Friday, December 28, 2007

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - The Third Foal Crop Part 10

Part One of the Baby Boomer Series

The Third Foal Crop Part 1

For this photo shoot, we needed to haul all eight Arabian horses over to the training barn where I worked. I own a three horse slant load trailer so we adjusted one of the partitions to divide the space up into just two slots. That way we could transport two sets of mares and foals at a time taking only two trips to get all eight Arabian horses moved.

Transporting the mares with the foals turned out to be an easier task than we had first expected. Even though none of these foals had seen the inside of a horse trailer before and the mares had little experience, all walked right into the trailer like they were old veterans. Their ride went just as well, with all horses standing quietly.

Arriving at the "new" facility, all of the horses were wide eyed and snorting as they got off the horse trailer. The mares quieted quickly but the foals weren't sure what to think. They didn't even want to step off the trailer with nothing familiar outside. We had to move each mare off a bit to encourage the foal to join her.

Each foal snorted and pranced all the way into the barn, down the aisle and into their assigned stall. We couldn't help but laugh as they rolled their tails up over their backs and their eyes bulged. This was a really big adventure for them.

Once we had the horses all moved in it was time to do show clipping followed by bathing. Even though the barn was strange the mares all knew the routine so I decided we would first do a mare followed by her foal. That way the foals would have a chance to get used to the sights and sounds happening to mom before actually having to deal with it themselves.

Clipping and bathing for the mares went easily as long as their foals were close by. The foals, on the other hand, weren't used to any of this stuff, the barn, the clippers nor water splashing around during the bathing process. That meant I needed someone who had a clue holding the foals as I dealt with the mares in the cross ties. Neither Dave nor Lindsay really fit that criteria so we really just limped along. Sometimes it took Dave and Lindsay both to keep a foal in place in front of the mare and the time was ticking away.

One of the great things about the Legs babies is that they are all very brave. It doesn't take them long with things that are scary to stop and look at them. Once they've done that, they usually will settle right down to whatever you need from them. Fortunately that was the case as I worked on the mares.

Of course, the mares helped the foals whenever they would get worried by talking to them softly in reassurance. Even Chase with his panic reactions settled in fairly quickly while his mother was being clipped and bathed. All of the foals were pretty cute with the little ears locked forward studying me intently as I clipped and bathed their mothers.

But once it was time for the foals, things changed dramatically. Since I couldn't use the cross ties, I needed someone to hold the foal as I worked and I also needed someone to hold the mare close by. With Dave and Lindsay lacking in experience holding resistant foals, it was a stressful experience for everyone, including the horses.

Thankfully most of the foals settled down pretty quickly once they realized they were caught. Or should I say once we managed to make them feel caught! But I think in the process both Dave and Lindsay got stepped on a number of times.

For show clipping the foals, I only clipped their faces and ears. I avoided doing the usual foal clip that includes clear down the neck to the shoulder. I think that clip makes it hard to see the line of the shoulder even though it makes the neck look finer and the throat latch cleaner. Since all of these foals have wonderful laid back shoulders I didn't want that feature to get lost.

After clipping it was on to bathing. None of the foals wanted anything to do with the wash rack and it's slick wet floor. Just getting them into the darn thing took something short of an Act of Congress. Keeping them there took even more.

But again, once they realized that they were caught things seemed to go pretty well except that is with Rhythm. The red colt exploded somewhere in the middle of his bath and bounced off of walls. The water was flying and it seemed like people were scattering everywhere.

The slick wet floor didn't help. Not being able to get his feet back underneath him only panicked the horse worse than he already was. I don't even know how many times he hit the ground or the walls before I was finally able to get him cornered and on his feet. My glasses had gone flying and I couldn't see a thing but I had the little monster caught.

Thankfully, my glasses didn't get broken. I checked the colt over closely looking for any sign of injury. Much to my disbelief, I didn't find a cut or a scrape, I thought we were home free. Then we went ahead and finished the red colt's bath.

I swear it must have been near midnight by the time the horses were finally all clipped, bathed and dried. Even by then a couple of the foals weren't totally dry but dry enough we felt it was ok to go home and get some rest before the photo shoot in the morning.

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

Horses pictured are KG Phadra Rose with her foal Scandalous Chance

The Photo Shoot

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  1. You have far more energy and dedication than I do that is for sure!!!

    On to the next installment LOL. I have a feeling that you are going to tell us that one of the little tykes rolled in some poop before the photo shoot or something!

    Boy I wish I could have been following you around with a camera to get shots of those antics from unloading to bathing.


  2. I love the photos of the mommas and babies -- the action shots are awesome. Wonderful blog.

    Miss T

  3. I wish Lori was following you with her camera too!

    bathing foals is not something I would ever think be an easy job....especially more than one.

  4. i love your photos, and try to keep up the the horse talk as best I can. Thanks for sharing!