Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Heritage.........Heading Home for Answers

Part 1
I was on the road heading home from the Northwest Heritage All Arabian Horse Show when my cell phone rang again. This time it was the vet calling saying he was nearing my street. He wanted someone to open the gate at my farm before he got there because the rig he didn't think the rig he was hauling would fit in my drive.

I knew Lindsay was gone and Dave was sitting with Solidare but I told the vet I'd see what I could get done. Then I called Dave to see if he could leave the mare to get the gate open for the vet. Dave seemed reluctant to leave Solidare but that didn't surprise me. When the man gets stressed he tends to immobilize, moving in any direction is tough let alone one he hadn't expected. Assuring him he'd have the vet's help quicker if he opened the gate seemed to give Dave the added push to get it done.

Before we got off the phone I asked my mare. Dave's response was the mare looked about the same. I asked what she was doing and his response was "Eating grass."

Immediately my mind did a "WTF..........something here doesn't fit." If the mare was in labor she probably wouldn't be eating grass. At the very least this behavior said the mare wasn't stressed. That was a good thing. It seems to be an old breeder's adage "The mare will tell you if something's wrong." I told Dave to remember to breathe the vet would be there shortly and if Solidare was laying there having a little snack, things would probably be fine.

While this wasn't a huge relief for me it did take the edge off a bit. Things with this mare have not gone right in the last trimester of this pregnancy, I wasn't trusting this might be nothing more than Dave being rattled by something totally explainable. Still I couldn't help but wonder what "red" Dave was seeing. Was the mare in labor or not? If she was,could it be a a red bag delivery? I continued racing on towards home. One thing was for sure, I was really dreading having bred this mare.

Throughout my drive home I kept thinking about what needed to be done when I got there. If the mare was indeed foaling, her stall was not ready. I do special bedding for foaling mares and I hadn't believed Solidare was close. I did have the supplies in the barn but would I get the stall ready or would Dave be able to handle that task. Even these questions all seemed to depend on what was happening with my mare. I just couldn't stop my mind from going round and round.

I was coming up Webster Hill when I came upon two motorcycle riders. I am always leary about them even when I'm not in a hurry. While my heart still seemed to be thumping loudly in my chest, I sat back, took a deep breath and settled in behind those bikes. There was no way I was putting them or me at risk by trying to pass them on this road.

Wouldn't you know it, those bikers stayed right on the same route as me. I got stuck behind them until I finally reached my street. It was only then I was able to pick up my pace again and speed on down the road. By the time I reached my farm it had been only twelve minutes since I'd left the Tacoma Unit. I figure anytime soon I'll begin receiving my speeding tickets in the mail from the overhead cops in helicopters out there in my state's latest crack down on speeders.

The gate was still standing wide open and I whizzed through driving straight up to the barns. Looking back I don't know why I didn't look over in the field to see if I could see Solidare as I made my way through, but I didn't. All I could think of was getting there as fast as I could.

As I pulled the car up to a stop, I saw Dave coming around the corner walking Solidare towards her stall. The vet was heading towards the water trough to wash off his arm. My mind was racing all directions as I looked over to where I figured Solidare must have been laying. There was nothing but a pile of her white hair showing where the mare had laid........... no signs of a foal or foaling anywhere.

I can't even explain the questions racing through my head as I tried to assimilate something from what I saw. There was no rhyme or reason to any of this. The vet was the only one with answers so I headed straight towards him but I wasn't prepared for what I heard.

The first thing the vet said was the mare's vagina was collapsing. The blood that Dave had seen was actually the lining of her vagina showing, turned outside by the pressure created by her laying down. Also, the foal was still down deep inside the mare and yes, the foal is still alive.........and kicking. It was not up close to the birth canal. While that didn't mean the mare wouldn't foal soon, it did mean she wasn't in the process of foaling at that moment.

To get the mare up, the vet and Dave had had to roll the mare over. The vet was just as concerned about that as we had been on the two occasions we'd had to do that. Shaking his head with concern at the possibilities that can be caused from this intervention. It's a catch twenty-two and we all knew it.

The vet finished cleaning up his arm. Then he headed to turn his huge rig, complete with a tractor with back hoe around so he could leave. I knew he was "thinking" of the possibilities and he'd let me know when he had answers.

I joined Dave to see my mare. She seemed unhappy to be coming in from the field. Even dinner wasn't enough for her to stop pouting. I checked to see if there was progress and milk hoping for something that could tell me what was going on............. The fluid was going from golden to cloudy but nothing near white yet.

The only thing I knew for sure Solidare was safe for the moment anyway. It was going to be a long night and I wouldn't be heading back to the show.
Other than that there were no answers..........only a lot more questions.

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


For those of you who don't know, this is a pic of Solidare from my archives.

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  1. She is so pretty. I am breathlessly waiting for the outcome of all this...

  2. So far so good, I hope ! What a beautiful mare!

  3. She's gorgeous! Awww, this is so scary!

  4. She's a beauty. Never a dull moment right. Hope it all turns out well.

  5. Solidaire is just beautiful! I am glad that she was okay when you got to the farm...I can't wait to hear the outcome, hoping all is well :).