Oh boy, it's the best time of the year! Foaling season has officially arrived.
We are patiently waiting on our first foals here on the farm. At Spendthrift, we are a private farm which means all of the mares, foals, weanlings, yearlings, and layups are owned by us. On average we are the home to about 90 broodmares (with a handful of retired mares!), around 75-80 foals, give or take 50 yearlings, and 24 stallions (for 2020). Here is a little information about our foaling process:
We only foal out of one barn. Why is that? It's easier to keep our foaling supplies and staff all in one place with mares that are all on the same turnout & vet schedule. In addition, our foaling barn is near an exit on the farm to allow for a quick trip to the clinic in the case of an emergency.
How do we prepare for foals? We begin the preparations in our foaling barn for foaling season around Thanksgiving! This process includes pressure washing and cleaning the entire barn, bedding all the stalls, installing heat lamps for new babies, stocking foaling supplies, checking all paddocks for any loose boards / nails / hazards a foal could get themself near and more.
Do people help with the foaling process? The farm has night watch that checks on horses 24 hours a day but we have a specialty staff dedicated to watching our new foals - this team of people called "foal watch" stay in the foaling barn 24/7 constantly checking on both the momma and baby. When a mare begins showing signs of foaling, our broodmare manager Aimee is immediately called.
What are the signs of a mare showing she's foaling? Foal watch will check for milk dripping / a "big bag" (full of milk), sweating, and getting up and down. The foaling process can be quick or it can be long and drawn out - just like people!
In 2020, we are excited to meet the first foals from 4 of our stallions! Bolt d'Oro, Cloud Computing, Free Drop Billy, and Mor Spirit are all going to have first foals. Follow us on Instagram by searching @spendthriftfarm because every Friday we have #FoalFriday where we post new photos of alllll the babies!
If you're foal obsessed like us, check out our Blessed and Foal Obsessed sweatshirts here
Drop any of your foaling questions in the comments!
- Team Spendthrift