Riding pregnant mares
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Friday, February 20, 2009 09:23 AM
Many people see mares either as brood mares or riding horses. For many combining these two together seems to be an impossible venue. I can tell you otherwise. First of all, people think they will hurt their mare by riding it. In reality vets say that riding a pregnant mare up until the last month of pregnancy is very beneficial for mare's health and for the foal too. Strong, healthy, physically fit mare will give birth to strong and healthy babies. Another misconception that you have to wait a long time to ride a mare after she gave birth. After 2-3 weeks the foal is strong enough to be with mom in the riding ring. And mare is perfectly fine and actually comes back to shape very quickly. In total you will loose only 6 weeks of riding which is not enough for the mare to loose her shape. Yes, you have to modify your riding program and yes, you have to be mindful of the baby when you ride. However, you do not need to completely abandon your riding or think your mare will lose her form or forget her schooling.
    Things to consider if you want to impregnate your riding mare:
  • Your location - Do you keep your mare yourself or board her? If you keep her yourself you can have everything you need. You can address all the issues. If you board her you need to discuss the situation with the owner or manager. Even if the facility has everything you need and your mare will have a personal paddock before and after foaling you need to consider where you are going to ride her while her foal is nursing: safe access to arena, quiet fields and trails.
  • You must diminish your workload as pregnancy progresses. You cannot jump her after 4 months and you cannot ask hard collected work in the last 4 months. However, you can work her in all three gaits. Pregnant mares work very well. You just need to take into account that while her belly grows she will loose some of her bending abilities. You must stay light in your seat and ride simple big figures, more rising trot than sitting trot and lots of brakes on a loose rein.
  • Your saddle may not fit her closer to the end of pregnancy when her belly becomes wide and start pushing saddle too much forward. Bareback pads or simply bareback can work really well. Not all mares become wide, some stay in good shape.
  • When she delivers her foal and you start riding again make sure you take time to let foal nurse when you riding. Do not ride during times when the arena is busiest. However, if other riders do not mind you can ride while a few people are riding. It is good for the foal. He will play and have fun in the new environment. Trail and field riding gives the foal opportunity to strengthen the muscles, develop heart and explore the world.
  • You will not be able to compete during the summer when you have a nursing foal. However, you can take the time and train your horse to the next level or improve on your basics.
When I was young I rode in a riding school in Russia where 90% of horses were broodmares who delivered babies almost every year. We rode them all and they gave birth to healthy babies. During the time I was there (3 years) we had only one foal mortality due to twins. You should see our spring lessons. 5 mares working and 5 babies running around the ring. The breeding stallion is a leading file horse. I do not think I will ever see anything close to that. By the time I was ready to go to college we were riding 3-year-olds that were home bred and starting them was very easy. In the picture I'm about to ride the Junior Test I (equal to Third Level Dressage) in our local competition. Quick stop to nurse the foal :)
I have a pregnant mare in training right now. She is a green horse recently started under saddle and riding her during pregnancy gives a perfect opportunity to put miles on her and establish good basics. Instead of wasting all this time by letting mare off work her owner will have a good riding horse as soon as the mare's foal is strong enough to be in the ring.
Happy riding...
Comment by Chelsea on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 03:11 PM
I used to worry about riding my mare in foal, I didnt ride her for 7 months and then she lost her foal due to having an infection anyway. I now think its a good idea to ride mares in foal expecually if they are used to riding because if she does lose the foal you havent wasted any riding time and my mare loves riding so it would also keep her happy! I also think that keeping them active is good too Does riding mares in foal help them later in labour? x
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Friday, May 29, 2009 10:29 AM
I'm sorry to hear your mare lost her foal, Chelsea. Things like that happen. Personally, I believe riding pregnant mares is very good for them as long as you are careful and use common sense. I know vets recommend that too. Ridden properly mares will have stronger stomach muscles and delivery will be easy. The mare I have trained this winter gave an easy birth to a beautiful healthy foal. Talk to your veterinarian to make sure you have a good guide lines on how much work your mare can handle during pregnancy.
Comment by Susan hart on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 10:37 AM
I think my mare is in foal. I am still riding her and been jumping her. Is it wise to jump as she is due sept to oct time?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, June 11, 2009 09:46 AM
It is a good idea to be sure that you mare is pregnant. If you are not call the vet to check her and find out. If your mare is pregnant and due Sep/Oct than it is not a good idea to jump her. She is 7 to 8 months into pregnancy and jumping is dangerous sport with falls and a lot of demands on the horse's body. You can go hacking over hills it will keep your mare very fit and make rides fun.
Comment by Andrea on Saturday, June 13, 2009 08:21 PM
I am debating on breeding my 13 year old Thoroughbred event mare. I heard mixed views on how much riding can actually be done -up to the 4th month. as we are galloping & jumping training and preliminary size fences. right now, And I'll like feedback on others who continued to show their event mares. Thank you!
Comment by Angela on Thursday, July 9, 2009 08:41 AM
I have a thoroughbred mare that had a foal in April and I did not ride her during her pregnancy. I would like to bring her back into riding shape (she is very saggy) and I was wondering if you had any suggestions.
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, July 9, 2009 09:13 AM
I assume, Angela, that by saggy you mean her back has dropped. This can create problems for your saddle to fit her properly. If her shape is different when she is working properly than just put extra pad in the middle to prevent your saddle from bridging. When your mare comes back to shape her stomach muscles will strengthen and her back will rise. Start slow, ride mostly walk for the first week with no or very light contact, let your mare use her neck as she pleases. If you have an access to quiet trails and your mare is good on them this is the best option. Walking gentle hills will be the most beneficial exercise for your mare at the beginning. The foal will enjoy the scenery and will have a great opportunity to exercise and explore the world. Built the time from 20 to 40 minutes. After the first week or even longer, depending how your mare and her foal settles down with exercise routine you can include 5-10 minutes of rising trot and a little bit of light seat canter (in arena at first). Do not ride sitting trot or deep seat canter for at least a month. Be your own judge and monitor your mare's progress. Happy riding...
Comment by Sandy on Saturday, July 18, 2009 02:55 PM
My mare was bred six weeks ago. I'm having her preg checked this week to confirm the pregnancy. In August she's being sent to the trainer for 30 days to be reconditioned. She's had a lot of training but is out of shape and has developed some bad habits after not being ridden for awhile by her previous owner. Should I recommend to the trainer for her to take it slower with her at first as she's both out of shape and pregnant? Also, are there any other tips to bringing the foal along on rides? Will they follow along closely on their own or should they be put on a lead and halter? Do the mares tend to be more distracted with them along?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, July 20, 2009 10:44 PM
The pregnancy will not affect your mare for a while. She can work as a normal horse. The fact that she is out of shape is more important in creating her training schedule.
Foals usually follow their dams very well on their own. Make sure the trails are quiet, no traffic or dangerous obstacles. Mares are more distracted with the foals at their sides. Make sure to ride a few times in the ring to establish a few rules and to know what to expect from your mare before you take her and the foal on a trail ride. And make sure to allow foal to nurse at regular intervals.
Comment by Nichole on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 07:36 AM
How soon after the mare is bred is it ok to ride? I have generally accepted that riding a pregnant mare is fine... but will riding in the first couple of weeks after she's been bred bad?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 04:42 PM
There is no waiting period. You can continue riding your mare as soon as she is bred. Riding does not affect the chance of becoming pregnant. I'm talking about regular riding without too much stress.
Comment by Alex on Saturday, August 1, 2009 11:26 AM
My mare is pregnant. She is also blind. Will the blindness effect how she treats the foal and can the foal become blind from genetics.
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, August 3, 2009 06:04 PM
Alex, This question is not for me but your vet. The foal can be blind only if mare was born blind or developed blindness on her own. If her blindness is a result of accident or illness then foal will not be blind.
Comment by Darcy on Friday, September 4, 2009 04:31 PM
I am breeding quarter horse mare but she is not fit and pretty fat she hasn't done any work only a few rides every month. Is she fit to have a baby?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 07:58 PM
Your mare does not need to work to be fit to have a baby. Most broodmares never work in their entire life. I do believe that properly riding a pregnant mare is good for her and good for the baby. However, it is not necessary.
Comment by Yolanda on Saturday, November 7, 2009 09:44 PM
Hi, My TB mare is 9 years old, and is three months into her first pregnancy. She is extremely fit and is currently competing level 1 pony club dressage. We have qualified for a competition in February 2010, and I was wondering if that would be too much to expect from a mare due to foal on July 29th 2010. Thanks. Yolanda.
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Saturday, November 7, 2009 10:23 PM
In February your mare, Yolanda, will still have 5 months to go. There is a good chance she will not be very big. She will probably just start to grow her belly. I'm not familiar with dressage levels at pony club. However, if collection is not required then your mare will do just fine. Use common sense and keep your mare's interest ahead of your ambition to compete. However, if training goes well and your mare enjoys being worked I do not see why you cannot. If you have to travel far talk to your vet about expose to horses from other areas. If the show is local than there is no problem.
Comment by Jordan Thomson on Friday, November 13, 2009 01:32 PM
Hello, I am considering breeding my 12 year old quarter horse, but I'm wondering how soon up to her birth date I can ride? I've heard lots of different theories but there doesn't seem to be one assumed length of time.
Comment by Donna on Saturday, December 5, 2009 07:51 PM
Hi there, my 5 year old percheron/cross is in foal and due April 8th. Show season starts end of may, would it be possible to still show her next year with the foal only being a couple months old. will it be safe to have it tied to the trailer while we show. We can park about 50 ft away from the ring. Pending that the foaling goes well she will be back in training a couple weeks after birth. would you recommend doing this? She is a very easy keeper so I'm not worried about weight loss or fitness as she is being ridden often right now. Thank you for your time. Donna
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, December 7, 2009 10:41 PM
No, Donna. I'm advising against showing her while the foal is still at her side. I'm sure the show organizers will be against it and will not allow you to enter the competition. The picture above is the show at our barn and the foal was allowed to enter the ring with me if he wanted. Ride and train her and you will be able to show her in September/October after weaning the baby.
Comment by Pushpendra Pande on Wednesday, December 23, 2009 10:22 PM
Thank you so much as I am having two pregnant mares one is 7 months and another is 5 months and had left riding them due to they were carrying but now you made me realize that I can and also that they shall be more happier if I do so. Thanks again. I am from India.
Comment by Gabrielle on Monday, January 25, 2010 04:07 PM
Hi, I am not riding a mare that is pregnant but I just recently bought a mare who had a foal 9 months ago she did not do any work after having the baby until I bought her a few weeks ago and she only did some trails before. Her belly still has the very pregnant look to it but she has lost her muscle definition. I have been getting her back into riding and gradually building each day, but I am unsure how long it will take before the pregnant belly is gone. I have not been asking for much collection since her muscles are not quite there yet but should I wait until her belly is gone and she will be able to bend more or is she ready to do collected work?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 06:59 PM
It is wise not to ask too much collection, especially, if you feel her muscles are not there yet. Build them, ride her more forward, go hacking, small jumps, gymnastic work with cavalletty. Lots of changes of rein and transitions inside the gait. Make sure you are not pulling her into slower trot with the reins. Keep good contact but do not hold her there, keep hands steady but elastic. You will feel collection coming when she becomes stronger and more balanced. And her belly will start to shrink. Make sure she is not overweight. This will keep belly big.
Comment by Cheryl on Thursday, February 4, 2010 11:31 AM
Hi. I am considering buying a mare. She is turning 9 this summer and she had a foal in 2008. (I believe she has had more than one, but I don't know for sure.) Her current owner has never ridden her, but says she was ridden by her previous owner. We are assuming she will need to be broke to ride starting from scratch. They also believe she is pregnant now and due in July or August. Her belly is big right now, though I'm assuming that has more to do with her previous pregnancy and being out of shape. Her back looks like it is slightly sagging too. I'm wondering a couple of things. First, at this age, do you think she would still be okay to break to ride? She has an extremely kind disposition, but I don't know whether that will mean she will take well to being ridden. Second, if we did train her, do you think her body will come back into shape as we condition her? And third, if we got her this spring, would it be wise to do any work with her now, or would it be best to wait until next summer, once her baby is weaned and we have a whole spring and summer to devote to her training?
Comment by Kyrie Wilson on Thursday, February 18, 2010 02:08 PM
hi I'm looking to buy a mare but the only mares tat i have been offered that i like are in foal or with a foot,i would be keeping her at my bosses yard,who has some broodmares and young stock too,but the arena is a 2 min walk down a road,although not used much only by the people who live there,my question is would i leave the foal there,after it is eating grass with the other mares or bring it with me???? how old would you say it is OK to put a head collar on the foal I've seen vary young foals but others say not till over a year thanks Kyrie
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, February 22, 2010 10:52 PM
Bringing a foal with you to arena depends on the situation. If as you said the road is very quiet and people are very considered and slow down when they see a horse and especially a foal then you can start taking him with you quite soon. Other factor is to consider how well trained and well behaved the mare. You need to make the assessment yourself and after the foal born to see how mare's behavior has changed. Leaving a foal behind will not work unless he almost ready to be weaned. You can put a collar on a foal when he is older but only to pony to the arena. Do not leave it on the foal while he is running around. He can hurt himself. Find a trainer who works with babies a lot and talk to him/her about your situation.
