View Full Version : Riding pregnant mares
23rd Apr 2005, 11:00 PM
Hello, I am not talking for myself but I was intruiged as to how long it is safe to ride mares when they are in foal?
And have any of you ridden your mare, not realising they were pregnant till you found the foal? :rolleyes:
Thanks - Araminta
23rd Apr 2005, 11:10 PM
A lot depends on the mare and what kind of riding we're talking. Screaming round a cross country course when she's seven months along isn't going to do her any good. But most mares will keep working pretty happily until fairly late, as long as you're sensitive to their needs.
There's a couple of things to take into account. First is the fact that she's already carrying a fair weight with the foal - so adding our weight to it may not be so clever. Second is saddle fit - she will grow quite quickly after a certain point - a saddle that fitted early on will not fit in mid to late pregnancy. And finally, all the energy she uses working is energy she doesn't have for her - she'll give to the foal first, then to her work, and finally herself. This means that if she's ridden late into pregnancy, she won't be as well prepared for foaling - often very fit, lean mares that have been worked because no-one realised they were in foal are the ones that have most difficulty foaling, and a higher risk of post-partum laminitis, for example. She may also suffer after foaling as feeding a foal takes a tremendous amount from a mare. If she's not been given time off to be ready for that, to lay down stores to cope, then she'll start to look poor very quickly.
Individual mares usually let you know when they've had enough - she might be unhappy to catch, or tack up, or more reluctant to move forwards. If she gets beyond about 6 or 7 months without complaining, I'd be inclined to leave it til she's foaled anyway.
23rd Apr 2005, 11:13 PM
Another thought - from experience I'd say that very fit mares are probably also more likely to have undersized foals, or foals with contracted tendons - if their musculature is very strong and toned there's a danger the developing foal might be pushed for room. There's been a few cases noted in books too - but I'm not sure how scientific that really is!
23rd Apr 2005, 11:38 PM
I agree with chev :)
24th Apr 2005, 03:45 AM
i rode my pregnant mare up until about a month before she foaled. in the beginning of her pregnancy i was riding her normally, but by the 6-7 month we went bareback, just for little walks and trots around the ring. by 10 months it was just walking around lazily, by then it was june so it was getting hot anyway. then we called it quits and she foaled on july 8. the whole time she was fine, but she never did any serious work, even now we just fart around. it probably wouldnt hurt her to do some real work.
24th Apr 2005, 05:37 AM
when I was beginning riding (like my FIRST ride) I rode a pregnant mare... but that was just walking around... and maybe a tiny bit of trotting!
24th Apr 2005, 02:05 PM
I rode Pink 4 weeks before she was due and was doing a lot of hard fittening work with her. However, we had no idea she was pregnant :eek:
We were starting to get suspisios because although she lost a lot of her fat, she still had a huge grass belly and instead of getting fitter, she was sweating harder and finding the work more difficult.
After on ride where she was so sweaty after 15min work we decided to get her PD'd. She had her foal 4 weeks later.
Luckily it did her no harm and her foal was healthy and HUGE! He's now 3yrs old and 17hh. :eek:
24th Apr 2005, 02:40 PM
At the riding school I used to ride at they bought a little pony who they were told had been out of work and was just a fatty. A few weeks down the line she gave birth, the day before hand she had been ridden out on a 2-hour hack and on the previous sunday I had rode her out on a hack as well :eek: Both mare and foal were fine but we got a bit of a surprise!
Sam and Blake
24th Apr 2005, 06:26 PM
I rode my old mare when she was one of teh school horses and as far as i remeber she was rdden on one hour rides, mainly me though a couple of days a week up until the day before the foal was born.it was sbout 3 years ago though so i might have forgotten.it was her second foal and mum n foal were fine and still are.
24th Apr 2005, 06:37 PM
I rode my mare normally until she had two months left (which was the point I found out she was pregnant). I gently rode her after that. I stopped riding one month before her due date, but she gave birth about two weeks after that.
24th Apr 2005, 09:01 PM
I rode my mare till Christmas, she is due next month, the foal doesn't really take much out of them for the first 6 months but doubles it's size in the last months. I knew of a polo pony who was playing high goal till the day before she foaled - noone suspected. Foal was fine. And a littlr pony who was doing XC event the day before her gorgeous little one arrived unannounced. Also fine. But maybe not advisable.
25th Apr 2005, 12:46 AM
If I remember correctly, I rode mine for the last time, just under a month to go. I remember having 4 lessons on another horse (once weekly) then she had her foal. I knew she was pregnant, but I'd only known for a week or two. I remember the lesson before I stopped, she was rearing/bucking with me and resisting many things. Not to mention that the saddle was much too small for her, and of bad quality.
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