Saturday morning at 2am we welcomed Willowtrail Spring Maiden to our world. Madie’s birth was blessedly uneventful. I even slept through the foal watch alarm. Fortunately I’d asked Restar Mountain Shelley III to let me attend her, and she woke me up just in time. Madie is by Guards Apollo and joins her full brother Willowtrail Black Robin at Willowtrail Farm.
Even after ten Fell Pony foaling seasons, I am still awestruck by how vigorously the newborns kick themselves free of their birth sack, how quickly they try to stand, how soon they start looking for something to suck on, and how naturally they start to nurse. Then of course it’s fun to watch them learn to use their bodes: the coordinated folding of legs required for laying down, standing on three legs to scratch with a hind leg, experimenting with increases in speed and distance. And all this in just the first few hours!
Like both her parents, Madie has been very friendly since birth and is already difficult to take pictures of, unless you like nostril shots! Madie also takes after her parents with gigantic yawns. In Parelli Natural Horsemanship, this is considered a sign of an extrovert, and Madie fits that category perfectly.
Yesterday, when Madie was one-and-a-half days old, she was only venturing half way into the outdoor run. Today, she not only explored it fully but did so at high speed, as this video on youtube records! Just like her brother, movement of all sorts is easy for her. She is a hoot to watch.
Shelley chose our first run of warm spring weather for foaling. Tonight at nearly three days old Madie is experiencing her first snow storm, so she’ll have the variety of our Rocky Mountain spring weather well in hand at a young age. She seems totally confident with her surroundings (the foaling pen). Tomorrow we’ll take her out for a run in the bigger world and see what she thinks. All indications are that she’ll like the opportunity to stretch her legs and explore mud puddles, piles of snow, and pine trees. What a blessing it is to share my life with these ponies.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2011