Two blessed events are about to take place at Clark Lake.  Jill Bentley is scared and excited.  In her bright red barn on Eagle Point Road are five horses.  Two of them are about to give birth – Flame and KC.

Jill with Flame

Both were artificially inseminated in spring of last year – Flame on April 15th, and KC on May 4th. The proud father to be is a stud in Colorado who never met his intended and will never see his two offspring.  That’s how things are done these days for best results.

Jill with KC

When will the two mares give birth?  Based on breeding dates, Flame’s foal will arrive on March 20th, and KC’s foal will arrive on April 8th.  But Jill says it may not happen that way.  “Horses are herd animals.  If two pregnant mares are near each other, they tend to give birth about the same time.”  Being a herd animal also influences the time of day when births take place.  “I expect it will happen in the middle of the night.”  Why?  “To protect their offspring from predators.”  Yes, some critters patrol the night at Clark Lake and might show interest, coyotes for example.  And where will the births likely happen?  “If it’s not snowing, the pasture.”

This isn’t the first time Jill has gone through this.  She has been around her family’s horses for as long as she can remember.  Here she is with her first very own horse enjoying Clark Lake.

The last horse birthing experience took place 21 years ago. Jill and her sister, Elise Fish, were skiing in Vail.  They received a call from their mom, Dr. Mary Bentley, who told them the good news.  Flame and Sonny, Elise’s horse, were born in a snowstorm.  No problem except for a few shivers of the humans watching over the situation.

It’s easy to understand why Jill is excited, but why scared? “Flame is now 21 years old, and this will be the first time for her.”  The vet has checked both horses several times, and all looks good.

For the vet, not every task is pleasant.

Jill says “when you have horses, it takes a village.”  This includes sharing the care, especially what will happen soon.  “It’s important for the foal to stand and nurse in the first 2 hours after birth.  After that, imprinting takes place.”  That will happen as Jill, Kellie Garris and Neva Smith (Abbie Evanson’s daughter) attend to the newborn.

Lindsey Jones is receiving a friendly nuzzle from Zippy.  With her are Sally Lyons and Jill Bentley

Right now, Flame doesn’t want anyone around her but Jill.  Others, for their own protection, should keep their distance.  She knows how to kick.

Kids in the barn with Zippy.

The excited and scared Jill says “everyone is watching and wants to be part of it.”

Flame with her mother, Rebel.

Flame’s full name is Pocos Midnight Flame; KC, KC Karma.