Possibly preggo mare...manyyyy questions...
   

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Possibly preggo mare...manyyyy questions...

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  • Breeding preggo
  • I've just bought a mare & think she may be in foal

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  • 2 Post By grayshell38

 
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    08-01-2012, 03:43 PM
  #1
Super Moderator
Possibly preggo mare...manyyyy questions...

So, as some of you are aware, my foster mare Lady may be pregnant.
She's owned by a rescue organization so I'm waiting on them to get her preg checked. A check is in the works but there's a whole fiasco with the ultrasound etc etc etc so we may be waiting (Lady=waiting, me=biting my fingernails into nothing-ness) for a couple more weeks.

Basically though, I'm EXTREMELY nervous because, if she is pregnant (I'm beginning to really think she is), she's the first and only pregnant horse I've ever been around.
And on top of that, I've never, in my life, been around a baby horse of any sort. About the baby-est animal I've ever dealt with was my 5 week old kitten 2 years ago and there's quite a size difference between a half pound kitten and a baby HORSE.
Never been around a yearling, never been around a weanling, never been around a 2 year old, the youngest horse I've dealt with was was 4.

I may be freaking out just a tad.

I'm inclined to think she's rather close, if she is indeed pregnant, because just in the last week or so she went from big to giant and her energy levels just DROPPED. Previously she had been trotting around on a daily basis, constantly moving, etc, and now she's pretty much standing around, grazing a bit, peeing ALL the time, and she's quite a bit more cranky than she was a week or two ago.

The other thing is that I had planned to have her moved somewhere else if she is pregnant because of my own ineptness. However, in talking with the rescue, if I'm comfortable, they would really prefer that she stay with me since she knows me, she's comfortable here, and the next avaliable foster homes on "the list" are ones that maybe have had a couple years horse expierence and are not prepared for a baby either...
I, of course, am not bending to that^^ sad story, but at the same time, it makes me wonder if I could become prepared for a baby+if I should reconsider my previous adamant NO.
I mean, I had pretty much planned to foster Lady over the winter anyway, is there really that much of a difference? Um. YES. But maybe it's a difference I can handle...?

So, pretty much, tell me what you know/link me to good things. I know nothing. I've followed foaling threads but there's a biiiiig difference between a foaling thread and actually living it.

My other questions involve my ability to do this properly:
I'm going to college in October (commuting, so leaving home 7-8am-ish, back around 3-4pm. Don't know my exact schedule yet but that's the likely scenario) - can a young baby be properly looked after on that time schedule? I figure, from how Lady is looking, if she is pregant, she'll be dropping it mid-late August, maybe September...
Do mares NEED to foal in stalls? I have kinda sorta stalls set up but nothing really fancy or "appropriate"...Lots of open pasture though!
The fencing on all the pastures is high-tensile wire...Baby-safe? I feel like that's not...
I'm not sure I'll be able to do checks multiple times a night... I can probably sleep up at the barn if she looks really close/there's concern but that's super not ideal...
Blind horses+babies? My Lacey girl would be living with them and she's basically blind. She can see a little bit but not a ton, will having a baby around most likely frustrate her no end? Lacey is extremely maternal though, I'm always finding her "babysitting" baby deer (they'll be laying within feet of her and she'll be alertly "watching" for danger while mom is off foraging somewhere), she watches young kids like a hawk, etc etc...
Lady isn't a maiden, does that increase her likelihood of foaling safely?


I really just have no idea what I might be getting into here and I want to make sure that whatever I choose (Lady goes somewhere else to take care of "business" or stays here) that's the best answer for us.

All those questions make me think NO BABY, but yknow, better to ask. :)
I just really want to do the best thing for this situation. I could just wash my hands of it but I don't want to end up regretting it for some reason or another.

And here's a picture of the potential mama from last week, in case you want to see.




Anyhoo, thank you for putting up with my babbling! Hahaha
     
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    08-01-2012, 05:41 PM
  #2
Green Broke
She's definetely got a big belly! Since she & Lacey are now used to each other I think it would be more upsetting to Lacey to have no one than to have a foal added to the mix. BUT, a lot to that depends also on the mares. I've raised a few foals-it's do-able. Can you get some books to read now before school starts to help you w/your decision? Most libraries have something about foals, or can get one if you have inter branch loans.
     
