Friday, May 11, 2012

The Day we found a Foal!!!

We were so excited that work was actually beginning on the worse part of our track.  We had been promised this would happen before even before we moved here, however Spain is all about getting things done "mañana!"  Well signs had been going up over the last few days, and mañana had in fact arrived.  Alan has on ocasions turned into an old Spanish man, no he does smoke cigars or drink "whi'ky"  but he does like to stand around and wtach the men work... in secret of course.  It was during one of these secret spying sessions he actually noticed a tiny horse with the work men.  We wondered if as a joke one of the men had actually brought his baby horse to work with him.  I admit we see loads of dogs in tractors and with the local farmers when they are working.  This was a first though!

We walked our dogs as usual then decided we would take a wander down to the foal and take our camera, great for the blog, I thought.  Little did I know the impact this little foal would have on our lives over the next 24 hours!

The foal who appeared to be with the work men

Little beauty!

Now you can see how tiny she was!

As we walked down to where the men were working they seemed pleased to see us.... they thought the little foal was ours, and had escaped from our house!  We explained that she was n't, and we had no idea who's she belonged to, or where she had come from.  Alan went on a little walk about to see if he could see any other horses around.  As you may have read in my blog around our Christmas time we often have "visits" from horses that, have let's say "inadequate fencing".  Alan however could not see any other horses around this particular morning.

We could see she was extremely young and looked very unsteady on her feet, and we soon realised we really had to do something!  The decision was made that we would take her back to our house, about a few hundred meters away, but up a bit of a hill, and go from there.  Alan phoned Andres, the vet, for his advice who assured us that as we did n't have horse milk, then any milk was better than nothing.  As I walked the little girl up to the house she became weaker.  At one point she fell on the ground and I cuddled and stroked her until Alan came back with milk in an old coca cola bottle, with a teet on it.  Luckily we had one in case of a baby alpaca emergency.   She was very weak but we managed to get some milk into her, and almost immediatly it gave her a new lease of life , we were so pleased!  We managed to get her into a little stable and fed her with milk and lots of cuddles.  She was beautiful!

Meanwhile Andres did a bit of private investigating and told Alan that sure enough Ramon, a neighbour, whose horses always escape, was expecting a foal around this time.  So we were very grateful that he phoned him and told him we had the foal.

Is n't she gorgeous!

Happy times!

The plan was that Ramon was going to turn up with his son, and bring the mare to us.  We had suggested they leave them in our stable overnight to bond, and to make sure the foal was feeding from her.  A couple of hours later, of me having the wonderful task of feeding the foal and having lots of cuddles with her, Ramon turned up with his horses.... yes all of them!   He did first have to find them of course!  I believe he has a leader who decides on the walking route for the day and the others all follow!  So Ramon brought this huge mare on a lead (sorry I'm not actually sure if you would call it a lead for a horse haha)  and sure enough the others followed behind.

Alan outside as ALL the horses arrive!

Ramon with a couple of the dogs he brought with him, there were others!

Ramon even had to bring in the "lead" horse, to encourage the mare to come right into the stable.  After getting out the leading lady we closed the stable door, and watched and waited.   I have to admit, although if it was an amimal of ours, we would have been waiting with bated breath until the baby was born, and we were sure it was healthy, before we could do anything else with our life that day, or possibly the next few days.  BUT life is different here, Ramon's horses are in extremely good condition, possibly due to the fact that they roam our countryside, and most of the year there is plenty for them to eat.  None of them look thin, and he looked totally delighted when he saw his new born filly!  His horses also are not hobbled which some are.  He had checked on the mare the day before, and they must have done their normal escaping trick after he left them, to go back to his house in the town.  The mare who was a first time mum, must have given birth whilt they were "out and about" and sadly panicked.  She did n't know what to do so she left left the little foal.

Over the course of the next few hours we watched the mare and foal become reacquainted, and watched her find her mothers milk, it was wonderful to watch them.  Ramon had told us he would come back the following morning to check on them, and take them home, although he suprised us by returning again a few hours later, that same day.  He was over the moon with her!

Ramon feeding his mare

Mum and foal
I popped out last thing before Alan and I settled down for the night, I remembered thinking "God bless" and I saw her for the last time before bed!  I don't know why, she was looking good, stronger on her legs and feeding well and regularly.  In the morning Alan got up quite early and popped out to check on them.  I was totally devastated when he said we had lost her during the night.  It broke my heart, it is still very hard to write about it now.  Goodness only knows how we would have felt if this had been our beautiful baby!  We phoned Andres and asked him to please tell Ramon.  Ramon came with his son, and they took her away.  We can only guess that the hours she went without colostrum just did not give her the food and protection that she needed. It was a terribly sad day for us.  I remember our vet writing two messages to me, the first said we were the foals guardian angels and the second even more beautiful, he said " Life is full of joys and sorrows, sadness touched today, tomorrow will be different!"  That meant the world to me!

Whilst we are walking the dogs we often see the horses, still escaping although still looking good.  If you would care to look back on my blog post called "Merry Christmas"  you will see the mare very close to Alan and I, little did we know at that time how she would make such an impact on our lives!

RIP Beautiful foal

Her beautiful mum!

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