Are you eager to prepare yourself as much as possible for the upcoming birth of your foal?

If you decided to have your mare bred last year and she is now pregnant, you might start feeling nervous as the delivery date approaches. While most foalings are successful, there is always a chance that complications may arise. That’s why it’s essential to be well-prepared for the birth of your foal to ensure that you and your mare are both as comfortable and safe as possible.

If you only start preparing a few weeks before the birth, it is too late. You should actually start preparing from the moment your mare becomes pregnant.


How should you prepare for the birth of your foal?

It can be challenging to determine what actions to take and avoid during the foaling process. With the vast amount of information available on the internet, it can be overwhelming to sort through it all and determine the best course of action. Many pieces of advice are in direct contradiction to each other. And when you read about all the things that can go wrong during birth, you sometimes wonder why you bred your mare. Thankfully, most of the time, the foaling process goes smoothly and without any complications. By taking the necessary precautions and making proper preparations, you can significantly improve the chance of a successful and uncomplicated foaling process.

Usually, you can see changes in the mare from two to three weeks before the birth of the foal. Would you like to learn more about the signals that a mare gives before foaling so that you can estimate when the foal will come? Then also read my blog: “When will my mare foal? Tips to determine the foaling date of your mare.”


6 tips for preparing well for the birth of your foal

There are several preparations that you can make as a future foal owner to maximize the chances of having a healthy foal and maintaining a healthy mare.


  • Tip 1: Ensure that your mare is in good physical condition.

    You can do this by giving your mare enough exercise combined with the right nutrition. Many pregnant mares are overweight, which is not healthy. In addition, many mares only receive mare feed in the last part of their pregnancy. For the rest of the pregnancy, they often only receive roughage, which is not enough. Throughout the pregnancy, the mare needs sufficient energy, protein, and vitamins/minerals to reduce the risk of problems in the foal, such as OCD. Note: this does not mean that mares need mare feed throughout the entire pregnancy! It is important to have a nutritional consultation performed by a horse veterinarian who can calculate exactly what your mare needs.


  • Tip 2: Vaccinate and deworm your pregnant mare.

    It is advisable to vaccinate your mare against rhinopneumonitis at 5, 7, and 9 months of pregnancy. This reduces the risk of an abortion storm among your pregnant mares. In addition, it is also wise to vaccinate your mare against influenza and tetanus in the last part of the pregnancy. The mare passes on as many antibodies as possible to the foal through the colostrum. By vaccinating at the right time, the foal receives antibodies against influenza and tetanus after birth. Discuss with your veterinarian which other vaccinations are important. It’s als important to deworm your mare before the foal is born.


  • Tip 3: It is recommended to place your mare in the birthing environment well ahead of the expected foaling date.  

    Providing a familiar and comfortable environment for your mare to give birth in can give her a sense of ease and security, which can help facilitate the foaling process. Moreover, allowing the mare to stay in the birthing environment for an extended period of time can provide an opportunity for her to produce antibodies against the prevalent germs in that environment. These antibodies can then be transferred to the foal through the colostrum, improving the foal’s immunity and overall health.


  • Tip 4: Make sure you have a reliable foal watch system!

    To closely monitor your mare’s condition, it is highly beneficial to have both a birth alarm and camera. These tools allow you to keep a watchful eye on your mare and promptly detect any signs of labor. YOU MUST be present at the birth to ensure that everything is going well. If something is not right, you can intervene immediately.


Tip 5: Make sure you have a foaling kit!

The foaling kit contains all the items you will need during the foaling process.

What should be in your foaling kit:

  • A charged mobile phone with the veterinarian’s phone number
  • Tail bandage
  • Clean bucket
  • Disinfectant for the umbilical cord
  • Umbilical cord clamp
  • Soap to wash your hands if help is needed
  • Lubricant
  • An enema
  • Bag to store the afterbirth
  • Towels
  • Long exam gloves
  • Latex gloves
  • Scissors


Tip 6: Download the FREE Foaling Checklist and keep it in the stable.

The checklist includes:

  • how to prepare for the birth of your foal
  • how long everything may take
  • when to call your veterinarian
  • what you should NOT do during the birth of your foal

I am happy to help with the problems you encounter with your foal!

In my work as an equine veterinarian, I receive many questions from owners regarding foals. Not only the birth, but also questions about a sick foal or deworming and vaccination of foals.

In my online foaling course, I answer many questions about the birth and first week of your foal’s life! In my online course, you will learn what you can do best before, during, and after birth. Almost 500 participants have already enrolled and rate the course with 5 stars! Experienced breeders also say they have learned a lot from the course!