A Weekend at Wildwood

Posted by Sharon Labels: , , , , , ,

This blog is titled, "Reinin', Ridin', and Writin'". There was lots of riding and reining this past weekend, but not a bit of writing. Consequently, I am a day behind on my blog. Here's how the weekend went:

My broodmare, Easter, was due to foal, actually due on April 25th, but since she has had all three of her foals early, I expected this one to be too. She also traditionally does not give me much notice. I attended two of the three births, but I may have been lucky. Since I had to cut the umbilical cord on one, I really wanted to be there when she foaled, so I slept in the tackroom of the barn Thursday night and intended to sleep there every night until the foal arrived.

Easter had picked a busy weekend to keep me up watching her - I was hosting a Vern Sapergia clinic at my facility on Saturday and Sunday, which meant I had to pick up Vern on Friday evening in Williams Lake 100 km away, ready the house for guests and ready the barn and pens for horses. No problem, I thought. It's all about preparation. I cooked ahead, planned ahead, arranged for someone to watch Easter while I made the trip to the airport. Vern and I arrived back (no foal), visited a bit and I walked to barn to spend the night there.

The next morning (no foal), the clinic started and ran nonstop until 7:00 PM. I rode in the clinic of course - that's one thing I was totally prepared for - and checked Easter at regular intervals. Since she was stalled behind the barn, she could have surprised me with a foal at any time, but she didn't. That night I again slept in the barn.

I was seriously sleep deprived by Sunday, but I showed up at 10:30 on Little Wolf for my class of course. Vern had promised to ride him at some point, but we had had such a good ride the day before that I thought maybe I would just let him step on him at the end of the day. I had pulled my mare, Legacy, out of the field so Vern could have a horse to teach on. Apparently, for Little Wolf (3 year old stallion), that changed the dynamics of everything. He saw right away that Vern was not on Wolf, my 5 year old stallion, as he had been the day before. He also remembered Legacy had been cycling only a few days before ... and he turned into a bundle of testosterone! I corrected him, worked him out, corrected him again, but he was stirred up now. A mare on the hill squealed, the yearlings ran down to feed, all things he was used to, but his attention was no longer on me. Worse yet, I was tired enough that I did not have it in me to cope. "This would be a good time to ride him," I said to Vern and he did.

Of course Little Wolf settled down eventually and the ride ended on a good note. For the last ride of the day, I saddled my five year old stallion, Wolf, for Vern and we traded back and forth during the lesson, ending the day with a fabulous sliding stop on Wolf. (Sorry - no photo - my camera girl said she was too busy watching!)
Still no foal of course and I had decided Easter was waiting until the clinic was over and it was once again quiet. By now, she was waxed and not eating. This time, unlike the others, she was giving notice of her intentions! After dinner, hashing over the weekend's events over wine (with multiple checks on Easter) I walked to the barn at 12:45, dead tired. I set the alarm for 3:00 AM in case I didn't wake up and looked through the window again - she was rolling, positioning the baby. She was going to foal!
So tired I could hardly keep my eyes open and knowing I had to rise at 5:00 to get Vern to the airport, I laid down on the bed to wait it out. I was falling asleep even knowing I would have a foal soon! To keep myself awake, I started visualizing some of the exercises Vern had shown me. I still wanted to doze off! "Hurry up," I thought, "because I need to get a couple of hours of sleep!"
Just before 2:00 AM, the filly arrived, strong and healthy and cute as a button! Her daddy is Wolf the stallion who had laid down the incredible slide in my arena a few hours before. It was another hour before I could sleep. By then baby was up and Easter had dropped the after birth. I left baby and mother alone to work out the logistics of getting something to eat. At 5:00. I watched the filly suck and left for the airport with Vern. What a weekend! I am still recovering.