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I bought a new driving mare at a sale in Iowa in September. My "I" bought a mare I mean I had a trusted friend go to the sale for me and pick out one he thought would be a good match for my needs. He bought me a great little 10 year old sorrel pinto mare whom I love. She's exactly what I was looking for. I named her Candace

 

She was a round little thing, as a lot of minis are, when I got her. We've been driving her around for pleasure with our other horses and she never seemed to lose any weight. My horses are down with my parents horses in the winter since their weather is good all winter long. I hadn't seen Candace in about a month and when I saw her on Monday I was shocked. My dad thought she was fat but I'm pretty sure she's pregnant. Her belly is really low and not really round. It kinda sticks out on the side (sometimes more one side than the other) and then is really round underneath. My gelding, Major, has a round belly but he's round from his spine all the way around. Her spine is flat...maybe just a bit higher than her back even.

 

No idea who the father is since she was bought at a sale. I'm a little overwhelmed since I've always left breeding to the pros. She's in a dirt stall made from regular pipe horse panels. We had calf panels wired to them because we felt that the minis could roll right under them so the foal should be safe as far as escaping or anything getting to her. The barn and horse property is about 8 miles from my parents house and they are down there twice a day. 8:30AM and 6:30PM. The neighbor has a lot of experience with foaling and Candace is in a stall that he can see directly from his property. He's said he'll do a visual check when he's at his place which is usually 2-3 times a day since he keeps his work trucks there. Also, our property is right next to a rock quarry and the woman who works in the office has her window looking out on our property directly and we've talked to her. She's a horse person and told us she alerted the last owner to one of his horses foaling so she's keeping an eye on them Monday-Friday 8:00-5:00.

 

Anything I need to know to get me through this. Our vet said just let her do her thing and call if there seems to be an issue with her or the foal. He said the dirt stall is fine since it's not deep sand. Should we give her some straw anyway?? She's eating pretty much free choice grass hay right now. Do I need to add grain or anything now or not until she's nursing? We have no eyes on her during the night and I'm sure that's when she'll decide to give birth... I'm way out of my depth here.

 

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These pics are 4 days apart. The first one is from Tuesday April 3rd when I first realized she must be pregnant. The second was taken on Saturday April 7th. Her udders were much more swollen in just 4 days.

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Is everyone with me in thinking she is, indeed, pregnant?

Edited by MajorClementine

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Most likely!

Mares usually bag up in a six week span, unless they are mine.

I would figure out a way to keep an eye on her at night as she gets closer. Some minis can have problems and may need assistance.

I sleep in our barn at night. It has been cold and our barn is not heated. Had to double up on sleeping bags for a couple nights.

If she is not losing weight, I would just feed her the hay. Once the foal is born, feed her a 16% Mare and foal grain. It would be nice to have straw or hay in her stall. We bed our stalls with hay. The mares nibble on it on and off all night. We are not feeding any grain at this time. All are chubby, so will keep an eye on them once foals have arrived.

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Yes, I'm another that votes pregnant .

 

She is still wide , so you have a little time yet. "Sticks out more on the one side than the other " ( pregnant :))

 

Great news your neighbor has foaling experience, You could add some straw to the stall for comfort if you wish, just no wood shavings.

 

This could well be your next driving superstar majorclemintine :)

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Another question. She's being transported up here to my place on May 8th. We have a way to keep her and baby separate in the trailer if she's foaled by then. If not, is there any reason we shouldn't transport her? It's a 4 hour drive up the freeway. I'd really like to get her up here sooner since she and the other minis are housed on my property and I can keep a watch on her day and night. I'm trying to arrange that.

 

I'm so excited and so nervous at the same time. No wonder I don't breed. This would drive me crazy every year. I can't wait to see gender and color! Praying that it all goes well...

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Usually you can transport 30 days before foaling, some say doesn't matter.

If she has already foaled before moving, definitely put her and baby together loose and separate from other horses. For a four hour trip, I would wait a couple weeks before transporting.

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Candace is being transported up to my place tomorrow. She's traveling with the other minis and my riding horse who will be separated in the back. She'll be in my back yard where I can keep a close eye on her. I'm thinking I need to order a foal blanket ASAP since we still get pretty cold at night. Our officiAL frost date is June 9th!

 

I'll feel much better keeping an eye on her myself. My husband and his dad have lots of experience with mares foaling.

 

Feeling much better about the whole situation.

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I'm hardly one of the experts but just wanted to mention what worked great for me for blankets. A waterproof dog coat from the local tack store with a folded fleece blanket sown inside. My little guy has two and has been warm even in the rain/snow/wind crazy weather here. It's fast and easy.

 

Good luck, you'll feel much better when you can see her all the time.

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Bringing them home will give you peace of mind. Some anyway! If you are anything like me, there is always SOME darn thing to worry about. I am keeping my fingers crossed for an uneventful travel day!

How does she look? Has she bagged up anymore or changed shape?

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I won't see her until tomorrow morning. I just talked to my parents who are bringing the up and they were just past the half way point. Said everyone is just fine.

 

The only down side is it is quite a bit colder here than it is down south and they just happen to be bringing them up for a short cold snap. However, I'm housing them at my grandfather's barn for a couple of nights where I can at least shut them in out of the wind. It's going to get down to 25F for a low but they will be out of any weather so I think that they will be just fine. Plenty of food, fresh water, dry shelter. It's going to warm up nicely in the next few days. I feel bad for the horses every spring, even if they haven't wintered down south. We get second and third winter up here just when you think it's finally warming up. They start shedding out and BANG snow!

 

I actually have a couple of waterproof dog coats here that I've used for my pointers. And wouldn't you know, I made them fleece liners this year. I'll go toss them in the wash. Thanks for the idea! How great!

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Oh, not that you can't figure this out but it might save you the trial and error I had....

Fold the extra at the bum under and a couple stitches will hold it, take the neck in on both sides with a couple stitches, put a butt strap on when you know where it should be and do the belly strap snug but not tight. It shouldn't move even if your little one does barrel roles like mine did hating the blanket the first couple days.

 

What everyone says is true. All the worry and sleepless nights are worth it when they get here.

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