Comment by EMM on Friday, March 19, 2010 08:58 PM
I have just purchased a 13yr old broodmare who is about 3 months pregnant. She is currently unbroken and extremely overweight (bad!) and I was thinking of having her broken in so that I could exercise her and help get her in a healthier weight range. Is breaking her in going to be too demanding for her physically? The trainer is a very sensible and knowledgeable horseperson and I doubt he's going to be bronco-riding her. He was a bit concerned about the fact that she was pregnant. Obviously breaking to saddle is going to be something new that she isn't used to and she may throw in a few bucks and carry on before finally settling down. I would wait until after foaling to break her in but I'm worried that if she remains at this unhealthy weight there is going to be a higher risk of complications with the foal. She is an Arabian mare and a VERY good doer and it is difficult (close to impossible) to restrict her grazing access in the current paddock. Is breaking in a pregnant mare a no-no? Or is it achievable? What would be the risks or things to be careful of?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, April 1, 2010 09:27 PM
Regarding starting your mare under saddle I am more concerned that she is 13 years old than the fact she is 3 month pregnant. I have helped my friend to start a pregnant mare when she was 2 month pregnant. The mare worked beautifully and I rode her until she was 9 months pregnant. She gave us couple bucks at the beginning but nothing serious and then worked in walk, trot and canter during winter. The foal was very healthy and strong. 13-year-old horse is a little bit too old and may find work under saddle difficult to accept. You still can do a lot of ground work with her: in-hand, on the lunge line and long-lining. This will keep her healthy and fit without stress of learning to carry a rider.
Comment by Carol Harris on Monday, April 5, 2010 11:12 PM
Hi my mare is in foal don't know how far as we took her in she was very skinny and ill treated from her former home. We have had her nearly 5 months now she is big in belly she was hard at start to ride not knowing that she was in foal and now we can't even get saddle on her she wouldn't even let farrier trim her feet without having to restrain her. Now we can't even ride her, she is Arab. Has this anything to do with her pregnancy or stubbornness as we don't really know how far she is with foal? We thought 5 or 6 months or she could be more. We tried riding her bareback on Sunday gone and she starts to back you up to a tree to throw you off is this the usual thing a mare does or not, thanks. Carol Harris
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 09:54 AM
I found that pregnant mares are actually less willing to buck than open mares. Their heavy bellies and the instinct of not disturbing the foal makes them more careful. You said your mare was treated badly. I think this is why she is like this. She does not trust humans and pregnancy makes her more worried. Instead of trying to ride her spend time to establish a relationship. Work with her on the ground: grooming, leading exercises, walking her through obstacle courses, lunging, etc. When she gives birth spend time with her and her foal. And when the foal is strong enough start bringing her back to riding. Good luck.
Comment by Handy Andy on Thursday, June 24, 2010 02:49 PM
Is it really safe to ride them that late into their pregnancy? I am hoping to breed my Arab mare but I really dont want to lose out on riding time. What should I do?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, June 28, 2010 10:01 AM
Riding mares later in their pregnancy must be done carefully, however, it is quite safe. It does depend on your mare size, size of her belly, your size, etc. If you are concern the best person to talk to is your vet. Good luck with the breeding!
Comment by Bella Wise on Thursday, July 8, 2010 10:06 AM
Hello, I have a 5yo Dutch Warmblood mare that I am soon breeding to champion jumper stallion, Pilox. My mare stands at 17 hands and Pilox is 17 hands. My mare has never foaled before, would it be more dangerous if I went ahead and bred her to a same size stallion since this is her first birth? Or would it be more wise to breed to a smaller stallion for her first baby? I am planning on breeding her in September. I have heard many mixed opinions on breeding that late in the year. Will it be harder for her to become pregnant and keep it? She is very fit and would be in tip-top condition.
Comment by Mayur Patel on Thursday, September 22, 2011 09:25 AM
Hi, I have a good healthy mare and she is 3 mths pregnant and very calm now a days I bought her 3 & half mths back I am plannig to ride her lightly till she is 8 mths of pregnant and then hand walk her for rest time but the thing I am concerned is my weight as I am 86kg will it harm her, she is 61 inch in height and strongly built. We ride single footing here.
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, September 22, 2011 02:39 PM
I do not think your weight will harm her. If she develops very big belly close to 8 months pregnancy then you may want to start hand walking her earlier, and/or you can lunge her a little bit on a very big circle. Your plan is good and your mare should benefit from light work by staying more fit and healthy in her pregnancy.
Comment by Ali on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 11:06 PM
My mare(TURKMEN) is 3 years old and I think 6 months pregnant. I train her to jump but not by hard work. I want to know what is the best way to have train without any dangerous for her and her foal?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, December 15, 2011 09:52 PM
Your mare is very young to be jumping often or seriously. And after she reaches 7 months of pregnancy you should not jump her at all. However, she can continue to do light flat work until she is so big the saddle does not fit her. After that you can ride her bareback, however, very lightly, no canter and mostly walk. Good luck with the baby!
Comment by Katie on Thursday, January 26, 2012 06:47 PM
I have a pregnant mare that I just bought from the nicest people ever. She is due in March which is in a month and they have not ridden her since shes been pregnant. I have yet to get on this horse but I'm wondering if I should just wait til after shes due or try light riding with her now? I know you can ride a mare through pregnancy. But she hasn't been ridden in about 6 months. Can she loose the baby if I ride her?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, January 26, 2012 09:43 PM
If the mare is well broken to ride then you can ride her very lightly, mostly walk, may be even without the saddle if she is too wide. 30 minutes will be OK with a few minutes of slow trot, no canter. If this mare hasn't been ridden much at all then it is better to wait until she foals and recovers from it.
Comment by Ashley on Thursday, February 2, 2012 11:28 PM
I bought a said to be 4yo black and white tobiano mare a couple weeks ago who was said to be bred in May. From the looks of her she seems to be younger than 4. Maybe stunned growth? I was told she was skinny at one time before being bred. She is still not thick but kinda has a little belly like a grass belly or needs worming? Can you tell a difference? This is her first time being bred and she doesn't seem to be showing from what I've seen of other mares. Then again the other mares were bred numerous times so they had the big bellies and that mommy figure. With a first time mom this young will it take longer for her to show? I've heard their stomach muscles are tighter therefore they don't drop the same as a brood mare. I've also noticed her utters look a little bigger than a mare that's never been bred. I plan on palpating her but is it ok to ride her like normal up till she has the baby? By like normal I ride western and will be doing pasture riding just to teach her walk, trot, canter, etc. is there such thing as too much riding? How long a day? Everyday? THANK YOU!
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Saturday, February 4, 2012 10:09 PM
I strongly recommend vetting your mare. The vet will tell you her true age, if she is pregnant, how the pregnancy is going? You can ride her everyday but do not ride for more than an hour. Until she is too big in a belly you can canter her a little bit. You can safely ride your mare up until one month left. Even then you can ride her without the saddle, walking on a loose rein. Good luck with the foal!
Comment by Emmy Brooks on Thursday, February 16, 2012 04:23 AM
Hi my mare had a foal 2 months ago. I haven't ridden her yet due to people telling me that it is illegal to ride them until the foal is 3 months old. We've tacked her up and walked her around a little bit and she did fine. Can I ride her now doing light work and giving her breaks so that the foal can feed?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, February 16, 2012 09:40 AM
Illegal means there is an actual law exists that forbids you to ride your mare until the foal is 3 months old. I never heard of a law like that. As long as you ride in a safe place and give your foal plenty of time to nurse you can ride your mare.
Comment by Amy Benham on Friday, April 27, 2012 11:17 AM
Hi, I have a mare who just had a foal on Sunday. We lost the baby on Wed. morning. I was wondering exactly how long I needed to wait to ride her safely. She seems fine with the loss of the baby as she was not very attached to begin with. We did not know that she was pregnant and she did not have any milk. We gave her meds to produce milk, and are drying her up now. Thanks.
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Friday, April 27, 2012 11:24 PM
May be wait couple weeks before riding her. Her hip joints and stomach muscles need to return to normal position. You can ask your vet if she is healthy enough to ride already.
