Foaling Advice! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-15-2013, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Foaling Advice!

I'd really appreciate anything anyone can tell me about this!!

Here's the history... We learned we had a new neighbor when she posted on a local list asking if someone with a trailer could help her. She was adopting a neglected donkey and since we're right around the corner from her agreed to transport for her. When we brought the donkey to her we found that this lady seemed very sweet, loving if a little batty, and knew zip-nothing about equines. So my husband and I decided to try to gently mentor her a little bit for the sake of the donkey.

Next thing we know she has taken in a pushy, dominant type of mare that someone gave to her, already pregnant, and she's calling us for help because she's scared of the mare We go over (and keep going over again and again!) talking to her and showing her some very basic things, make the mare respect your space, send her both directions, make her back up, etc. When we showed her how to do these things at first the mare reared and struck out but settled after a tantrum or two, did what we asked, and was more settled and agreeable after. I got on and rode a few little circles with her just to get some idea how broke she was and she did very well with that!

We've told her and told her she needs to work with this mare daily, she needs to stop being a cookie dispenser because all the nuzzling is NOT love it's just looking for treats, she needs to call NOW to have a vet or two lined up just in case she needs help if the mare has problems in labor, she should have already been working with a vet to see to shots, wormings, etc. for before and after the foal is born...blahblahblah but she's not really doing any of this. She's just so sure that if she loves the mare with all her heart the mare will love her back, will never ever hurt her (even though the mare has repeatedly tried to bite her and us time and time again for trying to check her feet, touching her sides, etc.), the foal will be born just fine with no need for intervention... So my choice is to just steer clear and let her fall on her butt (though if something goes really wrong it's me she's going to call anyway) or keep trying to help for the sake of the animals.

Problem I really could use some help with is I've never foaled before! I've read, read, read, talked to people who know, and watched videos so without first hand experience I'm about as ready as I can be to assist I think. The foal was supposedly due this past 11th but with only 4 days "overdue" I know not to worry yet. I've told this lady possible signs that the mare is going into labor (checking the vulva, waxing on the bags, how to feel the tendons at the tailhead, etc.) and to call me day or night if she sees anything at all. Though she about lost her lunch when I moved the mare's tail aside to show her how the vulva normally looks and how it might elongate and such when labor is more imminent, gagged again when I said we'd have to check the afterbirth to make sure it all came other words, yeah, I've been going over periodically to check for signs myself and I know that IF she notices signs of labor and IF there's any complications it's going to be completely up to me to manage it. PRAYING that the mare doesn't need any help and things really do go as smoothly as her owner is convinced they will!!

Help? Tips? Tricks? Advice?
TexJenn is offline  
post #2 of 7 Old 12-15-2013, 03:47 PM
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Good luck and I would consider bowing out at some point. The end result is that this donkey could become very, very aggressive when it has a foal on the ground. In which case, its going to take a lot more than love to get the wheels back on.

I would either try to get the animal into your care or leave this woman to her own devices. At the end of the day, the Jenny only has about half an hour from the time of labor to the delivery of the baby. If she does not pass it in 45 minutes than its a body recovery and no longer a foaling. Which means that by the time this woman figures out what is going on is not normal than its going to be a very bad situation.

A bad foaling is unlikely. A dangerous mother and snotty/spoiled/dangerous foal are very, very lucky if the present situation continues.
rookie is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 12-15-2013, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, I wasn't clear, she now has a donkey AND a pregnant paint mare. Your advice is sound either way though so thank you.

We've told her we've never foaled and we're not trainers so the most we could do is try our best if the mare does have a problem in labor (and yes, we've stressed HARD to her that once hard labor/water breaks she's got 30 minutes or she could be looking at a dead baby and/or dead mare and/or vet costs like she couldn't imagine!) and show her a few tips and tricks to teaching the foal a few beginner things. But that she's going to need a professional trainer on that foal because we can only show her so much.

We've been firm in telling her that the way things are going this mare is dangerous to her, her husband and son but she doesn't seem to believe us (though we've seen others telling her exactly the same). She actually thinks it's cute the way the mare pushes the son when he brings her her meals I'm hoping hard that at some point she'll see she's in over her head and either buckle down to do the work needed or give the mare to us (she's mentioned it before when the mare has just especially scared her but in a "if she doesn't stop that..." kind of way rather than an actual offer).

She's a nice mare, pretty and sturdily built like we like em (nothing fancy though and nothing, IMO, that should've been bred probably, who knows)!! She just needs someone who knows how to gently but firmly be the boss. This lady is just so enchanted with her fantasy of what it's going to be like to "be a grandmama" to a foal grrrr.

At some point you're absolutely right, it's going to be a case of we've done all we can and it'll be time to bow out. We'd like to at least get the foal safely on the ground and TRY to show her how to be a proper boss for the mare and a few starter things for the foal. I *think* I've seen about every presentation a foal can have in labor but thought I'd check here too to try to cover as many bases as possible. Red bag, elbow lock, only one front leg presenting, two fronts but no head, breech... I just don't want to see a dead mare or foal if I can help it
TexJenn is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 12-15-2013, 06:59 PM
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I completely agree. The only trouble is that you are giving great advice that is falling on deaf ears. The only way this woman will learn is when someone gets hurt. Which is horrible and the horse will suffer for it.
rookie is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 12-30-2013, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Well thank heavens, the filly was born day before yesterday! Good thing there were no complications with the delivery because the owners just woke up to find that they'd missed the whole thing. They called us as 7:30 am and we went right over.

Mama and baby were doing fine (baby was dry, up, nursing, and even passing a few little poos) though mama still hadn't gotten the afterbirth out. I tied it up and we all went inside for a bit to let them rest and all. By 10 am the bag still wasn't out so I had them call the vet just to check. Vet said give it till 12 pm. 12 pm and no progress so my hubby went to get our trailer for them and off we all went to the vet. Vet managed to give her a shot in the trailer with some difficulty. Gave it an hour or so and the bag still wasn't out so vet asked us to unload her. As she was stepping down the bag flopped the rest of the way out, yay!!

While she was out he wanted to give her a few shots. He and his assistant fought with her, he had us come over to help fight with her...nope, couldn't do it. We took mama, baby and owners ($320 poorer) home with meds to give her. Tried giving her the anti-inflamatory the vet gave them (in a wormer type injector), fought, hubby got bit, I got struck in the arm...nope, wasn't happening. Put her in her stall with baby and left the bleepin owners to their own devices.

Yesterday our neighbor tells us mama is being a *censored*, isn't letting them into the stall or have contact with baby at all. I tell her mama isn't being bad! Mama hasn't been shown that the owner is any kind of boss or leader so of course she doesn't trust her baby to them! Owner finally agrees to hire a trainer!! I've got several suggestions of good local trainers for her so hopefully we'll see some progress now
TexJenn is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 12-30-2013, 01:51 PM
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At this point, it's time to say, "I've done all I can and will do for you. It's time to hire a professional. They're your animals and if you get hurt, it's your problem. We've been bitten and struck because you will not follow through, so we are done.". And Walk AWAY fast.
dbarabians and rookie like this.

Dreamcatcher Arabians is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 01-01-2014, 11:32 AM
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I completely agree with dreamcatcher arabians on this. You have done more than enough but you got hit and hubby got bit. Consider those warning shots and back away slowly. This is the owners problem and let them and their insurance figure that out when they get hurt. Its not worth getting injured for someone else's horses. Give them the trainers name and say thats all I can do.
rookie is offline  

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