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An additional note... this may be harsh and some may be offended by this ... A part of me believes strongly in 'survival of the fitest.' Mother nature is a harsh and cruel mistress. Horses in the wild survive because they are the strongest and the hardiest... If a Mustang mare develops any kind of defect, she and/or her foal dies... Leaving behind the strongest. So, a part of me feels that to try and 'fix' a problem with a domestic mare is wrong... Now, if my environment causes the problem... i.e. poor nutrition and poor care, then it is up to me to do what I can to ensure survival of the mare and foal... But, if there is a genetic defect in the foal or the mare (i.e. dwarfism) then you do not breed that horse ever again... Before I breed Annie again, I want a vet to perform a full breeding soundness check on her...

I also need to monitor future mares to see if they have an infection while pregnant. I just found out a vet can do an ultrasound to see if there is anything wrong with the placenta...

Firstly, I'm so very sorry for the loss of Annie's foal - she does look full term to me as well. Many years ago we lost a foal through a red bag, simply because we didn't know what was happening and sent for the vet. Our filly could have been saved had we acted immediately (with the relevant knowledge) as she was still just breathing once the vet arrived and she was out! A very unhappy way to learn about red bags! Three years ago we had 3 red bag deliveries from our mares and all three foals survived - we saw the red bag presenting so quickly snagged it and baby was following normally and delivered within seconds. Of course we were lucky that the babies were presenting correctly, so many red bags come with 'displaced' foals which means that saving them is often impossible.

Hope that Annie is recovering ok, sending you ((((HUGS))))
An additional note... this may be harsh and some may be offended by this ...
Because you started your replly this way, I want to answer what you said. Please understand, I always try to give the benefit of the doubt to people and try to say things as nicely as I can, but the way you are saying this is "survival of the fittest" is hurting me to the core. So not judging you, but let me explain what I "hear" you are saying.

First, a red bag delivery is NOT a genetic defect. Placental previa is just the unfortunate seating of the placenta inside the mother -- any mother -- horse or humans. Therefore the placenta grows across the mouth of the womb blocking the normal delivery. The baby's head can not engage and begin the spreading of the birth canal, since the placenta is soft material, and not the little feet and head of the foal -- or in humans the skull of the newborn. It does not happen often, BUT without assistance it is a death sentence for both foals and in the past used to be for humans alike as the placenta begins to hemmorhage as contractions and baby's head/feet begin to push against it. And secondary hemmorhaging of the mother can also be the result from lack of assitance at the birth.

The way you wrote the earlier reply, I am assuming that you were not in attendance at the delivery again -- since you are saying that you "assume it was a red bag?"

A red bag delivery is easy to visually determine, and in many, many cases easily remedied -- the placenta presents first and looks like a red sponge. You must quickly cut through that, and reach the foal's amniotic sac. Then quickly cut through that and deliver the foal. Very seldom does a foal die anymore with a breeder who understands what is happening and acts quickly -- although many foals can have dystocias that require additional assistance in these cases.

The placenta did not separate 2-3 days ago, or she would have aborted -- as nature expels dead fetuses this far along -- so chances are you had a viable foal until the delivery. The baby appears full term in the pictures, but babies can not break through the amniotic sac + the placental lining without assistance in time to take their first breaths, so the baby suffocates. You are fortunate you did not find your mare bled-out along with the baby.

I understand what you are saying about wild horses, but remember, these are not "wild horses" they were bred down by man, and come with a series of man-bred-in problems, as many dog and cat breeds are these days -- i.e. Persian cats and Bull Dogs bred with heads too broad for mommas to deliver without cesarean sections. In nature, survival of the fittest is the norm, but once man came into the picture and domesticated these animals, he also took on the responsiblity of caring for them as a good steward -- assisting in their care. I can understand not putting a foal on life support machines, but I can not understand standing by to just watch a baby die and calling it survival of the fittest.

This may seem harsh too, but we all work very hard to help each of these precious little ones come to the ground safely -- no matter what position they choose for birth. With some we are successful, with others, unfortunately, we aren't. But we TRY because these are domestic animals that look to us for their care, their feeding and everything else relating to them being on our property and under our supervision.

I grew up on a farm and my friends say I have a farmer mentality -- some are offended because I don't "react" at death. I'm sad at the loss, but I understand that it happens. That said, I don't stand around and just watch it happen without trying to save whatever animal it is from an untimely death.

I am very sorry for the loss of this little one. You are very fortunate your mare survived. Also, I am sure your vet will find the mare breeding sound, as this is not genetic, it is simply a malpresentation because her placenta attached in an unfortunate place. With placentitis you would most likely have seen a discharge -- which I don't remember you reporting. If you had, one of us would have advised you to have her checked by a vet, as we lost 2 foals to placentitis last year. Very sad. But, if she is cultured now, she may well have an infection from the birth.

