Horses, like many animals, can become pregnant through either natural circumstances or breeding. Caring for any pregnant animal can be difficult, and their needs should be carefully tended to. If your horse is pregnant, you should heed the following instructions.
It may seem unusual, but horses can in fact be ridden while pregnant for the first seven months or so. The first month of pregnancy, however, should be monitored carefully, and the horse should not endure overly-strenuous exercise. After the first 30 days, a horse can usually pick back up on their normal exercise routine. You should consult with your horse’s veterinarian to be sure she is not high-risk, though, as that could cause a necessary adjustment to her exercise routine. From month 8 onward, she should have a modified exercise routine so as not to cause issues with the pregnancy.
A horse’s environment should be reconsidered during pregnancy. High stress levels can cause issues with the pregnancy, so your horse should remain in the company of only compatible horses. She will also desire more pasture time and less confinement to a stall. A good environment during the pregnancy is an open pasture with a shelter that she can go under as necessary. Even during colder months, horses can usually weather the lower temperatures. However, foaling should only happen in a warm environment, as the cold could cause serious issues for the newborn foal.
Most mares are fine to eat a regular diet for most of their pregnancy. In the final few months, their nutritional needs will increase, though. It can be beneficial to have a discussion with your horse’s veterinarian about nutritional needs early on in the pregnancy, particularly if your horse is high-risk or has a health condition already. The vet can help you create a plan for the majority of the pregnancy, as well as an updated plan for the tail end of it.
Caring for a pregnant horse may seem scary. After all, these animals are resilient, and it may seem as though they are not receiving proper care. In reality, horses can withstand much exertion and circumstances that we would perceive as difficult with relative ease. Still, nothing can prepare you more than speaking to your veterinarian and learning as much as you can about a pregnant horse’s health.