Foxvangen's Millenium

V-102

Foxvangen's Millenium at the age of 9. She had filled out and finally outgrown her lean gangliness and had turned into a very lovely, symmetrical mare.

Foxvangen's Millenium was born as the result of mating our mare Chief's Magic Ribbon with Wildfire's Socks. Fire is a Clarkson bred stallion we owned at the time and he was a very intuitive, easy to work with horse. He had a wonderful desire to please and was so gentle no one ever knew he was a stallion. We felt his steady brain, calm manner and easy going nature would balance out Ribbon's more overly sensitive personality.

We also felt Fire and Ribbon matched well in that he was built broader and had a lovely top line while Ribbon had such a wonderful elegance about her. Conformationally they enhanced one another.

Ribbon's first foal had been born under less than advantageous conditions so we paid very close attention to her as her gestation grew close to the end. We wanted no repeats of the first episode when Foxvangen's Rain Dancer had been born under the fence and rolled down a hill in a terrible rain storm!

Ever since we had purchased Ribbon she had demonstrated a reluctance to ever lay down except on rare occasions in pasture when she would sun herself. She slept standing and didn't lay down one month to the next. She acted as if she was on guard all the time and always stood looking out as if expecting someone or something to come into her space to bother her.

The fact she was not taking time to get off her feet and actually lay down to rest concerned us but there was really not much we could do about it. As her time came near, each day while cleaning her stall, paddock and turn out area I paid close attention to Ribbon's demeanor checking for signs of first stage labor and also checking to see how she was holding up.

Wildfire's Socks at the age of 3. He was so shiny the camera depicted him much lighter than he truly was and shortly after this he went through an extraordinary color change. Though it is not seen in this photo, he mane and tail were nearly white like Miss Molly Fox.

Ribbon's first foal had been born on day 366 of her gestation but we knew enough to realize that does not mean subsequent foals will go the same length of time. Ribbon is also a mare that never shows her pregnancies. Even today at the ripe old age of 22 she can carry a full term pregnancy and no one would ever know she was pregnant. She also does not show the common, late term signs of development that most mares exhibit as they shape up for foaling.

Ribbon is an extremely stoic mare so any signs of first stage labor were likely to be extremely subtle as well. Therefore, she needed constant watching!

Things went along smoothly until one day when I was out cleaning Ribbon's grassy turn out she was following along behind me. I'd been rubbing her back and talking with her intermittently as I cleaned her area. The wheel barrow was full so I was headed back up the hill to take it to the compost pile when I heard an odd sound behind me.

I turned to investigate and saw that Ribbon had actually passed out cold and had fallen flat on her belly! The silly girl had become so exhausted she simply fell asleep on her feet and fell right down!

Instantly I was really concerned. Being so close to term a blow like that to the abdomen could bring on labor before the foal was properly positioned or it could turn the foal or possibly even injure the foal!

Ribbon came too right away and was acting rather embarrassed by her actions but other than that she seemed perfectly normal but within a few minutes her belly changed shapes dramatically.

The vet arrived just in time to help me deliver Millenium from a hip lock after a breech presentation and shoulder lock in a very protracted and difficult delivery.

Even though Ribbon never really shows her pregnancies her belly gets a rounder look to it. She never gets a large belly but she looks a bit fuller in the flank and overall a little rounder than when she is not pregnant. All of a sudden Ribbon's belly now looked real flat on the bottom. Needless to say I was very concerned and consulted my vet who lived just around the corner from me.

The vet came and examined Ribbon externally declaring everything was fine and normal but still my intuition told me there was something going on in Ribbon's abdomen and that things were not perhaps as rosie as the vet had painted!

It was February 2, 1999, a nice sunny day when things began to happen. While working outside I noticed that Ribbon was particularly active. I had opened a gate to allow her into another turn out that was flatter so she could glean more grass as I worked. While I watched her busily walking from place to place in the turn outs I noticed she was sort of squiring fluid

Ribbon has a very massive tail so at first I had not picked up on this clue because the fluid was not much more than a dribble or a very small spurt. Her tail hid it from view for the most part. I would not have noticed it if she had not randomly moved her tail at the same time she did this on one occasion.

. She was not posturing like she was urinating and there was not a lot of fluid but in my own heart I KNEW it was amniotic fluid I was seeing jet from her in small squirts! In normal deliveries when water breaks it comes out in a huge gush, if it doesn't that is a red flag indication of a possible malpresentation. Something is blocking the fluid from exiting which often spells a breech delivery.

Watching her and timing these events on my watch it became clear those spurts were coming on a regular basis. Hmmm, they were coming every five minutes and you could set your clock by them. After a time the space between squirts shortened to every three minutes. I called the vet.

Now I have been a foaling midwife since 1964 and have delivered hundreds of foals. The problem is, I am also very short so therefore my arms are also quite short. Ribbon stands 15.2 hands! For me to try to palpate her I'd need a box or ladder to stand on.

Exhausted from her ordeal Ribbon laid for a time gathering her energy. I had placed Millenium in front of her so they could bond and rest together giving Ribbon a little extra time before her duties as a mother began.

The vet arrived and stood with me while we continued to observe Ribbon. She suggested that the foal was laying on Ribbon's bladder...that it's activity was causing urine to leak out. That scenario can truly happen however it would not be occurring every three minutes for more than an hour! She refused to palpate Ribbon! Then she left!

During the course of her day I found out later, the vet was telling people that I was overly anxious about my impending foaling and gave everyone a good laugh. I, however was not laughing. The vet was fresh out of vet school and had not seen enough foalings to realize what she was seeing in Ribbon. My personal experience told me Ribbon was in trouble but I had no way of knowing just what form that trouble was taking!

Another hour passed and still Ribbon continued to spurt. Again the vet was summoned and again she refused to palpate, claiming I was just over reacting and that Ribbon was just fine! Frustrated to death I knew SHE was wrong.

All the rest of that day Ribbon continued to spurt. It was simply not normal yet I could not get the vet to really listen to me or to pay enough attention to the situation!

When I first noticed Ribbon spurting it had been one o'clock in the afternoon. There is no way of knowing how long she had been doing it prior to my initial observations but we know full well that she was spurting at one o'clock!.

By 9pm that night she was STILL spurting and the vet had been called 5 times and STILL refused to palpate the mare! I was about ready to pull my hair out with frustration and a feeling of inadequacy because I knew that mare needed help but without assistance there was little I could do to help her. I never left her side all that day and evening.

Finally at 9:30pm Ribbon went outside her stall to the gravel paddock. In one corner of the paddock was a small mud puddle. It was the only standing water in her entire area! Sure enough that is where she chose to lie down. When she did, her fanny was facing my direction so I had a little light from the yard lights by which to see what was going on.

A short hour after birth, Millenium was a shy little thing that hid under Ribbon's belly whenever something startled her.

Just as she went down the bubble appeared that heralds the onset of second stage labor. It was show time!!!!

I called the vet yet again. This time she was very short and curt with me. There was not time to get angry with her, my mare was going to need help, I was certain of it! So I hung up on the vet telling her if she chose not to help I'd just have to call another vet! I probably should have done that hours before!

Finally she agreed to come over when she could. It was only a quarter mile from her farm to mine and whenever she needed assistance I often ran over there to help HER. Meantime I was still watching Ribbon as she went into serious labor. At last a pair of feet presented. My training told me to check instantly to see what position they were facing.

My worst fears were realized when the feet presented were palm up...hind legs. This baby was backward....! The legs presented were white half way up the legs. There was no mistaking them even in the dim light because they stood out like a beacon! Just to be real certain I ran my hands up the legs and found the hocks.

I got Ribbon up and opened her paddock gate. I haltered her and made her walk down hill. My intentions were to keep her standing down hill until the vet got there to help because I was certain I would not be strong enough to turn that foal all on my own.

It is a pretty steep hill Ribbon was standing on so by placing her like that the foal's legs slipped back inside and Ribbon's contractions slowed. That helped slow things down until help could arrive and give us a little more time to try to reposition the foal.

Ribbon was so cooperative Bless her heart. I really felt bad because she had been in labor for more than 8 hours already and was tiring badly. Finally Ribbon simply could not stand any longer. I led her to her stall where she instantly dropped to the floor and began to push.

Millenium was not a large foal but she was a robust and strong foal with a love for movement. She was delightfully happy, friendly and inquisitive.

As I knelt behind Ribbon two feet appeared only this time they were BROWN and they were turned the right way around! Somehow in that time on the hill the foal had done a summer summersalt and repositioned itself!

