Here is an update on Isabelle, the Foxtrotter I bought last fall as my new trail horse. She just happened to come in foal (not my idea to breed her, so please don't fuss about that, but I do want to keep the foal). From my best guess, she is about 7 months along (based on the fact that I bought her at the end of October and when my vet checked her in the beginning of November he didn't think she was in foal). But I had him check her again about a month ago and she is definitely in foal now. As a matter of fact, the little guy was kicking up a storm today! :lol:
As for her udder, I took a picture because I thought it is unlike any mare's udder I have seen before. It occasionally drips clear to whitish "milk." She was nursing a foal when I bought her, and her udder really has never gone away. I bet she's had lots of foals.
Anyway, does she look about 7 months along to you guys? Or could she be farther and my vet just missed it when he checked her in November? The foal she had at her side, at the end of October, was about 3 months old according to the last owner (not my idea to wean that early, I will certainly let this foal nurse longer!).
Anyway, I just wanted to show off Izzy and see what you guys thought. I am still riding her at this point, but I am guessing at some point when she gets larger I will start feeling bad about riding her. But so far she is doing great. :-)
No WAY is she only seven months. Unless she is one that decided to show every sign way early, she looks ready to foal any day! Her belly is definitely dropped. I'm having trouble following the date possibilities you posted, but how far along would she be if she was bred straight back on her foal heat (which would be 9 or 10 days after last years foal was born)?
Her udder is unusual, I remember you mentioning before she sometimes gets mistaken for a gelding and I can see why - those are some stretched out teats! I think you are are right, she's had a LOT of babies. But it looks like it is filling up, though not way full yet, but her milk veins are already quite prominent.
If there is no way she is really close, I'd be a little concerned about how dropped her belly is - especially in light of how much it looks like she has been bred. I know heavily bred mares can suffer injuries to ligaments in their pelvic floor - forgot what it's called, but I had my vet check Freyja for it due to how dropped she was in her 9th month.
ETA: The injury is called ventral rupture/rupture of the prepubic tendon. Totally not trying to scare you! Her belly just looks very low for a mare in only her seventh month. However, I'm a worrier, as had been pointed out to me. :) Freyja was very dropped in early on in her pregnancy as well, and was totally fine and gave me a nice, healthy, HUGE baby!
So the previous foal was 3 months at the end of October, right? Which would put her last foaling somewhere around the end of last July?
Thanks, themacpack, I'm rubbish at trying to figure that out! So that would STILL only put her at 8 months absolutely max right? I keep looking at her udder picture and trying to envision normal sized teats on it, it still looks quite big. She just seems very prepared overall and much closer than 8 months, to me. In the first picture she looks like her tailhead muscles have already relaxed down. But then again, my mare led me on for what, 3 months? Showing all these same signs. Maybe Izzy is just faking you out like Freyja did with me!
She looks like she is farther along but if the foal was only 3 months in October than she can only be 8-9 months along.
Also just for the record there is absolutely nothing wrong with weaning at 3 months. The mare's milk loses almost all the nutrition by that time, and baby should bea eating solid foods by then as well. The longest we've kept a baby on the mare was I think 4 months. They take a lot out of the mare, and some mares lose condition very fast if the foal is left on too long.
Yes, that is correct. The funny thing about her, is that she looked "in foal" from the day I got her. The guy told me that she never lost the belly no matter how hard he worked her. :shock: So that's why after I got the vet to check her in November and he declared her NOT in foal I didn't think much about it until about the end of March when they got their shots and I had him check her again "just in case."
So the earliest I think she could have been bred back, is after her late July foal was born. So that would make the earliest possible foal due in late June or early July perhaps? But that would mean my vet missed a 3 month old foal when he palpated? Which is possible I suppose, but maybe not likely?
I hope she doesn't have any problems with her belly being stretched out. I think her belly is permanently stretched, but she is definitely getting bigger! You can see photos of her right after I bought her at the end of October in my profile.
Thanks for the help!
Oh, and the udders never really got smaller than they are now, since her last foal. But I have been noticing the veins around her udder getting more prominent. I don't think the muscles in the croup area are dropped, because I haven't noticed that, and I am pretty in-tune with her. I see her every day and ride her on leisurely rides every-other-day.
So if she was bred back after her last foal, let's say around the beginning of August, she could conceivably be due around the beginning of July? Do you think it's likely a vet could miss a 3 month old fetus by palpating? He is an old-timey country vet who has been around a while. :wink: He did guesstimate the baby would be due in August when he palpated the second time, so maybe my numbers are all off. Maybe she is 8 months along. I must have counted back a hundred times by now. :lol:
It's so hard to know, because basically the guy I bought her from has a pasture full of mares/foals and keeps a stud in with them. Sigh!
I'm glad 3 months is okay, because I felt really bad when we seperated the foal from the mare when I bought her. But the foal didn't come with her, and although I'm sure he would have sold it to me cheap, I really was looking for another riding horse, not a mare/foal situation. But now that I have gotten to know Isabelle and I love her disposition, I am very excited about this foal. It will be my first foal, and probably my last, because it really does make more sense to buy a broke riding horse, but now that the opportunity was given to me, I am excited and will do my best to make it work out. If all goes well, the baby will be rideable by the time Isabelle is 19, so hopefully it will be my future trail horse. :D
Most of the places I have worked at left baby on the mare for a maximum of 5 months. It is usually around 3-4 months though. As long as the foal is eating solid foods and is becoming more independant you will be fine. Like I said, from what I have been told, mare's milk generally loses the majority of it's nutrition by that time anyway, so there really isn't much reason to keep them together.
Congrats on the baby, they are very fun. But they can be a PITA also. And another thing, 19 is not too old to trail ride! Heck, my mare is 17 and she's still running barrels and acting like a two year old!
I know 19 isn't too old, it's just sometime I feel like I am running an equine geriatric ward. My main riding horse, John Henry, is 17. Izzy is 16. And I have a 30 yr old that is crippled and retired. I lost a 26 yr old last summer. And a few years before that, I lost a 24 yr old. So I am really looking forward to having a younger horse, for the first time ever!
Kind of sad, but the youngest horse I have ever owned was the one I lost last summer at age 26. When we bought him he was my first horse and he was 11. I have never managed to get anything younger than 11 in all my (15 or so) years of having horses. Sometimes we do 4 + hour rides in the summer, and I hate to push them with long, tiring rides when they get up around age 20. I'll still ride them, but I would like my main riding horse to be younger than that so I don't feel guilty! But even my vet says to keep riding them, because when you stop is when their health seems to deteriorate.
But yes, when my current riding horses get up to around age 20, I would like to have a younger one on the way up in his "career" and able to do the longer rides when the old guys are at the point I don't want to push them hard anymore. :-)
Haha you would die if you saw some of the barrel horses at our shows. There was one a few years ago that retired from showing at age 31. He still ran every class, all day. Our shows used to last anywhere from 8-10 hours long. I loved that horse. I plan on keeping my mare going as long as she's physically capable, it's much better for them anyway.
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