Attending the Pregnant Mare



You have accomplished the first and biggest hurdle – getting the mare pregnant. Nowadays this is difficult and usually separates the amateur from the professional breeder. You have selected a fine stallion and achieved pregnancy and then waited the long 11 months. This is where I am now. Kayla Tiki, my maiden Arabian, has sailed right past her due date. This is not uncommon, especially for Arabians. There are devices that one can suture in to indicate when delivery is imminent but I am doing it the old fashioned way – sleeping out with the mare. I have my cot with a tent on it, my foaling supplies stashed in a box underneath and I am enjoying the stars and the sounds of the mares munching their hay. The mare occasionally pushes hard against a post to relieve the pressure on her cervix and is restless but no baby. She has a good sized udder with bright white plugs but no baby. She has insisted upon going into the large barn stall but no baby. I persevere in spite of the lack of all signs simply because a mare can go into labor without any advance notice! I persevere because there can be minor problems, easily adjusted, which can nevertheless result in a tragedy. I study books on delivery every day to refresh and settle advice firmly in my mind. There is my own notebook with solutions to delivery problems written in large clear letters. Delivery is so exciting that memorized knowledge flies right out and away. Thankfully, most deliveries go as planned and one only needs iodine for the umbilical stump and cotton cord to tie up the unbelievably messy and slippery placental packages which follow the birth. My daughter cut her teeth and paid her dues tying up this mess so the mare would not step on it but it’s just me and the stars these days. Honorable Hubby sleeps and is ready to tie up the noisy dog and make the coffee when the blessed event occurs. I’m ready! …. I think.

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