Does mare temperament change when bred vs after foal is weaned?
hi all!Have a mare that had a foal in July, just sent them to a trainers barn to be weaned. bought the mare while she was preggers,and bought her based on her calm nature, calm to ride and drive at the sellers farm, and here, and she has been cool as a cucumber while at my farm. Now she spent a month at the training barn (they waited until her bag went down to ride), but it was about 2 wks from time of weaning till they started riding her. My question is- can mare temperament vary drastically after weaning vs. while pregnant? I rode /drove her 3 days prior to taking her to the training barn, so she was her same calm self even after not having been ridden for 2 months while being a momma. At the training barn she has turned in to a witch! She spins out on the handler when being walked/trotted in hand, she reared and bucked while trainer was riding her (saw this), and now she bucks on lunge and is a freight train on lunge, whereas previous to trainer, to lunge she was calm, laid back, and even lazy. I would not get on her at this point in time now since she is acting so "hot". Any ideas? hormones, improper trainer, or this is truly how she is since she is no longer pregnant? I have since pulled her from trainer as it didn't seem to be good fit for her, and she is still acting hot and stupid. This mare is something I would have put a greenie beginner on before she went to trainers...any ideas? scratching head....... thanks for any comments!
She was on strategy and all the hay she could eat before going, and there she got appropriate hay and 32% protein/vitamin "supplement"-no regular grain.
Protein, from what I have read, isn't "supposed" to make them hot, but who knows??
I think maybe good to take her from the trainer .... maybe when she cools down, you can find a better fit where her confidence can be restored and anxiety lessened. It doesn't seem as if the diet change could have caused the behavioural change ... Hope you get this sorted.
So the mare and the baby were at he trainer's barn. Now she is home, are they both home? I'm a bit confused. Maybe they need to be separated off the farm? Give her time on her old routines before she had the baby?
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I just went through a similar weaning situation. My calm, easy going mare was weaned mid September. We did a week of pasture separation (which was a non event) and then i shipped her off to a training facility (another non event). After a week or two, she quickly developed nervous behavior-pacing, screaming to her pasture mates, a nervous, explosive wreck under saddle...
We are now 3.5 months under saddle and finally in the last 2-3 weeks she has completely calmed down and settled back into her usual self.
A few things to consider: she is a hormonal wreck. regardless of how she took to the initial separation from her foal, the hormones are still all over the place and can have a considerable affect on her demeanor. We put mine on Depo and then switched to Regumate, which finally seems to be working after about a month on the Regumate. We also switched her grain to a low sugar diet. Also, consider slowing the training regimen. Your post does not delve into what the trainer is doing with her, but I didn't back mine until 2 full weeks of simply lunge work. I basically started her all over again, as if she were a 3 year old. Also consider how out of shape your mare may be, and her hind end is most likely weak, and it is probably painful/muscle sore to suddenly jump back into work. It might also be worth having a chiropractor adjust her-squeezing out a 130lb baby could easily slip something out of place that is uncomfortable for her under saddle.
All in all, I say take it very slow and don't push her. No sense forcing an issue if she is being 'mare-ish'. If she is having a bad day, adjust your goals. She has been through a lot in a short amount of time- the lounge lizard life in a pasture, being a mommy, traumatic separation, imbalanced hormones, and now a totally new farm/routine and a training program. It is probably a lot for her to deal with. I would start with putting her on hormones and take it from there.
I can say that the wait will be worth it. It is an enormous sense of accomplishment when the lightbulb turns on and they finally 'get it'. She will get there, it just takes time and understanding.
Last edited by silanac; Jan. 18, 2013 at 08:47 AM.