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Discussing: Questions about stressing a pregnant mare

Questions about stressing a pregnant mare

Some questions for a future chapter of the epic I'm co-writing offsite: Would a pregnant Mearas crossbreed mare, stolen from her home in the last several weeks of her pregnancy, still be able to deliver a healthy foal if she is taken several hundred miles away in three or four weeks? The thieves would probably have the sense not to ride her and treat her gently (if that's important). When she is retaken by the good guys, would the mare have to stay quiet if it's the last week or so of her pregnancy, i.e. not run? I know a fair amount about whelping puppies; but I don't know nuthin' bout birthing no horsies. Any advice, URLs, would be appreciated. And are there videos of equine delivery available? With dogs, one calls a canine delivery "whelping" and often refers to the newborn pups as "whelps" (unless, like me, you refer to them as cute liddle iddle puppers). What are the corresponding terms for an equine delivery and newborn foals? RAKSHA THE DEMON



Re: Questions about stressing a pregnant mare

As long as she is otherwise healthy, she should be fine, depending on what you mean by 'several hundred' miles. 300 miles in three weeks is an average of about about 15 miles per day. foals are born with the ability to stand and run at top speed very shortly because (in the wild) many of the ones that couldn't, died. same with the mare, if she couldn't keep up with the herd, they would probably leave her, -being alone in the wild is virtually a death sentence to a horse. A lot of that strength has been destroyed with our domestic breeding programs., but my foals are typically up and about within 10-15 minutes of being born, and I've seen them canter within the hour. We had a mare two years ago that we pulled out of the pasture and hauled to a 4-h show, among other things, she won first in her division in barrels and poles, and she was within a month of being due. I know there are videos available, I don't have any links handy, but I'll bet you could google some. the terms you are looking for are "foaling" and "foal". a girl is a filly, a boy is a colt -in modern terms. years ago. -the foals were typically called 'colts' and you would have a filly-colt (girl) or a horse-colt (boy). hope this helps.



Re: Questions about stressing a pregnant mare

Ohh! Oooh! Horse question! *descends into discussion like a nuzgul on a victim...) As long as she is otherwise healthy, she should be fine, depending on what you mean by 'several hundred' miles. I agree here. Mares who are healty are very good at keeping their foals and having normal births, once pregnant. The only thing I could see, on an outside chance, would be dystocia. (Dystocia being the term for abnormal presentations during foaling, ie: breech) We had a mare two years ago that we pulled out of the pasture and hauled to a 4-h show, among other things, she won first in her division in barrels and poles, and she was within a month of being due. My trainer when I was a teenager used to ride and compete with his pregnant mares well into their 9th and 10th months. He thought the excercise was good for them, (which is probably true). These were reining horses, no less (Reining simplifed is a brief pattern followed by a run flat out down the arena, and slide on the hind legs to a stop. Do a fast 180 or 540 degree turn and duplicate the process. Great fun to watch and to do)It was kind of comical to see these horses with huge bellies running flat out down the arena (okay, lumbering down the arena is probably more accurate. LOL) But they did well and were competitive. Anyway, I digress. It's common with me and horses. I don't see where this mare would have any problems for the most part. If you WANTED to create a problem, (not sure where your story is going here) then you could create some sort of dystocia, but those can be fatal, depending on the particular abnormality. (if you're interested we can talk about it, otherwise I'll refrain from the boring. ) Hope some of that was helpful! Sulriel beat me to the punch but I had to chime in my .02 anyway. Cheryl



Re: Questions about stressing a pregnant mare

Thanx, Sulriel! Mares gestate for 10 months, right? About how long does labor usually take? I would imagine that a pregnant mare wouldn't have the same nesting impulse that most bitches, particularly a maiden bitch, might have. Do they need special food/water provisions once labor starts - I've got to find some links on foaling...Do mares, while foaling, want or require companionship, such as a familiar human or another horse of their acquaintance? It certainly sounds like mares' foaling processes differ strongly from that of bitches (and when I use that word, I refer to the canine variety, where it is proper terminology for non-spayed, or "intact" bitches; but you probably know that!) The trip would have involved about 600 miles; then a rest (for her) of probably a few days, then she would go into labor after there's been a big battle (in which she was not directly involved), and then she goes into labor on the homeward march.



Re: Questions about stressing a pregnant mare

I didn't particularly want the mare to suffer any problems. Though I had thought, knowing so little about foaling, that the mare would need some quiet time, need to stop walking while in labor. (I did have visions of Eomer holding up the homeward march of the armies of Gondor and Rohan for a day so the mare could safely deliver; which the Rohirrim would think was right and proper, but everyone else might get a bit exasperated about, could be funny, but if it's unrealistic, we won't do it) This is for the AU 4th Age increasingly long thing I'm co-writing offsite. I hope no one objects to my mining HASA resources for it, since I don't know that it will ever appear here.... Thanx, Cheryl! It's great to have horse experts like you and Sulriel so willing and able to offer good advice. RAKSHA



Re: Questions about stressing a pregnant mare

*average* preg is about 11 months. *normal* is 10 -13 month. Mares normally foal within minutes of their water breaking, it they don't you may be in for the major problems that Cheryl mention. prior to that there would be signs such as changes in the shape of her belly (change from a bell shape to 'slab sided' as the foal positions t be born). also, he teats may 'wax' ...looks like candle wax, like little stalagtites. as far as the nesting behavior. she may want to be alone, maybe try to sneak away from the group is she isn't tied. If Eomer is understanding, he could simply put a watch on her and her her pick her own spot. ... She would probably let Eomer approach and handle the foal, and anyone else she knew, but might be highly aggressive to the other horses if they tried to get too close. He may hold the march for a day or two after she foaled in order not to stress the foal, and have restricted marches the rest of the way back. (Hi Cheryl )



Re: Questions about stressing a pregnant mare

(Hi Cheryl ) Hi Sulriel! back In addition to what Sulriel said, the mare probably would want to foal at night or early, EARLY in the morning. (That late, who can tell the difference? ) A lot of domestic mares will foal at "decent" hours, but the one's I've experienced prefered the night. That's all I can add, Sulriel pretty much summed it up. Cheryl



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