January in Kentucky is an unpredictable time. We all are waiting patiently for the hustle and bustle of breeding season to start but often times the start can be unpredictable. Thoroughbred, and other breeds that are registered, all share a birthday of January 1st, but not all foals are born exactly on or even near that date. Equine vets in Central Kentucky are sitting on go at the start of January, just waiting for the storm of foaling season to start.
One quiet week in medicine in the middle of January left me wandering if breeding season would ever get here. My thoughts must have reached mare’s ears because it wasn’t moments later that it seemed as if there weren’t enough people to handle the influx of newborn foals entering the hospital. I am not sure if it was a change in weather, the moon, or just time, but a steady stream of mares and foals signaled the start of the breeding season. As quickly as the flow started, it stopped again, leaving me slightly perplexed. A mentor suggested to me that it was just like a storm; you knew it was coming, you could feel the change in the atmosphere and a short burst of activity was just a sign that it would all start soon. Her description reminded me of the movie Twister- where Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton watched a small tornado quickly pull back into the clouds as fast as it had descended. Bill Paxton analyzed the sky and realized that the tornado wasn’t done but was just “back building”. To me, this is the perfect example of the atmosphere in Central Kentucky in January. It is the calm before the storm and the rush of foaling season is just “back building” until the right moment arrives for it to touch down and start. Until that time, I am sitting on Go- just waiting on the call.