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Temporarily relocating the pregnant mare

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  • Temporarily relocating the pregnant mare

    I'm looking at spending the next 8 weeks in Florida and taking my horses south. It will be great to ride the young horses in some decent weather! But is there anything special I should prepare for with my pregnant mare? She's just about 8 months along, due in early May.

    I plan to move back home to KY about 4 weeks before she's due; I know you want the mare to acclimate to her foaling location in advance so her (and therefore foal's) immune system can adapt to the particular bugs of the area.

    She's healthy, in good weight, has had a pretty stress-free pregnancy so far (knock wood), and is an easy shipper. She'll be getting vaccinated, Coggins, etc before travel. The place in FL is private-- only my horses will be there, so I don't have to worry about her contacting other horses and catching something.

    Is there anything else I should prepare for? (Other than the usual FL horsekeeping issues...sand, bugs, etc?) I know it's probably best if she could stay here in KY, but I'd rather take care of her myself and keep her with her buddy.
    “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
    ? Albert Einstein


  • #2
    The following is my opinion, and only that.... Moving your mare to FL right now probably isn't so bad, but bringing her back to a different climate in addition to a lengthy trailer ride 4 weeks before parturition seems like a risky proposition. I wouldn't do it..
    Siegi Belz
    2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
    Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


    • #3
      Agree with Siegi, an experienced and successful breeder, on this. 4 weeks prior to foaling is getting close in new environment for foaling out as well as the long trailer ride prior. Not that it can't be done successfully, but in general is better to reduce any late pregnancy stress, re. antibodies and otherwise at that point. I'd prefer not to do it either unless it was absolutely necessary.

      Hope you have fun in Florida!
      Last edited by Oranges2012; Feb. 6, 2013, 12:31 AM.


      • #4
        It’s been my experience the majority of mares are not nearly as fragile as people like to think. We have had a number of mares ship in a few weeks before foaling and have never experienced any problems. Unless she has a “history” I wouldn’t worry.
        A lot of mares go threw the ring at the Keeneland January sale and occasionally some have foaled on the sales grounds. Perfectly healthy foals. It seems to me that being shipped to a sale, being stalled for several days, being pulled out for inspection 5-20 times a day for several days, going threw the ring, and then being shipped across town or across the country to a new farm is about as stressful as it comes. If this caused a high rate of mares slipping or aborting the January and the November sale would not exist. Considering 1000’s have been subjected to this year in year out for many years makes for a pretty strong case in point.
        But, as always to each their own.


        • Original Poster

          Thanks, gumtree... my experience with breeding comes mainly from the TB world as well, where it's not uncommon to ship mares to foal out/be rebred in other locations. I was taught 30 days out is usually safe, and as you mentioned, Keeneland January and Fasig February get all kinds from all over! If such treatment caused mass abortions, you wouldn't see as many out-of-state broodmares sold at the big sales.

          Ideally, I would leave my mare at home and not bother her with relocating. However, there is no one here to take care of her, and all the other horses are leaving. I do have some boarding contacts in Lexington, but truthfully I would much rather have her in my care, with my closed herd, than introduce her to a new place, with new pasturemates, possibly a change in feed/hay, and different management. I will have my own feed and hay supply with me in FL, she'll have her same best friend, so I'm trying to keep some consistency there.

          The vet was out yesterday to do vaccinations, and told me not to worry about it; he ships TB mares all over the US and internationally. In his opinion, a month out shouldn't be a concern, especially as she was a show horse and traveled a lot, so it shouldn't be overly stressful.
          “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
          ? Albert Einstein