When I walked in the barn this morning, I was a little disappointed that another day had arrived without a new foal for our now-overdue broodmare, Brush Back. Last night when I brought her in from the field, she had given every indication that foaling was imminent, including heavy waxing and a relaxed, elongated vulva.

She had that look that broodmares get towards the end of gestation–the one that tells you she’s not at all amused and she suspects that somehow you’re at fault for this heavy, bloated feeling that she’s experiencing. The look that says, Just give me my dinner and don’t mess with me tonight.

So I made quick work of preparing Brush Back for the evening. I did a pre-foaling wash, wrapped her tail, double-checked that the stall was clean and knee-high with straw, and then removed the mare’s halter before closing the stall door.

I had my alarm set every hour overnight to get up and monitor the in-stall camera, and Chris checked the mare while he was at the barn for Jo’s late-night feeding.

But now it was morning and Brush Back was as big and as grumpy as she had been the previous evening. It was apparent that she was going to do this on her own schedule. I accepted that there would be another night before me of hourly checks–and then didn’t give it any more thought as I finished the morning routine. After all the horses were through with feeding, I released Brush Back into the broodmares’ large pasture, brought Hermione and Jo to their familiar little pen, and rushed off to work.

When my cell phone rang during a late-morning meeting and I saw t