Ever ready and true to our barn bound roots, the Equine Scholars began 2014 undaunted by the polar vortex that settled across Kentucky. Our initial program venture was to be a tour of Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, a premiere therapeutic riding facility located at the Kentucky Horse Park. As the tour date approached, our best made plans were thwarted by an anticipated high in the single digits. We opted to reschedule our tour for a future date with kinder temperatures. Given that we are not a group likely to roll over and cry, “Uncle!” we readily pursued an alternative Equine Scholars activity for the notably cold third week in January.

Dr. Luna reviews the foaling process with Equine Scholars.

Dr. Luna reviews the foaling process with Equine Scholars.

January is the kick-off month for foaling season here in the Bluegrass, so, there could not have been a  more fortunate or apt lecture opportunity than hosting Dr. Travis Luna from Equine Medical Associates, PSC on campus to discuss what to expect when your mare is expecting. Dr. Luna, a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, annually presents similar lectures on client farms to ensure all parties are ready for the foaling season. “It is important to review foaling because by January most people have not thought about foaling for several months…” Dr. Luna explained as he presented the importance of annual review. He stated that in the event of a crisis situation, it would be practical measures, such as maintaining a fueled truck hitched to a trailer ready for hospital transport, that would ensure mares and foals survive and thrive.

The all encompassing lecture, hosted in our own Asher Science Center, began with a review of the anticipated time line of the average foaling process and medical equipment occasionally needed during this activity. Dr. Luna’s presentation included video footage of typical labor as well as photographic examples of atypical conditions. From diagrams of breech babies to examples of jaundice foals, Dr. Luna took time to explain each condition and the subsequent course of action, carefully advising present pre-veterinary students on case particulars. The presentation was followed by an open Q&A session that covered topics from mares that fail to assist with delivery to varying client preferences.

We would like to extend our greatest thanks to Dr. Luna for donating his time and expertise. Given the high event attendance, we look forward to hosting the, “Foaling 101″ lecture on campus in January 2015. We are equally excited to view the prime facilities at Central Kentucky Riding for Hope at a later date in February (cross your crossables for improved weather).