Sunday, 26 May 2019

We had our final foal at 2.30 am this morning - Once again the foaling alarm saved the day as we were sound asleep having looked at her just two hours before and she hadn't shown any outward signs, no waxing and no restlessness. It was my lovely mare Velvet Dream whom I absolutely adore as she is the only foal out of my great little mare Supreme Dream, who managed to win four races despite having me on her back!  Velvet Dream wasn't the best racehorse as she was too big but she was an awesome hunter and gave me some fabulous days out . She is also a really lovely person and for whatever reason I just love her..
Two years ago we had the worst foaling experience with her as she very nearly lost her foal and we were looking at losing her too. The foal was coming backwards and was not coming through the birthing canal. . She was pushing for around four hours with no joy when the vet said that as the foal was almost certainly dead the only way we could save the mare was to cut the foal up and get it out in pieces so that she could survive. This has its own huge risk as the sharp edges of the bones of the foal could lacerate the inside of the mare and kill her anyway, but it looked as though that was going to be our only choice... The other option was a cesarean which has a very low survival rate. However it was decided to have one last pull - The foal was assumed dead anyway so two people grabbed a back leg each and hauled for all they were worth. Doug was hanging on to her head but even then she was dragged out into the yard from her stable with the force of us pulling. Somehow the foal was dragged out and it looked as though they were both dead. I was in bits.... Then Sam said looking at the foal "hang on, there's a heartbeat"  He then worked on the foal with pumping his heart and mouth to mouth resuscitation and to our amazement the foal took a breath and then made a whinnying sound - at this point Dream, who looked as though she had given up on life, lifted her head and whinnied back.  It was incredible. We called the foal 'Saved By Sam' and here he is today -  He isn't quite two and is huge, consequently he looks a bit ribby but will be a serious horse when he has filled out.

Sam - Very lucky to be alive

At the time I vowed that I would never put her through that again but here we are and I am so pleased I did as she as got a lovely filly foal which she absolutely loves and although it was also very big, and took a bit of pulling was a comparatively easy birth

Dream with her daughter - Only 9 hours old.  She looks worryingly' knowing'
Roy with Popaway and her daughter, Popalong.

We had a lovely evening with Roy and Carol and the rest of 'Team Harkin' celebrating the birth of Popaway's foal and the end of the season - It hasn't been the best of seasons but we still had lot of fun and everyone has finished in one piece. All the horses were turned out today for their summer break and it was lovely to get them all out unscathed.  We have decided not to go to Chaddesley as I have seen too many horses break on watered ground and it is just not worth it.
We had a very sad loss with Burrows Springs foal who was found to have a broken leg whilst with her Mum in the field, possibly she stood on her. Sadly she couldn't be saved. Heart breaking but there was nothing different we could have done. It has made us appreciate the healthy foals we have and really enjoy them. What with the gambolling foals and beautiful puppies who are growing fast it a fun time of year for us!