Our final cria of the year landed last week, wrapping up one of our most mixed cria crops yet. ... By "mixed," I don't so much mean color-wise -- it is that, of course, but they usually are that. I mean "mixed" as in "mixed blessing."
First, the negative: Due to a combination of factors that I won't go into here, we wound up with fewer cria on the ground this year than in 2016 or 2017. We also had the WORST luck this year with our Harlequin Appaloosa program, producing one, and only one, live Appaloosa cria, who is a cutie, but who may not make the grade for breeder. Since we're pretty well known for Harlequin Appaloosas over here, and can't quite manage to make enough to satisfy demand -- that really kind of stinks.
But, now for the positive: We also have a robust Tuxedo Grey breeding program at Howling Hill Farm, and this was a record year for that. We had eight Tuxedo cria born this year, more than in any year prior. Incredibly, every single one of those cria has a different sire. There are a couple of pet boys in that bunch, but there are some seriously good ones, too, such as this gal, a silver Tuxedo out of one of my best producers, Glacier Rock's Allison, and our .38 Special son, Harmony:
... Plus Starr's incredible girl from the last 'blog post, plus another Tux boy, the last of the season, who is going to get his own 'blog post once he decides to pose nicely enough for a 'blog-worthy photograph.
Then, too, we can't forget about this gal, as well as her 1/2 sister, a similarly blue-eyed beauty who is, I believe, going to be a darker version of this (she is currently masquerading as a black, but I think I know better). I honestly can't really pick whether I'm more in love with Dark and Stormy Daniels, or Starr's girl. Luckily, I get to keep them both. (Don't worry; I'll be releasing some of these genetics sooner or later ... I just need a solid foundation of THIS first!)
So, all in all, despite adversity, it wasn't a bad year. It didn't have that many spots in it, but that's totally fine with me -- grey is what I'm really after, and this, undoubtedly, was our Grey Year.
K writes this stuff, for some reason that has yet to become apparent.