Elizabeth's Creative House

Horses, Dogs, Cats & Kids.

The Pony Who Wouldn’t Stop Getting Pregnant

The story of a schooling pony who wished she was a full time mum.

I hooked up the trailer and headed to the local horse trader to buy a new schooling pony, and I brought home the pretty black and white pinto one. Her eyes looked as though she could take some misdirection without causing trouble. School ponies are a special breed: difficult to develop and require a knack for wrong aids and right choices. This one seemed pretty tame and not lame. Winning. Her markings looked like she had spilled milk down her whither. So that was it. Her show name would be ‘Spilled Milk’ and her barn name would be Oopsy!

Oopsy was a little on the tubby side. I put her on a diet and started her in the riding school after she settled in. After a few months she looked like she was losing weight, but only in the strangest places. Her saddle kept slipping forward as she narrowed in the chest, but expanded in the loins. I laid my arm under her to feel the slightest kick from inside. The darn mare was pregnant. Surprise, Surprise! She gave birth a few weeks later to a cute and healthy caramel and white pinto we named, Oh Dear. I guess the name Oopsy was some sort of premonition?

After her motherly duties wrapped up, Oopsy returned to the schooling program and kept on teaching young kids to ride. Little did I know, this wouldn’t be her only ‘Oopsy baby’.

Something’s Amiss

I woke up to a wild ruckus outside. It was late spring, and the horses were all on night turnout at the farm. The sound of hooves pounding in the summer paddock, but the horses weren’t visible from the house. I got on my rubber boots and ran outside to see what was going on. I rounded the corner of the bank barn to see.

All the mares were running wild, sticking together. But there seemed to be some extra guests who were misplaced. One inside the paddock and two running up and down the fence line looking for a way to join the herd. I ran down the hill to get a closer look, and halfway there, I realized, the extra horses weren’t mine. We had an invasion on our hands.

We caught two of them to find upon inspection, they were stallions. No wonder the mares were in such a fuss! We could not catch the horse who jumped the fence into the paddock, so we took our horses out and left him there until we could figure out who these stallions belonged to.

What do you do when 3 rouge stallions show up on your property, break into the mare’s paddock and start messing around? Dumbfounded, I thought, what the heck do you do? I couldn’t think of a horse farm close enough to mine to be a contender. We were on the snowmobile trail, so they could have come from anywhere, but our farm backed onto about 600 acres of crown land, so there weren’t too many options unless they had travelled pretty far. Where did these scoundrels come from?

Once we had all the horses secured, I went back to the house to make calls. My first call was to the police. Perhaps there had been an accident, and they knew horses were on the loose? Although the police officer laughed at the thought of waking up to three stallions running my mare paddock, he knew nothing about missing horses. I stood in the kitchen thinking someone would have to notice their horses were missing. It was 7am and they should come looking soon.

Meeting Dan Dan the Stallion Man

My 6-year-old daughter perked up when she heard the news. She passed horses on her school bus ride every day. Wanting to help solve the mystery, she asked to see them. Oh, my goodness. Of course my 6-year-old day dreams over horses she sees in strange fields. So, we headed into the barn to look. She was pretty sure they were the same horses. Asking her for directions was a little far-fetched, so we hopped in the car to drive her bus route. We came across the field where she usually sees them, alas, empty. A turn down the nearest driveway brought us to a small western horse farm, cute and quaint. The owner’s name was Dan, and sure enough, his stallions were missing. I put his contact info into my phone as ‘Dan Dan The Stallion Man’, because as strange as the situation was, it was also pretty darn funny.

Dan got his horse trailer ready and met us back at our place to scoop up his naughty horses. He asked if any of them had gotten to my mares. I didn’t think so. No muddy hoof prints on the backs of their blankets, but couldn’t be sure.

The two horses we had brought into the stable were easy to load on the trailer. Old hats. The trouble came when it was time to get the colt out of the paddock. Turned out he was about 3 years old and not even halter broke! Good luck! We all left Dan to catch him and went about our business of getting chores done. Hey, if you didn’t halter break your horse, well, that’s on you.

