I saw a Metal horse temperament mare last week and it was interesting to see how she handled her first foaling experience. Ramona is a 16 year old retired Warmblood jumping horse. in preparation for her foaling her owner spent quite a bit of time handling her and making sure she is OK with lifting her tail and having her udder touched.
Despite this preparation, Ramona was not thrilled with having me milk her so I could get some colostrum in her foal. Her foal was very large and unsteady on her legs so she was not up to nursing on her own. Ramona was moving around and threatening to kick me but knowing she was a Metal horse temperament I was willing to push a bit further than I would have another type such as Wood, Water or Fire. Metal horse temperaments tend to be very cooperative when they have been well trained. We positioned Ramona with the baby laying right under her nose and her concern for her foal overcame her worry about me and she let me get some milk from her.
It only took a few ounces on milk to jump start her filly and she was soon up on her feet looking to feed herself. Ramona really settled down and let the filly suck all over her and eventually the filly found the teats. Ramona seemed to be especially sore and on further exam we found her vulva was extremely swollen and she had some tearing at the top up toward her anus. She was very bruised inside as well. We immediately started her on the homeopathic remedy, arnica, and sprayed the injured tissue with Draw solution.
Ramona’s filly did not show any signs of a difficult birth so my suspicion is that as a Metal horse temperament Ramona rushed the foaling process. Another clue of this is that the filly had blood around the stump of her umbilical cord so Ramona probably got up immediately after the foal was out. Metal horse temperaments have a very high pain threshold so instead of pausing and letting her tissues stretch I think Ramona pushed too hard too soon. I have attended many foaling and most mares will pause for some length of time just as the legs and head appear at the opening of the vulva. I have learned that as long as the mare is not pushing I do not interfere even though it is hard not to. Once the tissues have relaxed then the mare quickly finishes the delivery process. With the high pain tolerance I suspect Ramona kept pushing without letting the tissues stretch.
True to her Metal horse temperament Ramona has been very good about letting us treat her injured vulva area and she and her foal are doing famously. Madalyn