So, as some of you are aware, my foster mare Lady may be pregnant.
She's owned by a rescue organization so I'm waiting on them to get her preg checked. A check is in the works but there's a whole fiasco with the ultrasound etc etc etc so we may be waiting (Lady=waiting, me=biting my fingernails into nothing-ness) for a couple more weeks.
Basically though, I'm EXTREMELY nervous because, if she is pregnant (I'm beginning to really think she is), she's the first and only pregnant horse I've ever been around.
And on top of that, I've never, in my life, been around a baby horse of any sort. About the baby-est animal I've ever dealt with was my 5 week old kitten 2 years ago and there's quite a size difference between a half pound kitten and a baby HORSE.
Never been around a yearling, never been around a weanling, never been around a 2 year old, the youngest horse I've dealt with was was 4.
I may be freaking out just a tad.
I'm inclined to think she's rather close, if she is indeed pregnant, because just in the last week or so she went from big to giant and her energy levels just DROPPED. Previously she had been trotting around on a daily basis, constantly moving, etc, and now she's pretty much standing around, grazing a bit, peeing ALL the time, and she's quite a bit more cranky than she was a week or two ago.
The other thing is that I had planned to have her moved somewhere else if she is pregnant because of my own ineptness. However, in talking with the rescue, if I'm comfortable, they would really prefer that she stay with me since she knows me, she's comfortable here, and the next avaliable foster homes on "the list" are ones that maybe have had a couple years horse expierence and are not prepared for a baby either...
I, of course, am not bending to that^^ sad story, but at the same time, it makes me wonder if I could become prepared for a baby+if I should reconsider my previous adamant NO.
I mean, I had pretty much planned to foster Lady over the winter anyway, is there really that much of a difference? Um. YES. But maybe it's a difference I can handle...?
So, pretty much, tell me what you know/link me to good things. I know nothing. I've followed foaling threads but there's a biiiiig difference between a foaling thread and actually living it.
My other questions involve my ability to do this properly:
I'm going to college in October (commuting, so leaving home 7-8am-ish, back around 3-4pm. Don't know my exact schedule yet but that's the likely scenario) - can a young baby be properly looked after on that time schedule? I figure, from how Lady is looking, if she is pregant, she'll be dropping it mid-late August, maybe September...
Do mares NEED to foal in stalls? I have kinda sorta stalls set up but nothing really fancy or "appropriate"...Lots of open pasture though!
The fencing on all the pastures is high-tensile wire...Baby-safe? I feel like that's not...
I'm not sure I'll be able to do checks multiple times a night... I can probably sleep up at the barn if she looks really close/there's concern but that's super not ideal...
Blind horses+babies? My Lacey girl would be living with them and she's basically blind. She can see a little bit but not a ton, will having a baby around most likely frustrate her no end? Lacey is extremely maternal though, I'm always finding her "babysitting" baby deer (they'll be laying within feet of her and she'll be alertly "watching" for danger while mom is off foraging somewhere), she watches young kids like a hawk, etc etc...
Lady isn't a maiden, does that increase her likelihood of foaling safely?
I really just have no idea what I might be getting into here and I want to make sure that whatever I choose (Lady goes somewhere else to take care of "business" or stays here) that's the best answer for us.
All those questions make me think NO BABY, but yknow, better to ask. :)
I just really want to do the best thing for this situation. I could just wash my hands of it but I don't want to end up regretting it for some reason or another.
And here's a picture of the potential mama from last week, in case you want to see.
Anyhoo, thank you for putting up with my babbling! Hahaha