Before I could cheer too much however another problem presented itself. Ribbon had played out. The poor girl was so exhausted from all the attempts at labor and positioning she just didn't have it in her to push any longer.

Another issue was the foal now was in a shoulder lock. Most times shoulder lock is not too difficult to adjust but with uterine inertia complicating things it is a heavy job to try to get that baby out of the birth canal before it is suffocated.

At least now I had something to work with. Getting down to work I began to manipulate the foal's shoulder to get it unstuck. I had managed to get the shoulder free and continued delivering the foal when the vet arrived at last! Informing her of what was happening she got down to help me. It should have been just a simple completion of the delivery but it wasn't. NOW the foal was in a hip lock.

Hip lock is a bit trickier to manipulate. Without the mare being able to help and with the foal being a dead weight it is heavy work indeed! It took both the vet and myself to finally get Millenium free from that hip lock in order to complete her delivery.

Once delivered Millenium was rarely idle. She loved to run and play.

A normal delivery should take no longer than 20-30 minutes ideally from the time the mare breaks water. THIS delivery had taken 9 full hours by the clock and even longer by time we had a foal laying on the straw! Poor Ribbon was about done for but she rallied as soon as she heard Millie's first nickers.

Not many mares would have survived such an ordeal much less deliver a live foal. That episode speaks volumes to Ribbon's endurance!

Both the vet and I tried to keep the filly down for a few minutes to give Ribbon some badly needed time to rest and recuperate. She had torn some during the delivery so the Vet used that time to stitch the wound closed while I worked to imprint the foal.

Then I pulled the foal around to Ribbon's front so she could lick and bond with it without having to get up. At first the foal was distracted enough to forget about attempting to get up.

Once the vet was finished with her clean up work however there was no holding that filly down. She wanted up and up she was going to get! We had bought Ribbon perhaps 15 minutes rest time.

Millenium got up on strong legs and began little scampering actions around the stall. She looked more like a leap frog than a horse but we were quite impressed by how strong she was considering what she had just gone through!

Finally Ribbon gave a big sigh, then heaved herself up to her feet. She began her motherly duties in her usual stoic, long suffering manner. She is a great mother and would sacrifice her life for any one of her foals.

After giving Ribbon a warm, wet mash and a bucket of warmed water and a dose of Probios I stepped outside the stall for the first time in many hours. She had delivered the placenta very quickly after Millie's deliver so the vet had given her a shot of Banamine to help alleviate her discomfort.

It had gone 11:30pm. As tired as I was, it was a given that Ribbon was far more so. The vet apologized for not taking me more seriously and then she left.

As soon as the sun peaked over the mountains the next morning I was out observing the newborn and Ribbon. Millenium was a very active little girl and had already learned how to run in and out of the stall much to Ribbon's chagrin! She was a happy little filly and had such a joy in running around the paddock that finally Ribbon stopped her grousing and just let her romp while she stood back and observed.

Ribbon and Millenium in one of Millies rare moments of idleness.

Millenium scampered all over that paddock with satisfying little grunts and happy little nickers as she flew from place to place. Every fifteen minutes or so she would race up to Ribbon, suckle like a little pig and then take off again at light speed. She was such a happy little girl that it didn't seem to bother her that it was winter and cold out!

Ribbon was very proud of her little daughter but she did not dote on her as she had Rain Dancer. We find most of our mares don't dote as much on the fillies. Ribbon would fiercely protect her foal and she kept a good eye on her but she didn't tend to restrict her activities as she had with her son, Rain Dancer.

As one day turned into another and then piled up into weeks, Millenium grew and grew. When Ribbon was rested enough to go out with other mares Millenium met her half sister, Foxvangen's Pagan for the first time. Pagan had been born in October the prior year so she was 4 months Millie's senior and boy did she let Millenium know that!

The two fillies bonded to one another quickly and became fast friends but Pagan is a born alpha who quickly took charge of Millie and dictated nearly all her actions. The arrangement seemed to suit Millie so she began to rely upon Pagan to make all her decisions for her.

That set up is ok in some ways however it does not allow for a foal to learn to trust it's own judgment or to develop a sense of confidence. At the time there was not much we could do about the situation because at the time I was ill and the doctors had told us if I was to live we had to move to a different area where the air suited me better. We had found the land in Arkansas and were busy readying it for our move.

