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Disclaimer: The information on this page is to be used as a guideline.  Some information comes from SHG Members, while other information comes from internet sources.  You are advised to always contact your veterinarian regarding any health issuesThe officers and members of the SmallestHorse Group are not responsible for the content.

Signs of Foaling

SHG Thanks Kim Landis of Crayonbox Miniature Horses
Photos Courtesy of Sheri Hill

1. Foal will shift in position, changing the look of the mare's belly

Dawnie maiden mare 300 days gestation, side view and rear view, notice the appearance of her stomach, compared to mare below. This mare foaled 12 days later.

Feb 19, 2001: A day before foaling, showing the 'dropped foal' look. Notice the pointed look of the stomach, compared to the mare above, and also the relaxing of the ligaments around the croup. This mare foaled the next day, on day 353 of gestation.

2. Mare's vulva will relax and lengthen in preparation for impending birth.

Feb 20, 2001: Showing relaxing of vulva, notice how long the slit appears. Mare foaled 6 hours after photo.

300 Days, vulva not relaxed, or showing extra length. This mare foaled 12 days later.

3. Inside mare's vulva will show a change in color. (although this sign is not reliable on it's own, it can be valuable when taken into consideration with the other factors listed on these pages.)

Feb 20, 2001
Inside vulva, showing deep scarlet color, photo taken at 4:45pm, mare foaled at 7pm.

Inside vulva 340 Days, mare foaled same day.

4. Changes in mares udder (milk bag) and teats.
Note how teats start pointing inward, and then change to pointing more straight down as mare udder progresses. Also note some mares will foal with no change in udder size until after having foal.

4-20-02 Day 332 Mare foaled on day 340

4-26-02 Day 338 Mare foaled on day 340

Same mare's udder in 4-02 Day 340, day mare foaled.

Feb 20, 2001: 353 days gestation at 4:45pm mare foaled at 7pm.

Dawnie 300 days (maiden), foaled 12 days later on day 312.

Waxing: dried milk on end of teats
(very few Miniatures wax before foaling)
Spring 337 days: 1pm, foaled 11pm.

5. Changes in color and consistency of milk. Milk should be easy to express from teats, changes can occur within hours or over a day or more. If you find the first color, watch that mare! Foaling will occur soon!

Milk Yellow tinged, sticky, consistency of floor wax, 11am 4-28-02 Mare foaled at 4pm.

2-20-01 at 1pm, mare foaled at 7pm. Starting to change to opaque white.

2-20-01 4:45pm, mare foaled at 7pm. Milk is opaque white.

Different mare, showing:
(left) starting to change to opaque white, 
(right) opaque white milk.



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