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My Mare is Possibly Pregnant.

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Pitter Patter

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Hi everyone, haven’t updated in a while as there really has been nothing to update! I decided that the vet made a mistake and Rosie is faking so I turned her out with the others. Then my farrier came out last week, looks at Rosie and says “Oh NOW she looks pregnant!” 😳🤦‍♀️ Honestly at this stage in the game I really hope she’s not.
Ya know, I am beginning to think that Rosie and Pepper are in collusion and trying to drive us batty! I was so sure Rosie would be due by now. And Pepper? My vet thinks I am ridiculous for thinking she could be pregnant (look at photos posted before or after this posting). I hear ya on hoping Rosie isn't pregnant and due now or soon! I am so worried about Snickers having a winter baby! I am pretty sure she is further along than three months...In April she had a bit of belly and already looked pregnant with movement! Do you have any updated pics of Rosie?
 

MerMaeve

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I've been super busy (getting ready and over the wedding on the 12th) here too. The barn is 85% ready for Miss Squirt. Electrician is mostly done, although he needs to finish running the wire to the house. We want to get stall mats but they are so expensive! :p We got a water trough, feed dishes (rubber), a mineral block + holder, and for feed we decided to go with Safe Choice Original feed. And we bought one bale of Teff 1st cutting grass hay tonight locally. The gent suggested we get only one bale of hay until we know she likes it. (Very smart!)
 

Jodie

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Ya know, I am beginning to think that Rosie and Pepper are in collusion and trying to drive us batty! I was so sure Rosie would be due by now. And Pepper? My vet thinks I am ridiculous for thinking she could be pregnant (look at photos posted before or after this posting). I hear ya on hoping Rosie isn't pregnant and due now or soon! I am so worried about Snickers having a winter baby! I am pretty sure she is further along than three months...In April she had a bit of belly and already looked pregnant with movement! Do you have any updated pics of Rosie?
I think you might be right! To be honest pictures are very deceptive right now - she’s getting quite the thick coat again so she definitely looks big but it could just be because of the fluff at this point.
Pepper has absolutely grown looking at the pictures. Very strange situations for both of us it seems! And I sure hope that Snickers is just in the early stages and you don’t have a winter baby on the way🤞
 

Pitter Patter

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So Miss Pepper is as big as a house! She doesn't seem uncomfortable at all. Taz, maybe it is a false pregnancy or retained aborted material. Other things running through my mind is that she could be bloated ( I don't know if horses get bloat like ruminants do, which can be helped with baking soda), or could she really get THAT fat so quickly? She isn't showing signs of colic at all and acts ravenous with food. Took her for a bit of a walk tonight to see if maybe it was gas and she might expel it, but it was already getting dark and there are fast cars on our road. She's all black and I didn't think of anything reflective until we were already on the walk (dark came on so fast!!) so we headed back. She didn't seem to be in any discomfort walking and kept wanting to get to the grass. I tried pushing gently on her belly and the only thing that seemed obvious was that she was getting irritated with me and would walk off. Or a very, very slight chance she IS pregnant and vet was wrong. Also she tested negative with Wee Foal 120 some time ago, but there can be errors with that if done too early or too late to detect growth hormone. So it would seem I get to call the same vet back. Not too many equine vets in the area and I have a long history with this vet (good) but his heart just doesn't seem to be in it for some time now. UGH.....Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

Pitter Patter

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I've been super busy (getting ready and over the wedding on the 12th) here too. The barn is 85% ready for Miss Squirt. Electrician is mostly done, although he needs to finish running the wire to the house. We want to get stall mats but they are so expensive! :p We got a water trough, feed dishes (rubber), a mineral block + holder, and for feed we decided to go with Safe Choice Original feed. And we bought one bale of Teff 1st cutting grass hay tonight locally. The gent suggested we get only one bale of hay until we know she likes it. (Very smart!)
Hey, check out Craigs list (Northern Michigan). Seems like I saw someone had tons of them for sale (used but looked clean in the pictures). Not sure if the listing is still there. I recall they were a decent price. Your little girl is going to be so lucky!!
 

