Ok I just watched a birth on marestare. And forgive me for being a little dense. I have witnessed a few births. I have never seen so much interference as I do on marestare. It seems like the moment the foal's hooves are out people are yanking the foals out. Is this a new thing?
Anyway, I'm watching Twin Acres Malibu Lady. The mare came around with the bag out. Laid down and gave a few pushes. The top of the foal's hooves were out. A few people came in and one checked the foal's position. She fiddled around in there for a minute. When the foal's hooves appeared she started yanking. This about 6 or so minutes into the foaling. After a few good yanks with the mare down the mare stood up. The lady left. She came back with what I had assumed was a lead rope. It was foaling chains. She wraps the foaling chains around the foals legs and FOUR PEOPLE start yanking with all their might. They were sliding across the floor. The mare is standing up and getting pulled backward. They aren't even waiting for contractions.... Well the foal comes out and it's down on the ground now... not perky at all. All of this took about 16 minutes or so.
I know I've read about this in foaling books. I know the chains are used for emergencies... but this doesn't seem right. Please correct me if I'm wrong but isn't there is something wrong with this picture? I think I'm going to stop watching marestare because I can't stand watching them yank the foals out.
Here is the link:
Twin Acres Ranch Cam 1
Foal is finally starting to perk up.
I'm just wondering what was wrong to make them decide to use the chains, if there was something wrong. She had a bag that had fluid... The mare wasn't in labor long....
In one instance I agree with you. I'm quite surprised by the level of interference, HOWEVER, with as expensive and costly as these mares and foals are, I can understand why. These mares are accustomed to it, and if done properly it can help immensely with socializing the foal with humans. Most of the ones I've seen are pretty good at helping the mare, cleaning the foal and then getting the heck out so the foal has had a chance to see and smell them, but now it's bonding with momma.
As for the foaling chains - you REALLY don't know what the situation was. At all. It was completely impossible to tell from a grainy black and white camera. I agree completely that it was a ridiculously stupid thing to do if there was no emergency, as the amount of damage that can be done is enormous if you're not timing with contractions which leads me to believe they had an extremely pressing reason for jumping to action so fast.
Some people definately get overzealous and it drives me nuts when inexperienced owners jump in and try to mettle because they're so eager to see the foal. I don't see the harm in most cases, in fact by being present and assisting they're probably proactively preventing a lot of potential vet bills. Yes, horses foal in their own, but you never know when things might go wrong.
But let me tell you, if I decide to breed Zierra to Guaranteed Gold I will end up with a bill close to $5,000 by the time that baby comes and you can bet your hinny that I'll pull out all the stops to make sure she's got around the clock care and help! Any amount I can provide to protect my investment is worth it to me!
Agreed. We don't completely know the situation at all.....but like ShutUpJoe said, the mare wasn't in labor for very long. It is absolutely crazy to pull, pull, pull against the mare's contractions/pushes when there is nothing wrong with the foal or mare. A normal birth progresses naturally slow. That way the cervix can completely open slowly and the vagina can stretch little by little. One situation that I can see where getting that foal out as quickly as possible is a breech birth. I'd call my vet than pull with all my might, too. LOL.
We have VERY expensive Arabians. VERY. But, every birth is treated the same. The mares are scrutinized and monitored with a high level of care. I sleep right above them every night in an apartment, watching the foaling cameras on my TV (they have cameras in their stalls). And I'm ready to help with EVERY birth. No mare foals without our help.
BUT, we always take our time. Mares are allowed to get down and rest while they wait for their big contractions to push. They never lay down flat until they need to start getting the head out. We wait until then to help. By then, the mare is in the zone and won't (usually) get up when I open the stall door.
So I go in and gently GENTLY give a few soft tugs to help get the head in position and make sure everything is straight and ready. Then, the mare starts pushing hard and I'm right there to help her. When she stops pushing for a breather, I stop pulling. NO pulling when she is not pushing. That's how you tear her and make the birth more painful than it already is. Birth is a slow process. That cervix and vagina need time to stretch so they won't tear. I always match my level of intensity pull to the mare's push. If she's pushing with all her might, then I'm pulling hard. But I always release when she pauses.
After hundreds of births, I've had a wonderful time doing it this way. The mare does awesome and we have healthy births. Ne tearing, no stress (I'm always very calm) and the foal is delivered in a reasonable amount of time. There is no gigantic hurry.
I watched my first birth last week on MareStare and was soooo frustrated to see the people pulling with all their might .....when the mare wasn't even pushing. They acted like getting the foal out as quickly as possible was the only option. That's BAD.
Anyway, just my loooong post, 2 cents. LOL.
I didn't watch the birth tonight, except for the very first part, and then a family member kicked me off the computer. BUT, I recognized the barn/stall area and remembered another mare with "Malibu" in the name that was the very first birth I saw on Marestare. It freaked me out because two women were pulling on the foal and bracing themselves against the wall with all their might. I was thinking, man, that's a hard one to watch as my first birth to see!
Happily, I have seen a lot more mares foal with less gymnastics since then! But you know, with what limited knowledge I have, I have read plenty of times that you pull only with the contractions, and you only pull downwards, not straight out. I frequently see folks on marestare doing a constant pull, or pulling out instead of downwards. And one of the foaling books I just received said you can actually break the foal's ribs pulling when you don't need too or when the mare isn't pushing.
Did you guys see the little fleabit gray mini foal just before the mare you are talking about? I was afraid that baby was stuck, the poor mare wasn't making much progress at first, but they finally got it out, out of view of the camera.
When you guys have concerns, the best thing to do is READ what the OWNERS post on their marestare message board. That is the only way you're going to get the full story.
You said something about the bag coming out, sounds like it may've been a red bag, it is CRUTIAL that that foal comes out, FAST, or it will suffocate. Sounds like they were trying, but foal was stuck, hense the chains. I sure hope they saved it's life, that is an emergency.
Do not pass judgement on others when you don't know what's going on. There is a reason I never announce my mares on marestare on this board (and another just like it). (I do know there's a link in my sig, but that's not even the current link anymore, and I have purposely not updated it to the real link... just keep forgetting to take out the old one).
No I get what you are saying. But in a red bag wouldn't the owners have to be "in" the mare a lot more. They weren't in there that long at all. I've seen a red bag and that is not what it looked like. And as I've stated above I was wondering what the problem was (if there was one). They do have a message spot but they have not put anything on it.
I NEVER stated these people were horrible. It just seemed off to me. Forgive me if it seems like I am "judging" them too harshly. You are right I don't understand the situation, as I've stated. That did not look like a red bag to me but what do I know?
I get what you are saying, ShutupJoe, and I've all but stopped watching marestare for that precise reason. While I would assume if they get chains and that many people involved, that there is a problem and the mare needs it, I do find the level of "interference" as opposed to "assistance" on marestare to be quite high. Once I saw three births in a row where I couldn't see the actual birth, but the butt crack of the person yanking the baby instead, I stopped watching.
I completely agree that there are times when intervention in a necessary and important factor in these deliveries, and making a split-second decision is often crucial.
But I've seen a mare with an inside-out, prolapsed uterus before, and trust me it's horrible. I hate seeing a baby pulled if it doesn't NEED to be.
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