When my cell phone rang a bit after 9:00am and I noticed the caller ID, I braced for bad news. Tabitha was calling from the farm–something must have gone wrong.

Her voice was talking into my ear and I knew she was trying to tell me something important, but all I processed was, "The filly didn’t eat. She ignored the bucket."

Jo feeding

Jo digs in now that Hermione has started to produce milk.

Tabitha’s tone was wrong. She should have been concerned, but she sounded giddy. It took a moment to register that this was good news: Jo wasn’t eating because she was already full.

Hermione had started to bag up overnight. It was subtle, but there was no mistaking that her udder had enlarged. She had made it through the first several days of P&E and sulpiride injections, and now had only five days left of the sulpiride. She also had two more days of P&E shots, and then would come the single dose of lutalyse, and several days of oxytocin. So theoretically, this was roughly the half-way point of the treatment procedure. Dr. Steiner had suggested that many mares will start to lactate by Day 7, but here we were on Day 5 and Tabitha was able to confirm a steady stream of milk. Jo’s Magic had to work a little harder (she could drink four cups from the bucket in three minutes flat), but she was getting the real thing now.

A coworker told me that Hermione should be sainted. I&