    08-01-2012, 07:56 PM
  #3
Yearling
Tough situation to be in! I'll try to keep this organized and not ramble.

I think you may have the gist of the situation that I found myself in, which is similar, however, you have the option of getting out of yours which brings up more questions and considerations than I had.

First, with what I have seen from your posts on here and FB, I am confident that you will be perfectly able to adapt to the situation and handle it with grace.

At the time that Mana was born I had never been around a pregnant horse, was completely new to caring for a horse on my own at all, and had very little in the way of training expertise for a horse. I was not a trainer in any sense of the word. I knew how care for a horse and was a fair rider, but fixing or teaching was not something I was capable of.
You are much further ahead than I was. I really think you'd do fine. I'm not saying that you should just because you can, but that I think that you could if you chose to. So don't let it's age scare you. They are little sponges and aren't born with preconcieved ideas about what is scary or normal. It makes working with them pretty easy in a way.

However, then you are taking on two projects. Is that something that you want to do right now? Are you stretching yourself too thin? (Monetarily, time, emotionally?)
On another side, how is this going to affect Lacey? She has grown accostumed to having a buddy around. With her vision being worse yet than ever, is the loss of her friend going to cause too much stress?

Though it would be nice if we could guarantee that horses we know and care for go to good knowledgable homes, your long term well being is important. You owe it to Lacey as the horse you own, to provide for her. Lady is not a horse you own. She is volunteer work. If it means keeping her and her foal will deminish the quality of Lacey's lifestyle, then I would send Lady back and find another horse as a companion to her.

If you feel that you are capable of caring for three animals (two that require serious training and the other with pretty substantial health needs) then I really don't think that Lacey will have a problem with the baby. They'll probably go co-mom.

Mana was born in a lean-to early morning on a cold rainy day and did just fine. Your set up shouldn't be an issue. As long as there is a clean (free of excess poo and such) area out of the elements, she should do fine.

The fact that she foaled successfully in the past is good. I doubt she had any special help from the people that she was taken from.

I think checking twice a day is fine. Can't watch them all the time.
As far as the fencing goes, baby is usually pretty happy to stick with Mama and should learn from her that it is a boundry and not mess with it.

Wow. Lots of stuff that you'll have to ask yourself. I just want to say(because I've done it myself), don't talk yourself into a whole bunch more work and heart ache just because you fear regret. Do it because you know you can and you honestly want to.

Good luck! And I really hope she isn't pregnant. Maybe get some pics of her from different angles and of her bag and such.
Wallaby and tinyliny like this.
     
    08-02-2012, 12:04 AM
  #4
Super Moderator
Thanks Cacowgirl!
Thankfully Lacey's one of those horses where she's happier if she's with another horse but the departure of that horse/being alone doesn't panic her too much. I'd prefer she continued to have a horse buddy (why I'm fostering in the first place) but in the event that Lady leaves, Lacey should be ok.
I will look at the library for books on foaling, I hadn't even considered that. Brilliant! Haha


Hahahahaha, Megan, I love how we speak the same "language". You basically managed to write out EVERY one of my concerns that I knew I had but couldn't find words for. Well done.
Caring for three is another one of my BIGGEST concerns. I mean, at camp I was in charge of daily care/training/feeding/etc for 13 horses so I know I could survive three but at camp, all those horses had a, while lacking in many areas, basic idea of what was expected of them.
The other thing is that while it's possible for one human to lead two horses at once, it's basically impossible for one human to control 2 adults (one still cementing how to lead really well and the other lagging behind in an attempt to keep human+other horse in her vision feild) AND a baby.

$$-wise, I'm not too worried. The little old people who own the feild are pretty much covering all Lady's expenses at this point and the rescue orginization is such that if the LOP don't want to pay anymore (not likely - they've basically decided I'm their granddaughter of some sort) the rescue could+would cover ay needs.
However, emotionally and time-wise, I'm not sure. That was part of continuing to foster Lady, to see -in a "safe" scenario- whether or not I could handle 2 horses year round.
One of my longer term goals is to get another horse for Lacey so Lady during the winter was the real trial run for that (during the summer, hay costs are $0 because the pasture is good, winter is the real "test") but 2 vs one new mouth could be pushing it.


