OK, there I said it… I’m addicted to MareStare.
Do you know of this service? If not, I’ll introduce you to the
drug special website where mare and foal lovers everywhere unite to watch total strangers’ horses deliver.
Yup. At any one time, I can be a voyeur into a foaling stall of any farm participating in Marestare – for free!
This is one of those ideas like ‘bottled’ water. Once you hear about it, you smack your forehead and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
I don’t know the actual story of who developed Marestare, but I can tell you the evolution.
First there were personal surveillance cameras for homes. From that concept came the idea of putting a camera in the barn and wiring it to your house so you could watch your animals who were sick or foaling. (They also started putting cameras into horse trailers with monitor in the cabs.)
Then wireless was invented. This changed EVERYTHING! Now the images could be spread anywhere there was Internet.
Thus begot Marestare.
Some very wise people set up a server(s) to accommodate the barn surveillance cameras they were selling so that the owners could watch inside the house or on the road.
But, AHA! Some of those people wanted their friends to watch their horses for them – or they wanted to watch the happenings remotely. And then the explosion happened.
Marestare turned into a huge website portal where anyone could peek at the goings-on in any stall registered to be publicly online.
If you have never been on Marestare, I kinda feel the need to warn you that it is like seasonal crack. And, the season in right NOW.
For example, the website has a calendar of all the babies due or foaling at any one time. You can check it out and watch a mare in labor, see deliveries, watch the first nurse… it is intoxicating for a person (like me) who loves the baby process!
I know that I am not the only one because the site is growing like one of those black 4th of July worms. You know what I mean? It looks like just a tiny black hockey puck but once you put a match to it, the thing grows like some foaming crazy worm.
Anyway, the site is going gangbusters.
If you go to the site, you will not only see the birthing calendars, you will see forums, events, logo’d items you could purchase, the community, all the active cams with the barn names attached, any FB pages available per barn… It is huge and if you are into that kind of thing – addicting.
But, sometimes you are a witness to very sad events. Tragedy struck this week.
There is a very successful Mini farm who has several mares foaling right now. Some ‘Aunties’ on a certain forum were monitoring one mare who was in labor.
The birth didn’t go well. The umbilicus was twisted (or something) and the foal lost air and broke an artery while in the process of being born.
He was alive but like a floppy doll. But the perplecing thing was that he had a huge appetite. This sweet, rag-doll foal had a voracious will to live and his wonderful owners were by his side non-stop, feeding him, turning him, wiping him – doing everything he needed. Over the ensuing three days, he gained some strength and through message boards, we viewers learned that the vets wanted to give him a bit of time to determine the actual damage.
We watched and watched and wrote and communicated as this human/equine all encompassing event unfolded.
From the outside looking in – literally – we viewers were gripped and offering anything we could from our armchairs. Prayers, candles, cheers, support, advise, vigils, salt over the shoulder… we tried everything.
And it seemed as if it was working! The colt was named Will (as in the Will to survive) and he continued to drink and grow strong enough to lift himself to his sternum. We had hope.
But, sadly, this morning, I opened the site and discovered the palpable sadness. The Aunties had been informed that little Will had too much damage to recover enough to have a good quality of life.
So, they helped him pass as his dam looked on.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the many, many houses watching within this huge internet village. I was very sad.
BUT, DON’T LET THAT DISCOURAGE YOU
Of all the times I have watched Marestare, this was the first time things didn’t turn out OK.
Most often when I watch Marestare, I learn something new. And, for sure I learn that we are not alone and there is tremendous love and support out there for those who are in the throws of Mother Nature’s gift of foals.
For me, it is totally worth it to watch Marestare no matter what happens. I love feeling the exhilaration from owners when they hold up signs to the camera exclaiming “A COLT” or “FILLY” to let all the onlookers rejoice in their joy!
Watching a new life and nature’s design is the best! Hooray for the broodmares! I’ll be tuning in throughout the season!
ANYONE WHO DONATES TO THE BUCKET FUND TODAY WILL BE IN THE NAME OF ‘WILL’ WHO LOST HIS BATTLE
I know there are many Aunties who want to remember Will in some way so we have set up a horsey “trust fund” in Will’s name for our April Bucket Fund, Nurse Mare Foals.
