How soon can you start to ride a mare that has a foal on her?

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How soon can you start to ride a mare that has a foal on her?

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    01-20-2011, 10:09 AM
How soon can you start to ride a mare that has a foal on her?

Hi guys

This is in preparation for when my mare foals in March. How soon can I ride her? Do I have to wait until the foal is weaned to start riding or can I take the foal out with us as soon as he accepts the halter. Is this safe? Also would my mare listen to me with her foal coming along for the ride or would motherly instincts overide my cues. As you can probably tell it's torture that I can't ride my mare right now!
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    01-20-2011, 11:07 PM
It's usually alright to start riding your mare by the time that the foal is about a month old or so. The biggest concern is avoiding putting too much strain on the little one as he's trying to keep up. It can a foal out quick, bouncing along at mom's heels. It's good for the mare to get a bit of work though, so you've just got to find a good balance.

Whether your mare will be overly concerned about her foal or not sort of depends to some extent on her temperament. You'll have to play it by ear and just be very attentive to whether she or the foal are becoming at all upset. If they are getting upset, back off on the riding a bit and take it easier.

The older the foal gets, the more comfortable both of them will be with being more separated. If you're riding in an arena when the foal is about three months or older, you may be fine just to have someone hold baby nearby while mom works. As long as they can see one another, they should be fine. With this in mind, I do not suggest taking the foal along on trail rides unless he is well trained to the halter and can be ponied (which arguably shouldn't happen until after weaning). If the little one wanders and gets into trouble on a trail ride, it wouldn't be good for anyone. You'd probably be alright riding around in their paddocks and pastures a bit though while the foal tags along.
    01-21-2011, 04:45 AM
Thank you for your advice. I think I wil try and get on her in the field and see how they both go with that. She has a very good tempremant and is very calm although she can be a little dominant at times as she is a very confident mare. I am taking lessons at the moment so it isn't the end of the world if I can't ride her sooner rather than later, I obviously will put my mare and foal's welfare first I'm just dying to get on her My lesson horse has started spooking with me this last few weeks after he slipped on wet grass and I lost my nerve. He seems to have lost confidence in me and visa versa and the more I am riding him the more I just want to go back to riding my own mare as I know she is as solid as they come.

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