Colorado State University equine reproduction experts offer foaling course in Arizona

Horse owners and breeders will have the chance to learn from Colorado State University experts when the world-class Equine Reproduction Laboratory brings its “Foaling, Dystocia, and Care of the Newborn Foal” short course to Scottsdale, Ariz., in January.

The daylong course, with lectures and hands-on learning, will be at Scottsdale Community College on Jan. 7. Cost is $200 for the full day or $50 for morning lectures only. To register, visit

Foaling represents the culmination of an entire year or more of effort and expense to produce a healthy foal. It is important that horse owners, managers and foaling attendants know the basics of foaling, how to recognize a difficult birth, when to ask for help, and how to properly care for a newborn.

“A majority of mares foal out in the middle of the night, and the average interval from when a mare starts into active labor and when a foal is born is 17 minutes. Decisions made before and during that critical time period can mean life or death to the foal,” said Dr. Patrick McCue, a CSU veterinarian and expert in equine reproduction who will lead the short course.

“This course will provide clinical training to help people effectively prepare for foaling so they can assist the mare and foal as needed before, during or after birth,” McCue said.

Morning lectures will provide information about the pregnant mare; normal foaling process; how to handle difficult birth, called dystocia; and how to care for a newborn foal. In the afternoon, attendees will get hands-on experience in dystocia training, test methods for prediction of foaling, evaluation of colostrum, and determination of passive antibody transfer to the newborn foal.

The “Foaling, Dystocia, and Care of the Newborn Foal” short course has become an annual tradition at the CSU Equine Reproduction Laboratory. It is now offered at out-of-state locations to reach a broader audience.

“This year, we chose to bring it to Scottsdale because of the vibrant horse industry and large population of broodmares there,” McCue said. “It is a course that every foaling attendant should be required by their managers to attend.”