At four months Millenium was developing well and remained a happy, easy natured filly.

The two fillies got along so well anyone would know they were sisters! Both were sweet natured and fun to be around even though they each had totally different personalities.

As the months ticked by it soon became time to wean the two fillies. We had a large paddock with a big run in stall prepared for them. By that time Pagan was 10 months old and Millenium was 6 months. They weaned without whining and the mares accepted the situation beautifully. It is our habit to separate the foals from the dams for three days in a side by side situation first. After the third day the mares udders slack off so they are not so concerned about having the little limpets around!

Both mares were bred back which also helps settle them to the weaning scheme. After the mares are dry and the foals have been separated for a few weeks, we can reintroduce them in the pasture. The mares continue to nurture them but will not allow them to nurse. It works wonderfully well for us that way but we need to get those first few weeks behind us before that arrangement works.

At night the fillies went back to their shared accommodations while the mares went to their own barns. One early morning when they were young yearlings I went to the barn to feed. What I found made my heart just drop! It seems during the night the fillies had gotten mischievous, deciding to rearrange their stall! The stall opened on to a portion of the barn where we stored feed. Somehow during the night ( I'm sure it was Pagan) had figured out how to get the gate off it's hinges. The two fillies had gotten into a bag of Calf Manna that would not fit in the freezer chest we kept all the rest of the feed in. They had consumed at least 15lbs of the highly concentrated feed supplement!

Feeling their feet for signs of inflammation I found both were heating up. In a situation like that it is imperative to cool the feet. It was fortunate that the incident occurred when it was very cold outside. We had a seasonal creek that ran through the property just a few yards from the barn.

Even though they were not terribly happy about it, I walked them into the creek and had them stand there. We did that three times over the course of a few hours. After that their feet went back to normal and they never had any lingering affects.

After repairing the gate we took everything out of that little part of the barn. It was more like an add on to the regular barn and the filly stall abutted that. We felt we had done a great job yet the next morning there was Pagan laying on the ground with the gate on top of her and her legs through it. She never fights. She just lays there and waits for help but Millenium took advantage of her sister being more or less hog tied to get into mischief on her own! She had gone through the gate into the barn and opened the door to the regular part of the barn. She had taken every halter, lead, bridle, bucket etc etc off the walls and shelves and thrown them into the small room that adjoined the filly stall! What a mess!

Millenium with her sister, Pagan. The two were fast friends and inseparable pasture mates. They frequently got into mischief with Pagan being the ring leader.

After extricating Pagan from the results of her hyjinks, I got them back in their pen and then set about changing how the gate hung so they couldn't do that again! Then I cleaned up the mess Millie had made in the barn. SHE looked very pleased with herself as if her adventure had been very pleasant.

Shortly after that we made our move to Arkansas. Millie and Pagan shared a bay in the transporter. They were small enough to do that without too much trouble but as yearlings it was a hard trip since they didn't have room to move around. Fortunately since we consigned the entire rig they were only stuck in that van for about 30 hours.

When they arrived in Oxford at the farm they were the first off the transporter. Both fillies came off the trailer dignified and calm...looked around and then simply took off running and kicking up their heels in the grassy pasture allotted them. They didn't seem to mind one bit that they were almost 2800 miles from where they had been two days prior.

Because we were still in the construction stage of our farm all the horses except Toy Boy were placed in one pasture temporarily. We had only one in tact colt but he was too young to be of any trouble as yet. Millie got along with everyone. But Pagan still ruled.

We had some suckling foals on the mares and the mares were all bred back so Millie and Pagan were the only yearlings in the group.

Within a few weeks we had cross fenced the pasture land and divided the horses up according to age and sex. Millie and Pagan were put in with the foals we were then weaning. Pagan, however, became too bossy so we removed her and put her in with the mares where she did splendidly. We left Millie to act as "house mom" to all the weanlings. We felt not only would she get along with them but they would boost her confidence since she was so much older than they were. The youngsters would look up to her and rely upon her for guidance. It worked!

Millie not only became big sister to the weanlings, she even acted as a pacifier for them! But she taught them how to behave and formed a real little herd with them. She gained confidence and a real sense of self. She never got bossy or arrogant about it as would Pagan, she simply became the lead mare.

Millie at 18 months was beginning to show promise of things to come.

