Miniature Horse Nursery Journal, MAY 2008!!!
Painted Sun Miniature Horses is sharing with you what we do to maintain the health of our horses. This is not intended to direct you on how to care for your horse. The intent of this is only to share what we do. We advise you to consult your veterinarian before making any changes in your horse's health care. The information found on our website is not to supersede the advise of your veterinarian. Painted Sun Miniature Horses cannot be held liable for the choices you make concerning the care of your horse(s).
Click here to read February, 2008. This section is the start of our journal and includes all of our preparations for foaling.
Click here to read March, 2008. This section documents the foaling by Lucky Four Real DollClick here to go the April, 2008 journal. This section includes the foaling of Magic, Morning and Lily.
May 1, 2008
8:35 AM: Jessie says, "I read her the book, I showed her how!" and it scared Jewel so badly that she didn't even do the Hokey Pokey Foaling Dance last night. There was no kicking of the belly, no making a circular track in the straw, no up and down, nothing!!! Mom got a lot of sleep while the Army National Guard (church family) watched the monitoring cameras.
1 PM: While out cleaning up the "baby pasture," my mind tends to pray and to think about things....One comment that came back to me on an email chat group was that this person did not believe that horses could take pain and learn from it. "I don't think horses retain WHY something happened- as in learning a lesson.... he may not even realize what or how, it happened. Horses don't learn not to run into something because they have run into it before..."She made these comments after I stated that Majesty received a good lesson from mares when he was bonked in the head. I disagree with her, but I didn't say so on the group....I made a joke back that "my" horses do learn and I was sorry that hers didn't....hee, hee....But, seriously. If they do not learn from pain, how come stallions so quickly learn to respect mares when they are out in a herd situation? How come it is only my young horses that end up cast against the stalls in the barn? They do it once or twice and they are done with that trick. And, I know horses that live amongst trees learn to navigate the branches even while frisking versus a 'show horse' who has been in a padded stall his whole life.
My belief when we are training big or mini horses, is that they are looking for a release from pressure and this pressure may range from a subtle annoyance to constructive pain. Even when a youngster bites me, I give them pain so that they choose not to next time. None of this pain is abusive and it is always way over-weighted by loving and scratching on our part so that they do not lose their trust in us. God sanctifies me using some painful lessons....."no pain, no gain..."
Jewel is not really overdue. There is an excellent article about 'overdue' mares at this link: http://www.equine-reproduction.com/articles/overdue.shtml
The father of our first 5 2008 babies is owned by a friend named Aimee. She has a mare, Showboat, who is pregnant by our Don Juan. Her mare is at 408 days. We have been told that the record gestation by a mini is 410 days and 417 is the record for a big horse gestation. But, even with Showboat's long gestation, the milk strips are being consistent. That is what has troubled me so much with Jewel....she is not following the milk strips.
1:51 AM Hey everybody! It's Lisa, and I'm the only one awake. It's my turn for "mare-stare" and Jewel is doing nothing...get that...nothing...absolutely NOTHING!!!!!!! This is sooo frustrating! We were all talking over dinner, and one of us suggested maybe calling the vet tomorrow. Mom made a good point. She said, "Jewel really isn't overdue. The only thing that is keeping us watching is that she is consistently contradicting the milk strips." The vets would just say that the milk strips are inconsistent. I don't know?!?!?!?
I am playing with our new photo editing program that we just got! It is so much fun, and I just made a fun ad for our stallion, Chance of Golds Don Juan. I have always loved looking at the ads for stallions in the Miniature Horse World magazines, and I decided to try my hand at making one. What do you think?
May 2, 2008
3 PM: I awakened this morning to find Morning laying down with colic. I hate, hate colic. I gave her Banamine and prayed. Thankfully, she seems to be out of the woods. I tend to take their vitals and then give Banamine when I find them uncomfortable. As I waited for the Banamine to kick in, I worked my way through the morning cleaning of stalls. Upon entering Tommy's stall, I notice he must've gotten cast under some railings last night.
May 3, 2008
3:45 AM: It is my watch.....Jewel continues to be very uncomfortable. I can't believe we are still watching her. We stopped milk testing her 2 days ago, for it was always the same. The changes I noticed today is that her black teat is now pointing straight down also and her belly is finally really hanging low. There are 4 of us in my bedroom tonight. There were 9 last night and only 2 the night before that.
Lu, our foreign exchange student, has been gone all week. She keeps teasing that Jewel is waiting for her return. I would've never thought Jewel would still be pregnant when she flies in this Sunday....but now I am beginning to wonder. By the way, if you are ever in the position to open up your home and heart to a foreign exchange student, this has been a great experience. We opened up our home to bless someone, and God turned it all around...and the biggest blessing has been on us! Lu leaves for home in a month and we will really miss her. She has been with us since August.
1:40 PM (by Lisa) Is anyone wondering what is going on over here? NOTHING!!!!!! I just can't believe it...this waiting is horrible. I think that Jewel is convinced that we like suspense. hee hee!!!!
