201012-img_1009

Due to lacking Internet connection, I have not been able to share out great Christmas present this year: namely a little newborn foal, delivered by Ebony on the night to Sunday exactly a week ago!

201012-img_0938

The baby foal, born a week before expected delivery, arrived while we were away during the evening and caused some commotion for the first time, as Ebony somehow managed to deliver her foal on the wrong side of the fence. Anette was first to arrive and saw to her surprise that Diva had shrunk in size and was resting next to Sahara! However, Diva was walking happily next to Arwen and so the little lookalike could be nothing but… Ebony’s baby! At the other side of the fence, the little foal had been adopted by herd leader Sahara, but the two humans of Ishtar’s Ark helped the little foal reunite with his mother.

201012-img_0948

As we didn’t know how long he had been around in the world, Anette and I decided to do what we wouldn’t do unless necessary, namely to interfere and help the foal stand on his two legs. Once up however, he did not lie down again, which was new to us.

201012-img_0976

The reason we decided to help him up (rather than let him figure it out on his own accord) was because we did not know how long he had been trying on the wrong side on the fence, and we did not want him to lose all his energy before having found his way to his mother’s milk station. After half an hour, helping him up seemed to be the right descision, because unlike the three fillies (Isolde, Kalahari and Diva) born at the Ark, this little guy took ages before finding his way to his mother’s udder!

201012-img_0960

We watched him try to suckle just about every part of Ebony’s body, but as long as he was trying, all we could do was to watch and wait.

201012-img_0971

One who did not want to wait any longer however was his mother Ebony, who pushed and shoved him until he was correctly positioned. And she got it right, too!

201012-img_0992

Still, despite his mother’s help, the foal took forever before he was hooked up on the milk, but eventually it did happen, and we could all go to sleep at around four in the morning-

201012-img_1005

…knowing he was safely guarded by Sheba and her canine team.

201012-img_1018

The following morning, we enjoyed the little newborn in beautiful daylight.

201012-img_1171

Finding a proper name was difficult as the name we had in plans did not fit him (Kobra the son of Gobara),

201012-img_1181

…but we eventually settled on Zidane of Zinder, much to Habu’s pleasure, who is a huge fotball fan.

201012-img_1004

Ishtar’s very own Ebony’s Zidane of Zinder by Gobara

201012-p1340440

After a few days, it was time for a short walk along Eden Street, being introduced to all the wonders of the world.

201012-p1340443

There is so much for a young horse to discover,

201012-p1340450

…but Ebony is a wonderful mother who keeps in touch with her foal all the time.

201012-p1340459

On his first few minutes out in the world, little Zidane got to see a number of “dangers”. Cars were only slightly scary-

201012-p1340463

…and camels were fine,

201012-p1340466

…but motorcycles were just too scary!

201012-p1340442

Thankfully, Ebony our gentle giant is a steady mountain of safety to hid behind!

Wishing you all a wonderful continued Christmas!