How To Tell If Your Horse Is Pregnant? (Correct answer)

Tell-tale tummy. Perhaps the most obvious sign of pregnancy is a swollen abdomen, and this is of course a good indication, however mares do not always have an overly enlarged belly. The gestation period itself is almost a year, therefore mares can retain their normal shape well into their pregnancy.

When do horses show signs of pregnancy?

Experienced equine veterinarians can feel a mechanical bulge in a mare’s uterus by Day 30 to 35 of gestation. Typical intervals for checking mares are: Day 14 to 16 – confirms initial pregnancy and looks for twins. Day 26 to 30 – confirms heartbeat and fact that fetus is alive.

Can you use a home pregnancy test on a horse?

The Wee-Foal-Checker test kit. A revolutionary $30 do-it-yourself pregnancy test for mares delivers a result within 10 minutes, its New Zealand developers say.

How many days is a horse pregnant?

Just like humans, horses can get ultrasounds to detect pregnancy. Once inserted into the rectum, the probe will send sound waves to detect a heartbeat, uterus, and placenta.

How many horses can a horse have at once?

How Many Foals Can a Mare Have at Once? Mares typically give birth to one foal per pregnancy. On very rare occasions, she can have twins. However, the odds of a successful birth of twins are very slim because there’s very little space for two foals to grow in the uterus.

How far along is my pregnant mare?

A typical adult horse female (mare) goes into labor (foals) around 330-345 days after mating. As we can see, the average horse pregnancy length is equal to 338 days (that is, a little over 11 months ). However, we need to remember that large horses’ pregnancies tend to last longer than the ones of tiny ponies.

Can a pregnant mare show signs of heat?

Some mares will appear to have a heat cycle despite being in foal. Some mares may not show an obvious heat cycle, especially through the fall and winter months. Pregnancy is impossible to determine early on simply by looking at the mare.

Will a pregnant mare accept a stallion?

Yes, a pregnant mare will sometimes allow a stallion to mount.

What time of day do horses give birth?

Mares generally foal at night. One study, for example, indicated that approximately 80 percent of foals were born between midnight and 6 a.m.

How do you tell if your mare is having a colt or filly?

On an open mare (or a gelding) the nail is not supposed to move. On a mare that is going to have a stud colt, the nail will swing back and forth in a straight line. If she’s going to have a filly, the nail will swing around in a circular motion.

What to Expect When Your Mare is Expecting

The basics of equine reproduction and horse pregnancy include mating, the horse gestation period, and foaling, to name a few concepts. A mare (a female horse) may only give birth to one foal every calendar year. It is possible for a mare to start producing afoalat when she is 18 months old, but it is healthier if the mare is at least four years old since she will have grown to her maximum size by then. After her twenties, a mare may continue to have offspring into her thirties again. Despite the fact that horses may mate and give birth without the assistance of a veterinarian, many issues can be avoided by having the stallion assessed before breeding and the mare checked and cared for appropriately during the pregnancy.

Average Gestation Period

When it comes to horses, the gestation period is normally between 330 and 345 days, or 11 months. A breeder’s ability to recognize if a mare is more likely to foal earlier or later than the norm is essential for success in the breeding industry. Ponies have a shorter gestation time than horses, which is typical. A natural environment is one in which the stallion will breed the mare throughout the summer months, and the foals will be born the following year, often during the spring and early summer months.

Mastiff mares are classified as seasonally polyestrous, which indicates that they go into heat (estrus) and are receptive to a stallion at regular intervals during the spring and summer.

Breeders that seek to modify the reproductive cycle in order to have foals born earlier in the year (as is routinely done in the Thoroughbred racehorse industry) will employ artificial illumination to replicate the longer days of spring and summer, rather than natural lighting.

This enables mares to be mated earlier in the year, resulting in a foal being born sooner the following year.

Checking For Pregnancy

Mares may not display any obvious indicators of pregnancy during the first three months of their pregnancy, other from the absence of an estrus cycle. After about two weeks have passed since the breeding event, an ultrasound can be used to confirm the pregnancy. Two to three months after conception, blood and urine tests can be performed to confirm the pregnancy. If the mare is six weeks into her pregnancy, a veterinarian may be able to personally feel the little embryo in her uterus via rectal palpation.

Horse twins are extremely unusual, yet they have the potential to cause the mare to miscarry.

As a result, it is frequently suggested to “pinch off” one embryo at a time.

It is not uncommon for a mare to miscarry her pregnancy, and it is advised to repeat an ultrasound, blood, or urine test after around three months.

Things like seeing how a mare shakes her head, the expression in her eyes, or the way a needle moves when held over her tummy are not reliable indicators of whether or not she is in foal.

