Monday, October 29, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - The Legacy Continues - Part 2

Part 1 of the Legacy Continues

It's been so long I don't even remember how many nights I slept in that barn before the Arabian mare foaled, but I can tell you this. I haven't forgotten how cold that darn barn got each night. By the time the real night finally arrived, I was exhausted and sick and tired of being cold.

Dave laughs at all of the sleeping bags and blankets I take out to the barn. Everything gets full of straw and hay but I just have to have them. I have trouble keeping warm in the house with the thermostat at 70° let alone out in the barn at 30° I just don't do cold well.

However, there was no way I wasn't going to be there when this mare foaled. So I bucked it up and headed back out for another night telling myself there was no way she could hang onto this foal forever. Even though sometimes, it really felt like she just might.

I found the mare was restless that night. I knew it seemed different from the other nights. I was pretty sure that this was it. I had all of my foaling stuff together, including my first cell phone and my vet's phone number. The phone was one of those big heavy bag phones of the time but it got good reception even inside my barn. That proved to be a good thing.

As it got later, the mare grew more uncomfortable. Sometime long after midnight, I heard the mare's water break. Even though I wasn't sure what to expect from Heiress, I decided to check right away to see if she was making progress.

There mare was laying down as I moved in to the back of the stall. As I checked the Arabian horse closely she stayed down. For that I breathed a sigh of relief. Heiress was going to be ok with me working around her. Then I saw a lone foot.

I've said this before I know but I'm blind as a bat. I had to feel that foot with my hand to check it for position. As I felt the gelatinous pad, I realized this foot was upside down. I followed up the leg looking for the other foot only to find the second foot was upside down as well. I checked closer to find that at least these were the front feet. For that I breathed another sigh of relief. While the foal was upside down at least it was coming with the front feet first.

It was time to call the vet. I didn't have enough experience to be dealing with this on my own. I had never seen any type of dystocia. The vet instructed me to get the mare up. If the foal slipped back inside I was to walk her around for a couple of minutes. Then I could let her lay down to try again.

So I put a halter on Heiress and asked her to get up. It was clear she was confused but she did as I asked. The first time I got the horse up, the foal was sucked back inside. When it emerged again it was still in the same position. The vet instructed me to try again and to keep trying. We were looking for the foal to change position. I was to keep trying and he was on his way.

So we tried again and again. It was nerve racking waiting for that foal to show but finally, there was a change. The foal had rotated about an eighth of a turn to the right. I got the mare up over and over with each time producing a little more improvement in position. Finally, the foal was in the correct position but the mare was exhausted.

I watched for a contraction and pulled on the foal. It stuck for a brief instance and the slide out up to the belly. On the next contraction, I pulled it the rest of the way out. By the time the vet arrived, Heiress had delivered a beautiful bay filly.

Now it might be interesting for those of you who know me from reading this blog to note, that I did not check the sex of this filly but once. You might remember from my posts about the birth of the colts, Andy or Patriot that I checked each of them several times. Just one of my little quirks, I guess.

To be continued...........

The Legacy Continues - Part 3

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  1. At least you got the foal to turn well... On it's own, sort of lol. I'm glad with todays technology I can have the hands free if help is needed, talk to the vet but have both hands to do whatever they say to do...

  2. Awwwww...I've never witnessed a foal birth live...something I've always wanted to do! Brings tears to my eyes imagining that beautiful baby and those first moments with the new momma. So sweet! :)

  3. I really symphatise with enduring those cold nights! It is so worth it though and what a gorgeous little thing!

  4. I was born in Poland and apparently we have the best Arabian horses (or so buyers say). I thought you may want to have a look on here: - it's a site of the best Polish stud breeding Arabian horses:)

  5. Ups, I just wanted to add that if you wanted to look through some pictures on the website I mentioned earlier you would need to go to Polish version. English version doesn't seem to be finished and the best bits are missing!

  6. I hate when it doesn't go right, especially when you're still new or haven't experienced what's going on. Leaves you with such a horrible feeling of unsureness.

    We had a lamb born breech this spring, but mamma was quick to rip the sack off (Darling and I were standing there taking pictures, lol!)

  7. that that must be neat to watch a baby horse being born.. nerve racking but neat;)

  8. foaling can be a nerve-racking time!

    is the vet a man? because they always are late and arrive after all the excitement is over...

  9. Lady of chaos, I'm so backwards about the technology you speak of. I still haven't figured out how to click over to a call waiting not to mention clicking back, so I don't wear by blue tooth. But I have one.

    And I'm such a klutz, I'd probably bend over and the thing would fall off into the straw and I'd be searching for a needle in a hay stack. lol

    I'm pretty sure hands free technology for foaling will have to be practiced ahead of time on my part or it will just get in the way. lol

    equinespirit, well, if you really want to watch you can. There will be lots of mares foaling on live webcams on marestare this coming season, including my Lucy. I have learned so much by watching,

    wiola, I do know about janow. Actually, I have a horse friend who came from there and I have a people friend who helps import horses from there.

    tracey, problems are not fun, sounds like your breech went great though, that is good. I'm not nearly as quick with the camers as you. I get through it then take pics after. lol too stressed to take them during. lol

    yes, wolfbaby, it's a miracle every darn time.

  10. You have my awe and respect. Enduring the cold and discomfort, staying calm and keeping your wits when things weren't going right, and having a successful birth on your own.

    Beautiful and gripping story. So glad it had a happy ending.

  11. That's WAY cool! I searched for the site and found it! Guess what I'm gonna be doing every chance I get?!? ;) LOL! Whatta great way to get a baby fix!

  12. barn goddess, yes, the vet is a man. But he wasn't really scheduled to be here, was only coming if I needed help.

    anne, thanks, although I've moved onto better ways. lol Now with webcam, I can watch in the house and stay warm. I get extra help watching with the marestare people and it's so much easier.

    equinespirit, it is way cool. I have learned so much watching other's mares foal. Only think is the one's I've learned the most from have been heartbreaking as well. You never know how it's going to turn out and with that many so do go wrong.