I LOVE my spayed mare, she is still sweet but has no behavior of a mare at all. Acts like a gelding. When I first got her last year, she would squeal, kick out at the other horses, squeel at other mares, typical behavior in heat. Peeing all the time, lifting her tail. Got her spayed in November, this year not ONE second of mare attitude. I can lead other horses behind her when she would pin her ears and kick and squeel before.
I have had ALL my mares spayed, about 5 in all. Would not own a mare without spaying her and since there are so many unwanted horses and foal everywhere, that way I don't worry about breeding by accidents or anything.
I love my mare. She shows NO heat signs, no squealing no kicking no peeing evey step, no attitude change, no being bitchy to other horses, she is just like a gelding, but she is not spayed, she could still have babies. But yes, if you have a mare that I just a royal whitch when she is in heat, spaying will make her just like a gelding. Wyominggrandma, how much does spaying cost???
We spay them here at the clinic I work for, its around $600 total. That includes surgery, anesthestic, antibiotics, pain meds, etc. Once they go home(they usually stay for 3 days) then they will need more antibiotics for about 2 weeks, no riding for about 5 weeks. That's why I had it done in November, no riding cause of the snow anyway.
My vet does it rectal/vaginal, no incisions. Its all done inside the mare while she is standing sedated in stocks.
If you still want the breeding option, there are supplements that can help your mare through her heat cycle. I've never tried them, I've heard they're iffy. You CAN buy shots though that make the mare go out of heat and we use them for show days. I'm sure it wouldn't be healthy in the end to give her shots EVERY TIME she came in :/
To be honest I'm kinda witchy when it's that time of month so I can sympathize. ;) They always look so miserable :(
I think it definitely depends on the individual horse, some are just crabbier than others lol, but just like dogs and cats, spaying will definitely rule out hormones as being the cause of a witchy or crazy or mean mare. I personally don't mind so much so I have no want or desire to spend the extra money to spay a mare unless there was something wrong with her the required it. We have a mare at my new barn who is crazy when she is in heat, which is 90% of the time (she's one I think could seriously benefit from being spayed), and they give her a hormonal shot or something every few months, and she supposedly does fine, no side effects and acts like a normal nice mare, but it's probably pretty costly, and is not a permanent means of fixing the problem, but it works for those particular owners. Honestly if you have a mare, and you don't want to deal with her bad attitude, I'd go with spaying her.
My mare spreads her legs EVERY time she see's another horse. Allways peeing. Such a hoe. Lol. But she's a good horse. Can be b**chy towards other horses but a good girl in general. Oh she's not spayed.