Later Stages of Gestation

By the time the foal is three months old, it will be growing swiftly and beginning to resemble a miniature horse. After around six months, the mare may begin to show signs of pregnancy. Mares that have already given birth may exhibit signs of an enlarged stomach sooner than a virgin mare. With each passing month, the mare’s belly will continue to swell in anticipation of the foal’s due date in the spring of 2019. The mare’s udder will begin to grow and begin to produce sticky yellowish fluid around two weeks before the due date of the baby.

  • If the yellowish fluid is allowed to ferment, it will transform into the first milk or colostrum.
  • It is possible that her stomach will appear to lower as the foal aligns itself for delivery.
  • The mare will look restless shortly before giving birth, and she may paw the ground and examine her flanks (similar tocolic symptoms).
  • The mare may lie down and rise up several times, but she will give birth while lying down on the ground.
  • At this point, the foal is usually born within a few minutes of being born.
  • The mare or foal may sustain an injury or develop another problem during the birthing process, and this will require expert assistance.
  • If you have any reason to believe your pet is unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately.

How to Tell if Your Mare is Pregnant and Why It’s Important

If you’re wondering whether or not your mare is pregnant, there are a few things you may do to find out. In the case of a female horse, the gestation period is around eleven months. For the first several months, it will be difficult to tell whether or not a mare is carrying a foal. For the sake of both the mare’s personal health and the health of the foal, it is critical that she get good care from the beginning of her pregnancy until the end of her pregnancy.

How to Tell If Your Mare is In Foal and Why It’s Important

In order to be certain your mare is in foal and that the pregnancy is healthy, you must have her inspected by a veterinarian, ideally one who has experience with horse reproduction in general. Approximately fourteen to eighteen days after the mare has been bred, this procedure should be carried out. The veterinarian can now establish whether or not the mare is pregnant twins at this time. Re-absorption and spontaneous abortions in horses are caused by twin pregnancies, which are a common occurrence.

Despite the fact that it appears harsh, the likelihood of a mare successfully delivering vigorous twin foals is quite low.

Because you’ll know whether or not the pregnancy is healthy early on and how far along it is, you’ll be able to tell if things are proceeding properly or if there are indicators that an abortion may be necessary.

Care and Feeding for Pregnant Mares

You want to know whether your mare is in foal as soon as possible since your feeding and management of her care may need to vary somewhat if she is. The best hay or pasture, as well as salt and minerals, will be necessary for your mare’s nutritional needs. If your pasture grass contains fescues, you may want to consider removing the mare and allowing her to graze somewhere else instead. In order to protect your mare from pasture bullies who might damage her and make the foaling process more difficult for her, you may wish to isolate her from them.

The development of the fetus can be affected by some immunizations and parasite control drugs.

Having your mare thoroughly inspected by a veterinarian does cost money, but the expense is insignificant when compared to the entire cost of raising a foal—or the cost of losing a foal or the mare in the first place.

It is true that rearing a foal might be one of the more expensive methods of producing another horse!

Improper Assumptions About Mare Pregnancy

  • People have a tendency to believe that nature will take care of everything. This does not always result in the greatest possible conclusion. Preventing potential health concerns that might impair the reproductive health of your mare, as well as the health and longevity of your foal, can be accomplished by providing correct care early in the pregnancy. There are a variety of traditional ways for determining whether or not your mare is carrying a foal. To determine whether your mare is pregnant, you should not place a threaded needle, ring, nail, or string on her tummy. This is not a reliable means of establishing whether your mare is pregnant. Another technique involves paying attention to how the mare shakes. It indicates that she is in foal if she shakes only her head and neck and not her entire body. It is hypothesized that mother is protecting her foal by not moving it too much. They are not accurate
  • The absence or presence of a heat (estrus) cycle is also not a reliable sign of pregnancy in women. Despite the fact that they are in foal, some mares will appear to be going through a heat cycle. Some mares, particularly during the fall and winter months, may not exhibit an evident heat cycle
  • Nevertheless, this is not uncommon. It is hard to tell whether or not a mare is pregnant early on merely by looking at her. Some mares, particularly those who have never given birth to a foal, may not’show’ at all during the pregnancy. Others have a well-sprung barrel that makes them appear to be in foal all of the time, which is not the case. Because they’ve had multiple foals in the past, or because the mare has a hay belly that causes her tummy to seem swollen, this may be the case. Even late in the pregnancy, not all mares exhibit clear indicators of being in labor or bearing a foal. It is possible that some mares will appear fatter and have milk pouring down their back legs for several weeks before giving birth, while others will not. Some will show extremely obvious indicators that they are in or about to foal, while others will show no signs at all. There have been instances in which a mare’s owner was completely unaware that the mare was in labor until the foal was born.

If you have any reason to believe your pet is unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately. Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet.

