We have all been anticipating the arrival of MJ’s foal. We thought she would come sometime in early February, but nothing, nothing, nothing. Then, Saturday morning, we woke up to a great gift. A perfect little filly. The story below was sent to me from Marilyn, who was staying with us at the time. What makes this so fun is that all of us watched Marilyn come into the ranch as the organizer of a retreat group from Finishmaster. Marilyn came out a few days in advance of her group to prepare for their arrival. In between all the work she had to do, we did get her out a couple times for some fun on the ranch. She fell in love with the horses and became enamored with MJ and the anticipated foal. As the days went on, and we saw that MJ wasn’t getting much quiet time with the constant flow of traffic, we finally asked all the guests and staff to stay out of the barn all night. Horses are more private about delivering babies, and they prefer to do it alone in peace and quiet. So, Marilyn did her best to stay out, and waited until morning to come see her….and here is the story of her discovery:
I can’t believe MJ finally had her before I left!!! I cannot begin to describe to you the amount of love and emotion I felt at seeing that beautiful filly. When I arrived at the barn about 6:10 AM this morning to the wonderful greeting of neighs, I peaked in MJ’s stall and all looked normal (in the dark!) and I said, “Oh, shoot, Mama, another long day”; Gunny then started his ritual kicking for attention so I went over to say hello and as I was giving him kisses, I heard kicking from MJ’s stall, which is unusual (at least in my short week experience) for her, so I popped back over and peered from behind the feed tray so as not to startle her and she was standing with her backside to me with her head toward the corner.
As I squinted in the dark, I saw something in the corner! I ran to the tack room and turned on the light and low and behold, there was the beautiful filly laying in the corner of the stall and MJ checking on her!!! Oh, my gosh, I thought my heart would swell. After a few seconds of just gazing, I ran to the employee stairs (sorry!) and tried to yell up to someone from mid-way up to no avail. I then ran across to the building that houses machinery and yelled in there for someone to no avail. I ran back to the barn, and of course, had to peak again!, and then tried calling someone on the phone from the office, but couldn’t get it to work. And, after peaking again (and getting several photos of course), I was just about to run back upstairs when Nathan came in!!! I then told him there was a new baby and proceeded to hug him (he must think I’m nuts!) and he got the lights on and there she was!!! She tried to stand, but couldn’t as the umbilical cord was still attached to her, and with it dragging, it kept pulling her back down. Of course, all the horses were in a tizz to be fed but Nathan needed to make some calls.
So, I offered to grain if he’d show me how much and get things rolling while he made the calls. And, Steph, I haven’t enjoyed myself as much in 8 long years! I gave everyone grain (except MJ of course) and a flake which Nathan helped me with while he got hold of Terry, etc. I think Terry must have said the umbilical cord will come off on its own. So, after several more pictures, we (Nathan) decided it best to let her be, and I offered to help him get to the other horses and so I filled water buckets while he grained and flaked. When we came back, Little Miss Filly was standing and wobbling around trying to find Mama’s milk. The umbilical cord had come off and I took more pictures and video, and then helped fill the front water buckets while Nathan finished other chores and talking to Terry. And, last, but far from least, I watched as Nathan tried to catch Little Miss Filly under Mama’s very watchful and observant eye to put medicine on the umbilical cord break-area. Well, he needed help! So, while he held that beautiful baby in his arms, I got to pour the medicine over her little belly button area (of course being very careful to move slowly and let MJ accept me). Steph, as much as I loved the ranch – you, everyone that works there, the beauty of it all, clinics, horses, skiing, etc., etc., etc…..NOTHING compares to this morning! It was so VERY AWESOME and I feel so amazingly blessed to have been a part of it!
I just wanted you to know the full, amazing story to share with the ranch family as I feel like I’ve been a part of your family this past week! My only sadness is not getting to say good-bye to Little Miss Filly so I am just going to have to figure out how to afford to come out this summer and see her! Please keep me updated with photos and let me know her name. Let me know VVR’s facebook page and I’ll keep up to date there also. I tried to attach a video, but it’s too big, so here are some of the first pictures from early this morning and I’ll figure out how to get the rest to you tomorrow.
Please give my love and thanks to all! Miss you already (I’m in the air still on the way to Indy, but this will send when I land)!