Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Evie's Dream

When Evie was just a youngster- around 2 years old, she had her own ideas on how life was going to be for her.  Evie was my filly that was born here in Pennsylvania.  There had been other foals but they had all been born in Maryland.  Evie ( if you like- go back and see the stories about her on this blog) was to be something spectacular and I had high hopes for her. She was born on a cold windy April morning and I missed seeing her born. Her mama, Katie, kept it a secret so learning Evie was finally here was a great way to begin my day!


She was smart, funny and so incredibly brave.  I loved her with every part of me, even when she stepped on my little toe one day. Evie was my hard luck filly though. Something was forever going wrong with her. First, she was so tall at birth, it was hard for her to get up alone. For three days, I helped her by giving her butt a boost up. It worked and soon she was doing it all by herself.

Later on, as she grew taller and taller, she suffered from OCD.
( https://www.acvs.org/large-animal/osteochondritis-dissecans-horses)  This caused her a LOT of discomfort in her stifles especially. I am sure later on in her life she'd have developed arthritis in her stifles, but I was never to find out. Evie was 18 hands tall as a three-year-old- all arms n' legs, as they say.  Slowly she learned how to handle her great height and became
so elegant in the way she moved.


When she was a little more than three years old, she made a mistake and upon rolling in some dirt, she rolled over. Into that horrid high tensile fencing, we were replacing the next spring. She ripped heavy-duty staples from the posts and cracked three of the posts in getting free. Her left hock in front was a disaster. She was stall bound for almost 3 months and in a protective wrap for another two or so. But- she healed and did such a good job that her scar was barely able to be seen. Evie was perfect whenever a veterinarian or myself had to re-do her bandage. She stood still as she could. What an incredible mare she was becoming.

Sadly we never got to go to a show as one day when she was just 7, she got sick. Taking no chances, I called my equine veterinarian to let her know Evie had a bit of a colic, and that I would let her know if it got bad enough for her to come out. The next morning, Evie was just "off"... not really wanting to eat, and well, just not happy. I called my vet. again, asking her to come out. After checking vital signs, etc, she decided to check Evie rectally. Perhaps something would tell us how to treat her. Evie was tranquilized and checked out. 
I was told that she had an ''Anterior Enteritis''. I wasn't sure what that was and my vet wanted to have us take Eve to a horse hospital. She tubed my mare and there was a good bit of fluid return from Evie. I said that I had to discuss it all with my husband, and would let her know soon.

I did a lot of reading and learning about Evie's problem and found that with big Percheron mares, the chances of survival were not good, even at an equine hospital and proper care. The chances of her developing Laminitis was huge and most likely would have to have a careful diet for the rest of her life. IF she even made it. I couldn't do that to my wonderful mare. I loved her enough to let her go so she could dance in the meadows of heaven.  The next morning, my love was gone.  It was a heartbreaking morning and one I never hope to face again.

Later on that day, I remembered a dream a dear friend of mine told me that Evie had told to her. 
That ''one day, Evie and I would go to horse shows and win all kinds of big fancy ribbons. That Evie's "mom" (me) would put a red harness with diamonds on her. I would then hitch her to a bright red cart with sparkles on it. I'd wear red gloves covered in diamonds and we'd win the biggest ribbon Ever at that show!!!"












Having Fun !

I found this blog in my travels online and thought I'd share it with you all  :

https://annablakeblog.com/2018/10/05/finding-your-horses-sense-of-humor/

This gal has it to a perfection-  finding your horses' sense of humor.  They all have one, believe it or not.  I don't know how many times I have fallen for my horses' jokes. Now, jokes from a horse sure aren't like our jokes. If you really pay attention, you'll get to witness a few.

Imagine the younger horse playing with cones set up in a ring for driving... I had a Percheron colt who would find fun in pushing mine onto icy patches, then watching me attempt to retrieve them. I swear I could hear him laughing. He was also the one who would pick those cones up with his mouth, and innocently wait until the flighty Thoroughbred mare would wander by.  Wham! Across that fence that cone would fly, usually landing very close to her. Of course, she'd flip out, thinking that it was raining driving cones. I loved seeing that colt's very amused face as he watched her antics.

