Breeding Minis, Not for the Faint of Heart

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Dec 18, 2002
Reaction score
We are still recovering from last week. We had 4 foals born in 1 week and I am the one here that does the foaling out. Three are gorgeous and healthy. This post is about the other one. At about 3 am Monday a week ago Dancer went down in labor and I am seeing only legs no head. I go in and feel only ears! Freaking out I call my neighbors, who are also my horse trainers, and run in the bedroom like a mad woman screaming at Paul to get out of bed and help me (Poor Paul). We have a great system that has saved many foals and mares and we take a big soft rope that we throw over the rafters in our barn and make a rope sling with rope going around mare behind front legs and again in front of back legs. Once we had her up and I had help to hold her still I started trying to get the nose up but poor Dancer was pushing against me with all her might. I was pushing the baby back and she was pushing it out. Of course I was using my arm that is injured and may need surgery so its not very strong. I got my fingers in the babys mouth and still couldn't budge the head. Finally Dancer took a couple steps forward and suddenly the baby slid back in farther and with fingers in its mouth I could pop the nose up. I pulled that baby right out and just as more help arrived I laid the baby down and found we had a live foal!!! It was a super tiny snow white colt with blue eyes. Now this colt is out of a sorrel overo mare and a solid black Buckeroo grandson. So it wasn't a lethal white and all I could guess was maybe a max. white sabino? So yeah we have a live baby, he gets up and totters around life is good!

Dancer seemed to be in a lot of pain and I gave her some banamine. We all came inside for coffee and Paul heads off to work about 4:30am. No sleep for horse breeders! By daylight she was still down and I see lots of red tissue around her back end , NOT GOOD!! We get the vet out and of course I knew by then her uterus was prolapsing. This is a 5 year old mare, only her 2nd baby and it was only about 30 minutes from Dancers 1st contractions till I pulled the baby out. She was not a worn out older broodmare or some poor mare out in a pasture trying to foal alone. Vet says its fairly rare in horses but common in cows and they see it in llamas, alpacas etc more often. Anyway they got Dancer put back together and so far so good for her. Her adorable baby was so very full of it and backed up to anything and everyone and let us have it with both back feet.

The morning of his 3rd day I go out to the stall and the baby cant stand up. I find he has a very swollen and sore right hind leg in the stifle area. We will never know if his leg got hurt first or if he crashed and mom hurt him trying to get him up. Either way he was in bad shape and vets were both in the middle of other emergencies. Our friends and trainers called and an equine acupuncturist/ chiropractic was on her way to their farm to help one of their new born foals. They said bring your baby down. Paul picked him up and he was almost dead but I took him anyway.

What a learning experience that was! She took a virtually dead baby and brought it back to life at least 3 times. The baby even came around enough to stand up. We tube fed him 2 times and she worked on him for hours. Sadly he was just too young and fragile to keep fighting and finally we saw he was was unable to go on. He died being petted and loved on b y several of us that had gathered trying to help including neighbors and friends.

I had to come home and treat Dancer and she knew I had left with her baby and came back without him. She smelled me all over and of course I had her baby's smell on me. She looked at me and cried. Sigh! I learned a lot from all this and will definitely go the acupuncture/ holistic route again if need be. I have seen a cat go from paralyzed to being able walk again with only acupuncture when I was working at a vet hosp. when all our traditional medicine could not help. Dancer is now recuperating at a friends farm far from any stallions as she should never be bred again. She has been a spoiled and loved baby here all her life and now she is going to be a childrens show mare in the future. She will get lots of love and hugs which makes me happy. Here are some pix of Dancer as a baby.



Im so sorry for your loss but so glad your mare is okay. It is so heartbreaking
Aw, I'm so sorry!
Glad to hear that Dancer will be ok, though it is so sad to lose a foal, especially after its here and all seems well, sigh....

Thanks for sharing your ordeal, I hope you never have to experience anything like it again (though like you said, breeding is NOT for the faint of heart!)
So sorry for your loss. It is a heartbreaking ordeal at times. Hugs!
Losing the foals is horrible as we have lost our first two this year. I feel for you and also it is sad for your little mare
I wish more new people to minis would read posts like this before they thinking breeding minis is alot of fun. Yes sometimes it is, but sometimes its just heartbreaking, and trying to do everything right doesn't always guarentee you a live healthy foal. There is just as much sorrow as there is happiness.

I am very sorry for your loss, even losing one is devastating.
Words can't express my sympathy. Your story brought me to tears, how heart wrenching to have struggled so hard, see him thriving, then suddenly gone.
I am so very sorry for your loss, prayers being sent your way for you and your mare.
I am so sorry to hear all this.

It really hit home to me that in all this grief and suffering you took the time to answer my questions and even the time to get pictures for me to better understand, helping me to feel better about my situation and relieve my panic. (not once mentioning your own suffering or saying..lady I got my own problems.) I can not fully express how this made me feel about you as a person of great character.

I've always admired your horses and felt you were a knowlegable horse breeder...why I turned to you when I needed answers on my girls... but now I also admire you as a person.

Praying that the rest of your foaling season is better.
Reading about how your Dancer cried made me want to cry too..........That's always the hardest part. Bless you for all you did for both your little mare AND her baby.

I wish you were just a little closer. It sounds like both of us could use a hug. I know you have many more babies coming. Wishing you love, health & lots of spots.

Last edited by a moderator:
Jennifer I am so sorry to hear of your sure did all you could do and sometimes its just not mean`t to be...

Sending {{{HUGS}}} to you and Dancer.

Latest posts