Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sassy and Laurietta's Story - Tragedy or Miracle - 4th Twin Pregnancy in Horses Part 3

Part One starts here

Laurietta was undaunted trying to provide the best possible care for her mare. She knew it was not humanly possible for her to watch the horse as closely as this difficult situation warranted. She knew that her own fatigue and the fatigue of her staff were also enemies so she put her trust in those faceless observers on the Internet who expressed a willingness to participate and be relied upon in monitoring the mare(horse). Laurietta was motivated by love and concern for her mare (horse). A point the naysayers unfortunately continued to overlook. Despite a boatload of snide remarks Laurietta and Sassy pushed on getting closer and closer to the mare's foaling.

As the mare's due date drew closer, there were examinations by the vet as well as consultations with the veterinary experts at Ohio State University. Contingency plans were made for a multitude of possibilities including the extreme of transporting the mare to OSU if needed. Each consultation seemed to fuel the excitement and drama of the impending foaling. Although the exact extent of the consultations and contingency plans were never posted, they were mentioned in generalities by both Laurietta and an associate. A fact that should have soothed some people but only seemed to be used later for more fuel.

By the time the mare (horse) finally would go into labor the only thing anyone on the Internet knew for sure about Sassy's current condition was there had been two viable foals at 6.5 months. One foal was alive and seemed to be facing the correct direction. The fate of the second foal was in question. The weather had turned horrible complete with ice storms. They were trying to stall the mare's labor, if possible, so they could transport her to OSU if needed. The mare (horse) was looking tired and uncomfortable but always perked up at the sight of her owner. It was clear that Sassy and Laurietta had an amazing bond.

March 16, 2007 at approximately 11 am PDT I tuned in to find that Sassy was in labor. There were people in the stall and the vet had been called. The thread on Mare Stare was growing by leaps and bounds as anxious people tuned in to watch the now infamous mare foal. At one point there were 221 users online at Mare Stare alone. The web cam was not hosted by Mare Stare so the numbers didn't reflect the number of people tuned into the cam. With the other threads devoted to the subject there is no way of telling how many people were actually witnessing the drama unfold.

Most people, even most veterinarians have never seen twin foals (horses), let alone be present at their birth. The servers were clogged with horse people and non horse people alike anxious to witness the historical event. Many were praying for a favorable outcome, others were lurking for an opportunity to strike while their target was the most vulnerable. To say it was a three ring circus would be a gross understatement. The comments on threads were flying fast and furious as the scene unfolded and the anticipation built.

Unfortunately, for the mare (horse), her labor did not progress quickly. It soon became obvious to me that the situation was dire with what I guessed was a badly malpositioned foal. An hour turned into two and two drug into three and there was still no resolution. I couldn't even tell you when the vet arrived for sure, it all runs together.

At one time there were as many as five people in the stall, each taking turns adjusting, turning and pulling on the foal. In freezing temperatures, the incredible crew was down to their shirt sleeves as they tried every possible thing they could think of to the get the foal out of the mare(horse). There were multiple phone calls for input from the experts since the roads were too treacherous to take the mare to them. I was never even clear on exactly which person on the cam was the vet. Each and every person took their turn trying to reposition the foal and find a way to get it out of the mare (horse).

One of the things I've learned over the years is you can trust the mare (horse) to tell you if she's in trouble. If the mare is taking things in stride you're ok, you can deal with the dystocia. I watched in amazement as the time ticked by and the mare (horse) continued to tolerate the pain of the contractions and the interventions on her behalf. The major thing the mare seemed to have going for her in this devastating situation was her relationship with her owner, Laurietta, and the dedication of the people trying to save her. That bond with Laurietta seemed to continually feed the mare with strength, confidence and trust through an ordeal that would have killed most mares (horses). Every time Sassy would look back at the people trying to save her, the horse's ears were up and her demeanor relaxed, as relaxed as a mare in labor can be.

To be continued......

Part 4

For a upward lift on the subject of twins in Arabian horses read
Rare Twin Horses Born in Graham or visit my webcam and see the newest addition to our herd on live webcam now. He's still nameless but we're working on it.


  1. Hi MiKael

    Okay I promise no more spiders on my blog LOL. You see what happens when I have a lack of subjects to get in front of my lens.

    This story is great about this mare and her owner. I am so sorry that people chose to make it unpleasant for her.

    I Look forward to the next instalment.

    I put the horses out today and am leaving them out tonight. We reached 80 degrees today!!! Cant believe that a week ago we were struggling to get above freezing now we are sweltering!! Humidity 98% this morning 46% this evening.

    Hope ou are well.


  2. I'm glad you've appreciated this story. It's been a hard one to write. Just like it was a hard one to watch unfold. I believe that events like this expose the true character of people.