I've been told and read that a horse never 'lies'. HA! I have had a few who did. My Percheron mare, Lynna, would Big time. If she didn't care for my choice in hay for her, she'd push and shove it into a big pile underneath her feed tub. Then I'd hear her soft nickers to me that Lynn didn't get her hay that morning. I knew darn well I'd given her hay. ''No, I hadn't- I have none at all"... from Lynn.  Finally, after trying to ignore her pleas of starvation, I'd give her some. There was the original hay pile that she didn't think was quite good enough, stuffed up under her feed tub! The same hay and she'd happily be eating it. < sigh >

There was an old Appaloosa mare here who wouldn't go out if she thought it was too hot or cold out. I always let her out loose in the barn area so she could graze in peace. She'd walk to the aisle doorway, look both ways, testing the weather and if it wasn't to her liking, she would turn around and head back to her stall. This dear soul would whinny loudly when she was done eating also.  She and her old friend, Chance, would be down at the gate nearest the house at dinner time- no matter what. She would sometimes whinny loudly for us to know it was time for dinner at the barn.  There were times when those two were early- around 1 or two in the afternoon. She'd be calling and calling until I came out of the door. Well, she'd try to convince me it really was late afternoon and time for a little something to eat.  Chance would stand there all but chuckling...

There have been horses in my life that were hat thieves... especially the ponies. Shoelace un-tiers  ( haha- is that even a word??). There have been some who liked to get a hold of belt loops on jeans and move their humans. Some loved to unbuckle Farriers' leather aprons oh so innocently...

So you see, horses can have a wonderful sense of humor, so long as their people don't put them down for having one. For ages, I've enjoyed watching horses play jokes and remember getting a soaking from an equine mouth holding a hose that was supposed to be filling up a water tub outside or to check outside at night and find that someone with very mobile lips has turned the lights on in the barn AGAIN. Pay attention to your horse or the horses around you-you will find they are quite funny.

 Don't try to fool them by putting on a happy face when you're in an awful mood too. They know sometimes before you'll get in the barn and word spreads so fast. Life with the equine mind can be wonderfully interesting!












Monday, August 20, 2018

Trying to hire help

8.20.18

I have had to hire and sadly, fire people in the past. Running a horse farm is hard work and sometimes it is just nice to have a day off. Thus my wanting to hire someone to come to the farm and make life easier so I can have a day off. Most of the time, horse people don't have days off. Most times they have no insurance coverage, and they have to work when it is miserably cold, hot as Hades; when it is snowing with a blowing cold wind. They deal with all kinds of weather and all kinds of horse- and yes, all kinds of people. So many folks are not suited to working in a barn; not suited to handling 1200 - 2000 pound equines of all temperaments and personalities.  Haha- believe me- I have met all of them at one time or another.

Here in central Pennsylvania, there's not many who have enough true horse experience to work in a barn full of horses. They're either totally uneducated, scared, or angry at a horse trying to be bossy. Or- they know it all.

There ARE some wonderful people who are worth paying though- but sadly in this area, there are few. I have had to accept someone who tells me they "have horse experience" but haven't a clue about a lame horse, a lost shoe, or how to deal with a horse that's feeling silly upon going out to pasture. Soooooooooooo, I train/ teach them and some have gone on to bigger barns and making more money. This I love because I know they'll make me proud in doing a great job. Even with some, I attempt to teach about ailments, what to do in emergencies, or even to show up when expected don't work out. Thus the 'firing'. There are some that decide that this kind of work isn't for them, and they just never return.  Eventually, it's easier to just do it myself and not have to deal with people.

I've hired folks that say they rode as a teenager and I find myself thinking
 " ooooookay- that means you really haven't a clue, but know how to show that horse who's boss"  If they're interested in coming to meet me and the horses, most times, they're not really going to.  I am sure those of you who have had to hire the 30-somethings to work at a job find the same thing is true. Sure, they want to make the money but aren't going to do their jobs to earn it. Then the teenagers who apply for a horse oriented job- suited to their level of possible knowledge- and the first thing asked is "how much will I make?".  Ummmmmmmmmmm, it is very bad manners to even mention money until one has the job. In fact, that kind I'll leave behind.