Pitter Patter

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So Miss Pepper is as big as a house! She doesn't seem uncomfortable at all. Taz, maybe it is a false pregnancy or retained aborted material. Other things running through my mind is that she could be bloated ( I don't know if horses get bloat like ruminants do, which can be helped with baking soda), or could she really get THAT fat so quickly? She isn't showing signs of colic at all and acts ravenous with food. Took her for a bit of a walk tonight to see if maybe it was gas and she might expel it, but it was already getting dark and there are fast cars on our road. She's all black and I didn't think of anything reflective until we were already on the walk (dark came on so fast!!) so we headed back. She didn't seem to be in any discomfort walking and kept wanting to get to the grass. I tried pushing gently on her belly and the only thing that seemed obvious was that she was getting irritated with me and would walk off. Or a very, very slight chance she IS pregnant and vet was wrong. Also she tested negative with Wee Foal 120 some time ago, but there can be errors with that if done too early or too late to detect growth hormone. So it would seem I get to call the same vet back. Not too many equine vets in the area and I have a long history with this vet (good) but his heart just doesn't seem to be in it for some time now. UGH.....Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
So checking around on the internet she may have hay belly, Cushing's, or parasites! Yikes! Since she's been wormed about two months ago I doubt it is parasites (hopefully!). But hay belly is a big possibility. Anyone ever deal with hay belly?
 

Taz

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So checking around on the internet she may have hay belly, Cushing's, or parasites! Yikes! Since she's been wormed about two months ago I doubt it is parasites (hopefully!). But hay belly is a big possibility. Anyone ever deal with hay belly?
I wouldn't worry about cushings unless she is REALLY hairy all summer and has extra weight everywhere not just her belly, she's young for it. A hay belly is absolutely fine, it's just large amounts of forage in their gut, not a weight problem. What do you worm her with? I don't think it's gas, if it was she would be uncomfortable and it wouldn't be for this long. Do not give her baking soda like a goat. Tilly lost a lot of belly when she had Finn but still has a very large broodmare belly and hay belly, if you didn't know you would think she was in foal. I think they get a bigger hay belly after a lot of foals from their stomach muscles being so stretched out. I wouldn't panic over it.
 

Taz

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I've been super busy (getting ready and over the wedding on the 12th) here too. The barn is 85% ready for Miss Squirt. Electrician is mostly done, although he needs to finish running the wire to the house. We want to get stall mats but they are so expensive! :p We got a water trough, feed dishes (rubber), a mineral block + holder, and for feed we decided to go with Safe Choice Original feed. And we bought one bale of Teff 1st cutting grass hay tonight locally. The gent suggested we get only one bale of hay until we know she likes it. (Very smart!)
You must be so excited, she's coming home soon! Any luck finding her a friend?
 

Pitter Patter

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I wouldn't worry about cushings unless she is REALLY hairy all summer and has extra weight everywhere not just her belly, she's young for it. A hay belly is absolutely fine, it's just large amounts of forage in their gut, not a weight problem. What do you worm her with? I don't think it's gas, if it was she would be uncomfortable and it wouldn't be for this long. Do not give her baking soda like a goat. Tilly lost a lot of belly when she had Finn but still has a very large broodmare belly and hay belly, if you didn't know you would think she was in foal. I think they get a bigger hay belly after a lot of foals from their stomach muscles being so stretched out. I wouldn't panic over it.
Thanks, Taz! I know my son has been "helping" by feeding some mornings as when I leave for work it has been pitch black outside. When I come home I see a lot of leftover hay. Pepper isn't one to stop eating either. So today I have asked him to give them just pelleted feed and they can munch on the leftover hay from yesterday. We will see if he does that. On our walk her belly moved from side to side. I don't think she can get any bigger! As long as she's not uncomfortable I will try not to worry so much. I'm guessing she has some gas in there as she "toots" a bit when we walk! Volt's former owner gave me a huge box of Ivermectin wormer syringes he found at his house that he hadn't used and they weren't expired. That is what I used about two months ago. I guess I am glad I take pictures though afterall because I have something to compare it to. Pretty sure she doesn't have Cushing's either. Fairly confident Cottontail does though. Took until mid summer to finally rid her of her previous winter's coat. With her physical condition, advanced age, and not being able to keep weight on, I don't hold much hope she will survive another Northern Michigan winter.😢 I have gotten so attached to her. I am saddened for my babies as I don't have an enclosed barn. Will be working on winterizing the minis' shed as much as possible this weekend. Blankets are on order. I had one for Volt already and until Cottontail's arrives, she will likely be using Volt's. She shivers when it's 50 degrees out, poor thing.
 

