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Grumpy Mare... is a WONDERFUL mother!!!! It's a filly!!

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  • Grumpy Mare... is a WONDERFUL mother!!!! It's a filly!!

    I'm just curious about other's experiences.... I know I'll just have to be prepared to deal with what happens and restrain this mare as needed to let the foal nurse.

    I have a 13 YO TB mare that is very witchy about having her udder's touched. She's at 330 days today and fully bagged up. I was going to try to get some milk the other day to test but I didn't have a helper (dear husband) available so I decided it wasn't worth getting my head kicked off over. I'll try again with twitch and hubby tonight.

    She's had 2 foals and was (I am told) a wonderful mother. She was mishandled on the track and that's why she's so pissy about this. She's gotten a lot better about most things since I've had her.

    I assume once the foal is born her maternal instincts will take over and she'll let the foal nurse without any issue. I'm just curious, have any of you ever had one who's got "touchy" issues that suddenly decides not to be a good mama?

    Like I said, I think she'll be fine and I have no doubt that her previous owner was honest because she was very upfront about other issues. If she's a brat I'm prepared to deal with it I was just wondering what your experiences have been.

    Last edited by mlranchtx; Feb. 25, 2009, 05:43 AM.

  • #2
    Have you touched her udder before? I always recommend that people start handling those parts on a mare way before they become engorged and painful (which is where she is right now). So, unless you know how to milk quietly, you're probably hurting your mare's sore udder.

    Try a very soft sponge/cloth and warm water to help her get some relief before you start the milking process. Your mare is not grumpy, she is just a little sore.... Be empathetic and treat her like the highly pregnant, sensitive mare that she is. It'll make your life around her a lot easier, especially once the baby is born.

    Good luck!
    Siegi Belz
    2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
    Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


    • Original Poster

      Well, we had a "talk" and I won.

      I twitched her and then we chatted and I moved really slowly and I think she finally figured out what I was doing.

      Previous owner said she was told the mare had her stifles blistered when she was on the track and that's why she's so bad about having that whole area touched.

      Anyway, we had a breakthrough and I got some milk. I have a predict-a-foal kit with some strips left from last year. I don't know how good they are but she's at a 3/4 or so. I'm going to get some pool strips today. I wasn't real prepared this year but I didn't think she'd let me get any milk.

      We're at day 342 today but she has gone to 354 and 368 inthe past. We shall see!!


      • #4
        I had a TB mare who wouldn't let me touch her udder. She was a maiden, and I was afraid of what she would do once the foal was born. As soon as the foal arrived, my mare turned into a good mother and and let the baby nurse. She was also good about letting me come into the stall with her and the baby.


        • #5
          Glad you guys had a talk.

          I do agree that getting the mare use to you touching there before she gets big, hard and sensitive there would help. Especially if your hands are really cold .

          Maybe giving her a bucket of carrots while you are back there and take the twitch off. And yes motherly instincts do kick in on 95% of mommas. First time moms can be difficult for the first day or so but 2,3+ time moms are usually good.

          Good luck with the foaling...

          Join us on FACEBOOK
          Living life for the journey, not the destination.


          • #6
            Don't panic. If she's an experienced Mom, she will almost certainly allow the foal to nurse. I have several experienced momma's here that will try to take my head off if I go near their udders but are excellent with their foals. My life is not worth getting milk out of them and since I know their foaling patterns well and have them on foaling monitors, I don't get worried about not testing them. I get much more concerned with maidens that are ticklish and don't understand that foals need to nurse.


            • #7
              If you are the LEAST bit unsure about how the mare will do, then keep your eye on her, keep your vet on speed dial, keep Sandy's Nursemare's number around, keep frozen colustrom. God willing you will need none of it, but in the 1-3% of cases when you need it, preparation is the difference between life and death for the foal. I have seen foalings go bad, and I have seen farms work with mare who have rejected foals, its heart breaking, and doubly so if the foal cannot get adequate milk and care.
              Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


              • #8
                I have a mare that will take my head off once she starts to bag up. I let her be and watch her other signs. She's fine to touch when she's not bagged and once the foal comes. She's an experienced mom and a good one, but stay away from her big bag.

                I'm sure your mare will be fine once the foal comes, but glad you won part of the battle and got some milk to test.

                Good luck!
                A Merrick N Dream Farm
                Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique


                • #9
                  Please can we just not assume every mare that came off the racetrack is mishandled. Every time one comes across an ex-racehorse their behavoir is always down to mishandling.

                  I am in the VERY same boat as you as I wait for my TB mare to foal. I've had her since she was 8 months of age. We raised and broke her here. She was always very lady like and always nice to be around. She went off to race training where she stayed the same. She was also turned out in a herd of her peers during racing and when with us. No mishandling what so ever at any stage in her life.

                  Last year was her first foal. She was exactly the same, but I made a point of everday handling her udder and getting her use to things she may encounter with her first foal. Most first time moms are a little annoyed with having their udders touched, especially when they get full and hard which is obvious. We were with her for the birth and she seemed delighted we were on hand to "help". Once baby was safely delievered and all things appeared normal we left them alone for a few mins to bond. Went to go back in to help baby get up and that's when the fun started. She came at us with ears pinned, slapping with fronts, and trying to kick with hinds.

                  Now, in no way should you think this is who your mare will be after she foals because it's not the norm. She's had 2 foals and unless someone decided not to tell you she's a psycho after birth, I'm sure she's fine. My mare is a wonderful mother. Once my husband caught the mare and we made her stand up and listen, she allowed us and only us to deal with her. Which is fine because I wouldn't let anyone else near her anyway. This is also the mare that killed my warmblood foal last year. But having had watch them after Annia was weaned this fall, I think I actually understand what was going on a little bit in her mind.

                  Now I'm guessing if this mare was anyone else's broodmare she would also get the "abused" racehorse tag as an excuse for her behavoir. Well not if she was over here she wouldn't. It just seems anyone who has a racehorse uses the mishandled and abused labels way too much. And quite frankly over the last few months we've been dealing with a few horses who belong to another owner, who've never had a hand raised to them, who've been treated respect and would still drop kick you to hell if you took you're eyes off them for a second. And the mare I have was never abused and it just goes to show you abuse is not an excuse for narky behavoir. This was the last mare I thought would give us hassel. And the mare I have who breeds my warmbloods who is the most forgiving mare I've had the pleasure of being around, she actually was abused as I saw the aftermath of having a saddle left on overnight, with girth hiked up, and head tied to her chin because she had had a buck when she was being driven. Thrown back in the stall in a muck sweat and left like that overnight. As I was not an actual witness to the crime I could not report it, but we did end up with mare and getting her out of there. All she ever wants to do is trust people.

                  COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                  "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                    Try a very soft sponge/cloth and warm water to help her get some relief before you start the milking process.
                    Yup - even if mare is good about it baing handle a nice warm washcloth makes it feel better and she'll love you for it. Just gently place warm (not too warm) SOFT washcloth to her udders and hold it there (lightly) while petting her and giving her cookies. A few days of that and she'll look forward to the cloth. I did it several times a day when my mare got uncomfortable around foaling time and you could tell she appreciated it.
                    Now in Kentucky


                    • Original Poster

                      Well, since they can't talk, I suppose we'll never know how they were treated before we got them. I don't even know that I think she was "abused" but she probably was allowed to get away with a lot and she's been getting progressively better.

                      My real question was if anyone had ever had a mare that in the past allowed the foal to nurse and then suddenly decided to be difficult. I know she doesn't want ME to "nurse" LOL.... but she's had 2 foals and always been fine. Same behavior, won't allow her udders to be handled if at all possible but when the baby came she was a wonderful mother.

                      I know some maidens need help understanding to allow the foal to nurse, just wondering what others experiences were with a mare like this.