The Ladies Arrive

So the morning continued into the afternoon and he was still trying to catch that darn horse. I was off teaching lessons when two sparkled up ladies arrived at the farm. Adorned in their western best, one with a bright red cowboy hat on, ready to give that colt a schooling. And schooling they did. Those 2 ladies caught that colt and haltered him up before Dan had a glass of water. I bet they didn’t even break a nail.

Look Who’s Pregnant: the Sequel

Spring carried on into summer and the mares were happily enjoying their summer paddock cutting the sweet grass, and enjoying a relaxing time between schooling and showing. They sported sleek summer coats and a healthy physique, except for poor, dear Oopsy. She was getting fat again. I had a gut feeling that pony was pregnant. I called up the vet to check for sure, and my gut was right.

She’s Pregnant, Your Stallion’s the Father

What a tramp. We laughed about it, but I called Dan Dan the Stallion Man to talk about our foal. Somewhat of a family court played out over the phone as we decided who would be responsible for the unborn foal, backcountry style. I agreed to pay for feed and bedding and he would pay the vet bills for the mare. He would take the foal when it was ready to be weaned. I thought he was getting the better end of the deal but has anyone else ever done this before?

I flipped back through my phone to find out what day the stallions came to determine Oopsy would foal in April. Sure, all the kids wanted to keep it, but with 33 horses on the property, we were already over capacity. We would give that foal to Dan Dan the Stallion Man, and that was final.

Getting Ready for Baby

April came, and we bedded up a nice deep foaling stall for sweet Oopsy. Foaling time is a game of waiting. We wait, and we wait, and most likely, the mare will then also wait, and wait, until you go home for a coffee and then she’ll give birth to that foal before you come back.

I was in luck, though. My sweet stallion, Moosey Goose, surely let me know when she was going to foal. He started snorting and carrying on in the cross-ties, just a few stalls down the aisle from her one evening. I went to check on her to find streaming milk coming from her teats, and I figured she’d be foaling that night.

I called my good friend Sonja and told her to round up the kids, we’re spending the night in the barn! Sure enough, after sitting quietly in the tack room, sipping hot chocolate and chatting about the ice storm that was coming, we heard banging in the stall next door. We all crept out into the aisle to see Oopsy lying down and ready to push. The kids pet her face and got to witness something special while Sonja and I stayed at the rear to help if needed. A couple of giddy midwives. I got so excited when that foal was coming; I pulled anyway. What an adorable foal with the coolest markings! The pure joy of helping to birth a foal washed away the aggravation of being without Oopsy in the schooling program for months.

funny foaling stories, short stories, elizabeth mccowan, riding school

Everyone came out to the farm to see the new healthy foal and although it was so darn cute, I stuck to my guns. It wasn’t staying with us! I didn’t allow anyone to name it — we referred to her as, Baby. We let her graze alongside her mama for the summer and halter trained her! You’re welcome, Dan!

Oopsy Loved Mama Life

When the time came to separate the two, Oopsy wasn’t going to make it easy. She was so attached to Baby, she broke through a fence to go find her (more than once!). After several attempts to keep them apart, I decided, Dan Dan the Stallion Man would have to come and just trailer that Baby away.

I called him up and told him the foal was ready to go. He could come pick her up anytime, to which he replied, he didn’t want her. Ump. Not what we had agreed to. So, he did the best thing he could think of; he found me a buyer for Oopsy and Baby, and that was it. Settled. Oopsy and Baby would live out their days together as pasture ornaments to a friendly retired farmer. Oopsy got her wish.

If you are ever travelling up Rob Roy way, you’ll see the two beauties, always grazing together and loving life!

Elizabeth McCowan, Short Stories, Creative Writing
elizabeth mccowan, equestrian life, horses, horse life, farm life, creative writing, short stories

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