Click this link to help THE HEARTBREAK KIDS (rescued Nurse Mare Foals) in the name of Will.
So far, donations in Will’s name to help the Heartbreak Kids have amounted to:
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
We missed the foaling of Will but tried to keep current of his progress and his “Will to Survive” Heather, Shannon and obvisouly their Vet (who sounds like they are so VERY lucky to have) did anything and everything to give any chance Will had to live but in the end, the quality of life was not going to be there. So sad to watch, read, imagine and feel the emotions that went on around this little guy. Kudos for Heather and Shannon for letting it all play out live for as many people that would watch so horse owners and more can learn! Marestare is AWSOME and so are the people behind it. Foal-Time LLC is so touched and left a donation to this wonderful cause in Will’s name.
That was just amazing – yesterday my daughter and I watched a miniature donkey give birth (both mama and baby look to be doing fine) I’m hooked! We left the window open on the computer because her stable mate is also looking extremely round – Thank you for sharing this site with us – it was a wonderful experience to take part in (vicariously) How will I ever accomplish anything now? heh ..
I am the owner of Blessed Be the dam of young Will, it was with great sadness that we had to say goodbye to Will, I am very grateful to Heather, Shannon, and all of wonderful people on Mare Stare for caring so much and loving Blessed Be and her beloved Will.
Thank you all so much!!!
I have made a donation.
“MULLIGANS RUN DREAMS WILL BE DONE” His courage and determination will live on Thank you!
Fabulous article! One cannot put a value on the Marestare site. The learning tools it provides to breeders are immeasurable. Even the most experienced farms learn new information and techniques.
As addictive as crack cocaine indeed! I have been sitting here rivited, watching “Asstec Acres Mini Donkeys” since I first clicked your link. (Who could resist a name like that?) The jenna (?) in the right stall is pacing and laying down – the alarm alert is on high, and I suspect that birth, if not imminent, is coming soon…
Someone IS in the barn – hope everything goes according to plan :)
What an amazing idea – mare alert – I was so very sorry to read about Will ..
what a beautiful post about a very special foal.. I have been Addicted for over 6 yrs now Is there a cure for it?? I highly doubt it. would I take the cure No not ever!! I have met people from all over the world and have made special friendships with some.. Marestare has kept me up all night on special watch, when a Mama needs special attention or a foal needs to be watched round the clock. I am addicted and will be forever… Gonna go donate in the Memory of Sweet Will. Run free sweet Angel through the green green grass of home.. Love you Sweety.
I’ve been watching Marestare for about 3 years now. What was so funny to me though is my favorite farm came to be MRF and she owns MareStare. It was a combo of beautiful minis, such wonderful caring people and the location as her farm is only 3 hours from me.
This sweet little colt Will, meant so much to me. I would get up everyday and check on him and I would watch, when I could, until I went to bed. I prayed for this sweet little foal that he would make it. It wasn’t meant to be but in such a small amount of time he touched a large amount of people. I donated in Will’s honor, he was such a special colt!
I too am a MareStare addict! The only therapy available is more healthy foals, kids, calves, kittens and puppies!!!
I “stared” at Will from his birth to his passing. He was an amazing fighter and the expert care and love poured upon this blessed colt was like nothing you could witness anywhere else. Us MareStare Aunties from around the world cheered, rejoiced, prayed and cried with each step forward and each step backward.
I also am placing a donation in Mulligans Run Dreams Will Be Done’s name. RIP little man…you are such an inspiration to all. Run free in the green pastures of heaven.
No worries! I will run it again tomorrow since the site crashed today. I agree that more need to read about MareStare and sweet, little Will…
I wish more had seen this article as we may have been able to help the donations hit an all time high. I too will be donating in memory of Will who will now help others. Thank you for the article it was well written and much enjoyed.
You’re right about addicting.!
Thank you so much for this article. Not only am I the owner of Mare Stare, I am the owner of that floppy colt named Will. I was there for his birth, and I was there as he crossed over. He touched my heart in ways no one could possibly understand. This article and the donations in his name will help him to live on and help others.
Thank you. My donation was just placed.