My mare is a pure thoroughbred mare and, according to the people I bought her off, has good blood lines. Basically she was pasture bred without my knowing. This occoured a few times from April-July last year as far as the owner has told me. (As I said I had no idea that this was happening while I wasn't there and the owner didn't bother to contact me about any of the incidents). As soon as I found out I immediatly moved my horse off the property and had her checked for pregnancy. The vet palpated her and said she was definitaly pregnant and he could only feel one foal so there was no need for sonogram. (We questioned it but he said that it was almost impossible that there was twins from what he felt would cost a fair bit of money to get a scan done. He also didn't have the equiptment on him). Since we found out she has been on special pellots and her food has increased and is up to date on her shots, farrier, worming and just general health. The vet said it was hard to tell but he thought the foal was due around the end of May- June from what he could tell. Yesterday I had my mare checked by a different vet. (My vet was on holiday for a month and I thought I would get a check up for her and the foal to make sure everything was running smoothly with the pregnancy). Yesterday she couldn't tell how old my mare was, wanted to palpate her through the fence cause she was scared of my horse's height (she is a perfectly behaved horse and has never behaved poorly. She is 16.3 hands)and generally seemed to be unexperienced and not sure what she was doing. The thing that got me worried is, during the exam she said she is not sure if my mare is having twins and she is in the middle-late part of third trimester. First she said we were looking at my mare foaling around end of Feb- March. Then she said she thinks around May after we said what the other vet said but over all she thinks somewhere between the end of this month and the end of May.( Which is not very helpful with a 4 month margin and when we told her what the other vet said she basically just repeated it) She said the foal is fully developed and she definitaly won't foal in the next couple of weeks but after that she is not sure when and she didn't have the equiptment to do a scan to tell us. I am freaking out with the new date and not having time to prepare if it really is coming that quickly. If it is twins what do I do? Is it likely? And how do I go about getting my mare ready especially since I am not sure when she is due? I have checked too and her stomach has "dropped" low compared to her normal stomach but there is no milk in her teats yet.(before the pregnancy she was full of muscle) I have also felt the foal kick quite hard about 2 weeks ago. She hasn't been moving around much lately either and has been more solitary then when she usually talks to the horses in the paddock next to her. I have got a foaling stall but I thought that I had a few more months to fully get it prepared and do more research for the birth and signs but I am not sure. And I can't get my vet back out for at least another month and if it really is the end of Feb- Mar she may have already foaled! Getting another vet out is not an option too unless their is change in her or she looks like she is about to foal.
My questions are
* How do I properly prepare the foaling stall?
* When do I put my mare in the foaling stall?
* What are some other signs to look for that my mare is getting close?
* Are there any good web pages or books that anyone could reccomend for this?
* Is there anything in particular that I should be doing now or looking for?
* Some tips for after the birth?
All help is appreciated. I know it may be a bit hard to understand some of what I am saying and I may have left out some parts but that is because I am really sick in bed with an upper respitory infection and possible whouping cough so please bare with me. Thankyou for all comments too and for all criticisms.