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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2006
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    Grayson, KY
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    628

    Default Sensitive udder ???

    I have a maiden mare in foal for this Sept. She is extremely sensitive if you get any where near her udder and tries to kick. Will this be a problem for the foal nursing and can I do anything???? I've been trying to desensitize her by handling the area and she is better but still hateful about it and I've decided to quit until after I foal so that my big belly doesn't take a cow kick... Just curious if anyone has experience with this.

    Thanks!
    There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse-Robert Smith Surtees
    Breeding TBs, Connemaras and TB/Conn crosses for eventing
    www.twistoffateeventing.com



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2004
    Location
    Petaluma, CA USA
    Posts
    2,914

    Default

    I have had mares (Suerte is one) that I can not touch their udders. Absolutely not going to happen. Once the foal is there it is a completely different story and they are just fine.
    I have had maidens that are a little 'goosey' about having there udder handled but they usually come around.
    Good luck with your mare.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2004
    Location
    Houston, Tx
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    1,039

    Default

    I have also had goosy maidens. It makes sense to me - even after delivery, mares will want to push away other foals from their udders. I haven't ever had a problem with a maiden nursing their own foal - regardless of their sensitivity before foaling.

    Jill



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2005
    Location
    Northern California
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    1,663

    Default

    My mare is a maiden too. I was worried she may have issues with it and go figure, right in front of her udders and in front of her stifles has become one of her favorite places to be rubbed lately! I was trying to work with her daily since she's an unknown but I think we'll be ok. We'll see if that changes once milk comes in.....maybe she's just like us women when we are pregnant and our nipples are so sore.

    Good luck!
    Cloverfox Stables



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    8,374

    Default

    I have a different opinion. I had a mare like this and finally gave up trying to get her comfortable with having her udder gently handled. I was hoping that instinct would kick in once the foal was born. My hopes were not fulfilled. The mare quite violently rejected her foal and it took four people and a ton of drugs to get her milked so that the foal got some colostrum.

    The mare never accepted the foal and she ended up being raised as an orphan.

    I would try washing your mare's udder with warm water and soap. I have found that most mares love having that done once they realize that you will be gentle. The warm water and soap makes things slippery, which feels good. Be careful, go slowly and be very, very gentle. Since my awful experience with the mare mentioned above, I have not had one that did not accept udder handling as long as it started as a very gentle udder washing. Good luck!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2003
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    647

    Default

    I view a horse trying to kick me when I am touching it's udder the same as if it tried to kick me while I was picking it's feet or brushing it's hind end - completely unacceptable! It's a basic lack of respect for their handler. My young mares don't even realize that protesting it is an option... Some don't care at all and some look annoyed, but they know better than to try and kick me.
    I always start touching them long before their udder is full and sore and am very gentle (and have used the warm, soapy water trick - works great!) but if they try to nail me when I am gently touching their udder, they are promptly corrected! I won't accept it.
    I did have one mare that was not mine and was boarded here when she was pregnant with her first foal and she was awful when you tried to touch her udder. We had to have 3 people and a twitch on her to be able to touch it the first time, but she realized pretty quickly that
    A) I wasn't going to tolerate that behavior
    B) it really wasn't that bad....
    (of course, I had to get through part A before she realized part B)



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2005
    Location
    washington
    Posts
    66

    Default

    All my girls young and old get their udders handled frequently throughout the year.
    They will actually spread out their legs, lift their tails and curl up their upper lip in pleasure as it's itchy and icky down there from dust, skin oils (mud in the winter) and gnat bites so they are all willing and pleased to have such attention.

    If the dirt is left on the udders for too long and gets encrusted then more often than not they start to rub their tails in an effort to ease the discomfort and people then tend to think they have worms, when in fact thier udders need attention.

    I start touching them and washing them down there as soon as they are born or when I purchase them. It becomes routine, the same with washing my stallions penis even when it's not breeding time. Then it becomes no big deal.
    www.wyevalleyfarm.com
    Home of SMOKE TREE GOLD FEVER Welsh pony stallion and other animals



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2004
    Location
    Left coast, left wing, left field
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    6,839

    Default

    I have made the effort to get to the point where I can handle my mares' udders. The ones I got later in (their) life can be a bit squirrelly about it at first... I mean anything older than fillyhood, if they weren't introduced to it then. But not only do I want the mare to be used to it, before little lips are searching the area, I also don't think I could STAND the last few days or weeks of gestation without doing milk testing!

