Keith & Faith Taylor Equine Scholarship recipient Morgan Wilks gives an update on her time at the Irish National Stud.
My second month at the Irish National Stud kicked off with a bang, beginning with night watch, where I was watching the mares who were due to foal and also helping foal the mares.
I have now done two lots of night watch and have now foaled a total of seventeen mares.
I have been really enjoying the nights and have been learning so much. I have been able to deal with a NI mare which means that her colostrum holds antibodies that are not compatible with the foal and can be fatal to the foal at times, this means we had to make sure the baby wasn’t drinking off the mare while we milked all her colostrum off her and gave the baby donor colostrum and then bottle fed it with goats milk for the rest of the night.
I have also been involved in a couple foalings that were a little difficult but I’m glad I got to witness them here and learn from them for the future.
I think my favorite thing about the course so far has definitely been the foalings as well as the lectures, they are so interesting.
We had one on bio-security which I found very interesting as they talked about case studies that had been done on different farms in regard to their different level of bio-security procedures and it found that the ones who had the best procedures in place had a much lower rate of issues in regards to the health of their foals.
They also talked about how the way your farm is set up can directly effect the health and wellbeing of your stock which I found very interesting and also gave me ideas for the future.
On top of all the work we had our first assignment where we had to pick a mare from the Goffs February sale and discuss what we liked about her and what our plan would be for her if we were to purchase her.
We were given the opportunity to go around the complex and look at mares we were interested in which gave me a little introduction into what it would be like if I actually was going to buy a horse and helped give me an idea of what I would be looking at. I found this assignment very interesting as I haven’t done much in the regards of pedigree, especially the northern hemisphere pedigrees.
I did find this challenging as I didn’t really know what stallions are good, who are up and coming stallions or who were good broodmare sires.
I did learn a lot while doing the assignment which was good.
This course so far has definitely confirmed for me where I want to go in the industry and I look forward to the next few months and hope I learn even more along the way which I’m sure I will.