Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by Allison Price
Our granddaughter wants to ride her barrel racing mare. We are concerned that it could cause injury to the horse or the foal. So I researched the safety of riding a pregnant mare.
A pregnant mare can ride her horse during most of her pregnancy if she is healthy. There are certain times when riding shouldn’t be done. Don’t ride a mare more than 30 days after conception, or for the last two to three months prior to her due date. It is okay to ride a pregnant horse.
Horse owners often avoid riding pregnant mares. However, it is not necessary. There are some important things to remember when your mare becomes pregnant.
Do not ride a mare that is pregnant very early in her pregnancy.
Domestic horse breeding is a science that aims to breed high-quality foals and excel at specific events. It can be expensive and time-consuming, so owners must take all precautions to ensure safety and health for their foal and broodmare.
To ensure that the embryo is safe and viable, a mare should be cared for for at least 30 consecutive days after she has been bred. These are the most dangerous days of a mare’s pregnancy. Riding should be prohibited.l
A successful pregnancy can be confirmed by ultrasound at the 15th day after conception. However, it doesn’t mean that you are allowed to ride, as the embryo is still fragile in this stage.
A veterinarian can confirm that the mare is pregnant at 30 to 35 days after conception by ultrasound or palpation. The goal of a veterinarian if the mare is pregnant is to keep her healthy and have her deliver a healthy foal.
Proper management and individual horses’ reproductive abilities are key factors in the ability to deliver a healthy foal. However, most horses can start exercising after about 30-45 days.
Do not ride a pregnant horse in its first trimester too hard.
When planning a riding program for pregnant horses, mares must be treated as individuals. For the first two months, pregnant horses should be introduced to an exercise program.
Older mares and horses that are overweight need extra attention. They should not be ridden. You can work with them on a lunge and take your time to improve their fitness. Overworking horses can cause stress that could lead to the death of an embryo.
Do not put your mare in stressful situations in the first months.
You should ensure that she has access to clean water, and that she is not overheated or worked up. You can do anything to make her feel calm and comfortable, which will help her have a more successful pregnancy.
You should not ride your mare pregnant during her second or third trimester.
The gestation period for mares is eleven months. The embryo’s growth rate is slow but steady during most of the pregnancy. A pregnant horse that is fit can ride and compete up to the eighth month of its gestation period.
Owners may work their mares hard while they are pregnant for up to six months, without any side effects. It’s best to stop strenuous exercise after six months. However, light riding is fine. No showjumping or other extreme exertion should be done past the sixth or seventh month.
Keep in mind, however, that horses are different and will develop at their own pace. You must be vigilant about your mare’s progress and make adjustments as necessary. Your veterinarian should be consulted at every stage of pregnancy.
It is advisable to keep pregnant mares fit. This increases the chances of a healthy birth and helps horses recover faster. Exercise can reduce swelling in pregnant mares’ legs. A mare that is too stationary during her later pregnancy can cause leg swelling.
Do not ride a pregnant horse too late in her pregnancy.
Your mares’ hay and forage should be increased because expectant mares need to have more energy in their last trimester because they are carrying a foal that is growing quickly.
Other than first-time mothers mares grow large bellies later in pregnancy. This stage can make riding difficult, as her saddle may not fit correctly.
While some mares can be ridden up until the day they foal and even to the day, it is not recommended. Horses in pregnancy need to be exercised. However, it is best to put them out on a pasture and use a lunge line.
Can you transport a pregnant mare by car?
We entered a barrel racing race just four hours from our house. Our intended horse was lame so we are considering competing with a pregnant mare. It’s not safe to transport her that far.
Although pregnant mares can be safely hauled, they must be comfortable loading and have adequate bedding, water, and hay. You must also ensure that your horse trailer is clean, ventilated, and disinfected.
Horse owners are used to transporting horses. They know how to avoid putting their horses at risk and causing them discomfort. You must take extra care when transporting pregnant horses.
You should take extra care when transporting a pregnant mare.
Although our trip was not too far, I was concerned about the possibility of a breakdown on the road.
The first rule of thumb is to inspect your tow vehicle, and ensure it has good tires. You can bring your vehicle to a shop for a general maintenance check-up if you are not mechanically inclined.
Next, inspect your trailer before you leave. Make sure you check your tires and make sure that the windows are properly opened and closed. Also, inspect the hitch and door latches.
With your horse in tow, plan your route. To avoid having your horse in your trailer, you want to take the straightest route to your destination. I avoid congested roads and areas where I cannot pull over to check on my horses.
Keep your speed low and safe when transporting a small animal in a trailer. Do not stop abruptly or accelerate; slow down and take your time. Driving safely is crucial.
You have many things to learn about horse transport .
What should you feed a pregnant mare?
My granddaughter is concerned that her mare, who is pregnant, isn’t receiving all the vitamins and nutrients she needs to have a healthy baby. We decided to research how to make sure our horse is properly nourished.
Pregnant mares need to be fed nutritious hay and grass as well as a mineral block. The foal and mare’s health will depend on the amount of vitamin E and selenium in the leaves.
Many owners get excited about their unborn foals potential, and they overfeed vitamins and supplements to their mares. It is quite simple to feed an expectant mare.
You can feed a pregnant mare regular food.
Your horse’s diet should not be altered until her fourth month of pregnancy. You can monitor the horse’s fitness using the BCS system and adjust her diet accordingly.
It is essential that she receives high-quality hay and other quality forage. Due to the foal’s growth spurt, her caloric needs will increase in her last trimester.
It is a good idea to consult your veterinarian to create a horse’s diet. Horses are unique and should be treated accordingly.
Do not overfeed a pregnant mare
Owners worry that their mares aren’t eating enough or are eating more than they should. This thinking is dangerous and can cause obesity and other serious health problems.
A narrowing of the birth canal due to fat deposits in the pelvis can lead to an obese horse developing laminitis.
High-quality hay is essential for healthy mares carrying foals. Your veterinarian must approve you before giving your pregnant mare vitamins or supplements. Many horse supplements are not approved for use on pregnant horses.
If possible, isolate pregnant horses.
Your pregnant horse should not get sick during pregnancy. A pregnant horse can become ill or die from an infection. Further, veternarians cannot give certain drugs to the baby because of potential harm.
You should not allow sport horses to return to your facility after competitions. You should only use grooming equipment and tools for your mare, and not share them with other horses.
Take care of your pregnant horse.
Set up a consultation with your veterinarian to establish a vaccination schedule. There are some vaccines that are recommended, and others that are essential for the health and well-being of the foal and mother.
Worming your horse can be important. However, it is recommended that you follow the veterinarian’s protocol. The majority of veterinarians recommend that horses are not wormed in the last month or so of their pregnancy.
Your mare should be kept on her regular hoof trimming routine. Do not neglect her feet during pregnancy.
I’m Allison, born and raised in San Diego California, the earliest memory I have with horses was at my grandfather’s farm. I used to sit at the stable as a kid and hang out with my Papa while he was training the horses. When I was invited to watch a horse riding competition, I got so fascinated with riding!