Tuesday, March 10, 2009

First Foal of the Season

At 12:45 AM, our first foal of the season was born.
Welcome little one :)

The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~Arabian Proverb

It took our new little colt about 4 to 5 hours before he could finally stand on his own. I have never had a foal who didn't stand within 2 hours after foaling. This little guy was enormous though, and it didn't help that his legs are as long as a giraffes.

We don't usually interfere with the natural birthing process, however, after three and a half hours and the foal not nursing we had to step in. I have assisted in the births of many horses and am an expert at collecting milk from mares so that is what I did. The mare was very calm and allowed me help, I think she knew we were only trying to help. After collecting her milk (colostrum) Jim and I took turns nursing the foal while the mare stood over us watching with her very protective eyes. The small amount of milk gave him the energy he so desperately needed to help with getting him on his feet. About an hour later, he finally stood.
As with human babies, bottle feeding before nursing may complicate the whole process and we were worried, however, the foal had no problem suckling and hasn't stopped nursing since! *Whew*

The picture below sure isn't a pretty one, but it is what this little foal lived in for over 11 months.
The placenta.

By 6:30 AM I had finally gone to bed while Jim stayed in the barn to ensure that the foal was having no issues with standing up on his own. He is so proud of the new little one :)

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.


Sam said...

Just AWESOME!! (That placenta is dirtier than the ones I see in the medical bowls at the hospital ;o} ) thanks for posting these!!!
So glad that you have had a chance to meet this first foal. Now to get the other mare to give her baby up.