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A week late and a good catch!

Whistling Ridge Farm welcomed its newest family member in the wee hours of the morning, Tuesday May 28th. Congratulations to Fina (aka Bella Gabriella */-/-) on a smooth and successful delivery — though I can’t say it was “uneventful!” 🙂

Our little Royal Prince colt arrived just before 3:00am in grand fashion. Fina, being the eternally perfect mother-to-be, patiently awaited the arrival of her little one, who was 7 days past his due date. Needless to say, I was not so patient in those last few days. In fact, “sleep-deprived and getting impatient” is a much more accurate description, I think. After four nights of checking in on the expectant mare every hour, which was admittedly more fun and less of a hassle thanks to the newly installed foaling cameras, I was relieved to see Fina’s behavior take a dramatic shift late Monday night.

After moving from stage 1 labor into stage 2, Fina laid down and began to push. This was Fina’s fourth foal, and she had successfully delivered the first three without any problems. (Lucky me!) So, I was relieved to know that at least Fina was an old pro! Not long after, out came foot #1! After a quick inspection, it was noted that the foot was pointing sideways rather than downward, but the foal’s nose and second forelimb weren’t too far behind in the birth canal. After a quick call to the vet to inform him that things were underway, we settled back to watch Fina do her magic. She got up, laid down, got up… you know the drill.

Now the two front hooves were peeking through, and Tim and I were smiling at the foal’s large white, uniquely-shaped star. Fina had stood again, and she appeared to be looking around for the best spot to lie down when the contractions began anew.

“Oh boy,” I thought. “Here comes the baby, and she’s not going to lie back down!”

I hurriedly took my position at Fina’s tail, preparing for what was about to happen to the best of my ability. With the next few contractions, I gently grasped the foal’s two front ankles and tried to help Fina clear the shoulders by moving one hoof in front of the other slightly. Apparently, she didn’t need the extra help. With the very next contraction, the shoulders were clear… then the hips… and a split second later I found myself playing wide-receiver to a leggy newborn foal! It all happened in a matter of seconds, and the only way I can describe it is as follows: to try to imagine catching a diving baby dolphin dipped in motor oil!

With some quick routing and a little guidance from me, the foal arrived at the ground gently, Fina turned to meet her new baby, the cord broke, and that was that. Long story short, a great delivery… and a good story! 🙂

I’m happy to report that both momma and baby appear to be doing splendidly well. Both strong and in good spirits, and the follow-up vet checks showed both looking good after all they’d been through. Way to go, Fina!