We have eagerly awaited the birth of our 2009 foal from my very good cutting mare Pep O Roanie (Penny). During her pregnancy Penny has been living with my son Lincoln and his wife Denice where she has lots of lovely grass and the company of her good friend Maz.
Penny's due date was carefully noted so that either my husband Trevor or I (or both) could be there to ensure that there were no problems. We had been observing the Penny very closely over the three weeks leading up to the foal's arrival, watching for subtle changes, we knew she was close.
We had been invited to attend a party with friends and wondered if it would be safe to accept. We accepted on the understanding that we may have needed to cancel at the last minute. However, on the day there were no discernable changes in the 12 hours leading up to the time we needed to leave her at 2.00pm in the afternoon.
We decided it would be safe to attend the party and gave our daughter-in-law a list of things to watch for. But Denice has never witnessed a foal being born and was very nervous - we assured her that the mare was most likely to foal in the 'wee small hours' of the morning and we wouldn’t be late home anyway, so she could call us if she was worried.
As we drove out Lincoln & Denice's gate, Penny must have immediately got herself busy as she began leaking milk for the first time. Later on, the vet had a laugh and said “she was just waiting til she saw you leave and thought ... peace at last, I’ll have my foal now!”
Here is an excerpt from Denice's diary, it is just gorgeous and a heart-warming account of the miracle of new life!
2.20pm Leaking milk.
2.30pm Ate dinner
3.00pm Still eating and moving her rump from side to side!
3.30pm Standing in corner, moved her back legs and rump
a couple of times!
4.00pm Standing very still and appears to be sleeping!
4.30pm Ditto – but standing in a different direction!
5.00pm Ditto – ditto!!
5.30pm Grazing near water trough, didn’t see her drink!
6.00pm Standing in corner talking over fence to Maz
6.30pm Standing in corner, leaking milk and farting a lot!!!
7.00pm Ditto – ditto – ditto – Man that mare can fart!
7.30pm Standing in corner.........!
8.00pm Standing in corner talking to Maz again!
8.30pm Walking around nodding her head up and down and
Scratching her bottom on the gate!
9.00pm Initially couldn’t find Penny. Heard strange noises
in paddock. Went and found her again talking to Maz!
9.30pm White thing sticking out of her girly bits – SHE IS
HAVING HER FOAL!!
Denice phoned us at the party and we left immediately, Lincoln arrived home from work in time to ensure that the sack broke. The vet then also arrived to check things out.
We arrived home and it was all over ... we couldn’t have done a better job if we tried! I am very grateful to Denice for her vigilance and our son for knowing what to do - I guess all those years with a "horsey mum" did give him some valuable lessons!