The way of a horse's going is the truth of him.
































































































































































































































































































































Archive Article #9 - 08/01/04


Fighting Foaling Frenzie

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 yours forever.

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!


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