Friday, April 23, 2010
Okay, I need to start out by letting you know that I usually do not share this story with anyone until they have known me long enough that they realize I am not a nut job.
It was mid September, a couple weeks after I gave Lightning to my daughter for her birthday, when I decide I needed to get a stall ready for Lighting to give birth in. Anticipating winter weather coming in soon, I had to tarp up the top side of the stall to keep snow and rain out. Then, of course, I needed shavings added to the stall. I got it all done on the 15th of the month. I tucked Lightning into the stall the next morning. That night I went to visit a friend 45 miles away from where my horses were kept.
I was there about an hour when I started having very strong pains in my abdomen that would come and go. It felt like strong cramps, but it wasn’t that time of the month. The pains started coming closer together and getting even stronger. I suddenly had a visual image in my head of Lightning’s large eye with worried wrinkles. I instantly told my friend I had to go right now! I knew what this meant. I told him she is having the baby! I know he thought I was crazy, but I ran out the door to my truck and raced back to my house, picked up a flash light, iodine and towels, then went to my parents, where the horses were kept.
Just as I shined the light in the stall, Lightning’s water broke! I called everyone I could, but she had the baby within minutes. I was the only one who got to witness the magical event. It was a pretty little filly. She had just a tiny star on the forehead of her very Arabian type head, and was a bay like her mother. Such a sweet girl and very healthy, amazing considering the shape her mother was in for the majority of her pregnancy.
I had the pleasure of imprinting her, then I gave both of them a hug, praised Lightning for her good work, thanked her for letting me know, and went on home to try to sleep in my excited state. I would call the vet in the morning.
See, now, you all think I am crazy right? I would think I was crazy myself if I didn’t have a witness. I can’t help wondering why she let me know.. She had the quickest birth I had ever witnessed. She didn’t need me there. I like to think she was thanking me for bringing her to a better place, and saving her baby who certainly would not have survived in her previous home. Did she want to give me that gift? Most horses prefer not to have a human present and even have the ability to hold off labor to ensure that happens. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sorry it has been so long.. I need to finish the story of Lightning.. Be patient with me, had a lot of things on my plate.. Hope to have the story done by the weekend.. kind of unbelievable story... It will be worth the wait, but you might think I am crazy.. Have it as soon as I can! Thanks for following!
Friday, April 9, 2010
When my brother was interested in getting a horse I had no problem jumping in and enabling him to become a fellow horse addict.. I immediately started searching for a horse he could reasonably afford. It didn’t take me long before I found an acquaintance at work that had a horse that would fit the bill.. This gal had a horse she could no longer afford and was willing to let her go at the rock bottom price of $300. We showed up the next day, horse trailer and all to look at the mare. Yup, a full bred Arabian, like he had growing up. She even looked a lot like his old horse Wild Fire. Only this horse was about 300 pounds under-weight and had a fungus that made all of her hair fall out from the knees down. I signaled for my brother to keep quiet about her “slight” issues and wrote out a check for her that my brother was to pay back later. On the way home I defended my choice. I knew this mare would not last much longer in a corral 12 inches deep in manure, and no way out of it, obviously the low mare on the totem pole, as the other horses were not nearly as thin. I had to save her life! She looked just like his old mare, and so it had to be fate. She needed us to save her.
So we brought her home and doctored her up, then fed her about half a bale of hay a day to fatten her up. We started riding her and were not too surprised by her fiery spirit. We both had a hard time keeping her at a walk on the trail. He immediately proclaimed her name to be Fire Ball. It was not too long before my brother decided he had better things to do, so I agreed to buy her back as a present to my daughter, Katie, for her 10th birthday. Of course, I would have to work her a bit, I thought, to make her a suitable mount for a ten year old.
Katie’s birthday was looming closer, and the mare just wasn’t gaining as much weight as I thought she should. [Especially on half a bale a day.] So on the advice of my ever so bright daughter; I took her to the vet.