By time Millie turned 18 months she was a real sweetheart. Very kind and easy to be around. We talked about putting her on the market because we had so many at the time and were still building our farm. There was little time to spare for working with so many youngsters.

We rather drug our feet over the decision because I really didn't want to part with her yet we only had enough space for so many at that point and had not yet established ourselves enough to maintain so many. We could not keep them all!

When Millenium turned two we were using stalls at my sister in law's barn as well as our own, plus two run in sheds in order to get cover for all the horses during our tornadic storms. It was not a good arrangement so we finally put Millie and some of the others up for sale..

All through these times Millie had gone through several color changes. At two she became quite coppery light chestnut with a very silver mane and tail. She had dapples and silver hair on her nose and lower legs. Since her sire had undergone a radical color change at the age of four we assumed Millenium was following in his footsteps.

Then Millenium sold! She was a very fortunate filly because she was purchased by Ed and Marge Murdock from California. Marge breeds gaited Curly horses and wanted Millie for her exceptional gaits and also for her refined good looks. At the time there was little known about some of the more rare colors and Millies mane was silver so we were not certain if she possibly carried silver dapple. Even some of the experts felt that was the case!

We later found out that Millie did not harbor Silver dapple but she certainly had some interesting color things going on.

Marge and Ed visited our farm and picked Millie up on the terrible day of 9-11. The Murdocks had also purchased a colt farther east from us and had a really interesting trip due to all the problems stemming from the horror of 9-11.

At the age of two, Millie was quite gangly and lean. She had a silver mane and lower legs with a body color much lighter than she had ever had before.

Millie finished growing up in California. Marge owned Millie for five years. Eventually she bred Millie and she produced a palomino colt. She bred her a second time and she produced nearly an identical palomino colt but on neither colt did she produce the desired curls even though both are likely what is termed as straight curlies.

When Marge needed to trim her herd numbers she decided to keep her real curly mares and sell Millenium. By then we had come to appreciate just how valuable Ribbon's daughters were and how important the Ribbon/Clarkson crosses were. So we jumped at the chance to buy Millenium back!

Millie while she was living at Marge's farm. She showed hints of her sire's conformation but still was far from mature even though at her age she should have been.

It took a little time to make all the arrangements to get Millie transported back to Arkansas but we looked forward to having her. As the days passed we made a stall ready for Millenium and wondered if she would remember the other horses and us. Would she fit in? Would she accept her new situation? We had no idea as to how her brain and personality had matured. She was then 7 years old and a mature mare.

The day came when Millenium arrived home. She was tired of course but she was not the least upset or excitable. She was very happy indeed to get her feet on solid ground but she acted as if she had just been on a short jaunt around the block rather than a trip covering thousands of miles.

The first horse she came in contact with was her sister, Pagan. My goodness there was no question as to whether they remembered one another! They were just nickering and talking like a couple old broody hens sharing a nest!

We were surprised at the fact Millie had still not fully broadened or matured yet. Generally our horse bulk up between 5-6 years. She had produced two foals and was 7 yet she looked more like a three year old. Late bloomers are not uncommon to Foxtrotters so we just assumed she was one of those.

Almost as soon as Millie got home her color began to change. At first I thought maybe it was a trick of light or just her winter coat coming in but it really wasn't. Like her sire she was undergoing a real color change.

At Marges Millie had looked coppery in the sunlight. At least she did in the photos Marge was kind enough to share. But within three weeks of her arrival back home her coloring began to look darker and more to the red/brown tones. Her mane also began to darken significantly. That is reverse of what normally happens when a horse arrives in our extremely hot, humid area. Manes usually lighten, not darken!

Millenium at marge's farm was a coppery golden color.

Three weeks after arriving at home, Millies color was noticeably changing hue and was getting much redder looking. Her mane and tail were darkening!

We are not color breeders and we don't particularly care what color a good horse is, but color does fascinate us. Prior to becoming involved with Missouri Foxtrottes we had owned a number of other breeds. None of our horses from any other breed had ever changed colors the way the Foxtrotters seem to.

Being avidly curious about most things it has always intrigued me as to what causes or triggers such color changes. Why do some horses seem to do this while others do not and what is the purpose for such color changes. These horses can be different tones or colors each season or each year!

Millie while at Marge's had a bout of founder from new grass. It was a light case with little rotation and that rotation corrected but all the same we were careful regarding Millies pasture time and feed so as not to aggravate or create a problem for her.

