Lactating Mares In Work Require Adequate Nutrition, Appropriate Water Intake

Though some broodmares have a singular job, to produce foals, other mares with a foal at their side are still expected to partake in another job, often as a riding horse. 

One concern is when the mare is ready to go back to work after giving birth. A mare who had a “routine” delivery with no complications is ready to go back to work in six to eight weeks, reports The Horse. If the delivery had any complications, the return to riding could take far longer. Mare owners are encouraged to consult with their veterinarian regarding a return-to-riding timeline. 

When the mare returns to under saddle work, she will need to be given an opportunity to build back her muscular and aerobic fitness. If the mare’s condition was good before returning to under-saddle work, lots of walking and slow trot work won’t change her nutrient needs much. 

However, if she was underweight before going back to work, she will need additional calories in the form of a commercial broodmare feed. If the mare is being fed properly and is still underweight, a call to an equine nutritionist is warranted. 

Proper hydration is an often-overlooked component of a broodmare’s diet. To produce adequate milk, a lactating mare will need to drink 50 to 80 percent more water than other adult horses. A mare that is being ridden, and possibly sweating, will need to drink even more water, possibly as much as 20 to 30 gallons of water a day. 

Read more at The Horse. 

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