How long to wait?
After my girl has her baby, how long should I wait to ride again? If I leave the baby free to follow us will it? Can I take rides with baby next to us? How long can baby go til it's to tired to play while we are riding? Should I pony baby while riding so it doesn't run off and hurt itself? please help :-)
Definitely pony baby. Safer for baby and teaches some nice leading and behavior lessons. While baby is very young, you should probably stop every 10 minutes or so for nursing and rest breaks. Depending on mom and baby's health, you could start short trail rides as soon as a week after birth. Just like some mares can work undersaddle almost until they foal without any discomfort while others get upset if they are worked after the eighth month.
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First do not ride for about the first 30 days. This give the mare time for her rib cage and muscles to come back for foaling. By that time the foal is older and can handle a bit more work but would not do a do much more then a walk with the foal at this point. Depending on where you are at and how safe it is to leave the foal loose vs ponying it. I have done both with foals.
A agree with the above post. You'll also need to decide "how" to involve baby based on his/her and their dam's personality. I haven't had a single foal that would just follow along with mom during riding. All have been extremely independent and mom could care less.
I'd also wait before ponying to at least to train the foal to get an idea of what to do with leading first. Wouldn't want to be leading atop the mare and jerking the foal along...could lead to a neck injury.
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