Moody horse? We’ve all heard the stereotypical saying, “oh that horse is a chestnut mare, her attitude makes sense”, or some variation of that sentiment when it comes to any mare that is perceived as a bit too sassy. It may be easy to laugh and write-off temperamental behavior from mares (especially chestnuts) but there is often a deeper reason these undesirable behaviors and attitudes are displayed in the first place.
Irritable behavior with mares often coincides with their breeding (estrous) cycle. This behavior can vary from overt displays of estrous which include squatting, urinating, tail raising/swishing, vocalizing and striking to disobedience, loss of energy and lack of performance. These behaviors are undesirable and oftentimes considered too distracting for the performance mare. But they can be too distracting for pleasure horses as well which is why owners of both pleasure and performance horses alike can find themselves searching for a solution when it comes to their moody mares!
Unwanted behavior in mares is frequently tied to a hormone imbalance. However, before concluding a hormonal imbalance is to blame, it is incredibly important to have a vet examine and clear any other concerns which may contribute to this behavior such as ovarian bleeding, UTI’s, ovarian tumor, back pain or conditions such as vaginitis. If after a thorough vet examination, estrous is determined to be the cause of the mare’s troublesome behavior the next step is to try and balance the mare's hormones. There are several different routes that can be taken when it comes to attempting to balance a mare's hormones. One method includes progesterone or altrenogest which stop a mare from cycling, another is placing glass marbles in the uterus OR the ovaries can be surgically removed altogether. These methods can be considered invasive and quite unnatural. For horse owners who do not want to turn to extreme options immediately, the first step would be to provide the mare with the proper nutrients to help her hormones fall back into equilibrium naturally.
To feed with the goal of hormonal balance one must understand a few key details. The balance between estrogen and progesterone is a primary key to the health and wellbeing of the mare and fluctuations of the two are what can lead to unwanted behavior. The goal is not stop these fluctuations from happening but to provide the mare with nutritional support so that the fluctuations are not extreme with the result being a more balanced temperament from the mare. Que herbal remedies!
Herbs have been used for centuries to alleviate a variety of equine ailments, among those being a mare’s moodiness. When using an herbal remedy to balance hormones it is most beneficial to start the mare on the supplement before she enters her cycle. This is especially true if the purpose is to balance her hormones instead of easing her symptoms and making her more comfortable. With herbal supplements, it takes time for the nutrients to build up in the system and provide the needed support (whereas pain medications such as bute can be given as needed and become effective within an hour of administering - this may make the mare more comfortable temporarily). Preparing for her cycle in advance and feeding her the correct herbal mix can help prevent extreme fluctuations in hormones and thus make her less “moody”. That said, it is best to give herbal supplements at least a month before a major change can be seen which is due to the fact that herbs work in an additive way where use over time will compound leading to an eventual change as the horse’s body absorbs more of the nutrients.
What should one do for their mare if pain relief along with hormonal balance is the goal? Giving pain medication can be difficult and isn’t an ideal long-term solution. The good news is that herbs can also be a solution for cramping and the discomfort mares may experience with estrous. Herbal supplements such as the Balanced Mare Blend from Twenty Four Carrots offer the perfect solution as the thoughtful ingredients have many benefits including hormone balance and pain relief. Made with nutrient-dense whole food ingredients, Balanced Mare Blend contains herbs that work symbiotically to provide maximum balance and comfort for even the most temperamental of mares. The proprietary blend contains herbs such as vitex which is renowned for its ability to balance hormones as well as its naturally calming properties which effectively combine with pain relieving and anti-inflammatory herbs such as rosemary creating joyous harmony within your mare’s endocrine system as well as relief from cramps. As an added bonus, Balanced Mare Blend contains a bountiful array of other health benefits that benefit your mare year-round.
To learn more about the Balanced Mare Blend and read testimonials from real customers, visit the Twenty Four Carrots website where first time buyers can enjoy 15% off their first order and a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
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Manage mare hormones calm