There are many questions to be answered before you may be able to return to riding your mare. However, provided she was fit and sound prior to foaling, you could be back in the saddle in as little as six weeks.
When determining if your mare can return to work, you need to consider her and her foal. Let’s discuss some of the questions you should ask before swinging a leg into the stirrup.
1. Is your mare fit and sound?
Just like humans, a mare that is in good physical shape and at an ideal weight will carry and deliver her foal with ease, provided there were no complications. At five weeks following birth, you may consider a veterinary examination to determine if your mare is fit and sound for riding.
2. Were there any complications?
If your mare had any issues during or after pregnancy or delivery, then you need to consider how these will affect her ability to be ridden. Bruising and minor tears will usually heal within a week, but serious complications require proper veterinary care and time to heal.
3. Is there any swelling?
Following pregnancy, fluid can accumulate in the lower legs and belly, which regular movement will help to expel. If your mare shows any other signs of health problems, then you should contact your veterinarian for professional advice.
4. How old is the foal?
Your young foal will be very attached to their mother and may put themselves at risk of injury if separated suddenly. If you intend to ride your mare, it’s best to start the process of separation slowly, so mare and foal are both relaxed during periods apart.
5. Is your mare still nursing?
Lactation, by far, places the greatest physical demands on any horse. If your foal isn’t yet weaned, then you need to carefully monitor for signs of dehydration when your mare returns to work. Horses can drink between 40 and 90 litres of water a day, and this can increase during lactation. Foals need to nurse regularly, so remember to not ride for long periods so foal does not dehydrate.
Are you ready to return to riding? Call us today on (07) 4511 4554 for a veterinary consultation at your property to evaluate your mare’s physical condition. To find out more about our mobile consultations, .