Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Whirlwind Spring!

My blog has a new look. As you know, I am totally techno challenged so Jan helped me understand the necessary steps to get started with my blog a few months ago. The banner was a watercolor that Jan had given me for my 60th birthday. (She knows about my bird rehab, and how much I love blue birds & ravens in particular....so it was a logical choice for a banner.) Now I've decided it is time that the banner reflect a bit more of me -- does that make any sense? And I felt like a fraud using someone else's artwork on my blog. I DO make art -- just not very often anymore. So until I actually create something of my own -- I asked Susan Tuttle to design something with my spirit. She asked me about 10 questions and ZAP -- I had a new banner! I love it so much, that we are working to create a new website using the format. Cool, huh?!

What an incredible whirlwind we have been on! Just before leaving to go to Asilomar, Vonnie & I decided to rescue a very pregnant mare. She was on pasture, extremely skinny and in desperate need of immediate care. We returned from Asilomar on Thursday, April 16 and on the 17th we brought Zahara to her new home. She is a beautiful little Arab, just the right size for Abigail.

The vet examined her and we immediately got her on decent food and supplements. It didn’t take her long to learn that Abby was the key to the treats and she would nicker when Abby entered the barn.

Vonnie & I were scheduled to leave for Virginia on the 28th and as the week progressed, we began to realize that Zahara was ready to foal. The vet confirmed that delivery was imminent and we were in a quandary! A malnourished mare could have complications, or the foal could be sickly. Poor Derek didn’t sign on to be an animal nurse, but he was willing to learn and do whatever necessary to help us.

At 12:30 am, April 27, DEXTER was born. Our little 14.5 hand mare gave birth to a whopping big stud colt. My first grandhorse. We watched in awe as he struggled to get his gangly legs under control and to stand up. Zahara encouraged him to get into positon to nurse and he immediately began to suckle greedily. Our vet arrived in the late morning to examine both patients and we learned that Zahara was not producing enough milk for the baby. This was due to her poor condition, but it was imperative that something be done immediately. It is not recommended that you bottle feed a foal—first of all, it is very time consuming – but most importantly, the horse can become a bit unruly as it matures. The solution was to locate a very expensive and rare supplement to give Zahara and begin the treatment that day.

Now we were really in a pickle. Due to fly out the next morning, we couldn’t leave the horses without someone who understood the situation to care for them. I desperately needed Vonnie with me for the first few days in VA – and then I felt that she could leave me to head for home. And then, as life happens, everything fell into place as we were able to find an actual “horse sitter”. (Derek was hoping that she would also cook dinner – but no luck for him.) It was a fabulous solution and I’m happy to say that Zahara and Dexter are doing great.

Dexter at 4 hours old. And poor Zahara -- she was so skinny.

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