Jan Swan Wood: Winter’s cold breath, rancher relief fund deadline, AQHA clone battle | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Winter’s cold breath, rancher relief fund deadline, AQHA clone battle

I sure enjoyed that two and a half hours of Indian Summer, didn't you? I did manage to get the snow fence up around the yard before the cold and snow hit and it sure did it's job. I need to put up some more but it's not going to get done until the weather breaks.

I saw this astonishing headline on an on-line news site that I sometimes look at: Dangerous Global Warming Closer Than First Thought! Apparently they weren't outside at my place when they made that declaration.

We still haven't preg checked our cows as we are planning to wean the heifer calves when we do it. I like to leave the heifers on the cows long enough that they learn to drink out of a hole in the ice and navigate the winter pasture with their mama. I think I've achieved that. Of course, the chute and crowding pen are full of snow now so it may get delayed a little longer. The cardiovascular workout of a shovel is not to be disdained though, so I'll probably be firing up the Poorman's Backhoe when it warms up a smidge and work off some of the pie from Thanksgiving.

The Ranchers Relief Fund is seeking applications from people needing some help as a result of the October blizzard. All the ranchers affected in South Dakota, southern North Dakota, eastern Wyoming and northwestern Nebraska are eligible. I know how it is folks. It's always easier to help someone else than to ask for help ourselves, but this fund was created to help the people who really need it. Pride is a good thing and a do-it-yourself attitude is too, but face it, it's also good to humble oneself and let someone help. That's what this fund is for. Also, if you have a neighbor or friend who you know needs help and believe they won't ask for it themselves, you can submit their names. The deadline is Dec. 31. For more info you can go to http://www.ranchersrelif.com or call 211.

Speaking of the fund, there will be a West River Ranchers Relief benefit auction at The Knuckle Saloon in Sturgis, S.D., on Dec. 13, at 5 p.m. For more info or to donate items for the auction, call 307-635-1995.

The U.S. District Court in Amarillo, Texas, granted in part AQHA's Motion for Stay of Equitable Relief pending appeal. The order is that pending the settling of the registration of cloned horses issues, the AQHA doesn't have to register clones. However, they have to develop appropriate rules for registration of clones and their offspring in case the original ruling is upheld. This whole lawsuit is such a crock, for whether one agrees or disagrees with cloning, the fact is, the AQHA rules clearly stated that clones could not be registered in the association. Everyone who cloned a horse knew that before they started. Now they want to change the rules for their own benefit and I think that is just wrong.

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A current study going on at Cornell University has found that the stallion's genes take the lead in the development of a mare's placenta when she gets in foal. This discovery could be important to breeders for if a stallion has a mutation in a paternally expressed gene, it could lead to a defective placenta when mares are bred to him. Such defects could lead to early foal loss or to complications in late pregnancy from a poor quality placenta leading to premature birth. So, if you have had a mare that has had a placental deficiency, either losing a pregnancy or having a premature foal, it might be worth asking the stallion owner whether there has been a history of other mares having similar problems when bred to the stallion. Most breeders offer a live foal guarantee, so a pattern might be evident. I had always believed that the mare was the one responsible for the placenta, good or bad, so this was very interesting information to me.

If you haven't gotten your horse's shoes pulled, it is probably time to do it if you're not using him or her. Those snowballs in their feet can really put the stress on tendons and joints and they will be much less likely to have them if they are barefoot.

I'm going to call this circle ridden and get in out of the wind and cold. Send me any events or news items and I'll be happy to share them here.