A Few New Photos of the Mares and Foals


I still make plenty of mistakes with my camera. But I’m starting to feel like I know what I’m going to get in the end when I press the shutter. I know better how I want the camera set up for specific situations.

The other morning I got a couple of nice photos of the mares and foals just as the sun was coming up. I knew when I took them that I’d have to do a bit of editing to fix up the exposure. The first couple of photos below were taken before it was light. And they were handheld. So they were underexposed and very dark. But I took them in RAW format and was able to bring them up when I processed them.

Broodmares and Foals at Dawn
All three broodmares with their three foals, moving out into the pasture. That’s Bernice, Dora, and Loula. The foals are Ruby, Sammy, and Gabriella.

Ruby and Bernice at Dawn
Ruby is a very exhuberant filly. So it’s easy to get shots of her in motion. Her mama, Bernice is quite often in motion herself (though not in this photo), so Ruby takes after her. When there is this little light though, it’s very difficult to prevent motion blur (or blur from camera shake). So I was very happy that this one turned out as sharp as it did.

Ruby And Bernice
Ruby and Bernice again. The sun was above the horizon here, so I didn’t have to do much to fix the exposure.

Gabriella
Dora’s foal, Gabriella. The very perfect filly.

Gabriella and Dora
Gabriella, with Dora in the background.

Bernice and Ruby
Bernice and Ruby

Ruby
Bernice’s filly, Ruby

Diva and Sammy
Sammy, introducing himself, rather rudely, to Diva. Diva is Dora’s foal from two years ago.

Dora and Gabriella
Dora and Gabriella

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Baby Pics of Sammy


I took more pictures of Sammy (Loula’s colt) while he was scampering around in the small paddock. I wouldn’t blame Loula one bit if she were already tired of him. He’s a bundle of energy and not all of it polite energy either. Sure is lucky that foals are cute or we’d never tolerate the little demons.

Click on any of the photos for a closer (and thus cuter) view:

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Two Lovely Fillies


We’ve been waiting impatiently, ever since Sammy was born last week, for the other two mares to foal. I’m sure the boss was more impatient than any of the rest of us, since he’s been on foal watch every night for several weeks. After which he leaves for the track at around 5am to train the older horses. So I would imagine he’s longing for a full night’s sleep by now.

Sammy relaxing in the arena. It was pouring rain, so no sunny paddock today.

Sammy relaxing in the arena. It was pouring rain, so no sunny paddock today.

Sammy

Sammy

This morning was exciting though. First, Ana let me know that the boss had called to tell her that Bernice had her foal around 1 in the morning. Ana headed in early to see the new filly. A lovely sturdy little chestnut with some very flashy markings. A big wide white blaze and a hind stocking right up to the hock. She is by Giant Gizmo.

Bernice's flashy little chestnut filly

Bernice’s flashy little chestnut filly

Check out the high white stocking on her hind leg

Check out the high white stocking on her hind leg

I was just ambling around at home, contemplating a quick cup of tea before going in to meet the new baby, and to help Ana move the yearlings, when I got a mildly panicked call from her… “Dora is foaling!!!! What do I do???” So I abandoned the tea and ran for the car. When I arrived, I found Ana and Linda, both in a bit of flap. Dora had gone down with her tail to the wall. No way for a foal to come out safely, much less for me to get in and help at all.

We got her up (Dora is really quite a cooperative mare) and she went down again. Even tighter to the wall. So once again we had to get the poor mare up. This time she went down in the middle of the stall with plenty of clearance. Big relief!

Two hind feet and a nose were visible. That’s exactly what you want to see, so I relaxed and just let Dora push. Eventually I got hold of the feet and helped her a little bit. But it was all pretty much textbook, and the baby was trying to look around before she was even halfway born. She is a bright little spark with a beautiful, dainty face. I think she might end up looking rather like her mama. Dora has a lovely head. This filly is a bay with a big star on her forehead. She is also by Giant Gizmo.

Dora loves her babies

Dora loves her babies

The fillies seem to be faster to get up than the colts, and faster to figure out where and how to nurse. This filly was no exception. Girls rule šŸ™‚

It takes a lot of concentration to make those long legs work properly!

It takes a lot of concentration to make those long legs work properly!

It's amazing how quickly they figure out how to use those long legs

It’s amazing how quickly they figure out how to use those long legs

So we are all done foaling for another year! Everyone has arrived safe and sound, and mamas are all very pleased with their babies šŸ™‚

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Delilah Has Had a Bad Day


Delilah, despite her rampant wickedness, is kind of my favorite of the foals this year. She is just so gleefully bad that she makes me laugh. But last night when she came in from the arena, she seemed a little subdued. I figured maybe she was just tired from a long day of rampaging. But this morning she was even quieter going out.

She went out in the pasture for the first time with her mom, Bernice. Now Bernice has a bit of a “history” with her kids. She loves them to the point of craziness. Her first was William. We saw her kick him in the head in one of her protective mother frenzies. The second was Albert. She kicked him in the shoulder, and that time I actually caught it on video.

When we put Dora out, Bernice got totally panicked and ran around the field a few times, then went to the far back corner of the pasture. Which was good. It’s a big pasture, and there’s plenty of room for the mares to stake out their own territory until they get relaxed with each other. We watched Dora and her foal Diva for a while (and I took a whole lot of photos of Diva).

Then a train came along. The tracks go along the back of the pasture. The horses are all very used to it. But of course Delilah had never seen it before and she got a little startled. Which got Bernice going again. And she came galloping up to the front. Somehow the two mares and the two foals got a bit tangled up. And Bernice, the big rotten cow, ran right over her own foal. Poor Delilah was cartwheeling under the mare as she spun around and around, and kicked at Dora. Dora, unsurprisingly, was having none of that and kicked back which worked Bernice up even more. Delilah eventually got herself out of the mess and back on her feet. And then Bernice… of course… ran her over AGAIN. And did the same thing all over again. That poor baby was trampled and tumbled repeatedly.

We managed to catch Bernice eventually and checked Delilah over. She seemed essentially unhurt, though she looked very shell-shocked and shaky. So we took them both back to the barn.

I initially thought it was just all the running around and the shock of the incident that made Delilah look so subdued. But I watched her carefully for a while. Eventually I started to feel a bit concerned. She really didn’t look right. Called the boss at work and told him. He said he’d get there as quick as he could. I finally realized that although she was going to her mother to nurse, she wasn’t actually nursing. She was grinding her teeth. Then she drank some water from the bucket. Then she lay down. Got up. Lay down. Called the boss again. Got the stethoscope out and listened to her heart rate. It was 136. Yikes. Called one of our other people down at the track and told her to shove the boss out the door NOW. And have him call a vet too.

That got the boss there in a hurry. Vet arrived shortly thereafter. He checked her temperature. It was 104. The vet thinks she has some sort of GI tract thing going on. Bacterial overgrowth maybe. And likely some ulceration, given the teeth grinding. So she got banamine, antibiotics, and omeprazole. Within about 20 minutes she was up nursing, and last I saw she was finally lying down and sleeping comfortably.

She’s not out of the woods yet, but she looks a whole lot better anyway.

Here are a couple of photos of Bernice and Delilah before the incident…

Diva… Way Too Much Cute


Dora’s filly, Diva, is remarkably cute. All foals are cute. Delilah is too. And Max… Loula’s colt as well. But Diva takes it all to a whole new level of calendar pinup adorable. It’s hard not to just stare at her tiny darling little self in fascination all day. And of course Diva herself would like people to admire her extravagantly at all times.

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