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Mare Management 101

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  • Mare Management 101

    Last night, I took MiniMO and my niece to ride their pony. Pony is 16-18yo, sweet little grade mare, chestnut with flaxen mane and tail, and about as perfect a kid's pony as a pony can be. Needs an occaisional refresher from a "big" rider on brakes/bending etc. but generally a good nanny.

    Last night on the cross ties, she was squatting and pissing all over the place. Let me tell you it was really fun to answer all the "why is she doing that mommy?" type of questions. I wasn't really prepared to get into that, but I had trouble making up something on the spot. Made for an interesting night.

    In the arena, away from the other horses she is usually completely aloof. Last night she was squealing...not calling to the other horses, but squealing! Ugh. I longed her first because she was definitely frisky and she only got more and more wound up. Coming back in the barn, she left a trail of urine from one end to the other. She was distracted and pushy the whole night, and usually my 4yo daughter can handle her on the ground.

    Now, if it were my pony, I'd have no problem cowgirling up and making her focus, but the girls are rank beginners and I'm not dealing with this drama. We are getting chemical help ASAP. What are my options? I know about regumate, but isn't there a new version that is more user-friendly? What about depo? Implants (chemical and/or marble)? I'm also willing to discuss herbal options, but pony needs to get a grip so I need an effective solution.

    Did I mention I'm not a mare person! I really like this pony when she's not in season, but I'm going back to geldings in the future.

  • #2
    I don't know why you felt the need to make something up. Maybe you didn't need to explain every aspect of the equine reproductive cycle but an overview wouldn't have scarred them for life in my opinion. Something like "her body is telling her it's time to make a baby but we need her to focus on be ridden" would suffice in my opinion. Spaying is the longest lasting solution. Regumate works well. Sometimes red raspberry leaves help, sometimes they don't. Not a fan of the marble technique.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home

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    • #3
      In my experience sometimes the first cycle or two of a season is the worst for a mare and after that, they cycle but aren't so outright demonstrative. I bought a mare last August who never showed me a cycle the rest of the year. She cycled back in February and while she was certainly frisky, she kept her wits and she's coming into her next cycle here any day.

      As for very young children and horny mares I told my girls "When God and the Angels tell the girl horses they can have a boyfriend and a baby, it makes the girl horses act this way."

      Marbles don't work, IMO. Regumate is your friend if the pony really is unmanageable for the child. Good luck!!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
        I don't know why you felt the need to make something up. Maybe you didn't need to explain every aspect of the equine reproductive cycle but an overview wouldn't have scarred them for life in my opinion. Something like "her body is telling her it's time to make a baby but we need her to focus on be ridden" would suffice in my opinion. Spaying is the longest lasting solution. Regumate works well. Sometimes red raspberry leaves help, sometimes they don't. Not a fan of the marble technique.
        The best sex ed my daughters had as pre-teens was assisting the does (goats) during labor and tidying things up afterwards. As teenagers when they tried to leave the house wearing something too low cut I told them "You remind me of our horny goats." They would snarl, spin on their heels, go back to the bedroom and find an appropriate shirt.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Telling the 4yo about reproductive science doesn't concern me as much as the "Why?" that comes after every statement! Believe me, if a simple birds and bees answer would have sufficed I'd have done it, but lately I've been giving the simplest answers possible. MiniMO takes a statement and runs with it, and then brings it up again at the worst possible moment. "She had to go to the bathroom really bad...she must have drunk a lot of water today" seemed like the best way to avoid her telling our pastor about the pony really wanting to have a boyfriend and a baby next Sunday!

          Spaying - I thought that had the least effect on behavior?

          Is there not a newer, longer-lasting form of regumate? I thought there was something new with that.

          I understand depo can take a lot of trial and error to get the doseage correct - is that true?

          thanks guys.

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          • #6
            I am guessing that you might be thinking of injectible progesterone?
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

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            • #7
              A friend had good results using RelaxHer on her whore of a mare.
              Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
              Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
              VW sucks.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SLW View Post
                In my experience sometimes the first cycle or two of a season is the worst for a mare and after that, they cycle but aren't so outright demonstrative.
                My experience, too.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Oh gosh I hope this first heat is the worst and then all calms down. She is being absolutely horrid to the gelding stalled next to her. I told the BO to feel free to move her but he just laughed. He likes mares though.

                  Did not know anything about oxytocin. Preventing heat cycles for the remainder of the season (or year or her whole life!) would be great, especially if it could be done without me handling potentially toxic substances.

                  Wow, explaining live cover to a 4yo - do not envy you there!

                  I try to be as forthcoming with MiniMO as possible, but recently she saw a snippet on TV about Rosa Parks, so I explained the history and significance. Later, we went to the grocery store and got in line behind and African American lady. MinoMO proceeded to ask me (very loudly) if this lady would be allowed to ride the bus, and why didn't they let them back then and it was mean that they tried to make Rosa move (MiniMO suffers from diarhhea of the mouth, as many 4yo's do) and finally she addressed the woman and told her that she would let her ride in our car if she wanted, all while I am frantically trying to stuff grapes in her mouth.

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                  • #10
                    [quote=meaty ogre;5469799
                    Wow, explaining live cover to a 4yo - do not envy you there!

                    .[/quote]

                    I am a mare person, currently have 11 female horses from a yearling on up. Last summer I took my older daughter with me when I went to the trainig stables where I had Sophie. I was tacking up in the wash stall when my daughter went over to see a mare who was winking and I had to explain that to her.

                    "MOM, you gotta see what this horse is doing with her rear end!!!"

                    Did I mention my daughter was 30 and grew up on a horse farm?
                    I wasn't always a Smurf
                    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
                    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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                    • #11
                      My mare has had a marble for four years, and no apparent cycling since it was inserted. They work about 75% of the time when implanted at the vet school (UT), but my regular vet hasn't had good luck. I think it is timing of insertion and using the correct marble that makes the difference.

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