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April 06, 2012: Foal Watch IV

Yesterday I realized that the terms intervention and preparation are two different things. Preparation means to get ready and intervention means to step in and do something. I think that when I proposed writing an article about what’s going on around here to the Icelandic Horse Quarterly committee, I was focusing more on preparation. Some got confused and began talking about the lack of need for intervention. It seems to me that preparation can reduce the amount of intervention when a mare is foaling.

Right now, it’s again snowing. I don’t have my glasses on, and yet I can see big, fat flakes falling slowly out of the

Pete, Siggi, and Signy at Creek into Twin Lakes

sky. It’s quite beautiful. I’m attempting to appreciate this beauty, although now, that’s all it is, an attempt. This is old snow, just melting.

We’ve nicknamed the foal Hrimfari, Frosty. This seems apt, in relation to our trip and in relation to our current weather situation.

I cleaned up outside yesterday afternoon. I raked, bucketed, and moved the dirty hay up to the manure pile, and I again cleaned the horse and goat pens. I also spent over an hour, grooming Signy. I cleaned her udder with Excalibur, and I took her temperature. The thermometer isn’t working, gotta get a new one.

I again put my hand to her side. The foal is moving around in there. I don’t blame it for wanting to stay put. If I had my druthers, I’d now crawl back into the womb. I’d of course take a flashlight and some good books. The title of the poem is Inside of a Dog it’s too Dark to Read. Huh. Inside of a horse it’s too dark to read. That’s more realistic because there’s a lot more room.

The above is of course, all preparation. Looking outside, I’m glad that I took the time to make sure the immediate environs are clean. It’s no fun, slogging around in yard crud.

Signy is bagging minimally, and there is some heat. Intervention might involve bottle feeding the foal. Still no word from Dr. Wellington, about whether or not he’s found colostrum. I’m again fretting. I like preparing for things, but I don’t like having to intervene. I guess one has to do this if nature’s course zig zags a bit.

Mare Watch
Nature sometimes zig zags,
sometimes arcs,
sometimes holds true to its course.
Early morning now, the bay mare stands
by the wooden gate, rear leg cocked, expectant.
White snowflakes fall on a black mane,
Yellow straw clings to a rounded belly.
It’s the same old story--
yet another upcoming birth,
one told over and over, with variations upon a theme,
some good, some bad.
Half asleep, I adhere to routine.
I set out hay, break ice in water bucket, scoop poop.
Half awake, I deviate from routine.
I touch the mare’s udder, she kicks.
I touch the mare’s flanks, he kicks.

Next: 120: 4/07/12: Student Watch, the Story Continues