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An industrious reader of this blog called to complain about the weather, which is almost a sport here in Kentucky. The gist of his comments was “What happened to spring? Half my mares either think it’s summer or winter, and either way, they are screwed up.”

In truth, the weather stayed cold — with a shocking consistency for Kentucky that many of my friends in Jersey and New York will confirm — until it turned into something surprisingly close to early summer. As a result, all the mares in the world are cycling, the stallions and van companies are swamped with activity, and vets are pulling their hair out over the vagaries of equine reproduction.

The vets are struggling because the mares are cycling but are not being quite so predictable as owners would like. Breeders want a mare to come in season, produce a big follicle, get bred, then ovulate and be done with it. Some rugged individuals are following that sensible pattern, unperturbed by the oddities of weather, and others are showing some character of a shady sort.

When the vet tells you the mare hasn’t ovulated that “right 30 medium” follicle four days after covering and a shot of deslorelin, I’d swear the mare had a sneaky grin on her face.

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