Monday, February 05, 2007

You have Waxy teets, and that is a good sign?

Apparently the death of my favorite horse has sent me officially over the edge. In my attempt to come to grips with the loss of this most majestic creature, I wanted to look towards the future. How does one look towards the future when all around is dark?


It has everything.

My brain started thinking about how everything is available on the web. You can order WMD to be FedEx'ed to your home. You can learn to build a fire using a couple of sticks. You can learn just about anything. You can see a lot of stuff too. Cool stuff, not the dirty stuff that makes you blush and cringe.

For instance, there are beach cameras that I can click on and watch hundreds of people lounging on Waikiki Beach. A place I hope to visit one day. So, my grief-infused brain began its trek to think of how to pull myself from the pit of despair that was lingering over the death of Barbaro. What would encourage me back towards the light?

My algebraic brain reminded me that for every step on one side of the equation, an equal step must occur on the other. For every negative, a positive had to balance the scales. What would balance Barbaro's death, but the life of another magnificent horse.

Back to Google. Note to self: what are baby horses called? Foals. Wonder if there is such a thing as a foal cam. There are beach cams... maybe someone somewhere has a website with baby horses I can watch.

Google. Type in "Foal Cam". Listen as the angels above begin singing and watch the hundreds of responses to my inquiry.

It is true. For free I can sit and watch mares give birth to their foals. What an amazing thing to see. The problem is, I'm a city girl. I love horses and always have, but I don't know nothin' bout birthin' no babies (either human or equestrian). So, I needed to know what to look for in the mare birthing process. More Google help, please.

Apparently the mare's body will drop. That made sense. The mare will also lift her tail to one side. Apparently mares know what's coming and they don't want all that stuff getting on their tails. Smart girls. Can't blame them.

There will be a softening in certain areas of the horse's body that I have no ability to comprehend. Apparently mare body parts have different names from human ones. Some are named EXACTLY the same... but we don't need to go into that! (Some websites come along with pictures... in blazing technicolor. I have officially seen parts of a horse that I should NEVER have seen! All in the name of science) They will paw the ground, because they apparently need to nest? Actually, I have a feeling they are pawing more because there is a HORSE about to emerge from their bodies and OHMYGOSH but that's going to have to smart! They seem to appreciate human contact too.

For instance, I just watched as one lady was checking a mare and was standing DIRECTLY BEHIND THE HORSE lifting her tail, looking around... doing things that made me squint my eyes and turn my head... and this mare just stood there. Isn't one of the first rules of horse-dom NOT to stand directly behind said creature for fear of it kicking you through a wall? Especially a horse that is preggers and two weeks over her due date! When the discomfort gets bad, they lay down and pant, and then get back up and walk around. I've seen pregnant women in hospitals do much the same thing. Hmm... circle of life? I've known a couple of pregnant women who have lashed out at loved ones in the throes of labor; but these creatures do not seem to want to bite the hand that is feeding them... or cleaning out their stalls, for that matter. Horses and humans go well together.

So, I've been keeping my eye on a few mares that are located in various parts of the country and waiting anxiously for them to push those babies out! I got really excited about an hour ago because one of my mares (yes... I think of them as mine) was very fidgety and pawing the ground. Another one actually lay down and I thought "Yes! This is it!" Only to watch her get back up and stand completely still for an hour. Yep. There's fun right there... watching a horse stand around. For an hour or so.

I have read some interesting things on the corresponding ranch websites. For instance, I know that it is important for the "bag" to get full and apparently having wax form on the mares udders (because teet just sounds yuckky) is a sign of great progress and that the labor is soon to begin.

Tell that to the one horse I have been watching for a week who apparently has waxy days and not-so-waxy days. Gives a new meaning to wax-on, wax-off.

I must go now... one of my girls has taken three steps. This could be it! (The thing is... I know that as soon as I go to sleep, this mare is going to foal and I will miss it!)

Patiently waiting... and waiting... and waiting...

No comments: