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Biscay72
29-03-05, 08:39 AM
Hi Guys,
I am looking at getting a mare who is in foal ( about 6-7 months ). But before I do, I have everything worked out to make sure she can foal safely etc. Basically my concerns are as follows: We have limited room, so am trying to work out the best place to actually put her. The place where I am agisting, have 2 mares in foal ( mine is due Oct theirs both January). We have worked out that the mares can go in the paddock together - that is fine. What I was wondering is, do they have to be seperated to foal??? Or is it okay to leave them together the whole time - or to seperate them to foal, then rejoin them once they have all foaled. Basically ( not sure if this is correct thinking or not ) we are thinking that keeping the mares together with the foals is better for the foals, because they learn respect having other mares telling them off etc. My mare is 16.2 and the dad is 17.3 so it will be a fairly big foal, and I want to make sure I can handle it the best way to make sure we have a fairly quiet, easy handling as a youngster. Also, we are going to try and wean the foals together so that they are together when mums go, so hopefully not so stressful ( am I on the right track???? ). And what about geldings>>?? Can they be in with the mares until they foal??? Or are we better off keeping them all compelelty seperate?? Also, eventually, the foal will be in with my competition horse, and how do I condition them so that I dont have a lunatic horse galloping around paddock( the foal )when I take the horse out to ride?? I just really like the breeding of this foal, and what to do justice for the stallion and breeder. I dont want to muck things up. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, before I decided to do this.
Regards
Biscay

Syzygy
29-03-05, 09:57 AM
Good idea to keep preggie girls together (assuming they get on ok) and remove just prior to foaling. If the mares are closely bonded, try to have the mare about to foal in a small paddock or yard quite nearby. You don't want to get the girls too upset. After the mare has foaled best to keep her separate for a week or so, depending on space. Probably not a good idea to put mother and child with a pregnant mare. Once they have all foaled, stick them back in the same paddock, again assuming they do not fight.
Mares are usually not great disiplinarians. That might have to wait until foals are weaned. Before weaning foals it is a good idea for them to get to know the 'uncle' or 'aunty' who will be looking after them. I usually have the minder paddocked with mums and kiddies for a few weeks before beginning weaning. Makes life a lot easier.
Feel free to contact me direct if you think I can be of assistance. Julie

Werdun
29-03-05, 10:11 AM
>What I was wondering
>is, do they have to be seperated to foal??? Or is it okay
>to leave them together the whole time - or to seperate them
>to foal, then rejoin them once they have all foaled.

Ideally, separate her to foal, leave mare and foal separate for a week or so to bond and then rejoin the herd. Big foals occasionally need help the first few times to stand until they build up enough strength to support their own weight so separation is a good idea anyway. Up until foaling, you could leave her with the herd and only bring her in at night.

>Basically ( not sure if this is correct thinking or not ) we
>are thinking that keeping the mares together with the foals
>is better for the foals, because they learn respect having
>other mares telling them off etc.

Yes it is, as well as giving the foals company their own age. The only thing to watch is if your broodmare is timid, one of the others yet to foal may try to "take" the foal. Some mares just get jealous...but if they are that close to foaling themselves, they should be okay.

>Also, we are
>going to try and wean the foals together so that they are
>together when mums go, so hopefully not so stressful ( am I
>on the right track???? ).

Depends entirely on the foal's temperament (and mum's!). I've had a foal that was so independant and it's mum so thoroughly sick of chasing after it that I simply put the foal in a stable with feed and took the mare back to the paddock and never heard a peep from either again. Yet her next foal was such a gorgeous tempered thing that the mum fretted about losing her and the foal was very good. That foal however needed company and (while not ideal) I ended up putting her in with my stallion for a few weeks until I could get things rearranged! When my stallion was weaned, things were a bit more complicated as the dam was protective of him and he was a real "mummy's boy". We floated her away and I put the colt in a stable with my old gelding who was perfect for the job and actually stopped the colt from trying to take on the stable door (weanlings can do very stupid things).

And what about geldings>>?? Can
>they be in with the mares until they foal??? Or are we
>better off keeping them all compelelty seperate??

That really depends on the geldings. Some geldings make the most wonderful nannies, but as a rule, I would seperate them until all the foals are a couple of weeks old. My colt's dam would take him to my old gelding for his afternoon nap...the gelding would stand over him while the dam went miles away grazing. That gelding was a very special horse though - one in a million - and both horses and humans trusted him unconditionally.

Also,
>eventually, the foal will be in with my competition horse,
>and how do I condition them so that I dont have a lunatic
>horse galloping around paddock( the foal )when I take the
>horse out to ride??

Hopefully, if you can work in sight of the youngster, it shouldn't be a problem. Going away for competitions probably will be though. If you can't arrange for a third horse in that paddock (maybe share with another weanling?) consider aquiring a mini or shetland as company.

Congrats for having the sense to ask these questions first! All are able to be overcome though...you just need to get to know the temperaments of all the horses involved to know what's best to do. If the mare is an experienced breeder, make sure you find out all her foaling signs, ie how many days before she foals does she wax up, produce milk, drop away around the tail, etc...any temperament changes (I have a mare who goes extremely sooky the day before she foals). It will save some stress and sleep for you to know these things!

Katherine

Katherine

Biscay72
29-03-05, 10:23 AM
Hi thanks guys, keep the advice coming! I need to know as much as I can.
Yes, I do actually have 2 miniatures, so it seems they may very well come in handy !
The mare is a maiden at 15, so I am obviously unable to know of what signs she may have. Other than looking out for the "normal" signs. She is part clyde, and I am told she has a lovely laid back nature !
Wow, there is so much to learn ! and organise! But, I think I can do it right !
Kind regards
Biscay