Is Your Horse Pregnant? 8 Clear Signs to Tell

Posted at 7:45 a.m. hinHealth,Horse Care,Horse Training No matter if you’re breeding your horse to make money or for enjoyment, the process can be both demanding and rewarding. It is critical to be aware of some of the most frequent indicators that your horse has conceived in order to continue to offer them with the best possible care throughout the course of their pregnancy. What is the best way to know whether a horse is pregnant? There are several symptoms that your horse is pregnant that you should be aware of.

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The use of an ultrasound can be used to confirm a pregnancy as early as 2 weeks after conception, however many owners prefer to wait until the pregnancy is further along before paying for an ultrasound exam.

The more familiar you are with your horse’s regular habits and responses, the easier it will be for you to spot these frequent indicators of pregnancy in your horse.

8 Signs That Your Horse is Pregnant

A horse’s gestation period is normally between eleven and twelve months in length!

As a result, it is possible that your horse will not show pregnant for several months, if at all. As a result, it is critical to notice some of the other indicators of pregnancy in order to make the necessary adjustments to your horse’s food, activity, and living conditions.

Absence of An Estrus Cycle May Indicate a Horse Is Pregnant

When your mare conceives, the lack of an estrus cycle is frequently one of the first signals you will notice that she is pregnant. In fact, the fact that your mare has not gone into heat during the first three months of her pregnancy may be the most telling evidence that she is pregnant. When you are breeding your horse, you should be paying great attention to their estrus cycle and keeping track of when your mare is in heat, among other things. When your horse becomes pregnant, you will be able to breed her as a result of this.

It is crucial to remember that some horses may continue to show indications of estrus even after they have given birth to a foal.

Changes in BehaviourResponses Can Indicate Pregnancy

Although this is by no means a scientific indicator, a change in your mare’s demeanor or responsiveness to stallions may be an indication that she is pregnant. In most cases, mares get cranky or flirty when a male horse comes close by, especially if she is in heat at the time. Your horse may be pregnant if you discover that she is uninterested in a male partner. As you get more familiar with your mare’s regular behaviors, you will be able to spot these shifts in behavior much more quickly and effectively.

It is possible that your mare will become irritable or restless as she proceeds through the late stages of her pregnancy.

Elevated Progesterone Levels Are a Sign a Horse Is Pregnant

Progesterone levels may also be measured by a blood test, which can indicate whether or not your horse is in heat. Throughout their pregnancy, the majority of mares will have high progesterone levels in their blood. This is simply one of a number of blood tests that an equine reproductive expert may run to establish whether or not your mare has conceived if she is pregnant. The results of blood testing are not always accurate, as mares who are not pregnant have been observed to exhibit increased levels of progesterone in their bloodstream.

Bloated Stomach Can Be a Sign of Pregnancy

When your mare is in foal, you may notice that her stomach begins to appear swollen, even if she appears to be in good health. Typically, however, you will not discover visual indications of pregnancy until at least six months after conception has taken place. It’s crucial to remember that, much like people, each mare will carry her foal in her own way, making each birth unique. However, although some mares may begin to show visual indications of pregnancy during the first several months of their pregnancy, others may not look pregnant to the untrained eye until only a few days before giving birth!

Several cases, in fact, have come to my attention in which the mare’s owner was unaware that she was pregnant until the mare was in active labor.

Changes to Mare’s Udders Can Indicate a Horse Is Pregnant

Changing udders will be one of the most recent indicators that your horse is pregnant, so keep an eye out for them. You will notice that your mare’s udders are filling with milk a few weeks before she gives birth to her babies. As she gets closer to giving birth, she may notice additional noticeable changes in the look of her udders and teats. For whatever reason, you missed the previous symptoms of pregnancy and now see these changes in your mare’s udders, you must call an equine reproductive veterinarian as soon as possible since your mare is only a few weeks away from becoming a mother.

Changes in Movements Can Indicate Pregnancy

Many equestrians feel that mares who are pregnant will modify their movements. While this is the least scientific technique of knowing if your mare is in foal, it is the most widely used. For example, they will refrain from making any rapid or abrupt movements. In an effort to safeguard the foal, it is also usual for a pregnant horse to avoid moving her body throughout the birthing process. It is critical to search for any other symptoms that your horse is pregnant in addition to the ones listed above.

It is also possible that your horse will appear sluggish during the first month of her pregnancy and the final few months before foaling.

After all, she is the one who is responsible for bearing the foal!

Ultrasound Scan Is The Best Indicator That a Horse Is Pregnant

To be certain if your mare is in foal, a veterinarian must do an ultrasound scan on her to determine whether or not she is pregnant. Even as young as two weeks after fertilization, this procedure might be performed. If you are confident in the various indicators of pregnancy that your mare has showed, you can also choose to delay doing the first ultrasound until several months following conception. During the fourth month of pregnancy, an ultrasound can reveal the gender of the foal. In order to avoid disappointment, many owners opt to wait until this point before requesting an ultrasound exam.

