I still make plenty of mistakes with my camera. But I’m starting to feel like I know what I’m going to get in the end when I press the shutter. I know better how I want the camera set up for specific situations.
The other morning I got a couple of nice photos of the mares and foals just as the sun was coming up. I knew when I took them that I’d have to do a bit of editing to fix up the exposure. The first couple of photos below were taken before it was light. And they were handheld. So they were underexposed and very dark. But I took them in RAW format and was able to bring them up when I processed them.
All three broodmares with their three foals, moving out into the pasture. That’s Bernice, Dora, and Loula. The foals are Ruby, Sammy, and Gabriella.
Ruby is a very exhuberant filly. So it’s easy to get shots of her in motion. Her mama, Bernice is quite often in motion herself (though not in this photo), so Ruby takes after her. When there is this little light though, it’s very difficult to prevent motion blur (or blur from camera shake). So I was very happy that this one turned out as sharp as it did.
Ruby and Bernice again. The sun was above the horizon here, so I didn’t have to do much to fix the exposure.
Dora’s foal, Gabriella. The very perfect filly.
Gabriella, with Dora in the background.
Bernice and Ruby
Bernice’s filly, Ruby
Sammy, introducing himself, rather rudely, to Diva. Diva is Dora’s foal from two years ago.
I took more pictures of Sammy (Loula’s colt) while he was scampering around in the small paddock. I wouldn’t blame Loula one bit if she were already tired of him. He’s a bundle of energy and not all of it polite energy either. Sure is lucky that foals are cute or we’d never tolerate the little demons.
Click on any of the photos for a closer (and thus cuter) view:
We’ve been waiting impatiently, ever since Sammy was born last week, for the other two mares to foal. I’m sure the boss was more impatient than any of the rest of us, since he’s been on foal watch every night for several weeks. After which he leaves for the track at around 5am to train the older horses. So I would imagine he’s longing for a full night’s sleep by now.
This morning was exciting though. First, Ana let me know that the boss had called to tell her that Bernice had her foal around 1 in the morning. Ana headed in early to see the new filly. A lovely sturdy little chestnut with some very flashy markings. A big wide white blaze and a hind stocking right up to the hock. She is by Giant Gizmo.
I was just ambling around at home, contemplating a quick cup of tea before going in to meet the new baby, and to help Ana move the yearlings, when I got a mildly panicked call from her… “Dora is foaling!!!! What do I do???” So I abandoned the tea and ran for the car. When I arrived, I found Ana and Linda, both in a bit of flap. Dora had gone down with her tail to the wall. No way for a foal to come out safely, much less for me to get in and help at all.
We got her up (Dora is really quite a cooperative mare) and she went down again. Even tighter to the wall. So once again we had to get the poor mare up. This time she went down in the middle of the stall with plenty of clearance. Big relief!
Two hind feet and a nose were visible. That’s exactly what you want to see, so I relaxed and just let Dora push. Eventually I got hold of the feet and helped her a little bit. But it was all pretty much textbook, and the baby was trying to look around before she was even halfway born. She is a bright little spark with a beautiful, dainty face. I think she might end up looking rather like her mama. Dora has a lovely head. This filly is a bay with a big star on her forehead. She is also by Giant Gizmo.
The fillies seem to be faster to get up than the colts, and faster to figure out where and how to nurse. This filly was no exception. Girls rule 🙂
So we are all done foaling for another year! Everyone has arrived safe and sound, and mamas are all very pleased with their babies 🙂
Loula’s colt is doing very well. He’s not at all shy with humans, and will undoubtedly be pure trouble very shortly. Anastasija came up with a name for the little guy… Sam. And the boss didn’t immediately ridicule it. So Sam it is.
They went out to the paddock to enjoy some sunshine this morning. He started out wobble-legged and worried. But soon gained a bit of confidence. Mind you, he is carefully staying glued to his mama’s side!
All three foals that we were expecting at work have now arrived. All big, healthy, and very very cute.
First was Lila. She is Loula’s baby, and is pretty much the spitting image of Loula. She’s also a right little demon. Loves people, has no fear of anything, and is ready to take on the world. She’s already packed a lot of action into her short little life. Last night she came into the stall behind her mother, on her hind legs, pawing like Trigger. Watching her in the field is actually a bit frightening… she runs like a missile and brakes hard at the last minute, bouncing a bit since she hasn’t mastered a sliding stop… stopping just about an inch from the fence. Here are a couple of quick shots from my phone that I took of her this morning.
Second was Desi. He is Dora’s little colt. He’s a bit smaller than the two fillies. But very handsome, with a beautiful face… very like his mother’s. His pasterns were very weak behind on the first day, but he’s already coming up nicely as he gets stronger. The vet says that he will grow out of that very quickly, so no worries. He’s much quieter than that careening little hellion, Lila. Quite a little gentleman. Here he is today, posing perfectly for the camera.
And finally yesterday, Bernice had her filly. She was born outside (accidentally), so I was able to get some better pics than usual of the first few minutes. Usually they are born in a stall, which is pretty dark for picture taking. Zara was born at around 4pm in the bright sunshine though. Again, she’s very like her mother. Tall and rather elegant with long, long legs. Click any pic for larger versions.