Twin TWH Fillies Foaled 9/16/2013
When we had our first set of live twin foals in 2010, we knew we had been blessed with the opportunity to experience something extremely rare, a miracle. A live twin birth in horses has just a 1 in 10,000 chance of occurring; raising a set of twin foals, most people would say, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Therefore, for me to say that we felt blessed on that early morning of September 16, 2013, as our mare Beckys Golden Trixie J.S. successfully delivered not one but two live fillies, would be an enormous understatement. We were living this once-in-a-lifetime experience now for a second time.

Here is my account of how the twins came into our lives:

Beckys Golden Trixie J.S., aka Trixie, was ready to foal on the evening of September 15, 2013. We had not been able to get her a Foal Alert monitor stitched in as we usually do to ensure our presence at each foaling, and so we (mom and I) were doing old fashioned foal watch, checking on Trixie once every hour. I went to sleep at 9, mom did the 10:00 check and I went out at 11 p.m. Trixie was sweating so I knew she was close. Usually once the mares start to sweat you have but minutes to wait for their water to break, and from there it is all over very quickly. Therefore, I did not want to go back to sleep and leave Trixie alone for another full hour. I went inside and sat in the kitchen, staring at the clock and trying not to doze off for about 15 minutes. To my disappointment when I went back outside, nothing more had happened. I went inside and stared at the clock for about another 10 minutes. When I went back out, Trixie was still sweating and pacing around the foaling paddock. Extremely tired, I decided I'd sleep for a half hour and check again, which I really would have done if the cell phone I was using as an alarm clock had not had a dead battery. So, I got dressed and went outside and just sat and watched Trixie through the fence. Her water finally broke at 12:08 a.m. and the first foal was born without issues by 12:30. She was a small foal, but healthy and vigorous, so I did not think much of it, as Trixie was a maiden and maiden mares' first foals are often small. I went into the house to tell mom. Once the two of us were back outside with plenty of towels, I began drying the first foal off and thought again how small she was, and mentioned it to mom. Trixie, who had gotten up already, laid back down. This we did not think much of as the mares will continue to show labor signs - contractions, getting up and down - until the placenta has been passed. Mom, who was watching Trixie, asked me why her "placenta" was coming out in a bubble. I had no idea what she meant. I went over to check it out, and there was a big red bubble, similar to a red bag but just not exactly that. With no idea what was going on, the thought of twins still not coming to my mind, I felt the bubble...and there was something in it! I was pretty sure I would be seeing a mummified twin come out, and that made sense - that was why the first foal had been so small. Finally, though, the tiniest thought in the very far corner of my mind said "What if it's a twin and it's still alive?" Now time seemed of the essence, and I asked mom to bring me a pair of scissors, quickly. She did just that, and I carefully cut the bubble open, just as you would in a red bag, and there was sure enough a second pair of hooves in a second white amnion! The second foal too was small, presented normally, and she was delivered quickly and easily. Once she was out, she too began breathing and moving like any healthy newborn should.

After that point my memory is not so clear. Adrenaline was flowing; suddenly I was not tired at all any more. I think I dried the second filly off and ran inside to get my camera and to tell my little sister Virginia and my dad that we had twins - stopping to ask mom whether she was sure this wasn't a dream on my way (it was very hard to believe that this had happened again - especially since Trixie had been pregnancy checked by ultrasound to ensure she did not have twins!). Inside, I also grabbed a cell phone (one with a charged battery) and mom and I together called my sister Margaret, who is in Knoxville studying at UT to become a vet. Not surprisingly, she didn't answer at 1:00 in the morning, so we left her a message. Once that news was out I was able to think more clearly. Mom and I treated the fillies' umbilical cords with iodine and I went inside to thaw out some frozen colostrum to bottle feed them. The fillies had a great suckling reflex and great appetites, and both of them took 2 baby bottles full of the frozen colostrum. We had just wanted to give them a boost, and it worked. With minimal assistance they had the strength and coordination to get up and stand on their own. They each took another bottle about an hour later, but by daybreak they had both figured out how to nurse from Trixie and refused my offerings after that point.

Although small, these two fillies continued to surprise us with their great health and independence. They have needed no more assistance from us than a normal single foal might. Trixie also is doing extremely well, no worse than any mare after having a foal. This experience has been incredibly easy and uneventful, especially compared to our first set of twins, which makes it all the more amazing and makes us feel all the more blessed. 

We finally decided on names for our two fillies - Twix and Dove, after the delicious chocolates!

If the odds of having live twins 1 time are 1 in 10,000, then that makes the odds of having live twins twice 1 in 100,000,000 - yes, that says 1 in 100 million!

Twix (filly 1):

Dove (filly 2):

Hector's Double Dip (Twix) on 8/1/15

Trixie's Double Take (Dove) on 8/1/15

Halloween photo shoot, 10/20/13:

Family portraits, 10/20/13:



October 7, 2013:

October 1, 2013:

September 30, 2013:

September 27, 2013:

September 23, 2013:

September 21, 2013:

September 20:

September 19:

September 18, 2013:

September 17, 2013:

September 16, 2013: