1. Tell us more about Cookie.
Cookie is a big, full-bodied mare, and a real sweet horse. Very friendly and gentle. She is trained to ride, though we do not ride our mares when they are expecting after about the fifth month or so. Cookie's registered name is An Awesome Cowgirl. Her barn name - "Cookie" is named after Cookies 'n Cream ice cream - our Barn Buddies thought she looked like that! Cookie is a 1999 Appaloosa mare. We bought her in foal in January 2003, because we love her breeding, looks and personality. We are very much looking forward to her next foal by our Supreme Champion and 2003 World's Best Appaloosa stallion, Zip Me Impressive.
2. Is this Cookie's first foal?
No, Cookie is an old pro at this. You can see some of them Here. Cookie is very people-oriented and calm. We keep our expectant moms in a low-stress, quiet, friendly area where they can have their babies relatively stress-free. Cookie is bred back to ZMI for this years foal. She's a great horse, and a good mother!
3. What about Cookie's due date?
Using a standard horse gestation period of 11 months plus five days, Cookie would foal on Jan. 29, 2007. With such a long gestation, two weeks early or two weeks late is pretty much right on time, especially for a first foal - they say they can come any time!
4. Can you tell us about the foal's sire (father)?
The foal's sire is Supreme Champion and 2003 World's Best Appaloosa Zip Me Impressive, or "Zippy" as we call him. Zippy is the youngest Supreme Champion ever in the history of the Appaloosa breed. He is dark bay with a spotted blanket, and is nine years old. We bought him when he was 13 months old and he is regularly shown in competitions. He holds 50 Top Ten World and National and Year End titles and three Bronze Medallions. ZMI as we call him is a Multiple Reserve World Champion, and Multiple Canadian National Champion.
5. What is Cookie's show record and pedigree?
Cookie was shown at National and Worlds, taking 5th in non-pro weanling fillies and 8th Open Weanling Fillies. She also holds a Register of Merit in Most Colorful at Halter. Cookie's sire is An Awesome Mister (AQHA), World Champion Amateur Weanling Stallion, Reserve World Champion Yearling Stallion, Congress Junior Western Pleasure Stallion, Congress Western Pleasure Maturity Champion, Congress 2 Year Old Western Pleasure Reserve Champion, 3rd at the World 2 Year Old Western Pleasure, among other titles and accomplishments. Cookie's mom, Starlit Cowgirl is a ROM holder with over 30 National points in Halter and Color. She stood Grand or Reserve numerous times in the fairly limited showing she did as a younger mare. She has produced foals that have Top Ten World and National Show placings.
6. How will you know Cookie is about to give birth?
If Cookie shows fairly classic signs of labor, we will watch for certain foaling signals. The signals we watch for include her tail cocked continuously to one side; pacing; her udder very full and waxed on the teats; getting smooth and elongated under her tail; the baby moving back into position giving her a more "cylindrical" appearance; and the ligaments on either side of her tail feeling soft and loose in preparation for foaling. In addition she may be not as hungry the day before or day of foaling; she may drip milk from her udder a few hours before delivery, and she may lay down and get up frequently. Her water will break and then the foal should be born within one hour - but sometimes as quickly as 15 minutes, so watch close!
7. Will the light in the foaling stall bother Cookie?
No, the light is from a low-watt light bulb. We enhance the lighting of the picture via the computer software so that you can see things better at night. Lights are off during the day. We will also turn off the lights after Cookie foals and the baby is up and nursing vigorously (about two to three hours after foaling). Mother and baby will be in natural light every day, whether they are in the barn or outside in their paddock.
8. What kind of technical equipment do you use to support the BarnCams?
We have six cameras in and outside the barn all devoted to supporting the technical side of the BarnCams. We have four wireless cameras and one video camera pointed at the horses we are featuring each day. An older, wired system runs from the foaling barn to the TVs in the house so that we can do hourly and then half-hour checks at night without running down to the barn. We have three dedicated servers to handle all the traffic - it has been incredible! In addition, we will use a hand-held camera for our BarnBuddy Club members when Cookie foals.