Pet Tips 'n' Tales©

Premature Colt-Hugged by Mare

Photo by Renee Sigel©
Renee’s mare Glory gave birth to her colt, Segway, 36 days prematurely.  It is rare for a mare to lie down after giving birth, and it was a good thing she did; the weak colt curled up in her arms for comfort.
After 14 years of living outside of Oregon, including 6 years in China, Renee's family was thrilled to move back.

They celebrated with a skiing trip, stopping at a restaurant on the way.  A horse magazine was in the waiting area, and on its cover was a magnificent Gypsy colt.

"In that minute, I fell in love with the Gypsy breed," explains Renee.  "The colt's beauty took my breath away; the hair on its mane and tail looked like fine, long, beautiful feathers.   After seeing the magazine, I was so enthralled that I could not eat lunch.  Life seemed to come to a stop until I could touch, feel, and love a Gypsy horse.

A month later, I was the happy owner of two Gypsy horses.  When I went to purchase them, a filly, Lucy, wouldn't take her eyes off me.  When I walked around the pen, every time I looked at her, she was staring at me.

Apparently, Lucy felt the same way about me as I did about her. This breed of horse is cuddly looking, exceptionally giving, forgiving, and loving.

Years later, we have several more Gypsies. Our mare Glory Upon Glory is an Irish lassie flown into the USA from Ireland.  In New York the agricultural department unloads all the arriving livestock from overseas and washes and disinfects their feet to prevent the spread of hoof-and-mouth disease.  From New York, Glory was flown to Kentucky and then trucked to Oregon, still nursing a filly.

Glory was bred through artificial insemination. Semen from a stallion in Tennessee was purchased and arrived in a box via Fed Ex.  The veterinarian was the middle man in the colt's conception.

The colt, Segway, was born 37 days before his expected delivery date.  The premature birth was a serious threat to the survival of the colt.

Renee said, "The first two hours, I watched Glory and Segway in the pasture.  I had never seen a mare lie down before, but Glory did.  Little Segway did not like her lying down and ran around his mother nudging her. 
Finally, he literally crawled into her lap.  He snuggled his muzzle into her cheek and kissed her, and she leaned her head on his head.  Then, he put his head on her chest. She lay her head over his neck and head, and he put his neck all the way down onto her lap, and she lay her head on his body.  It was precious, and luckily I had my camera! The mother and son lay quietly like this for 15 minutes until he fell fast asleep."

Photo by Renee Sigel©
Renee was mesmerized and named the pint-sized stallion Segway to Glory Upon Glory. Segway means a small pathway to the Lord, and Renee felt this colt needed some divine help to survive!

Renee walked out to the colt and coaxed him from his mother's arms to his stall to encourage him to nurse.  Renee said, "He did not nurse and started to fail.  I cried out, 'Lord you have to heal this baby.'

"I phoned my church and asked them to please pray for the colt.  Then I phoned my uncle, who is a minister of another church, and he had his congregation pray for Segway.  It was a very scary time!

We milked Glory and hand-fed Segway three times a day for three days. On the third day, I found him joyfully running around his stall like a happy newborn colt! He was finally nursing on his own.

In gratitude for all the prayers on his behalf, I sent out an e-mail of thanks to everyone for their prayers.  Then, I sent five photos of Segway to my daughter, Lauren, and to the stallion's owner, June, over the Internet."

From these two people things went crazy!  Renee's photos of Segway have now circumnavigated the globe several times over!

"Immediately, there was an avalanche of responses from people wanting to do things with Glory and Segway's photos," explains Renee.  "Several were using one of the photos as a screensaver to give them inspiration. Someone in Copenhagen wanted to make calendars.

One of Segway's fans is an OB nurse in Ohio who teaches 'Kangaroo Care'- the process of connecting premature babies 'skin to skin' with mothers to promote the infants’ well-being and improve their brain development. The nurse wanted to share Segway's photograph on a bulletin board along with other pictures of newborn critters of all kinds in kangaroo positions.

Renee was right, Gypsy horses are special and she proved that carrying a camera and snapping photographs can inspire people around the world.


Gypsy horses look mystical and magical.  When these horses 'dance' in their pastures, they look like a unicorn missing their horn.  
View this video of a magnificent Gypsy stallion and his four foot mane flying in the air as he runs:                               

Mary Ellen and Miss Wings
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