I’ve moved some old blog posts to this site so I am probably going to condense a few. A few years ago, knowing that Erynn’s horse, the all-around athletic and amazing Stormy, was developing knee issues and showing her age. Because she had had foals prior to our owning her, she was okay to still breed.
Stormy was 17 when we bred her for the last time.
We had her under the care of Dr. William Hess and he was amazing. We decided to breed to a horse four hours away, live coverage. Stormy had infection in her uterus and had to have that cleaned out several times. Her cycle was not quite normal and we were not sure that she would be able to be bred. The first time we drove to have her covered, we left her at the facility for about a month. It did not work out. We brought her back and Dr. Hess said he would give it one more try. He did not want to waste our money and frankly, I appreciated that, but oh how sad if we could not get a baby for our family out of such an amazing horse.
One week, Dr. Hess told us that it was time to breed. I made a quick calm confirming with the owner of the stallion that we could come up that weekend. Dr. Hess gave me some shots to give Stormy and he did an ultrasound and said that he could see an egg, and timing should be just right if we went up on Sunday (Father’s Day).
Sunday morning, Erynn and I got up and loaded Stormy in the trailer. We drove four hours to near Scranton, PA. Dr. Hess had told us that we needed to have them breed once, no more. When we arrived, they had Taser, the stallion, ready to go. Stormy stood very patiently and everything happened as it was supposed to. We trailed Stormy right back home.
I believe it was two weeks after that, Dr. Hess came back and did an ultrasound and confirmed that Stormy was indeed pregnant! That was absolutely amazing news!
A little further into the pregnancy (I think it was around 60 days), we requested Dr. Hess come back for an ultrasound to determine the gender.
He immediately saw what he needed to see and confirmed – GIRL!
That next year waiting through the gestation of this baby was excruciatingly painful. Crazy how long it takes. I couldn’t wait to feel the filly kick. I did during feeding time. It felt like a drum through Stormy’s belly.
In the meantime, I decided to set up cameras and utilize Mare Stare since we were boarding and I didn’t want to miss the birth. Mare Stare is a wonderful thing. You set up your cameras and have the live video feed online. You can have people from all over the world watching and they can alert you if the baby is coming.
We received quite a following and it was an amazing time. CNN even picked up a report on our situation. Photography World Obsessed Over Horse’s Impending Birth.
From one of my previous blogs:
“Stormy seems to have her own cult following. We never expected anything like this, but wow…. Stormy has no clue people are watching! Or maybe she does and that’s why she’s not having the baby yet
At any rate, has Stormy been showing signs of labor? Sure has…. we think the baby has turned and is ready as I feel movement in her flanks. She has waxed for those who have asked and know what that means. Her entire hind end including around her tail, spine, and back of legs is like jello (the entire area is supposed to soften). We did do a pH milk test and it’s as low as it goes…. last night she was pretty agitated in her stall and this morning to noon, she was extremely agitated, swinging her tail everywhere, doing a little “dance” with her front legs, yawning and fleming, shaking her head, biting her belly, and pawing at the floor…… so all signs point to yes, but she’s on her own time table unfortunately. When we showed up tonight, we walked her around to stretch her legs, and she’s now back in the stall in total peace and quiet.
We can’t wait to see this foal. It’s a full moon tonight… yay!”
Little did I know, we were a week away at that point.
We had a follow up article on CNN as well…
and this is from the blog two day later…. One Week Later, #StormyWatch Continues
Yes, she even got her own hashtag 😉
“….. and another evening passed…. no foal!!! For those who know a little something about foal births… here are Stormy’s signs… I apologize if this sounds gross to anyone… 😉
- V-shaped belly – looks like it is about to burst
- Feeling movements of the foal in the flank area a couple days ago, now haven’t been able to feel it in the past 24 hours.
- Entire hind end, up at bottom of spine, and upper legs, all squishy, like Jello (softening of everything in prep for birth)
- Yawning and chewing without food in her mouth
- Holding tail up high and/or off to the side
- Very full udder
- Waxing of the udder – good amount
- Swollen “girlie bits” – very very swollen and loose
- PH of milk has been tested at 6.2 for quite a while
- She will go into agitation at times where she’s whipping her tail everywhere, “dancing” – shifting weight back and forth fast and quite a bit (this has been going on for days – usually anywhere from mid morning to around 2 p.m.) and sometimes pushing her rump into the wall.
We are at day 339. She is plenty far along enough to birth this foal…. we are just waiting….”