It’s easy to forget that moms come in all shapes and leg counts. We shower our two-legged mothers every year with extra love and special treatment, but what do we do for our four-legged mamas? They need love just as much!
Broodmares still appreciate a spa day! Just because their allotted “job” in life is as a production facility, doesn’t mean they don’t need to be maintained and keep in good health and spirits. If anything, their care is more important during these months. Don’t skip on things like farrier visits or grooming just because they’re “just hanging out in the field, getting fat.”
Who doesn’t love a vacation? We all need, and deserve a break from work, and broodmares are no exception. In the planning of their breeding schedule, make sure you incorporate time outs for her to catch her breath and just be a horse for a little while. You’ll have a happier, healthier mama as a result.
If your mare is used to being ridden or exercised in some way pre-pregnancy, then the activity should continue (as vet permitted) as long as possible, in a way that accomodates her pregnancy. All horses need mental stimulation of some kind, they like having a purpose, and some can even multi-task. Give her the opportunity to keep her legs stretched and mind busy.
A girl still needs her girl time. Isolation can be depressing, especially to a mare in foal without much else going on. If she didn’t already have pasture-mates prior to breeding, find her a or some suitable companions to help keep her company. Remember that being in foal can alter her personality too, so the same horses she got along with before, may not be her best friends now. Monitor the relationships to make sure she’s still getting along with them, and make changes as needed to keep her social life busy.
Remember this; just because she CAN, doesn’t mean she should. At a certain point in the life of every broodmare, you have to wish them a happy retirement. Resist the temptation to just get one more out of them. If they’ve given you years of healthy babies, say thank you with letting them move on to relaxing in their twilight years. Find new uses for them to keep their minds active, but with a little more leisure time. They’ve earned it!