Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A new filly!

Gem has finally foaled!!! I went into the house around 8 and made dinner. I went back out to check on Gem around 10:30 and there was a new foal! Gem had already passed the placenta and was standing. The foal was still wet and lying down. She had not gotten up yet, so I didn't miss it by much! After telling Gem what a great job she did, I did some imprinting on the foal. I helped her get up since she kept falling over and banging into the walls. The filly was trying to suckle everything in sight, so eventually I helped her find colostrum. It took her a while to figure it out, it was so cute to watch! She passed meconium around 12:30 and was figuring out the whole walking thing. I left them a little while ago to come in and download pictures. Gem was contentedly munching on hay while her filly took a nap. What a beautiful filly! Here's a link to the Picasa web album: http://picasaweb.google.com/phatappy/30Mar09GemsBaby?authkey=Gv1sRgCMv40LWF8bX_Ng&feat=directlink

More pictures obviously will follow!

Monday, March 30, 2009


OK, last night when I moved Gem to her stall, I noticed a little milk leakage. This morning when I let her out, there was waxing!!! So, my googling research has shown that waxing means she should foal anywhere from 12 hours to 4 days. I'm hoping for tonight, but who knows, she's fooled me before. I really wish I knew her previous foaling history. She supposedly had two foals for her previous owner, and I'm not sure before that. I'll update when something happens...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I give up...

Now that the weather has cleared, Gem gets to stay OUT in her paddock. She wasn't entirely happy being locked up in the hay shed (aka foaling stall) at night. And since it rained for 3 days straight, and the hay shed wasn't built to be a foaling stall, the bedding is soaked, and I had to keep spreading hay over the top. By morning, Gem would be standing in wet bedding after eating all the clean hay. If it weren't for the rain, it would have been an excellent stall. Now I'll strip it and let it dry out and if she hasn't had the baby, rebed it for her.

Sunday night I went out to check on Gem around 3:30 AM. She was lying down in her stall, so I was getting excited. She got up and started pacing around the stall whinnying like crazy at her friends (who wouldn't answer her!). I thought it could be the beginning of labor, but within half an hour, she had settled down and started eating the fresh hay I spread for her. I didn't see any of those mild colic signs on Monday, so I didn't check on her at all, and sure enough, this morning she was standing in her stall, bored and out of hay. I give up. She's been bagged up for two weeks, but it really may be another two weeks before she foals! So I'll wait for more signs...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Foal watch in the rain...

So my friend Deb and I REALLY thought that Gem would have her baby last night. Yesterday she would occasionally show mild colic signs like looking at her belly. Then she'd go back to eating hay or grazing. I prepared her stall yesterday, so I put her in it last night because it had been raining all day and was supposed to rain all night. I didn't think she'd foal in her paddock in the rain, and I thought a nice dry stall might make her more comfortable. I kept going out to check on her, and finally just took a chair and sat in the stall with her. Since I converted the hay shed into a foaling stall, it's hard to sit outside of it and stay out of the rain! She continued to occasionally stop what she was doing and look back at her belly, but she would eventually go back to eating or cocking a hind leg or whatever. There was one time she raised up a hind leg like she was kicking at her belly, then later she did it with her other hind leg with a mad tail swish. And once she did a crazy full body stretch. But she never started pacing or lying down or anything. I came in and took some naps, and every couple hours I'd go back out and check on her or sit with her, but nothing happened. I was hoping she was waiting for daylight since she has night blindness, but still nothing happened this morning. I finally put her out to graze this afternoon while we went to a foal shower (baby shower for pregnant mares!) at my friend Brenda's. She has a maiden mare that's due in April, so it was sort of combined foal shower for her horse Crazy and Gem. When I put her back in the stall tonight, I could see the baby moving all over the place. I hope that means it's getting in position! I have to work tomorrow, so foal watch won't be quite as vigilant tonight. Wish us luck...

Saturday, March 14, 2009


This morning I was able to get a drop of milk from Gem finally! Maybe we're getting there. I was hoping the change in weather from super hot 80 degrees to cold 40 degrees with rain would kickstart her labor, but not yet.

I've been cleaning out the hay shed to make a foaling stall. Alex, the greyhound with the broken leg, has decided that the hay shed is his absolute favorite place. He LOVES the big pile of hay I've raked up and lies flat out right in the middle of it. He didn't want to come in this morning, he just wanted to lie in the hay shed! I'm going to keep Gem in it at night, I think, and start checking on her several times a night. I don't think Alex is going to approve...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

False alarm...

This morning, as with all mornings recently, I got up and looked out the window towards Gem's paddock. Unfortunately, there happens to be an enormous water oak between the house and the paddock, so peering through the branches can be tricky. I got excited today when I apparently envisioned in my head a tall dark foal standing behind Gem. I quickly discovered after hurriedly pulling on some dirty jeans and sprinting for the door that there was no such foal. Gem was as I had left her last night, moseying around her paddock, waiting for her morning hay, still full of foal. Oh, well, maybe tomorrow...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Gem's foaling soon!

Our Appaloosa mare OK Truly A Gem should be having her foal any day! Her udder is filling, and she seems slightly uncomfortable (as any extremely pregnant lady is). She has started separating herself from her herdmates, so tonight I will put her in a paddock alone. She is bred to a leopard foundation Appaloosa stallion named Ulrich Red Pepper. Can't wait to see this baby!

OK Truly A Gem

Ulrich Red Pepper

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Welcome to the Weblog of Phat Horse Farm! We are a small horse farm in NE GA about 20 miles east of Athens. We've currently got 5 horses plus one friend's horse, but our Appaloosa mare is due any day! Our horses include 2 Appaloosa geldings, 1 Appaloosa mare, 1 foundation Quarter Horse mare, and 1 Haflinger cross mare. Also on the farm are 3 dogs: a lab mix named TJ, a retired greyhound named Alex, and a Dachshund named Lucy.