SIGNS OF FOALING
People are always asking what will my mare look like right before
she foals. I put these pictures together, I hope they will help.
Wax has formed at this time, some
mares will not wax.
24 hrs from foaling
1-2 hrs from foaling
Flanks are sunk in
Belly has dropped
Tail head is prominenet
1/2 hr before birth
80 min after birth
2 1/2 Days till foaling                               1 1/2 Days till foaling                                 7 Hrs till foaling
1 day from foaling you might start to notice a thin cloudy mucus discharge after urination which increases as foaling nears.
Click on thumbnail for larger view
MARE # 2
2 1/2 days till foaling                       still has roundness                    1 1/2 days small amount of clearish wax        Starting to really relax at 12 hrs till foaling
24 hrs prior, flanks hollowing  and larger amount of wax forming                    7 hrs from foaling                             4 hrs from foaling
Most foals are born naturally, without human intervention. If at all possible, allow this process to happen naturally without attempting to help. The mare can usually
deliver her foal, clean it, and begin the bonding process without assistance. Her owner should quietly watch unless help is required. Active Mare Foaling begins
when the placental sac breaks, releasing a gush of amniotic fluid. This is called “breaking water.” The mare may lie down before this happens, and you will
sometimes see a smooth sac protrude between the mare’s vulva. The pressure of the mare lying down usually ruptures the sac. The fluid released when the
mare's water breaks will lubricate the birth canal and the foal. The mare will then lie down and begin to push. It was at this time I started to Video NP KATY BAR.
Horses experience powerful contractions and will often groan or vocalize as they push to expel the seventy to ninety pounds of foal through the birth canal, this is
normal. NP KATY BAR will stand and lie back down during this foaling, this is normal, she is positioning the foal for delivery.

Clip 1 - You will see the front hooves one slightly ahead of the other (normal position). The hooves are covered by a rubbery protective coating, you will then see the
nose just after the Pasterns, during this time NP Katy Bar will continue to reposition and push until the full head then body appear.  Note the rotation of the foal as
she passes through the birth canal.

Whether the mare delivers naturally or the owner helps by pulling "I don't recommend under normal conditions", the foal’s rear feet will often remain in the birth canal
as the mare and the newborn foal rest, in my years of foaling, if this is not allowed, human intervention is then needed in most cases to keep the foal healthy. My
thoughts...  WHY interfere in a normal birth when mother nature has a way of knowing what's best and healthy.   In clip 2 you will see the mare and foal rest, the
umbilical cord is still attached and transferring a large, vital amount of blood from mare to foal. This five to fifteen minute rest period is very crucial, and allows the
mare her special time with her newborn. After this rest period, the mare will stand and break the umbilical cord. There is very little bleeding at this point. You will note
the foal chewing, she would be chewing on  "milt" (melt or melch) this is a controversial topic depending on who you talk to. So, what exactly is this "milt?" And what
is it for?  it has the color and texture of a piece of raw liver and is roughly about three inches wide and four to four and a half inches long. The milt is held in the foal's
mouth until birth at which time it is normally rejected. Its purpose is uncertain but seems to be to prevent fluid from entering the foals lungs during gestation and
birth.  What makes the milt even more mysterious is that despite the fact that it does exist, in many cases, it is never found. I have been able to locate the milt in
approximately 15% of births. Each time, I found it laying a short distance from the mare's afterbirth.
                                                                                                                                                                       Sometimes it is still in foals mouth

                                                                                                                                                                       Other times it may be attached to the placenta.

Your first glimpse of the placenta will be a large mass of red and white tissue protruding from the mare’s vulva. The placenta should be delivered within two to four
hours after the foal is born. NP KATY BAR quietly laid down within 30 minuets and expelled hers. If it is retained much longer than that, it can increase the risk of
infection. Even if the rest of the foaling proceeded normally, a retained placenta requires veterinary help.

The foal should stand and begin to nurse within two to six hours after birth. Most foals will accomplish this within one hour. A newborn foal can be somewhat weak
or have difficulty standing—after all, they have never had to bear their own weight before. The foal will usually stand within 30 minutes, typically after several failed
attempts. As soon as it is steady on its feet, often within an hour of birth, the foal will attempt to nurse. Teat-seeking behavior is persistent, even somewhat random,
because the foal does not know exactly where the teat is located and can have a little trouble latching onto it. You will see NP KATY BAR give gentle assistance to the
foal to find the teat, the filly quickly understands , and with allot of clumsy attempts learns how to suckle, a behavior that is instinctive in horses.
Please click on Video
links to watch  NP KATY
BAR foaling April 03,
natural non assisted foal,
taken by Nancy Porter
at NP QUARTER
HORSES.