Comment by Lianna Chabrier on Monday, June 4, 2012 08:04 AM
We have been riding our pregnant mare on a weekly bases. She is about 8 mths along. Should we continue to ride her or would it be best to let her be? Also after she foals how soon can she be ridden and at what point will we be able to leave on trail rides without the foal? It wouldn't be safe enough for us to it the foal with us. Any insight would be greatly appreciates. Thanks
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, June 4, 2012 09:13 AM
It depends what you are asking your horse to do. Right now she is in her last trimester and foal is growing very fast. So her work load should have a therapeutic and not training purpose. She needs to move. Walking is the best and safest gait. If you are not a heavy person you can ride walking up until couple weeks left. If saddle does not fit her ride without one. You still can do a little bit of trot and canter may be for another month. However, let her trot her way with light contact, no framing. Same for canter, light seat, support her with contact if she needs one. If her canter is too rough and unbalanced do not canter her at all. After the delivery you can ride her in couple weeks if she does not have any injuries or complications. Regarding leaving a foal behind for trail riding I would wait until the foal is at least 2 months old and then leave him with another mare and foal to reduce stress. I would leave for a very short ride first time and then increase time gradually to lessen the stress on both the mare and the foal.
Comment by Lizzie Ellen on Monday, April 1, 2013 10:10 PM
Hello, I have a 9 year old QH mare. I barrel race on her. She's very high strung and is a fast mover. I would like to breed her soon, but I'm worried at the rate of speed which she rides it will be dangerous for the foal. We are able to walk/trot comfortably, but the canter is sometimes more of a sprint. Do you think it would be a bad idea to breed her? I'd love to ride her during the pregnancy, but she gets her heart rate up very rapidly and after a short amount of time. Could this potentially be dangerous? Thanks!!
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 07:26 PM
This question is really for the vet. My guess that at the beginning of pregnancy it will not make any difference. However, you probably want to avoid fast speeds later on. Again, you need to ask your vet about it.
Comment by tossa on Saturday, April 20, 2013 12:36 PM
I have a pregnant mustang who allows me to saddle her and get on her but when riding her she will be close to a full run and buck randomly..she is around 14.6 hands high and was rescued after she became pregnant.her name is karma..I was told I shouldn't be riding her because of her actions when I do but once she realizes I'm not getting off she just wants to run and listens very well since she is neck reined and verbal commanded..what's your thoughts of me riding her??
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Saturday, April 20, 2013 09:51 PM
If I were in your place I wouldn't ride her for now. I would spend more time doing ground work with her. However, not in round pen. I would work her in hand, on a lunge line, in long lines or driving reins. I will teach her lateral work such as leg-yields, shoulder-in, turns on the forehand. By the time she has her foal and be ready to work under saddle she will be much better.
Comment by Rebecca on Sunday, July 14, 2013 12:19 PM
Hi. My QH mare is 9 yrs old & about 5 months pregnant . My question is, is it ok to ride her on trail rides with my friends horses. I don't compete in anything I just ride western in trails with my friends. Will it hurt her or the foal if I ride her around other horses? She's foaled before but that was before I bought her. But, I've been told that if I ride her on trails & trot with her or canter she can lose the foal & she may die as well. Please help me!! Thank you!!
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, July 15, 2013 09:11 AM
Mare's pregnancy lasts for 11 months. You can ride her lightly until she 9-10 month into it. She will not lose foal or die, do not listen to everything you hear. Also talk to your vet, he/she will give you very knowledgeable answer.
Do not canter her when she becomes visibly big, may be ride bareback because saddle may not fit. A little trot and lots of walk is very good for her. She will be stronger, healthier and will foal easier.
Comment by Brianna on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 12:27 AM
hi, my horse angle is really fat and i don't know if shes pregnant or just has a hay belly .. she lets me ride her when i kick her it doesn't bug her but my mom thinks i should not ride her cuz she thinks angles pregnant what should i do..?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, August 15, 2013 11:36 AM
Your vet should check her if she is pregnant or not. If she is going to foal soon you should not ride her.
Comment by Lorraine on Monday, June 9, 2014 08:16 AM
Thank you! Love the picture! Just waiting for the preg check ! Vet said light riding, no stress.
