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bunni1900

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Hello again everyone. I have a concern about one of my broodmares.

Shirley is a 13yo mare that I purchased in the spring of 2013. She was in foal at time of purchase and foaled a filly for me with great ease that May. She never seemed to get pulled down or loose weight the entire time she was nursing (and was a great milker!) And seemed to not be disturbed one bit when I weaned her filly at 4 months of age.

I did not breed her back as I wanted to give her a year to just be a horse. (She had been bred back to back for 3 years and has had, to my knowledge 6 foals).

I bred her to my older stallion (age 23) last year and she foaled a stunning dunskin filly, again with no issues or complications. This filly was a bit smaller but Shirley gave her all. When the filly was 4 months old, I weaned her and the mare was quite effected, and reacted more typically like a mare at weaning time (calling, pacing, etc) But this soon subsided after the filly left for her new home. (I weaned the filly as mama was getting pulled down and baby was quite a chunk).

I bred her back to the same stallion on her first heat post foaling and she took with one day of live cover.

She is now approximately 6 months in foal and, honestly hasn't been herself since I weaned the filly. I noticed her gait had changed to be quite stiff a couple months after foaling and had her adjusted by my equine chiropractor on 2 occasions (which was very much needed!)

She still isn't herself and I'm not sure what to do. I have not switched anything significantly (feed, stable arrangement, companionship, etc) so I'm not sure what is causing it.

Though she is eating and drinking normally, She seems tired and stiff (which is not like her at all) and though in the past loved to run and play with the other horses, now has to be "forced" to exercise. And when the others run, she simply avoids them.

I have started her on Flaxseed oil in hopes of supplementING her diet and helping her feel better, but am at a loss for what else to do to help. She is UTD on all deworming, vaccinations and had her teeth floated in September.

Has anyone had experiences like this or tips on what I can do to get my old Shirley back?

P.S. as of now, I plan NOT to breed her back in 2016 and will give her a year off from being a broodmare.
 

Rocklone Miniature Horses

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I can't comment on the change of her behaviour, but she is abolutely stunning i can see why you breed her. Maybe shes just a bit tired maybe its a big colt foal and is taking it all out of her.
 

bunni1900

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I certainly home that's all. I love this mare very much. And she has a forever home here (she has been through 7 homes since her birth) and will retire here
 

chandab

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I know it may seem like a long time, but she may still be settling in, she's only been with you a couple years. I have a mare that's been here 4 years now, and at times, she acts like she's new here and is very upset with daily routine (other times she is fine).
 

amysue

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She is stunning. At 13, she may just be feeling her age, not that she is old or anything, but many of my mares began to slow down around that age. Im pretty sure that at 13 or maybe its 15, they start calling a horse a "senior". There are varying opinions on whether it is better to breed every other year or every year, I think it depends on the mare. Some need a break or they lose condition while others do worse after having time off. Is her stiffness more joint related or muscle? I swear by cosequin for joints and I rub my horses down with linement before and after workouts for muscles (helps my sore muscles too). It sounds like you take phenomenal care of her and keep her in top shape, maybe she is just in a funk. Hope she feels better soon.
 

chandab

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maybe she is just in a funk. Hope she feels better soon.
Winter blahs? Even though winter has just started.

If she doesn't snap out of it fairly soon, perhaps a vet check up for peace of mind.
 

bunni1900

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Her stiffness seems to be pelvic which doesn't surprise me as she has had AT LEAST 6 foals all VERY quickly with no assistance. I just want her to be happy and healthy. I am hoping she picks up after the foal is born. She will get next year off (though she tends to be very upset without a foal; my guess is she doesn't know what to do when she isn't being a mom)
 

chandab

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Her stiffness seems to be pelvic which doesn't surprise me as she has had AT LEAST 6 foals all VERY quickly with no assistance. I just want her to be happy and healthy. I am hoping she picks up after the foal is born. She will get next year off (though she tends to be very upset without a foal; my guess is she doesn't know what to do when she isn't being a mom)
If she's getting the following year off, try leaving the foal with her longer so she has time to be "tired of the foal" before official weaning (as long as foal isn't dragging her down), let her get her baby fix.
 

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