We did have a little excitement about a half hour ago. I was in here on the computer and all of a sudden, I heard Mom screaming my name...and her voice had panic in it. Thinking that Jewel was having her baby, my sisters, our friend and I went flying out the door...two of us with no shoes on! It turned out that Noah had been taking a bath, not liked it, set back, and broke his leadrope! The chase was on!! All of us, plus our neighbor's wife, were chasing him around our driveway, around the neighbor's house, and finally he ran into their gigantic roping arena! We ran in after him, shut the gates behind us, and turned around.............to find that the gate on the east side that led to their huge shop was open!! Oh no! But luckily, our neighbor came driving around the corner on his tractor, saw our predicament, jumped off, and shut the gate just in time! After 5 more minutes of chasing him, Noah finally gave up and let us catch him. Walking wearily back down the long arena to the gate, our neighbor commented, "Beth, you should provide popcorn with this entertainment!!" My mom laughed and said that "with animals, there is never a dull moment!!" Isn't that true! The only bad thing about him getting lose, was he was wet, so he was covered in sand and dirt...so much for the bath...and two little girls had scratched up bare feet from running on sand!!!!!
10:45 PM (by Lisa) OK...here's the latest update: NOTHING!!!!
Jewel's co-owner has a big AMHR show tomorrow that she has to go to to qualify for Nationals!!! So, since she needs to leave at 5:30 AM, she can't watch tonight. She called earlier and said, "I am so bummed that I can't come watch! I would just skip the show, but we really want to go to Nationals and this is all we need to qualify." So, this afternoon, when a friend called and said, "Do you want me to come watch Jewel with you tonight? I don't have horses but I love them, and that would be a way for me to experience them without really having them...." Mom jumped at the idea! It's another night of five people camping in Mom's bedroom!!! Right now, Jewel is picking at her food, walking around, and everything else that a mare in the "First Stage of Labor" is supposed to. Her belly has dropped down, and when you look at it from the back, she is "flat-sided." Another clue!
Majesty's head is healing so well! It looks awesome, and is really getting better quickly! I don't think that there is really going to be a scar, even. He is getting cocky and back to himself again. This morning, he and Dolly went out to the front pasture for turn out, and he loves running and running!
Last night, a neighbor with a very pregnant big mare called and said, "OK, Beth. My mare's milk strips changed all four squares right within the minute...I think she's going to have it tonight or tomorrow. Do you have any straw that I can have?" So, she came down, got the straw, and was waiting anxiously for "Sis" to go into labor. About 2.5 hours ago, she called and said that Sis had just had a bay filly!!!!!! The milk strips were right on for another mare. But not for Jewel.
We are saying that Jewel is going to have it tonight cause Pam has a show, and because two of my friends who want to see the birth are out of town tonight! Won't it be funny if she goes tomorrow night when Lu gets home?!?!?!? We pick her up from the airport in the morning........
May 4, 2008
OUR SLEEPLESS NIGHTS ARE OVER. Details to come.....
10 PM Aimee of Colorado calls to tell me her mare's milk strips changed colors in 15 seconds! This mare is on her 411 day of gestation. We have been told the previous record was 410 days.
11 PM I finally have a page up about Jewel's terrible and wonderful birthing day. Click here to read and see!
Off to bed with no monitors on. Thank you, Lord!
May 5, 2008
In retrospect, I think the milk strips were accurate, in a sense, in that this baby was ready to come and should have come back in mid-April. Because the presentation was wrong, the cervical star was not receiving the usual pressure, was not being broke and the water was not breaking to start Stage 2 of labor. Many bystanders were telling us we were out of our minds to lose all of this sleep and keep such careful watch on her for so many days. I believe when we breed these miniature mares, we owe it to them to be there no matter what! What would have happened if we hadn't been there??
May 6, 2008
We all gather around Majesty and hold him steady while I remove his stitches. His forehead looks great! It is another reason to thank God!
May 7, 2008
We added some new pictures of our gorgeous "Cowboy" who is really named Painted Sun's Country Boy! I can't quite put my finger on what is so captivating about him, but he has captured us all.
Lessons learned from Jewel's birth:
I will be putting my hand in as soon as a mare's water breaks to check presentations. The sooner I could have begun working on Jewel, the greater the chance I would have had at getting those legs positioned correctly. The longer one waits, the more contractions that have occurred and the more that baby is crammed against the pelvic rim.
The blanket under her belly may have been adding unneeded pressure. When we began walking her, you could feel her relax and the contractions stopped. We should have walked her back in the beginning and then stopped with her head pointing down a hill. The hill causes gravity to work on the foal in our favor. You need all the space you can get in that tight birth canal. In the beginning of our agony, some did not think she 'could' walk, but she did end up doing so. We could have the blankets there to catch her if she tried to go down, but not putting pressure on her belly. Next time, we will walk, walk, walk until the contractions let up and then try to reposition. And, if we fail, we will walk again and try again.
Again, I am so grateful to my foaling crew....to Resa, to Tony, to Melody, to my daughters and Pam and my wondeful hubby who puts up with our passions. Mostly, I am grateful to God for having mercy on the hearts of the 6 young girls who were present (all under 14 years of age) and mercy on my heart. We all would have survived if we had lost Jewel or the baby, but it would have really hurt. I feel so blessed when I look at this colt.
Jewel is still discharging quite a bit. My vet says to keep her on SMZs and keep an eye on her. She also seems to have some back end paralysis from the birth.
May 9, 2008
We are now busy playing with babies. Cinderella has a new video that shows just how cuddly she is
May 11, 2008
May 14, 2008
May's Other Activities!
Miniature Horse Wool For Sale. (video)
Painted Sun Miniature Horses is sharing with you what we do to maintain the health of our horses. This is not intended to direct you on how to care for your horse. The intent of this is only to share what we do. We advise you to consult your veterinarian before making any changes in your horse's health care. The information found on our website is not to supersede the advise of your veterinarian. Painted Sun Miniature Horses cannot be held liable for the care of your horse(s).