WARNING Sad and not for squeamish

There’s no good way of telling this.

Last night Brá gave birth to a stillborn bay colt foal.

It all started fine.  No stress, no worry, nothing out of the ordinary.  I was sitting in the van watching like a hawk from midnight onwards.

Luckily it was light enough so that I could view the horses with binoculars though I did go into the field …. with help.

At 02:00 Brá went into labour.  She was doing well, the foal was coming out the right way round.  All looked good although her contractions were not that strong.  She was getting up and lying down a lot.  Prevous foals have been born very quickly.

After a while Daisy arrived and we watched trying to decide what to do next.  We called Bjørn, our neighbour, trainer and friend and he raced over.  Brá rolled, had an enormous contraction and the foal came out.  He never took a breath.  It all took 30 minutes from start to finish.

We tried resuscitation but it was not to be.

So we trudged to bed with heavy hearts.  This morning, I went down to find Brá standing by her foal  but with her afterbirth still very retained.  She had not moved nor eaten.

She let me catch her (amazingly though I did get cross with Lilja who was in the way and not helping). Daisy and Flossie moved the foal up with her and we put them in the stable together.  The vet visited, lightly sedated and examined Brá thoroughly.  He gave her Oxytocin, antibiotics and steroid injections. 

We have to be very careful of toxic shock and to this end, Brá will stay in the stable with her foal.  She is eating, which is a good sign.  She won’t leave her foal so I have put her food where she will have to look away to eat it.

Hetja and Lilja are next door and not happy but we are due torrential rain for the next 12 hours and I don’t want Brá standing in a downpour with her foal.

So that’s where we are.  We feel gutted for poor Brá.  If I could change anything, I would.  Now to keep her alive is our next challenge.

A very sad day.  The what-if’s are huge.



29 thoughts on “WARNING Sad and not for squeamish

  1. Gunn Iren Kjøndal

    It really hurts to read your blog today. There are no words to say…..I cry with you……

  2. annie vanderven

    Oh dear, oh dear, so sad for everyone but I am sure you will take good care of her and she will recover from all the trauma.

  3. Linda Loba

    Oh Frances, this is so sad. I’m sad for everyone, but especially Bra. I’m so glad to see such care for her…
    RIP little one

  4. Michelle

    What a devastating end to so much happy anticipation. I pray Bra recovers quickly, and Hetja gives you a beautiful foal to ease some of the pain.

  5. Celeste

    Just devastating news, so sorry to hear of it. Sure hope Bra comes through ok, that matters the most. Extra hugs to you.

    1. Christine

      I am so very sorry and am heartbroken for all of you. Sending positive thoughts and love from across the ocean and hoping dear Bra adjusts and stays healthy.

  6. Katie

    So so sorry for the loss of this beautiful foal. My heart breaks for Bra and all her human family.

  7. Dona

    So sorry to hear your news about Bra and her colt. Such a sad day for her and your family. Glad she has you, your family & friends to care for her and bring her through this.

  8. Simone

    Sending you much love, I am so sorry for Brà and you all. She is lucky to have you to care for her. big, big hug.x

  9. Judith Garbutt

    Nothing worse. Having been through it some years ago, you have all my sympathy. I hate it when they need steroid injections as you then have the risk of laminitis to add to the worries. Fingers crossed that Bra makes a straightforward and speedy recovery.xx

  10. Lucy MacArthur

    I am SO sorry Frances! How sad and awful to have to worry about losing mum too. I feel sure all your tlc will pay off but I am keeping my fingers tigbtly crossed and thinking of you all Lx

  11. Robyn

    So sorry for the loss of this dear little foal. Poor Bra. Hope she will get through this with your loving care. Such a sad day for everyone. Big hugs across the miles Frances.

  12. darby callahan

    I am so sorry. I cannot imagine how heartbroken you must be. Hoping Bra will pull through. I know you will do everything you can for her.

  13. Elva

    I am very, very sorry for you and your mare’s loss of the foal. I hope your mare gets to feeling better very soon.
    Not to be disrespectful about the loss of the foal, but I also want to mention that I have enjoyed all the pictures of Monster the super cat.

  14. Louise Stopford

    SO, SO sorry Frances – heartbreaking to read this post. My thoughts are with you and your family and of course Bra – gosh I do hope she will be OK. Poor girl to lose her baby.

  15. Shelley

    This must have been a difficult post to write, Frances. Thank you for sharing this very sad news. I can only imagine how devastating this is for all of you. I’ll be checking in for Bra updates and hoping for the best.

    Shelley from Boston

  16. diane in northern wis

    Oh so sad for Bra and for all of you in the loss of this little one. Praying that Bra will be much better soon and better days ahead for all of you.

  17. Mo Hall

    So sorry, – we went through it and lost the mare as well just before Christmas, still makes me well up when I think about it. Life is really rubbish at times.

  18. Diane

    So saddened by Bra’s loss. I know she will pull through she had you and the family and friends to help her.


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