After foaling...when can you ride?
I am looking at getting a horse that has been used as a broodmare. She's 6-7 years old. She is halter broken. She can lead and trailer just fine. She's due to foal for a 2010 foal sometime in March/April. If I do get her, is there any reason that she can't broke to ride after she foals? Do I need to wait until she has weaned her foal to start training her? And what are my options if I can start working her in the round pen pertaining to the foal?
ive seen people ride there mares about a week after they gave birth.they just let the foals follow the mare everywheres.she may need a refresher course in case she forgot anything during her pregnancy.
By the sounds of it, she was never backed, am I right? I would personally wait until the foal is weaned to do any under saddle work with her. No reason you can't do ground work and hone in on her manners though. I think I would even leave out the round penning til you can seperate her from the foal to focus on you. The foal is her #1 priority and if you're just starting her training, then you don't want to be #2. I wouldn't recommend round pen work with the foal in there just because you don't want to stress baby's joints either, and again, you'll want her focus on you. Once the foal is a couple months old and you're able to take her away for an hour or so, then I see no problem starting some lunging and introducing tack, but you want her attention on you, not baby. Just my opinion though.
If she's already broke to ride then it's a different story.
Thank you so much for your response. This is pretty much what I was figuring I would need to do anyways. You are correct in that she's NEVER been backed. I figured I would have to give her some time after foaling before I could do anything, so I was sorta looking for a time frame for when I could separate her and the foal for short periods of time just to do a bit of round pen work. (I would never work her and the foal together.)
You answered my question by letting me know I could separate them for short periods of time when the foal is around two months of age.
I don't see why you couldn't start seperating them for short amounts of time at 2 months...would go best if you have a barn though. Work the foal up to it so he's not screaming in the barn while you're trying to keep her attention. Start by just doing 10 minutes at a time, then up it to 15 and so on. Once you're up to 30 minutes, take her outside and work on ground work. Something you can drop if you had to in mid-session so as not to set her back. Once baby's ok with half an hour and not calling nonstop, then try the roundpenning. That's how I would do it anyway.
If you take the mare away from the foal once it's 2 months old and just try round penning her with no lead up to it, I don't think you'll get the desired result...but if you work up to it, I see no reason for the baby to be concerned and therefore you'll be able to work with her more efficiently.
If it were me I would ride her for a month now and then leave her alone untill the foal is weaned. There is no reason why you can't ride her while she is pregnant even in the later stages. Being as she has never been ridden you probably won't be doing anything too strenuous in that month anyway. Once she foals she will always have at least part of her attention on the foal (if she is much of a mother) which will make it difficult to get anything done.
A racehorse trainer that I knew had a mare that he bred. The mare that he bred was broke, she used to race (QH), he wanted to bring her back to racing. He tried working with her with the baby about 4 months old, and she was just WILD!!! So, he waited until the foal was weaned and then he started to slowly bringing her back to work, starting with lunging, and she did sooooooo much better with the foal weaned.
Very true...no reason you can't get a nice foundation started while she's pregnant. Like kevinshorses said, as long as it's not too hard of work then you shouldn't stress her much. Asking her to lunge and accept tack is something I think she could do fine...just don't want her getting too excited.
All of my mares were broke to ride before pregnancy so I never had an issue with it, was riding them again within a couple weeks of birthing. This was actually how I taught the foals to lead. But starting from scratch, I dunno...
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