She went into a growth spurt and then began to fill out even though she was already seven years old by then! Right before our eyes she was changing into a solid mare. Just why she had waited so long is anyone's guess but it was really interesting to watch as she changed so much in such a short period of time!

By the time she had been home six months it was difficult to tell she was the same horse! She had matured a lot physically and had grown several inches. Her color was still evolving getting darker and richer looking all the time. Her mane and tail began to get quite dark and her lower leg hair darkened for the first time in her life.

After being home six months Millie looked like a totally different mare!

The more Millenium rounded out and enriched her coloring the more lovely she became. She became a favorite with visitors and many people offered to buy her. But we wanted her for our breeding program. She was exceptionally agile and supple. Her gaits were smooth as glass and she was also very fast at the run. Those attributes coupled with the knowledge we had gathered about crossing these lines made her a valued asset to our long range goals.

We bred Millie to our jr. stallion, Foxvangen's Pharaoh. With great anticipation we looked forward to the foal she would produce the next fall. Since Pharaoh was only a two year old Millies foal would be one of his first. We breed our young stallions for a test crop. We feel a stallion is only as valuable as he produces. No matter what he as an individual accomplishes it is all irrelevant unless he can produce well. If he does not produce well then he is still young enough to geld and become a true gelding rather than a stag. If he produces well, then he is worth putting money into training and breeding him.

The next spring when Millenium shed her winter coat we could not believe the change in her! She had finally arrived at her destination of becoming a beautiful, graceful mare!

Her well-rounded body had balanced out to an elegant symmetry that shouted of good breeding. She was a joy just to watch! Her coloring was so dark and dappled that no one would believe a year prior she had been so light!

Millie was not the only mare bred to Pharaoh that year and all were due within a week or two of one another but Millie's foal won the race. At 315 days gestation, Foxvangen's Celestial Event arrived. She was born on the night a large comet was streaking over head. Surprisingly the filly had a splatter of white markings along the side of her face and under her jaw that looked much like a meteor shower so thus her name!

Foxvangen's Celestial Event as a coming yearling was elegant and showing a glimmer of what beauty was to come.

Foxvangen's Celestial Event..aka Celeste, was born with incredible athletic ability. At only a few hours of age she developed the ability to side pass at a run and never missed a step. She used her body in a manner generally only seen in the very best of highly schooled horses. A day later she discovered it was fun to work like a cutting horse chasing goats back and forth through her paddock fence!

With impressive aplomb she worked her body like a fine tuned machine. She never seemed to miss her footing and never had awkward moments of unbalanced lack of control over her body as one is likely to see in most newborn foals. She was energetic and nimble yet not hyper or difficult in the least. We were quite pleased with her and especially with Millie for producing such a lovely filly!

As a yearling, Foxvangen's Celestial Event showed great promise.

Because Millie is half Clarkson bred and Pharaoh is double Clarkson bred we could not keep Celeste for our breeding program. Therefore as a yearling she was sold to a new owner and what appeared to be a good, kind home.

The next mating for Millenium was to our second Jr. Stallion, Foxangen's Solaris. Millenium is a very easy breeder therefore she makes a good mare with which to start the young stallions in their breeding careers.

Though we treasured Pharaoh and appreciated him beyond words, Solaris holds a place in my heart that will never be equaled by another horse. Because this match had potential to be such a fabulous success it was difficult to wait out the long 11 months of gestation.

By this time Millenium's coat was quite dark. It can fade a bit in the humidity of summer but for the most part is akin to a rich, dark mahogany. Her indirect Morgan ancestry began to stand out in her. Her very short back, powerful loin and fabulous hip quite belied the gangliness of her youth.

Millenium was now nine years old and had fully ripened into a very beautiful, well balanced mare. The wonderful thing is that her personality and behavior were just as becoming as her beauty!

At nine Millenium had become a rich, dark mahogany color. She had rounded out and showed a remarkable connection to her Morgan ancestry yet she retained the reach and speed of her Saddlehorse ancestry..

True to her form, Millenium foaled at an early gestation of 320 days. Another filly was added to her list of foals. This time the filly was a chestnut with a blaze and stockings. Right from the beginning the little filly was beautiful. She needed a name that depicted a pure and beautiful heart. We named her Foxvangen's Sarafina... which means "beautiful friend",

True to her name Sarafina entered the world believing everyone in it is her friend and she theirs. She was kind and loving from the very first breath and was docile as a well handled horse. She was no dead head by any means and shared her elder sister's athletic ability. But she had a very quiet way about her that was serene and peaceful Just like her sire!

