The first steps in the life of a horse are not only cute moments. From the keen eye of breeders, the wobbly attempts, flop overs, and desire to stand up for the first time is a sign of determination. Foals who struggle to stand and show no signs of wanting to get up, the experts say, could signal a lack of alertness, while those who fight to stand up and rise on their feet quickly are perhaps likely to be fierce competitors.
In the case of our foal — The People’s Horse, born on April 18th, 2018, at approximately 8:37pm — we have not only been blessed with a foal that is strikingly beautiful, with an easy, playful and fun demeanor, but a gameness and alert nature that radiates, wherever she frolics.
“Oh she's a frisky one, no about it,” said Carly Moulden, of Taylor Made Farm, eyeing our baby foal take her first laps around the pasture the morning after she was born. “We have a lot of foals that take hours to stand up and nurse, but The People’s Horse was fighting to get up right away.” She joked, “I think I spy an Oaks Winner,” referring to the pre Derby race at Churchill Downs for fillies.
We are very far from any talk of racing - a horse must be two years old to partake in races - but the birth of The People’s Horse after this project launched nearly two years ago has been a seminal moment and achievement.
“I just can’t take it,” wrote one supporter about the livestream of our horse’s birth, which was witnessed by over a thousand viewers.
The birth itself was a surprise. Several days after her due date, experts at the farm were convinced that Colerful Bride, our mare, would deliver sometime this week. On Thursday afternoon, she showed none of the signs that foaling experts look for to predict time of birth. She had no wax coming from her teats, and her udders were not yet full. Looking under her tail and checking the size and dilation of her vulva, another sign to predict the timing of a birth, Bonna Terra A manager Bob Evans predicted the earliest the foaling would come was Sunday morning.
And then it happened, only a few hours later.
“You better get over here—her water just broke,” Scott Miller, the night manager at the barn said, and triggering a warp-speed car chase through the backroads of the bluegrass that violated the majority of traffic violations in the state of Kentucky. When we arrived at the barn, a crowd had gathered. Our baby had arrived.
She was spry. On one attempt, The People’s Horse was so eager to get on her feet she flopped outside her stall and nearly into our laps.
“You’re on your own now,” Helen the foaling expert at Taylor Made said, helping her back into the stall and up on shaky feet.