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Monday, November 12, 2007

Where’s My Mommy?

Saturday was the big day for Julia and her filly. Now that little Hearty was doing better, it was time to separate her from her mother. A horse riding centre is not the best place for a foal to grow up. Standing in a box all day is no good, they have to be able to run around and play. And that is exactly what she’ll do at the place we brought here this weekend. She’ll have plenty of friends to play with, and big meadows to run around.

Separating a foal from its mother is not that easy. Last time Julia thought we were taking her baby girl away from her, she nearly climb over the 2-meter-high metal fence of her box. We both transported them in a van to Hearty’s new address, near Brussels. Then mother and daughter were led to an empty stable. So far so good, they were very pleased with the premises once they discovered the fodder and fresh hay we’d put in there to bribe them.

Then came the difficult part.

We took Julia out of the stable and shut the door right behind her to trap the filly. Mrs.B quickly led her back to the van. Julia got more and more worried, she kept calling her daughter. She stepped in the van all right, but then she started to move back. With all the available man and woman power – I was unable to help because I was holding Wolf – Julia was pushed into the van again and the loading ramp was quickly closed behind her. The jeep drove off immediately, while Julia did her best to break down the sides, kick out the ramp or blow off the roof of the van. Luckily, she did calm down after a short while.

We would follow with our car, but Mrs.B had to feed Wolf first. This also gave us the opportunity to check on Hearty before we left. She was doing all right, the owner of the horse centre had put a pony in her stable so she wouldn’t feel alone. They became friends instantly, although it’s not sure the friendship will last because Hearty insisted on trying to drink milk from her new – male – friend. She’s been gradually eating more and more solid food over the last couple of weeks. She’ll miss her mother’s milk during the next few days, but then she’ll be ok with a diet of hay, straw and horse fodder.

When we arrived in the horse riding centre, Julia had already arrived and she was standing in her box again. She still was calling for her daughter, and when Mrs.B approached she got very excited. So we left her there to calm down. In a couple of days she’ll be ok, and then Mrs.B can finally start riding again.

Posted by Bart at 9:11 PM
Categories: Animal Farm

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