We bred our 23 year old mare for the last time last year. She'd had 5 previous foals and all grew to be accomplished, money earning roping horses. We wanted just ONE more baby out of her...selfish...I know. She wasn't due until the end of this month. Knowing this, and thinking we had plenty of time, we went on a little weekend getaway on the weekend of June 22-23. We got back on Monday the 24th. I went to check the horses. When I called everyone in, I noticed that Jewel didn't come to the barn with everyone else.
I walked down to the lower pasture and there she was. She was standing but she didn't look good. Not at all. I got about 5 foot from her and the smell hit me. She was covered in sweat and flies and her breathing was very labored. I saw placenta hanging out of her. I rushed to get the trailer hooked up and got her to the vet. I just knew it in my heart that she wasn't going to make it. I drove super careful the whole way to the vet because she was having a hard time standing on her own. They were doing road construction right in front of the vet's driveway and I tried to go as slow and easy as possible over the bumps but I felt her fall. She never got up.
The vet checked her and said that the baby was still in there but was breech. He said that the baby was long dead and that she'd probably been laboring since Sunday. The foal was already stiff and starting to bloat. Jewel was so sick and her she was toxic. The vet said that even if he was able to get the foal out that she had a good chance of dying - what did I want to do? I said to at least TRY to get the foal out and TRY to save the mare. Jewel had been on our farm since she was a 6 month old filly. We were super attached to her. The vet said he'd try.
The vet tried to pull the foal by it's back legs but he couldn't get anywhere. He put chains on the back feet and tried to pull, still nothing. I could see that it was a losing battle. The vet looked at me and I just nodded with tears in my eyes.
The vet began drawing up the medicine to put her down. I sat with her head in my lap and stroked her face and talked to her. I told her what a good girl she was and that I was so so so **** sorry that I was so selfish. She looked at me and then took a shuddering breath and that was it. She died before the vet even gave her the medicine.
I took her back home and we buried her with a backhoe underneath the walnut tree in the field that she loved to stand under. What a hard sobering reality. If you're thinking about breeding your loving pet mare, think twice. It may work out just great. Or you may end up losing everything.