The New Arrival - Croftcnoc Forrest from A. Thirkell Croftcnoc Highland Pony Stud
Purebred cream Dun Highland Pony colt
Sire: Barrymoor Dorian.
Dam: Whinmere Rainbow
Forrest was born on 27/09/2006 at 5.10pm. Forrest has had a very shaky start to his life. I arrived home at 4.15pm after picking up children from school and checked Rainbow who along with Tia was in our foaling yards, she was ready with the waters broken, so I grabbed the camera and two kids to watch the birth. After 10 minutes I could tell there was a problem and could only see one leg and could feel the other just inside she was pushing to no avail. I left to kids to watch while I raced to the phone to call the vet and also a neighbor, who knows nothing about horses to help try and assist. We waited nearly 35 minutes for the vet to arrive, as we had no luck trying to help her, when he finally got there it was clearly obvious we had very little time left so we all pushed the foal back inside her and the vet twisted the foal around and we all pulled him out as quickly as possible. He was full of fluid, so some vigorous rubbing with towels and a few good thumps to his chest we got him breathing and started to get the fluid out of his lungs. He was a huge foal for a Highland Pony. Rainbow was fine but exhausted, the foal was cleaned off, warmed up with some towels and rugs and approximately 1 hour later he started to try and get up, successfully. The vet left to attend another call.
Rainbow, after a good rest got up, but the foal was not interested in her or drinking. We waited until evening with them stabled together but he was not going to drink so the vet was called again at 10pm and two hours later he had a tube inserted up his nose and I fed him thru the night by milking Rainbow every hour. As she retained her membranes she was on antibiotics for a few days as was the foal, he had numerous needles and tests taken in the days to come to make sure all was going well and he had no ulcers and infections.
Next morning the tube was out so the vets came back and we then stitched it to his face so he
could not rub it out, I was still giving him hourly feeds. I could see this being a slow process as he had no suck reflex at all and no interest in his mother, who was getting a bit sick of me milking her. Over the next few days Rainbow slowly started to dry up so I had to supplement the milk with Rev milk and the foal named Forrest (after Forrest Gump) was not interested in anyone. After day eight it was obvious he did not want his mum and he would not drink out of a bucket or bottle, so I pulled out the tube and tried in desperation for the next fourteen hours to get him to suck out of a bottle.
Finally with some force we slowly succeeded late at night, we now have a bottle fed foal only drinking from his preferred baby’s bottle with a mother that just keeps an eye on him. He has been given a special horse formulated milk powder called Wambaroo! Which he loves. The children and all of us enjoy feeding him, every two hours to start with then as he got stronger every 3-4 hours.
He has just now passed three months old and is eating special foal mix feed from Barastoc and Lucerne hay, which he loves. Forrest lives with his mum together in the same paddock, but they are fed separately, he is weaning himself now only wanting his milk twice a day, the rest of the milk powder goes in his feed. He is very well handled and part of the family to stay!