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Did you ever have a mare "shut down" her labor

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  • Did you ever have a mare "shut down" her labor

    I walked in on my mare who isn't due until June 13 lying down in a full sweat groaning - when she saw me she got up and started eating her hay. I have been watching her and she's content. No discharge or large udder. She hasn't done anything in 4 hours.

  • #2
    Probably she was not in labor. Mares who are at/near full term that lay down to sleep/rest can make horrible grunting noises. You would really swear that they were dying, but it is just the pressure of the baby on the diaphragm when they are lying down. They are just trying to breathe! Mares can "stop" first stage labor for a short time, but I'm guessing she was just having a rest.
    Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


    • #3
      Yep, mine did for about 24 hours. I had her cross-tied, and I could watch her belly contracting. She was sweating, uncomfortable, the whole deal. That lasted for about 2 hours, with the contractions every 5 or so minutes. Then she just stopped. Baby came the next night, around 11 pm. She actually looked fairly normal right before she foaled, just a little sweaty, but she was out grazing. Then just turned, walked to her stall, and popped out a filly.


      • #4
        Why did you have her cross-ties if she was having contractions?


        • #5
          Yes, I had a mare do the same thing. Stayed up all night watching her and she foaled the next evening no problem.

          Facebook: Hilltop Farm VA


          • #6
            Yes, I've had a couple of mares definitely in hard labor and then stop.
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            Breeders of Sport Horses & New Forest Sport Ponies


            • #7
              We've had two mares shut down. At our old farm one of our mares stopped her labor because the people next door were putting in a pool and the "beep beep" backup sounds were very loud. As soon as they stopped she foaled.

              Another mare kept looking at me because we had visitors in the barn and so I herded everyone up to the house and went back out and she was down with waters broken and the foal coming out.
              Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
              "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


              • #8
                Personally to me "hard labor" is once the amnion breaks. Once that breaks I pray they don't shut down. Anything before that I would say was pre stage labor and I'm sure could last for days, contracting, etc. Remember they can time it!
                Maria Hayes-Frosty Oak Stables
                Home to All Eyez On Me, 1998 16.2 Cleveland Bay Sporthorse Stallion
                & FrostyOak Hampton 2008 Pure Cleveland Bay Colt


                • #9
                  Originally posted by aspenlucas View Post
                  Personally to me "hard labor" is once the amnion breaks. Once that breaks I pray they don't shut down. Anything before that I would say was pre stage labor and I'm sure could last for days, contracting, etc. Remember they can time it!
                  I agree with this; stage 1, which is all the behaviors prior to the water breaking can certainly be stopped/started by the mare up to a certain point. What I call "hard labor" is stage 2, after the water has broken and no, mares can't stop that part of labor. If labor does stall at that point, then there is a big problem.

                  Edited to add that the old saying I was taught in regards to foaling is "the foal controls the day, but the mare controls the hour". There is probably some truth to that!
                  Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ziutek View Post
                    Why did you have her cross-ties if she was having contractions?
                    I don't remember. She had been having contractions for a while when I put her in the cross ties briefly. I'm sure it had something to do with cleaning her stall out or something. This was 2 years ago.

                    If she had been pacing, or biting at her belly, or getting up and down, she wouldn't have gone in the cross ties. But they were directly outside her stall, so not much of a walk. For all I remember, I might have just parked her in the aisle un-tied too.

                    Water hadn't broken when she stopped labor. It did break and totally flood the stall the next night, about 2 minutes before she delivered the entire filly.


                    • #11
                      OK Maybe I may have misused the term hard labor (it looked pretty hard to me). I have had mares pacing the stall, sweating, curling their top lip and having contractions that you can visually see ... then stop. I have also had two mares who's water had broken, laying down, foal partially out and then stop also. These two were both maiden mares and these two were also TB maiden mares.
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