Expert opinions please…not sure if she’s in foal

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Laura&HerMinis

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So. I did NOT think I would be posting my own thread here for a couple of years yet. But…I think there might be a possibility that my new rescue mare is pregnant. Here’s some back story: she and another mare and two studs were running wild on a reservation until about January. One stud was the other mini I adopted, now a gelding. The other stud is a rabicano sorrel pinto, now also a gelding. My mare is really looking dropped, I’m including references of my other mare’s stomach (who is definitely not pregnant). I have all the pictures here that you should need as I’ve been stalking the mare stare threads lol. 5E8C5934-4CA5-427A-9ABF-1C3FF3E62F5D.jpeg E92B3450-CFA3-4ADB-8A6F-90851637E4C9.jpeg 2C679F89-84E5-46A8-A5CB-91ECC420DB16.jpeg
third photo is my non pregnant mares belly, first two are of the new mare. Here are some teat and back end etc photos:9BB3C319-4467-46A9-A208-5C380DC62DEE.jpeg 8A812146-44D7-454E-B39D-470B178E8B66.jpeg 2B2EF69B-D70D-4F58-9C69-60E47965D017.jpeg D6F73DDA-7D45-46CA-9FC8-99C41B3ACDBD.jpeg 88541897-1C4D-4737-A81A-8A43F3D5CA46.jpeg
 
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elizabeth.conder

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She definitely could be. Hard to say from just pictures. If she is that far along you should be able to feel foal movement. I have found it is easiest to feel right after they run around for a bit or while they are eating.
 

Laura&HerMinis

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She definitely could be. Hard to say from just pictures. If she is that far along you should be able to feel foal movement. I have found it is easiest to feel right after they run around for a bit or while they are eating.
I felt something on her left side just above her udder, right where the arrow is. Lol Arrow I didn’t do that on purpose haha 😂 77FF515B-6FF3-40D3-AD88-308B63D59839.jpeg
 

elizabeth.conder

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She looks a bit lopsided, but having one back leg forward can make it seem that way too. Foal movement is usually quite obvious, with good solid kicks. Especially that far along. So you very well may be feeling something.
 

Laura&HerMinis

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She looks a bit lopsided, but having one back leg forward can make it seem that way too. Foal movement is usually quite obvious, with good solid kicks. Especially that far along. So you very well may be feeling something.
She had her two back legs pretty much in the same spot. I felt three pretty solid kicks. I’m gonna try tomorrow to either have her get some exercise or give her something to eat (does anything work or does it have to be specifically hay, grain?? I’ve never done this before lol I’m very new to this!) and see if I can feel something! How long on average after exercise or eating does the foal normally kick? Also can I just walk her around or does she need to trot or canter?
 

elizabeth.conder

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It really just depends. No real science to it. Basically think about what it will take to "wake" the foal up. Just walking may be enough or it may take her doing more than that. I usually feel during grain because since they are foragers they are basically eating all day. So the foal is used to that grazing feeling. Sometimes what I do is just a gentle jog with the mare for maybe a minute. Should not take much at this stage to feel movement.
 

Laura&HerMinis

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It really just depends. No real science to it. Basically think about what it will take to "wake" the foal up. Just walking may be enough or it may take her doing more than that. I usually feel during grain because since they are foragers they are basically eating all day. So the foal is used to that grazing feeling. Sometimes what I do is just a gentle jog with the mare for maybe a minute. Should not take much at this stage to feel movement.
Gotcha. I’ll do that tomorrow when it’s light out and I’ll also see if I can film some movement too. If she is pregnant, do I have to feed her anything special or anything?
 

Taz

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If you think she's pregnant I'd put her on a maternity feed. It sounds like she could be. Are you able to set anything up to watch her? Do you have stalls or somewhere warm(er) and dry for her to foal? How old was the other stud she was with? From that udder pic it looks like she has foaled before so you're lucky there, she knows what she's doing. Welcome to the 'I'm going crazy' foal watch group!
 

