1. Know Your Mare’s Due Date
The gestation period of a mare is normally 330-362 days. You will find a great gestation calculator at -
https://thehorse.com/tools/mare-gestation-calculator/. Work out your mare’s due date and mark it on the calendar. Always keep in mind that mares can be quite variablewhen it comes to foaling date. It is quite normal for a mare to foal a few weeks prior or after her due date and have a normal, healthy foal, so you are best guided by her behaviour, increase in the size of her bag, and also in some cases if they have foaled early or late in previous years. It is also important to check if she had a caslick performed the year before and whether she may need to be opened prior to foaling.
2. Let There Be Light
Ensure that you have a good quality torch and/or headlight on hand, with a good supply of extra batteries. These will come in handy when checking your mare prior and post foaling and also be necessary in the event that you need to call your vet.
3. Stock Up Your Foaling Kit
Make sure you have a foaling kit with essential supplies in a handy location. A good foaling kit usually contains items such as a stethoscope, thermometer, umbilical clamps, scalpel blades, Iodine, gloves, enema, head torch, lube, cotton wool, feeding bottle, jug and hand sanitiser. A ready-made kit is available on our online store -
4. Make Friends with Your Vet
If you don’t speak with your vet on a regular basis, or you don’t have one locally that you regularly use, it is a good idea to make contact. Find a vet clinic that is within close proximity that you trust and let them know that you have a mare/s foaling this season. Obtain their afterhours number and save it in your phone, or write it somewhere visible in your stables. This will be your most important tool in the event of an emergency.
5. Stay Calm And Be Patient
Pregnant Mares are unpredictable creatures. They can not only surprise you, but also make you wait well past their due date. One of the most important things to remember is to stay calm, especially if things don’t go to plan. The birth of your foal can be one of the most stressful, but also most rewarding things you do. Preparation is always key to a successful outcome, but always phone your veterinarian when in doubt.