Vale little Rossi.

Posted on October 31, 2019 at 1:35 AM

I've struggled a bit (a lot) with dealing with the loss of Tam's little colt foal, Rossi. We had to have him put to sleep less than 24 hours after he was born when i discovered he had been born with a rare congenital defect - Atresia ani. This is not something i had ever even considered having to deal with. You can almost come to terms with making the decision to euthanise an elderly horse, or one in pain or broken beyond repair. It's heart wrenching and emotional but you know it has to be done, and you do it. A brand new soul with a whole life time of potential ahead of him makes for a completely different kind of decision making. And a whole different kind of heart break.

With Rossi, even though he wasn't planned, i was terribly excited when i realised Tam was in foal. She was glowing and did so well being an older maiden. She was the first foal i bred with the Dungarron prefix. The first non-thoroughbred foal ever on the farm. Tam was fit and kept great condition, and when he was born she was so in love and was doing such a great job with him. And he was up and cantering circles around her, and she watched and whickered as he suckled. He was the perfect little colt and doing everything right and i smiled and took proud Nana photos and bragged about him.

And then very early the next the morning he was straining a little after a feed. I thought this strange as i have never had a foal not poo successfully, but i keep enemas in the foaling kit, just in case, so i went and grabbed one and a soft towel to catch him with so i could help move things along, but on lifting his tail, there was nothing there. Nothing. Just smooth skin. I looked again, felt right along, under, between his legs and back again. I let the towel go from around his belly and as i stood in shock, i knew what i had to do. 

We have great vets, but they're not equine vets. Even though there may have been a surgical solution at one of the specialist vets a couple of hours away, the odds of it being successful and him surviving to lead a healthy and useful life were very, very slim. It was the first time i'd met this young vet, Jeremy, but he arrived within an hour of my phone call and was compassionate and very gentle, both with the foal and the now somewhat distressed mare. And with me. I can't thank him enough.

And so our five foals are now back to four. And Tam is back with her favourite paddock mates. She's not the same. She's quiet and stands and watches the group of mares and foals over the fence. But we stand together in the afternoons. Just breathing and thinking and watching the light fade. Maybe we'll try again. For the both of us.

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