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Being a Foaling Attendant

So a friend has recently posted on Facebook about her excitement of having secured foaling work for the next 12 months.  For those familiar with the world of breeding horses, you may be asking, ‘but how is this possible?  Mares only cycle in the warmer months and are consequently bred then.’

A Newborn Foal

This is possible through the joys of working both hemispheres.  Because the northern and southern hemispheres run on opposite seasons, it is possible to work the breeding season in the southern hemisphere and then travel over to the northern hemisphere and work their breeding season.

Consequently, it’s possible to work the position of a foaling attendant, all year round.

What does a foaling attendant do?

  • generally work nights when mares are anticipated to foal (often from 9pm – 6am)
  • observe mares during the foaling process and help if necessary with the delivery
  • notify vets of any issues with a mare foaling that may need immediate attention
  • keep an eye on the newborn foal
  • test colostrum levels on mares and immunity levels in foals
  • deal with compromised foals and mares after foaling

The job in itself is an incredibly rewarding one and extremely important!  Foals within their first 72 hours of life (termed neonates) are extremely vulnerable to a multitude of problems.  Your foaling attendant may be the first person to pick up any issues and help to improve the foal’s health.

“It’s always been and always will be the same in the world:  the horse does the work and the coachman is tipped.” – Author Unknown

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