Finding that my recent weekend helper wasn't as responsible as I thought, it was time to move on and hire another person. This little part-time job was super simple. Let 5 horses in for the evening (or turn them out for the night- depending on weather), make sure they all have their feed, proper hay, and full buckets of water.  Easy, right? Apparently not. I advertised and got only a few responses with a resume`. Again- why can't people learn how to fill out one properly? Misspellings, bad language skills... sheesh.  Their ages ranged from 21 - 35 years old!  These weren't children but adults. A couple of them asked about the money first when it was clearly posted in my ad... some had very limited horse experience, some, none what so ever.
<sitting here shaking my head, all over again>

Why answer an ad, make an appointment and don't bother showing up? That I don't understand. It shows how immature, unresponsible and rude some of the 30-something crowd is once again. Hard to believe- but I see why they don't have a job!

Perhaps it is just this area. Perhaps it's how people have been raised, or have become... I don't know.

What I do know is that, once again, I'll just do those weekend evenings myself. That way I won't have to risk a horse being in trouble if I'm not there being a 'babysitter' to my "employee".














Monday, July 30, 2018

Memories

7.30.18

Another tale is about working at a Steeplechase farm in Maryland a mighty long time ago. This farm was owned by some rather "well to do" people. It was gorgeous - designed similarly to some English yards from a good while back... The stalls were in a large square with open sides for riding out, and with a lovely courtyard in the center. The stalls were huge for huge horses needed to be able to lay down and sleep in comfort.  There was grass in the center for horses being cooled out and to graze a little. This design really helped keep the cold winter winds out and afforded the horses' fresh air all of the time. Painted in the farm's race colors, it was ultra classy and made me feel like I was working "across the pond".

There was also a smaller enclosed barn with 3 stalls in it for those horses needing peace & quiet or had been injured. '' the Layup Barn". That's where I worked. There was so much to learn and I was in heaven doing it. Hard work, EARLY hours and some horses that even though they had been injured were still racing fit and full of themselves. My day ended around noon. Long, hard hours, but anything concerning horses wasn't "hard" to me.

In this layup barn, there was an older guy named Dave. He was from England and had trained horses to run on the flat and also the "chasers" as they were called back "when he was a kid". Dave must have been over 60 years old when I met him. It was tough to tell because he never complained about aches and pains and his face showed his years. He was quite the character and I became a friend of his. At least I hoped I was. Dave would tell me stories of long ago back in England of his horse he'd entered in the Grand National Steeplechase. He'd never say exactly what year but long before I'd been born. His horse made it over Beecher's Brook only to be knocked into a rail, or was it over a jump and was hurt. Ohhhhhhhh, he was so wonderful in telling about it! He especially loved hearing that my dad had been Irish- and would add in some Irish stories too.

Dave used to play Broadway show tunes early (5 AM) in the morning. I knew if he had arrived or not, thanks to those records. Every morning it was a different Broadway play! I'd drive home whistling tunes each morning. He'd sing to the horses as he took care of them. They relaxed in listening until he sang the tune from ''Oklahoma!''   I was cracking up at the reactions from those horses.

One morning, I was wrapping one of my favorite mare's legs and heard Dave singing in a stall. All of a sudden, I heard someone whistling the same tune- but from outside the barn. Hmmmmm. I finished wrapping my horses' leg and saw it was one of the older Irish grooms from the main barn. Apparently, he knew that tune also. I don't remember what the tune was but it became a pair of guys trying to outdo each other, whistling! I loved it and in no way was even going to join in. This was around 5 in the morning. It had been a foggy night, and now slowly the sun was trying to burn that fog away. The small barn was almost magickal that morning. Finally, they'd both run out of 'whistle' and decided to teach me how to jig. I cannot remember what the Irishman's' name was but he was my teacher. Dave whistled and sang some Irish tune, while I was taught the steps. We were laughing so hard at my mistakes I could barely keep up!

So there you have it- try learning an Irish Jig at 5 in the morning. I surely don't remember much about the steps, but I do remember how that little barn glowed in love that day.

Image result for grand national race - did a rider cheat in any race?

https://www.pandora.com/station/play/4028742212397618055 















One More Memory

7.30/18

I was chatting with a pal of mine and we began exchanging memories of places we had worked or people we had met throughout our lives with horses. We sat, miles apart, laughing at each other's stories, so I thought I'd share some of mine here with you.

There was a guy I had known as a horseman just about all of my life. When I was in my 20's, he wanted to send his new gelding to me to work with. Of course, I said yes. Sundance arrived at my very small horse farm within the week.
 (3 acres) He was a very handsome horse and apparently well trained too. I asked his owner just what he wanted me to accomplish with his horse.
 "Just win me a blue ribbon, Kris. That's All I have ever wanted- a Blue Ribbon".

