Thinking about all of this and this photo made me think about the day that Danny was born. I know most of you have heard this story before but for those who haven't or just to refresh the memory, here it is again.
Our vet was out of town the morning that Danny was born. I was alone with Mouse when, with one shudder, her water broke and she went back to grazing as if nothing had changed. I'd been told that she would stop eating a few hours before the birth but I knew better, Mouse doesn't stop eating for anything,lol. She was still nibbling at grass a few minutes later when the first hoof emerged. But something was wrong, only one long leg came out and the other was folded out of view. Mouse stood up and walked around a bit and then laid back down for another try. I grabbed my towel, gloves and other supplies I'd brought in case of an emergency. Since I had no one to call, I tried to remember what our vet had told me and I dialed my house to wake my husband, who'd just gone back to bed after having the "first watch." I tried to pull the one leg but I was surprised by how slippery it was. Mouse didn't appear panicked or uncomfortable but I was. She continued to walk around and the baby continued to try to enter the world. My husband Steve finally reached the pasture...he'd had to run because both of our trucks were already there. It took about three attempts but he was finally able to free the leg and, with Mouse standing up, the baby hit the ground with a plop and then proceeded to roll down hill! We both managed to catch him before he hit the creek with Mouse following us. This was our first foal and we both expected him to jump right to his feet just like they do in the movies. We were drying him off and trying to get him up with no success. Finally I called the emergency number that my vet had left with me and I got the University Veterinary School and Hospital. I was told that I could get a doctor for consultation but that a short phone call would cost me $160. I looked at the time and saw that it was just 6:15 but I told the operator, "Thanks but I have a good friend that I think I'll wake up." I called my friend Brandy, who is an amazing trainer and riding instructor and has bred and raised champion Quarter horses for years. Brandy was happy to help me even at that early hour. She assured me that Danny not being on his feet fifteen minutes past his birth was normal especially for a large foal. She seemed to anticipated my questions before I asked them and calmed all of my fears and before she hung up the phone, she let me know that I could call her any time during the day then she asked, "Isn't this just the most wonderful, amazing experience?" To which I answered, "NO! It's traumatic, stressful and frightening." A few hours later, as I saw how Mouse looked at her newborn with so much love, adoration and pride, I realized that it was absolutely one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. It made me cry to see just how much Mouse loved that baby and she wasn't the only one who fell in love at first sight. Steve and I barely left his side for days. It's no wonder that he seems to think of us as just funny looking horses.