Late Saturday night we had a new arrival on the farm. I checked Wynona at about 9:00 and thought she’s going to foal tonight, but it was so cold, I thought she’d put it off a few hours until the temperature rose. I was wrong. Sunday morning, two horses greeted me in the paddock. The filly was so strong and completely dry, so she was foaled not long after my last check. I took one look at her and named her “Fiona” because she was born in the mud and is a princess. She is the spitting image of her mommy with her daddy’s head. I think she is the nicest we’ve had from Wynona, except maybe Gidget, who is getting a very “breedy” look to her as a yearling.
This is the first foal we’ve had not pasture born. In a paddock, and I missed it. I still can’t believe how wet the stall was; there are definite advantages to pasture birth. Mommy is getting a little stir crazy and we’ll move her to a bigger paddock when I leave with Illusion for the States on Thursday. I know she wants to be in the pasture, but Fiona needs to be a little older as she is the only foal this year. Wynona has such a protective instinct, she isolates herself for the last three months of pregnancy, but once baby is on the ground, she is the alpha, even displacing Sunny. She’s starting to pin her ears at us, allow she is far good natured to get really mean. She just needs more space.
Presenting: “Marsh Haven Fiona”, to be registered 1/2 Welsh and North American Sport Pony
On a completely different note, I can’t believe how hard it is to take two horses to the States, one returning, one not. I’ve been through 6 inches of paperwork in the last three days. I’m lucky I found out on Friday when I could still get it done instead of arriving at the border with my health cert, Coggins, and travel permits in hand. There is DOT number, Service Carrier Alpha Code, ACE E-manifest, brokerage and US Federal Vet check. All of this adds up to over $100 per horse. Yet, slaughter horses coming into Canada only have to have a health certificate and Coggins. This doesn’t seem right in the context of NAFTA.
I’ve just had a long opinion piece published in The Western Producer and am getting quite a few calls of congratulations from readers. The trouble is I’ve written so many letters on slaughter and our culture of rescue, I can’t remember which letters I’ve written to whom. In any case keep your eye out for a PDF file containing a letter to your MP to get support for the producers and primary users in the horse industry. NAFTA enforcement would be good for the industry on both sides of the line.