Tips To Properly Care For Your Pregnant Mare

Just like humans, horses do need additional attention when expecting a baby. If your horse is pregnant for the first time, follow these care guidelines to help provide for her needs. 

Protect Her From Disease

During her pregnancy, it's essential that you only allow your mare to interact with familiar horses. Don't allow "guest" animals to share a stall or paddock with your pregnant horse. Ideally, she'd spent the majority of her time with the same two or three mares, who may also be pregnant. 

The reason for this measure is that outside horses or horses that go to shows or competitions can carry diseases, even if they themselves do not show any signs of infection. Other, more highly infectious horses include yearlings and young horses in training, as they are often ridden/transported to areas outside the farm, bringing home infections that can affect the health of the fetus and the mother.

Provide Prenatal Care

When your suspect your horse is pregnant, call a horse vet at a clinic like Edisto Equine Clinic. Your horse will need regular examinations over the course of her pregnancy, mostly to rule out complications that could threaten her life. It's especially important to conduct an exam mid-pregnancy, because sometimes horses can have late miscarriages. 

If your horse has miscarried, you need to know when the miscarriage occurred. If it was early, she may be able to conceive again, but later miscarriages mean she must not be bred for several months. Only your vet can tell you the stage of the pregnancy and what to expect.

Give Adequate Nutrition and Exercise

Finally, mares need special attention for their feeding and workout routines. Weight gain is normal during pregnancy, but too much food can lead to excess weight gain. For the first two trimesters, your mare will not usually need any additional food. However, all grain and hay should be of excellent quality so she gets the nutrition she needs. During the last trimester, her food needs to be increased because the colt or filly grows exponentially during this time. Your vet may provide you with vitamin supplements, as brood mares can get low in certain vital minerals and vitamins as their babies grow.

Mares who are used to an athletic lifestyle can continue in the same level of activity for much of the pregnancy. Even mares who were only ridden lightly should still get regular exercise. Take time to walk your horse daily, even toward the end of pregnancy, unless your vet directs otherwise.