Lack of Clear Signs That a Horse Is Pregnant

Horse owners frequently find that their mare is in foal only a few hours before the foal is born, which is more common than you may think. Because some mares do not show many indicators of pregnancy, or because the owner does not anticipate pregnancy to be the reason of their mare’s unusual behavior, it is possible that the mare is not pregnant. While it is improbable that this would happen if you purposely bred your mare, it is crucial to be prepared for the potential. It’s also crucial to realize that false pregnancies in horses are rather prevalent, as is the case with humans.

The best course of action if your horse is experiencing one or more of these typical pregnancy indications is to have them evaluated by an equine reproductive specialist in order to ascertain their current reproductive status.

Caring for a Pregnant Horse

Despite the fact that horses in the wild have historically bred, carried, and delivered foals on their own, a little extra care and attention will ensure that they remain healthy throughout their pregnancy. Many aspects of your horse’s care will remain the same at the start of her pregnancy, as will be the case throughout her pregnancy. You can expect your horse to eat her regular feed, exercise as usual, and be ridden until she is approximately 6 months pregnant, with the exception of the first month.

  • The majority of equine reproductive experts recommend that you maintain a low level of activity during the month following conception because those are the most critical weeks for the survival of the foal.
  • Daily exercise, on the other hand, should be continued because it is one of the most effective ways to prepare her for a safe and productive delivery.
  • The majority of foals gain approximately one pound per day during the months leading up to their birth.
  • When your mare is pregnant, she is more vulnerable to sickness and disease than she would be otherwise.
  • While this can be taxing on you as the owner, it is unquestionably the most effective way to ensure the safety and health of your mare and her foal.
  • Looking for more to read?
  • How to Tell If a Mare Is in Heat
  • Getting a Horse to Eat Supplements: A Step-by-Step Guide
  • How to Tell If a Mare Is In Heat If you have a horse, how often should you ride it?

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How to Tell if a Horse is Pregnant

People who enjoy horses are likely to be really enthusiastic about them, and this is especially true for horse owners who have opted to go with breeding their mare. Breeding horses involves a significant investment of time, money, and patience, regardless of whether the breeder is an individual horse owner with a cherished mare or a large breeding company of any scale. No matter if the purpose of breeding is for profit or for posterity, the process may be both difficult and rewarding. For the horse owner who has committed to breeding their mare and who has done all of the legwork, preparation, and expense of breeding to a stallion or using artificial insemination, the most important question is how to tell if and when their mare has actually conceived.

There is only one “iron-clad, guaranteed” means of determining whether or not a horse is pregnant, and that is through an ultrasound examination of the animal.

1 But there are a variety of additional signals that a horse is pregnant that you should look for.

Transrectal ultrasonography is the most accurate method of determining whether or not you are pregnant.

Consequently, the owner receives the greatest amount of information possible regarding the pregnancy’s state and whether or not any complications are related with the pregnancy. The following are some of the advantages of ultrasound:

  • Early pregnancy diagnosis (as early as day 10 or 11 post-ovulation)
  • Estimation of foaling dates, if breeding dates are unavailable
  • And visualization of the fetus and its heart beat at 25 days or more in foal are some of the procedures that are available. (

In mares, the typical gestation duration can be anywhere from 320 and 362 days (about 11 months), with ponies having shorter gestation periods than horses on average. The majority of mares will give birth within 330-345 days following a successful conception; however, even if a mare is an experienced broodmare, it is not always simple to discern if she is pregnant.

In the Days Before Technology

Older horse owners and breeders are likely to be familiar with some of the folk practices (sometimes known as “old wives’ tales”) that were originally employed to determine whether or not a horse was expecting a child. While the most of them are entirely untrustworthy and typically wrong, a handful are worth discussing here, if only to dismiss them from consideration for the fledgling owner/breeder in the first place. A few of the ways for telling if a mare is in foal include placing a threaded needle, ring, or nail connected to a string across the mare’s abdomen, or judging the amount of energy with which the mare shakes her body.

  1. 2 While they may seem ridiculous now, keep in mind that they were sometimes the only information available to horse owners prior to the invention of ultrasonography technology.
  2. In contrast to humans, skipping a heat cycle does not have the same consequences as missing a period (which actually is not a clear indicator of pregnancy in humans either).
  3. When looking at the mare early in pregnancy, it is hard to make a definitive determination or obtain a clear confirmation.
  4. Some mares have a well-sprung barrel and appear to be in foal all of the time, which is not the case.
  5. Some mares may appear to be bloated in the stomach and have milk dripping down their back legs for several weeks before giving birth, while others will not.

So, is She or isn’t She?

Considering that the mare will remain pregnant for nearly a year and may not seem pregnant for several months, it is critical to be alert to additional indicators of pregnancy that may occur. Recognizing these will help the owner or breeder to make the necessary adjustments to the mare’s nutrition, activity, and living conditions as needed.

