Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Foal Watch with a Very Sneaky Arabian Mare

Early this morning I posted an image of a mare's udder taken when foaling is imminent. Mare's Udder I'm also posting images of two other signs of foaling for those beginners looking for such pictures.

The image above shows the mare "broken down around the tail." Look closely on the side of the tail at the line of her hip. That concave line is the area where the muscles have relaxed and flattened out, leaving an soft impression. It runs from below the tail and up at an angle toward the middle of the horse's croup. In this picture that "dent" is difficult to see but look closely at the nuances of the shading. That are is slightly sunken from the relaxation of the muscles.

The second is a picture of the relaxation that is normally evident in the vulva. Mare's Vulva Look at the amount of swelling that is evident and the opening has elongated. This mare is not very big. Most of my mares start out the size that Aana has stretched out to. First timers and others not experience with foaling show get used to how their mares look before foaling is imminent so they can see the differences.

These pictures were taken of Bey Aana yesterday afternoon. For those who haven't been keeping up with my blog, Aana is an 18 year old purebred Arabian mare by Lazer Bey (by Bey Shah) and this is her fifth pregnancy. The particulars (history, training, etc) about Bey Aana and how she fits into our family are posted on this thread on MareStare. http://maremulligan.proboards40.com/index.cgi?board=nursery&action=display&thread=1178672162&page=1 I have never been able to catch this Arabian mare foaling.
I've spent many nights sleeping in a cold barn but she's always managed to foal without me.

The reason this concerns me is foaling can go south very quickly. Every minute can mean the difference between life and death for both the mare and the foal. The older mares get, the more likely they are to have complications in foaling. At 18 Bey Aana is moving into that category of aged mares even though as an Arabian horse is life expectancy is longer than other breeds. With that knowledge and the complicated birth of the twins last year and Krugorrs Heiress's foaling this year, I was really feeling gun shy. There was no way I was going to be comfortable just letting nature takes its course and hoping for the best. I was determined this mare would not foal without help if she needed it.

This year was to be totally different. With the live webcam, I was determined to catch the mare foaling. I could now watch the mare without her knowing AND I had help. I posted on the marestare message board about my sneaky sneaky mare. I had reinforcements as determined as I was to catch Aana in the act and hopefully, guarantee her safety and that of this foal.

In preparation the mare has been up on the internet for a couple of weeks. I spent many evenings studying her behavior. Knowing how a mare normally acts when no one is around is a great tool to help identify when things change. Things changing is a big key in determining a mare is going to foal.

Aana was a great study. The Arabian mare had very definite mannerisms when the foal moved or she experienced contractions. She flipped her tail like it was a weapon and threw her feed tub in frustration. This was in addition to the normal foot stomping, side biting, head flinging, pacing, tail rubbing and getting up and down that most mares preparing to foal do.

To be continued..........

Part 3

You can see some of her previous foals on our website, Rising Rainbow Arabians .


  1. I was supremely lucky and got to witness my first foal's birth last week, good thing I decided to come check on the mare since it only took 5 minutes! Pictures are up at my site.

    He is a BEAUTIFUL boy! I'm so glad everyone is doing well, except for the small glitches. Hope those tendons relax for the poor guy!

  3. We have a mare at the barn who is overdue to foal. I'll go look at the vulva today and see if there is indeed some swelling. Also, the tail area was never really clear to me, but you showed it perfectly.
    We are all excited about your mare. For some reason I can't seem to get your MareStare. Maybe since I'm using Firefox. I'll try on my old computer.

  4. Hi,

    I was searching for a few good Horse Racing Blogs over the net, and thankfully came across 'MiKael's Mania - Arabian Horses.

    Since, this blog is in most ways dedicated to horses, thought of dropping in a line or two on the upcoming Derby here in the UK.

    The Epsom Derby, which is considered to be one of the most prestigious flat thoroughbred horse races in the world is one of the most iconic events in the British sporting and social calendar. It will take place, this week, at the Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surry, England.

    I've been covering the latest news and tips on the Derby at my website - www.jumpingjockey.com

    For the 2006 Epsom Derby Video please visit http://www.jumpingjockey.blogspot.com


  5. I was sure I checked in yesterday but obviously not. What a cutie and a colt is good too, sorry it wasnt your filly you wanted but he is healthy has all the bits and pieces and that is the main thing.



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