Putting your mare in foal is a big decision, especially if you have your mare at home. It can be a costly and lengthy process but ultimately rewarding. Here are five facts about foaling to get you started!
- Costs. It can be pricey - for higher success rates you will need to have vets scanning your mare with ultrasound to check if she is fertile, this is the normal practice in the UK. There is also the stud fee to consider and if you will be sending her away. Complications can happen to it's always good to keep something aside and ensure you have good insurance.
- Insemination. You can inseminate a mare by AI (Artificial Insemination) with fresh, frozen or chilled or you can cover them naturally. Covering them naturally can of course come with risks of injury. Using AI gives you a wider range of stallions all over the world to choose from.
- Gestation. The gestation period of a mare is 11 months (but can even go until over 12 months!), which feels like a long time when you are waiting for a foal and probably feels even longer for the mare!
- Stress. Try to avoid your mare being stressed, as it can increase the chance of losing the pregnancy. For example keep the same routines and avoid travelling where possible.
- Riding and exercise. The general consensus is to not ride your mare for the first 60 days of pregnancy, after this some say you can carry on riding until the 8th month, but every mare is different and if you don't think she's comfortable, consult your vet or stop riding.