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Foals start to arrive, seeding underway

Fieldwork was delayed due to later spring

The end of April saw the guys in the field doing pre-work for seeding. The spring has been very slow to come with very little moisture. Somehow they still managed to get the tractors stuck a few times, but nothing too serious.

On April 27 I got to ride for the first time this year. I’m working on getting the five-year-old gelding going again in hopes of finding him a new home so that we can spend more time on some of the younger horses. It was really nice to be back in the saddle again.

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April 29 was an eventful day — it was Joseph’s third birthday and unfortunately, a neighbour had a stroke. Gregory and John were doing fieldwork, and so Joseph and James helped me drive to the field to get John who took the neighbour to the hospital. The doctors told him that he should make a full recovery, thank goodness.

Joseph helped me bake a cake that morning and it was nice outside so he got to play outside all day. Grandpa John arrived in time for the birthday supper after taking the neighbour to the hospital, and we all enjoyed cake and ice cream and Joseph played some more.

We are expecting 10 foals this year. Gregory’s mare was supposed to start us off around April 26, with my mare very close behind. Instead, they made us wait. I was getting up in the night to check them because it was still cool and we have a few first-time mothers. Finally, at about 2:00 a.m. May 5, Gregory’s mare had a beautiful red roan colt. It was so nice to be started.

Three foals delivered

My mare was acting uncomfortable all day so I was watching her closely. Sure enough, around 6:00 p.m. my mare had a sweet little sorrel filly. But that wasn’t all. Around 6:30 another mare foaled a red dun roan filly. We went from waiting for days to all of a sudden having three healthy foals on the ground in one day.

On May 6 Gregory got the cleaning plant going to clean wheat seed. We had hoped to be more organized for seeding season this year but with the crazy cold weather lasting long into spring, the new baby, and all the fall work that got pushed back due to a late harvest, things didn’t quite go according to plan.

Early on the morning May 7 we had the fourth foal — a nice bay colt. This mare wasn’t due for a few more days. Meanwhile, a different mare was a week overdue. It’s been fun trying to guess who will be next.

On May 9 Gregory and John started seeding the home quarter. It is good to be started even though it is still quite cool and freezing every night.

On Mother’s Day one of the mares had a beautiful bay filly. As she was 17 days early the foal was a bit small but doing well.

On the morning of May 11 a mare that was nine days overdue had a stunning colt. This makes six healthy foals so far with only four more to go.

We hope the weather starts to warm up soon and that we get more rain. The pasture grasses are all slow to grow and the haystack is getting smaller.

About the author

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Heather Eppich is a young former Idaho rancher building a new farm and family with her husband and young son, near Handel, Sask. Contact her at: [email protected]

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