Friday, June 1, 2007

Foal Watch with a Very Sneaky Arabian Mare

Part 4

Part One

Once the stall was cleaned out, straw put down and the mare given fresh hay. Dave Lindsay and I headed for the house to give Aana some time to bond with her foal. She was clearly stressed by our presence so the plan was to give them a little time to work things out on their own. If he wasn't standing and nursing in an hour we would intervene.

In the meantime, I got the fixings for a bran mash and began cooking for the mare. Some people laugh that I cook for my horses, but I've never had a mare colic after foaling and I always fix them this nice hot bran mash. I think because their body temperature drops dramatically after foaling, that the hot mash helps warm them back up. The mares love it.

While I cooked the mash, I kept trach of their progress on the webcam. It was really nice not to have to wonder about their progress. The colt made a few attempts to get up but none was as impressive as that first lunge forward he'd taken escaping the amnion. Even on the cam I could see the effect of the contracted tendons on his efforts to stand.

Once the mash was nice and hot, I grabbed Dave and we headed back to the barn. I dunked a towel in water and tied it to the remainder of the amnion that was still hanging from the mare. There had been no advancement in the expulsion of the placenta. I was hoping the added weight from the wet towel would get things moving in the right direction.

We blanketed the colt so we had a better hold of him to help him stand. Every time he tried to get up, his legs curled from the contracted tendons and he'd fall down. So I had Dave hold him up while I crawled around under the colt placing his legs in the proper positions.

It really helped to understand how horses move and what sequence their feet fall to figure out how and where to place his feet. I was trying to simulate what his natural movements would be to "teach" him now to do this.

I would stretch out each foot making sure I set it down firmly on its bottom so that the colt understood standing meant being on the sole of his foot. I exaggerated each leg position just a little bit to help him with his balance, setting them wide apart like you see new foals normally do. When I would finally get all four feet in the proper places, I'd have Dave let off on his support so the colt could feel what standing on his was like.

It didn't take too long before he had it figured out. I think I set his legs in place for him about four or five times before he had it figured out how to stand on his own. At the same time we worked on that, Dave was guiding him toward the milk bar (as the call it on marestare) and by the time we had him standing on completely on his own, the colt was also nursing on his own.

Now we just had to get the issue of her placenta resolved and make sure all of his plumbing was working correctly. We retreated again to the house to watch them on the webcam. We could see anything we needed from there and Aana definitely need time to be alone with her foal.

Watch Bey Aana and her colt on our Mare Stare Webcam Bey Aana. If this link doesn't work for you, try going to the Mare Stare live cams page and then click on the Rising Rainbow Arabians link. I know from the chatroom that sometimes that will work when a direct link like this doesn't.

You can see some of her previous foals on our website, Rising Rainbow Arabians .

1 comment:

  1. What you guys do is a lot of work people who admire horses never get to see. Your dedication to these animals is admirable and I know they appreciate it too but may not always express it that way.

    I know, and you know, that horses have been "popping out" for centuries and many die in the process, but for the most part they live to repeat the act for ages.

    I just think your photo and your concern and your caring makes for a really nice post.

    Oh, and thanks for coming to my blog and leaving comments. I do appreciate it.


    Today, I published a nest photograph and some details about its construction; and a link to some dead birds with an explanation. Oh; and thanks for coming to my blog and leaving comments. I do appreciate it.

    Abraham Lincoln
    Brookville Daily Photo
    My Photography