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missmeg 04-21-2012 11:38 AM

Hormonal nightMARE
Ok so I've had my 10yo paint mare for exactly one month this week. When I first got her she was a DISASTER and she was definitely in heat. I was hoping that being moved to a new barn plus being in heat was the reason why she was so aweful at first. When she came out of heat, she was wayyyy better and was actually enjoyable to be around...just so sweet and would stand for attention for hours it seems. Well, she cycles around the 18th-19th of the month apparently because the last couple days she has been atrocious!

I had her tied in the wash rack and she was tossing her head, pawing the ground, calling to all her friends, sidestepping all over, etc. She's 16hands so when she gets like that it's intimidating. When i finished grooming her I led her away from the wash rack and it was as though she had completely checked her manners at the door and was all over the place. When I let her go she took off like a cannon. She usually just stands right near me when I turn her loose.

So needless to say, I do believe that I have a hormonal mare. This past month has just been a lot to deal with. I have been around mares before so it's not that I'm hating on mares, but she is the worst I've dealt with.

I know there are several supplements out there I can give her but supplements can get expensive. Are there any natural things I can do/use to help regulate her hormonal swings or at least be able to want to be around her?

2SCHorses 04-21-2012 05:44 PM

Dried Raspberry leaf is really the main ingredient of all "Marish" formulas, so you can buy dried raspberry leaf in bulk online and just sprinkle it in her feed. It is A LOT cheaper to just buy it in bulk. Even better if you have it a local health food store and you can buy it in bulk there so no shipping. Start with something small, like an ounce, and then see how it goes.

GreySorrel 04-21-2012 05:48 PM

When a mare goes to a new place, I find, and this is only my own observations and humble opinion, they go into heat. Some mares are worse than others, some make it very plain, like your mare, they are in heat while others just never really show any hint at all.

A mare can't help that she is the way she is, so we need to work through their issues. Why is it, and please OP, don't take this wrong, when a woman is PMSing, other woman are told to deal with it and that is that, but when a mare is in heat, we look for means to not have to deal with how they are acting and have to monkey with what they are doing?

Seems like a lot of people on the board lately want to not have to deal with a mare and her attitude and marishness. I have 3 mares and I wouldn't trade them for the world, I work through what they give me, I am firm and I move on. In the saddle if they are swishing their tail, dancing around, I actually consider this a challenge to get their mind focused on me and the task at hand.

And OP, you say your mare is 16H and a bit intimidating, were you worried about height prior to buying her? Is there anyone that can help you with her when she is being fractious and help you?

missmeg 04-21-2012 09:39 PM

Thank you both for responding! I really appreciate the feedback :)

Her height was never an issue when I first looked at her and generally speaking she is a peach to handle. I leased a mare before and she was the quiet 'PMS' type; just kind of stubborn and wanted to be a couch potato when she was cycling. I know that some mares are different and when I asked her previous owner about her cycles before I purchased her, she just giggled and said 'o she picks a boyfriend every month but she's fine!'. So from that, she GROSSLY misrepresented her behavior; it's almost like she gets so lost within herself that you can't get through to her. Like I said, I leased a mare before and have ridden others over the last several years. It isn't a matter of 'you are so inconvenient let's drug you' but rather a 'you are super anxious and uncomfortable so what can I do to make you feel better?' Also, she can hurt me (or herself) if she is so desperately wanting to get back to her boyfriend of choice during that time of the month.

Being a woman myself I can definitely get 'witchy' during that time of the month, but that's mostly from the discomfort in my ovaries or just generally feeling aweful....but I also can't run people over lol Many women use birth control as a way to manage their menstral symptoms and to avoid raging hormonal changes.

I really just want her to be OK. This is the first new home she's ever been at and it has been a long month of adjusting for the both of us :(

2SCHorses 04-21-2012 10:00 PM

The raspberry leaf should help. Heck, I drink a raspberry leaf tea when I feel like crap and want to rip my husband's head off, so I don't think raspberry leaf for a horse is really that different in philosophy, and, seriously, it isn't bad for her. It's not like you are crushing up Midol and sprinkling it over her feed. If it doesn't help her, you can always buy a tea ball and take it yourself. But I bet it will make her feel better.

Cowgirls Boots 04-21-2012 10:02 PM

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My new mare did this same thing exactly. Go to your local health food store and buy those dried raspberry leaves. My mare is so pleasant to be around now :)
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GreySorrel 04-21-2012 10:16 PM

The raspberry leaves do wonders, just remember that anything holistic, you can use it for the few months in spring and summer that the mare is in season then when they stop being so bratty, you take them off the leaves or they become tolerant of them in their system.

missmeg 04-22-2012 11:03 AM

Thank you all so much!

Remy410 04-23-2012 12:37 PM

We're in the exact same situation. Exactly. I just moved my mare to my place from the boarding barn where she's been for years. It will be 30 days this week. She went into heat and I swear I've never seen her act that way. Pacing the fence, calling to the neighbor's geldings, circling her stall, being a brat when my daughter tried to ride. It's had me really upset and worried, and I was afraid she would give herself an ulcer or possibly hurt herself with her antics. I expected some settling in issues but the extreme "mareish" behavior caught me off guard. I was considering adding a calming supplement to her smart pak but the last couple days she seems to have cooled off. I'm wondering if we'll be back in this situation in a few weeks when she cycles again?

Rachel1786 04-23-2012 01:31 PM

My mare is like that too, mare magic(raspberry leaf) did nothing to help her. I took her to her first show this weekend, we brought her there friday afternoon and the show was sat AM. Her boyfriend came to the show also. He was in the stall next to hers and she couldn't see him through the wall so she was slamming her body into the wall, squirting and squealing and kicking all at the same time. If he was taken away she would call to him and pace in her stall and just have an over all hissy fit! The trainer there suggested I ask my vet about regumate or depo to control her cycles. I've pretty much tried every supplement to help her cope but nothing has worked so far.

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