Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Growth of Foals

Its getting busy here on the island with summer cottagers and tourists from all over the world swelling up the population and time for "making hay" at the studio. Being extra busy and some difficulties with the Blogger uploads has put me behind in entries for Journal of Ravenseyrie.

I'm working on a special entry stimulated by a request made by a friend of mine to relay how Kevin and I came to be involved in helping preserve the Sorraia horses. It may be another week before that is ready, so for now I thought I'd share a few updated photos of the foals.

So far, Ciente's foal isn't ready to make its appearance outside the womb. I've been trying to upload pictures of her for you to see how big she's become, but for the past two days I cannot get photos uploaded to Blogger, despite trying at different times of the day. I'm thankful for the handful that did make it here and am happy for this service Google provides for us all at no charge. Hopefully this latest glitch will be smoothed out very soon.

Until then, let's see how Animado and Fada are doing. These photos were taken on Tuesday of this week. Animado was two months 19 days old and Fada was all of 38 days old during this photo session.



Animado is losing much of his foal coat, and showing himself to be a bit lighter grullo color than his parents. He's got terrific stripes on his front legs and a smattering on the rear legs as well. His shoulder markings are just like his sire's--a brief slash on either side. I'm amazed at how much longer his head has become and how leggy he in just these few short months. He really is becoming a fine example of the Sorraia phenotype.For her part, Fada is hanging on to her baby hair, making it difficult to see in photos her markings yet, but they are quite nice and very apparent in the right light, especially her extravagant shoulder-barring, which is nearly identical to her dam Belina.
Though small, Fada has always been leggy, and her head is elongating just as Animado's has and showing more tendency toward convexity every day. She is still shy, but comes up for itches now, often leaving Belina's side to do so. Belina is allowing brief, highly monitored playtime between Fada and Animado, never lasting long enough for me to get my camera and take photos--yet.


One of the most enjoyable things to see with the growth of these half-Sorraia/half-Sorraia Mustang foals is how they are so confident in their places within the herd and how much the other herd members appear to enjoy having youngsters milling among them. Animado's dam, Bella has had complete confidence in her little colt's place in the herd and allows him an incredible amount of freedom--something she did early on. Belina is still quite protective of wee Fada, which is a good thing as she is still so tiny. What a sight to see them all galloping over the rugged terrain already sure-footed and able to stay up with the older horses!
I don't think it will be too much longer (though I'm trying to give up making predictions!) and there will be a third foal joining these landscape romps. Ciente will deliver her filly or colt when she's good and ready and I will be feeling so relieved when she does...only then will I feel like we can break out one of the nicer bottles of wine in celebration of Altamiro and his mares' contribution to keeping the genes of the Sorraia horse from disappearing.

3 comments:

Kris McCormack said...

Lynne,
You wrote, about waiting to break out the finer wine,
"in celebration of Animado and his mares' contribution to keeping the genes of the Sorraia horse from disappearing."

I know Animado's sire was precocious, but, still, don't you think you are expecting too much, too soon of the little guy? Or are you prepared for a really, really LOOOONG wait? :-)

Jennifer said...

Hi Lynne,

I love the updates of the babies. They are all so beautiful. What a magnificient experience you are having with them. I'm curious. I know this is premature however, I was wondering what your plans are when the colt or colts grow up.

Enjoy your Majestic Herd for me ;)

Lynne Gerard said...

Kris--I am fortunate to have an astute wordsmith such as yourself reading the blog and pointing me to bumbles. I'm not surprised I had written "Animado" when I should have typed "Altamiro"...both Kevin and I have been tripping over these boys' names, so much like parents do when they are calling their children to come to dinner. It is getting rather comical!

Thanks for your keen eye and your terrific wit, Kris. I've edited the journal entry with the correction.

Jennifer! I'm so glad you're keeping up with the blog and have left me a message. I will answer your excellent query in a new journal entry. It's an important question, and one that we didn't anticipate having to contemplate in detail so soon as we weren't expecting Altamiro to be able to settle mares until his fourth year. I will for sure get back to you on this in a few days.

Thanks for leaving comments Kris and Jennifer, I really appreciate it!