While we may still be in the grips of wintery weather, spring is not far away and for mares and mare owners that often means one thing – mood swings! Owners of our mare friends will tell us, that while ‘Girl Power’ can be an unbeatable force in the arena, owning a mare can bring it’s own, unique, challenges - sweet and lovely one day, ears pinned back and uncooperative the next! If she is experiencing seasonal problems the last thing on her mind is working well, so how do we regain control? The veterinary approach of using the horomone, progesterone, to suppress your mare’s system is far from ideal, being expensive and it’s important to remember that it also carries a risk of affecting your own hormones through handling.

Before you give up and go out and buy a gelding it is worth considering the issue fully. During seasonal stress the ovaries may become painful. The ovaries are situated just behind the saddle and a little down from the spine, so if she’s uncomfortable in that area it’s little wonder she reactes to grooming, tacking up or pressure during riding. Soreness can also affect her ability to use her quarters, round over her back, and lengthen strides to their maximum. So even if she is concentrating you may find that her work is not as good as normal. The other issue, of course, is lack of concentration if she’s the type to be distracted by the boys, or trying to ascertain her place as alpha mare in the pack.

In the wild the mare could supplement her own diet with specific nutrients, but in these days of uniform pasture she relies on us to supplement her diet accordingly.  https://equi-box.co.uk/naf-5-star-oestress.html  As for general anxiety, supplementing with a blend which includes magnesium is recommended to help that focused calm and trainability. However the herbal element of that blend needs to specifically target the hormonal imbalance, as an calming blend alone is unlikely to be successful. Naturally sourced antioxidants can help to flush out the free radical toxins associated with soreness, working with key herbs such as Crampbark, which is named for it’s traditional use for muscle cramps. One of the great things about herbs is that the traditional name often tells you what it does, and it’s not just Crampbark which that applies to. Consider ‘Chaste’ Berry, also known as ‘Monks Pepper’ which historically gained this latter name as it looks like pepper, tastes a bit like pepper, and was traditionally used to keep monks concentrating on their bibles, rather than minds wandering to less scholarly matters! So the right choice of herbs to steady her behavioural whims is strongly recommended alongside those for comfort, and calm confidence.

Remember it is often the early seasons of the year where the reactions are strongest, so don’t get caught out. Maintain your mare at her best, by providing supplementary support from February onwards through the season.  To view our range of supplements to support your horse https://equi-box.co.uk/supplements/hormone.html?dir=asc&order=position