On Friday we had a new arrival at the yard, which signifies the start of spring!
We already have a young baby goat cavorting around the place. He and his twin brother were born just before Christmas and were subsequently named Rudolph and Blitzen. Unfortunately, Rudolph became ill last week and died, but we are still left with Blitzen`s cheeky brown and white face as he bounces around his corral like a pogo stick.
A couple of weeks ago the yard owner noticed that one of her mares suddenly looked heavily pregnant. None of them had been scanned, but this mare showed no early signs of pregnancy and the stallion wasn`t interested in her. Even during the autumn this mare hadn`t looked pregnant, even to the experienced eyes of the yard owner.
So it caused great ado amongst the liveries when the heavily pregnant mare came in to the yard. She was to be stabled until the birth as the nights were too frosty to risk the foal`s health.
So we have all been peering over her door impatiently, hoping to see a baby, but she kept us waiting until late Thursday night.
On Friday morning I was introduced to the little guy, and how cute is he?!
I like the symmetry in his markings – four full up white stockings, not too much white on his body, and a little star. Very smart!
While we mucked out the foaling box we turned mare and foal out in the arena so he could stretch his knock-kneed gangly legs. At less than twelve hours old he is already showing his independent streak – by taking the detour around the yard without Mum! I led the mare, who was seemingly oblivious to her baby`s exploits, whilst my friend half carried, half pushed the colt along.
In the arena it was incredible to see him cantering around and inspecting the poles and fence, whilst all the surrounding horses in their fields looked on, fascinated. The first canter was hilarious, as he tried to co-ordinate his long legs and find room under his compact body for his long hind legs.
Now we have the difficulty of naming the foal. Everyone has given their two cents, but the yard owner wants to have a theme for this years foals.
For example, last year the foals were named after musical instruments – Cello, Flute, Marimba, … Digeridoo …
Someone suggested Buzz – of which I had two connotations, a buzz cut and Buzz Lightyear. Now he doesn`t have a spikey, coarse mane, so we experimented with the theme of Toy Story.
When choosing themes it`s important to check that they have enough scope for the number of foals you`re expecting, and both genders. Roman Gods and Goddesses are a good theme, but we think the Toy Story theme could run dry when you get to Mr Potato Head!
I`ll keep you updated on his progress! Otherwise, any themes for this years foal are very welcome.