Comment by Alicia on Thursday, September 4, 2014 08:22 AM
Looking for advise. I have 3 mares currently in work and pregnant at 5, 4, and 3 months. One has been actively shown all along, this one which I am not so concerned about continuing for another few months until she is too big. However two of the other mares have me worried about working them. One is 14 years old, second foal, and is only useful for walk trot work a couple of times a week. I am afraid that she was not in good enough shape before being bred to be safe continuing riding her, at the same time she is NOT exerted much at all during her 45 min walk, trot lessons. The other is a 6 yr old, first pregnancy, she has been worked pretty consistently all along. She is quite a "hot" horse off the track and works very nicely but has tremendous endurance and requires a long workout to wind down. I am afraid she exerts herself too much at now 5 months and do not want to overheat her. Any opinions? I am more concerned about the 14 yr old mare as she is not in the best of shape, less so about the younger two that have been worked and were in better shape pre pregnancy.
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Thursday, September 4, 2014 07:00 PM
Hi Alicia,
I would strongly suggest talking to your vet about your 14-year-old mare's condition. However, if she looks good regarding her weight and doesn't seem in any discomfort twice a week walk, trot work is only good for her. Feed her well, provide with all necessary nutrients and consider moderate exercise is an important part of a healthy life style for her. I would be more concerned with your hot mare. Most importantly make an assessment how stressful mentally for her to work that hard? Why are you trying to wind her out? Do you need her to wind out because you are asking for very technical, precise work after? Tailor your work to just exercise her for a health benefit not for any other purpose. And may be stop riding her earlier than you have planned. Again, talk to your vet about this. Good luck!
Comment by Ann on Monday, October 6, 2014 07:49 PM
I have a mare that is breed and she looks amazing, I have been using her in Pattern speed horse and team penning. Do you think I can still use her for one of the events? Vet said to continue what I am doing but I am thinking Pattern Speed horse may be a little to much. Does any one else game there horses? Please let me know. She if confirmed 20 days. Getting her check again in 45.
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 07:28 PM
Unless the events make your mare stressed out she can continue doing it because it is early in the pregnancy and physical exertion will not affect it. However, stress may be not a good thing for her.
Comment by Jessie on Saturday, February 21, 2015 10:27 AM
I bred my made last spring (4/20/14), rode her all summer gaming - won 2 different district titles (been champ for 4 years prior), took 5th at state (5 mo preg) and 10th at national level (4 mo preg). She was different for sure but she gave me her all just the same. Never hurt her a bit. My question - will it hurt to start conditioning and training after the foal is born and still compete with the baby along side?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Saturday, February 21, 2015 02:53 PM
The conditioning you can start early. I started working my mare when the foal was 2 weeks old. First few sessions must be short and their main agenda is to accustom the mare and her foal to the peculiarities of mare being worked. At first a foal will try to follow her all the time and kind be in the way. Then the baby starts exploring the place and mom will be worried and she needs to learn to stay focused on work and let her baby be. In my case, in a month things stabilized and everybody were fine. Do not forget to stop frequently to feed the baby :)
The shows are a different story. You really must keep your foal's safety and wellbeing as a priority. How far you have to trailer? Babies cannot stand for long in a trailer, they have to lay down. The showgrounds pose danger in terms of diseases or getting hurt by other horses. Not all shows will allow you to bring a baby. Where will it be while you are performing? Yo can really try and find out answers to all these questions. Just do not make performance your priority
Comment by Jessica Geis on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 11:25 PM
I just had my daughters mare bred today. She's in great shape as she's ridden every day. My daughter mostly rides her bareback down in our creek. How long can she ride her and do we need to separate her from our gelding after she foals? Then later in July there is a 2 day trail ride near us. will she be able to go? Also, will she be able to do 4-H with her? She does barrels, poles, pleasure, etc. Thanks!
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 02:42 PM
You can ride your mare as usual until she is 6 month pregnant. Then you should avoid strenuous exercise like barrel racing. However, bareback your daughter can ride her to the very end if it is just walk. It is very good for pregnant mares to keep moving. You should separate your mare with her foal from the gelding at first but it really depends on a gelding. My gelding was very good and they were together from the beginning even though I was planning to separate.
Comment by Kaysey Atkins on Monday, July 13, 2015 04:00 PM
I went riding with my friend the other day and she loped and galloped once. We rode for like 15 min. The couple she is with, he said she's "riding her to hard, she'll lose the baby". The mare is only maybe 3 months along. Is that true, that she will lose the baby? I know as she gets farther along to not do that but what about now? We weren't hard on her or anything. Just want to check.
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, July 13, 2015 07:10 PM
It doesn't sound like the mare worked hard unless gallop continued for 15 min. It is important not to overheat a pregnant mare in the first month of pregnancy. But later she can work as usual until she is further along. I do encourage your friend to talk to her vet regarding this issue.
