Saturday, July 26, 2014

Surprise

We're calling our foal Surprise until we know if her father is Sir Gregory or De Niro.
Do you ever get over the wonder of them? Two weeks ago she wasn't here and now she's a vibrant, confident, gorgeous baby. Today she had her first bath with the hose and she was calm and happy.
Right now I'm sitting in the corner of the stall, chilling out with mom and baby.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

She's Here

Diotima had her foal the middle of Sunday afternoon. I was checking every hour to an hour and a half and I completely missed it. She went from calmly eating hay at 1:00 to lying in her stall with a foal lying beside her at 2:30. I was awed, shocked and over whelmed.
It was reverent in the barn when I entered at 2:30. All of the horses had been brought in at noon (including Diotima) because of the heat and flies. They all had their heads out in the aisle and were being completely still and silent.
Savanah, who's the lead mare, had pushed her stall wall off of its base a few days before the birth and moved herself into the empty  stall by Diotima's foaling stall. We let Savanah put herself in from turn out (she's the only horse we do this with and she goes right in to her own stall), but she started going into the stall by Di and just standing there, even though there was no bedding, hay or water (that was waiting on her stall). Maybe it's a coincidence but I like to think she was standing watch for Di. Do you think this is possible?
I'm so glad the foal is here and both mom and baby are healthy. We won't know who the sire is until DNA testing is done (Di was bred to two different stallions last summer, three weeks apart, and confirmed not in foal). Using 340 days she's a week late for De Niro and two weeks early for Sir Gregory, but there can be quite a large variation of :normal. '.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Wonderful Surprise

We had the most amazing, wonderful surprise in April. We'd bred our sweet Hanoverian mare EM Diotima three times last summer and she was confirmed not in foal after being ultrasounded last September. I thought I'd try breeding her one more time before giving up, and I had the vet come in April to check her to make sure she was healthy and ready for breeding.
Our vet always talks as he works on our horses, explaining what he's doing, but on this occasion he went very quiet as he ultrasounded her. I thought the worst -  that he saw something bad, and not able to contain myself any longer I asked what was wrong. He told me nothing was wrong but that she was carrying a big, healthy foal!
I couldn't speak, except to say oh my god over and over, and then call for Doug. We were giddy with excitement! We assume she's in foal to Sir Gregory since he was the final breeding, but I guess we won't know for sure until the foal's DNA is checked at the time of registration. The other stallion she was bred to was De Niro (sire of five of the horses at the London 2012 Olympics).
Anyway the third breeding was July 31 last year so 240 days puts her at about a week from now. Normal gestation for mares is anywhere from 320 - 360 days though, so you don't really get a due date.
Last night she started to drip a little bit of milk and she has tiny beads of 'wax'  on the ends of her nipples although you can't see them in the picture of her udder. You can also see that she has hollows on either side of her tail head. This happens as the muscles relax in preparation for giving birth.
I'm hoping to have happy, healthy mare and foal photos to post soon!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Rogo's Massage

Rogo got a massage yesterday from Brittany Cameron REMT. He loved it - stretching, yawning, trying to groom her :). Thanks Brittany!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Stopping to Smell the Roses

Or waking up to smell the coffee, or something like that...
If you're reading you may have noticed that we haven't had the easiest time since opening the doors to our horse facility last fall (although there have been lots of good things). There was a crazy cold, record breaking winter with blizzards every few days, Doug's broken rib, my shingles, living in a camp (much of the time) heated by a wood stove, without running water (away from our beautiful old farm house where Mom at 90 was holding down the fort), etc.
We looked forward to spring, because there were so many great little events booked (we are an events facility) -  we felt so lucky that things were working out. Then... a strangles outbreak hit Nova Scotia, the worst in many years, and barns went into lock down. No one, and rightfully so, was going anywhere.
We cancelled almost all of our events as a precautionary step and for the first time, slowly but surely, I began to have doubts about the future. I didn't sit and worry, it was more like a dawning awareness that nothing was going as planned. I began to feel very low, a failure, and lost confidence in my ability to plan.
So here's the link back to the title - I'd been too crazy busy to enjoy this place. It dawned on me that although things hadn't gone as planned, this could be one of the best summers of my life. Financially it's tight but we'll manage to get by, and in the meantime I have a magnificent in door, a sound horse, regular lessons with my beloved Joan, time to play with my sweet ponies. Maybe this is what was supposed to happen at this point? Maybe this is the best thing ever, if I just recognize it before it's gone?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

How We Spent the Winter

I want to remember the past winter. It was one of a kind. We lived in a lean to camp / RV combination much of the time, so we'd be with the horses. We didn't have running water. Heat was supplied by an old wood stove. Some mornings when I got up there was ice on the top of my water glass.
Mom was home in Noel Shore but she came up for Christmas (I went back and forth between the two places). One of the pictures is of Mom and Doug at Christmas time, with the dogs.
The other picture is of Doug's brothers Gary and Greg in the camp. We had so many good times!
I've enjoyed this time but it's been hard. I trade casseroles and ring time for riding lessons. We routinely work 12 hour days and there aren't any days off.
This year we'll build living quarters and slowly we're getting things done, but last winter was an adventure and looking back - it was lots of fun.