At Doc Morgan’s I found out that the mare was very pregnant! On top of that, I ran into her previous owner. [The one before the person I bought her from.] She was aghast at the, much improved, mare I took to the vet that day. I had to assure her that I was feeding her what she needed, and that she was now being well taken care of. I guess they used to call her Angel, and she was pastured with their now deceased stallion that was an own son of Aladdin. [A well known stallion in the Arabian world.] I guess my daughter is going to get a bonus for her birthday! The vet had no idea how far along she was, anywhere between five months and eleven. So I followed Doc Morgan’s advice on feed and began my plan for surprising my daughter with an amazing gift.
I think that birthday went down in history as Katie’s best birthday ever! I gave her a purple boom box and two halters in a box, one big and one small. The minute Katie had seen the two halters her eyes lit up! She knew what it meant. Lightning AND her baby would be hers!
That afternoon we saddled up for a ride. I had put lightning on a lead and ponied her with my daughter on board up the trail. From the beginning of that ride Katie was begging me to take Lightning off the lead and let her ride her new horse without assistance. She finally wore me down and I reluctantly took the lead off her horse and gave her strict instructions not to go too far away or ahead of us, where I couldn’t help her if she needed it.
As we went I would look behind me to see how she was doing. She was falling behind so I would stop and wait. As soon as I did Katie would gallop up to me and reprehend me for stopping. She was holding her back on purpose, just so she could gallop her! So, slowly I would let Katie ride her the way she saw fit. Next thing you know she was leading the way going along the narrowest trails that made me nervous to ride on my green horse. I would have to stop her and make her go an easier route for me. I couldn’t believe how this horse was behaving so perfectly for my daughter! What a perfect match! Katie never did have one ounce of trouble with Lightning. She eventually took jumping lessons on her and won the first show in her division. It was incredible to watch those two together; it brought me to happy tears more than once. They were perfectly matched, and I hoped Lightning’s baby and her would have the same magic.
Stay tuned for the continuation of Lightning’s story.. Lightning part two; the birth of Autumn Star
Friday, April 2, 2010
We were looking for a place to cross a stream, when my dad let his horse get a drink. Unexpectedly, Black Jack stepped into the water, then a big hop as he realized he was being sucked in. That hop only served to bring him into an even deeper bog! Soon BJ was closer to the other side of the stream and getting in deeper and deeper! He was nearly up to his chest when my dad jumped off and proceeded to try and pull him out. He was stuck, and stuck good!
I felt helpless! I could not find a place to safely cross and was on the opposite side of the creek. I had to get to the other side, and fast! I knew my horse, Red; while he was an excellent trail mount, had a little “buddy sour” issue, and normally would NEVER leave his horse buddy. His normal reaction to going away from his buddies was to rear and baulk until he got his way. It would normally take many attempts and endangering my life to get him to leave his friends. I don’t know if it was my intensity of intention, or if he actually realized his friend was in trouble, but when I asked him to go, he went. We ran as fast as we could up a hill, along a steep shale side hill, we jumped a barbed wire fence that was half way down, went along the dam, back the other way down a narrow dirt road with four wheelers (that he was normally terrified of), Trucks pulling trailers, and speeding cars going the opposite direction, until we finally reached my dad and his horse on the other side of the creek.
After trying several times, unsuccessfully, to help my dad pull him out, I finally pulled the saddle off my horse, and took my brand spanking new saddle blanket and placed it in the muddy creek under Jack’s hooves.. Then we took my dad’s saddle off and added that saddle blanket too. Hoping that when he finally had enough strength to try again he would have just enough stable footing to pull himself out. He was quite tired; we waited nervously while he rested. He almost looked like he wouldn’t have enough strength to try again.
My dad and I were just about ready to give up, and were discussing our options. I was ready to ride to the ranger station to see if they had any equipment to help. Suddenly Jack decided to try one more time! My dad and I pulled and with the saddle blankets under his hooves he barely made it out and on to the bank. WHEW! He made it! He stood there for another half hour recovering.
We ringed out the saddle blankets the best we could, saddled up and went back to camp. Since that day Red has been a hero in my eyes. My saddle blanket cleaned up pretty good, and even if it didn’t, it would have been a small sacrifice. Red made me so proud that day. I still almost come to tears thinking about it.