From: Horse Breeding

See also: WormingHorse Care

Horse Picture

Many mares foal without any help or complications, however when things do go wrong contact your vet immediately, as quick action must be taken to ensure the health and well being of both mare and foal.

Foaling Preparation
It is often a good idea to spend time accustoming your mare with having her teats gently handled as this can greatly help ease the foals initial nursing process. You can also use this time to monitor the change in the size of your mares teats which will bag up in the weeks preceding foaling often waxing up a few days before.

Your mare should have had any vulva stitches removed a few weeks prior to foaling and also be up to date with worming and vaccinations. You will notice that her muscles around the pelvic area will slacken right off and in some mares her mood will change and she may be more irritable than normal.

Foaling First Aid Kit
Have your vets number ready in case of emergency and keep your usual first aid kit close to hand along with the following:

Foaling Box
Allow your horse plenty of time to settle into the foaling box which should also be a good size for the horse involved to allow plenty of room for the mare to foal, without risk of being cast.

Straw bedding is best as a deep straw bed will provide a soft bed for the foaling to take place on and straw is less likely to cause infection to the mare during foaling and to the foal after being born. Precautions such as having all potential hazards removed from the stable, this can include having water drinkers and hay racks as opposed to water buckets which the foal could potentially fall into and hay nets which the foal can easily get tangled up in.

Ensure that the foaling box is well lit incase an emergency arrises. Installing video monitors are an excellent way to keep tabs on your mare and will enable you to observe from a safe distance that will not disturb the mare when foaling, so make sure that they are correctly fitted at a safe height and working so that your sleepless nights can begin.

If you are using a devise that will let you know if your mare starts to become restless and active then allow her plenty of time to get used to wearing it, these devices are often fitted to a surcingle and can alert you quickly if your mare starts to foal.

If your mare is foaling in the winter then prepare your stable with infra red heaters to help keep your foal warm after foaling.

No matter how prepared you are mares seem to know when your around and will quite often wait until its all quiet before giving birth, often with great success all by themselves. However being able to monitor your horses signs of imminent foaling will help you to be on hand in case should any complications arise.

Foaling Continued:

Foaling Complications
Contact your vet immediately if your mare is distressed during foaling, if the waters break and nothing happens or if the foal does not present itself correctly. Time is essential when complications arise to help save the life of both mare and foal.