Hippo's or ponies?

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Hello everyone!

I have been watching and reading threads on this board for some time, and have been inspired to add my own by the frustrating but gorgeous Robin!

My name is Tracey and I live on a small, mixed arable and livestock farm in North Yorkshire, Uk. I work part time as a Clinical Sister in A & E, and the rest of the time on the farm and in our home. I have two beautiful children, Sally 24 (a veterinary nurse) and Toby 11 (Ronaldo in the making!).

Now for the girls story...I have 3 ponies, Lollipop, Boo and Abi. I will introduce them in greater detail, with pics if I can figure it out, later but here is there story in a nutshell.

I put a stallion in with them last June (15th), he was seen covering each of them in turn for around 4-5 days each during June/July. I did not see him showing any interest, nor them coming back into season, after July. Yet, here I am still waiting for them to show me their treasure! He was removed October 17th.

Frustrated is not the word...I can't find the word, or at least can't publish it!

Lollipop (Dilston Silver Sovereign) is a 7 year old, palomino and white, midi mare, standing at 35 inches. She was my first pony and bought for me by my husband and daughter 3 years ago for my 40th birthday. She has had two foals, a colt in 2009 with her breeder and a beautiful filly, Parkgrove Penny Royale, in May last year, whom I have kept. Her foaling last year was text book, she bagged up, dropped her ph slightly and foaled at 2.30 am. She was 345 days from last covering when she foaled. Here she is with Penny last summer.

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And another of Penny

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Abi (Serabi of Clonyard) is a 13 year old bay and white mini mare, standing at 33 inches. I bought her in foal, in October 2010, and she had a stunning tri coloured colt last year, Parkgrove Rupert. She foaled in the paddock at 347 days from last covering (she hates being stabled) at 2.20am, without an enormous bag or showing any other signs other than being a bit fidgity the evening before. Rupert was her 6th foal. Here she is with Rupert last summer.

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Boo (Moonstone Sudden Surprise) is a 4 year old Maiden who stands at 30 inches and is blue roan (although looks like she may be turning steel grey!) I bought her last summer. Here she is in May this year, with Penny.

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So, we are now approaching October, and all the girls must be at the very least 340 days.

Lollipop (confirmed in foal in February by palpation because she had colic symptoms) has the start of a bag, but not very impressive, and doesn't look as enormous as she did last year (although she does look very fat).

Here she is, all pic taken 3 weeks ago, apologies for the dirt, the weather has been awful and it's difficult to keep them clean!

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Her bag (or lack of)

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Her vulva

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Abi has a bag which is up and down, hard one day soft the next, elongated vulva one day, scrunched up the next, agitated one day, relaxed the next....grrrrrrr. Here she is 2 weeks ago

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Will post again withe rest as the uploader says I've maxed out!
 
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Back to Abi

Here is her bag and vulva 2 weeks ago, and a pic from behind.

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Uploader probs again will re post
 
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Abi from behind and bag 2 weeks ago

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Last up is little Boo, she won't let me anywhere near her bag or vulva! but here she is 2 weeks ago,

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I will get more pics this evening if I can, and keep you all updated. What are your thoughts about this troublesome trio?
 

Wings

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You look like you have a pretty little herd!

Good luck
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countrymini

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Hey NPM

I'm not much use to you as I haven't had enough experience but going off what other aunties have written on this forum, I can assume that your pain is only just beginning
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Cute girls tho, cant wait to see their babies
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phoebeq

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Beautiful little gals AND babies! I am wondering if instead of hippos we should start referring to our girls as elephants, since they carry their babies for what, 2 years? LOL.

I dunno if I can help you much, but I can tell you that I HOPE they are
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Can't wait to see what the future holds for you AND I! Good luck!
 

AnnaC

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Hi Tracey - great to have you and the girls join us. I'm in Wales so know exactly what you mean about dirt and the weather! LOL!! Stillwaiting to see what the summer weather will look like!!
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I also have 'hippos' - too many of them - so I think your girls look great, just like normal minis and not 'hippos' at all!

