A Respite

In case you don’t know what a respite is, it means a break, a rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant. It’s been a very long week on the Ross ranch. We were sure Jewels was going to foal a couple of days before the earliest guess of March 20 (three people guessed that date). But now? All the dates you have been guessing are “in the game.”

Jewels pH dropped from 7.0 to 6.5 (we test the milk twice a day). At 6.2 it’s at the point of no return–a foal will be born within 48 hours. Well . . . three days later, it’s just sitting there, even though her udder is huge and milk is dripping. But no foal!

You can see in the image at the top of this post what the position of the baby looks like. He/she is all ready to be born. But he won’t come! Her pH never went lower than 6.5 and now it went back up to 7.0! Maybe because the awful, awful rain and wind these next few days, the mare is holding back. Her due date is still March 26 (and Scarlett’s is still March 29th), and it looks like the majority of your guesses are closer than what we thought! Here is a gallery and below that, today’s video of two very pregnant mares that simply will not foal!

pH down to 6.5!
pH back up to 7.0!
Watching the monitor!
stall was all ready last week!
Mom and Kristi even spent the night waiting!
Two Video Shorts

The two faces of pregnant mares. One from last week, just a day or two before we thought Jewels would foal because she was acting like she was in labor! The other video shows the mares having a fine time grazing today, just like they were not getting ready to foal.

Kristel is Andi. I am Melinda

And that is the truth! Kristel was running in and out, pH testing sometimes three times a day. And yes, Jewels acted like she would drop that foal before the day was out. Standing in a corner, pacing, shifting one hip to the other, blah, blah, blah. Honestly, I got a little tired of hearing her go on and on about her laboring mare.

Then it struck me. I was acting just like Melinda in chapter 1 of Thick as Thieves, and Kristel was acting just like Andi over her mare. It’s nice to know that fiction can sometimes reflect real life. Here’s the quickie scene. Andi has run into the house quite a bit the past few days . . .


Andi clattered up the back porch steps, dashed through the kitchen and dining room, and burst into the library of her family’s sprawling, two-story ranch house. “Mother! Where’s Chad? I need him right now.”

“Mother’s not here,” Melinda told her from a low table in front of a crackling fire. “She had a headache and went up to bed.” She fiddled with bits of velvet, lace, and dark-blue taffeta then looked up. “You better not disturb her.”

Andi had no intention of waking their mother. She tossed aside a thick, dark braid and took a deep breath to quiet her racing heart. It didn’t help. “It’s Taffy. She’s—”

“Not again.” Melinda rolled her eyes. She picked up a half-finished bonnet and sighed. “You’ve gone on about your horse morning, noon, and night for the past two days.”

Andi turned a withering look on her eighteen-year-old sister. “If your horse was foaling and acting strange, you’d be worried too.”

“Maybe I would,” Melinda threw back, “but I wouldn’t race into the house every ten minutes to yell about it.”


I can’t help it. I smile every time I think of that little scene, which is being repeated right here . . . in real life. Hopefully, the next time I post something about these stubborn mares it will be the winner of the Guess the Date contest. As of today, there is still time to enter. Go here >>

Published by Andi Carter

I'm the main character in the Circle C Adventures series. I live on a huge cattle ranch in 1880s California. These are my adventures.

27 thoughts on “A Respite

  1. And here i thought the mares would outlast all of the guessing dates of births of the foals! I guess i was just thinking about Mini Mae. Keep us updated, Mrs. M.!
    And yes, it is funny when something happen in life that you wrote about. 🙂


    1. Well, no one knew when Minnie Mae was bred. We know the exact date but … lol … it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

      The one predictable thing about first time mares is … They are totally unpredictable!


  2. I think it would be so cool to have a horse and have it foal!!
    I guess my one guess is wrong. I guessed March 21 (my Grandma’s B-day:)) for one of them….
    The other one I guessed the day we get done with school. (We get done early bc we homeschool and we start earlier:) I hope they come soon!


  3. Any updates, Mrs. M?

    All the pictures are cool and enjoyable, but I have never seen anything like the very first one! That is very interesting and looks really uncomfortable!! Do you “pet” the foal?


      1. Oh ok. I thought it was your horse!
        Sorry, I was confused! So I’m guessing that that never happens like that then?


      2. Ok. Sorry. I thought the foal really bulged out like that. And I was like that is so weird and cool, but like can that actually happen? lol. Sorry!


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