Holistic Horsekeeping Newsletter, April 2022, Volume 27, Number 4
Dr. Madalyn Ward – How to have a healthy happy horse
So you want to breed your mare after weighing all the pros and cons of this big decision. The next step is to make sure your mare and her offspring are as healthy as can be.
Consideration #1. Make sure your mare is not overweight
Carrying a foal is hard on the joints and hooves so you don’t want extra fat on your mare. It is better to breed your mare when she is at about a 5 on a body mass score of 1 to 10. You will be increasing her calories in the last trimester of her pregnancy but she doesn’t need any more food until that stage. If your mare is overweight you can adjust her feed down and give a supplement, Lean Muscle, that will help her gain muscle rather than fat. Strong muscles will help her back to carry the extra weight of the foal.
Consideration #2. Keep toxins away from your mare
Your mare is having to clean her blood and her foal’s so keep her diet and environment as clean as possible. Avoid chemical fly sprays, dewormers and medications while your mare is pregnant. Use chemical dewormers only if your mare has a positive fecal test for parasite eggs. Keep vaccinations to an absolute minimum. No vaccines should be given in the last few months of her pregnancy.
Ideally, you want to feed organic feeds and hays that have not been sprayed with herbicides.
Consideration #3. Feed nutrient rich superfoods
I love to feed Blue Green algae to pregnant mares. With this food I am not adding calories but I am adding whole food vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and important amino acids. When you give your mare Blue Green algae she transfers these nutrients to the foal even before it is born. This allows for healthy bone development and gives the foal added energy to get up and nurse easily.
Good luck with your breeding and relax knowing you are taking the right steps to ensure your mare gets in foal and has a healthy baby.
Develop a Better Relationship with Your Horse
By learning about your horse’s temperament type, you can develop a better relationship with and understanding of your horse. We have lots of resources to help you discover what type your horse is and what the special needs of that type are. You will find lots of information on the Horse Temperament website, including an online course, help from temperament consultants, balancing formulas, and books/audios. Then check out the “5 Element Personality” sections of articles on our blog and the Intro to 5 horse types and temperaments on Holistic Horsekeeping.
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