Labor is divided into 3 stages
Begins with the onset of contractions and lasts 1-2 hours. The foal is now presented into the birth canal. The allantois (fetal membranes) may now be visible at the mare’s vulva. When the sac breaks and water rushes out from the uterus, stage one is completed.
Stage 2 includes the expulsion of the foal from the birth canal. This phase occurs quickly and should never take more than 30-45 minutes. The mare may stand up and lay down often as she attempts to deliver the foal. When she begins to push the foal out, she will lay down for the final delivery. The two front hooves should become visible from the vulva. The hooves should be pointed downward. The nose should be tucked between the front legs.
Stage 3 begins after delivery of the fetus is the stage where the placenta is delivered. Most placentas are passed within 3 hours after birth of the foal. If the placenta has not passed in 3 hours – CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY. Delayed delivery of the placenta can cause uterine problems that will affect future pregnancies, serious infection in the mare and laminitis (founder).