Taz

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Hahahaha!! I'm betting on hay belly and happy pony. Have you ever tried slow feed hay nets? The little ones do great with the ones with the 1 inch holes. You can fill 5 and tie them but leave to ends loose and just throw them out for them to move around or tie them so they can't throw them out of the paddock. It might keep them eating longer on less.
Poor Cottontail!! So happy to hear you're getting blankets! I'm going to do my 'blanket speech' even though you probably don't need it. If you are just trying to keep any of them dry but don't need to keep them warm an unlined rain sheet works best. If you're blanketing for warmth like your poor old girl you can layer your blankets as needed. I have a 23 yr old who doesn't keep weight on well at all even in the summer, he had 3 heavy weight(300 gm) blankets on last winter and actually put weight on since he didn't have to use any energy to stay warm. If you start now when it's starting to get cold she will be used to it and you can add more as the temp drops. Is she getting senior or maternity feed twice a day? I've had good luck adding alfalfa pellets(soaked) as well. The older they get the more protein they need.
OK, lecture over, thanks for listening :D
 

Pitter Patter

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Thanks, Taz! Awesome advice! I blanket any of my animals that show any discomfort from cold. I only have heavy duty blankets right now. I think Cottontail will also need a rain sheet at other times because the others oust her from the shed quite often. She is at the very bottom of the pecking order unfortunately. My Welsh Cobb also shakes uncontrollably when even slightly cold out. He's now a senior, but have had him for several years. With him I usually put a blanket on during cold nights and remove in the morning so he will still develop a winter coat. Pepper is already getting a nice coat so may not have to blanket for a while. Cottontail and Snickers both get Mare and Foal pelleted feed once or twice daily (if I can see when I get out there in the mornings!). It will get better when we switch Daylight Savings Time again and there will be a little more light in the mornings. Trying to convince my 16 yr old son that this morning chore will be his!! Am going to try to increase Pepper's protein intake as well. Feels counterintuitive to actually feed more food when her belly is so big already--LOL. ( I think someone else should try rationing my own food intake, maybe would lose some weight!). Trying to add weight to everyone before winter hits. Today it felt like it was already here!! (Depressing thought!). I have never used the hay nets. Have always been leary of them. Don't know why though. Is there ever any entrapment issues with them (feet getting caught, etc?) Cottontails teeth look horrible, but vet told me they are actually in good shape--just needs braces. She does eat so slowly though and drops a lot of it.
 

Taz

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Ugh! I hate winter, we've already had two frosts and they're calling for it again tonight and tomorrow. 🥶😩

I've used to nets quite a bit and never had anyone get stuck in one. If you tie them they have to be where or in a way that they can't get a leg in the tie string. I don't know what else to call that but you know what I mean. If you leave them loose just make sure the string doesn't have a loop tied in it. Tilly has a loose net in the stall at night. It's an old one that has a big hole in it where she sticks her head to eat but it keeps the hat under control which is all I want. I see her walk on it but have never seen her or Finn stuck in it. Finn did manage to poop in it last night though 🤦‍♀️.

If Cottontails dropping a lot of food you might want to try soaking it? I heard someone say they used a heated water bucket to put soaked hay cubes out in the winter for an older horse so it didn't freeze. You'd have to separate her while she ate that but it might help if needed. I've kept that idea in mind for the old guy here if he needs more than regular hay at any point. I'd keep him separate for a few hours to eat as much as he wants then back with his girls where he wants to be. The protein is because they metabolize it differently as they get older and can't maintain muscle mass.

Haha! I keep thinking someone should ration my feed but I'd be really cranky if they did, to put it politely!!
 

MerMaeve

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You must be so excited, she's coming home soon! Any luck finding her a friend?
Squirt's owner is going to a mini auction in early Oct. and hopefully will find one....I'm a bit leery of that though, because how do you know temperment?
 

Taz

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Squirt's owner is going to a mini auction in early Oct. and hopefully will find one....I'm a bit leery of that though, because how do you know temperment?
Why don't you and your Mom go to? If it's a reputable auction you will be able to talk to the owners about them and handle them either the day before or morning of. You can see if there's one you 'click' with. You can bid yourselves and have it arranged for Squirts owner to trailer back for you.
 

MerMaeve

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Why don't you and your Mom go to? If it's a reputable auction you will be able to talk to the owners about them and handle them either the day before or morning of. You can see if there's one you 'click' with. You can bid yourselves and have it arranged for Squirts owner to trailer back for you.
Yeah, that is an idea we've been tossing around... It'll depend on how Equestrian team goes this weekend and next. (if we make Regionals or not)
 

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