OGO Tejon De Oro Hermoso AKA Badger was born on a very frosty morning March 4th 2005 at about 6:30 AM.
WoodRose Katrina, one of my most beloved Foundation Morgan Mares, was a sneaky one usually when it came to having her babies. She would wait until she was alone before dropping her foals. She trusted precious few to be around them, but she and I had come to an understanding years ago. She was my favorite and she knew it, so I was in her "inner circle of trust".
That special morning, I had already fed everyone and they were happily munching away on thier breakfast, when I saw WoodRose Katrina sort of look around and amble off to the back of her pasture. Knowing it was odd for her to walk away from her yummy bran mash and delicious hay, I paused for thought wondering if she wasnt feeling well or……………………
Yep, she had decided to have her foal. She must have been in labor for a little while before I fed.
I slowly walked out to where she was in the pasture not wanting to disturb her, but at the same time, was thrilled I might be lucky enough to see the entire birth.
I didnt want to crowd her, as I already knew her feelings about her babies – very protective, tender and caring, while always being the boss. She would not tolerate anyone she didnt know touching any of her babies.
As I remained standing about five feet away being very quiet, Katrina very slowly dropped to the ground and lay on her side. It wasnt easy for her, as she had been crippled in both knees from being kicked multiple times in her knees and unfortunately she had also been used for "tripping", where a person on horseback chases another loose horse around a pen and ropes thier front legs and trips them. It’s barbaric and the practice falls into the same category as cock fighting, dog fighting, and bear baiting.
Anyway WoodRose Katrina had many good years beyond those experiances at the time of this particular birth…so back to the story.
Katrina was sweating a bit on the flanks and strained with the contractions. She looked over at me more than once her eyes displaying her discomfort, but very calm. I couldn’t decide if I should try and comfort her or just keep talking to her in soothing tones, when I saw two little front
hoofs and what looked to be a nose in a balloon coming out.
I waited for the next contraction to be over. Katrina casually looked over at me; again took a big breath, and then as to say, " look lady are you just going to stand there or are you going to help me out here", she gave a little nicker before the next contraction hit. I eased myself over and grabbed the two front feet – now sticking out along with nose and part of a face.
Then I pulled with the contraction. The entire head, front legs, and over the shoulders were now out and Katrina decided to rest a bit. I was nervous about the placenta being over the babys head and nose, but I was more worried that pulling it away too soon might have the foal start breathing
before it should be, so I waited until the next contraction where the foal now lay in my lap. Only the back legs still remained inside.
At that point, I pulled back the placenta and breathed into the foals nose so its first breath would smell of human and the steam coming off of Katrina. WoodRose Katrina was content to relax and allow me to rub the foal, still partially inside her, dry from the shoulders up. All the while, I am doing a few of the imprinting excercises we do with all OGO foals…tapping the bottom of the feet; flexing and extending the legs and touching the inside of ear,s mouth, and nose. I also ran my hands all over the face, while still blowing slightly into the nose. I rubbed the girth area – basically, rubbing everywhere he was available at the time, remember his backside and legs had still not come out yet.
I was over the moon with happiness to get the priviledge to be trusted enough by this wonderful mare to her to have her foal practically in my lap. As things would proceed, the rest slipped out and I was left rubbing this new foal with the towels I had brought out with me. It was so snappy cold that morning I wanted to get that baby dry as soon as I could.
During the process of drying the foal, I realized it was a "Him" and he was a beautiful buckskin color. A lucky girl was I, as WoodRose Katrina had a buckskin filly by Primavera Valdez approx. 2 years prior and here the full brother was another buckskin by Primavera Valdez and my WoodRose Katrina. I still get goose bumps just thinking about it.
WoodRose Katrina had decided that it was time to get up about 15 minutes after the foal was born. She had the most loving and tender look in her eyes as she gazed upon her new baby. Nothing made this mare happier than to have a baby – ANY baby to take care of.
She snuffled her new baby. She licked him, nuzzled him and pushed gently with her nose – making sure he had all the bits and parts that were needed. He attempted to stand, but his legs seemed to have a mind of thier own and all four were thinking different thoughts as to where they might be going.
After a couple of attempts, he made it to a standing position of sorts – kind of leaning and swaying against Katrina and myself. I guided his little head to where he should attempt to nurse and after a few trys to latch on he did. I would hate to say I love any of the OGO foals more than the next, but I have to admit the situation was very special to me.
As I mentioned before, WoodRose Katrina was very special to me. She came to me in a very round-about way, but once I had her, I wished I had purchased her years before.
As it would turn out, WoodRose Katrina would have one more foal, OGO Primavera ToughStuff, but that foal would not thrive and prosper. He was born with a defect that had caused him to colic to a point where there was no point in continuing. And Katrinas knees had deteriorated to a degree that no amount of shots into the joints or pain medication was enough to make her comfortable – especially, when she would be mourning her foal. WoodRose Katrina would mourn the weaning of her foals, but to have one born and have it die three months later, would be too much for her to bear. That, coupled with her knees being so crippled, the most humane thing for me to do was put them both down.
So that made the experience with "Badger’s birth" all the more special.
OGO Tejon De Oro Hermoso went on to sire more beautiful, themely-bred, Working Western Foundation Morgans:
OGO Wears Gold Star: Buckskin filly out of RanchBoss Black Star now owned by Diane Jensen of Salinas CA
OGO EastWest Coast: Smokey Cream colt out of CFF Texas Tea now owned by a Morgan Farm in Texas
OGO Circle H RoseWood: Bay filly out of Circle H Merlita now owned by Diane Jensen on Salinas CA
OGO Sellman Hill and Co: Smokey Black colt out of Ursulas Higuera Bandita owned by Val Cabassis of Beautifull Balanced Morgan in Salinas CA
Questor Arianna: Bay filly out of a Mare of Questor Morgans owned by Lennie Randall
OGO Shawalla Tia Tacinca: Buckskin filly out of Golden WinterMist owned by Val Cabassis of Beautifully Balanced Morgans in Salinas CA
OGO Primavera Kitty Spar: Palomino filly out of OGO Flower of the Prairie owned by Val Cabassis of Beautifully Balanced Morgans of Salinas CA
Mares currently in foal by OGO Tejon De Oro Hermoso (at date of this article):
A-One Queen Sophia: Chestnut owned by Sharlene Shields of Acorn Morgan now relocated in AZ
Golden WinterMist: Palomino owned by Val Cabissis of Beautifully Balanced Morgans of Salinas CA
Two C Sissy Herod: Palomino owned by Sharlene Shields of Acorn Morgans now relocated in AZ
T Tymes Sunday Delight: Chestnut owned by Sharlene Shields of Acorn Morgans now relocated in AZ
Mares exposed, but not confirmed in foal (at date of this article):
Recently the decision was made to geld OGO Tejon De Oro Hermoso "Badger", as he had contributed back into the gene pool with his fabulous disposition, athletic confirmation, and potent, valuable, concentrated, Working Western Foundation bloodlines.
As gentle and easy as he was to handle, Stallions are not usually welcome in general public boarding facilitys…so the perfect gelding he became.
Badger is currently under saddle with Todd Utterback of Salinas CA and is doing very well.
My mother, Sandra LeGate, is keeping a close eye on Badger’s progress and is thrilled, since he has been placed in her care.
Thanks Mom for all your support in helping OGO’s Preservation of the Old Foundation Morgan Horse a reality.
Badger and Sandy LeGate
Written by, Wendy LeGate
OGO Morgan Horses Owner