Weaning, complicated?

You could say, when a determined foal runs into its own stall instead of following its mother to their joint stall, it's time to wean.

Venda has been running around determinedly since she was two weeks old, then it would have been too early. Now she's six months old. The idea of weaning begins to be more than relevant. It is also time for her first vaccination.

Viikari got really sick a week and a half ago. Virus infection which made life that much harder for everyone. For Venda it meant living with her mother a week longer than intended. Gladly the fever went away after two days and no one else got it but Viikari.

This Monday Venda finally ate her evening meal in her own stall. Calm as ever. For the night she went to stay with her mother as the bars of her stall were not covered properly. 

The next night she marched to her own stall and ate her evening meal like any big horse would. The bars were covered with safety grate so she wouldn't get stuck if she jumped around. It was time for her first night on her own?

Usually weaning is hardest to the foal and its mother. Usually. To us nothing goes usual. Venda's next door neighbor decided Venda was the devil and this arrangement wouldn't do. 

We could have predicted this from night before. The signs were there. I kept thinking hoping it was just little nervousness that would pass. To the neighbor it was the end of everything. One should flee! And so she did. As well as she could in her stall.

The noise made others anxious. Others but Venda, who kept staring her neighbor, mouth full of hay, without a care in the world. Almost like she was asking: What's wrong big horse? That made the big horse even more outraged.

Venda ended up in her mother's stall once again. The next night the stunned neighbor decided she wouldn't live in a barn with the devil child. I began to think this wouldn't work. This would be just another failure to the long line of failures..

An hour later the neighbor was in the barn but she wouldn't even consider her own stall. There it was again, the devil child, staring with her mouth full of hay and ears all pricked up. Just awful!

Horses are sensitive. Maybe the neighbor was trying to tell us something..or maybe not.

As a peaceful gesture, Viikari switched stalls with the troubled neighbor. This way Venda could sleep her nights safely between Viikari and her mother. Except she didn't sleep. Or eat. 

Nightly check up proved there was no actual danger of death. Even the troubled neighbor was calm. Venda wasn't her relaxed self, but whatever little discomfort she was experiencing, she hardly showed. Vipsu's udders were a bit full but she seemed to be ok.

As a reward, Venda was united with her mother at the morning. She hasn't been that keen for the milk in a while but oh did she slurp now.

After the morning milk, both Vipsu and Venda, got out together. When the nights become routine, it's probably time to separate them entirely. Glad we're not in a rush.

Venda got her passport for a birthday present. Just in time for the first vaccination. Vaccinating went well. She's such a smart kid. We probably should start practicing standing tied up in the barn..I think she's more than ready.

- J

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