Yesterday I got to meet Ellie, the baby mini-horse who was born at 2 a.m. on May 1st. Her mom, Dolly, came to us at the end of January. She was rescued from a breeding facility along with other mini-horses, mini-donkeys and mini-cows. We weren't sure when Dolly would deliver her foal since no one knew when she had been bred, but there are certain physical signs that birth is imminent so Debora just kept checking her. We got a stall prepared in the barn with comfy bedding, a red heat lamp and a table outside the stall stocked with whatever might be needed to assist in the delivery. Dolly started showing signs that she was almost ready. And we waited...and waited. We put Dolly in the foaling stall at night, and Sherry and Debora took turns checking on her all night throughout the last week. And we waited...
Finally, this past Friday, she seemed to really be almost ready, so we waited...and, when Sherry did the 2 a.m. check on Sunday morning, there was a baby! Dolly did it all by herself with no complications and was back at the hay almost right away. One of the signs that she would be close to foaling was that she'd stop eating, but she really never did. Dolly has always been super-focused on food and I guess she wasn't going to let a little childbirth get in the way. :-) I went to the ranch on Sunday and just felt enchanted by seeing this new little life, only 12 hours old, running around, nursing on Mama Dolly and falling asleep standing up. It will be so fun to watch her grow!
The other new life at the ranch is our new bunch of volunteers. We had a volunteer work day on April 23 and we had twelve people show up! It was wonderful...the volunteers jumped right in with helping turn over the garden beds in the community garden, picking up big rocks in all the pens and helping put together a new shelter. We did a BBQ lunch but unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate, so we had to move into the barn to eat. The volunteers stuck it out, though, and helped get a lot of facility maintenance done. Many thanks to Phil, Carole, Ruth, Alicia, Karen, Tim, Krystle, Paula, Lisa, Rich, Terri and Ann for all their hard work!
Laura Weise is a Wings volunteer who lives in Stevensville and will be bringing you stories of life at the barn.