Stage one

  • Contractions will last up to two hours
  • Restlessness is normal
  • The foal moves into the birth canal
  • Fetal membranes may be visible at the mare’s vulva
  • Mare’s water will break

Stage two

  • The foal is usually birthed within 30 minutes of the mare’s water breaking
  • If the process has not progressed within 10 minutes of the mare’s water breaking, call your veterinarian right away
  • The foal should be birthed front legs first, hooves down
  • If the hooves are facing up or other body parts are presented first, call your veterinarian immediately
  • In some cases, the placenta may separate before the foal is delivered. If a thick, red membrane is seen at the vulva, call your veterinarian immediately.

Stage three

  • The placenta is expelled from the mare within three hours of the foal being delivered
  • If the placenta is not expelled within three hours, call your veterinarian immediately