Similar to other mammals including humans, horses can become pregnant naturally and ordinarily. However, we can understand your apprehension if this is your mare’s first pregnancy.
Caring for a Pregnant Horse:
1. Exercise regularly
Horse needs to exercise regularly and stay active, but make sure do not pressure to do a lot of work. Moderation is crucial, so if your pregnant horse doesn’t feel like exercising on any given day, then leave it alone.
2. Can I ride a pregnant horse?
Yes, no worries for the first 7 months. However, you should not ride for safety purposes. This can cause risk for the fetus.
3. Proper nutrition
Until the last few months of pregnancy, it is advisable to continue feeding the horse her regular diet. As she gets farther along in her pregnancy, gradually up the amount of grains in the feed and hay. It’s also a good idea to include salt, minerals, and vitamin supplements.
Horse Stages of Pregnancy:
1. Conception to 3 months
A heartbeat, the sac, and a little horse fetus can all be seen on an ultrasound between 55 and 70 days after conception. By the third month, the fetus will begin to resemble a little horse due to its continued growth. It is advised that an ultrasound and blood test be performed at this point. One of the twin pregnancies, if the mare is carrying them, is typically pinched to assure the birth of a healthy foal.
2. 3 to 6 months
Beginning around the third month, the second trimester begins. The growth of the fetus begins to increase throughout this trimester. The second pregnancy milestone for horses occurs in the sixth month. By the time they reach this month, the majority of mares begin to show.
3. 6 months to Estimated Foaling Date (EFD)
In horses, the gestation period lasts about 340 days on average. A mare’s pregnant belly begins to expand quickly as the foal matures after the sixth month. The anticipated foaling date for a mare can be determined by an ultrasound. The mother’s udder will begin to expand almost two weeks before the foal is due, and it may even start to exude colostrum, a sticky, yellow fluid that is thought to represent the mother’s first milk. That will be the young horse’s first meal. You should keep a watchful eye out for pregnancy symptoms in the mare starting on the 315th day of her pregnancy. For example, the muscles surrounding the tailhead will start to loosen up.
Signs of Horse Pregnancy:
1. No sign of estrus
A mare who has given birth already will not exhibit any signs of heat.
2. Declining to mate
When they are pregnant, the majority of mares are unwilling to mate. If you allow her to get close to the stallion, she will reject his advances.
3. Restricted movements
This one lacks any supporting scientific evidence. But the majority of horse owners think it’s true. It is stated and observed that a mare will avoid rapid movements while pregnant in order to safeguard the fetus.
4. Urine and blood test
At 2 to 3 months of gestation, blood and urine tests are quite reliable.
5. Bloated abdomen
A bloated tummy is one of the indicators of pregnancy in horses, just like it is in people, but the problem with this sign is that it typically appears as late as 11 months into the pregnancy. Even though it would be a sure sign, it wouldn’t show up until your mare was fairly far along in her pregnancy.
6. Rectal examination
A veterinarian performs the rectal exam. He would place his hand in the rectum to feel the uterus, the little sac that houses the ovaries and the foal. As early as 15 to 19 days into the pregnancy, this can provide a solid indication of whether the mare is pregnant or not. But a lot of knowledge is needed.
An ultrasound is the most reliable test to determine whether a mare is pregnant. In horses, it can be done between 55 and 70 days into the pregnancy. To obtain an accurate image of the uterus and amniotic sac, an ultrasound probe is inserted into the mare’s rectum. You can hear the foal’s heartbeat during this test as well.