A large percentage of mares have gone well over their dates this year so guess your three must simply be following the trend.
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Would love to have some info or a picture of the Daddy and a picture of Penny as she is now, Rupert too if you still have him. Meanwhile please keep the pics coming of your pretty three, plus any other news from life on your farm.
 
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Hi all, thank you so much for a very warm welcome, I really appreciate comments or advice other that the "yep tracey, we've been seeing that behaviour since July" that I get at home from my husband and kids!

Here is Daddy, Parlington Pickles, standing at 32 inches and every inch the gentleman to care for.

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I will try do some more pics from other computer shortly
 

cassie

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hi, welcome to the nursery
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so happy you have joined us here, gosh you have some beautiful mini's!!! just gorgeous!

I hope they are all in foal for you... and OH MY your stallion is to die for! love his rich bay colour!!! cute very cute! can't wait to see the babies! you must be so excited
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AnnaC

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Oh he's a Parlington!! Great stud, so he has many good breeding lines behind him - very exciting, I'm sure a few of mine have Parlington's back in their pedigrees.
 
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Hi all, sorry I've been absent, I worked a 13 hr shift yesterday and then went to meet family on our boat after work. Had some special friends on pony watch who thank goodness had nothing to report!

Returned today to find movement, Abi's bag has improved and her milk is like runny custard with white flecks in it. Baby is quieter than usual too. Lollipop is much the same, as is Boo.

I took pics but am struggling to transfer them from my camera....will keep trying.

It's been so cold here for the last two nights, temp dropping to 3 degrees with a windscreen freezing groundfrost, I'm concerned that these babies will struggle. My husband (ever the farmer) says that these ponies are bred in the highlands of Scotland and will flourish....I am ordering blankets and preparing their stables!

Another 13 hr shift tomorrow, so will re post when I return from work x
 

AnnaC

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Your hubby is correct except that he has forgotten that the ponies born in Shetland are usually born in the Spring as the weather is warming up, not at this time of year on the verge of winter!! (my daughter's partner is a farmer so no need to tell me about their 'attitudes' LOL!!)

New foals are unable to regulate their own temperatures for up to 3 weeks after foaling so in 'difficult' weather they do need help. Yes, loads of deep bedding will certainly help - give them something to snuggle down into during the cold nights, and having rugs handy is a good idea. Well done you for planning well ahead!!

Just watching the weather report on morning tv - looks as though the weather we had yesterday evening and overnight is with you right now and that you will be sending it back to us tomorrow (thanks!!). And I was so hoping to see an Indian Summer to give us all a bit of a break before winter sets in - some hope!!
 
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Hi everyone

Sorry for the delay in reposting, we have had a traumatic couple of days with the flooding etc. Thankfully the girls are fine as they are in a paddock next to the house which is on higher ground, so we don't flood.

On the other hand, we have 60 acres of parkland, next to the river swale which is very much under water. The bank has broken down where rabbits have dug burrows so we have mini waterfalls everywhere.

We had to rescue our cattle and bring them in last night, and move sheep to higher ground, and rescue a neighbours cattle, bringing them into our parks for safety. We slept better last night knowing that they were all safe.

I do have some good news! We had our cattle TB tested this am, and the farm vet is also equine so I got him to check the girls. As I suspected, all 3 are very much in foal, and to his delight (and mine) the foals were VERY active. He reckons Abi will foal this week, then Boo and lastly Lollipop. He said the first lesson he learned at vet school was how clever the equine mare is, as they can delay foaling if the conditions are not right. He was very happy that the girls are all in 'good' condition (I think he meant fat!) and very healthy, and told me to stop stressing and be patient.

So, updates then, well Abi has grown a nice bag which is much harder in the evening, and just slightly less so on a morning. Her vulva seems to be following the same pattern, being longer and more swollen in the evening, and much redder. Her milk is testing sky high for calcium and ph is 7, so I don't think we will be too much longer. Thankfully, the weather here today is just perfect, and is set to stay like this until after the weekend, so I'm hoping Abi picks up on this and gets on with it! Here are some pics from last night.

