"join-up"? Safe with heavily pregnant mare?
I was wondering if anybody can tell me if it is safe to do "Join-up" with a mare in her last trimester of pregnancy. As far as we know she is due to foal late November. she has been with us for little more than a year now. She and her partner a gelding were bought by one of our farm workers for cart horses, but he borrowed the money from my dad and in more than a year he has failed to make payments so Dad's now repossed the horses. We are looking forward to the foal. We haven't had foals here in a few years and now suddenly both she and oneof my younger mares are pregnant and due to foal in the next month or two. I Really want to build a relationship with this mare (have an excellent one with my own mare, but she's been mine since birth) in order to build a good relationship with the foal.
I wouldn't. Join up is great for getting a horse to trust you relatively quickly, but since you have already had her for a year, I do not think the benefits outweigh the risks of working a very pregnant horse. I would just spend lots of time with her grooming, doing light groundwork, and just being with her. You can accomplish the same thing, it will just take a little longer, but you won't have to worry about stressing her.
Have fun with her and the little one! Post pics when he/she is born ;)
I agree with Scharm.
Instead of a join up, maybe just teach her to yield her hindquarters and her front. That will build respect of you and your space. That will set you up for when you need to see the baby, you can yield the mare's hindquarters to get her to move and acknowledge you, and then can more easily work with the baby.
Good luck! Can't wait to see pics!!! :D
Depends how you do it as to whether it's 'safe'. If you're not going to push her much or cause her to run away from you in fear I can't see anything unsafe about it. I don't personally believe in forcing a horse to run 'away' from you in a round pen anyway. Depends what you want to teach her as to whether a 'join up' type exercise would be helpful. Eg. it can be effective at teaching a horse to yield it's hindquarters to you & an uncatchable horse to come when called... depending how it's done.
I would say probably not a good idea. If she had been in regular work up until this point, it would probably be okay to work her. I ride my broodmares throughout pregnancy and keep them fit. Like Scharm said, there are plenty of things you can do to establish a relationship with her in the meantime. Simple ground exercises, grooming, etc.
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