advice for horses is carry on as usual prior to foaling
until the body tells you otherwise. The foal is a relatively
small burden until the final stages of pregnancy.When the
mare starts to develop the characteristic dropped belly
and swinging movement she is ready to slow down.
they were domesticated and in the wild horses experienced
a long steady low impact type of activity with no aerobic
exertion like galloping or high impact activity like jumping.So
don't put to much stress on your in-foal mare. The mare's
centre of gravity shifts backwards to the rear of the body
and more strain is placed on the body as the mare grows
in weight. Additional stress is placed on joints, ligaments
and tendons so increasing the risk of injury. In the final
week before foaling the mare's pelvic ligaments start to
relax in preparation for the birth. At this point she is
prone to injury and not suitable for riding.
After Birth. A return to gentle activity after the
foal is born is advised provided both mother and foal are
in good health and they should be turned out for as long
as possible if the weather is suitable.Many mares lose condition
quickly if they are not fed and cared for appropriately.
Lactating takes a lot out of a mare.If she is coping well
you can work a mare but allow her to remain in sight of
her unweaned foal so that the foal avoids upset or risk
of an injury.Getting your mare gently back into shape should
be preceded by a check up of her back and pelvis which have
undergone a lot of strain during pregnancy.
Food & Nutrition. Avoid feeding your mare
a nutritionally rich feed as soon as she becomes pregnant.
Broodmares require very little extra until the last three
months before foaling. If a mare gets too fat she may be
at risk of getting laminitis.Stud feeds are nutitionally
balanced for both your mare and her foal until weaning.
Cutting back on stud feed because your mare is overweight
may induce a vitamin or mineral deficiency in both the mare
and her foal unless remedied by the addition of a suitable
supplement. In most cases it's a good idea to keep the hard
feed going until weaning. Thoroughbred foals can gain up
to 1kg of body weight everyday. Providing the necessary
milk takes it out of a mare. However, the requirements of
native ponies is a lot less. After weaning the mare may
return to her normal diet.
now go to Mating (4)
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