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Rachel Alexandra serious after surgery

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  • Originally posted by CharingHounds View Post
    I love that the nurse mare owners insist that the foals all get their first colostrum from the mare. That gives them a healthier & more robust start .
    THIS nurse mare owner. Others are not so lucky. I just love the comment on the facebook page about "these draft cross mares" being so valuable. "People snap them up for hunt or pleasure horses". BS!!!!!!!!!! These nurse mares are probably just slightly luckier than the PMU mares.
    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


    • Just like the PMU owner's who learned that the byproduct ie foals can be worth as much as the urine if they made better breeding decisions, the good nurse mare farms are turning out decent foals in their own right. It may not be pretty but if you are going to do it, do it right like these people are doing. I don't eat veal either but I do drink milk....
      McDowell Racing Stables

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      • Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
        Just like the PMU owner's who learned that the byproduct ie foals can be worth as much as the urine if they made better breeding decisions, the good nurse mare farms are turning out decent foals in their own right. It may not be pretty but if you are going to do it, do it right like these people are doing. I don't eat veal either but I do drink milk....
        Yes, let's hope they all become "enlightened". I don't eat veal either and I drive 20 miles out of my way to buy synthetic hormone free milk. I can only hope I'm not being duped
        "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


        • Seems kind of funny when you think about it. Mares bred for the express purpose of being nurse mares, at which time their babies are hand raised and bottle/bucket fed. Seems as though the babies they're beimg used for could just as easily be bottle fed, no?
          In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?


          • If someone can correct me, feel free, but to the best of my knowledge, Preach didn't raise her own foals, either. It wasn't because of health problems but because she was a witch, and she was even harder to live with when she had a foal at foot.

            People already lament the changes in the American Thoroughbred over the past 50 years. We breed far more sprinters and fewer horses bred to go long on the lawn... aka the kind that make up into hunters and jumpers when their racing careers are over. We have more races and racetracks that cater to the bottom level, with lower purses, so by the time a horse is finished, it is less likely to be sound enough to pursue a second competitive career.

            And yet you want TJC to allow artificial reproductive techniques? Please tell me I'm not the only one who see the irony here.


            • No way in hell is the JC going to allow AI or ET in any way shape or form. Ask the AQHA how trying to control that through limiting offspring worked for them... Oh, yeah, it didn't. I don't blame the JC for their hard-nosed stance on it. The gene pool doesn't need any help in getting smaller...

              To RA, I wish her nothing but the best. If she is never bred again (which I doubt), there are worse things in life than being yard art at Stonestreet. Could she go do something else? Sure, but it isn't likely because, really, what exactly does she need to do or prove? I'm thinking she more than earned a nice, cushy retirement.

              And to those asking why not just bottle feed the baby? Name the last bottle-fed big winner... As for crucifying the nurse mare industry, until you stop supporting a large amount of the horse industry because of the bad seeds in every area, no matter how few they actually are in the grand scheme, you have no ground to stand on.
              Not all who wander are lost.


              • Originally posted by minnie View Post
                Seems kind of funny when you think about it. Mares bred for the express purpose of being nurse mares, at which time their babies are hand raised and bottle/bucket fed. Seems as though the babies they're beimg used for could just as easily be bottle fed, no?
                Not really.. Race TBs are not bred with temperament in mind so their foals can be worriers.
                Nurse mares are used only if they are of easy temperanment, thus their foals tend to have a better chance of being calm and adaptable to bottle/bucket feeding.

                For anyone who has hadled both QHs and TBs the mindset between them can be striking. Of course there are exceptions but as a rule quarter horse babies are more likely than TBs to do well on the bottle/bucket.

                As for the ethics of the matter I can't even go there. I'm still contemplating E.T., cloning etc..etc..etc..


                • RE: Toadie's mom;
                  When mentioning the insistence of the babies getting their colostrum, I was, in fact referring to THESE PARTICULAR owners (THEY are the ones I read about on the RA site). Obviously, one can't say everyone does it!?!


                  • Original Poster

                    Update from late last night: http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-raci...paign=20130217
                    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


                    • This is not representative of others' experiences, but I personally do have one example of a baby raised without a mom:

                      Years ago we lost a TB mare at foaling. For the first few days we bottle fed the filly round the clock, and spent as much time with her as possible. In the meantime, we had called out for a nurse mare. We couldn't find one immediately available, but were subsequently able to lease the FOAL of a nurse mare. That way, at least, the filly could have a companion to grow up with.
                      The nurse-mare foal was already drinking from a bucket, and shortly after its arrival, our orphan filly started drinking from a bucket too. However, the other foal was stouter and seemed more "alpha" than the filly, and actually started bullying her a bit. The filly soon seemed to prefer the company of people over the company of the other foal.
                      She loved running in the field with a human, but of course, none of us could give her the exercise and education that a mare would have provided her.
                      To make a long story short, this filly grew up to be a sweet, spoiled, people-loving horse that never went to the track and ended up being given away for a pet (which she was perfectly suited for)...

                      One reason TB rejected foals, orphans, etc. tend to develop more successfully with nurse mares is the crucial influence on exercise, behavior, and confidence.
                      Bottle feeding a baby can make it a wonderful pet but it's impossible to replicate the body language, herd behaviors, and nutrition that help the baby grow up to be the best it can be. Sure, this might not be a problem while raising a horse for many other disciplines - but racehorses benefit from experiencing confidence, a certain independence, and optimum physical development. Having the baby be able to run through the field alongside a mother - who makes it feel safe, and encourages it to be a "horse" - is something that just can't be equalled.