2 You should keep in mind that some of these procedures are less than scientific in nature, and that confirmation by a veterinarian (ideally one with experience in horse reproduction) is the only reliable way to identify whether or not a mare is in foal.

Mood and Behavior

As previously stated, familiarity with a mare’s regular moods and behavior might provide some clue that a bred mare is in foal, because being pregnant frequently results in a deviation from that baseline. When a mare’s behavior changes significantly, it may be an indication that she is pregnant. Some breeders utilize a change in responsiveness to stallions as a signal, and this is one such indicator. In most cases, mares get cranky or flirty when a male horse comes close by, especially if she is in heat at the time.

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Elevated Progesterone Levels

There are a variety of blood tests that an equine reproductive expert may use to identify whether or not a mare has given birth. One of these tests is a progesterone level test, which she will undergo. The majority of mares will have higher progesterone levels throughout their pregnancy, but a baseline level must first be established in order to create a frame of reference for future measurements. The blood test for progesterone, on the other hand, is not always accurate since mares who are not pregnant might occasionally have increased progesterone levels.

Presence of Equine Chorionic Gonadotropin (eCG)

Equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) is found in the blood of pregnant mares and is regarded to be a positive sign of the existence of pregnancy. “ECG levels in the blood begin to rise about Day 35 of pregnancy and stay raised until between Day 100 and Day 140 of pregnancy. It is possible to tell if a mare is pregnant or not by using the electrocardiogram (ECG), but only during a small window of time between days 35 and 100 post ovulation. For example, if a mare is around 200 days pregnant, her eCG levels would be zero, and the test would be interpreted as indicating that she is not pregnant.” 3After Day 80 of gestation, a natural rise in total estrogens will occur, 3at which point the mare’s blood may be tested for this rise in estrogens to identify if she is pregnant or if she is still open.

Later in Gestation

It is possible that the mare will become irritable or restless as she goes through the final stages of pregnancy. Changes in the appearance of a mare’s udders are another late indication that she is pregnant. Her udders will begin to fill with milk a few weeks before she gives birth, and this is usually obvious. As she gets closer to giving birth, she may notice other noticeable changes in the look of her udders and teats as well. A transrectal ultrasound of the mare’s uterus will ultimately offer the most reliable early confirmation of pregnancy, the number of days she has been in foal, and whether or not there are any difficulties with the pregnancy at this point in time.

  1. 2.
  2. 1 C.
  3. Is Your Horse Pregnant?
  4. In:, published on June 16, 2016.
  5. How to Tell If Your Mare Is Pregnant and Why It’s Important.
  6. According to, September 2020.
  7. Ferris, R. published an article in May of this year.

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How To Tell If My Horse Is Pregnant: Signs, and What to Do

Any links on this page that direct you to things on Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will receive a compensation. Thank you in advance for your assistance — I much appreciate it! Your mare has been introduced to a stallion, and she is no longer performing in the manner that she used to. As a result, you begin to worry if she is pregnant, but how can you tell for certain? Are there any symptoms that your horse is pregnant that you may look for? Behavior and hunger changes, weight increase, missing estrus cycles, and swollen udders are all signs that a mare is pregnant.

The behavioral and physical changes that occur during each period of horse pregnancy are distinct from the others.

However, if you want to be certain that your horse is pregnant, there are many more indicators to check for than these.

What You Should Know About Equine Pregnancy.

If this is your first mare to give birth to a foal and you do not have experienced aid to rely on in your family or community, get expert advice before making any decisions that might put both the mare and the foal in danger. The majority of horses give birth to single foals without incident, however mares who are pregnant with twins, those who have health difficulties, and horses that are bred at later ages are at higher risk of complications. Once a mare becomes pregnant, a veterinarian should do frequent ultrasounds during the pregnancy, as well as check blood tests throughout the pregnancy and right before birth – since anything may go wrong at any time during the process!

When you expect your mare to foal, it is critical to have a veterinarian on call, not only for the welfare of the mother, but also for the good of the foal.

Signs a horse is pregnant

  • She is consuming more calories and fluids than normal. It’s possible that your horse will have a different appetite. She may have restlessness and sleep less than usual, which might result in some concern in their attitude as a result of it. Her udders swell and begin to fill with milk
  • Changes in conduct and the ability to get quickly upset
  • She’s skipping her menstrual cycle
  • All sorts of horses are pregnant at some point, and the most prevalent indicator is when their bellies become more extended as a result of the growing size of the foal inside them. Later in the pregnancy, you will be able to see the foal moving around in her tummy.

Gestation period and stages of pregnancy.

