Friday, June 1, 2007


Tia was due on April 5 but went almost two weeks late. She was making me very nervous. I knew from reading The Foaling Primer (available on and from a call to my vet that she could go up to a month late! Several days before foaling Tia started to wax up so I brought a cot to the barn, along with a small TV and a thermos of coffee. The first night in the barn was exhausting. Between Tia and her barn mate banging around in their stalls, the two barn cats turned into fighting alley cats, and the wind I only make it to about 2 am in the morning. I live only less than a minute from the barn so I go home. Then I would lie in bed for the next hour wondering if I should go back. This same scenario continued for the next 3 or 4 nights. Then I began to think that perhaps me camped out right in front of her stall was keeping this foal at bay. So, the next night I decided to stay in the horse trailer, it has a heater which, of course when I needed it doesn’t work. My mom had given me a monitor to set up in the barn and the trailer so I could hear everything going on. It must have been over 10 years old and made this awful cracking noise. I needed to turn it down and then lie right next to it to hear anything in Tia’s stall. I heard her munching on hay and sigh a few times. I checked on Tia at 11:00 pm, 12:00 am, and 1:30 am. I must have dozed off because the next time I woke up it was 3:30 in the morning. I stumbled down the hill, bleary-eyed and looked in on her again. She was peacefully sleeping and I said I’m tired, I’m going home! Kelly from the barn phoned me about 5:45 am to tell me Tia was in labor so I hurried back to the barn. The 45 minutes it took for her to finally deliver the foal felt like an eternity to me. The two front legs would emerge up to the knee then suck back in. This went of for 10 or 15 minutes. Tia got up a few times and laid back down but seemed like she was about to run out of steam. I was calm on the outside but freaking out on the inside. Just when I thought we’d have to help her out came the foal’s head and shoulders and the rest slipped out easily. The foal was finally here! But, wait one minute, that wasn’t the color I ordered!! I bred to a black stallion and knew the chances were slim that I’d actually get a black horse but I had thought for sure the foal would be bay just like her mama. Instead, I got a red-head!

I was very happy the foal was healthy and Tia made it through OK but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit some disappointment that I didn’t get that sleek, black foal or an exact replica of Tia. It was something I’d work through the next several days. It took almost a week to give the poor thing a barn name as nothing I came up with seemed to fit. A few of my coworkers who had been hearing the story of my breeding woes even tried to help. Some of the suggestions were Cheyenne, Dakota, Lola, and Ruby. I just couldn’t decide. I figured the big guy upstairs would help me find my way. I came home from work one day and said to my husband, “How about Rio as in Rio Grande, Rio de Janeiro?” And then he said, “ in Diamond Rio”. “Yes, that’s it! It goes perfect with the diamond on her forehead”. Pending AQHA registration, we’ll name her Ladyz Diamond Rio.


At June 13, 2007 at 8:03:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful baby!I know that a lot of blacks have red in their background, so I'm not surprised at the chestnut foal. She will be a gorgeous foal with a momma like that!

At June 14, 2007 at 11:38:00 AM EDT , Blogger Michelle M. Smith said...

Thank you for the compliment. Rio is getting more and more beautiful each day and she's growing like a weed! Look for future posts regarding her progress.

At September 23, 2007 at 4:15:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

that last picture is absolutley adorable.

At November 26, 2007 at 2:18:00 PM EST , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog. I got the site from this months Horse & Rider. It was surprising to see that you live in Annville, PA. I live in Palmyra, PA. The town next door! I had the priveledge to raise a weanling to a yearling. He is so sweet.

At December 7, 2007 at 4:20:00 PM EST , Blogger Michelle M. Smith said...

Thank you for the compliments "Palmyra". Small world, eh! Check back for more postings soon.


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