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I bred my mare last year to the Connemara stallion WH Topgun. I spent one fully year looking at stallions to pick the one I wanted, and another year waiting for this baby.

This is W.H. Topgun. There are some youtube videos of him as well, if you have some time to spare.


It took 3 breedings for my mare to take. I wasn't even sure she could have a successful pregnancy. She is 17 years old and has never been bred before.

I was So ready for her to foal around 330 days. She kept me waiting. 359 days. I kept checking her every day and her milk ph was staying around 7.5, and she never waxed, didn't drip milk or really bag up. I was starting to think she was going to hold onto the foal an entire 370 days!

I checked her in the morning, took my other mare for a ride, and ran down to fill up the gas tank on the truck. She was grazing, not pacing or acting like anything was amiss. I came back and she was laying down in her paddock and I could just see the white sac. I jumped out of my truck, and ran for the foaling kit. Immediately checked for 2 feet and a head. Okay everything is where it should be. She very quickly pushed that baby out.

I grabbed the scalpel and cut the white sack open. Palomino? No, there's a little bit of black hair. It's a buckskin?! And he is already trying to stand up and his back feet are still in the mare! My poor mare didn't get much of a chance to rest. He was out and getting up. And he immediately crashed into the fence. Okay, let me get him out of the fence. And off he goes towards the house! Grab him, so he doesn't fall into the porch screening! My mare barely had a chance to lick him clean, as he was off.

But then things weren't quite right. My mare would not let him nurse. She would kick at him when he tried to nurse. She didn't have much milk. I tried milking her by hand and got maybe 3 CC's of milk. Made some phone calls to the vet. The vet doesn't want to come. Said to sedate the mare. We get the mare sedated and he tries to nurse, but isn't getting much. I insist on having the vet out. She finally comes a couple hours later and expresses some milk from the mare, checks the placenta, tells me everything is fine, and leaves (as quickly as possible). She said if he doesn't get enough colostrum we could run plasma (like no big deal). Didn't mention it was life threatening, or seem at all concerned.

He was nursing constantly, not sleeping. Just constantly bugging the mare because he was hungry. I spent the night out there in the paddock watching because I was terribly worried. My mare was not thrilled about letting him nurse, squealing when he touched her udders. The colt was persistent. Strong little colt.

Next day, I call a different vet. She is immediately concerned and has us trailer both horses in for hospitalization. The mare gets a protocol of drugs to help her "love" her foal more and is started on domperidone to induce milk let down. The foal goes on antibiotics for infection and Plasma for partial failure of passive transfer. They spend about 3 days at the vet's office while I worry myself sick. Really blamed myself for listening to the first vet- this is a vet I had used for years and trusted. This could have been prevented if the foal had gotten more colostrum that first day!

They are both home now and doing well. The foal is over 2 weeks old and doing everything he should be doing. I was terribly worried he would get a joint infection or some other disaster would occur, but both are doing well.

I've started calling him Honor, but he could also be a Valor or Valiant.
 

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Congrats on a gorgeous and healthy colt!

I have learned over the years that it's really just easier to haul the mare and foal in to the vet after the mare foals and have the vet run a transfusion into the foal. If they got a good transfer fine, if they didn't, no big deal, they transfusion covers it. Having a foal who doesn't get a good transfer get sick and spend time in the Neonatal ICU is a lot more expensive than just doing the transfusion. Just something to keep in mind if you decide to breed her back. Not surprised she didn't give you a lot of milk, as a stallion owner I would have refused her since she was 17 year old maiden. That was risky from the beginning. Since you persevered and were successful, if you decide to try again, you'll likely not have any problems on the next breeding.
 

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Yay! Thank you for posting! I was just dying for you to put something up. I am so happy for you. He is magnificent. Seems like just yesterday that @LoriF's baby was born and now she is six years old. It won't be long before you are riding Honor and jumping like Top Gun. Great pictures too.
 

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Congratulations! What a story. Glad you had another vet you could call and amazing they could give the mare something to help her bond more …oxytocin?).

I love the name Valor and it certainly seems to fit his fighting spirit

 

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Dusty, 12hh Welsh gelding
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Congratulations, what a stunning colt, and such beautiful parents too! Your hard work and patience has payed off for sure. You have years of potential in that sweet baby. 😍
 
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