I think I'm going to really think hard on it more but the more I think about it, the more I realize that my reasons have less to do with what I can actually handle and more to do with dreams I want to happen NOW vs in their own time.
Hopefully Lady isn't pregnant but if she is, I think she'll probably go back.
And maybe I'll just tell them that I'd like to seriously try with a different horse but maybe something more manageable, like a mini/something more trained.
I have been finding that Lady is a little out of my league just due to her size and lack of training (though she's "small", she has so many little "things" that I just don't feel super comfy around her) and that's just not fair to her. She's coming along well but she could be doing better if I were less of a wuss about some things.


I think, after thinking really hard today, that in my heart of hearts, the reason I want to keep Lady around if she is pregnant is basically based on the fact that the baby, if there is one, is an Arabian/POA - basically my dream combo. I really want to own an Arab/POA one day but that one day doesn't have to be now, it could seriously be in 30 years. And really, looking at Lady, unless the stud had bomb confo, that poor baby will be swimming upsteam from day one, conformation-wise - not something I should commit my heart to.
I need to keep my head screwed on straight!
And, if I want to raise a baby one day, my life is probably not ending tomorrow. I seriously most likely have at least 50 years (if I live to 71) to raise a foal. There is no rush.
     
    08-02-2012, 01:24 AM
  #5
Super Moderator
I think, from what I have read of what you have written, you have the fundamentals of what it takes; the smarts, ingenuity, patience and willingness to learn. The rest is gravy.

Well, not really. But, if you have the right mental attitude and fortitude, you can get done whatever needs to be done.

I can, however, imagine that if I were in the same situation , I would be majorly freaking out and looking for someone to do a lot of hand holding.
     
    08-02-2012, 01:52 AM
  #6
Started
From the perspective of another young horsewoman, (in college but still squeezing those ponies into the picture) while I think it would be amazing to raise a foal... there is no way that I would be able to commit the time necessary to raising the foal well while still giving the other horses all of the time and attention they deserve.

To some extent, I'll be in a similar position as you next September: One older trained horse with a few health and temperamental concerns, and a less trained horse that still needs quite a bit more before he's the solid guy I know he will be one day. I feel strongly that in order for them to really be content, well balanced horses, they both need to have their minds "engaged" as regularly as possible... and I already anticipate this becoming a bit of a time crunching challenge for me. A foal on top of it all would be out of the question, as much as I'd sure love the opportunity.

Knowledge and experience wise however, I don't doubt that you would be able to raise the foal admirably. As others have said, from everything we've seen of you on the forum, you're a fantastic horsewoman.
     
    08-05-2012, 06:17 PM
  #7
Started
Hi,
First, I think you can do this, if you have to. Time is not great but horses have been raised with less time from their owners and turned out okay. I would suggest getting Dr. Millers book on foal imprinting. His book on the ten things that make horses really unique is also interesting. I think a good guide is that you remember that horses are born in essence ready to survive. They can run within a few hours of birth. So, they learn really quickly. Which means that you should not tolerate any behavior from the foal that you would not tolerate in an adult horse. Take a deep breath its going to be okay. Good vibes to you and your possibly pregnant mare.
     
    08-05-2012, 06:37 PM
  #8
Trained
If no one else on the foster list has a clue either, I say you're the top match because you have some horse sense. You said Lady has had a foal before, right? I would see if you can dig up and see how that went. And of course, get help from the vet :)

Everyone else has totally covered what I wanted to say, so I'm waiting to hear any news :)
     
    08-05-2012, 11:41 PM
  #9
Trained
Foaling is not that complicated. Usually.
If she has had a foal before then chances are she will do well this time.
A pasture is the cleanest and most natural place for her to foal. All mu horses foal outside and have never had a problem with it.
A young foal does not require a lot of hands on training.
We teach ours to lead , stand tied, and trim. Then we leave them alone for the most part and handle them once or twice a week.
If you keep the mare as others have said you are smart enough to do this.
If you need advice you have plenty of experts here on the forum. Shalom
     

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