                      On another note........ My predict-a-foal kit was 4/5 squares last night and I got a "spa test" kit but it had results like 500 in calcium and 6.6 on PH and we still have no foal so I don't know if I'm doing it right LOL.... I think she's close. Today is day 343.


                      • #12
                        I haven't had any be difficult for the foal to nurse after he has started nursing. Sometimes as they get a little older they can be a bit "rough", but mom sorts them out. You shouldn't have any problems.

                        I only had one mare who was difficult for foal to nurse, but she had a recent surgery wound under her belly so that was an extreme case.

                        Good luck. I think my mare will be going tonight! I just packed the snack bag, have camera ready, and clothes ready to go!

                        COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                        "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


                        • Original Poster

                          Well, last night I brought my mare into her stall and she seemed a little uncomfortable. Not colicy, just a bit unsettled.

                          I got some milk and tested it with my spa strips and have concluded that I'm doing something wrong. I'm still getting calcum levels of about 500 and a PH of around 6.5..... She should have a foal by now with readings like that for two days, wouldn't you think??? I'm going to do some more reading and maybe get some different test strips today. I got cheapies from Walmart and I don't think they are working for me.

                          Anyway, I checked her several times last night. I think the foal is maybe getting into position or something....

                          No foal this morning but she is starting to look a bit more relaxed "back there" Maybe tonight? I would love her forever if she foaled tonight because that would realllllly be convenient. I am off work tomorrow and Thursday and that would just be so sweet of her


                          • #14
                            Hope she comes tonight, and you have lots of time to lavish on her and the new foal! Thinking of you ....
                            Sunny Days Hanoverians


                            • Original Poster

                              Does anyone have a mare vice that I may borrow to squeeze this girl???

                              Seriously my other mare was much more considerate and foaled on one of my "fridays" before I was off for a few days and could spend the night checking on her and foal.... Didn't this one get the memo???

                              Anyway, we're about the same tonight. I had a rediculously busy day at work so I didn't get any different PH test strips. I'm starting to notice a change in her overall shape.... or maybe I just want to see something change and I'm imagining it?

                              Her milk seems a bit more white and less yellow tonight. I'm just glad she's decided that once she's twitched there's no reason to pay attention to me "milking" her. Bless her heart, I just don't feel like having a dent in my skull.

                              Oh yes, and the funny irony of this whole thread is that my "grumpy" mare's name is Smile (reg. Misty Smile).


                              • Original Poster

                                It's a filly (like everyone else this year!)

                                Well, my grumpy mare has turned out to be a wonderful mother just as I had hoped.

                                Now for the cruddy part. I MISSED IT!!! I have been sick so I'm on antibiotics and steroids and am a little out of it. I checked her at 11:30pm and she seemed calm and sleeping so I set my alarm for 1am or so I thought. I think I set it for 1pm by accident. Anyway, I woke up at 3am and there she was! I think I was actually not too late because she wasn't completely dry and was just standing.
                                I'm ashamed to say my mare's tail wasn't even wrapped because I really didn't think she was going to go tonight.

                                Anyway, it's a cute chestnut filly with a wild looking blaze. I seem to have a way with blazes on the farm... I'm not sure what my mares are doing but whoever has the chrome paintbrush has a sense of humor.

                                I'll be working on some pics. This girl is not the photogenic one. I don't think I've gotten a GOOD picture yet.


                                • #17
                                  Congrats and glad to hear your mare is doing a great job. I know that has to be a big sigh of relief.
                                  Worth A Shot Farm
                                  Finding the horse of your dreams, is always Worth A Shot!
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                                  • #18
                                    Congratulations! You know we EXPECT pictures!!!
                                    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


                                    • #19
                                      Yeah, congrats! And yes, we want PICTURES!


                                      • #20
                                        Congratulations on your Filly! So exciting! Hope the mare and foal are doing prefectly!
                                        Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN