I'd really appreciate anything anyone can tell me about this!!
Here's the history... We learned we had a new neighbor when she posted on a local list asking if someone with a trailer could help her. She was adopting a neglected donkey and since we're right around the corner from her agreed to transport for her. When we brought the donkey to her we found that this lady seemed very sweet, loving if a little batty, and knew zip-nothing about equines. So my husband and I decided to try to gently mentor her a little bit for the sake of the donkey.
Next thing we know she has taken in a pushy, dominant type of mare that someone gave to her, already pregnant, and she's calling us for help because she's scared of the mare We go over (and keep going over again and again!) talking to her and showing her some very basic things, make the mare respect your space, send her both directions, make her back up, etc. When we showed her how to do these things at first the mare reared and struck out but settled after a tantrum or two, did what we asked, and was more settled and agreeable after. I got on and rode a few little circles with her just to get some idea how broke she was and she did very well with that!
We've told her and told her she needs to work with this mare daily, she needs to stop being a cookie dispenser because all the nuzzling is NOT love it's just looking for treats, she needs to call NOW to have a vet or two lined up just in case she needs help if the mare has problems in labor, she should have already been working with a vet to see to shots, wormings, etc. for before and after the foal is born...blahblahblah but she's not really doing any of this. She's just so sure that if she loves the mare with all her heart the mare will love her back, will never ever hurt her (even though the mare has repeatedly tried to bite her and us time and time again for trying to check her feet, touching her sides, etc.), the foal will be born just fine with no need for intervention... So my choice is to just steer clear and let her fall on her butt (though if something goes really wrong it's me she's going to call anyway) or keep trying to help for the sake of the animals.
Problem I really could use some help with is I've never foaled before! I've read, read, read, talked to people who know, and watched videos so without first hand experience I'm about as ready as I can be to assist I think. The foal was supposedly due this past 11th but with only 4 days "overdue" I know not to worry yet. I've told this lady possible signs that the mare is going into labor (checking the vulva, waxing on the bags, how to feel the tendons at the tailhead, etc.) and to call me day or night if she sees anything at all. Though she about lost her lunch when I moved the mare's tail aside to show her how the vulva normally looks and how it might elongate and such when labor is more imminent, gagged again when I said we'd have to check the afterbirth to make sure it all came out...in other words, yeah, I've been going over periodically to check for signs myself and I know that IF she notices signs of labor and IF there's any complications it's going to be completely up to me to manage it. PRAYING that the mare doesn't need any help and things really do go as smoothly as her owner is convinced they will!!
Help? Tips? Tricks? Advice?