Friday, June 25, 2010

Zorra's Optimization

In a recent Parelli Audio CD, Pat discusses "Optimization". Optimization is basically providing a foundation for the best future for a horse. Much thought & planning went into our little Zorra. The first & probably most important step in her optimization started years ago & took years to develop. A relationship of trust with her Dam. Foxy allowed me to do anything & everything to her throughout her pregnancy trusting me to be around & handle her foal immediately upon birth & in the weeks after when so many mares are guarding their foals violently. This relationship also set an early example for Zorra that people are trustworthy & interesting! Foxy rarely fails to nicker or whinny when I'm heading her way....Zorra started following suit at only a few weeks old. Of course, choice of parents is a huge contributing factor. Breeding a mare because she's too lame or difficult in temper to ride is done way too often. It's the mares that are a pleasure to ride & handle who should be allowed to pass along those qualities. Foxy is hands down the best riding horse to be found. Easy to train & she stays trained. One of those rare creatures who can stand in a pasture for months or more un-ridden only to behave the same undersaddle as the last time you rode her. Doesn't spook, argue, or over-react & takes care of her rider. Yeah, she's THAT nice. For years I've wanted her in an English sport horse package. Thus the choice of stallion had to be one that would contribute that to the package without possibly taking away from her better qualities. As a young stallion, Chulo was consistently passing on some particular characteristics to his foals. I had seen his foals inherit more bone, height & his really lovely & gentle temperament. He is a good mover &, unlike some Andalusians,his walk is very much a walk. While Foxy prefers to gait, she has a beautiful trot with an outrageous overstide so I knew the chances of non-gaiting foal were good if the stud had a nice & clear tendency to W/T/C. The icing on the cake was discovering that the combination of Foxy & Chulo's DNA for coat colar could only produce black. Next step in our foal optimization was to choose a Vet with years of experience in reproduction to provide the best health for Foxy & her growing foal. Our fabulous vet at Akin Equine was wonderful in getting Foxy bred & helping us to provide Foxy with everything she would need to stay healthy & foal successfully. Much sleep was lost in my attempt to be there for Zorra's birth. I missed the birth by not too much & was there to provide early imprinting within an hour or 2 of her birth. Since her birth she has been handled minimum twice daily, continuing her optimization as she learns her early lessons. She takes it all in stride & rarely puts up a fuss for anything. She did gait at her dam's side her first few days. Her legs were so long (Thanks Chulo!!) that it took her some time to figure them out. But when she started trotting, she stoped gaiting & hasn't gaited for over 2 months now. So looking like all the planning has worked. I have a lovely tempered, nice moving, tolerant, self-secure, friendly & sweet as real sugar black filly. Obviously the optimization will continue but so far so good!

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