Today I decided to post a few pictures of BM that were taken today to showcase some of her 'tells' as relates to the stage of her pregnancy.
In the picture above, it clearly shows the loss of condition and flattening in her croup. She normally has a good rounded strong hip/croup, not pointy as viewed in this photo. If you were to take your fingers and push on the fleshy part on either side of her tail head, you would feel the jello-ee consistency of the muscle, not at all like the firmness you would normally feel. In addition to the looks and feel around her croup, when she walks around especially in a circle, you see an alarming loss of control almost like a wobbly unstable movement as her ligaments/muscles are loosening up in preparation for the birth of the foal.
A brief and simple explanation for the changes noted above are that a few weeks prior to parturition the pituitary gland is activated. Although not totally understood by science the assumption can be made that fetal or hormonal changes must trigger the pituitary gland into action which then affects its target glands who respond with their secretions. This loss of condition/coordination is perfectly normal and an integral part of the process.
This mare is one we like to call "sneaky"...her first owners remarked that no matter how often they checked her, she would wait for the minute they would leave and then pop that baby out. I made sure this wouldn't happen to me and so I unceremoniously parked my butt on a lounge chair right out front of her stall. For 2 weeks we would stare at one another through the bars of her stall, wow was I tired at that time!!! Everyday I went back and forth to work like a zombie...well she couldn't hold out forever could she? Finally one night at about 3:30 am during one of our stare fests and after deciding to rest my eyelids for a second (ya right) I was awakened by the sound of a waterfall, opened my eyes just in time to see that baby shoot out like a football, holy crap! She had waited until I was asleep (snoring loudly likely) to deliver that baby!
The picture I didn't get following this one was one of her rubbing her face on her front legs, also one of her 'tells'.
I will continue to post on BM's progress (no more poo I promise). There are many more signs of which I will explain in my next post.