Have you ever had a horse that you were convinced was pregnant, only to find out later that it wasn’t? You are not alone in your feelings! It is critical to understand what is typical during pregnancy and what can suggest a more serious problem. During their gestation period, horses are pregnant for around 11 months, which is divided into three parts. In a horse’s pregnancy, the first stage is defined as the period between conception and 60 days following ovulation. While the embryo is at this stage of development, it travels through the uterus and attaches itself to the uterine lining.

  1. You may notice a slight increase in hunger, but that is about all you will experience.
  2. Stage 2: The second stage of a horse’s pregnancy lasts from day 61 to day 270 and is the longest stage of the pregnancy.
  3. The foal is growing slowly yet steadily in its mother’s womb, but she is safe to ride at this point.
  4. Horses might find it difficult to maintain their condition at this period, so they must be well-fed and provided with a comfortable space to relax.

Colostrum, which is a thick, yellow secretion produced by mares during the third trimester of pregnancy and which includes antibodies that foals require to protect themselves, is produced.

Changes in your mare shortly before giving birth?

Horses begin to exhibit significant changes and behave in a different manner in the hours coming up to delivery of the foal. Here are some things to keep an eye out for as your horse gets closer to delivery:

  • Because of this, the mare’s behavior becomes increasingly agitated and apprehensive. Extraordinary perspiration on her flanks and neck
  • Twitching her tail repeatedly while glancing back at her tummy with an anxious expression on her face She’s pacing around her stall
  • Getting out of bed and getting back up
  • Urination that is both irregular and profuse
  • She is kicking at the inside of her stomach.

Labor progression in horses

Understanding labor in horses is a difficult concept to grasp. Horses go through distinct phases of labor, and being aware of these stages is critical for the safety of the mother and unborn foal, as well as the comfort of the horse during this time. Stage One: During the first stage of labor, the mare becomes agitated and kicks at her stomach. In addition, she lies down and gets up frequently, urinates excessively, and begins to sweat. While this stage is in progress, horses can wander around, but they appear to be in distress.

Stage Two: This is the stage in which the foal is released from the protection of its mother’s womb.

Stage Three: The placenta should be expelled within three hours of the foal’s birth, although it is usually considerably sooner, sometimes as soon as fifteen minutes, depending on the circumstances.

When a foal is born, you should expect to see the following during the first three hours after birth:

  • The foal stands within one hour
  • The baby feeds within two hours
  • It swallows colostrum from its mother (which contains antibodies). The placenta has been removed

What does a mare need after giving birth?

Typically, a mare doesn’t require much attention after giving birth; nonetheless, a horse owner should give the mare plenty of time to recuperate after the delivery and ensure that she has access to enough food and water to sustain herself. For her health and safety, she must get sufficient care throughout this period. She must be prepared not only for the delivery process, but also to prepare her body for future pregnancies. The first stage after birth is to determine whether or not there are any health issues with the foal that require immediate treatment.

It is vital for foals to consume colostrum as soon as they are born.

You should next examine how well the mare has recovered after ensuring that the foal is in good health.

While keeping an eye out for infection, you can rinse and brush her hair to keep it from matting.

You should seek medical assistance promptly if you detect anything odd, such as excessive or smelly discharge. The mare should be able to get up on all fours without too much trouble and walk about and move around with her new foal with a little more ease after a couple of days.

Riding your mare after she gives birth.

Before choosing when your mare will be able to return to work, take into consideration all of the aspects that have contributed to her complete recovery, including diet, exercise level, and general health state! It takes time for a woman to heal fully after giving birth; normally, two weeks off is sufficient. If you are unclear whether or not your horse is safe to return to work, speak with a veterinarian right away!

Breeding your mare after she gives birth.

Every year, the majority of horse breeders anticipate receiving a foal from their broodmares, and it is critical that they deliver as early in the year as possible due to the standard registration requirements of most horse breed organizations. When it comes to racehorse breeders, it’s especially important to breed a mare as soon as possible after foaling because Thoroughbred foals are registered with their birthdate as January 1. Horses have long gestation periods, which makes breeding difficult because, in order to have another live foal on the ground around the same time the following year, she must be bred during her first estrous cycle after birth, which is referred to as a “foal heat,” after she has given birth.

Some mares ovulate as early as 7 to 8 days after giving birth, while others may not ovulation until 14 to 15 days after giving birth.


Early in your mare’s pregnancy, her tummy will appear to be normal in appearance; nevertheless, as the pregnancy progresses, your mare’s stomach will become huge and round. As she gets closer to her due date, her belly expands downward and occasionally flattens out on the sides of her body.

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Can you ride a horse that is pregnant?

If a mare is usually healthy and does not have a history of miscarriage, you should be able to ride her until the eighth month of her pregnancy. A frequent myth is that riding pregnant mares is detrimental to their health. More information about riding pregnant horses may be found in the following article: Riding a Pregnant Horse (Mare): What to Do and What Not to Do

Can you transport a pregnant mare?

