by Kellie S. Sharpe
Their ears are wet and folded back against their
heads, and they have an expression on their faces which seems to say "I have
absolutely no idea what is happening to me, but when I get myself together, I'm
sure I won't like it." When the foal is completely out, try to refrain from
gathering it in your arms and running to the house with it to raise it yourself.
It's a major temptation, I know, but pretty soon it's going to realize how
hungry it is and it's going to want a meal. Then what are you going to do?
Better to leave it with its mother, at least for six months or so. Then it's
Friends and family are going to want to come over to
see the new arrival. If you can get them to wait a day or so, your mare will
really appreciate it. Having a baby is strenuous business, and she needs a
little time to get herself together. Besides, the baby needs some time to get
his eyes working. He may not recognize someone he's already met if he didn't see
them well. Waiting a day or two before allowing visitors also gives you time to
clean up the gruesome remains of the event. Empty pizza boxes, cookie and M&M
bags and cola bottles scattered throughout the barn detract from the
professional image you work so hard to maintain.
So your long-awaited baby is on the ground (or
standing up). Congratulations! What are you going to do with it? Do you remember
saying nineteen months ago when you first bred your mare, "I can always sell the
baby and get my stud fee back, at least."? Okay, so write the ad. What are you
waiting for? Write it now, and maybe you can sell it by weaning time.
Oh, what the heck. You can always decide about
selling it later. In fact, it's such a nice baby! Did you remember to call the
stallion owners and tell them it had been born? No? Then take a good long look
at it so you can describe it exactly. Be sure and look closely at its perfect
head, and shoulder angle. That stallion sure did cross well with your mare,
didn't he? In fact, maybe the stallion owner would be willing to make you a deal
on a repeat breeding! Why not! After all, you've got your foaling kit container
and you survived foaling once! Go for it!
* One word of warning: When Domino's arrives with
your pizza, don't take your eyes off the mare for a minute while paying for it.
Many unsuspecting owners have blithely tripped outside to get their pizza and
returned to the barn five minutes later to find the mare smirking and the foal
standing and enjoying his first meal. Besides being disappointed that you missed
the whole thing, you'll forget about your pizza and the dogs will get it. Then
you'll have to call Domino's again and wait another thirty minutes!