Laura&HerMinis

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If you think she's pregnant I'd put her on a maternity feed. It sounds like she could be. Are you able to set anything up to watch her? Do you have stalls or somewhere warm(er) and dry for her to foal? How old was the other stud she was with? From that udder pic it looks like she has foaled before so you're lucky there, she knows what she's doing. Welcome to the 'I'm going crazy' foal watch group!
I do have stalls, they aren’t heated but they are dry and I can put straw in there. They are in a shelter in the pasture she’s in, the open part is facing south. Once I’m more sure, I’ll probably be looking into a live cam and also a marewatchers subscription so you guys can help me out!! Any recommendations for a live cam that works but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? I’m kind of on a tight budget…lol. The other stud she was with is 6. And I just realized, all of us that are waiting for a possible Dec/Jan foal have a black mare 😂 @Taz, you have Izzy who is black, and @elizabeth.conder has her black mare, Belle. That’s kind of a weird little coincidence! Anyone have any suggestions for warming up a stall area? I’m more than willing to do a little project if it will help her, but like I said I’m kind of on a tight budget so I couldn’t buy too much. I’m going to look into some mare and foal feed, Step Right has one and I’m looking to get Arrow onto Step Two. Only thing is the Step Two says for high performance, metabolic issues and growing horses. Arrow is still growing. I had my big horse that needed muscle on Step 4 Complete Pellet but I read that they don’t recommend it for growing horses!! Aghhh and I love step right, so I’d like to stay with that brand if I can! Any help would be very welcome!
 

Laura&HerMinis

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Okay so here’s a little update: I now have gone from 50% thinking she could be pregnant yesterday, to 75% thinking pregnant today. She’s not super well halterbroke so I couldn’t really make her trot, but I walked her around for a couple minutes and felt some little kicks. Then I let her go and free lunged her and tried to feel again. I free lunged her probably 2-3 times, and especially after the last time I felt slightly more solid kicks. Tried to get video but it’s hard with a black horse. Didn’t get more photos yet but will later today. And she now has a name, Indi! I’m thinking she’ll have Indigo in her show name. So that’s the update for now. Any tips on taking video of a foal kicking, lol?
 

Taz

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Love the name! If you're feeling kicks, ie punches, then I'm going with she's pregnant, especially if the other stud is older. Any chance Arrow is actually her kid? Were there other mares with the three of them? I can't help you at all with a video,sorry, mine never work. I wouldn't try to get a heater in your run in. I think you'd have to go with a heat lamp and they have to be really close to the bedding to work and only on a small space, not very safe. I'd make sure there are no drafts(plywood works great), or as few as possible, lots of fluffy dry straw or hay and have a couple of waterproof dog blankets for the baby. I fold a fleece blanket a few times and sew that inside. It's the first couple of days when they can't regulate their own temp and especially when they are still wet that you have to watch closely but around here a winter baby will have a blanket on for the rest of the winter. I use a wide angle camera I got on amazon.ca. I have it hard wired into the tv in my bedroom(no home internet) but I think it can go to your router as well, not 100% on that though. Q-camera security camera 1080P HD 4 in 1 TV1/CVI/AHV/CVBS. It should come up if you type that in. The wide angle/fisheye cameras are great, they show you a huge area, almost no blind spots. The wifi cameras are actually easier to find and cheaper than most of the analog(wire directly to a monitor) cameras. If you can run a cable from the shelter to your modem you can get one that has internet and power all in one. You don't need the most expensive camera, $30 - $50 should work. The cable is the expensive part, look around for that. Amazon lets you do returns easily if the camera doesn't work and has a huge selection, I got my cable either from them or best buy, can't remember.
 

