D’ Chili Pepper (by D’Wildcat) is a beautiful chestnut mare from Florida.  You can tell she’s from Florida because she asked for her own blanket upon arrival and I think she has tried contacting her owners, Pam and Don Mattox, to let them know it has gotten really cold in Kentucky.  Since she does not have the natural fur coat like the Kentucky girls have, she is wearing her blanket a lot – even in the barn at night.

For those who have not been around a breeding farm, let me give you a little idea of a typical day for a pregnant mare.  Mares (a term used to describe a filly that is 5-years-old or pregnant) will stay outside – where they prefer – until about 30 days prior to their due date.  At this point the mare will be brought into the barn by 4:00pm, where her full feed bucket and water bucket are waiting in her stall.  Yes, her stall… girls will be girls, they like their own space so there is no switching stalls on them.

They stay in until the next morning when they are fed again about 4:00 AM and let back outside by 8:00 AM.  During the night, there is a person called the Night Watchman who watches the mares and looks for signs that say they are close to foaling.  When there are enough signs that foaling looks imminent, the foaling team is called.  They will watch and/or help the mare deliver a foal.

So, back to D’ Chili Pepper…. you can always tell when she has finished her feed because she likes to bang her empty feed bucket on the wall. And since our feed buckets are located in the corner of the stall, she bangs it on both walls.  The other mares are always grateful when we take her feed bucket out of her stall.  …Peace and quite again.

"O wow I'm standing"

“Oh wow, I’m standing!”

So…. on February 7th at 6:43 am, she delivered her first foal.  A very nice chestnut filly by Old Fashioned weighed in at 108 lbs.  This little filly was quick to get up, standing on her own in less than 15 minutes and nursing shortly after.  Mother and filly are doing great.

And D’ Chili Pepper has decided it’s not as cold as she thought…. well, until today.  🙂