Breeding And Foaling
Deciding to breed from your mare is a big decision and if all goes to plan you will end up with a beautiful home grown foal who is happy and healthy.
Several factors need to be taken into consideration before deciding to breed such as:
Make sure that you have enough time to successfully look after a mare in foal and later a mare with foal. Remember that foals quickly grow from that cute little bundle into a boisterous, playful yearling and then into the ever increasing two, three and four year old.
Appropriate facilities for before, during and after foaling will be required.
Sending Your Mare off To Stud
Before you can send your mare off to stud she will need to undergo two swabs which the vet will do. These swabs are the Endometrial swab and the Clitoral swab, what these tests show is if she is free from infection and will therefore not contaminate the stallion. No stud will accept a mare without them.
Your mare will also need to be up to date with her worming and vaccination program and will need her passport as proof of these to be taken with her.
The mare should be in soft condition, but not fat, and be sent with a leather head collar with her name on it and her shoes removed to help prevent her from injuring either the stallion or any other mares.
Preparation for Foaling
Watch and only intervene if your mare is having difficulty, for example if the foal is not presented correctly or if the waters break and nothing happens within a few moments. You may need to inter vine to clear the foals nostrils so that when the umbilical cord breaks they will be able to breath.
More about Foaling
After Care of Mare And Foal
The mare will need the afterbirth tied up later checked that it is all there. She will need to be checked for tears that may need stitching. The mare should bond quickly with the foal and should allow the foal to suckle, maiden mares sometimes find this uncomfortable at first and you may have to hold the mare to allow the foal to get some milk
The foal should have its umbilical cord stump treated straight away to prevent infection and this is a good time to check whether you have a colt or a filly, and give them a once over to check for abnormalities. The foal should be on their feet and suckling within a few moments of foaling and be suckling on the mares colostrum which will help to give him immunity from infection. Some foals need guidance to find the mares teats the first time but you will find that once they have had some milk they will quickly search the teats out for more.