Laura&HerMinis

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Love the name! If you're feeling kicks, ie punches, then I'm going with she's pregnant, especially if the other stud is older. Any chance Arrow is actually her kid? Were there other mares with the three of them? I can't help you at all with a video,sorry, mine never work. I wouldn't try to get a heater in your run in. I think you'd have to go with a heat lamp and they have to be really close to the bedding to work and only on a small space, not very safe. I'd make sure there are no drafts(plywood works great), or as few as possible, lots of fluffy dry straw or hay and have a couple of waterproof dog blankets for the baby. I fold a fleece blanket a few times and sew that inside. It's the first couple of days when they can't regulate their own temp and especially when they are still wet that you have to watch closely but around here a winter baby will have a blanket on for the rest of the winter. I use a wide angle camera I got on amazon.ca. I have it hard wired into the tv in my bedroom(no home internet) but I think it can go to your router as well, not 100% on that though. Q-camera security camera 1080P HD 4 in 1 TV1/CVI/AHV/CVBS. It should come up if you type that in. The wide angle/fisheye cameras are great, they show you a huge area, almost no blind spots. The wifi cameras are actually easier to find and cheaper than most of the analog(wire directly to a monitor) cameras. If you can run a cable from the shelter to your modem you can get one that has internet and power all in one. You don't need the most expensive camera, $30 - $50 should work. The cable is the expensive part, look around for that. Amazon lets you do returns easily if the camera doesn't work and has a huge selection, I got my cable either from them or best buy, can't remember.
Yeah haha that’s what I’m thinking too. The kicks aren’t super hard but they feel different than her stomach gurgling for sure. There is a chance Arrow is her kid actually, the rescue people don’t know cause he was almost 2 in Jan when they picked him up. I’m thinking he possibly is cause he tried to nurse on her yesterday and she bit him lol 😂 there was one other mare with them. Okay so I have to get some dog blankets closet to the date then. Velcro on the front? I think actually I’d like to have a camera hard wired into a TV here as well, that would probably be easiest. How exactly does that work? I’m getting way too excited lol I can’t wait to see if she has a foal!!! Looks like I’ve got some projects to do! I’ll have to close in one stall out of my four for her, somehow make a door for it so I can get in and out and also so there are no/very little drafts. Then I have to buy a camera lol aghhh so much stuff that I wasn’t expecting! I love that she may have a baby but I wish it wasn’t going to be in winter! Any other tips for keeping baby warm after it dries off? Is it’s coat fluffy enough with a blanket to keep it warm even around -30 C?
 

Laura&HerMinis

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So here’s another update with some pics. I walked around with her quite quickly a few times, and I felt for sure 99% sure one pretty strong little kick! Just one, but it felt much bigger than the others, definitely not a tummy rumble! Also I was wondering, I think I heard something about if you touch their belly they lift it up if they’re pregnant? Something along those lines? Is that true?
Here are the photos I took today:B616C392-F102-4DF5-A171-4FA714DE64A7.jpeg F08F2544-4D7A-4CDE-A41C-DE1E70D34597.jpeg 598B7638-89B5-41A9-B91D-61F34889C2B8.jpeg F6552C87-8DB4-46E5-AB16-2CED15A50C35.jpeg 72F728A7-A90D-4359-BB29-AD7A6512C29B.jpeg 28E285EF-A161-4FD9-9FED-D101A24FA09C.jpeg C3F03FAE-F35B-4522-90DD-35B010C58525.jpeg E36D17B1-B742-4EDE-9EFB-D41CC41058A0.jpeg
 

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elizabeth.conder

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The tummy lift is usually something you see within 48 hrs of foaling. It’s a natural reaction to getting close and instinctively lifting to allow a foal to nurse easier.

Okay tell us the dates she could possible be bred and let’s see how far along she should be.

I would DEFINITELY get some warm foa blankets. They tend to have a lot of hair when born but with that low of temperatureI don’t know that it will be enough. Remember foals are very fragile especially when new. If you can get a livestock heat lamp that should help. And I would use towels to dry the foal completely. I agree with Taz, try to get the shelter set up in a way to minimize any drafts. Bedding will help hold warmth as well.

There are many many cameras that work and are cheap. Amazon is great to use. If you decide you want to see what you would need for Marewatchers, you are welcome to PM and I can get you connected to the tech and setup lady. Otherwise I’m sure we can help you find a camera that will suit your needs. Personally I prefer hardwired simply because then you don’t have to rely on WiFi if the weather gets bad. Also then you aren’t as limited with range. It’s a lot more work to get it set up though.


To try to get video of movement will be difficult with that much hair. You can go ahead and clip a small area around her belly if you want which will make it easier to see and feel movement. Don’t want to overdo it. But it’s advised to clip there anyway because it helps the foal find the udder easier and helps keep he foal from ingesting that long winter coat which can cause major issues. You can always blanket until she starts getting close too. Once she gets close, she needs to not wear a blanket. And for a foal blanket, Velcro is the safest. There are many stories of the foal getting caught on something with either their blanket or their dams blanket (and halter).
 

Laura&HerMinis

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The tummy lift is usually something you see within 48 hrs of foaling. It’s a natural reaction to getting close and instinctively lifting to allow a foal to nurse easier.

Okay tell us the dates she could possible be bred and let’s see how far along she should be.

I would DEFINITELY get some warm foa blankets. They tend to have a lot of hair when born but with that low of temperatureI don’t know that it will be enough. Remember foals are very fragile especially when new. If you can get a livestock heat lamp that should help. And I would use towels to dry the foal completely. I agree with Taz, try to get the shelter set up in a way to minimize any drafts. Bedding will help hold warmth as well.

