Monday, February 22, 2010

Getting Ready for Spring - - The Struggle

Part 1

Keeping Solidare's weight right as the foal grows inside her has been a guessing game. About the time I'd think I had a handle on it, the mare reacted in a way I wasn't expecting. The line between light enough for her legs and too thin (for me) was crossed several times in the early part of this pregnancy. I finally gave up and opted towards getting as much weight on her as I could hoping that would balance things out in the long run.

Then there was another issue developing that worried me. As the mare's fetlocks dropped a little more, Solidare began to move in a much more cumbersome manner. While she didn't complain about moving, she appeared to be spending a lot more of her time lying down.

When the mare did move, my heart broke for her. Before she had looked crippled on those fetlocks but hadn't acted that way. Now she really looked like a crippled horse. She was beginning to move in a crab like manner. This change had happened slowly over time, I thought, but it just didn't strike me as being anywhere near this bad until the mare hit the second trimester in her pregnancy. What the implications of this change might be only time would tell.

I spent many a sleepless night browsing the web looking for suggestions that might help Solidare. The hard part was I didn't really know what I was looking for. There are lots of suggestions of what to feed pregnant mares but there was nothing there I didn't already know. Then the issue of relief for those poor back legs of here didn't seem to render much help on the internet.

I spoke to a number of vets. None of them were worried particularly about her weight. They thought I was doing all the right things. For her fetlocks, the Ortho-Chon II I'm supplementing the mare with was considered to be the best possible answer. All their responses did was make me feel more and more powerless. I wanted to do more.......just couldn't figure out what "more" would be.

Keeping Solidare at a good weight became all the more difficult The farther into the pregnancy we got . I was relieved we haven't had a colder winter. I don't know how we would have managed if we'd had the kind of winter we did last year. Solidare sure didn't have any extra calories she could afford to lose keeping herself warm. Everything seemed to be going to the foal.

The former history with the mare didn't help either. All the little tricks I'd used with her over the years just did not seem to apply. She'd always been a easy keeper up until the last trimester of her other pregnancies. Now the mare wasn't easy at any part in this process. Nor was there any relief from the tricks that had worked with her not so easy to keep broodmare buddies. It was beginning to be clear that Solidare was writing a new book for this pregnancy and I didn't have a clue what the next chapter might hold.

While I have never felt comfortable with this process, I did think I had it under control. Monitoring the mare regularly I thought I could avoid any serious issues. Then I learned something new....... just because we're watching doesn't mean we can avoid life's little twists.

The beginning of February suddenly Solidare began losing weight. Throughout the pregnancy this hadn't really happened. Changes had been subtle. They had happened slowly with no big fluctuations. Now the change was so dramatic there was no question we were going down hill.

It didn't matter that the mare had all the food in front of her that she could eat or that she had appeared to be gaining weight just a few short weeks before. We were losing ground and I was really beginning to worry.

There was something else happening too, though I couldn't quite put my finger on it at the time. Looking at this mare, I felt really scared for the first time. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why.

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

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  1. Please does she make it through this pregnancy?

  2. Hi Mikael, I hope it goes well for your mare. Have you checked about DSLD? Here is a link to a website on DSLD
    There is a link to a DSLD yahoo group with some good information. I know you may know about this being a breeder of Arabians but I just felt that I needed to pass this on.
    I'm worrying for your mare and her foal right along with you.