I love mares. Mostly because they can be very moody, and I love working with challenging horses that keep you on your toes. One thing I don't like about mares though is that when they are in heat they can be very sassy. I don't really mind when they are playfully sassy but sometimes can do things that might be dangerous for the handler. Just because a mare is in heat doesnt mean she can get away with everything though. Here are my favorite tips for dealing with a mare in heat!
Know your boundaries If a mare is in heat she will likely not let you pick out her back hooves or curry her hindquarters. It may give her a weird feeling and she could try to kick you. Always be cautious around her back end and ask a more experienced rider to help you with things like picking out her back hooves or combing her tail.
How to get her halter on Recently I found that getting a halter on a mare in heat is very difficult. When I tried to get the halter on the mare she kept turning around in her stall and wouldn't let me get near her face. She also made kicking motions. I did get her halter on though, and here is how. First, get the lead rope and tie it loosely around her neck. It doesnt need to be tight, you just need to be able to hold onto it. Then have a partner hold the lead rope while you slip the halter on. The mare wont be able to walk around the stall and you will have the halter on in seconds. Untie the lead rope, clip it to the halter, and you are good to go! You can also try giving her carrots in her feeding bin so she keeps her head in the bin and doesnt move around. When her head comes up quickly slip on the halter and then you have her!
How to get her fly mask on At the rescue there is this cute little rocky mountain filly named Duck. She is so sweet however she is also in heat. I used to be able to go into her stall and get her fly mask on but now she wont let me do that. If you are having the same problem don't worry, here is how. When you feed her grain she will have her head in the bucket. She wont care if you put the fly mask on then, and shouldn't do anything risky. I put Duck's fly mask on outside her stall when she is eating her grain and she doesnt even care! It is so much easier than trying to put it on in her stall.
Be cautious around other horses A mare in heat may be snappy around other horses. She could try to kick them or bite them. Say you have her in cross ties. You have to unclip one cross tie for the other horse to walk down the barn aisle. When you unclip the cross tie make sure you have a strong grip on her halter. She could try to bite the horse or handler walking by her.
Don't be afraid to ask for help If you are a beginner dealing with a mare in heat, it can be very tricky. If the mare tries to kick you or buck don't be afraid to ask for help! Your instructors and partners are there to keep you safe. You don't need to be embarrassed to ask for help with the mare.
I hope these tips help you when dealing with a moody mare!! I find they help a lot, especially with the younger and more sassy ones. Mares can be so controlling sometimes, especially when they are in heat 😂. Also sorry I haven't posted in so long! xx The Desert Rider