Okay, now that the cheerful introduction is out of the way, it's time to get to a more unhappy issue...
Late last night, I got a text from my dad saying that he was making the four hour drive from just outside of San Antonio to pick me up at Texas Christian University because of a rather disconcerting situation regarding a mare and her newly born foal on our property. I don't have classes on Fridays, so this was no problem at all in terms of academics.
Anyway, this mare (about ten years old) has had three foals in previous years without issue. In fact, she was the caring (but properly disciplinarian) mother that a horse mother should be.
Two and a half weeks ago, she gave birth to a BEAUTIFUL jet-black foal (a male) with a white "question mark" on his forehead.
The birth itself was a rather difficult process for the mare; not only was the birth a breech birth, but the foal was quite large. I was not present for the birth itself, but my mom mentioned that it took a little over an hour for the whole process to occur.
The problem? From the moment that the birth was over, the mare seemed to ABSOLUTELY HATE this thing that came out of her. She won't let him nurse, forcefully bumping him away when he comes near her (my parents have been busy tending to him). On numerous occasions in the last two weeks, she has kicked or bitten him. She wants absolutely nothing to do with him and I've been told that it's not terribly uncommon for her to just leave him by himself or chase him away, ears pinned, baring (sp?) her teeth. Today was the first day that I actually saw the new baby and, simply put, it's heartbreaking. He's such a beautiful little guy and sweet as anything. Not to sound corny, but he just wants his mommy but mom does not share the same sentiments. If more information is needed, I will be happy to provide it, but the point is that we have raised many a foal from birth to adulthood on our farm and neither of my parents have ever seen a mare this brutally vindictive towards her baby.