What a nice Sunday surprise, I found a beautiful little colt foal in my paddock this morning. Two weeks earlier than expected, the last of our three pregnant mares delivered her foal. What a gorgeous wee man he is too. Now with three foals on the ground, it is fascinating to compare all the similarities and difference between the little Sonny, the wild baby, and the two purpose bred, basically man made babies we now have.
I think with animals, when you have been around them long enough, you notice almost sub-consciously, any changes in behaviors and you learn to follow your gut instincts. It something doesn't feel quite right, it probably isn't. I was meant to stay over at friend's beachside house last night. But after competing horses all day in the hot sun, getting home and checking the mare, I just didn't want to go, and I procrastinated for hours before leaving. It's not that there was anything actually wrong with the mare, but she was restless and off her feed, she had lots of milk, but there was no 'wax' to signal a birth in the next few hours. Anyway the whole 45 minute drive over to the friend's house, I had that gut feeling that I need to be home. I even repeated again and again to the boyfriend that I felt I shouldn't be leaving the farm, especially as no one was there, if something were to happen.
As things turned out instead of staying at the beach house, I convinced the friends to come back with me to the farm instead. Arriving back, at well past midnight. Me feeling slightly guilty about making everyone have such a late night, especially as when I checked on the mare she seemed fine. It ended up being an even later night as the boyfriend and friends, with farm dogs in tow, went possum hunting around the house until two in the morning (possums are a major pest in our area and cause massive destruction to native forests as well as my orchid). Both boys and dogs ending up extremely satisfied with three dead possums to show for their hunting prowess.
It was a definite Sunday morning sleep in for all. But while everyone else was still asleep, I snuck out to check on the mare, thinking I'd just reassure myself all was well, and then go back to bed. But instead I found this little beauty, happy, healthy and suckling on mum in the paddock. It made me feel much better that all my instincts were right. The friends too were out of bed within a minute and down in the paddock, the little foal was fussed over and scratched and mum, was fed and checked and congratulated on producing such a fine colt. Not a bad start to the New Year I have to say.