Annabelle’s former owner, Jen, was so nice to send us this picture of Annabelle’s sister and her new foal. What a nice preview!
Annabelle had another visit from the vet last week. He said the foal is getting big, and will probably arrive in June, ahead of schedule.
I’d love to hear about everyone else’s animals!
…pregnant work horse. An update on Annabelle!
Annabelle’s been doing well adjusting to her new home. She doesn’t like to be contained in her barn and prefers to be outdoors. You can tell that she’s frustrated when bad weather keeps her inside because she paces around the barn, constantly looking at the door.
The vet came to check on Annabelle last week, and he confirmed that she is pregnant. I was really impressed with how she stood still during the exam, munching away on grain. The vet felt the foal’s head and said that he/she is in the right position, has plenty of amniotic fluid, and is big! With a mom that stands at 18 hands and an even bigger dad, we’re sure this baby Shire will be a big one.
It was interesting to hear the vet’s prediction about the birth. He said that with Annabelle’s history as an experienced mom, she’ll prefer to give birth in privacy and we’ll probably find her with the foal one morning this summer. While he couldn’t pinpoint a due date, he said he’d be surprised if she hasn’t had the foal by July.
As far as eating goes, Annabelle is eating as much as you would expect a pregnant work horse to eat. She loves to eat grain and has identified my dad as the grain man, which means she loves him, too. She knows I bring her treats in the form of carrots, apples and pears, and she will head over to look for food as soon as she sees me. As soon as the treat is gone, she goes right back to eating grass. She grazes all day long, pausing occasionally to look around and listen to different noises like cars, dogs and birds.
Today when I visited her, Annabelle was eating grass constantly, so the only pictures I could take were of her eating. I followed her around for a while, taking pictures. When I said “Bye, bye Annabelle!” and turned to walk away, she looked up and followed me. Even though I know she was just making sure I wasn’t leaving without feeding her all the treats, I was touched that she came over to say “Bye” to me.
By the time I got to the farm this morning, my dad and brother had already brushed her and taken her for a walk around the farm to meet the other animals. Fortunately, Nathaniel took a break from the sap house to take her out again so I could get some photos!
Annabelle in her new home.
Annabelle with Nate. Don’t be fooled about her size, Nate’s 6’5″, so you can imagine how big she is!
Annabelle poses in front of Eddie and the excavator.
Annabelle visits with Bill and Vinny. They seemed to get along and she didn’t want to leave them. She’s also bigger than they are.
Annabelle with me. For reference, I’m 5’7″.
Taking a walk back to her barn. Look at that long tail!
Duke enjoyed visiting with Annabelle, and even licked her face. I think they’re friends already.
Update: Ed and I went back to see Annabelle late this afternoon. Here are some more pictures.
Duke, Annabelle and Dad.
We buried Eddie in hay. No wonder he’s always so grumpy.
The cupola on the roof of the stand.
You can see even more pictures of Annabelle at flickr.
Our new horse arrived tonight at around 9:30, about 3 hours behind schedule. They left Michigan at 6am, so it was a long drive! She was a little bit anxious to get out of the trailor, but once she tasted grain, she was more than happy to walk into her new barn.
She quickly learned where the grain, hay and water were, and nibbled away as we talked to her former owner. We got to hear about her previous foals, about this foal’s dad, and about their farm in Michigan.
After we were alone, my mom, dad, brothers and I agreed: Annabelle will be her name. Mom and I had been pushing for Belle, and my dad really likes the name Annabelle, ever since we met a baby buffalo named Annabelle on a trip to Colorado. So, Annabelle it is.
Annabelle is a Shire, black with a white blaze and four white feet. I was surprised by how long her tail is: right down to her hooves!
It was dark and so I couldn’t get very good pictures, but I’ll post the best of what I got. Hopefully I’ll get some better ones tomorrow.
Well, Annabelle and her baby are all tucked into bed, and that’s where I’m headed, too.
So yes, I may have jumped the gun yesterday, but I was just so excited. Anyway, now it’s official. Our new horse should arrive tomorrow night. Her name is Kenna but we might change it, and she’s a Shire. She’s expecting a foal in August, too!
No, she’s not going to live at our house, we don’t have nearly enough room for a horse! She’s going to live on my parents’ farm. They’re the ones buying her, but I’ve decided that she’s mine, too. She’s going to live in the water wheel barn for now, and we’ll see where she ends up permanently.
I’ll post some pictures of her when I take some, but for now you can see her (and pictures of our Percheron team) at my mom’s blog.
… if you were getting a draft horse or a team of draft horses, what names would you choose?
There may be a horse in my near future…