Friday, February 19, 2010

Getting Ready for Spring

It's getting close to foaling season. Normally I'd be excited at the prospect of seeing the new additions to our farm but not this year. As the projected foaling date gets closer all I can do is pray.I've never been so concerned about a mare foaling as now.

I have put off breeding Solidare for three years. Worried about the condition of her back legs I just couldn't bring myself to do it despite the fact every vet I spoke to was encouraging me to breed her. Even though the mare had dropped some on both hind fetlocks, those vets believe breeding the mare will turn out fine. I was even told that mares with fetlocks much worse than Solidare have had several more foals.

Solidare, herself, had input on this situation. Each year she has cried and cried over the new foals of the other mares. Her heart was breaking because she didn't have one of her own. I tried to turn her out with the mares with foals at their sides hoping this would soothe her breaking heart. Solidare's response was to try to steal those foals. It was clear Solidare was only going to be happy with one of her own.

Looking at her age and her aching heart, I decided last breeding season that I would allow this special mare one more foal before she's retired as a broodmare. The vet checked her over thoroughly and determined she was indeed safe to breed. Despite my trepidations I proceeded with the plan and Solidare was bred.

It was only a couple of months into the pregnancy when my fears were realized. Solidare dropped farther down on her already compromised feltocks. The arthritis in those joints became even worse and the supplement that had been providing some relief became less effective. I dreaded seeing what the rest of this pregnancy might bring.

The damage to Solidare's fetlocks happened during her first foaling here. The pregnancy went long and the mare's system was over saturated with the hormones produced for foaling. The end result was the ligaments and tendons in her back legs became stretched from the excess hormones. Those hormones that are so necessary to cause the relaxation of the pelvis for the foal to move through have actually shortened the life expectancy of this mare from the damage they caused.

Because of this condition, it has been necessary to keep Solidare's weight on the light side. By keeping her weight down we can help minimize some of the stress on those joints that are no longer in the correct position for weight bearing. With the mare being pregnant balancing a good weight for the pregnancy while still minimizing stress was going to be difficult.

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

The Struggle


  1. She's a beautiful girl, I hope it all goes alright for her and her last foal. I'm sure it will make her happy to have a little one to care for again.

  2. Prayers going for mare and baby MiKael, and you too.

    Give that grand girl a rub from our corner of the world!

  3. I feel so bad for you and Solidare. I am sure she will be very happy with the baby...I just hope that they all make it safely.

  4. Now this one sounds like it's about to get interesting, Not that your stories don't interest me, I find them fascinating. But now I'm left hangin' once more, LOL!

  5. I just read that one of Martha Stewart's Fresians had to be put down due to dropped rear pasterns. He was 13. I didn't know it could happen to geldings.

    Solidare is my favorite of your mares, I hope she's able to have another baby.