Most of my life I’ve wanted the experience of raising my own foal. So when the opportunity to mix two of my favorite breeds together, into one amazing bundle of horsey joy presented itself, I hesitated for about a year then agreed with an overwhelming sense of excitement and fear.
Where was I going to put a baby? What am I going to do with a baby? How am I going to afford another horse? What if I don’t like him/her?
I have halters for the foal until he’s about 2.
Not knowing what I’m up against has always scared me. With my first child I read "What to Expect When You’re Expecting" cover to cover, probably twice. This gave me courage, and the power of knowledge I needed to see it through without being afraid. Unfortunately they don’t make a foal version of the book, yes I checked, there are books but they’re not the same. Instead I’ve been picking the brains of horse people I hold in high respects. I have committed their advice to memory and repeat it to myself almost daily. Do not be afraid. Be consistently inconsistent. Teach boundaries from the beginning, pocket ponies are cute when they’re babies but not at a 1000 lbs. You can over snuggle a baby. Feed them weird things while they are curious, this may help if they ever need medicine as adults. Do not be afraid.
As our due date gets closer and closer I find myself dreaming of the foal, just like I dreamed of my two human children before they were born. In fact the closer to the due dates the more dreams I have. I’m really hoping for the 4 white socks I saw in one.
Now it’s time to pull out the DVDs on foal starting I stashed away, not so much as a plan, but just to see what people are doing and how. With this my fear has been turning into curiosity and excitement, as I start really looking forward to being a part of a horse's 'childhood'.
Happy Horsing Around
Cyndi Bird CEST