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It’s A Boy!

With the warmer spring weather and longer days, comes new life.

Foaling season is one of the most exciting times for a horse owner. You put the time and money into breeding the mare and then anxiously wait a long 340 days, give or take 2-3 weeks, for the new born foal to arrive.

There are several signs the mare will show as she starts getting closer to foaling. Two to three weeks prior to foaling, the mare’s udder should begin to increase in size. If this occurs further out than two to three weeks, this could indicate pregnancy issues and the mare should be examined by a veterinarian. The mammary development will continue to increase as the due date gets closer. The teats will engorge with milk and about one to two days before foaling wax beads will form on the tips of the teats. The vulva will also elongate and relax as it prepares for the delivery of the foal. 



At Stone Ridge Equine Care, we use a monitoring device called a Foal-Alert. We suture the device to the vulva, which is then triggered as the foal begins to exit the birth canal. The alarm calls both the Dr.’s and technician’s phones so the mare can be immediately assisted if necessary. We also have the foaling stalls equipped with cameras that are accessible through our phones.


As the mare starts into labor she will show signs of discomfort, similar to colic symptoms.

Restlessness, pawing, pacing, kicking at the stomach and sweating are all signs of early labor. The foaling process is usually fairly quick.

If the mare is showing signs of heavy labor with no progression within 30 minutes, assistance may be needed and it is best to notify a veterinarian. Ideally after foaling, the mare and foal will lay quiet for a short period of time before the mare stands in order to break the umbilical cord. It may take up to a few hours for the whole process to take place but eventually the foal should stand and nurse and the mare should pass the placenta. Approximately eight hours after the foal nurses, an IgG level can be checked by a veterinarian to ensure the foal received adequate antibodies from the mare’s colostrum. 


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  • Penny King, Oblong IL

    I can’t say enough about Dr. Stone & his staff. They go above & beyond & take the extra mile to take care of your horses needs. They really care about what your horse really needs.

    They have been up all night with emergency colic surgery with a positive outcome. They saved a foal that was born three weeks early. I can’t even begin to tell everything we have been thru together. But I can tell you one thing, they don’t come any better than Dr. Stone & his staff. They are like family to our horses & us.”