Karma has given me permission to show you her pregnancy photos. She was thinking of doing the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, a’la Demi Moore, but was far more interested in getting a pedicure yesterday. Our farrier is great (finally hit the jackpot). It’s been raining for the last week and we’ve spoken over the phone a couple of times about when he might be able to get out to the property. I wanted Karma’s hooves to be in tip top condition before the foal arrives (the things you think about!).

Yesterday was our first sunny day in ages and he hotfooted it out to do all the horse’s feet. This chap is over 70 years old and is amazing, with a capital A. He wanted to go see the horses in the race first of all and check Karma. He’s more than just a farrier; he’s a very caring man when it comes to horses. He’s invited me to a natural horse clinic in late February/early March – just hope this is before my return to Rome. Considering this chap has over 50 years’ experience with horses, following natural horsemanship, I can learn a lot from him, so I’m all ears whenever he pops in to see the horses.

Back to Karma. Karma has been a dream mare whilst pregnant. Calm and affectionate. I’m sensing her time is near. The tail has been up a bit and her teats are a bit waxy. Turn away now if you don’t want to know about the rest – her “bits” are elongated more. She’s not restless but I think dropping the foal is going to be happening sooner rather than later.

But since she’s a maiden mare and the weather is a bit iffy, she could cross her legs and hold on. Mares can give birth anywhere between 320 and  350 days – depending on what you read and who you talk to. I’ve read that some mares can be in-foal for over 360 days! I could be totally wrong and Karma’s nowhere near ready to drop the bundle but better to be safe than sorry.

Since mares have the habit of dropping foals in the darkness of night, I moved her to the foaling paddock yesterday. Rosie and Muff are nearby but it’s important for the mare to have some privacy. I might get a foal alarm but, as the vet said, Karma could lie down for a snooze and I rush out thinking it’s the birth. The vet reckons let nature take its course. I imagine I’ll have many restless nights ahead and you’ll find me lurking behind trees in the darkness of night, making sure Karma is okay.

I’ve had a few emails from people asking me to talk about Karma’s broodmare mix. I don’t believe in feeding my horses any processed crap. After chats with natural horse people, I am mixing up:

  • 2 scoops top quality lucerne chaff (has great nutritional value);
  • 1 SMALL scoop organic horse muesli. I make this out of steamed rolled oats and rolled barley; sunflower seeds and a touch of molasses. Molasses can be bad for your horse’s teeth, not to mention it can make your horses fizzy. But broodmares need energy for the birth and feeding the foal;
  • To this I add an organic mineral mix and garlic granules, along with some equine flaxseed oil;
  • I then add enough organic apple cider vinegar to wet the mixture and I thoroughly mix.

With good paddock grass (but not too much given the Spring toxins) and hay for roughage and fibre, Karma is getting a good balanced regime. The vet said she’s looking good and whatever I’m doing, keep going.

Meanwhile, Karma asks that you make no comments about her rotundness. She is very sensitive about “weight issues” as she’s always been a chunky girl. But she’s very proud that she’s about to become a first-time Mum, so wants the whole world to see her pregnant glory.

What? You're asking me to turn sideways so people can see my pregnant belly? You know I'm sensitive about my weight!

Zeph and Karma are good friends. He's telling her she looks beautiful slim or chunky.

Ok so let me suck in my stomach a bit so I don't look TOO fat. Hang on....

Wait! That human waiter has just delivered some food. Who cares about the camera when there's food around! I LOVE my food.

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