Foundered Mares Getting Pregnant

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2003
Reaction score
Topaz Ranch, Nevada
Qtr Raes and I were talking about foundered mares' ability to "settle". A friend of mine gave a couple foundered mares to a family that wanted to have minis. Well, when the mares turned up open, they turned up their "nose" and are wondering if they want to keep them. Hmmmmm!

A friend of mine who's been raising Morgans and Friesians for nearly 35 years said that foundered mares bodies are under such stress from the pain, that it's very difficult for them to settle. The subject came up when I visited an elderly couple that were "sold" a foundered mini mare that was buted up....and were saddened a few days later when the sweet girl turned up lame. They paid a pretty penny for her.

Any thoughts or experience? Thanks a million!


We purchased a mare who had foundered. The founder was due to neglect, her feet were extremely "elfed" and then the folks who owned her were unhappy because she hadn't settled to the huge unregistered stallion that was in with her and her colt and two other fillies, the yearling colt still nursing on her. They also left her on her "pasture" (thank God it wasn't "rich").

We brought her home on a dose of banamine, and put her in a drylot and started cold hosing her feet three times a day. She has needed regular hoof care but hasn't shown any signs of founder for well over a year.

Here is her daughter from April 05


Night Lady is an AMHR Superior dam.

But keep in mind that though complicated by being left on grass her founder was mostly mechanical from neglect.
I have a little experience being around a few foundered bred mares over the years.

Lots of people breed them and have no trouble getting them to settle and produce live healthy foals. I have a lady friend who says her best broodmare who is a thoroughbred and foundered slightly has given her 4 healthy foals with no extra added problems. I think it depends on the degree of the founder, how badly, rotation etc. The problems I have seen are that of course a foundered mare should be kept "light and lean" so to speak and the added stress of the weight adds to the pain and to the ability to re-founder during or after the pregancy.

Also, it's difficult to add the grains and nutricious vitamins that one would like to ensure that their mare recieve during this time, because a foundered mare's diet should be "clean and simple" with just the basics and not loaded down with so many bling blings that are loaded with protein etc.

A friend bred her very slightly foundered quarter horse mare last year for the first time with the vet's ok to do so since there was no rotation and the founder was "under control." There was no problem getting her in foal at all. Immediatly after the foaling she re-foundered a full blown severely rotated founder. Due to trying to get her stablized and out of horrible pain on meds, the foal had to be taken from her, causing her must mental stress as you can imagine and bottle raised. The mare is going to be put down before winter. She's in bad shape and she is suffering daily. Her colt is wonderful and healthy.

They are all different.
I have a mare who is what I consider a chronic founder case, but the strange part is that she is able to conceive and carry foals to fullterm--and is the healthiest when pregnant. She has never had a flare-up during her several pregnancies. But when not pregnant, she can get very sore (not really totally lame) but does have to be treated during her bouts. I do keep her very lean, and she is never on grass, but is able to have grain during her pregnancies. This year I even gave her a little alfalfa, and she tolerated it.

So I have to say that they are all different, but in some cases they can live very normal lives, with proper management.

Hi Cindy, Is this the couple that I had to call and help her out with some problems she was having with a mare?? or are these the mares you were telling me and Lori about that "someone" gave to you and your friend? Either way, I would not breed a foundered mare, especially if it was foundered badly. There are too many good mares out there that are breeding sound, so why would anyone want to add a potential problem to a mare who already is under stress and has problems?? Corinne
I have a mare that I bought last year confirmed in foal?, and after turning up open here at the house I put her in with my stallion until spring. She is still not pregnant and I don't think she will get pregnant. When I bought her I was told nothing about her having chronic founder. I have since been fighting it after a bad flare up in the spring when the new grass came out. I didn't know to take her off and she flared up and has had a horrible time getting it back under control. She is on a dry lot with only dry hay and plain oats. We gave aspirin for a while until it was better but now we are still having problems keeping it under control. We have not had luck with her getting in foal, that is what I bought her for. I do wish sellers would tell the special needs of a horse when selling. If I had known she was a founder horse I probably would not have bought her (especially for what I paid for her), but if I had known I would not have let her eat the new grass this spring and she would not have as much pain as she has had this past summer. I feel so bad for her she is the sweetest mare.
I'd already posted this on the original thread about the foundered mare...Cindy, I did intend to reply to your PM before now, but have been going flat out trying to do a month's worth of work in 2 weeks or less....not getting much writing done.

Our Flame mare was foundered before we got her--she had foaling problems and foundered as a result of that. The seller did tell us about her problems and let us have her at a reasonable price even though it meant she lost money on the mare. She pastures her horses & knew that we were better equipped to deal with a foundered horse that would do best on dry lot...Flame was stiff (from grass) when we got her, but on grass hay & with some remedial hoof trimming she was doing well. She didn't foal in '04, but was bred for Feb. '05, and I have never seen her so spry as when she was quite late in that pregnancy! Since she foaled she's been on good feed--rolled oats, sweet feed for awhile but back to good rolled oats now. Earlier she was on grass hay and soaked alfalfa cubes, but the last 2 months she's been on 2nd cut alfalfa & you wouldn't know there's anything wrong with her. As soon as we wean her foal Flame will go back to grass hay only; she is bred back for '06, so as her pregnancy gets further along (well, once winter is here) she will have some alfalfa added into her diet again. We watch her closely, of course, but as long as she's in foal or nursing a foal I expect she will handle the alfalfa all right.

Obviously there are some foundered mares that won't cope so well with the added weight of carrying a foal, but from people I've talked to, there are many Mini mares that do fine as long as they are in foal or nursing, and it's only in an open year that they have problems.
When I was in the big horses the very first thing we would do if a mare went down with laminitis was put it in foal- once it was in foal Nature tends to take care of everything and the nutrients taken from the mares body help to cure the laminitis- certainly I have never bred a mare that was actually foundered and on meds- I have never had one that bad. I have never had a Mini with this problem so I cannot comment on Minis
We used to have a shetland that was on dry lot and hay only. She founderd lightly but then when on lease to some people, despite telling them not to they put her on very rich pasture. Needless to say she foundered extreamly bad, and we brought her home. After we got her better we gave her away as, we just are not set up for dry lot only.

BUt back to the question, yes she settled and foaled with out problems the few times she was bred.
I purchased a mare last year. This mare had foundered about 5 years earlier--they caught it early so it wasn't too bad. Any way she had a colt last year and this year--settles no problem. The only problems I encountered was at the end of her pregnancy she found it hard to be on her feet with all the extra weight and stress of the baby.

Latest posts