Again, I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but I am a FIRM BELIEVER that WE are responsible for the care of the animals we choose to own, and must do all we can to assist them thoughout their life with us. And since we know ahead of time that these mares can have difficulties, I believe it is our responsiblity as owners to be in attendance and do everything that we can to bring these precious little ones to the ground safely.


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We are not here to judge you, if you intend to believe "survival of the fitest" that is your choice. Our role here is to help get as many babies safely on the ground and our advice to be present at the birth is simply how we personally do things in our barns. A red bag foal in my personal experience is in no way a sick foal or a dwarf, they grow up to be perfectly healthy horses. Most of us on here have experienced a few and even though they need fast intervention it is not a reason to let a foal die. JMHO

I wish you all the best with your next mare.
I'm just hurting right now... This was a beautiful filly and I'm trying to rationalize loosing the baby... Hence, survival of the fittest... I see what you say about the wild horses and yes, we are responsible for our domestic ones... We just missed this foal by about 30 minutes... We don't have barn cameras, we don't have mare stare and Toni and I were worn out... Toni especially, since she's the one that gets up and down all night long to check the mares... We both stayed out there until after 10:30 and Annie wasn't showing any signs whatsoever of impending foaling... She was just standing in a corner, half asleep, one foot relaxed... nothing... No restlessness, no pacing, no hunching like she was contracting, nothing... Her bag wasn't very big, although firm. I expressed liquid from her bag that was slightly milky, but translucent. That was the only sign she was close, but all information I could find said it could still be 24 hours away.

I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings... If you have ever watched the tv series, Bones... I seem to be very much like Temperance Brennan... I try to rationalize and analyze and try to find a reason for things happening, and find a way to prevent it happening again... The tears are just below the surface because I don't like breaking down... The times I've done that, all I want to do is stay in bed for days... So, I 'keep a stiff upper lip' and forge ahead.

On top of all this, I lost my job a week or so ago and we're hanging on financially by a thread. The only thing positive on the horizon is my dad's estate is almost settled (still a few weeks away) and I will be getting a substantial inheritance... Enough to buy my own place and buy enough hay and animal supplies to last for several years. That should give me enough time to get a farm income going via selling eggs, meat & dairy goats, vegetables, fruit & honey...

Sometimes I feel as though I have no business trying to do something I've wanted to do all my life... Have horses. My aunt seems to think I should sell everything and come live with her and my mom... Be like them. Live in so-cal in suburbia staring at four walls of a house instead of living in the country, growing my own food, living and loving horses...

P.S. I would never have 'just let a foal die' if I'm present... I would even give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if necessary... birth fluids and all. (I even did that with a kitten a few months ago and the kitten survived.)

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No, I understand what you were doing. I just didn't want you to let yourself think that way.

Remember, I've raised horses many, many years -- since I was a child and we had Arabians. I have slept in many a stall at night -- totally worn out from being there week after week, just because there was a "due date" pending -- maybe no signs -- but we can't always count on that. So, get yourself a sleeping bag and set yourself up in the barn for the next one. With good pictures, we should be able to see baby turn into the go position, and give you enough notice to be there for the next birth.

When I see signs that birth is 48-72 hours away, I move into the barn. I have no cameras -- never did -- so I use myself as the camera. I sleep with the mare I think is closest with my phone as my alarm clock. But an anxious mare getting ready to foal will be active and pacing and drop herself heavily to the stall floor. I've never slept through that.

When a baby is 24 hours away -- consider it minutes away from birth! There is no "clock" for the mommas, and even with foaling pH strips, a mare's pH can drop from 7.4 to 6.0 and foaling in 4 hours. So, for the imminent births -- and by imminent I mean 24-48 hours away if you can tell -- you must rally yourself and be there.

Remember, we always say no more than 20 minute checks -- and really 10 minutes would be more perfect -- because baby only has 6 minutes to survive. That's why I live in the barn during foaling season. It was the only way to do it in the past, and so I continued what I knew worked for me.

I'm sorry for your loss, but let's see if we can't get the next ones safely on the ground with your attendance. Since you're looking for the reason and how to fix it -- the reason is the baby needed help and no one was there to help it. The way to prevent it is to be there. So, since this has happened twice, let's not let it happen again. You just have to allow yourself to be a bit uncomfortable for a few nights to BE there for these little ones.

