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May 8, 2012: Bringing Up Baby

I always chaff when someone says that I’m a “good horse mom,” or that I have “a nice animal family,” because I am not an animal, and my animals aren’t human. But I do think that they make me more human. I am definitely more light-hearted in their presence.

Hrimmi is definitely Signy’s baby. Signy watches out for her every move, and letting Hrimmi, who is quick on her feet, know where to go and what to do. This is good, because Hrimmi seems to be fearless. However, I cannot deny that Pete and I are acting like surrogate parents. We are keeping a close eye on the newborn, and making sure that Signy’s making sure she’s safe.

Yesterday afternoon Dr. Wellington came by, and in his very slow and measured way, looked at Hrimmi before giving us an assessment. “She looks good, and is very vigorous,” he said. As if to verify, Hrimmi literally kicked up her heels and then after throwing in a few bucks, darted around the pen. We then all talked about nutrition and mare and foal care. The foal is already eating hay, so we are going to give her and Signy a concentrate mixture that’s suitable for mares and foals. And we are going to

Signy keeps a close watch

Another visitor

rasp Hrimmi’s feet, because her toes are long. This is probably due to her late birth.

And last night we slept in the truck bed, every so often raising our heads and checking things out. Hrimmi alternated sleeping and moving around, mostly moving around. We could see the white outline of her coat, as she went rat a tat tat, rat a tat tat, tolting around the pen. At 3 30 a.m. Pete, who was awake, began asking me a multitude of questions about foal care, most of which I answered, and a few of which I said I’d have to think about.

I have numerous books that address this subject—today I will pull them out and put them downstairs, within reach.

The above makes it seem like we got things well in hand. This may be so. Our place is not falling apart around us. We are on schedule with our various projects. The other horses did not get exercised yesterday, but they are doing just fine. The goats have been grazing on the hill. The dogs are taking everything in, and chasing away errant moose. The garden seedlings have been started. Grading is about done.

But of course, I’m still feeling overwhelmed. Raising a foal is a huge undertaking. I want to bring out the best in Hrimmi – I don’t want to be the owners of a spoiled, pushy pocket pony. If this is to be, I will need to both be in the moment and do things in a thoughtful, careful manner. This is a tall order for me, since I routinely rush from one thing to the next. Foal speeds up, and Alys slows down.

Next: 153. 05/10/12: Five