I received the following question through email: Q.How can I know whether my mare is pregnant? A. Veterinarians can use a variety of procedures and tests to identify whether or not a mare is pregnant, depending on the situation. In order to determine whether or not a mare is in foal, it is necessary to look at her usual physiological processes that occur during the pregnancy. All techniques of pregnancy diagnosis have certain limits, and they all have the potential to provide false positive or false negative findings in some instances.

The majority of non-pregnant mares display indications of estrus in a regular rhythm, indicating that they are about to become pregnant.

Experts believe that 5-10 percent of pregnant mares still display estruslike indications when approached by a stallion, despite the fact that they have failed to return to estrus after a period of time.

Consequently, the owner receives the greatest amount of information possible regarding the pregnancy’s state and whether or not any complications are related with the pregnancy. The following are some of the advantages of ultrasound:

  1. Detection of pregnancy at an early stage (as early as day 10 or 11 post-ovulation)
  2. If the breeding dates are uncertain, an estimate of the foaling dates can be made. and
  3. Visualization of the fetus and its heartbeat during 25 days or more in the foal’s pregnancy
  4. And

There are a number different blood tests that you can use to establish whether or not your mare is open or pregnant, with some providing better findings than others. Following the detection of pregnancy by the mother at roughly Day 12-14 post-ovulation, progesterone levels in pregnant mares should stay increased throughout the duration of the pregnancy. However, not all mares with high progesterone levels upon maternal identification will be pregnant at the time of testing. Because high progesterone levels are seen in both pregnant and non-pregnant mares, assessing progesterone concentrations in the blood has little diagnostic potential for determining pregnancy.

  1. The presence of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) in a mare’s blood is a straightforward positive sign of pregnancy in this animal.
  2. However, only during a very small window of time, from days 35 to 100 after ovulation, is the electrocardiogram (ECG) a valid method of diagnosing whether your mare is pregnant or not.
  3. After the 80th day of pregnancy, a natural increase in conjugated estrogens or total estrogens occurs.
  4. Estrogen is generated by both the fetus and the placenta and may be utilized to determine the viability of a pregnancy in the womb.
  5. If your mare is pregnant, a transrectal ultrasound of her uterus will provide you with the most accurate information on how many days she is in foal and whether or not there are any difficulties with the pregnancy at the earliest possible stage.
  6. If you know when your mare was bred, you may choose the proper eCG or total estrogens tests to establish whether or not she is pregnant and whether or not the pregnancy is viable.

Do I Have a Pregnant Horse? Here’s What You Should Know About Pregnancy in Horses

15th of April, 2021 Do you ever wonder if you have a pregnant horse on your hands? Horses can be pregnant for nearly a year, although it can be difficult to determine during the first few months of the pregnancy. There are various old wives’ stories about how to tell whether your horse is pregnant, but none of them are true, so don’t waste your time trying to figure it out. In this post, we’ll go over the dos and don’ts of determining whether or not your mare is pregnant, as well as the indicators of pregnancy in horses and how to tell whether your mare is pregnant.

Afterwards, we’ll go through the gestational time as well as the best methods for caring for the horse until she gives birth. Continue reading to find out how to tell whether your mare is pregnant and how to properly care for her.

What NOT to Do If You Think Your Horse Is Pregnant

One of the first methods you may hear about to ascertain whether a horse is pregnant is to “do nothing.” The reasoning behind this is that nature has flourished on its own for millions of years and so should be trusted. It is true that leaving your horse alone while she is suspected of being pregnant does not always result in the greatest results. High-risk horse pregnancy can result in medical complications in the mare, which can put the mother and growing foal at risk. A large number of folk methods are available, all of which claim to be effective when trying to confirm a horse’s pregnancy.

Some of the procedures for determining pregnancy in horses should be avoided at all costs, including:

  • Holding a threaded needle, ring, or nail on a string over the horse’s stomach is known as lassoing the horse. Observing whether the mare shakes her entire body, rather than just her head and neck
  • Unavailability of a heat cycle (some mares can still go into heat while pregnant despite the fact that they are not displaying any indications of heat)
  • Examining the horse’s stomach for signs of development or bloating

While it may be tempting to try one of the traditional ways listed above to determine whether or not your horse is pregnant, keep in mind that these are old wives’ tales that do not hold up under scrutiny. Instead, use the proper methods to identify whether or not your horse is pregnant.

What To Do If You Think Your Horse Is Pregnant

You can find out whether you’re dealing with a pregnant horse just one way: take your horse to the veterinarian and have them do an ultrasound on him. Ideally, you will be working with a veterinarian that specializes in equestrian care, and more especially, horse pregnancy. Unless you’ve already bred the mare, you should bring her in for this visit about two weeks following the breeding event. If you did not breed her but have reason to believe she is pregnant, take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

  1. They can also tell you whether or not the horse is pregnant with twins, or whether or not the horse is pregnant at all.
  2. You should arrange to have the mare examined again forty days after the reproductive season has concluded.
  3. These cups are attached to the placental development that surrounds the uterus at this time.
  4. As a result, the 40-day examination is crucial.