All spring, Sundance and I worked together. He was so easy to teach! It wasn't long before we could all but 'dance' together under western tack. I loved that big ol' gelding. Soon, it was time for show entries to be mailed in. I entered Sundance in a few classes and my favorite Appaloosa mare in different ones.

Show day arrived and we did, too- at showgrounds. Both horses were spotless, tack well oiled and the silver sparkled in the sun. My mare was first- and she wonderfully behaved. We placed 1st and got the ever-popular blue ribbon. It wasn't long until it was Sundance's turn in the ring.

We jogged into the ring second and got a look from the judge. I usually try to enter the ring first to have the judges attention on us only. Sundance was perfect too! He remembered to drop his neck just enough and to keep all of his gaits smooth. He'd respond immediately to soft signals from me. I was in heaven one more time at this particular show. We lined up and waited for the judge to make his choices.....................  they began placing from the bottom, and working their way up to first. As the group got smaller and smaller, we were still standing there. Then it was between me and another guy who had done a Great job. We won!  I was so pleased, and let Sundance know it as we rode over to get our blue ribbon. Sundance must have understood that he'd done something splendid as he bent his neck way down, shaking his head in joy.

By the time we had gotten back to our trailer, there was Sundances' owner. Oh my gosh- he had tears streaming down his wrinkly cheeks! He grabbed Sundance and cried into his mane for pure happiness.  I got thanked over and over again, with a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. It was a grand day, and Sundance lived the rest of his life in luxury provided by his owner who finally had his Blue Ribbon.







Saturday, July 28, 2018

People!

7.28.18

There've been so many times in my life that I just wanted to stop dealing with people. Due to my chosen livelihood, I have dealt with many different kinds of people who know horses, * think* they know horses, haven't a clue, and then the most dangerous kind: the people who love horses, those who know enough to get someone in bad trouble and then drop everything, running away in total fear.  Haha- I'd rather have my fingers chewed off than to deal with that type for a lifetime.

A bit of history for those who don't know me well... I started learning from the neighbors' horses. A shy little girl who wanted to ride like the wind, but wasn't brave enough to ask daily to ride one of their horses... that was me at 9. (haha-yeah- believe it or not!). I would be horse-watching any time I could... hurry thru homework, to go see 'the horses'. I learned so much from those 3 backyard horses! I learned that they easily communicated via body language, sending images, or pain- either verbally or silently. They spoke to each other all the time, and as I sat watching, I learned that language too. Eventually, my parents bought me my own pony and bought Exactly the wrong 'first pony' for their daughter. Again, I learned. The signals when said pony was going to buck me off, running home, gleefully. Yep- I'd find him standing there waiting for me...   But I learned. When I got my first "real horse", he taught me so much more. Questions when he hadn't understood what the heck I was trying to get him to do. Confusion when he'd try but would fail- sure as a 14 yr old kid, there were times I'd lose my temper and think
''well that's it you dumb horse! You're being sold!"  We both hung in there, though, learning together. He, a 3 yr old part Thoroughbred and me, a kid with no experience in training. I Really began moving forward was when I was 21 and had my first Appaloosa. I'd taken some college courses concerning equine anatomy and understood the movements, muscular structure and more. That certainly helped in teaching young horses.  Eventually, we began winning at smaller local shows. I soaked up everything about horses I could from anyone- gleaning and listening. Back then, there was nothing available to a poor country kid when it came to "horse schools", let alone my being able to afford to attend. I read everything I could, learning all the while. Some folks wanted me to see if I could fix their horses problems and that was the beginning of big-time learning. Each troubled horse had its own set of problems and I treasured each one. Trial and error created one very wise 25-year-old woman. Every horse I taught became so much happier and worthy of my small fees.Their owners were pleased and that pleased me.  Fast forward 30 years and by now, I've taken on plenty of mentally messed up horses to the point where I can understand them before they can realize I do. Now, it's a breeze to deal with a mentally healthy horse, if not a little boring. I took my soul mate to a World Championship, showed many Appaloosa horses at the National level, so whatever I am doing works!  I no longer ride, thanks to way to many times of being dumped in the dirt, hefting 50-pound hay bales, carrying two 5 gallon water buckets, being slammed to a stop on a young reining horse, and all of the hard work that comes from running barns alone.

