Coping with complications
Catherine D'Helft from Barntown, Co Wexford, foals down Irish Sport Horse and Connemara mares at her family's home at Bolgerstown House Stud every year.
Here, she outlines some of the common complications which can occur during foaling and how she deals with each issue.
However, she insists that the first reaction of an owner, if they have any doubts about their mare or foal's condition, should be to call the vet.
Red bag delivery
If I see the placenta is a red colour, emerging before the foal, I cut the placenta to allow oxygen to the foal and pull the foal out to ensure it does not suffocate or become deprived of oxygen.
A very short umbilicus can cause bleeding and may need to be tied off using an elastic band and then disinfected with iodine or betadine to prevent infection. Then dry it up. The ideal length is about three inches.