Are you waiting for that equine bundle of joy to arrive? Here's a tongue-in-cheek account of one horse-person's foal night-watch:
10:00 pm Gather sleeping bag; alarm clock and three back copies of favorite Equestrian Magazine. Head for barn.
10:01 pm Return to house for bag of chips and a 32 oz Pepsi.
10:10 pm Back to barn. Flashlight goes out half way there. Figure you can make it by memory. Pat faithful ranch dog’s head as he pants and slobbers alongside.
10:11 pm Remember suddenly you have no ranch dog.
10:11 pm Run screaming to house. Change flashlight batteries. Change underwear. Return to barn.
10:15 pm Establish foal-watch headquarters in empty stall next to broodmare.
10:16 pm Enter broodmare’s stall for the 5,687th inspection of the reproductive parts.
10:16 pm Broodmare flattens ears for the 5,687th time.
10:17 pm Sigh audibly, leave stall and head for house. Dial veterinarian just to make sure he’s home.
10:18 pm Replace receiver on phone base rather than where suggested.
10:19 pm Return to barn and squirm into sleeping bag. Set alarm for one hour and shut off light.
10:20 pm Forty thousand sets of tiny feet become active as entire mouse population in the county begin wind sprints in your barn loft.
10:25 pm Sit up when something with not so tiny feet joins wind sprints in loft.
10:26 pm Flick on light – listen to absolute silence.
10:27 pm Flick off light.
10:28 pm Wind sprints resume. Big foot is winning.
11:18 pm Finally fall asleep.
11:19 pm Alarm goes off.
11:20 pm Peek through knothole at broodmare. Mare pins ears.
11:21 pm Reset alarm and flick out light.
11:23 pm Flick on light. Realize 32 oz Pepsi was a mistake. Head for house to “eliminate” problem.
11:26 pm Resist urge to phone veterinarian.
11:27 pm Trot back to barn. Left boot is sucked off in mudhole. Hobble three steps before getting stopped.
11:28 pm Return to house and change one sock.
11:29 pm Walk to barn.
11:30 pm One last check of broodmare though knothole. Ears pinned.
11:30 pm Set alarm for one hour. Turn out light.
11:40 pm Wake suddenly. Check knothole. Mare is lying down!
11:41 pm Enter broodmare stall carrying Ye Olde Foaling Manual, 3 pounds of clean rags, iodine and a tetanus shot. Mare breaks wind and gets up. Pins ears.
11:42 pm Return to sleeping bag. Flick out light.
11:52 pm Flick on light. Remove flake of hay that has accumulated in bottom of bag. Flick out light.
12:01 am Can’t hear clock. Flick on light. Clock is fine. Remove hay from ear. Flick out light.
12:29 am Fall asleep.
12:31 am Alarm goes off.
12:32 am Eyes feel like somebody put sand in them. Stagger to knothole. Extreme close-up of mare’s rear end. No change in reproductive parts. Can’t see ears. Assume pinned.
12:33 am Back into sleeping bag. Set alarm and flick out light. Left foot cramps. Shove foot against bottom of bag to relieve cramp.
12:38 am Cramp over. Relax foot.
12:39 am Left foot turns into a pretzel. Struggle out of bag and hobble around for 5 minutes.
12:44 am Cramp over. Return to bag. Right foot starts to quiver.
01:10 am Fall asleep.
01:39 am Alarm goes off. Sleep right through it.
6:30 am Wake up. Glance at clock. Attempt to leap from bag. Become part of huge polyester/fiberfill wad in hay. Crawl to knothole. Peer into broodmare stall. See TWO sets of pinned ears.
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