out. The vet said she was right on target for nursing within 2 hours after birth. I am used to the ones who get up and march right over to the udder- no road map needed!

So here is a little bit of joy in the midst of a time of trial. Registered name TBA, but she "told" me she wanted to be called "Ariel". Ariel is linebred along the old Midwest/Sweet's and Kennebec lines, with a lot of other good old bloodlines in the mix. Her sire's tail male goes back to the famous CDE and National Pairs Driving Champion, Kennebec Count. Her dam is the only full sibling to the well known bay silver stallion (now gelded), Unconventional.

Ariel's personality is still emerging. At this point she is on the reserved side, but is cautiously friendly (and loves butt scritchies!) and is slowly coming out of her shell and becoming more confident. She picks up all 4 feet, moves her body in response to pressure and leads via the halter in the stall so far. We are working on fly spraying and she accepts a light hosing off at this point as well. Her ideal new owner will be someone who is calm and patient and able to break training down into baby steps, using approach and retreat, rather than being "dominant" (which would overwhelm and scare Ariel). She is available to only the most perfect, special new home. We are asking $5000. Email me at morgans@mindspring.com to inquire about Ariel.

KS Bluestem
The Old Guard

Kansas Buffalo Soldier Kell's In Kirby's Honor
Burchtree Roxanne
Sweet's Jada Babe Sweet's Jet Hawk
T-Bone Card's Fancy

Positively Charmed

Gone Gold Adiel's Casino Gold
Kennebec Topaz
Foxton Frosty Dawn Foxton Society Beau
Foxton Smokey Dawn

You can view Ariel's complete pedigree here.
It includes pictures of many of her ancestors.

More photos of Ariel
(click on a thumbnail to enlarge)


About 4:45 AM on Friday, April 3, 2020. Ariel enters the world (Charli is not quite sure what just happened!).


April 5, 2020- Ariel at 48 hours old.


April 6, 2020- three days old.


Ariel is fascinated by her great aunt Coral, who is equally fascinated by Ariel. Coral foaled Thunder, a half sibling to Ariel, on April 22, 2020.


April 8, 2020- Ariel is 5 days old now. Her blue eyes appear to be darkening to brown, starting from the outside of the iris.


More 5 day old pictures. Ariel went into a slightly larger paddock and had a lot of fun racing around.



April 13, 2020- Ariel is now 10 days old. She went into a bigger pasture today. Charli was happy to have more grass!


A little family group. Great Aunt Coral and great grandma Topaz are on the other side of the fence.


Another shot of Ariel's eye, which continues to darken.


April 18, 2020- Ariel went into a bigger pasture. Like her mother, she was happy to have more grass!


May 6, 2020- Ariel is now one month old. Here she is talking to her grandsire Roadie (Gone Gold) through the fence.


Enjoying a bigger pasture. Her eyes continue to darken, but are still blue-ish.


May 12, 2020- Ariel met a few friends. Topaz was happy to stay with her grand daughter and great grand daughter. Rosie headed back to the gate after a short while, wanting to be put back in her stall to escape the bugs. It was still a good experience for Ari!


May 14, 2020- Ariel and Thunder have become great friends through the fence. I'm not sure I'll actually put then in the same field together because they will eventually have to be separated when one or the other goes to a new home, so it is probably better that they are not TOO attached.


May 21, 2020- Ari is about 7 weeks old now.


Ari is getting more confident as time goes on. I was surprised when she marched right up to this bag I was using as an "ear getter"!
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Learn more about the very rare silver dapple gene at the Silver Dapple Morgans Project.

 
To learn more about color in the Morgan breed, visit the Morgan Colors website.


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Jim and Laura Behning
75 Glass Spring Rd.
Covington, GA 30014
(770) 385-1240
morgans@mindspring.com
 
 
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