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Boo is much the same, but then she is a maiden so who knows what to expect. She has a big udder but her teats are small and tucked up. Her vulva is swollen but tight.

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Lollipop is steadily developing her bag, sorry pic is poor but there are udders there! I do think she looks like a hippo!

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Will post some pics of floods later
 

AnnaC

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I'm so glad you posted and that you and your (and your neighbours) animals are all safe. There have been some horrific floods in your area and I have been keeping my fingers crossed for you. Got friends up in Morpeth (above Newcastle) and have seen the pics in the newspapers of the flooding there, but not heard from them so am sending out prayers at the moment. Another friend near Middlesborough is ok but yet to hear from a cousin with a farm near Guisborough, but they are higher up so am pretty sure they will be ok. Really hoping that the water recedes for everyone very soon - such a horrid situation.

Glad your TB test went ok - is that the final test or will you be doing the second reading in a few days? So the 'hippos' are all pregnant - and not just hippo looking!! Brilliant - keeping my fingers crossed for smooth, safe foalings and 3 pretty little babies for you to play with!
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Wings

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Glad that you are alright, Abi seems the most forward of that group. Let's hope it dries out a bit for you soon!
 
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Hi Ladies, nothing much to report here I'm afraid...the girls seem to be quieter, taking themselves to different corners of the paddock and hiding.

Abi's bag is still up and down, but is bigger than when she foaled last year. She does appear to have changed shape again, looking like a pear from behind. She is very settled though, and very enthusiastic at tea time!

Lollipop's bag is growing steadily, just like it did last year. Boo is, well just Boo really! She spends every minute grazing, even when the other two are hiding in corners.

Thankfully the flooding is subsiding, we still have several roads blocked.

The cattle were on their 2nd test Anna, and thankfully passed.

Here's a couple of pics of the bovine girls.

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I'm really hoping to have some news soon!
 

AnnaC

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May I ask what breed of cattle they are - many many moons ago (1960's) when I had cows, I picked up a young calf from the local market. She looked exactly like yours with that white middle band, black either end. She was very small and I never bred from her, she just ran with the diary herd as a pet for about 8 years until I passed her on to a friend who wanted a 'nanny' for her regular batches of weaned calves. I always wondered if she was a particular 'breed' - those markings are so striking, a bit like saddlebacked pigs!!

Sounds as though your equine girls are progressing nicely.
 
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Nice and steady is driving me INSANE, castle rock! I'm getting tempted to perform a cervical sweep....It worked for me!

The cows are Belted Galloway. We are building up the herd, and now have 23 cows, 10 calves, and 1 bull. They have run with the bull since May and he has lost interest in them now, so we are hoping they are all in calf.

Belted Galloway beef is very distinctive, it's flavour is second to none, although it is more expensive than other beef as it takes a Beltie longer to mature.

They are very small at birth, and grow like weeds! They live out all year, and do well even in the worst of weathers, so are cheaper to keep than continentals.

Prior to this herd we had a herd of Aberdeen Angus, which we ran with a Limousin bull.

We love having a suckler herd, especially a growing one as we get to keep the offspring to breed from, and will hopefully have them until they die naturally. We won't sell any female calves for a few years yet.

Abi is a bit odd today, her head is down whilst wandering around, as though grazing yet she looks like shes trying to find somewhere to roll or pass urine. Her tail is high, and I havn't seen her eating, just wandering round....we'll see!
 

AnnaC

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Ooooooo it sounds as though Abi is getting really close - I would be watching her like a hawk from now on. Are you stabling them at nights - sorry cant remember what you said earlier - but with this awful weather refusing to give us a break, I'm sure that checking mares throughout the night in a nice dry barn is a lot better than torchlight expeditions around fields in the pouring rain LOL!!

Thanks for the info about your gorgeous cattle - I had heard of the Belted Galloways of course, but never seen a picture.

Good luck with the foaling (when it happens) keeping my fingers crossed for you and Abi!
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