My Special Girl's Daily Schedule

When My Special Girl was expecting Boone, she followed a rigorous daily schedule. Clinicians and clinical staff checked on her day and night to make sure she was comfortable and that the unborn foal was healthy and thriving. This schedule is an example of how the clinical team at New Bolton Center treats all high-risk mares both prior to and after the birthing process.

My Special Girl's Daily Schedule
Time of Day
 What You Might See
6-8 am
 Daily physical examination
A veterinary student will listen to My Special Girl's heart and lungs, take her temperature, and perform a complete examination of her body systems.
 Performed at least once daily on every inpatient at New Bolton Center. Students are graded on their reports, so they take these examinations very seriously!
7 am


Stall cleaning

My Special Girl will be fed grain and hay by one of our nursing assistants. 

Her stall will be cleaned by a member of our barn crew. 

Grain is fed twice daily. Hay will be available at all times for her to enjoy.

Her weight will be monitored using a special scale designed for full-size horses to make sure she is staying on a good plane of nutrition.

7-9 am
Clinician examination
 A veterinary clinician (resident and/or a more senior specialist in neonatology) will repeat the physical examination.
Our students do a great job, but they are still in training to complete their veterinary degrees. To be sure nothing is overlooked, a veterinary specialist always performs a follow-up examination. 
Late Morning
Reproductive examination
 A veterinary specialist in animal reproduction and/or a resident in reproduction will examine My Special Girl, focusing on her reproductive tract and assessing outward signs of readiness for birth.
 This examination is performed at least once daily and typically several times during the day and night. These clinicians oversee the foaling, and will take care of My Special Girl after she foals, so they want to be sure that they visit her every day to check her status.
Late Morning to Mid-Afternoon
Turn out in an outside paddock to get fresh air
 An empty stall.
My Special Girl is a healthy mare and both she and her foal will benefit from daily exercise. Most mares foal at night, so during the day we get her out of her stall, into a paddock to play. Turnout time varies day to day, depending on weather and clinical activities.
3-4 pm
 My Special Girl will be fed grain and hay by a nursing assistant.
 Mares in late gestation need more calories than they do when they are not pregnant. My Special Girl will get generous amounts of grain. If needed, we can increase the number of feedings each day.
6 pm
Foal heart monitor leads attached
 Small cloth patches will be attached to specific points on My Special Girl's body with a skin-friendly adhesive. In the evening, EKG lines are snapped on to each of the patches, and both the mare and the foal's heart rates and rhythms are monitored continuously overnight by telemetry.
Our neonatologists will oversee the foaling and will care for the foal once it is born. They pay careful attention to the foal's heart rate while it is still in the mare's uterus. If the foal's heart rate is too fast or too slow, that might indicate that the foal is in trouble. We don't expect any problems, but our neonatologists watch both the mare and unborn foal closely regardless.
6 am
Foal heart monitor leads being removed
The EKG lines are unsnapped from the patches for the day. 
 Ongoing Care
 Hourly throughout the day and night
 "Foaling checks"
 You may see someone enter the stall, look at the mare's udder, and lift her tail. Someone may also check My Special Girl from outside the stall.
My Special Girl will be checked regularly for behavioral and physical signs that she is getting close to labor. We watch the udder for sudden changes in development, the present of dripping milk, or "wax" (dried milk at the end of the mare's teat that resembles candle wax). We also look for pelvic and vulvar relaxation. Sudden changes may indicate that she will foal soon.