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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2011
    Posts
    644

    Default baby anxiety in a mare (sorry, kinda long)

    I haven't bred any of my mares the last couple years, partly due to economy, and partly because I lost my favorite mare a couple years ago and it kinda took the "fun" out of it for me. Earlier this year, one of my neighbors bought a weanling, and shortly after one of my mares (who absolutely loves her job as a broodmare) would start hanging out as close as she could get and watch the baby. Her longing for another one of her own is very clear.

    I haven't worried about it all summer and fall, as she (most of the time) comes in to eat without having to be grabbed and dragged in, and she doesn't worry so much that she loses weight or anything. However, now that it's getting colder and the rainy season is upon us, her pining away after a soon-to-be yearling is beginning to worry me. The worse the weather is, the more she stares after him and the more reluctant she is to come in. As soon as she's done eating and turned back out (and she does clean up every morsel, her appetite isn't affected, luckily), she immediately resumes her vigil, or at least makes a trip over to the fence to make sure baby's alright-- even if it's dark and the baby isn't in a visible part of their property.

    So, my question is: would one of those calming supplements possibly help her? I've never used one on a horse before so am unfamiliar with how they help and which one is the best. I've been seriously giving thought to breeding just her next spring to make her happier, but in the meantime, or if I decide not to breed after all, does anyone have any suggestions that would help take her mind off the baby?
    "...That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear." --Stephen King



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    5,129

    Default

    It sounds like she is lonely by herself, not necessarily an attachment to a baby specifically. Horses are herd animals so an attachment to any horse across the fence wouldnt surprise me.

    Get her a companion of her own if you want her to stop using the neighbor's yearling as her buddy.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2011
    Posts
    644

    Default

    Thanks, SuckerForHorses. Should've mentioned, she is out with 2 other mares and a gelding, so she has plenty of other company. She still chooses to leave them and go over and stand and watch the baby. The neighbors are one property over, not right next door, if that helps clarify so anyone can offer more suggestions.
    "...That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller, but for want of an understanding ear." --Stephen King



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    2,190

    Default

    She is fine health wise and eating? Then just let her be and don't give her something she doesn't need. She feels it is her job to watch the youngster? Then let her do it. She may be drawn to him but I don't think animals long for a new baby( they are not human). She is just attached to this particular one.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    19,887

    Default

    Not to mention, a baby is a 6 month or so deal then the mare is alone again. Definitely not a long term plan. I would leave her alone.



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