Grit Blogs > Loagan Ranch

Foaling Season: A Little Grit and Grace

By Elizabeth Furry

Tags: horses, foaling, colt, filly,

A photo of Elizabeth FurryA few months back we brought in 5 new mares to board here at the ranch. We were told 3 were in foal for sure and the other 2 were questionable. Well this was exciting news for the whole family (which includes 3 horse crazy daughters, also known as Loagan, Jessica and Bailey) as it had been a long time since we had a lil' foal around. The only draw back was that we had no idea when these mares would drop. Could be tomorrow, next month, 2 months, who really knew? (Have I ever mentioned we are an impatient lot here at the ranch?) Every day we checked the mares in the pasture for any sign and every day was the same result, a big fat nothing. Just when we started thinking we would never have a foal and that all those mares were just a little on the hefty side Loagan noticed one of the gals, Cowgirl, was starting to bag up. We put her into a foaling stall and kept our eye on her for the next few days. Each day brought more hope that we were getting close, really close. So then we started setting alarms every 2 hours in the middle of the night, we were all walking zombies – a tad cranky, dangerously over-caffienated, walking zombies.

Then the day finally came –

At feeding time Loagan said that Cowgirl looked really really bagged up and that she was getting close. (Yeah right, how many times had we seen this?) So around 10:15 pm all of us were watching a movie – odd that all of us were still up – anyhow, Jessica looks out the kitchen window and says, "Oh my gosh, there's a baby!" You never saw so much commotion in all your life. Loagan, jumps over the couch, Bailey and her friend come running down the hall like a herd of buffalo, the dogs are running in circles, and Matt and I jump up from the overstuffed chair we were sitting in. Chaos I tell you! We both fly out from this chair, I'm carrying a bowl of freshly popped popcorn, yes fresh and buttery, I was so aware of this subconsciously that I didn't want to toss it aside like yesterdays trash, this snack was valuable ya know. So I'm running with this bowl and I trip over this little milking stool, who knows how this stool got there cuz normally I have it on my hearth. Here I am in slow motion, both hands on the popcorn bowl, trying to get my feet to cooperate as I keep tripping on this stool because its rolling along with each step I take. I hit the floor, popcorn goes flying everywhere, Matt says the 'S' word and asks if I'm ok. The girls are laughing as they run out the door and dogs are going nutso because they just scored a tasty snack. All I can think about is my luscious popcorn, and how I can get to the foal faster than the rate I was going. So I get up and run outside where everyone else is already (this was killing my competitive nature). The foal was half way out so we were just in time, SORTA. Rats! It was an exciting moment, the lil' filly, Grace, was adorable and it was a neat experience for our family despite pulling my back out trying to save my popcorn.

Grace the foal

Sadly lil' Grace passed the next day, the vet said she was a dummy foal and that the placenta had detached before she foaled causing a lack of oxgen to lil' Grace before she dropped. It was a pretty devastating time, the hardest part was listening to Cowgirl whinny for her baby the next few nights while the other horses answered back in sorrowful condolences. These are the times when you ask yourself why you're even in this business

The days passed, and all of us fell into our regular ranch routine. Before we knew it another mare, Bodie, decided to step up to the plate. Loagan noticed her out in the pasture biting at her belly so we pulled her in the foaling stall, and within 12 hours we had a big ol' colt we named Grit.

A colt named Grit

It was a perfect delivery and it was like night and day with how healthy Grit looked compared to lil' Grace. Needless to say we were very relieved to see Grit nursing and wobbling around within the hour. Grit is a little over a month old now and he is full of energy, getting into mischief and driving his mama crazy. These are the days when you KNOW why you are in this business! Now, about those other 3 mares...