Okay, I have not ever been in this pretty normal situation. In the past, I either had very easy to read mares and/or no foal around. I also usually do AI and now I have to breed live cover. So a few changes for me. We tried to tease my mare today by bringing her and foal into a stall and then taking mare out and over to a close by pen with the teaser. Well, she was upset about the foal and could care less about the teaser. Last year it would take her 10 minutes to warm up to our teaser and actually show herself "in" and that was without a foal. They didn't even think she was ready to breed at the shed either, but I have a foal to prove that she was...so I don't have the easiest mare to read on top of things. Now I have a foal in the way of this. I need advice. Also, when we returned the mare to her foal within minutes...she acted very strange, started to pin her ears at her filly and act as if she was going to reject her or attack her. So we didn't turn her loose, we just brought her and foal back to their paddock and I fed her some lunch (grain) to get her mind off of being mean and put her back into the normal routine she is used to. She kind of acts like she doesn't want to nurse the filly sometimes and won't ever set still. But then I see her let her nurse after awhile, usually in the stall though. So what's the best way to tease a mare with a foal by her side and also what are your opinions about my mare's behavior towards her foal after the teasing attempt? Thanks in advance for your advice!!
There is no hard and fast rule on teasing mares with a foal at foot. With some mares, they will respond better if the foal is left in the stall and the mare is taken to the tease rail; with others one has to take the foal to the tease rail with the mare and hold it in front of her. Some mares lose their minds because the are worried about the foal being there; some mares lose their minds when the foal is left back in the stall. It's one of the conundrums of breeding mares with a foal...
On top of that, some mares with foals at foot will not show to a stallion no matter what - or perhaps will show just on the day (or even for a few hours on the day) of ovulation.
You may end up having to go with repeated ultrasounds. Other than that, you will just have to experiment to see whether the mare gets on better with or without the foal at her side when being teased. Do be careful though - these new mothers can be vary dangerous to handle in this type of situation.
Thank you so much! I will give the "take the foal with her approach" and hope I don't have to do daily ultrasounds (I suspect I might have to though). Oh well, got to do what you have to! Thanks goodness my husband is quite a hand because you are right, new mothers can be very unpredictable and dangerous. Is it possible that during the first cycle after the foal heat that a mare can have post partum depression? Just wondering, probably a stretch.. but she sure isn't really herself. Thanks again!
with my mares, i find it is easiest if i let the mare and foal roam the hallway of my barn while i hold the stallion. Typically, the mare will place the foal in front of her, and back right up to the stallion. Sometimes i have to follow them around, as the foal will wander off, but the mare still keeps it in front of her and the stallion behind her. Works well for me, though i don't know that it would be as easy with full sized horses!! LOL
Thanks all! I ended up walking the teaser by her from a far distance while she was turned out herself. She did position the baby at first behind her and then as she started to really tease in, the significance of the foal being there greatly decreased. She even let the filly stay at her side. It was a drastic difference and she decided on her own how she wanted things which was most the battle it turns out! Thanks again, all the ideas really helped me figure something out that would work. She is much easier to deal with this week, either she is getting the hang of it or "really being in" changes the rules quite a bit with her!
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