Ok- back to the people part.  :) For the time I have lived here in Pennsyl-tuckie, ( as a dear friend used to call it) I have taken in boarders. Quite a few of them over the years. Some were here for the long run, others just here for a few months, and some who figured they were supposed to be somewhere else at the moment in their lives. Some that were asked to leave because I wasn't going to deal with their ideas or what they did with/to their horses. Taught a few lessons, trained some driving horses and showed/competed my own personal horses. Over the years, I have found my patience level is no longer high enough for the little guys- the young folks who have no clue about horses but love them.  Haha- let the 30-somethings keep yelling " HEELS DOWN!!!"  Slowly I cut back on the kids, stopped taking in outside horses to train to drive, and am now thoroughly enjoying my horses. Boarders come n' go- and what I have learned over the years is that they expect to be able to be around ALL of the time, or want to come n' go as they please. Or not at all... (all hours of the day or night) They want to be catered to- expecting someone to plan things for them to do. I offered mini-clinics here at my barn, and other fun things... Our farm is private- not a big 'open to the public' farm, and some have created situations where I haven't liked going to the barn in the past. Don't get me wrong- I LOVE being in my barn, but when those negative vibes are around, no thanks. Then there are those who get upset if the world doesn't revolve around them... and will leave a well-run barn because one thing bothered them. Sheeesh- why not come to whoever the barn manager is at the time and ask/talk it out? I find that a severe lack of communication happens in a barn sometimes. Unless the barn manager or owner is a biotch on wheels, things will get sorted out, or not. Everyone has their own ideas on how a barn should run, but, (for those who are now boarding, or are thinking of it, OR if you are considering taking a friends' horse to care for) keep those lines of chatting open. There are many times a barn owner or manager has so much on his/her mind, they don't think to ask...Plus, that person in charge didn't just decide to get hired to care for other's animals the week before you moved in- so most likely, they can help with any problems you might be having.

So, here I am. Getting "older", ready to slow down a little more but still love horse folks who come here. Either to visit or come to help out, or to simply bounce ideas off my brain. I enjoy it a lot, even if this body has made me slow down from leaping those proverbial tall buildings on a horse. If you are boarding here, don't be afraid to sit me down to listen to you. Problems can be sorted out in an adult manner - and hopefully remedied. For all of you out there who are boarding at a place you don't like, try talking it over with someone. Someone 'horsey' so they understand where you're coming from, but always remember to give that barn manager the benefit of your thoughts too. I know they appreciate hearing from you. I know I would.

































Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Farrier, a Veterinarian, and a Choke

7.24.18
Whewwww, whatta day. First, all it has done lately is rain. Sometimes heavy as can be, and sometimes a gentle drizzle. The whole farm is saturated w/ water, and the creek is flooded big time. Gosh, gods of rain- I know I said we needed some rain, but not THIS much. Of course, with rain comes humidity that is in the 90% range. It's terrible- and reminds me of when I vacationed in Bermuda. NOTHING dried, it poured every afternoon. Ugh. So, as it is now, I'm sitting in my 3rd change of clothing for the day. From what I read, it's supposed to be 'wet' till Thursday. Well, we certainly got enough rain!!
I headed to the barn to give BoJangles his lunch. He's not eating hay much at all now. Those old man teeth,yanno... the vet who floated them said they were fine, but still.
At about 2:50 or so I returned to the barn to give all the hungry faces a very early dinner (these horses are only getting a VERY small amount of feed- it is more of a token- but it makes them feel special. I thought I'd just turn them out as they were done getting their hooves trimmed. Bo wasn't interested in his feed. Hmmmmm............. I let it go but kept thinking about him. He'd stand in one corner of his double stall. Another odd thing. Took his temperature - it was normal. Hmmmmmmmm...... Very occasionally, he'd paw like he was colicky. Hmmmmmmmmmm...I got my stethoscope and listened to his middle for gut sounds, and they were normal. I watched him thru two horses being trimmed by the farrier. Walking to his stall, he turned his wonderful big Percheron face to look at me. He had liquid coming out of his nostril! Now I realized what was going on... he was choking. Got on the cell phone and called my vet who luckily was right there to answer.
So- I had a farrier trimming horses in the aisle, J. had arrived to help out or just be here... and now the vet was on her way. Sheeesh. Spending money right n' left today.
Once she arrived- she brought her husband whom I'd not had the pleasure of meeting. He's super- and a perfect guy for Becky. She tranquilized Bo after deciding that indeed he was choking. Most likely on what he'd had for lunch. Poor old' Bo... like he hasn't enough problems. She tubed him, discovered just where the blockage was and eventually she got him all cleared. Whewwwww... He's on antibiotics for a few days and has to get soup for feed for a few days, then be brought back carefully as his throat is so sore.
I could tell he felt better because immediately he started schnuffling around his mat for FOOD. Nope- no food for you for a few days, pal. Just "mush". Right now, he's come out of being tranquilized and got his meds and is happily eating grass.
Again- whewwwwwwww. I am NOT ready to lose that big putz in the least. I love them all so deeply and he's my last Heavy Horse. I get all weepy when I think of my life without a Percheron to love... 
" the times, they are a-changing".

