Breeding Season is Here, Do You Know What Your Mare is Drinking?
By Stacy Bromley Cheetham
Breeding season is here and with it comes the adorable photos of all the new foals. There’s nothing cuter than a newborn foal- wobbly on it’s new legs, trying to nurse for the first time. As cute as they are, the hydration and nutrition requirements for these little babies and their mothers are significant. With the help of products like Horse Quencher, you can make sure that these needs are met.
A mature, sedentary horse requires on average 10-12 gallons of drinking water per day. There are several factors that can change hydration requirements, such as:
- Profuse sweating
- Environmental temperature
On average, a pregnant mare requires about ten percent more water than a non-pregnant mare, while a lactating mare will require between 50 to 70 percent more water than a non-lactating mare (to replace the fluid she loses while nursing her foal.) If the mare is in an area where the temperatures are higher and she is sweating more, then her water requirements will increase even higher because increases in temperature cause a horse’s hydration requirement to increase exponentially.
Speaking of higher temperatures, what about riding, pregnancy and hydration? Riding activities should not be extremely strenuous as to cause additional stress which could lead to pregnancy loss. Also, over exertion in hot weather or high humidity could result in dehydration or heat exhaustion. Either of these conditions will put both the mare and foal at risk. Many veterinarians seem to agree that riding a broodmare during the first half of a pregnancy is fine for both mare and foal if proper care is taken. Of course, you should always consult your veterinarian before starting or changing any routines with your horse.
But what if your mare is reluctant to drink? If this is the case, a product like Horse Quencher can literally be a life saver for you, your mare and your foal. In fact, Horse Quencher was developed by an equestrian precisely because her pregnant mare would not drink water. It is made up of all natural ingredients that are already in a horse’s diet and is a safe way to hydrate the pregnant mare.
Other ways to encourage your mare to keep drinking are to offer lots of fresh, clean water and to make sure that the water is always available. Dehydration from lack of water can quickly become fatal and, while a horse can tolerate a lack of water for extended periods of time, after 3-4 days irreparable damage to the organs will occur. Also, colic is a very real and present danger when horses do not drink enough water.
Remember, when preparing for your foal’s arrival as well as once s/he arrives, hydration is incredibly important to ensuring proper development and health for the mother and baby. Hydration requirements that are increased while pregnant more than double while nursing that new bundle of joy. If your mare is a picky drinker before she becomes pregnant, she will almost certainly continue to be one both during and after her pregnancy. Using a product like Horse Quencher in her water buckets can reduce stress on her body by encouraging her to drink. That way, you can both focus on what’s really important – that adorable new baby in the paddock!