Both Lucy and Betsy were born under our care. Lucy is exactly one month older than Betsy, although, is often referred to as the baby of the barn. When Lucy was born, her mother, Ella, gave her less than 24 hours of maternal care. After this short amount of time, she became very aggressive towards Lucy and didn’t allow her to nurse, and, would quite honestly, chase her relentlessly around in the stall – as a newborn! It was a very traumatic time for all of us to experience.
As a result, we had to take complete control of the situation and be on hand to care for Lucy pretty much 24/7 during her first two weeks of life. This meant, that we had to feed her every hour on the hour, by holding Ella by the halter and raising one rear leg up while Lucy nursed, which meant Ella could not kick at her. It was a mentally and physically draining period of time.
At the end of two weeks, the endless nights of no sleep became too much to continue, and Lucy and Emma (yes, Emma) were sent to Mid-Rivers so that they could teach Lucy how to drink foal milk from a bucket. This process took about four days. Emma was with her for the company. At the time, Emma’s sight, although deteriorating, provided her with limited sight, and, we found that Emma became a wonderful “stand-in mother” to Lucy and a good role model for Lucy to learn manners.
Once back at the barn, Lucy continued on a very regimented feeding schedule and stayed that way until she was nearly three months old.
Lucy, having received so much one on one, human interaction all of her life, has always been incredibly people oriented. She is friendly, inquisitive and playful. She is also the dominant mare between her and Betsy.
Betsy, who is Sophie’s, baby, was born on Mother’s Day, exactly one month after Lucy’s birth. Betsy had a very normal mare/foal upbringing and it was really something to see the two of them together as Betsy would never leave Sophie’s side, and, Sophie was an excellent mother.
Betsy has grown up to be one of the most beautiful minis with her graceful looks. She is completely dependent upon Lucy and becomes not only agitated when Lucy is not nearby, but, can actually become dangerous when this happens. She will rear and try to jump through the stall if Lucy is not in there with her.