In the stable, pregnant mares should be provided with plenty of room to permit them to lie down and extend themselves over a good bed of soft litter. The floor of the stable should not slant too much in a backward direction. When separated by bails, their companions should be quiet and free from vice. Breeding-mares, however, never perhaps do better than when turned into the crew yard at night, with a dry shed for protection from the weather, and plenty of dry litter, providing they are on good terms with each other. Our cold and changeable climate has often been urged against this exposure of working animals, but experience teaches that, with an adequate food-supply, the open yard is far more conducive to health than the atmosphere of the average stable, which is usually made filthy by the studious exclusion of outside air and the deliberate confinement of that which is within. Moreover, the denizens of the open yard know nothing of those extremes of temperature, the sudden alternations of which are so fruitful of disease; and while being at all times fitter for their work, they are also much less susceptible to sickness than those which spend their nights in the stuffy, filth-laden air of a stable deprived of all means of ventilation.
When the weather permits, this kind of management allows of the mare's being turned to grass for a few hours each day during the later weeks of pregnancy, without the risk attaching to animals more closely stabled. A bite of spring grass, before parturition, prepares for the more complete change of food which is shortly to take place, and protects the foal from those often fatal attacks of diarrhoea, which result when mares are suddenly transferred from hard corn to pasture - from the close stable to the open field.