Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Quick update

This week Zee got her first halter and fly mask. She was less then keen about learning to wear the halter and was a bit frightened that I intended to put something over her head. She was more tolerant of the fly mask, but had trouble figuring out how to walk and nurse with it on.

Drifter- ever the good mother- was tied while I messed with Zee. She got a little upset when Zee got to crashing around, but she did not break free from being tied. She also kept her head when Zee and I shot past her hind end a few times. I am hoping to start Drifter back into light work next week- still working on the logistics, but hopeful.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mama's doing fine

Drifter is handling motherhood very well. She is loosing the baby weight and will be started back in light work next week (beginning of May). She keeps a good eye on Z, but is allowing her to roam further away each day. Z is also doing well and growing! She is very curious about people and loves to be scratched.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

First Outing

Our little girl and her mamma went out for the first time today. Below are videos and some more first day pictures.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Drifter foaled a beautiful smokey cream filly this morning at 5am.

I went by for our testing and grooming and to re-wrap her tail last night around 7pm. Thursday night (full moon night) she laid down for over an hour laying sternal then recumbent. We really thought she would go, but then she got up to eat. Wanting to be prepared, I packed overnight clothes and fed the dogs before heading out to the barn. After riding Fritz it was time to check Drifter.

She looked similar to the last time I saw her. Maybe a little more swollen behind and her bag was still big. No wax was apparent. BUT as soon as I milked her for testing I thought- we're close. Thick, white, and like a milkshake it was. It tested between 250/500 on calcium and 6.8 or slightly lower for pH. There was a big change in the color of the pH reading. So, I set up camp for a long night ahead.

I was tired from being up on Thursday and fell asleep after reading for awhile. Drifter was pawing a lot, but not doing much else. She even kept going back to eat some hay. Finally, I just went to a deep sleep! I set my alarm for 2:50am, since she laid down around that time yesterday. Alarm went off and I awoke for a moment, she was still eating and pawing and not much else. Back to sleep and I had a dream about her having a colt. As I was dreaming, Kim was calling me from the house to tell me she REALLY was having a foal. I slept through the call. I slept through the water breaking. I slept through the loud crash into a water bucket. This prompted Kim to come down to the barn to see if I was even still there. I didn't even hear her come into the barn. I finally heard, "gina, gina are you here? There's a foot sticking out" me- "a foot? what?" Kim- "Drifter's in labor- having a baby, there's a foot coming out, now another foot, she was down and up and crashed into the water bucket!" I think I fully woke up then. It was 4:57am. I put on my shoes, Drifter laid down and pushed a few times. I could see two feet and a nose. She pushed a few more times without much progress. Kim grabbed the foaling towels and I grabbed the little ones legs for traction when Drifter pushed. This prevented the foal from sliding back in between pushes. It worked beautifully and she easily pushed the foal out in three pushes.

I began to dry the foal off. I reached under the sack and believed we had a filly. She had a deep nicker and rested along side her mother. Before she was completely delivered she began to pass the meconium. It took her about 20 minutes before attempting to stand. We buffed her from crashing into the walls too much. She pooped three more times while learning to stand. She stood by the wall while learning to get her feet under her.

After about an hour and a half she began to look for somewhere to nurse. She didn't seem to notice Mom much and with some guidance she began to look in the right place. She finally nursed around 7 or 7:30am. Once she found the milk bar she went back again and again getting better and better at finding the right spot and nursing fully. It seemed she might have had a little trouble with suck, swallow, breathe at first as I heard some gurgling as she breathed after she nursed. It seemed to clear up by the time I left for the morning at 9:30.

She laid down for a well deserved nap.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Don't hold your breath

Drifter has been a little less friendly this week, preferring to be left alone. I rebraided her tail this week and hope to remember to bring the tail wrap back out.

I started clicker training with her to give her brain something to focus on while her body is preoccupied. Her first introduction was to go, come when I whistle (which she already does), halt when asked and lower her head when asked. I worked her in the round pen at the new barn for the first time. She went from me, came to me and stopped when asked. She got an apple/alfalfa treat after the click each time. She slowly started to catch onto the lower head cue (hand on poll). I was surprised to see that she wasn't very food motivated. I repeated the clicker session on Tuesday in her stall. We focused on come and lower head. This time I used pieces of carrot. She started to associate the click sound with a action/treat. This is the beginning of learning/training through clicker training. I saw her ears flick forward after hearing the click- therefore indicating that she understood that the click meant "YES" -food coming. She tried a bit harder with the lower head cue after that. I plan on contining clicker training for ground skills and later to shape some movement/style concepts with her. I think it's a nice adjunct to traditional training and I think Drifter would agree.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Code Orange

We've made progress again. Nice full udder and sweeter milk. Very nice- hopefully there will be foal pictures soon! Outdoor pictures are from Tuesday and indoor pictures are from today.