Friday, July 6, 2018

Horse Watching

7.6.18

Has anyone just sat on the ground and watched horses?  I bet many have. I know that I sure have done many days enjoying and watching horses. It's amazing how they can communicate without a word to each other. Realize that all that time in silence there is a big conversation going on between equines. Body language, images and more.

When I was a kid, I didn't own my own horse or pony, but happily enough, my neighbors did. Horse watching ( and eventually, taking a sketch pad with me to draw them) was a great pastime for a horse crazy girl. I knew their routine on a daily basis- when it was time to stand under shady trees swishing tails and dozing. When it was time to head to the pond to get a drink, and when it was Dinner Time!

When a new horse was added to the herd, herd hierarchy became all confused. If the new horse was older, it was pushed away but not usually chased much. A younger horse who figured it was going to take over, was shown it was not going to. There was always a "boss mare", second in command, and so on. The interesting thing wasn't necessarily what size an equine was but how it saw itself. Small ponies can become bosses, giant draft horses are moved to the middle of the herd, and the more boisterous, young horses sometimes are taught a lesson in humility. I've watched brood mares discipline their foals. Sometimes seemingly a little harsh, but the foal understands quickly. A mare of mine onetime sent her colt into a far corner of their stall. Why, I don't know- but she sure let him know he was NOT to come out of it til "mama'' said it was alright. He did stay there, but not after trying to go back beside her and be a pest while she was eating. Back he was sent, with a tooth bump on his behind... This is a fake bite- usually done with a lot of theatrics. Ears flat back, neck stretched out, mouth wide open, letting the offender know he/she might just die in a moment. But- it would end up only being a good, hard bump from those front teeth as the chased horse was 'scooching' its butt out of the way.

Speaking of broodmares not all mama's are really good at mothering. Just like humans, there are the mares who simply do not want to raise a child. Some could care less and some are downright adamant about it. That's when a foal becomes an orphan and the owners start looking for a foster mare. I remember one mare who had decided she was remaining footloose & fancy-free- no way was SHE going to take care of some goofy looking thing she had just 'pooped' out. No way. After she tried to kill said foal, it was removed from her stall. Happy as can be, she went back to eating her hay.  Needless to say, she was never bred again. The baby ended up being bottle fed and grew up to be a well adjusted young horse.

There are some that I often refer to as "smother mothers''... the ones who will adopt ALL of the foals on the farm. It doesn't matter what size, color or breed- these girls aren't partial. They love foals and never can have enough. My Clydesdale mare was one of those. Oh myyyyyyyyyy- when there was a little anything born on the farm- she claimed it as hers. She became quite the Auntie to many.  One cold March morning, a lovely Percheron filly was born and Carli knew it. Because it was miserable outside, I chose to let my Clyde wander about the barn area. She kept coming back inside the barn. No matter how many times I shooed her out, she'd turn around and be coming down the aisle. She wanted to adopt the newborn filly as her own. Carli had been a mama many times over and obviously had been a great one. Finally, I closed the gate to keep her out, thinking my Percheron mare and her daughter could finally have some time together. Nope. I heard a schnuffling outside and when I checked out the stall window- there was a Clydesdale muzzle trying it's best to lift up high enough peek inside...  My Percheron mare didn't like it much, and finally, Carli gave up. I owned a Thoroughbred mare who was the same- anything small... chicks, baby turkeys, goslings, even a short pony. The pony didn't really enjoy being pushed around gently by a foster mama it seemed... It didn't matter though. They were mothers through and through!

There are horses who are great as babysitters, but not in it for the long run, too. These girls don't mind keeping an eye on other mare's foals so long as they don't have to keep them.   But that's for another post!