                      Yes, a bottle/bucket fed TB can make a terrific racehorse, but it isn't the optimal situation.

                      In this instance, since it WAS possible, and was carried out in an ethical way - why the heck WOULDN"T Rachel Alexander's connections try to provide their valuable, high-profile foal with the very best start in life that they could?!? You can talk all you want about the poor nurse mare's foal being taken away from its mother. I AGREE that it's wrong when the babies are considered a disposable by-product (just like newborn calves of dairy cows). But please don't try to tell me that it's not right that the "valuable" baby gets to have a mommy while the nurse mare foal doesn't. The fact is that money, and value, and economics DO make a difference in this world.

                      If I were to break my knee and have to go through surgery and therapy, I wouldn't cry and bemoan the fact that the NFL star gets superior doctors and better aftercare, etc. The NFL star (along with his knee) has a greater perceived value. I get it. Get over it.
                      Last edited by CharingHounds; Feb. 17, 2013, 10:52 AM. Reason: typo


                      • Originally posted by Kinsella View Post
                        And to those asking why not just bottle feed the baby? Name the last bottle-fed big winner...
                        OK, don't mind if I do. RACHEL ALEXANDRA.
                        "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                        • There have been some studies showing that besides getting colostrum, getting real mare milk until weaning has important nutritional and developmental benefits that bottle or bucket fed diets do not provide.

                          If I recall the studies suggested that certain digestive enzymes were lacking or abnormal in orphaned foals but interestingly the effects of this defecit did not start showing up until the foal was several months old (I wanna say 6-10 mo.). These foals tended to show more colic, impactions, etc.

                          So I would guess that nutritionists for high end breeding operations are aware of these studies which is why they insist on nursemares and not bottles or buckets.
                          "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


                          • Originally posted by War Admiral View Post
                            OK, don't mind if I do. RACHEL ALEXANDRA.
                            Wrong. Rachel Alexander was raised by a nurse mare.


                            • What I don't understand is why, in the nurse mare industry, they are not simply using the drug that induces milk in mares without actually being pregnant/giving birth.
                              \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"


                              • Originally posted by luvmytbs View Post
                                What I don't understand is why, in the nurse mare industry, they are not simply using the drug that induces milk in mares without actually being pregnant/giving birth.
                                GREAT QUESTION!!!Luvnytbs, And since I've had a collie dog (spayed and never had puppies) nurse and have milk and go on to raise a litter of orphaned kittens, why couldn't this work with nursemares??
                                "There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery." - Charles Darwin


                                • Yes, mares can be induced to produce milk by injections, which would be a wonderful alternative. There is also a self-feeder that a breeder of sporthorses has on her website that works great for orphans -- who could have an older horse, pony, donkey or goat as a companion and learn from.

                                  Glad RA is doing better, praying for a good outcome.

                                  As far as laminitis and founder being one and same -- it is - ask your vet!

                                  Penny G


                                  • What IS the drug that induces lactation, and is what it produces of the same value? What is the long-term health consequences for the mare getting the injections? I am not a big fan of injecting anything with hormones or fake hormones for any length of time (even human birth control has lots of long-term negative consequences). There may be a very good reason they don't use it. Bottle babies are brats, and please, enough with the "no one cares how TBs behave" old wives' tales--they aren't bred PRIMARILY for temperament, but a horse has to prove he's worth tolerating an 'artistic' personality before no one cares. The overwhelming majority aren't and are expected to behave and a horse has to pass on some AMAZING genes to tolerate genuinely dangerous behavior without correction. There are a lot more claimer geldings than Hastings-level brats in the world because most race folk do NOT enjoy making their jobs more dangerous than they already are.

                                    Laminitis is a specific term for a specific inflammation. Founder is a colloquial term generally used for side effects of laminitis that do not present in every case.

                                    And kinsella, great point--ask the QH people how that controlling volume on AI is working out for them. Or ask American sport horse breeders who want to produce their own quality stock how they REALLY feel about being able to just ship semen from "better" stallions in Europe? Plus if it's a genetic problem with the mares in the family, ET will just allow that trait to potentially be passed on without death taking out the bad genes. A mare who has trouble foaling chronically should not be bred because she has bad genes, even if she's fast.
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                                    • Could we please have less bickering and sniping, and reserve this thread for reports on Rachel Alexandra.?
                                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                                      • Originally posted by Louise View Post
                                        Prayers for Rachel. I don't follow many horse's racing career, but I followed her's. You couldn't help but love her, and root for her. I hope that she has a 100% recovery.

                                        As far as breeding goes, I suppose I'm just dreaming, but, wouldn't it be fantastic if they breed her via embryo transfer to either a sport Thoroughbred or a Warmblood? She's such an athlete that I imagine her bloodlines would be a real asset.
                                        If a horse cannot reproduce itself, (meaning it would die from a live cover breeding), what ever would compel you to believe she is irreplaceable in a gene pool, or that she ever be bred again. She is a decent horse but I would never have never paid what was paid for her, nor would I have had the influence to get her an outside post in the Preakness so she could win., Nor would I stress over her not conceiving more like herself. I think the Jockey Club policy is a sound one as I do not support using host mares to conceive foals for a variety of reasons. Maybe she could be bred to a pony for a smaller, nice sport horse? Sorry to spoil the RA fanatic club but I am not really a member, nor will I be invited back I am sure.'
                                        "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


                                        • Until the JC bans all the corrective surgeries on young horses to make them sellable, I don't think the argument of 'natural selection', as it were, should apply to the ability to deliver a foal and live.

                                          Yeah, she's a 'decent horse' alright.
                                          We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.