BREEDING & REARING PROCESSES
Rheinwood Pastoral Co is a boutique broodmare stud that believes that the ‘hands-on’ approach is the best way to raise quality thoroughbred athletes. Due to this belief we have limited the number mares that live full time on the stud and place great importance on ensuring the highest quality breeding and rearing processes.
At Rheinwood Pastoral Co we understand just how imperative it is for owners that their foal is born safely. After over 11-months gestation the birth is often the culmination of much planning and research. Mares that are foaled down on the farm are closely monitored during the day and then at night are moved into smaller flood lit paddocks with night watch staff in constant attendance.
Once a mare foals she is brought into our stables with her offspring for three to four nights on straw bedding and is moved out to a smaller yard during the day.
The mare and foal then move to our 9-day yards to restrict the foal’s movement as their joints are developing and to ensure that they are not run around by their mothers looking for their broodmare mate. We want their legs to strengthen as best they can during this important early stage.
The mare and foal then graduate to larger paddocks with a few other mares and foals close to the stables. At the age of 2-3 weeks the foal is then handled by our staff, beginning their educational process. This continues until the weaning program begins. We review their legs and if appropriate have our farrier carry out remedial work; we then constantly review their feet and trim.
Walk-On’s (Serving Mares)
Getting your mare ready to be served again is a complex process that involves much expertise. Our staff, in conjunction with specialist reproductive vets carry out tests and scans to determine when is the optimum time to walk the mare on to the stallion.
Once the time is right the mare is loaded onto the float and our driver takes the mare direct to the nominated stallions stud, they are covered and driven back home.
She is then treated with specialist medication post-service to give the pregnancy every chance of taking. In 14 days she is scanned to see if she is in foal or not. She is checked at 30 days but the 45-day scan is the marker that she is in foal and the stallion stud in notified.
The foals are handled whilst on their mother from birth to make the weaning process as smooth as possible. Weaning the foal from the mare commences after 5-6 months.
Mares are grouped in paddocks of 6 according to the age of the foals and gradually over the weeks one mare is removed at a time every couple of days until all the mares are gone. The foals are quite independent by this stage and are happy in the company of their mates. Most of the time they do not even realize mum is gone. They are then handled again and moved out into a larger paddock. The weaning program continues with the weanlings coming into the barn several times during the year.
Stress levels are kept at a minimum with our weaning program; horses are educated, athletic, content and responsive heading into their yearling preparation. Proper care and education at an early age is imperative to maximize results in the sales ring or racetrack.
We continue the process of trimming horses feet, monitoring their legs during this time and start to formulate judgment on which sale may be best for the commercial breeders. Horses are rated and their progress monitored. Each horse is individually catered to.
If you are a commercial breeder the yearling preparation is very important, as a well-prepared yearling can be the difference between a good sale and a great sale.
Yearlings are brought into our stables 8 weeks prior to the sale and the hard work really begins. They are put on a special diet that is specifically formulated for each horse dependent on the condition of the horse at the beginning of the prep and where we want it to be by sale day. The horses are exercised everyday, further handled and educated to lead and walk properly. They are rugged at night to ensure their coat is sleek and shiny and groomed leaving nothing to chance for their sales day appearance.
The yearling preparation is a detailed program with too many elements to detail all. Our team, under the direction of Tony Scott, is the best in the business at ensuring your yearling reaches it’s full potential maximizing the return on your investment.