New foal, need advice!!

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Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2004
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Ontario, Canada
My big TB mare foaled this morning showing us no signs whatsoever. Thankfully she had no problems. She foaled out in her nice big pasture, and had him up and nursing by the time we found them (those sneaky mare....) At first we thought she was a great mom. She let him nurse, licked him, didnt let him out of her sight, and generally was in love. Now, whenever baby lies down to sleep, mom panics and paws at him to get up! She is actually striking at his poor little ribcage to get him to stand. She actually looked scared that he is dead/dying when she does this. We did she him lie down, and she just stood over him like a good mom, but other times, she has a panic attack. She is a first time mom, is there a way to solve this? She is alone in her stall and in her paddock (for now). Baby doesnt seem to have any marks on him, is still full of energy and nursing. But I'm worried she wont let him sleep enough. Any suggestions? Thanks guys! I'll try and post pictures once I get some. Of all our babies this year, he is my "keeper". Hopefully a jumper so he can follow in his momma's footsteps!!
My maiden mare somewhat did this too. She also just foaled recently and the foal would lay flat out in the shade and if the foal did this for very long she would walk over there concerned but she just licked her foal until it moved. Thats all she did. She just did this the very first day the foal was born.

Sorry I don't have any advice to give but hopefully this won't last long. Good luck.
mares know that when their bag is full and hot its time for the foal to nurse. I suspect this is why she is frantically waking the foal up. If you have ever breast fed you know how painful it is (on the mom) if a baby is late for a feeding. I think she will calm down in a few days once he gets eating regularly.

Just wondering if there's any change here. Would you be kind enough to keep us posted? We (breeders) never know when a new situation will pop up.

Have a mare this year that's on her second foal, but first one with us. She would not stop licking her. And it wasn't nice licking either. Licking hard enough to knock the baby down again & again. Or to lift her up slightly off the ground. Mare kept it up for HOURS. I was really worried. It looked like she was gonna skin that baby!

I've seen mares licking their foals before, but this went on for what seemed like forever. The baby couldn't even try to stand up to nurse with mama knocking her back down. It was awful. She also pawed the sleeping baby ocassionally. But is was just that first day, fortunately. The mare truly is a very good mother after that was over.

I am sympathetic with your situation. It's hard to watch. We think mamas always know best, but sometimes.......................(red flag!).............Please keep us posted. I'd like to know what the mare's behavior becomes & how long it takes for change, which, I'm assuming, will of luck.............karen
Ohmigoodness! My TB mare does the same thing and she's not a maiden! This was her third foal and she didn't paw to get him up while he was sleeping, but she paws when her babies are born. You've seen the videos of mares that lay down, give birth, and recover while the babies try to stand. Not this mare, she lays down, delivers, jumps up and paws like crazy to get the babies to stand. She absolutely destroyed her foot this year and we can't get her to stop. I think it's the prey instinct in them...standing and running is safe.....

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