Foxvangen's Sarafina was Millenium's fourth foal and second filly.

Millenium is a great mother and loves her foals dearly. She is very much like her own mother in her strong mother love. Under her adoring attention, Sarafina learned very quickly the manners and behavior of a dignified and respectful horse.

Things were going along splendidly for the first few weeks and then one day I noticed that Millenium was looking haggard and not well. Closer examination indicated she was suffering from colic!

This was not a post-foaling colic. This was no ordinary gas colic or a mild case of hind gut impaction. Millenium was in serious trouble. She was in so much pain she groaned and sweated yet she continued to nurse and mother her foal.

Banamine and oil did little to bring her comfort. Walking, massage, ...nothing seemed to help. The only vet that services this area was out of town and the only other vet we use was 60 miles away. Millenium simply could not make a trip like that in her condition.

I continued to treat her but a real fear we may lose her began to creep unbidden into my mind. Her condition was deteriorating rather than improving no matter what I did for her.

As if she understood her mother didn't feel good, Sarafina stayed snuggled close to her mother and offered comfort to her. It was nearly palpable to see the way Sarafina tried to encourage her mother yet she behaved perfectly and did not cause her mother any more stress.

Millenium laid out flat with colic while Sarafina comforted her. The filly would lay next to her mother but always had at least one foot touching Millie. We believe that contact comforted Millie.

About the third day into this horrible colic, Millenium went down. She did not thrash or roll as most horses will. She may have done so had she not feared for the safety of her foal. All the same she simply laid down and laid out flat. She did not attempt to get up even when Sarafina needed to nurse.

She did not even lay up sternum, she simply laid out flat on her side unless we got her up forcibly. Sarafina learned to nurse with Millie laying flat out on the floor! On occasion we also supplemented the little one with a bottle. If we were going to lose Millie the foal would need to learn to accept a bottle and she did without issue. But Millie had encouraged her to suckle by moving one hind leg out of the way to expose her udder and the baby managed just fine.

Sarafina would not leave her mother and she refused to even play. She would get up and nibble a bit of hay then suckle from her prone mother and then lay down facing Millenium with her legs touching her mother. It was as if she needed the physical contact and Millie responded to that. She needed to know her daughter was ok and nearby.

It broke our hearts not to be able to do more for our lovely, suffering mare. Millenium is the stoic type so she does not complain unless there is truly something to complain about! All the while I continued to give her more oil and regular injections of Banamine.

After going on so long it was only a matter of time before things would reach a point of no return. We were in dread fear of losing our lovely Millenium. Then one day my brother arrived. He has been a Nikken magnet dealer for a number of years and had brought his therapeutic magnets with him.

We got Millenium up to a standing position with Sarafina nuzzling and encouraging her while my brother began to give Millie a roll out with the magnets. We had all experienced some pretty remarkable things regarding healing that the magnets can do but I had never even thought of using my magnets on Millie!

My brother Kim, performed a therapeutic magnet roll out on the ailing Millie while Sarafina comforted her mother.

It was obviously painfully difficult for Millie to stay on her feet yet the more Kim rolled the magnets over her back and loin the more relaxed she appeared. Soon it became obvious the magnets were having a soothing affect on her.

It is difficult to say just how long Kim rolled the magnets but it was at least half an hour or more. Finally we turned Millie loose. We had hoped she would move around a bit and feel better but she went right back down to laying flat on her side.

What did change however is we began to hear gut sounds. For days we had waited to hear such noises yet hadn't. Now we were getting gut sounds and Millie was alternating laying out flat and rolling up sternum.

About two hours went by and then Millie got up. She was obviously in a LOT of pain but she was moving around in circles. It was time for her Banamine so I gave her a shot. She had gotten to the point where she really didn't appreciate shots but she tolerated it all the same.

She became really restless and was walking in circles around her stall even though she had free access to the outside paddock. Then all of a sudden she walked over near her hay rack, turned to face us and began to grunt and groan and hump up her back. She was really and truly in some bad pain and I could give her no more Banamine.

