Horse breeding again? With a responsible plan I say, why not?

Years ago when my children were young, I was just as horse crazy as I am now.  Some parents let their kids have kittens and some let them have puppies.  I wanted each of my daughters to experience the joy of raising and training a foal.  Yes, a foal.  I knew that a foal would be a lot of work.  I also knew I’d be there to help them along the way to ensure a positive experience and a good outcome.  I hoped the journey we’d have together would keep the mom/daughter horse relationship fun and fresh.  I wanted to be sure my girls were learning from the responsibilities that came along with raising a foal.  I’m proud to say our journeys were very successful!  We trained together, showed together and spent hours bonding during those priceless years.

Kathy Slack loves the old pictures of her daughters, Keri, Kyle, and Kelly showing horses.

Kathy Slack loves the old pictures of her daughters, Keri, Kyle, and Kelly showing horses.

In my current program we take in a lot of rescue horses.  Over the years we’ve acquired many horses off the track, young horses that needed repurposing, and even some fancy show horses that needed our laid back program to find their next job.  Our barn is full of success stories.  I like the idea of giving these horses their second chance and I’m proud when they bring home the ribbons of success.  With so many great rescue horse projects, breeding again hadn’t crossed my mind in years. Then came Wilma.

Wilma is an unpapered horse who came to us for free because she simply needed a good home.  Her pedigree is outstanding.  She’s a Holsteiner, out of a famous sire, Waola.  Based on her breeding, you’d think that she’d be cleaning up in the show ring.  But, she never had the chance.  She wasn’t allowed to go to kindergarten, she immediately started producing babies; beautiful, incredibly successful babies.  Then, somewhere along the way,  someone said let’s ride her.  At 8 years old she had her first ride.  At age 8?  I think it was a little too late…  When we acquired Wilma she was beautiful and lovely in her ground manners, but a seriously explosive ride!  A super dedicated teen rider of mine, Keshav, tried to help me work with her and began putting hours of arena time in.

Kathy slack's rider Keshav spent many hours helping with the training of Wilma.

Kathy slack’s rider Keshav spent many hours helping with the training of Wilma.

After two years we hadn’t made much progress.  After much soul searching, I realized that I just needed to let Wilma go back to the job she had done so well for so many years.  My thoughts went like this….I have plenty of pasture, I still love to ride young horses, I’ll choose an outstanding sire, and I HAVE GRANDCHILDREN WHO RIDE!

Kathy Slack enjoys coaching her granddaughter, Madison, as she rides Lottie.

Kathy Slack enjoys coaching her granddaughter, Madison, as she rides Lottie.

You might say I’ve come full circle.  I’m practicing consciencious breeding with the plan to care for and commit to a quality foal.  Maybe my grandchildren will thank me one day for the added fun of another crazy Grandma Cowgirl plan? And, not to mention, I’m also the proud barn mom of maybe 50 barn teenagers who are on #foalwatch2016 with me.  Yes, it’s a funny full circle for me.  But a circle that I’m excited to continue on!  Stay tuned for #foalwatch2016 updates and pictures of Wilma and her foal.  We expect a baby on the ground any day now!

Kathy Slack's daughter Kelly and their foal in 1985, Jeter.

Kathy Slack’s daughter Kelly and their foal in 1985, Jeter.