There are many many cameras that work and are cheap. Amazon is great to use. If you decide you want to see what you would need for Marewatchers, you are welcome to PM and I can get you connected to the tech and setup lady. Otherwise I’m sure we can help you find a camera that will suit your needs. Personally I prefer hardwired simply because then you don’t have to rely on WiFi if the weather gets bad. Also then you aren’t as limited with range. It’s a lot more work to get it set up though.


To try to get video of movement will be difficult with that much hair. You can go ahead and clip a small area around her belly if you want which will make it easier to see and feel movement. Don’t want to overdo it. But it’s advised to clip there anyway because it helps the foal find the udder easier and helps keep he foal from ingesting that long winter coat which can cause major issues. You can always blanket until she starts getting close too. Once she gets close, she needs to not wear a blanket. And for a foal blanket, Velcro is the safest. There are many stories of the foal getting caught on something with either their blanket or their dams blanket (and halter).
Okay that makes sense! Well it’s really hard to say when she could be bred, she was running wild with the studs (Arrow and the other one) all her life, then in Jan they were taken in. I don’t exactly know when the studs were gelded, but I’m assuming they were put in with all the mares while they were still studs and right after they were gelded. So if she got bred in Jan or Feb, she would be due in a couple of months. I might message the rescue and ask them if she was running with the studs or if they were in separate pens on the reserve, and also if they always kept that herd together at the rescue. I might clip or trim the hair there, if it’s just there does she need a blanket? She’s been wild for five years so I feel like she wouldn’t, but for sure the baby would. I think I’m going to look at the camera @Taz suggested to me, I really think I want to hardwire it too. What exactly is needed with hardwiring a camera to a TV? Indi most likely won’t be wearing a halter while foaling, I don’t like to keep them on and she’s doing much better with being caught. And if she doesn’t need a blanket, I won’t use one.
 

elizabeth.conder

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I would only blanket if she needs it. Hopefully that small amount of trimming won’t make a big impact. I have mine run to a monitor. It depends what type of camera and tv you have. Since I bought a bigger system, mine have coax from the camera to the receiver and then a usb from the receiver to the monitor. Pretty simple. You may have to get a converter depending on what you go with. But it shouldn’t be hard.
 

Laura&HerMinis

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I would only blanket if she needs it. Hopefully that small amount of trimming won’t make a big impact. I have mine run to a monitor. It depends what type of camera and tv you have. Since I bought a bigger system, mine have coax from the camera to the receiver and then a usb from the receiver to the monitor. Pretty simple. You may have to get a converter depending on what you go with. But it shouldn’t be hard.
Yeah that’s what I thought. Ohhhh I think I gotcha, that sounds pretty straightforward! By the way, how’s your Belle doing? When is she due again?
 

Taz

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From those pictures it looks like you have a while to go, lots of time to get ready and get her used to being in a stall at night. You might want to lock Arrow in a stall next to her so she has company. I'll figure out the cables and attachments I had to use to hook up my camera and let you know tomorrow. It's really simple but you do need an hd tv, I think. Basically what I have is a coax cable run from my tv to her stall, about 150-200 ft. The camera needs to be plugged in so if you don't have an outlet in your shelter you can get a coax cable that is twinned with a power cable and plug it in next to your tv. You need a connector between your tv and the cable, I'll figure out what that is and let you know tomorrow. Pretty simple, running the cables takes the most time.
 

Laura&HerMinis

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From those pictures it looks like you have a while to go, lots of time to get ready and get her used to being in a stall at night. You might want to lock Arrow in a stall next to her so she has company. I'll figure out the cables and attachments I had to use to hook up my camera and let you know tomorrow. It's really simple but you do need an hd tv, I think. Basically what I have is a coax cable run from my tv to her stall, about 150-200 ft. The camera needs to be plugged in so if you don't have an outlet in your shelter you can get a coax cable that is twinned with a power cable and plug it in next to your tv. You need a connector between your tv and the cable, I'll figure out what that is and let you know tomorrow. Pretty simple, running the cables takes the most time.
Yes exactly, I was thinking about how I’m going to get her used to being in a stall. I don’t even have doors on the stalls so I will have to build one lol. And I’ll also have to figure out how to make it mostly draft free. Ohhh I see, sounds good! I think I have an HD tv but I’ll have to double check. If you had to guess, how far along do you think she would be? Cause she could’ve been bred anytime last year, I’m not sure exactly when.
 

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