Faith was a chestnut mare. I bred her to Stampin-kid. I sold Faith pregnant but retained the foal. I named the pinto filly Fantasia,’ Fannie’ for short. That was 20 years ago. Fannie and I did a couple of Cowboy Mounted Shooting adventures together. I thought she would be great. She’s very athletic, but I was interrupted and never got her totally trained for that enterprise. My daughter claimed her for several years and then went off to college. After that, I loaned her to a friend in western Minnesota for his daughter. Fannie was there for a few years. My friend’ s daughter grew up and I got Fannie back.
Fannie delivered a colt, but since then I’ve allowed breeding many times and she didn’t get pregnant. I was claiming her as my main horse but I let her roommate with Titan because I thought she was tough enough to deal with him and I didn’t think she’d get pregnant. Titan needed a friend and Fannie got pregnant. The colt, Mission, is a year old now.
Fannie is going to be my main horse now. I got her out tonight. She was very fresh. While we were working in the round pen, she even bucked the saddle–pretty feisty for a 20-year-old.
The mares have a 21-day cycle, although as a year proceeds toward summer solstice there’s more passion flying around during their time of the month and they are more moody and bad tempered. The passion decreases to almost nothing as the year moves toward winter solstice. The historical American cowboys wouldn’t ride mares because of this. Geldings were riding horses. They were steady. The mares’ purpose was to have foals.
Another interesting thing about this, which I’ve seen it firsthand but also read about, is this phenomenon: Mares who are pastured together synchronize their rhythm so that they all come into their time of the month at the same time. Right now there’s a lot of action going on around here. It’s June. We have a lot of mares. They all tend to moon around by the fence trying to capture Titan’s affections, which is not hard to get. The edict from me, the farmer and ultimate herd boss, is no foals next year. So everyone stomps around, frustrated, roaring and whinnying. Titan is raging and losing weight. But not the geldings, oblivious to all the passion. They are out in the field eating the fresh spring grass.
Fannie, even though she is old, is no exception. She always has been crabby and difficult, especially at her time of the month. Yesterday Fannie and I put in more time in the round pen to help her even out a bit. It seemed to help take her mind of her personal frustrations and desires.