I work around horses myself. Herd dynamics have always been an interesting thing for me—the way certain horses interact with one another and the hierarchies they establish can be fascinating. Sometimes horses who show a certain personality around their human caretakers take on a completely separate personality among their own kind. My question, then, is how does Zenyatta fit into her herds, past and present? Is she a definite alpha mare no matter who she’s with, low (wo)man on the totem pole, or somewhere in the middle, and how does this compare to her personality around her human handlers and caretakers?
Toms River, NJ
A:There is definitely a hierarchy and a pecking order established in herds, and once that is established we don’t have too many issues. Surprisingly, for a horse that was so dominant on the racetrack, Zenyatta is not aggressive or competitive in any way whilst in the herd. She is a lovely mare to be around with a very kind temperament that transfers to both horse and human contact. It is quite common to see her hanging out with more than just her own foal!
One of the most important aspects of farm management is keen observation and making the necessary adjustments to keep the horses happy in their environment. This in turn leads to fewer health issues and injuries. Mares that are older or are less mobile are placed in smaller groups so that they are not competing for feed in any way.
Expert: Alys Emson
Is there a deadline for naming Baby Z or any Thoroughbred baby? I know there are guidlines as far as the actual name goes, but I’m wondering if there is a time limit.
A:Selecting names for Thoroughbreds is surely one of the most important (and rewarding) aspects of ownership! Most owners name their horses between their yearling year and February 1st of the horse’s two-year-old year. After February 1st of the two-year-old year, a small naming fee must be paid to The Jockey Club. The Jockey Club Registry website (www.jockeyclub.com) lists The American Stud Book Principal Rules and Requirements. Rule # 6 in the American Stud Book, relating to naming, lists all of the requirements and rules for submitting names for Thoroughbreds. An actual time deadline for naming is not stated, but all Thoroughbred horses must be named before they can enter a race.
Expert: Martha Heckerman
Client Management, Lane’s End
Alys has been at Lane’s End for fourteen years. She has worked in every division of the farm and is now in charge of client management, keeping owners up to speed about the lives of their horses.
Service Certificates/Registration, Lane’s End
Martha Heckerman has worked in the Lane’s End office for 16 years. She began as a stallion booking secretary in 1996 and currently coordinates the foal registration process for all foals born at Lane’s End, and related duties. Martha also has the happy task of administering the annual “Name Game” in which Lane’s End employees submit name ideas for horses that will race for Mr. Farish.