More from a life-long learner.

I feel remiss in my duties as a life-long learner by not telling you about the most significant event recently from which I learned something.

I had never had any real contact with horses before I met my wife before she was my wife. I'd probably only ridden a horse three or four times let alone owned one, but my future wife did. During our college years he became too much to deal with, especially finacially, so she sold him. she had made it very clear that she had every intention to get another when space permitted.

A year ago we moved to what we like to call our hobby farm, five acres of heaven in the middle of nowhere. Part of our heaven included a barn which soon became home for her new pet, a horse named Ellie. I vaguely recall the horse seller asking if we wanted her bred when we committed to buy her. I also remember thinking what a cool experience to have a foal around. Furthermore, I remember being slightly apprehensive about a pregnant horse, knowing that horse's health can turn on a dime, but I wasn't concerned because my wife would know what to do and I would simply support her when the time came. Eleven months later Ellie is very wide, we are anticipating the new foal and my wife decides to go to her parent's house for a long weekend.

I got back from school Monday afternoon not thinking anything more than I was free for the afternoon to do as I pleased. What pleased me was simply playing around the "farm." I paid no attention to the pasture until feeding time when Ellie didn't come in for her evening feed. All the fears of horse's health and the general hazard of giving birth came to mind. I bolted into the pasture to find extra legs under Ellie. Rascal, a beautiful appaloosa stud colt, was born sometime during the day and I had my head so firmly intrenched in my ass so that I didn't even notice.

I promptly called my wife and she began listing the things that I should look for like urination, defacation, signs of colic, sufficient nursing, etc. I needed help, and my wife was three hundred miles away. I called those who I thought could offer assistance but got no response. I was very concerned. After a short time I began, like any new father (so to speak), to worry. Without any serious help from peopel that I knew I began to think about who I didn't know. I recalled seeing new foals in a pasture just south of us on the main road and thought maybe they'd be able to help, even though I didn't know them, nor they me, from Adam.

The man who answered the door was exceptionally nice, he even came out to look the baby over, reassured me that all was fine and I should cease my worrying. Thanks Mr. Z.

Long story short, or even longer, I learned not to fear the unknown of horse breeding and birth so much. I also learned that I will not allow my wife to leave for a long weekend when HER horse is set to foal, ever again!!!

Ed U. Cayshun

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