There is a certain gathering of the clan at supper time each evening now, miraculously they have subtly changed their clocks and have trained us to bring them in for their tea earlier and earlier. By tonight everyone was gathered by 3.30 in a fairly orderly que - the two groups of brood mares having integrated earlier in the week ( see the ednovean diaries!). The system is simple "Lizzie rules OK" and so Lizzie the sturdy Holstein mare sweeps in with her foal beside her first each night, as is her right, with her best friend April an impatient second accompanied the laid back Archie. After this we gather Belle, former chief of staff of TB mares, Diva "anything for a quiet life and hates crowds darling" and Amie (who loves her two new foal playmates) and finally Dolly, who as a yearling is considered below anybodies notice but does a nifty line in que jumping given half the chance. Phew - it's a busy few minutes.
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Annie, Charles and Lizzie making their way in from the fields
As Danilon's first crop of foals began with and A the beginning, alpha, the first - so our three young foals have started their ABC.
To reach the nearest pasture behind the stables we must cross a public lane with a footpath over it, so control is paramount for us from an early age. From birth, the young foals are escorted with comforting arms around their chest and quarters behind their Mum and as soon as they are big enough they are presented with their first baby headcollars and then led with one hand around their quarters still, to guide them forwards and a soft slip rope through the nose band of the headcollar. Each day, in the morning when they are turned out and in the evening when they come in to supper and bed, they learn to lead almost without realising it, as part of their daily routine. Within a few weeks Charles is able to take the foal in one hand and the mare in the other and the daily routine of life goes on.
This week all the mares had their regular visit from the farrier and this time, as always, the foals had their feet examined carefully on a hard standing whilst the farrier carefully checked the angle of each foot, taking them back into the stable to trim and then back out to examine the results..
Spot the foal
Annie and Lizzie
I think some one has a soft spot for Lizzie!
Charles horse sitting whilst I ferry Dolly into her stable before we head back to the house with Belle on the left of picture, Diva central and Amie right.
Belle leading the next group down the lane to the stables - that's Diva and Amie behind.
Belles bulge is due in February - fingers crossed
Diva and Amie
Which just leaves Archie the baby of the party with his mum April
Monday, 5 October 2009
April, Archie with Lizzie behind and Annie at the front
Well Charles took a stroll around with the camera this morning - too late for the frolics and antics of first thing but just as the contented little group were moving up the hill to the next field to graze for the day.
This year Danilon has sired one bay, one chestnut and one grey foal but all of them are bold and upstanding ready for life's journey.
Archie the baby at ten weeks still enjoys mum's milk
The fields rise high above Mounts bay that's St Micheal's Mount set in the bay not that Archie and Annie care - they are too busy supervising Charles or maybe they have a "good side" like an actor/ress
Archie practising formation grazing with his mum April