    I have a maiden due mid-May. I wish I could have filmed the day I first made hand contact with the area between her nipples. Her facial expression said "OH! the violation! OH! the indignity! OH?! OH!! OMG, don't stop, where have you BEEN all my life!"

    I agree, kicking out is no different whatever the cause or catalyst. I do go slowly with approach-and-retreat, going back to a place she loves to be pet, but I insist on respect and progress toward the goal.
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2003
    Location
    Boston, MA USA
    Posts
    282

    Default

    Heh. Figures my mare was the opposite as a maiden. Lurrrrved woobie-scratches before and while pregnant. When Jr. was born apparently she missed the memo that she needed to feed him, too. She thought he was the cutest little thing, but only when he kept his mouth away from her. Poor thing was in so much pain with an engorged udder that she REALLY didn't want anyone or anything near her.

    Good thing we had a pretty good relationship and she trusted me that she HAD to let him nurse NOW and it wasn't a request. Please.

    He, on the other hand, might have remained a bit suspicious of the whole thing:
    http://theark.weaselworks.net/~noah/...2/DSCN1356.jpg



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
    Posts
    14,409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ticofuzzy View Post
    I view a horse trying to kick me when I am touching it's udder the same as if it tried to kick me while I was picking it's feet or brushing it's hind end - completely unacceptable! It's a basic lack of respect for their handler. My young mares don't even realize that protesting it is an option... Some don't care at all and some look annoyed, but they know better than to try and kick me.
    I always start touching them long before their udder is full and sore and am very gentle (and have used the warm, soapy water trick - works great!) but if they try to nail me when I am gently touching their udder, they are promptly corrected! I won't accept it.
    I did have one mare that was not mine and was boarded here when she was pregnant with her first foal and she was awful when you tried to touch her udder. We had to have 3 people and a twitch on her to be able to touch it the first time, but she realized pretty quickly that
    A) I wasn't going to tolerate that behavior
    B) it really wasn't that bad....
    (of course, I had to get through part A before she realized part B)
    I TOTALLY agree!!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2006
    Location
    Grayson, KY
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    628

    Default

    I totally agree it's an unexceptable behavior and all of my horses allow ALL parts of their bodies to be handled with no objections because they know better and my old mare actually LOVES her udder being scratched HOWEVER, I just got this mare this summer off the track and she's 7 years old and I'm guessing she has NEVER been handled there. I really didn't think about touching her udder until I decided I'd better try to see what would happen since she's a maiden and that's when I discovered she doesn't like it. Since I'm 28 weeks pregnant I didn't want to get into too big of a battle and that's why I asked if anyone knows any tricks. She actually is doing quite well letting me handle it but she's very trusting of me now but if someone else goes to touch her there she acts up again...thus my fear for the little one.

    Thanks for all the input...I'll try the warm soapy water and see if that makes it any better.
    There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse-Robert Smith Surtees
    Breeding TBs, Connemaras and TB/Conn crosses for eventing
    www.twistoffateeventing.com



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2005
    Location
    Oxford, USA
    Posts
    3,735

    Default

    Our farrier searches for "titty" dirt after he trims our fillies. He may keep a hind foot in the air while he does it, but he really wants them comfortable with his body getting under their belly while he is working. I haven't had one yet that he didn't win over into liking it.
    Anne
    -------
    "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
    Posts
    14,409

    Default

    twistoffate, do not put you or your unborn child at risk to deal with this. I make sure I have one hand on the halter, or as close as I can get - turning their heads back while I am reaching. Just try to clean between the teats a bit at first. You may find that she is really itchy and enjoys the rubbing. Use that to continue to the udder itself after a few days. When they begin to get tender as the udder fills, you may have to read them the riot act for a bit. I don't wait until they kick. I don't allow them to pin their ears. They wouldn't pin their ears if the herd leader sniffed/touched them there, because they would know they would get pulverized. I expect same amount of respect.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2003
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    647

