Friday, April 12, 2013


     Spring is such an amazing time of year. The grass suddenly becomes green again, the air is warm and moist with the spring rains (sometimes too moist...), and the birds chirp while the bees hum. Across the street, the cows are calving and the bulls are roaring at each other. The same is happening over here.
    Our first purebred Lipizzans are due any minute now. Bahama looks like she's about to explode, and the surrogate mare, Doo Dah, has lost a lot of tone in her hind end. Both are bagged up at the same stage, though Doo Dah is due today and Bahama is due in a couple weeks.
     I can't help but remember the first time I met Doo Dah, a little QH mare who is blind in one eye and now belongs to NCSU. She was a little bossy, but she meant well and was overall a sweet little mare. We brought her home so we could give her Dynamite feed and be there for foaling time to do our own "imprinting." The first day, she walloped me in the face with her nose when I was introducing her to the pasture (and, unfortunately, I was on her blind side). I turned her loose, and she immediately went up to the other horses with a bit of a naive "blond" look on her face. Pretty soon, she was given a double-barrel by her only pasturemate. I was a bit protective of her for a bit, especially since she's carrying Seraphina's baby, but she's made of sterner stuff than I allowed for. She frequently waltzed up and started eating out of an alpha mare's dish, and, of course, the alpha, whether it was Jasmine or Bahama, would squeal and kick her a few times. No matter what I did to prevent this, she always tried to eat someone else's food, even if there was only one other horse.
     After a while of being out with the two geldings, I put her in with Bahama, Lyn's mare on lease to us. Bahama is the boss beyond all doubt. Even Jasmine obeys Bahama, though not always willingly. But for some reason, Bahama and Doo Dah are inseparable. They eat together, they graze together, they do everything together. I think that Bahama has taken on the task of raising Doo Dah, and wow has she done a great job of it! Doo Dah is now more confident and comfortable in her own skin. I've caught her standing guard over the other napping horses more than a few times. This would never have happened when we first brought her home. Much of her bossiness has gone away, and she is easy to handle and doesn't panic anymore when I touch her blind side without significant warning. She lets me do nearly anything with her on her blind side. She adores being loved on and gets very excited when I call her, as usually it means she's getting food or attention. I have been so touched to see how much the little girl has grown up since June last year. Now, I can't wait to see how she raises Sera's baby.

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