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to believe), but her irresponsibility cost her a lot, the life of her mare and numerous vet bills to save the lives of the two resulting foals. Your publication should focus on properly educating

the reader and I hope that it will do so in the future.

Lauren Welsh, Cold Spring Run, Waco, KY

This is a fantastic magazine and very well put together with a nice balance of articles with advertising. I did want to write to you regarding the story Twin

Surprise in your last issue. My immediate reaction to the headline was one of sympathy until I started reading the story and got to the paragraph stating “we ultimately decided to forego the ultrasound.” That is where the sympathy ended. That whole paragraph is full of excuses and shows the inexperience of the mare owner and I personally do not know of one vet who would discourage an owner from ultrasounding a pregnant mare to rule out twins. If yours truly did, get a new vet! I am a breeder and would never forego the 28 day ultrasound. Not only do you verify continued pregnancy with a heartbeat but most importantly you check for twins. Yes, twins can happen even when an ultrasound has been preformed, but that is very rare. Breeding is an expensive endeavor, and one that can be costly in more ways than one as this inexperienced mare owner found out. We are our horses keepers; if we decide to breed them then it is our responsibility to offer them the

best of care, and that includes ultrasounds that potentially could have saved her life.

E. Lohec, Pleasanton, CA

We appreciate these letters from concerned breeders, since there are probably more breeders out there with a similar response who did not take the time to write to us. There are several reasons why we chose to print this story. First, the story is true. To label it a success story is debatable since the mare, Mollie, was lost. The survival of the twins, however, was a blessing and, gratefully, dedicated professionals were able to successfully address their physical issues. Second, WT’s goal is to help all of us in the Warmblood community learn from one another. Suzan, the owner of the twins, was willing to put herself out there for plenty of criticism in order for people to learn from her mistake. Finally, we wanted all our readers to understand that twins should be avoided—that’s why we included the sidebar in the article entitled “The Dangers of Twins,” utilizing the advice of an equine reproduction expert. After quizzing numerous readers who are not breeders about their reactions to this story, all had mixed feelings about the results of this breeding. All were thankful that the twins did survive but, more importantly, they also understood that an ultrasound should have been performed to (hopefully) avoid twins altogether. It is this that leaves us convinced we made the right decision to print this story—we believe that as a result, lives will be saved and animal suffering will be avoided. That makes the controversy worthwhile.

Liz Cornell, editor and publisher

14 January/February 2010

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