Miniature Horse Foaling Journal, February 2008

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Feb. 5, 2008

The recommended books have arrived. All 4 of us girls are reading The Complete Book of Foaling and Blessed be the Broodmares to prepare for what is coming! Just why are we so worked up??? We have 6 mares in foal this year which is the most we have ever had. Five are bred to Ultra Mycall Jacksum  and we are terribly excited to see the new babies. Each previous year, we have had only one foal, and have loved witnessing the entire process.

Our home should be quarantined! We have all caught PFSD which stands for Pre Foaling Stress Disorder. This disease is caused by owning a pregnant mare and engaging in "mare stare." Mind you that we humans have caught it, not the mares. The cure is lack of sleep!

Feb. 8 and 9, 2008

Anxiously awaiting the birth of these 6 miniature mares, we are already preparing them, us and the barn for their arrival. Milk strips have been ordered, the last month's supply of vaccinations and wormers have arrived. Now it is a warm Saturday afternoon and we are shaving bellies, the insides of the mare's back legs, washing tails, vulvas and between teats. While washing Magic, her baby delighted us all by kicking crazily against momma! Click here to see if it delights you too!

Hubby has gone to the rock quarries to gather the conveyor belt that we use to line our stalls with. This gives the mare privacy, keeps the foals from going out through the bars and keeps the mares' legs safe when they are incoherently thrashing during labor. It turns their stalls into a rubber room essentially.

Feb 10, 2007

Our long awaited educational meeting sponsored by the Miniature Horse Association of Arizona (MHAA) occurred today! Dr. Laura Harris DVM spoke with about 100 Miniature horse breeders during this foaling seminar. We took copious notes and asked many questions. Our notes from this  day formed my emergency dystocia sheets that will be in my foaling kit in the barn with us during the birthing process. We also have gained a lot from our 2 foaling books to supplement what we heard.

I dreamed last night that Dolly literally spoke to me and had had her foal. When I went to see what it looked like....the baby was a big yellow Lab puppy!

My daughters are also having very strange dreams about the miniature mares.

Can you tell we are obsessing!?!?

Feb. 16 and 17, 2008

Our mares are nearing the 300 day landmarks of their pregnancies and we are still driving them frequently. They are stronger than ever and drive like they are not even pregnant. Their pregnant bellies hang over the shafts. Never start driving a mare in the middle of a pregnancy if she has not been driving before the pregnancy. Driving a pregnant mare should only be done if they are in shape and driving from the beginning of their pregnancy. We drove Magic, Lily and Turbolina this weekend.

Feb. 18, 2008

A nearby reining trainer, Leslie Downing,  has a pregnant mare that she says is really close. Thus, we run over with our Milk Strips and distilled water to check her mare. All 4 squares turn purple in about 15 seconds. We leave telling her the baby is coming very soon! The foal arrives the next morning!!!

Feb. 19, 2008

Our foaling cameras are hung for 2 of the stalls. Husband has been busy late into the evenings putting them up for us. We bought the Swann wireless cameras, but have a metal roof between the stalls and our home that distorts the picture badly. So, we added a cable that extends from my TV to the transmitter box. The transmitter box is now only about 20 feet from the cameras instead of up by my TV. A long cable comes up to my TV and the picture is very clear.

Here I can spy on Anna busily cleaning up our barn while I lay in bed. Isn't it great to have helpful daughters?

Feb 20, 2008

The conveyor belt is being hung! Our barn is looking more like a nursery. We use solid rubber belt found in Arizona'a rock quarries and cut it to fit. I drill through it and use plastic zip ties to hang it tightly against the bars. This will keep the mare's feet from going through the bars and give privacy to her.
Our foaling stalls are each about 14 feet by 10 feet big. Here is one rubber room completed. After a tough day homeschooling, this is a good place to sit with a mare's head in my lap!

A semi-load of grindings arrived today for footing under the straw. It took us about 3 hours to strip the stalls and wheelbarrow in our clean grindings. The mares are beginning to spend time in their own birthing stall. This helps them develop antibodies against any present infectious agents. They will then pass these antibodies on to their new foals. New foals don't produce sufficient gamma globins (IgG) for about 6 weeks and are dependent on what mom is able to transfer to them through the colostrum. If a foal does not receive the correct amount of IgG from the colostrum, the foal is not protected from diseases for his first few months of life. To find out if your foal has received the proper amount of IgG levels, test 2-3 days after birth.

Jewel had her last shot tonight. We gave her killed virus of WEE, Flu, WNV, and Tetanus. She is our "mystery mare" because she was pasture bred in TX. The other mares we hand bred so we know their conception dates clearly. We suspect her baby to appear around March 15th.  

Here are the mares that we know their last breeding date. We plugged them into our foaling calculator and came up with these due dates:

Name of Mare

Last Date Bred

Expected Due Date (330 days)

Picture as of Feb. 23, 2007

Freeman Hills Knights Painted Jewel



No baby yet

Tibbs Morning Star



(born 4/7/08)

Crystals Easter Lily



(born 4/3/08)

Lucky Four Real Doll



(born 3/31/08)

Wees Wees Double Magic Lady



(born 4/3/08)

Sundances Showtime Turbolina



(338 gestation previous year would make her due on 4/24/08)

As I calculate the dates, I see we still have forever to wait. I do know that after 300 days of their pregnancy, I need to watch and check each mare at least 2 times per day. They should also be in their foaling stall.

Feb. 23, 2008

Jessie, my 11 year old, is reading about Equine CPR! And Lisa, my 14 year old is reading about the specific gravity of Colostrum!

Feb. 25, 2008

Our clippers go wild and trim off Don Juan's winter coat. We couldn't resist taking new pictures and updating his "rumble" video. Watch Donny "rumble" through our front yard in this fun video! Watch his movement, power and grace!

Within 48 hours of foaling we will worm all of our mares with Ivermectrin. This helps deter foal scours. is the cheapest on the Internet. My order arrived! Our foaling kit is slowly getting complete.

Our mares are around day 300, so we are starting to check them regularly for signs of foaling.

Click here to go to the March 2008 journal. This section includes the foaling of Lucky Four Real Doll.

Click here to go the April, 2008 journal. This section includes the foaling of Magic, Morning and Lily.

Click here to read May, 2008. Who knows what this section will document??


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