The Class of 2021 – STAGE 1 – Signs of imminent FOALING

In conjunction with Farm & Stable Supplies for supporting the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) UK  2021 Photo Competition. Thank you 🙂

The Redheart Mare’s – Stage ONE of foaling and the imminent signs!

We keep our mares in a strict routine and when the doors are shut and a loud “night night” is yelled down the barn, the horses know it is quiet time and safe to foal.

Before foaling begins the mares must go through STAGE ONE of labour, a point prior to foaling when the mares look like they are showing signs of colic, box walking, kicking their bellies, rubbing their rear ends, lying down and getting up repeatedly, holding their tails up, looking at the flanks, nipping or kicking at the abdomen, sweating, frequently urinate and pass droppings, walking around, picking at bits of hay, pawing the ground, some show signs of yawning, chewing and generally looking restless with an obvious change in behaviour and generally looking uncomfortable.

We watch them closely as we wait for them to settle and not get worse…this is due to a hormone released which creates uterine contractions and the foal rotates from its back, onto its belly with its forelegs and head extended towards the mare’s vagina, it moves into position for ready for delivery.

It can last for hours with “breaks” in between or it can be consistent before foaling commences, either way, all mares are different, their pain thresh hold levels are different and all will show some of the signs mentioned. We watch them with a careful eye especially the maiden, she really has no idea what’s going on!

Here is a little video: