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March 24, 2012: Tinni et al.

So, Signy is going to have a foal. This, in some ways, is a complicated deal. Plain and simple—our four horses live in a large paddock with two shelter areas. We deal, by keeping the area scrupulously clean, feeding them several times daily, and taking them for walks and rides. We also water by hand, first warming it up on the woodstove, and then carrying it downhill, where we then empty it into insulated buckets that are on the shelter walls.

The fact of the matter is that having four, and a fifth horse on the way is a space-related complication. And so, in my head, I’ve thought about parting with

Raudi, Siggi, and Tinni, individually, and for the long term. Tinni is the one that’s supposedly the most expendable, because he’s older and now semi-retired.

It pains me to think about this. I just cannot do this. He’s still my best teacher. Riding him first loosens me up, and gives me more confidence when astride Raudi. Plus, I told him that I would never sell him. I cannot break a promise, even to a horse. It would be way easier (of course) if Tinni and Siggi didn’t spar in their spare time. This is not the case.

Okay. So we’re now looking for ways of subdividing the horse enclosure area, so that we can keep all the horses (and this includes Tinni) on the premises. It’s a major challenge, for sure. I have moments when I go into a state of abject panic. Pete then assures me that everything is going to work out.

I had another bout of panic a few moments ago—I’d queried the Icelandic Horse Quarterly editorial committee about my writing an article about foaling preparations. The overall advice was, leave the mare alone, and intervene as little as possible. Foaling stalls are supposedly dangerous, and separating the mare from the herd is bad. So I am going to back to the drawing board, and attempting to figure out how we might provide Signy with more room, and at the same time, keep all the horses here.

My thinking is that when the time comes, we’ll put Raudi and Tinni in the small pen and Siggi and Signy in the big pen. Then we’ll swap horses out, letting each spend time with Signy. This’ll work. And we’ll get to keep Tinni here.

And so, we are looking for ways to accommodate everyone prior to, during, and immediately after Signy foals.

Next: 107. 3/25/12: A Visit with Katie Long