Help please! First EVER foal... and it's winter....
So... we rescued a horse... and it turns out she's pregnant. And it's winter... most likely will be a very cold one. AND I have no clue when exactly she was bred or to what stallion.
When we first got her, she was a ribby rail; no muscle in the chest, a ewe neck, and extremely thin hindquarters. Now she's well rounded and well muscle-toned, and we're certain in foal.
Star has been used as a broodmare in the past, so I've no doubt she knows what to do, but I have no clue what to do myself. I've seen and been around donkeys foaling (easy peasy, never needed any help on our part), but never horses. Normally I wouldn't be so worried, but it's my first horse foal, and it is winter. She's also rather old... at least 17.
We have a shelter that we can close off and fill with hay for her (it does leak), and I do know how to rig a small blanket for the little baby if it is freezing cold (or did know... but I think I can figure it out again), not to mention we can build a fire nearby to warm up the area.
Anyone have any pointers on what I can/should do? (Other than call a vet... we really can't afford that right now. One of our horses has just healed from a nasty head injury in which he ripped a 3x4" flap of skin halfway off his face... over an inch square section of skull could be seen. He's healed now, but the huge scar left on our critter budget is still very visible.) We do have a mammoth donkey/quarter horse/mule breeder we can call over at a moment's notice in emergencies though.
I would greatly appreciate any and all suggestions and helpful hints. Thank you so much in advance.
(One other thing; another one of our mares is due this next spring.... also unexpected. She broke though our pasture fence and into the neighbor's... he keeps a stallion - a gorgeous one at that. So she's bred too... and that one will be her very first. Will she need help?)