We don’t get much ‘free’ time here, hence the lack of blogs, coupled with limited internet; but we are enjoying ourselves. Genine had to deal with a petulant Soxy, who has never been particularly helpful at giving her hind hooves for cleaning, so she decided to sort her out and got an avulsion fracture of her left proximal ulna (elbow) for her efforts! This has been extremely inopportune but perhaps a salient lesson for us all as she (Soxy, but Genine is also lovely, even if she does have barriers) seemed so lovely. The clinic starts in 2 days so we have been full-on preparing the place for the ‘invasion’ whilst also maintaining the upkeep of the existing residents. I have spent a bit of time with Frankie but would be a hopeless trainer because once I reached the stage of being able to touch her I would have been quite content to stop there and just keep stroking, rubbing and petting her as she is so lovely. Having witnessed her being separated from her mother at the mustering I just want to let her feel that nuzzling again as she is so young and still bottom of the pecking order of the group. Fortunately ‘Legs’ remains her constant companion, at second to bottom of the hierarchy, despite his potential.
Due to the number of upcoming occupants, we have moved out into a caravan. We were going to have been relocated down to the falls and even got as far as looking for flat areas yesterday when we spent a marvellous few hours down there. We enjoyed a super swim in the cool, but by no means cold, water along with the dogs where it transpired that Murphy is a a total water-dog, not just a food machine. Odi (wan-kenobi), the son, is also a good swimmer but is content to ‘rest’ on you and if you don’t hold him securely, you find yourself mauled to smithereens by puppy claws! It was combined with work whereby the fence was erected for the coral the horses would stay in for the camp night out and we also took the correct picnic bench, after failing in our previous attempt with the wrong set. The confusion arose from both sets having blue seats. If I had known that the set I thought we were to transport had been solid concrete, as opposed to the wooden one, it may have been easier to distinguish. It was only when I had to concede to Roger that there was no way I could lift it onto the back of the flat bed, even between us, that we had the conversation which clarified the situation.
Our new abode, far right under the shed roof, is a remarkable little place with an extended bed area and pull-out (to outside) kitchen and shower. You can tell that it is designed for this warm climate and not the chilly British summer. We could have relocated down to the falls but as we will be up at 5.30 most mornings to give the feed before the clinic starts and probably back after dark it seemed a bit of a waste of time to move, albeit a beautiful spot.
Our first night was pretty eventful as we knew Jaz was due to foal fairly soon; the milk dripping down her legs was a bit of a give-away. Our new location is fairly close to her paddock and with the top vents open we could hear quite a lot. I was woken to a variety of whinnying and tried to peer out of these high gaps. I thought I could see Jaz lying down but more obviously were the 2 concerned ‘aunties’, Remix and Remmy, standing at the adjacent fence. I couldn’t resist getting up to have a look, something was obviously happening. I took a wide berth around her, assisted by the full moon, and could tell she was in some stage of labour so called Roger. I couldn’t see the business end very clearly due to the shadows but became aware of a bit of movement, in the next moment the silhouette of a tiny foal’s head appeared over the top of Jaz’s back. Roger was on his way across when I told him that it was all over and another little equine life had popped onto the planet. As he joined me it struggled to its feet, closely followed by the ever-vigilant mummy, it was a magical moment, the likes to which I hope I never become complacent.
There were lights and movement in the house and Genine, followed by Robert, joined us as Mum and babe came across to the feeding area. It was ascertained to be a bay filly, not exactly what Genine wanted (blue-roan colt) but still wonderful and despite Roger naming her ‘Wobbly’ for obvious reasons and me calling her Florence as she staggered round and round her mum looking for the milk supply, like something off The Magic Roundabout, she is now Emmy-Lou. Genine has a friend staying whose cute little, horse-mad daughter is Emma, known as Emmy so very appropriate. We were left with them, as Rob and Genine went back to bed, and were transfixed by this little miracle of creation, being studied by the whole horse population of the area. The 2 aunties were still in attendance, Bunny was cantering up and down her fence adjoining the end of the paddock, the youngsters we’d been looking after since the mustering were all gathered in their water pen to have a close look, the other ‘wild’ horses on the other side of the drive, 2-300 metres away but picked up by the torch shinning on their eyes, were studying intently as were the two guys, stallion Storm and patriach Freckles. A new life in their extended family is obviously a big event and we finally had to tear ourselves away to go back to bed when it became apparent that not much more would happen, it all had.