Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Foal Watch 2009 on the Arabian Horse Farm

This year's victim........err, I mean pregnant mare would be Scandalous Dare. She is a ten year old maiden and one of my very first Scandalous Legacy daughters. Dare was bred last season to a AQHA reining stallion, The Mighty Oak for our first ever half-Arabian foal.

Anyone wondering why I happened to chose this particular mating, I'm really hoping for a ride n slide kinda horse that will be big enough for me. Dare has the talent to do reining but with me nearly 6 feet tall and the mare 14.2 h, my legs interfere with hers for spins. I definitely need a bigger horse. Oak is a talented reiner and also a bigger horse at 15.2 h so I'm hoping he'll add some size without losing any of the talent this mare has. I do have some concerns about the size foal this cross could produce, however. I'm hoping Mother Nature keeps that in check and my mare stays safe.

Dare's due date is April 26 based on 345 days gestation. With that time fast approaching it was time to get our live webcam up and running. That feat is sometimes easier said than done and this year happened to be one of those times.

It took two sessions with a tech from MareStare before I even had a picture, let alone got the thing up on the web. Seems I had corrupted drivers and fixing them just wasn't going by the book. Despite lots of error messages we did eventually get the driver issue resolved. From there it was a piece of cake getting the cam up and on the web.

This resolution was just in time. My maiden mare, who had been showing absolutely no signs what so ever of imminent foaling, made some dramatic changes in the last twenty-four hours. The mare's udder is developing pretty rapidly but that's not what really jumped out at me. Seeing her totally broken down around the tail with her hind end so relaxed it squishes when she walks is what really got my attention. That and some changes in her belly which suggest the foal is moving into the birthing position.

Like all maiden mares, I'm sure that Dare is going to make people crazy watching her progression. The unpredictability of maiden mares is world renowned and very frustrating. Even though mares in general don't always go "by the book," maidens in general have an aptitude for annihilating the darn thing. The only thing one can count on with a maiden is you can't count on anything.

I know that I'm particularly stressed over this foaling because this mare has a special place in my heart. From her first hours on earth
this filly has given me what for more times than I can count. In the process of teaching her survival skills in MY herd, I've become her personal human. I can hardly wait to see what surprise she has in store for me in this latest episode in our lives.

For those interested in following this ride, here's the live webcam and this is the thread on MareStare for updates on her condition and notes from those tracking her progress.

This picture is Dare, obviously before the last trimester of her pregnancy.

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  1. My trainer's maiden mare, Olympic Dove, has been stop and go for weeks. Every time I go out there, Heather looks that much more bedraggled.

  2. Leah, I know what you mean although I'd be surprised with the way this mare is broken down around the tail to see that happen. Usually once they're as saturated with the hormones that cause that to happen, things are getting pretty serious.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see the mare still take days, because that the kind of thing maiders can do, but weeks would be highly unlikely. Now that I've said that, watch her make a fool out of me.

  3. she's a beautiful mare. I hope this cross will give you what you want.

    And I admire you. I would have to be desperate for a horse to breed my mare....scares the bejeesus out of me.

  4. My mare just foaled yesterday, finally lol. She's been all broken down and showing all the signs for a month or more. She went 10 days 'over due'.

    A nice healthy colt even though we have a few issues with a retained placenta and mamma not letting baby nurse. We're getting there though.

    I will have your cam up, like usual. Here's hoping for a great smooth delivery with no issues for mom or baby. :)

  5. How exciting! I hope she foals well and that you have a great little baby to raise and train!

  6. I'll be tuned in on Dare when possible. I was SO excited last year to see Scarlet being born! She was the first foal I saw born on MareStare. Best of luck to all of you! :)

  7. If your truly worried, you should consider giving Dare vinegar in her drinking water.. I've not had a single complication this year, and I had 6 deliver this year. Not a single complication. They even got up and nursing by themselves. A few were born to maiden, first time dams too.

    So if Oak is 15.2, Dare is 14.2, how many hands are Dare's sire and dam? And you still had a problem with Dare being big and windswept? Has she recovered from being windswept? She sure is gorgeous.

    I also, want to talk about rickets. And I will be quoting a book I read about rickets.

    "Cause: The ultraviolet rays contained in sunlight promote the developement of vitamin D in the body. If kept in the stable, they do not receive these rays. The result is abnormal bone developement from lack of vitamin D, especially if there are mineral deficiencies at the same time. Signs of illness: Difficulty walking. Later, crooked limbs. Treatment and prevention: Rickets never occur in foals that have regular outdoor exercise. If the foals are constantly kept in the stable, they need supplementary vitamin D." So I ponder the the thoughts "would she have had those problems and complications with her mare and filly, should she have been getting vinegar and vitamin D in Solidare..." and I come to the conclusion, that it would be a lot less likely if she gotten vinegar and vitamin D. I think if you started giving your mares vinegar and vitamin D, it'd do wonder for your mares, and their births. So you could give it a try, and see if you still have problems. I sure don't have any of the problems I had been having previously. And boy did I have problems previously! And I don't think you should have any complications either. Or at least as many complications. And I understand Solidare had not been in the greatest shape when you got her, but I believe vinegar and vitamin D would have helped a lot. Good luck on foaling this month, I plan on watching Dare for the next 2-4 weeks, and I am sure you will be too! LOL.

  8. I'm watching - but if you've been reading my blog I'm now almost 28 days over the average (counting as 340). She's been squishy, full tight bag, babies been moving A LOT (hopefully into position) and I'm losing sleep!

    I'm a huge fan of QH/Arab crosses. My good friend here breeds them (despite the lack of market for them here) and they rock!

    I'm expecting an appendix baby. 3/4 Quarter 1/4 Thoroughbred. Mom's out of Northern Dancer line breeding and was her great-gransire, Nureyev her grandsire.

    Good Luck!

  9. *sniffle* I miss having baby horses in the Spring. My training was as a farm/breeding manager, but currently I only have older horses with me :(

  10. What have you placed around Dares neck?