New Mini Owner - Potentially Pregnant Maiden, Overweight Mare

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HannaHH

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Hi Everyone,
I recently purchased a mini horse and I am fairly sure she is pregnant! I am very concerned about her, however, as she is extremely overweight and to the best of my knowledge has never foaled before. She was in with a stud for at least a full year before I bought her and the owner had no knowledge of when she may have been bred. I've had the vet out and he can't give me a definite answer as to if she is pregnant for sure or when she may be due, but I am fairly confident I have seen the foal move twice now. In theory, I know what to look for and how to manage a pregnant mare but in reality, she is my first horse and I have never been around a pregnant mare before. I am very worried about her as she was left out on a round bail and is very fat and as much as we've got her on a much better diet now, I don't want to stress her out by trying to exercise her if she's close to giving birth, I don't think she's ever been lunged or worked in any way. Does anyone have any advice as to the best way to help her have a successful pregnancy? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

Taz

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HI, welcome to my club of on foal watch with a possibly(but I think so) fat mare due sometime this summer. Gaa! It's stressful to be in the club.

What a cutie, she doesn't look too fat in the pictures, I'm mostly seeing what could be a baby bump but don't take my word for it, let the experts tell you what they think. I go with yes, they are until you know they aren't just to be safe.Did the vet think she was too fat? I'm not trying to diet/exercise mine right now so there's no more added stress, just giving her good quality hay and vit/min supplement.

Are you able to put a camera up in her stall? I've found it helps a lot with the 'what if' foaling stress to be able to keep an eye on them at night.
 

HannaHH

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Hey! Its so nice to know that other people are in the same boat, the vet didn't mention her weight at all but he also wanted to come back out and check her again before we all wound up in quarantine and now can't come to the farm unless there is an emergency. I don't have a camera that I can use and the barn doesn't have Wifi, how expensive would it be to purchase one? Bea is on the same type of feed as your girl, I don't want to stress her either! Once the foal is weaned though she is going on a nice exercise program!
 

Taz

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Hey, putting a camera up would either be running cables from a modem in the house to the barn or from a tv if there's no internet but you have to be on property for that to work. Is she at your place or boarded? You can get a camera and cables for under $200( I think, I didn't look up cat cables for internet) depending on how far it is. I'll let you know where i got mine if you want?
 

Maryann at MiniV

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I agree with Taz...No major changes. She may be a bit overweight, looking at her butt.... So giving her high quality grass hay and supplements right now, is good. Once she foals I'd give her grain. If you can't set up a camera.....and Taz was speaking of a closed circuit system, be sure to keep close watch of her bag. Once you can get liquid from her teats, check for stickiness. There is also a way to test the liquid once you're getting enough.
 

HannaHH

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I will definitely be keeping a very close eye on her, I board her so I don't think I'll be able to set up those types of cameras! I've been told that first time mares don't always bag up before giving birth, what is your experience with this?
 

Taz

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There is great info here, read as much as you can and ask as much as you want, everyone is wonderful and helpful.

I don't have the experience to answer those questions but if you need to vent or babble about anything during the wait I'm happy to sympathize, listen and babble back :)
 

HannaHH

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No she doesn't have any udder development at all though her vulva appears to be relaxing. Apparently two other minis at the farm she came from (same mini stud) have given birth in the past few weeks! Unfortunately one of the foals was still born and breech but the other is healthy and the birth was uncomplicated. Of course my stress levels just shot through the roof hearing about the poor babe, mom is just fine and is back to her regular routine THANK GOD.
 

Maryann at MiniV

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That is correct...Maiden mares will sometimes not bag up until the very last minute. So that means needing to be aware of the other signs : The foal dropping low....so she won't look like a "wide load" so much....and she'll develop a Jello Butt.
 

MyBarakah

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In my opinion that mare is in great condition! Not fat....especially coming from winter. You want them in great condition like your mare is. I would rather see one in this condition any day over one that is lacking a little. Means the foal is getting what it needs and just healthier. Mares are all different on how they bag up. Best of luck with foaling. I have my mares that are due soon under cam. In my years of experience, you really need to be there when they foal. And also to make sure the foal figures out how to nurse and that the mare allows the baby to nurse...I have had some good first time mares...and then I have had some nightmares! Nothing is rarely routine with foaling.
 

HannaHH

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That is correct...Maiden mares will sometimes not bag up until the very last minute. So that means needing to be aware of the other signs : The foal dropping low....so she won't look like a "wide load" so much....and she'll develop a Jello Butt.
I was wondering about her belly, she isn't that wide and does have a nice thick covering of fat across her rib cage! Her belly is dropping and her back end does look looser, needless to say I am very anxious for her and have been examining her daily for signs of change
 

HannaHH

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In my opinion that mare is in great condition! Not fat....especially coming from winter. You want them in great condition like your mare is. I would rather see one in this condition any day over one that is lacking a little. Means the foal is getting what it needs and just healthier. Mares are all different on how they bag up. Best of luck with foaling. I have my mares that are due soon under cam. In my years of experience, you really need to be there when they foal. And also to make sure the foal figures out how to nurse and that the mare allows the baby to nurse...I have had some good first time mares...and then I have had some nightmares! Nothing is rarely routine with foaling.
Thanks for the advice, I'm glad to hear you don't think her body condition will be an issue, she is overweight though, I'd put her at a 4+ on the BCS. I can barely feel her ribs and she has a nice big apple bum with fat pads over her kidneys and a slightly cresty neck. Her shoulders are still well defined which is good but we will definitely put her on a diet and exercise plan once this foal is weaned! One of the ladies at the barn foaled her Arab last year, her mare rejected the foal at first and they wound up at Guelph for a week or two. They were fine eventually and her yearling is very healthy and robust now but that was a very stressful time for the people involved. This is all very exciting but SO STRESSFUL! Hats off to all of the breeders out there who willingly go through this every year ;)
 

joanna.198

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Hi, new to the site and finding it very interesting, here is a similar question from me! Rescue pony, 5 yrs old was with a stallion last year and I have no idea if this is pregnancy or hay-belly! She has been with me 5 days so I obviously need to spend lots of time with her and watch closely, but wondered what opinions people have. At first I thought pregnant, then I thought not, now I am just not sure. No udder development but she is a maiden mare, we have absolutely no idea on any possible dates for conception! Any suggestions welcome.
 

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Maryann at MiniV

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Welcome, Joanna! Umm.... suspect she IS pregnant. That belly just HAS to be more than a "hay belly". And looking from her backside forward, one side is sticking out more than the other, which usually means that's the side of the uterus the foal is hanging out in.
 

joanna.198

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Welcome, Joanna! Umm.... suspect she IS pregnant. That belly just HAS to be more than a "hay belly". And looking from her backside forward, one side is sticking out more than the other, which usually means that's the side of the uterus the foal is hanging out in.

Thank you, I will just keep a very close eye on her, not sure I have seen any movement, so that keeps throwing me off the idea that she is pregnant. Maybe that’s not always easily seen. Lucky the weather is so nice, can sit in the paddock and watch her for as long as I want!
 

HannaHH

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Hey Everyone, sorry I have been away for a little while but Bea had her foal!! Corona's Silver Lining (Cora for short) is a healthy and energetic little palomino filly! We are ecstatic, this little one brought so much joy with her :) photos to come soon
 

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