With stethoscope in hand I started toward her to check gut sounds again but as I neared her Millenium passed the first manure she had passed in several days. When she did the cause of her terrible pain became only too obvious. Millie passes a mass of stool that was as large as a watermelon. It was just one, huge, mass of solid waste. How she even managed to move that along her gut is beyond me! But she had and now it was out!

Sarafina, Millenium's second daughter has coloring more in keeping with her Clarkson blood. She is a delightfully pleasant and pretty filly.

Millie was totally exhausted. She laid back down panting like a dog. Sarafina laid out with her. The pair dozed off to sleep while we tidied up the mess Millie had made. About an hour later Millie once again got to her feet. This poor mare had not eaten in at least four days and had not drunk more than a bucket full of water during that entire time. It was beyond me how she managed to continue to milk sufficiently for Sarafina!

This time when she got up, she walked over to the water tank and drank like a camel that has been a month on the desert. I was not certain drinking water in that volume was the best idea yet Millie was dehydrating and really needed the fluids. So I let her drink, and drink....and drink.

Finally she had her fill. She stood gazing out the door to the paddock for a few minutes and then walked over to the hay rack again, turned her back side to it and low and behold she defecated! This time she produced a very large, NORMAL pile of manure.

That was followed by several others within a matter of an hour. After the fourth or fifth bowel movement she began to move more and more. For the first time in nearly a week she went outside into the sunlight. She was very tired from her ordeal and she had lost weight both from not eating while milking like a cow, and from dehydration. Still it was such a Blessing to see that mare on her feet we could not deny her anything at that point.

Needless to say Sarafina was overjoyed to see her mother up on her feet again. She stuck to Millie like glue everywhere she went. Not that she was insecure, but rather to support her mother.

Millie was tired for a few days and we limited how much hay we let her have since she seemed to over do it with the Bermuda hay.

Sarafina is a very happy filly with a love for running. She has a very kind spirit and a lovely sense of calmness.

Millenium is now 10 years old and just as lovely as always. In 2009 we bred her again. This time to Foxvangen's Toy Boy, our senior, Clarkson bred stallion. With this mating we will be able to tell which stallion she produces best with. The goal is, after all, to produce the best horses possible!

Even pregnant, Millenium is a lovely mare.

At this writing Foxvangen's Millenium is ten years old. She is a perfect lady and is a delight to handle. She is patient and kind and a true asset to our breeding program.

What we want from Millie to add to our bloodline is her text-book perfect natural foxtrot, Her amazing reach and style, her stupendous agility, Her speed, her sure footedness, and her kind nature.

What we would like to add to Millie's offspring are more bone and joints and perhaps a tiny bit less spirit.

Millenium at ten. She is a very lovely mare. Below are her offspring.

Millie was a late bloomer but she has made up for lost time. She has developed into a very lovely mare who is a delight to have in our pasture.She is quiet, friendly, respectful and kind. Watching her gait and run in the pasture is simply breathtaking. Her agility and suppleness are amazing.

Millie turned eleven in May of 2010. She is expecting another foal in August! Her serene personality shows through in these updated photos.

Millenium at eleven years is a lovely mare with exceptional symmetry, grace and style.

We hope to produce a few more foals from Millie before we have to completely retire. We feel she is an asset to the breed but particularly to the drive to preserve the original type of Missouri Foxtrotter!

Millie has a soft, serene sort of personna. Her foals are always extremely gentle and loving.

These youngsters are still in the development stages. They are posted here according to age. The first two are geldings bred by Marge Murdock and I believe they were sired by her stallion Golden Lad.

SAC Golden Billionaire...aka "Bill" Millie's colt bred by Marge I believe at age 3.

SAC Golden Millionaire...aka "Lio", Millie's colt at age two bred by Marge.

 

Foxvangen's Celestial Event in winter coat the day she left home. She was a yearling here. Her mane flip is from head nod, not wind! She was sired by Foxvangen's Pharaoh.

 

Foxvangen's Sarafina at 9 months. She has been very symmetrical all through her development so far. She is sired by Foxvangen's Solaris

Foxvangen's Sasha at 2 1/2 months. Extremely powerfully built with a calm, gentle nature yet good energy and athletic ability. She is sired by Foxvangen's Toy Boy.

Thank you for visiting Foxvangen Millenium's web page. We hope you will come back from time to time to see updates as we add new information and photos of Millenium's offspring.

 

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