Saturday, February 3, 2007

Reflections of Foaling Season 2006 - The Twins Part 11

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

With the twin Arabian foals requiring 24 hour a day care and medications 3x a day, my friend, Naomi Cloer, came over each afternoon to help me out. Trying to give Surprise her meds in the catheter followed by flushing, then taking her temperature and inspecting her umbilicus was a trick in itself. She resented being held but couldn’t be trusted to stand still on her own. Luckily she was small enough to be held right in one’s arms.

Then there was Trouble. He saw the “med moment” as Surprise getting attention HE was missing out on. So he’d be right there in our faces, untying our shoes, pulling things out of our pockets, biting our hair. You name it, he tried it. You couldn’t interact with one twin without the other one getting involved. No matter what you were trying to do, it took three people, one to hold the unfortunate twin that was getting “worked” on, one to do the work and one to occupy the other twin. (The only exception was stall cleaning. It could usually be accomplished with only two people. Note the keyword here is usually) There was just no other way accomplsih anything in the stall, not to mention your help had to be experienced or it didn't even work then.

After we finished with the med moment, Naomi would sit and monitor the horses for a couple of hours so I could get a nap. The big issues were to keep track of their time nursing and any unusual changes in behavior. We still needed to be sure each was spending enough time nursing instead of getting distracted and going to sleep before they had their fill. We also needed to be on top of any changes that might indicate complications.

In the evening after work ,Dave would also take a shift for a couple of hours. The time spent with the twins by Naomi and Dave was the only time I spent away from them except for brief trips to the restroom and grabbing food to take back to the stall. I spent the couple of hours during those breaks sleeping. The rest of the time, I stayed with the twins and their mom in the 10 by 12 stall they were born in. Surprisingly, it didn’t feel all that small at the time.

I got to be pretty good at sleeping in the there. The Arabian mare was really good about watching out for me and didn’t ever step on me. Although she nudged me a few times to get her more food. I tried to keep food in front of her 24/7 and not just so she wouln’t wake me when I was resting. She needed to be eating all the time, it was the only way she could keep up with the milk production for the two foals. (The folks that watched her on the Twins Webcam at Mare Stare were always laughing about the fact she did nothing but eat.)

The twins would always look for me when they were tired. If I was down in the straw they would come and drop down right next to me, usually one on each side of me so they could both get equal attention, even if that only meant me resting an arm around each of them. If I weren’t down, they would drop down together sleeping in a pile like puppies or kittens.

As we progressed through this month long intensive care phase, the twins were getting much stronger and acting more like normal foals. They were sick and tired of being cooped up in a stall. Their brief outing at Pilchuck had given them a taste of freedom and they wanted more. Sadly, they weren’t going to be getting out anytime soon. As long as Surprise had that catheter in place she couldn’t go out in the pasture. Unfortunately that meant all three had to stay in.

To be continued...
Part 12

Enough of the twins for today, I found this funny piece on one of my favorite blogs it's a little bit suggestive,
16 Reasons to Date a Horseback Rider


  1. LOL that little link at the end is funny.

    I found a bit of time to look at the Foal cam today, they all seemed pretty subdued so I will check in later and often as I have finally added it to my links!

    Freezing here today so I have been hiding inside except to feed the horses, am on my way out now to do the last round for the day. I dread it.


  2. Thanks for visiting my blog , I see you are mommy to marestares most famous twins :P they are so adorable, Truth is im scared of my abilites these days i havent been trainning horses in 3 years now and I feel like everythings changed but it hasnt i just need to regain my confidence :)