Miserable In Heat-need advice
I have a mare that I ride for gaming and my mom uses for trail rides, who is a very good ride. Her only real problem is that she goes into heat a lot. And is very awful when she is(squirts, refuses to move, then wants to run away, bucks, rears, and she acts like a stud if she's near another horse in a stall). It happens when we take her to shows, move her anywhere, ride her past other farms, and randomly when I guess she just feels the need...
We've tried raspberry leaf, which seems to have very little effect.
We've been thinking about spaying, but we don't have the facilities to keep her in constantly(she also stocks up very badly), nor do we really have the finances.
My mom keeps mentioning the old technique of putting a marble or steel ball bearing in the uterus to fool the mare into thinking she's pregnant. The thing has to be placed by a vet, and would need to be removed once a year and replaced.
We do not have the finances for Regumate.
Has anyone successfully used the marble method? Or anything else that has worked that we could try? She's too good a mare to just toss her aside, and we have no reason to keep her bred(except that she's registered).
Is it possible atall to take a year out from shows? Try to settle her into a routine (same field, same companions etc) and just let her settle down..... once her seasons are controlled just take things slowly and choose rides that dont involve other contact with other horses....
My mare doesnt have a problem when shes in season, but similarly she doesnt cope very well with change or shows or strange horses.... (she has ended up with colic on numerous occasions due to stress caused by shows, changing fields/companion, moving yards) and we have had her long enough now to understand that she NEEDS routine.... and she is then the best pony in the world!!
Or speak to a vet about medical or nutritional options
That really stinks!
My mare is also basically a jerk when she's in heat; she's very emotional and starts doing scary things that I thought we solved years ago, so I totally feel your pain.
I've noticed a dramatic improvement in her attitude now that she's on a ration balancer (not sure why that would help, I can only figure that maybe she was lacking in some mineral and that caused her to be worse) and she's on Mare Magic (which is raspberry leaves). You say that raspberry leaves didn't work for your mare but I wonder if you were giving her enough of them?
I know my mare needs a really packed 1/8cup (I think that's the size of the scoop in the Mare Magic bag...) of them for them to create any noticeable difference in her behavior. I also found that it took her about a month of being on it for it to really "kick in" and help her behavior.
Another thing that has really helped her this year is that she's not pastured with or near any male animals. She lives with two female llamas and shares a fence with two Paint mares and I think the lack of male hormones in her life has really helped her balance herself out. In a few weeks I'll be moving her for the summer to a pasture where she'll share a fenceline with quite a few geldings so I'll have to wait and see how her attitude does there. O.o I have my fingers and toes crossed that she'll stay good...
Otherwise, I know that some people have had good results with the marble. I've never been around a mare who had had that done so I can't tell you how well it worked, unfortunately.
I'd try the raspberry leaves again and double dose her on them, just to see, since she might need a higher dosage to really be benefited by them and I'd make sure to keep her on them for at least 3 weeks/a month. The package of Mare Magic says to not expect results for 2 weeks and to double dose on "high stress days" like the day of a show, etc.
Also, about the raspberry leaves, I've found that my mare is still obviously in heat attitude-wise, but instead of just doing stuff without thinking like she used to, she now thinks before being crazy. The raspberry leaves haven't fixed the issue entirely but they make her more manageable and much safer. I'm just telling you that because they probably won't be the miracle cure that'll take her entire 'tude away. If they help, they'll most likely help even it out and make her more manageable which will allow you to help her learn acceptable behaviors for when she's in heat and fighting the crazy hormones.
Another thing I'd do is work on getting her extremely responsive to light aids and just work on her respect training if she needs it. My mare is a brat when she's in heat but she's well enough trained now that she'll test me and do stuff that's somewhat scary but once I shut her down and get her thinking about I want, she goes "oh, ok!" and settles right down with a minimum of fussiness (until the next thing she thinks I need her opinion on, haha).
Anyway, sorry for the novel and good luck! Heat issues are no fun.
She generally settles down decently at shows, only giving me sass while we wait for the gate(backing, bouncing her front end, spinning). She's been this way since we got her, and she very often goes into this bad heat. We introduced a gelding to the crew last August(he's so mellow it's not even funny, he never even looks odd at a mare). She can squirt at him and rub her bum all over him, and he runs away in pure terror(he seems to bond more with other geldings?:wink:).
I have a show this Saturday, which I'm sure will be interesting with her recent affairs with my mom(she tried to gallop her down a huge hill and stop dead in the middle and spin, mom got off and walked her down and she reared when mom got back on).
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