About the Horse Gestational Period

Depending on the breed, a pregnant horse’s gestation time might last anywhere from 320 to 380 days. You will be able to provide the best possible care for your mare if you understand the gestational process and how it works. The following are some fundamental facts concerning pregnancy in horses:

  • A mare may only have one horse pregnancy each year
  • Else, she would die. A mare can get pregnant as early as 18 months old
  • However, this is rare. In an ideal situation, a mare would be at least four years old before she became pregnant. Ponies have a shorter gestational time than adult orses, which is beneficial. When it comes to the spring and summer, mares go into heat every three weeks or so.

Although it can be difficult to detect pregnancy in horses early in the process, once the mare has been pregnant for approximately six months, you may be able to tell visually. When a mare is pregnant, her stomach may get noticeably bigger around the six-month mark of the pregnancy. If the horse has previously given birth to a foal, their stomach may enlarge sooner than if the horse has not. As they get closer to giving birth, the pregnant horse’s stomach will continue to swell in size as the fetus grows within her uterus, causing her to pass out.

You will notice that her udders begin to generate a yellowish-sticky fluid approximately two weeks before her due date, and that they will expand as a result.

Signs and Stages of Foaling

When they’ve reached around 315 days of horse pregnancy, you should begin keeping a watchful eye on the horse in order to detect any symptoms of delivery before it happens. There are a few symptoms of foaling that you may start looking for right away, including:

  • As the yellow liquid transforms into colostrum or first milk, it will become clear. It is possible that the horse’s belly will sink lower as the foal advances into the ideal birthing position.

If you detect one or both of these indicators, you should begin preparing for the delivery as soon as possible. Check on your pregnant horse on a regular basis until the birthing process begins, so that you may bring a veterinarian on site when the birthing process begins. As labor progresses, the mare may exhibit indications of anxiety or restlessness, which indicate that she is in distress. She may begin examining the sides of her body or pawing at the ground with her hooves if she feels threatened.

When it’s time to give birth, the horse may begin to alternate between laying down and standing up, but she will immediately return to lying down.

Typically, the foal will arrive with its hindquarters out first or with its legs bent.

Managing a Pregnant Horse

Now that you have a better understanding of what to expect during a horse’s pregnancy, let’s talk about how to properly manage and care for your pregnant horse. Once you have verified the mare’s pregnancy, you may begin making modifications to her food and care routine in order to provide her with the best possible care.


If the pasture she now grazes in is dominated by fescues, you may want to consider relocating her during her horse pregnancy to a new site. She need access to the highest-quality hay or grass, as well as a sufficient amount of salt and minerals in her diet.

Riding and Exercise

Too many horse owners are under the impression that riding or exercising a pregnant horse is bad for them and might be harmful to the horse’s pregnancy. This is not true. If the mare is typically healthy and the veterinarian does not deem her horse pregnancy to be “high-risk,” it might be beneficial for her to have some activity while she is pregnant. You can continue to take her for regular rides and workouts until she is eight months pregnant, or for as long as your veterinarian says it’s safe to continue doing so.

Social Life and Housing

To keep the mare safe from damage, it may be a good idea to keep her apart from any other horses that are known to be bullies in the herd. During the mare’s pregnancy, you should not isolate her from the rest of the herd. She need plenty of fresh air, grazing room, and, if at all possible, a few appropriate pasture mates.

You can keep her among a herd of friendly horses throughout the most of the pregnancy, but toward the end, it’s a good idea to confine her to a stall at night to avoid the possibility of her giving birth outside, when cold weather or strong winds may put them in danger of being killed.

Health Care

The appropriate vaccine and deworming dosages for your mare must be administered on a regular basis; however, during the first three months of pregnancy, you should refrain from administering these. These drugs have the potential to impair embryonic development. Always consult with your veterinarian before giving your horse anything that might be harmful to her when she is pregnant. When you have a pregnant horse, you should be aware that there may be additional charges involved. In comparison to the possibility of losing that foal or the mare herself, this expense is far less expensive.

Pregnancy in Horses — The Bottom Line

Remember not to believe the old wives’ tales when it comes to coping with horse pregnancy. In order to medically prove that a horse is pregnant, a professional veterinarian examination or an ultrasound must be performed on the animal. Once you have determined that your horse is pregnant, you should follow some of the recommendations we provided above, such as boosting her food and keeping her away from bully horses, to ensure a safe and uncomplicated pregnancy for your horse. Are you interested in learning more about horse pregnancy and basic animal care?

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