My new foal
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, May 19, 2014 02:07 PM
My mare Regala was getting closer and closer to giving birth. Me and my friend had different due days. I thought beginning of May and she though middle of May. I have been checking her every day, seeing her udder getting fuller and her hips looking looser. On the night of May 1st I did the usual check. I didn't see any obvious signs, there was no waxing and she looked comfortable and calm. Though, I thought that tomorrow I would put her in the barn just in case. The night was chilly, down to -3C. I came out in the morning to feed them and Santo hearing the door open called out as he often does. But I heard a worry in his voice. That got my attention, I sped up my walk and started looking for Regala as she wasn't near the gate as usual. In the secluded south corner of their paddock stood Regala and a tiny little foal by her side. He was already dry and nursing and Regala looked just fine. I found the placenta and checked it for signs of tear or missing pieces. Thank goodness, everything looked OK. She gave birth in the middle of the paddock, in the loose sand with Santo there. I was so relieved to see everybody healthy and in good spirits. Santo, of course, was excited, circling around but not coming close. I brought hay and water into the corner where Regala wanted to be with her baby. What was very frustrating is that I had to leave for work. Luckily Andrey was home and he got my instructions checking on the foal every hour and texting me how he and Regala are doing :)
It has been more than 2 weeks since then. I named the foal Arroyo, it means a stream in Spanish. As he is 3/4 Andalusian and 1/4 Quarter horse :) I thought he needed a Spanish name like his mom, Regala, which means a gift just with female ending. Arro (his nickname) lives up to his name being so full of life, curiosity and spark, everything that a little mountain stream has. As you can see on the picture he is a light chestnut now. However, I believe he will turn gray. I am very proud of Regala, she is only 4 years old and this is her first baby. She is a super mom, very caring for her baby and also friendly and trusts me with Arro and had let me handle him from the day one. I play and work with him every day. Arro is very friendly, loves attention and loves being scratched on the bum and withers. I also pick his legs up and he is reacting less and less to the touch becoming more comfortable every time.
I also started to bring Regala back to work. Right now she is very attentive to her baby and it is not fair to ask her for anything specific. She needs to calm down and realize Arro can run around and leave her for a while in the ring and still be OK. After three sessions in the ring Regala is getting calmer and Arro is getting bolder. He is exploring the ring and the surroundings as I do not have a fence around it. He is running around from one and to another. That makes his mom very anxious, she calls for him and tries to see where he is :) The work in the ring for Regala is lunging and a little bit in hand. It lasts for 10-15 minutes. The main goal is to get her comfortable working with Arro present. Also, we go for walks on the trails away from the paddocks and into the forest. Arro has to jump over small logs laying across the trails and he figured that out in seconds and now jumps without giving it a thought. The goal is to take them all the way to the hay field that is 20 min away and lunge Regala there to see her reactions. Working with Regala is my opportunity to handle Arro. Besides petting and scratching I started teaching him to wear a halter and how to be led. He wears halter while I work with Regala. Lots of time he tries to get rid of it and runs like a wind and bucks and jumps up and down :) I also put things on his back like a towel, spray him with bug spray, hug him and hold him a little bit - lots of things to get him used to everything.
It is amazing to see him grow, change and learn so much every day. His teeth came out and now I need to be careful, he can actually hurt my hand if I let him close his mouth around it. He is eating his mom's grain and tries hay and grass, though, it is not an easy task with long legs and short neck. He looks like a giraffe when he is doing it :) I will write another blog about Arro in July. He will be 2 months old, I should start trimming his feet by then and he should learn much more about being led and I will start to teach him to be tied. Regala should be back in regular work under saddle by that time. I cannot wait until I can ride her on the tails and into the fields. Arro will have a blast following us.
Happy riding...
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My blog is about teaching, riding and training. I share what is important to me in my work with horses and riders. The writing helps me to think things over and have a better understanding of training ideas and priciples.
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