This is a bittersweet tale of a little foal.....
He was born May 20th, 2009, just two days after our little Jacob arrived in this big ol' world. Shortly after Jacob was born, I had joked that we would come home from the hospital to find that our mare Neena had foaled, and that it would be a colt (boy). This is nearly exactly what happened, except the foal was born 2 days after!
Everything seemed to be going very smoothly, which was a relief, having just lost Neena's mother due to a foaling related problem two years earlier.
(Kicking up his heels, while Neena grazes watchfully) -this and remaing photos in this blog swiped from my Sisters facebook page-thanks Sis!
Then, the night before we were due to leave on holidays, I walked out to the pasture for evening chores. At first, it didn't kick in that something was wrong-I saw Wonder (the calf stealing mare, and also Neena's half sister, making her the new little fellow's Aunt) teaching him to drink out of the automatic waterer. I thought that was pretty sweet, and teased Wonder about being such a good Auntie. Then it clicked-Neena was no where in sight! She was a very protective Mommy, and not likely to be letting her baby go off with anyone, not even Daddy or Auntie at the tender age of 3 weeks! I walked out into the pasture-and found my beautiful Neena laying dead-just flat out dead in the pasture. No signs of struggle, or that anything was wrong-she'd been standing by the barn just that morning, standing over her baby just like mares are wont to do. I remember seeing her, and admiring it-it's just such a sweet, protective, motherly thing that mares do.
Neena was only 6 yrs old, and a very special mare-I was heartbroken. Not only that, but now we were left with a wee orphan, and we were planning to be gone for 10 days!! What to do?? It was looking like I was maybe not going on vacation after all! Fortunately, my sister heard that night, via an email from my Mom, of our predicament, and stepped in to help us out! (I'm so glad for the Mom and Sister I have! : ) ) So Sister came out the next day and took the (yet unnamed) foal to the stable where they ride and board their horses. It was a big undertaking for them, as a wee foal like that needed several feedings a day. But, many people pitched in, including their riding instructor, my neice, and even my brother in law spent a LOT of early mornings taking care of the baby, which we are extremely thankful for!
I told my sister and my neice that they could come up with a name for the foal, the only stipulation being that it had to begin with the letter W, as that is the designated letter for names this year. I think the name Jade came up with is a very fitting name for this wee one- Wish Upon a Star, Wish or Wishes for short.
He is now back here, and Jesse proudly helps me feed him. He's getting a combo of milk replacer and goats milk. Jesse even came up with the idea of mixing alfalfa leaves with the pellets and grain ration little stinker had previously refused-and it worked!! We will still be offering Wish up for sale, though I wish things could be different.....
Wishes' Daddy Nickels-our very own Black Beauty!