Preparation is key to success when it comes to the foaling season, whether you have one mare to foal or fifty, there are some basic elements that should be included in your foaling kit. Having a foaling kit prepared in advance will avoid panic and provide piece of mind.

Your kit should include standard items needed for the foaling process, and those that may be needed in case of emergency. Like anything with horses, expect the unexpected. Whether you chose to allow your mare to foal out, or in a confined space such as a suitably bedded foaling box, good management and monitoring is vital.

An important consideration for your pregnant mare is to ensure that both her vaccination status and her de-worming programme are up to date. If your mare has had a Caslick’s procedure, then the suture line should be opened by your vet prior to your mare’s due date. Normal gestation for a mare is between 320 and 365 days, with the average being 341. It is imperative that on approach of the due date regular observation of the mare is carried out, to monitor for any physical changes that may indicate foaling is imminent.

Labour consists of three stages; Stage 1 – the time when uterine contractions begin / Stage 2 – the time from the waters breaking to the foal being delivered / Stage 3 – the passing of the placenta. It is important to familiarise yourself with these stages, and the accompanying problems which may arise.

Basic Items to be included in your Foaling Kit:


Contact details For your vet and staff members in the event that help is needed
Charged phone To call the above in case of an emergency, it can also be used as a clock to record times
Important times to note: Mare beginning stage 1 of labour
Foal being expelled
Time taken to stand
Time taken to nurse
Time taken to pass meconium
Time at which the placenta is expelled
Clean buckets To clean up after foaling, and to hold the placenta for examination. It is important to determine if the placenta is intact, and if not to inform your vet
Vet wrap or tail bandage To tie up the mare’s tail, to keep it out of the way during foaling
String or bailing twine Useful for tying up placenta
Rectal sleeves and examination gloves For assisting the delivery, or handling the new-born foal
Foaling ropes Colour coding these can be helpful
Clean towels Cleaning the mare, cleaning yourself, you can never have enough clean towels
A suitable enema Administered to the foal to help with the passing of the meconium
Sterile lubricant.
Suitable antiseptic for the foal’s navel To prevent infection
Clean, calibrated measuring cup
Head collar & lead ropes Moving the mare during the foaling process
Torch & batteries You never know when the power may go and you will be left in the dark
Thermometer To ensure both mare and foal have normal temperatures post foaling

 We hope these tips and tricks for creating your foaling kit were useful. Best of luck for the foaling season, and we look forward to seeing photos of all the new additions.

For further information on feeding and nutrition, contact our experts

*Always consult with your veterinary surgeon should you have any queries, or concerns regarding your in-foal mare or foaling.

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