Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Midnight Black Diamond

I don't want to forget this day - the way the snow sparkled in the moonlight - and the sky was brilliant with stars and darkness. Today we celebrate the birth of our last winter foal.

I want to remember the small foal covered with ice and still strong. The generosity of colostrum rich first milk in abundance, the nicker insistent on being heard and fed.

I want to remember Maria and the fear in her eyes that somehow we were going to take this little one like last time - and she would be helpless to stop us. The look of fear passing with pets and rubs as we set her in the special stall reserved for foaling Moms. She needed comfort and reassurance that this was going to be HER foal. And that he is -- he has claimed her and she him.

Even in his little foal coat.. she moved the back up so she could lick and nibble his back as she positioned him to nurse, and bonded with him gently.

It was January 4th at 10:30pm when we last checked .. all was well - no foal tonight. Then I checked at 12:30 am January 5th - and there he was-- new and fresh and COLD - but very very vigorous and the LARGEST foal we have ever had. Maria looked no different - no tell tale signs other that a little red icicle on her ankle. She is such a stealthy foaler...drop the foal then stand up and say -- hmmm look at that - I wonder how that happened?

Mike rubbed and dried Diamond - put on his foal coat and put the pair in a stall with heaters and a fresh bed of hay. Still very cold... but bearable.

After hourly checking - little Diamond and mom are doing well. And yes - we know how to prevent Winter foals!!! As I said- we celebrate our last Winter Foal!