Friday, December 14, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - The Third Foal Crop

Part One of the Baby Boomer Series

Part one of the Second Foal Crop

After the loss of the young Arabian horse, Image, it was difficult for me to keep focused on this dream of mine. It felt like it had been dashed into a million pieces for the second time in a short amount of time. With as many horses as I had to take care of, I had to keep on trucking. Even though I would have preferred to not even think about horses for a while.

I was not looking forward to the spring foals for the first time since I had started this breeding farm adventure of mine. The thought of having to deal with watching mares and caring for babies had lost all of it's appeal. I was really in a bad place but not so bad that I could turn my back on my obligations to the horses.

Sometimes during the winter, Heiress slipped her foal. Of course, it was after I had paid a Sweepstakes Breeding Entry nomination. But that's just how life seems to go sometimes. I wish I could say it bothered me but I think that I was relieved. That left four mares to foal on our farm and one outside mare for a client. The first foals were due the middle part of April.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm, I was still able to get myself to keep track of how the mares were progressing. Solidare, Faye and Aana, all began to show signs of impending foaling at about the same time. By now my skills at predicting when a mare might foal were getting honed down about as much as they could be. The mares will always pull something to prove how silly anyone is who thinks they have a clue. But on the whole, I was prepared.

Beginning with April Fool's day, I was sleeping in the barn. Getting up several times throughout the night to check on all three mares. Even then, I was fighting being in a dark, dark place, crying most times I checked a mare thinking about the lost foal. I was really struggling.

Even with Solidare, my replacement for Scandalous, being one of the expectant mares, I just couldn't get myself into foaling. She must have felt neglected. She spent a goodly amount of time around me nudging me over and over. Treats or grooming wouldn't stop her. Or maybe that mare knew I was in trouble.

Solidare was the first to foal on April 3, 2001. I hardly remember the actual birth except that the foal was absolutely huge. Big like Dare had been, only Dare had been a month late and this foal was about two weeks early.

Another big bold colt to Leg's credit but there was something odd about him that put me off. He had a star, strip and snip and four very irregular white socks and that attitude that the Leg's babies get. Put together exactly like expected out of Solidare and by Leg's.

I tended to the mare and dried the colt off and did the iodine thing on his navel. Meanwhile Dave stripped the stall and put down clean dry straw. Then I dressed the colt in a foal blanket. The first size was too small.

Getting him up and nursing was the usual battle. The legs were too long, the attitude too bold, and it was a bloody colt! Thankfully Dave was there to help with the standing and nursing. I had less patience than usual. And my "usual" patience wasn't nearly enough to deal with teaching a colt to stand and nurse.

The whole time I just kept shaking my head about this colt. There was just something odd about him, I couldn't put my finger on it. I remember when I went into the house to cook the bran mash for Solidare that I called my friend Chris about the birth.

Chris isn't in to colts, she prefers fillies. But she still asked all of the usual questions. His size, color, markings, how he was built and if I liked him. That's when I told her there was just something odd about him. He appeared to be healthy but he looked funny, anemic somehow. That's when Chris began to laugh, "Is he chestnut!"

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

The Third Foal Crop Part 2

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  1. Hi MiKael

    Hmmm Chestnut .... will be going to your site to see if I can figure out the next instalment!!! The suspense kills me LOL.

    I am sorry that you struggled so much with that foal crop, Heiress was definitely aware that you were having problems, that's what I love about my horses, they always know when I am having a bad day and will do something to egg me on or make me smile.

    It has just started snowing, about 1" on the ground already, expecting up to 12".



  2. You sure have been through the wringer with some of your foals. So sad and I don't think we ever get over it completely but you just have to keep trudging on like you did. Heriess sure did know that you were struggling, they have a sixth sense when it comes to us owners if we have a close relationship with them.

    It was only about 7* when I went to the stable this morning. I had on four layers of clothes and a knit cap. What a fashion statement! ha! The horses didn't mind and were whinnying when we walked in, probably more for their treat then us! lol!

    We have a lot of snow and are expecting a Nor'easter tomorrow to blow in. All this snow will be good for Buddy's feet as he doesn't have shoes on any more and the snow will pad things. Frozen mud is horrible on their feet and lames them up so we are glad for the snow.

    As always I am enjoying your posts even though I feel your sadness over your losses. I guess it's all part of it but sure is hard. I still think you should write a book!!

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog! Oh, your horses are gorgeous. You sure left us hanging with this story . . . I'll have to come back to read the rest!

  4. lori, you'll never guess this story from the website. I've been trying to get caught up to the point of the birth of this foal so I can tell his story. Buckle your seat belt, you won't believe the twists and turns on this one.

    midlife mom, I sure have had more than my share. The more horses you have the more stuff happens. I know I'm bucking the odds just with my numbers but I can't even imagine life with only one or two.

    bayou woman, thanks for visiting and commenting. I hope to see you again.

    And you're right, I seem to get into cliff hanger type