Friday, March 23, 2007

Sassy and Laurietta's Story - Tragedy or Miracle - 4th Twin Pregnancy in Horses Part 2

Part 1

There was never enough information on the threads to know for sure how long Laurietta has owned this mare. The only things I knew for sure, Sassy (the mare) had not had twin foals born since she had been with Laurietta. All three of the previous twin pregnancies had occurred in the care of another owner. Also, there was information that the mare had come with a lot of baggage. She had been neglected and abused and had very little trust in humans. In addition the mare found it very difficult to cope with being moved to new circumstances. Changing her location and/or routine would easily send the mare back to her unsure and highly stressed behavior.

Laurietta had bred the mare once before. The result had been a healthy singleton birth, a colt. The colt was the result of a twin pregnancy with one pinched off. The mare retained the other embryo successfully resulting in the singleton birth of the colt. Exactly what the vets and any critics out there would call proper management.

Last Laurietta bred the mare and carefully followed all of the steps she had done the previous pregnancy. The mare was ultra-sounded repeatedly at all of the appropriate times so that a twin pregnancy could be avoided. This time Mother Nature (and that good ole boat rocker, life) didn't co-operate with human intervention. Despite three, possibly four (the uncertainty is my memory, not Laurietta's care), ultra sounds at the beginning of her pregnancy, the mare settled a twin pregnancy that went undetected by the professionals.

Unfortunately, the twin pregnancy was not discovered until six and a half months into the horse's pregnancy. Some have suggested that the only smart thing to do was to abort the twins (horses) at that point. I don't know what Laurietta or her vets thinking was on this subject, it was never posted on the threads that I could find.

It was suggested on another thread that the responsible thing to do would be an abortion as soon as the twin pregnancy was detected. However, I'm not sure that even is a viable option. I have never heard of a veterinarain suggesting or performing such a procedure on a mare. I do know a couple of owners who are in the predicament of discovering mid term a twin pregnancy. Neither of these parties veterinarians have even considered abortion as a viable option. The plans are to monitor the mares as closely as possible to manage the best possible outcome.

Certainly with a mare's history like Sassy's there is considerable evidence to support that the twin pregnancy could end with a favorable outcome. Having successfully carried two complete sets of twins to term is pretty amazing and speaks highly of the mare's ability to deal with this unusual circumstance. While there might be discussion about what exactly a favorable outcome might be, for me it would mean the mare coming through the pregnancy healthy and intact.

Laurietta and her vet decided to monitor Sassy (horse) as closely as humanly possible. They paid particular attention to her nutritional needs including vitamins and supplements to assure the mare would be as healthy as possible at the time of foaling. Whether or not Sassy's body would abort the twins at around nine months or carry them to full tern was in the hands of Mother Nature, the same hands that had slipped these twins by the watchful eyes of knowledgeable professionals.

As Sassy (horse) got closer to foaling, Laurietta installed a webcam and enlisted a hosting service for foaling mares. From that, the word spread quickly, but not necessarily accurately, about this mare carrying her fourth set of twins. Many people tuned in to watch the drama unfold as the mare's belly grew larger and larger and the foaling date loomed closer.

Threads about the controversial pregnancy sprang up all over the Internet and armchair critics hashed over the story with righteous indignation about a subject they knew little or nothing about fueled by the inaccurate postings of excited followers not keeping their facts straight.

Through all of the criticism Laurietta continued faithfully to post updates on the condition of her mare (horse). She answered any and all questions trying to help people understand the situation and hoping to keep the people watching well enough informed so they could do of some service to the mare (horse). Repeatedly over the weeks, Laurietta requested help in watching the mare (horse) in a constant watch 24-7. Some of the onlookers took that responsibility quite seriously following the progress of the mare closely. Learning her behaviors so they would know when her behavior changed. While others passed on an assortment of misinformation around the web which was then used as more fuel by the critics to feed their already smoldering rage.

To be continued......

Part 3

For a upward lift on the subject of twins in Arabian horses read
Rare Twin Horses Born in Graham


  1. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

  2. MiKael!!!!! LOL okay will wait with patience (not one of my virtues).

    Yes we are soggy and wet here too, it is in the 70s today but it is so soggy (clay!!!) that I can't even turn the horses out. They are sweating under their still shedding winter coats. I will have to go and run the shedding blade over them all again, I try to do it each day but with 13 of them it is hard.

    On the subject of getting a boat and floating over to visit one another, we would have to each get one and meet at the Rockies!!! I think that is the range we would encounter, am I right LOL.

    Have a great day.