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December 5, 2011: Doors Open, Doors Close

Signy is Icelandic pony #4.  We brought her back with us from Colorado last summer.  Pete and I knew that this would increase our horsey workload, but neither of us have had any regrets.  Signy is a good horse; she’s strong, willing, has a sense of humor.  Andrea Brodie used to call her Signy the Beast, saying “where she walks, no ground grows.” I call her Signy the Magnificent because while powerful, she’s very polite both on the ground and under saddle.

We knew when we bought her that there existed the possibility that Signy might be pregnant.  She didn’t go into season all summer, as did Raudi, and she put on rather than lost weight.  But I remained

Signy's Belly
Signy's Belly

in denial, even when Christine Schwartz (of Icelandic Horse Farm fame) said “she’s probably pregnant, she has that look about her.”

I ought to have known.  Signy got into the stallion pasture the day before we arrived at Arrow Lough Icelandics in Gulnare, CO.  We have our fingers crossed that she bred with Pruthur, who was a top ranked stallion in both Iceland and the US. He also produced many good foals.  Pruthur was euthanized on September 17, my birthday. He was getting old and his health was failing.

 “Are you pregnant” I once asked Signy.

“Yes,” she said.

I remained dismissive because I don’t trust my abilities as an animal communicator.  But sometimes, their thoughts come through so strongly that I know there’s something to this. Signy, like Tinni, is somewhat stoic, not inclined to say much. Raudi and Siggi are much more verbose. For example, Raudi told me, point blank, that she is a pony, and wants to be considered as such.  “Ponies,” she says, are very smart and think on their feet.  I posed the same question to Siggi who simply said, “I’m a horse.”

My lack of trust is was what prompted me to call our veterinarian. He decided to do a manual check, to which we agreed. He donned a clear plastic glove, stuck his hand inside Signy, and felt around.  A look of certitude crossed his face as he withdrew his hand.  “Yep,” he said, “She’s going to have a foal.”  Pete asked him what color and what sex it might be.  Dr. Wellington smiled, and said he didn’t know.  I want a filly that in looks and attitude is like her mom, but will settle for just about anything, just so long as it’s healthy.

The timing of this pregnancy is bad.  We have four, and don’t need a fifth horse.  And it’s a complication as far as a trip next summer goes.  I refuse to take the pair south and subject them to a long trek.  So I’ll find a suitable place for mare and foal in our absence.

Pete and I have been tossing names around for some time.  The one that has stuck is Drifter.  This is a fine Irish name for a foal from a fine Irish dam. 

The question that we are now being asked with some regularity is “What are you going to do with the foal?”  I’ve been saying “I haven’t a clue,” and leaving it at that.  Doors open, doors close. I’ve always sensed that Signy the Magnificent is a lucky horse.  This is an instance in which we’ll have to trust fate.

Next: 6. 12/6/11: Raudi Redux