A Less Than Ideal Situation
Baby Rico was not born into an ideal situation. He was born late on Sunday afternoon while the wind was howling at sixty miles per hour and thick smoke from nearby wildfires filled the air. His inexperienced mother had him way out in a field with no one around but another mare who tried to steal him the second he took his first breath.
By the time we found him an hour or so had passed. The pain and confusion the mare experienced had her thinking that the poor little guy was nothing but bad news! Momma and baby were brought inside the barn to get some TLC and bonding time. She hated the sight of him. Every time he moved she would pin her ears, charge and bite him. She kicked him too. Whatever that thing was, she wanted it away from her!
But without her, he would die. He needed his mother's antibody filled colostrum milk or he would never develop his own immune system. It was do, or die. So momma was tied up, coaxed and coerced into letting him have his first meal. Finally he was able to nurse but the minute he was finished he had to be whisked away for his own safety.
Rico was made his own little pen right next to his Momma's stall. Every two hours since he was born us humans help him move into his momma's stall where we have her tied short enough that she can't reach down and bite him. More than once she has managed to get a hold of him and even picked him up by his neck. So the shorter she is tied, the safer he is.
Once he is with her and gets busy nursing she is slowly becoming more willing to let him eat. She still kicks at him but it isn't as often. With our help he is able to fill his belly.
His momma still pretty much thinks we're jerks though. She has quite a bit of swelling around her teats in addition to having her milk come in. It HURTS! So we have given her some pain medication and it seems to be helping.
The vet said we are doing everything right. He swears there is a very good chance she will come around once her hormones calm down and the pain eases up. We are hoping and praying he's right! Getting up every two hours around the clock is worse than when I had my newborn human babies! Plus, we really want Rico to have a momma that loves him.
For the next two weeks, if you need to find me, I'll be out in the barn.... If by then his momma still won't accept him we will wean the black mare's foal and let her adopt him. Her filly will be old enough to wean and we already know she wants him. It's good to have a plan B!
Wish Rico some luck! He could use it! I will keep y'all posted in between my naps....
Now go make something beautiful,