Comment by Ashraf Yahya on Sunday, November 22, 2015 03:35 PM
Nice to meet you all thanks for the advice
Comment by Nicole Kelly on Saturday, December 19, 2015 10:57 AM
My dad bought me a 6 year old, 13.2hh cobbish mare at a sale at the end of July. Her description did not specify that she was pregnant and she was in pretty good shape. I schooled her until the start of September and then let her out on grass. We have just brought her back into the stables and even though the other 3 ponies that she was with are fat, she looks as though she is pregnant as her belly has dropped slightly. I wanted to bring her to a hunt as part of her schooling in 4 weeks but IF she is pregnant she must be AT LEAST 5 months by now as we do not have stallions nor have we had her with anyone else's horses. There will be jumps and I really need to know if it is safe to bring her. Should I go? Should
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Saturday, December 19, 2015 11:28 AM
It is impossible to know by looking at the mare if she is pregnant at 5 months of pregnancy. If you are really concerned you should ask a vet to check her. There are three ways: blood test, ultrasound or palpation.
If she is pregnant and you want it go well I would advise not to go on a hunt. It is quite a strenuous event with jumps of different height. Unless you can avoid any jump higher than 2 feet and only jump small logs and ditches :)
Do not guess, check with a vet!
Comment by kranthi venkatesh on Thursday, August 4, 2016 11:51 PM
my mare was 7 years and a throughbred.she was bred in february.how long can i ride my mare?. can i use spurs on her?.and can we do gallop on her?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Monday, August 8, 2016 08:31 PM
By now your mare is 7 months into her pregnancy. Her last trimester is about to start. A foal will be growing very rapidly now. No spurs, no gallop and very light riding. If she feels fine you can ride her until December or beginning of January.
Comment by Alison on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 04:54 AM
I have a mare that I bought and she had a foal 11 months ago. She was fine before the foal but does not want to trot now. Walk or Canter. Could having the foal be the issue?
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 07:20 AM
Possibly. You may want to check her with a chiropractor in case she is out of alignment in her hips. If she trots in a paddock but not under saddle check the saddle fit. After the foal her back might changed.
Comment by Angela on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 12:21 PM
my mare is due march or April she is a Anglo-Thoroughbred she cant go a day without riding if i do not ride her she jumps the fence and comes to my window neighing at me i dont know what to do she is very very active never stops moving she falls a lot to running her fence a lot we had to higher the fence so she couldn't get out to find me.. can you help me i need to know if i can still ride her
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 07:54 PM
Yes, of course you can. Do not do canter, lots of walking and some trot. If saddle does not fit ride with bareback pad or simply bareback. If she is so active herself riding her will not hurt her. It will rather help her stay fit and happy.
Comment by angela on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 01:57 PM
Good, I'im so happy I can still ride her and she is happy too. You helped me get some weight of my shoulders. Thank you so much
Comment by Claire on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 08:19 PM
My mare is sound and healthy and could probably complete a 50 mile endurance ride without any problems (that's what we have been conditioning for). I was planning on breeding her at the beginning of October. There's only one endurance ride close to me this year and it is in mid November, so she'd be roughly 30 days into her pregnancy. If I were to do a 25 mile on her but she was in shape to do a 50 mile before breeding, could that potentially be harmful? I will ask my vet as well but I'd prefer to have some background knowledge beforehand! She does not tend to get stressed out as easily as my other mares (she's used to traveling and difficult trails) and it's typically pretty cold here in November, so I am not worried about her overheating if that helps! Thanks!
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 08:39 PM
The physical exertion of the 25 mile ride will not be harmful at all to 30 day pregnancy. The danger lies more in being exposed to strange horses with possibility of catching a disease. If you have her vaccinated particularly against Rino the version that causes pregnant mare to abort then you should be OK. Do talk to your vet about these issues.
Comment by Jordyn Trollip on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 06:48 PM
Hi, My appaloosa 4 year old mare is due to have her 1st foal December 14th. When can I stop riding her? She is very easy going...
Comment by Irina Yastrebova on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 08:19 PM
Very light riding, especially without saddle, you can continue up until mid November. Use your common sense, if she gets too big, and feels uncomfortable moving stop riding. If saddle is not fitting anymore, stop using it, no canter in last month or two of riding. Good luck with the baby!
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