Friday, November 2, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - The Legacy Continues - Part 6

Part 1 of the Legacy Continues

It's been a while since all of this happened, so it's hard remembering the specific details. I don't remember exactly when the next Arabian mare was due to foal. I do remember she went well over a month past her due date before she finally did.

This was the mare I was leasing hoping to be able to purchase at the end of the lease. However, the mare had arrived in such deplorable condition, I wasn't even sure that I would get her back to health, let alone get her bred. Unfortunately, the getting her bred was much easier than getting the mare back to health.

The whole time I watched Solidare's pregnancy develop, I continued to wish that I had brought her up to good shape before breeding, contrary to the vet's recommendation. Now as we went well over the foaling date, I was even more convinced I should have listened to my gut.

The mare was so heavy in foal she looked like a mare about to have twins, even though we were sure there was just foal. The mare went so far past her due date, her system was drowned in the hormones that are supposed to ready the mare's body for labor, but the labor didn't come. Instead of just having the usual muscles and tendons relax, the excess hormones loosened the tendons in the mare's back legs as well.

The weight of the extended pregnancy on the mare's pelvis caused those tendon's in her back legs to stretch. They stretched so far she was falling down on her pasterns. Watching this glorious mare breaking down right before my eyes was maddening. There was nothing I could do to stop the degeneration. Only the arrival of the foal could improve the situation.

Finally the day arrived, or should I say night. I don't even remember how many nights I'd slept in the barn before I finally saw signs of labor. I was relieved to finally be getting on with it.

The mare was exhausted before the labor even began. Her body was so huge with foal, she just lumbered around. Even during the beginning stages of labor when a mare normally paces and frets about the ongoing contractions, Solidare's movements were slow and laborious.

When the mare finally did lay down to push out the foal, she laid too close to the wall. The foal's front feet, heat and neck were crammed right into the stall wall with no place to go. I tried to get the mare to her feet so there was room for the foal but to no avail. The mare was exhausted. Too exhausted to rise and too exhausted to push, I was getting worried about the survival of both mare and foal. Not to mention, I couldn't believe I was experiencing yet another dystocia.

I had to straddle the mare's back legs to even be able to reach the emerging foal. Normally this is not a place I would position myself because it could be incredibly dangerous. But it was obvious this mare didn't even have enough strength to protect herself. There was no way she was going to jump up anytime soon.

I watched for contractions but they were so hard to tell, the mare was barely pushing, if pushing at all. It's so important to pull with the contractions instead of against. A mare's uterus can easily prolapse with incorrect pulling. I grabbed onto the foal's legs and pulled towards me seeking a point of constant pressure. .

I tried to "feel" the contractions against the foal to know when to pull. I figured with a contraction I should feel a slight release in pressure even if the mare wasn't pushing. I waited a time or two to be sure of what I felt. When I felt the slight release, I pulled twisting and turning to break the foal loose . I must have been correct because that foal came with only one pull.

I placed the foal in the straw as close to the mare's head as I could get. I wanted Solidare to see her foal. The mare still laid flat out on her side as she nickered softly to her baby. I was so frightened for this mare, she had clearly given everything she had to give birth to this foal.

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

The Legacy Continues Part 7

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  1. Lady of Chaos, I accidently deleted your comment. so I'm going to paste it here.

    "Oh and yet again we're left hanging lol.. I guess we should be used to it by now.

    *anxiously awaiting the rest of the story...* "

    And yes, you should be used to it by now, I'm such a wind bag, I can't get it all in in one post or even two or three sometimes. lol

  2. Is that Scandalous Dare? wow was she a big filly! beautiful too!

    Oh wait, am I giving away too much info too soon? my bad :).

    Sorry they had dystocia, but hallelujah Scandalous Love and Scandalous Dare and their momma's are alive and well today.

    Cant wait to read more!

  3. Arghhh!!!

    I think you just like to mess with us sometimes ;)

    Seriously, though - if I fail out of school because you stress me out so much, I can come live with you, right??? I'm good at mucking.

    These stories involving life or death really make me worry!

    Can't wait to read tomorrow!

  4. Awwww...whatta beautiful baby! Soooo sweet!! Can't wait to read your next entry! :D

  5. MiKael so glad Vee came along so nicely, now you have us hanging for the next mare too!!! Poor girl, what a good thing you had been diligent in watching her and being there when it was time.

    Waiting with bated breath for the next instalment.


  6. Wow. I am impressed with your story and your writing.