Assisted births? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 45 Old 04-12-2011, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by NdAppy View Post
Because there are people that just in and pull foals out before there is a need to. They don't give the mares a chance to foal on their own. As soon as there is a enough leg for them to grab they are in their yanking away.
Couldn't agree more. There have been hundreds of foals born on our farm since the day my gpa started it and guess how many needed pulled? ONE. We have had to turn a few over the years. I think the excitement causes people to jump in and "help" without considering that helping can cause more damage than letting the mare try.

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post #12 of 45 Old 04-12-2011, 11:36 AM
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I watch all of my mares give birth. I stay out of the stall until the baby legs start to come out. I then go into the stall just to be there just incase the mare needs my help. I had to help two of my mares with the foals. One mare I had to get her up and take her to the middle of the stall to deliver. She was trying to deliver the foal in the corner of the stall. That is a good way for a mare to break their foals neck.

My other mare got tired towards the end and couldn't push any longer. So I helped her with my voice and when she had a contraction I pulled on the foals front legs. I only pulled when the mare had a contraction. Both mare and foal were fine after a little while. This mare was older she was 17 and was tired.

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post #13 of 45 Old 04-13-2011, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Because assisting such a large animal as a horse can look rough and abusive. Doesn't mean that's what's happening, just how it appears. Pulling a foal can look absolutely horrifying if you've never seen it happen.
This just makes me laugh. I grew up on dairy farms, and while most of the cows do their thing at night (2am spotlight heifer check, anyone?), some have to be pulled. And I mean pulled, like with chains around their feet, a rope pulley system and a 6'4 built like a brick crapper guy hauling on the end.

Know how many live calves I've seen injured out of I don't know how many I've seen pulled? TWO. One wasn't developed properly for whatever reason and it dislocated his shoulder. The second just had some swollen feet for a few days.

Oh, and I've also had a late (as in past due date, calf was dead and rotten) calf splice all over me when I was seven.

Yes, horses are built differently than cows, but I'd still rather a vet (or someone who knows what they're doing) pull my foal out than let the mare die too. I suppose I've never understood why people think horse pregancy/foaling is more dangerous than other animals.
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post #14 of 45 Old 04-13-2011, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by noddy
I suppose I've never understood why people think horse pregancy/foaling is more dangerous than other animals.
I don't personally think it's so much more dangerous - so much as I have a soft spot and sympathy pangs for any animals that give birth to newborns with fully formed hooves!
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post #15 of 45 Old 04-13-2011, 09:31 AM
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Not being there in the stall you never know what is happening. Maybe the mare has had problems foaling before and they know to help or something like that.
That being said, I watched a mare the other night rolling, pacing, rolling, casting herself against the wall, up down up down for over two hours and never saw anyone check to see presentation or any issues, although the people were standing there. I finally went to bed and checked when I woke up and it showed a "angel" foal... After watching her roll and roll and do other things, I personally thought someone should be checking that mare.
I think the reason they are posting warnings is because sometimes help is needed and it does look rough on both mare and foal and then people complain about how abusive they were to the mares.
Like posted above, cows can and do take alot when it comes to calving, even goats do, but horses can have an issue and one or both can die if something is not done immediatly, you just don't have alot of time to wait and see.
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post #16 of 45 Old 04-13-2011, 09:43 AM
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I greatly dislike some cams - to name one, Elements Arabians. As soon as the feet are visible she's in there yanking. I saw her yank a mare back a good 2'. There was an extremely lengthy discussion on another BB about it that probably sparked the "don't bother watching" warning.
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post #17 of 45 Old 04-13-2011, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
I greatly dislike some cams - to name one, Elements Arabians. As soon as the feet are visible she's in there yanking. I saw her yank a mare back a good 2'. There was an extremely lengthy discussion on another BB about it that probably sparked the "don't bother watching" warning.
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And yet she is one of the only ones I watch.......she has caught several malprensations by being pro active.....foals are alive today because she checked position rather than waiting to see???

Anybody who is foaling out or wants to breed should read Blessed are the Brood is a wonderfully informative book.......and a bit scarey.

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post #18 of 45 Old 04-13-2011, 12:04 PM
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We foal out anywhere from ten to twenty mares a year. My sister and I do all the birthing and the foal watch. I do not enter the stall until the mare has the foal's front legs out and working on the head. (Of course, there have been times when a mare has just taken too long to get anything out and I go in for a presentation check. Only once, after all these years, have we had a leg back that needed to be fixed.) Anyway, once the mare is really struggling on her own to push the foal, I help gently. There is a right way to help a normal birth and there's a wrong way.

Right way: Give little tugs WITH the mare's contractions. Mare's take lots of little rests between pushings, so do I. The key is be gentle! Then, I'm right there to lift the sac off the baby's face and keep it's head out of the stall bedding until he is fully out.

Wrong way: PULLING with all your might with no rests in a NORMAL birth is wrong. It will tear and damaged the mare's vulva and possibly her cervix. Granted, in emergency situations, pulling with all your might is definitely necessary and correct. It's hard for me to watch some MareStare cams, because it appears that they are pulling unnecessarily hard with no rests, but it may just be the camera, the angle, we never know what's really happening. I still watch. lol It's MUCH more frustrating and unnerving when people are standing outside the stall watching a mare struggle and flounder about for a long time without helping or checking her. Argh!

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post #19 of 45 Old 04-13-2011, 12:12 PM
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I can understand people helping the mare if she is a high risk breed, like a mini, or if something is going wrong and they have to intervene. But I have seen how 'helping' a mare can be taken too far by irresponsible people.
I took lessons at the barn where my filly was bred and I was there the morning after she was born. The barn owner told me all about the birth. Apparently one of the BO's friends had been invited to watch, and she was so excited that as soon as she saw legs the friend jumped into the stall and pulled as hard as she could until the baby was out. She didn't wait for contractions or anything. The poor mare was "ripped pretty bad," the barn owner told me, and she didn't call the vet because she was too embarrassed! Coincidentally, my horse has a small hernia >.<
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post #20 of 45 Old 04-13-2011, 12:48 PM
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Someone else mentioned cows and goat and such. Cows can take an amazing amount of pulling, even carrying dead calves around for a day or two, then getting a pill to clean out and away they go grazing without a care in the world. They even do c sections on cows and they are up and grazing and feeding the calf as soon as the epidural is over. My friend in California called me the other day, on her way to the vet with a first time goat that had the baby stuck, its head and one leg was out. Since my friend could not get the kid back inside to grab the leg, she put her in a crate and off she went. By the time she got to the vet, the goat was so mad being in the crate, she had scrambled around and around and the kid was out and healty and baaing like crazy.
Horses are just different creatures and can't take tugging and pulling and too much stress with birth, but the fine line is being knowledgable enough to know when to help, when to not help or when to call a vet.
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