A friend asked us if we had a name for the foal yet. We said no, and he said, “Well, the mom is Noelle. How about Foelle?” I threatened to send his email address to all of y’all :)
Today was a good day. Perhaps not the best day Noelle and I have had, but still good. And Kathleen did take some photos and video. It was an unseasonably warm 87 degrees (for an unusually warm winter) and the flies (the little bitty bitey ones) and bees were bothering all of us. You’ll hear Kathleen complaining on the video.
Notice in the photos below that Noelle has been shedding – more like molting – and underneath all that long white-ish hair which was helping her keep warm up in Reno is a rich golden patina. You can see it on her shoulders and in the flank area.
When I last wrote you, I had not been able to touch her on her left side. I began working on it the next day and it only took a couple of days to be able to touch her on the face and around the eye and maybe a couple of days more to be scratching her neck down to the withers. It’s still not as comfortable for her as the right side, but I think she’s doing fantastic.
I’ve gotten all the way down her front legs to her hoof on both sides, and between her front legs underneath her chest from either side.
Still I can only use my left hand on her right side and my right hand on her left side, which fascinates me. On the right side I’ve worked my way all the way back to her butt.
Notice the look on her face when I’m back in those “dangerous” zones. Clearly unconcerned. Even less concerned than when I scratch her neck or around her ears. Why? I don’t know. But it’s interesting. I stay up nights wondering about these things.
Even when rubbing under her belly she was fine. I was trying to feel the baby move but must admit I didn’t feel a thing. Just a very tight belly. But she was still unconcerned. Only after seeing these photos did I realize how calm she was as I cannot see her face when I’m rubbing. I am aware when back near her butt or belly that I’m vulnerable to both right-side legs… but my instinct said go for it. And it’s nice to see how unconcerned she is.
I’ve also been playing with the halter loop, pulling it lightly to the right and to the left. And she is now responding nicely. Not so much to “forward” or “down” but left and right is coming along. See it on the Day 70 video.
Kathleen and I read the “foaling book” every night, stacking the information in the book up against what we’ve seen in the paddock that day. As far as we can see nothing causes us to believe that Noelle is going to foal in the next day or two.