Okay, so you have assembled a fabulous foaling kit that contains everything you need to welcome your new little equine into the world. You’ve got everything from disposable gloves and a small blanket to scissors and a cell phone. But here are 5 helpful things that you might want to add to your foaling kit:
How can I say this delicately? At foaling time, it’s wise to wear muck boots. Foaling can be a messy procedure (ask me how I know this) and it’s much easier to clean amniotic fluid off of muck boots than it is to clean it off of leather boots or sneakers or (please, no) sandals.
A Book on Foaling
Maybe I’m just partial to books (um, yes?), but there’s something comforting about having a printed manual at your side during foaling, ready for instant perusal if necessary. My copy of The Complete Book of Foaling: An Illustrated Guide for the Foaling Attendant by Karen E. N. Hayes has attended many foalings with me; another great choice is The Foaling Primer: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising a Healthy Foal by Cynthia McFarland.
I have to confess: I love paper towels almost as much as I love books. So it’s no surprise that my foaling kit always contains a roll or two of paper towels. They’re useful for so many things—you can use them as a clean surface to place an item when you’re working in the barn, a handy way to wipe up excess iodine, or even as makeshift tissues if you need to wipe away your tears of happiness after the foal’s birth.
A Clock or Watch
At foaling time, it’s often helpful to keep an eye on the time so that you can be sure that the foal’s milestones are happening at the appropriate intervals (standing, nursing, etc…). But when your hands are full, it’s often easier to simply glance at a clock or a watch than it is to fish your cell phone out of your pocket to check the time.
Samantha Johnson is a freelance writer and the author of several books, including The Field Guide to Horses, (Voyageur Press, 2009). She raises Welsh Mountain Ponies in northern Wisconsin and is a certified horse show judge. Follow her on Twitter: @miraclewelsh.