Usually Icelandic Horse mares prefer to give birth alone and in “privacy” during the night and somewhere out of sight so I was sure she would give birth the following night. But something told me to stay put. I called into work and told I would be late that particular day and decided to stick around with my mare whom I could see was in pain. I did not have to wait long until she laid down and struggled and I could see the foal´s head but nothing more happened and we were both getting desperate. I knew it should not take mares more than 30 minutes at most to give birth and the time was ticking.
I called my husband and asked him to help us and then called the vet. Even the vet was nervous during the call but said we had to pull the foal out as fast as we could. So my husband pulled the foal successfully out of the mare and a beautiful and huge black stallion was born on this rather cold May morning at the Álftanes Peninsula. His mother was exhausted and I was in tears. Thankfully they both were OK and I had just witnessed my first (and only) foal to be born. If I had not been there it is most likely both mare and her foal would not have survived. Since then Sperra has giving birth to two other foals without having any birthing problems. But ever since that morning me and Sperra have had a special bond.
Krummi frá Álftanesi, the foal that was born in 2012, is now 7 years old and is still huge for an Icelandic (about 150 cm on the withers) and very beautiful with long mane just like his mother. His riding abilities are getting better every day and if you like, you can try him on one of our luxury riding tours in Iceland.
I decided to stop breeding in 2016 but I have to admit that I do miss having a foal running around in the field.
Text and photos: SteinunnG
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