If this is what you have always wanted -- then let's make it happen!! You can do it!!
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Diane you are the best horse mommy ever! With my first and thought last foal 3 years ago, a kind, experienced foaler told me the same thing, almost word for word. I went out and bought a $70 camera I couldn't afford, and I camped out watching her from 50 feet away. 2 1/2 months later, I was exhausted, irrritated, frustrated. And even though she is the master of sneaky, amongst sneaky foaling mares, I was able to make it in time and save that foal.
We both stayed out, never leaving her side... After almost six hours of watching Freckles walk, poop, pee, walk, poop, pee, eat... She finally went down about 11:30 p.m. and got down to business. With a little help, she delivered a monsterous buckskin filly pinto with 8" cannon bones at 11:55 p.m.

I told Toni that she'd better have the baby before midnight and she did... I kept whispering in Freckles' ear that I wanted a buckskin filly... Tobiano assured since Freckles is homozygous tobiano... I forgot to tell her... petite!!! I think this filly will outgrow her B papers! I might even be able to ride her when she's full grown... As big as she is, I thought she'd be a colt, but, Toni assured me she was a girl... (I wonder if she had a sex-change when I wasn't lookin!) The baby was ready to kick butt and take names as soon as it hit the ground. I think she's already as big as Dice, who is 5 weeks old tomorrow.

She's already nursed and mom has passed the placenta intact... Freckles is a bit pushy and keeps getting between us and the filly... With a little pushing back; however, she does back off. We're now letting her have her space...

Poor Annie is upset and wants the baby...

We're going to bed for the next 12 hours... lol... We'll get pics in the daylight hours...

Kari & Toni
oh wonderful. I am so happy for you both. We need pics though

I need a BIG name for this filly.... I'm thinking Big Bertha (named after the howitzer the Germans used in WWII)... I could call her Dallas, since she's the size of Texas... 'course, there's also Alaska...

I could call her MMM Dream Supersized Me...

I guess in the grand scheme of things, she's not as big as a Clydesdale... but close... lol!

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Oh thank goodness for a successful foaling - many congratulations and well done Freckles!!

Cant wait for the pictures of this new 'giant' in our midst!!
CONGRATULATIONS on a healthy delivery!!!! Even if she is a giant -- she's alive and safely on the ground!! GOOD GOING GIRLS!!!!

I can't wait to see the pictures!!! Oh, I want pictures!!!!!!
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Congratulations! So glad for you both and Freckles on another healthy Filly! Can't wait to see what she looks like and the name you pick out.
Well, she didn't shrink while we were asleep! She is very pretty and looks like she will be more refined than her mother. Her mother is a chunk. She is still wobbly, but has no fear. She walks right up to the cats and us, even if her mother is trying to shove her away.

Here's pics. The last pic is her standing next to a level that is 24". She is approx. 23".

Daddy gave her his color and his dishy head, but forgot about size. He is 30" and very refined.

Her barn name is going to be "Dallas". Still working on reg. name. I said name her Fancy Broken Dreams, but Kari vetoed that. LOL I think that is better than Big Bertha!!!LOL

Dams name is Mini Bucks Fancy Freckles and sire is Westeria Farms GMB Dream Come True!! To save the filly from Kari's bad name choice, please give us any ideas.LOL

I said we should have a driving team with Dice and Dallas. A tall silver pinto and a tall buckskin pinto, since both are looking to mature close to the same height. Between 32-34".



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Congratulations on your lovely big (& healthy) girl!! Our colt from last year came with 8.5" cannon bones and his barn name is Clyde! He has already outgrown his A papers and is too tall to show R as a yearling. Luckily he is a pinto and we see driving in his future because he can't outgrow Pinto papers and for ADS shows he would just be a pony. If he keeps growing I may ride him, as I only weigh 100 pounds. I try to look at the bright side when the foal is alive and healthy.
She is very pretty!!! Tall is fine, as Mary said, you can register her with the Pinto registry and have a lot more opportunities to show her!
I really don't think she's going to outgrow her A papers... She'll probably mature around 33"... She is very pretty. I was just expecting a small baby because my stallion is only 30" and the buckskin colt, Dash, from Lace (same sire) is going to be tiny.... <g> But, Lace is 29" so Dash got a double whammy of 'small.'

I'm happy with her... I was just kiddin!

I'm still trying to come up with a good name for her... I kinda like the name Dallas for a barn name, but I cannot come up with a registration name that incorporates Dallas... I start out with MMM Dreams (because that is part of Casper's name) but can't seem to tie Dallas into anything that goes with it.

Dash's name is MMM Dreams A Dash of Debonair

Diva's name is MMM Destinys Dazzling Diva

Dice's name is MMM Designs Roll of the Dice

We went by 'D' names because the AGS (American Goat Society) tattoo's this year all start with D so we named the goats born this year all 'D' names. So we just did the same for the horse names...

How about this one... MMM Dreams Desert Diamond... Desi for short...


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