Losing a mare or foal during foaling is something no breeder wants to think about. But as with everything during the breeding season, it is better to be prepared for these situations.

Your mare and foal may be perfectly healthy but it is still possible your mare will reject her foal, or she may not produce enough milk and you will find yourself needing a foster mare.

There are services in Ireland to help should you find yourself in this position. The Northern Ireland Horse Board (NIHB) provides a foster mare and orphan foal alert service for the whole island of Ireland; this facility is operated free of charge to breeders throughout Ireland. It offers this service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The NIHB feels that in some small way this may help breeders needing urgent help at a crucial time. If you have lost a mare or foal, go onto the NIHB nihorseboard.org and go to the foster alert section to see if there is a mare or foal available.

You can also leave your own details on the web page for another breeder to contact you.

It is a good idea to have these numbers to hand or find someone in your area who provides a foster mare service. It is better to be prepared rather than find yourself stuck.

NIHB office Tel (028) 383 43355, from ROI (048) during office hours Monday- Friday 9am – 1pm

Out of Hours- call or text Judy on 0044 7884065531