Foaling Season: A season of hope and labor of love
Spring has not sprung, but one of the first signs of new life is here: foaling season has begun. It arrived a little bit sooner than expected on Diamond View Farm with an early January foal and by February will be in full swing. There’s nothing quite like newborns to start off the Saddlebred season. From potential World Champions to adorable babies, the hope of foaling season is irresistible. Every newborn Saddlebred is a story yet to be written.
Behind the scenes in the foaling barn, it’s a busy time full of long hours and hard work. Kristen Bagdasarian from Diamond View Farm doesn’t want to know how many hours a day she spends in the barn during foaling season.
“I am there all day and sometimes all night depending on if a mare foals,” said Kristen. A mare might foal in the morning and sometimes it happens in the middle of the night. While most of her horses live outside, they move into the foaling barn as their due date approaches. Her farm uses the Foal Alert system so they know when the mare’s water breaks. That ensures they do not miss any births and can help if there are any complications.
Last year her farm saw 46 new babies, a significant portion from client horses that come to the farm specifically for their foaling expertise. For Kristin, the best part of foaling is the quiet time after a mare gives birth when it’s just her, the mare, and the newborn baby alone in the barn.
“It’s amazing to watch their instincts kick in and take care of their baby. It’s really special to be a part of that. “
For both the horse and the human, foaling is a labor-intensive process. Most people don’t realize the number of hours from early vet appointments to watching the newborn make sure nothing goes wrong. Every foal is different and requires dedicated attention to develop into a healthy and strong horse. For Kristin, it’s a labor of love.
“It’s very exhausting both physically and mentally. You have to love it. And if you do, as hard as it can sometimes be, your passion stays because it’s hard to find anything more rewarding.”