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoZ View Post
    I wish I could have filmed the day I first made hand contact with the area between her nipples. Her facial expression said "OH! the violation! OH! the indignity! OH?! OH!! OMG, don't stop, where have you BEEN all my life!"
    OMG - you are too funny!!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2006
    Location
    Grayson, KY
    Posts
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    Default

    Fairview- I promise I won't put my child in danger which is why I said in my OP that I'm laying off until after I foal then I'll get back at her. Just wanted to see if anyone had experience with mares with this issue. Thanks for the input! I'll give it a try in a couple of months. I've just got cabin fever and can't wait to get back to the horses more so all these questions go through my head about things I can work on during my 3 month maternity leave!!!!!!
    There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse-Robert Smith Surtees
    Breeding TBs, Connemaras and TB/Conn crosses for eventing
    www.twistoffateeventing.com



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
    Location
    it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
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    12,079

    Default

    At the Paint farm I used to partner with, we had one that we had to put a stuffed glove on a stick to get even NEAR there. Dunno what had happened to this poor girl. Toilet plunger handle was the right length, stuffed a soft glove, and just kept reaching and prodding etc. Eventually we could get closer and, as everyone else has mentioned, she discovered it was not bad, but in fact good.

    I had another maiden mare who would just 'tolerate' me for cleaning and such... she almost rejected her first foal. It was quite trying.

    So once you're done foaling yourself, definitely work on it, I *don't* believe that nature 'just kicks in.'
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    IL
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    2,556

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pintopiaffe View Post
    At the Paint farm I used to partner with, we had one that we had to put a stuffed glove on a stick to get even NEAR there. Dunno what had happened to this poor girl. Toilet plunger handle was the right length, stuffed a soft glove, and just kept reaching and prodding etc. Eventually we could get closer and, as everyone else has mentioned, she discovered it was not bad, but in fact good.

    I had another maiden mare who would just 'tolerate' me for cleaning and such... she almost rejected her first foal. It was quite trying.

    So once you're done foaling yourself, definitely work on it, I *don't* believe that nature 'just kicks in.'
    We had one that almost rejected her first foal - squealed everytime the foal nursed for a day or so.
    *The Quietman ~ Irish Approved Gr.1 Stallion
    www.windyislesfarms.com
    Like Us on Facebook



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    470

    Default

    My maiden mare would like nothing better than to rip my arm off or kick my head in if I tried to go anywhere near the udder. Grooming too far back on the belly or high up on the inside of a hind leg resulted in a similar though less violent reaction. This was for all the years I had her before I bred her as well as while she was in foal, while nursing and ever since weaning.

    I too was terrified that she would not let the foal anywhere near the milk source.
    Luckily I was worrying unnecessarily - that little foal could shove her head around under there, looking for her next meal and my mare made it as easy as she could for her ... stood very still, stopped munching on her hay and waited patiently for the foal to latch on and drink. If I then approached the udder, I was met with a look of "you are not my baby, move away or I will hurt you".



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 27, 2003
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    6,030

    Default

    I have one that doesn't like to be touched there but will tolerate it. However, once she starts to bag up, there is no issue and I can milk test or wash her udder no problem. She is a fabulous mother & loves her babies, so I don't worry too much about it.

    My other mare could care less about being touched in that area. She's had 4 foals & has been there, done that. Both mares love to be scartched just in front of their udders though. My weanling already has no issue with that area but I started early with her.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
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    14,409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JenJ View Post
    My maiden mare would like nothing better than to rip my arm off or kick my head in if I tried to go anywhere near the udder. Grooming too far back on the belly or high up on the inside of a hind leg resulted in a similar though less violent reaction. This was for all the years I had her before I bred her as well as while she was in foal, while nursing and ever since weaning.

    I too was terrified that she would not let the foal anywhere near the milk source.
    Luckily I was worrying unnecessarily - that little foal could shove her head around under there, looking for her next meal and my mare made it as easy as she could for her ... stood very still, stopped munching on her hay and waited patiently for the foal to latch on and drink. If I then approached the udder, I was met with a look of "you are not my baby, move away or I will hurt you".
    How did you get her udder washed for the foal to nurse? What if the foal was weak, and you needed to milk out the colostrum? I do a bit of that for each foal before they begin to lick on walls and other things to protect them. I never let a foal take a risk I am not willing to take.



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