Foaling Resources & FAQs

We are attaching some links, important tips, and also some help with ideas on putting together a foaling kit. ALSO, there are several books people find helpful - BLESSED ARE THE BROODMARES and BLESSED ARE THE FOALS are two such books. You can find these and more on

Feeding: Also, there are not a lot of supplements out there to help for pregnant mares specifically but MARE PLUS is one that is most recommended. GROW COLT is also recommended for young horses. But please read the directions! Also, feeding a digestive aid is a good idea as you never know what is going on in these horses' stomachs and intestines as they have had such an unregulated diet- some simplified, some not nutritional enough - while some have had great diets. A digestive aid is always a good idea and it doesn't hurt anything. OVER SUPPLEMENTING will hurt though so if you feed Mare Plus - you are probably getting all the vitamins you need. Also, the last 2 months, the mare and foal need more protein. OMALENE 300 is often a feed that is recommended. Some add a little extra alfalfa to the hay mixture - you just have to gauge the horse.

Henry & Associates Foaling Protocol Jan Easter's Foaling Help
Foaling Advice Column by Theresa Jones Ready For a Miracle? Article
Prepare in Advance Article Dealing with Foaling Problems
For Paints - Lethal White Syndrome First-Hand Foaling
Foaling Kits Imprinting
More on Foaling Update on Lethal White Syndrome



It is good to have a foaling kit on hand. The reasons are obvious but also, when we tend to be prepared for the worst, the worst doesn't happen. It is when we just assume everything will go GREAT, when disaster strikes.

Here is a list of things that are a must and then we will list things that are a good idea:

A Must: Iodine - not strong iodine - low percentage - 3-7% - Betadine solution should be good enough. This is to rub on the foal's cord. Also, scissors and a string/clamp in case you need to cut and clamp the cord. You should have gloves, preferably the ones that go up to your elbows. Halter and rope for the mare to get her up if she is straining and the foal appears to need to re-position itself. A fleet enema - gentle kind and you may use 75% of a dose for the foal to pass manure. Clean towels to rub off the foal. First aid basics in case something happens. Banamine to help the mare if she is in pain. This should be used after consultation with your veterinarian. A charged up cell phone with the veterinarian's number on speed dial. We think it smart especially if this is your first foal to keep your vet in on the loop when things start to happen. That way you know if he/she will be out of town soon or out of range to get to you quick if something bad happens. Maybe the vet can give you the number of an alternative vet to call in an emergency. You may want to braid and wrap the mare's tail as well. Many veterinarians and breeders today will worm the mare after foaling so to pass on to the foal cleanly. Ask your vet the recommended time to do this. But it is smart to just buy a safe wormer (like Ivemectrin) and keep it in the kit. You will also want a trash bag for the placentia. You will also want cotton or clothes to clean the mare with - a bucket and gentle soap. You will also want to wash your hands periodically. You may also want to keep a watch on hand. You also will want to have the foal on straw and not shavings.

Camera, treats for the mare, a brush.... these things are not necessary but easy to have on hand and can be nice to have and you may wish you HAD had them....

BASIC SIGNS OF FOALING: (some of this info was borrowed from other websites so if someone gets upset please, know this was done for the good of rescue horses and we are not meaning to infringe on copyrights):

Udder begins filling (3-4 weeks before foaling)
Softening of Croup area (around 2 weeks prior)
Waxing up (about 24-48 hours before)
Dripping milk (about 12 hours before)

Remember, all foalings vary!


Normal Progression:
First water bag breaks
2 front feet and head presented (10 minutes)
Feet, head, chest, hips (30 minutes)
Foal standing (1 to 2 hours)
Fetal membranes passed (less than 3 hours)
Foal nursing (2 to 4 hours)


1. Foaling process is interrupted or doesn't progress as above.
2. Fetal membranes are not passed by 5 hours.
3. Anything unusual occurs, ie. Depressed mare or foal, excessive bleeding, etc…


Foal - Make sure foal is breathing: dip navel in Iodine and Glycerine Mixture (50/50); leave mare and foal alone and undisturbed as much as possible; foal needs 20% body weight in colostrum (milk) within 18 hours, normal nursing will provide this if mare has not dripped excessively; enema solution should be given; placenta and foal should be examined for presence of disease and a blood test on the foal to insure he nursed enough colostrum.

Mare- Fetal membranes should be passed within 3 hours; check to see that they are complete and saved for examination. Check for tears in the vulva tissue and persistent hemorrhage, check mare's udder for milk; allow foal and mare to exercise each day.

Birth to 3 months: Nutrition for the mare is very important during this time. Hay, salt, calcium phosphorous supplement, protein supplement ½ to 1½ lbs. Grain per 100 pounds of body weight as needed to maintain her condition. For the foal daily turn out with a dry warm place to rest; Immunizations needed are Sleeping Sickness, Tetanus, Influenza and Rhinopneumonitis at 3 and 4 months, dewormed every month until the foal 6 months old then the foal can fit into the adult worming schedule.

Contact Anastasia Keyser (940) 368-2072 if there are any problems or questions