I just need to add calories without adding more energy!

QUESTION: 

Hi Mark, I own a mare who will be 4 in August. She surprised me with a foal last May (2003) and I feel that the babe may have stunted her growth as I didn’t know she was pregnant until she was one month from foaling (she bagged up just over a month before the filly was born) So I fed the heck out of her, fed her properly for a mare in foal but up until then she was out on pasture with other horses, not being fed for her and a baby? I don’t think she was fed well enough as she was so young, growing and carrying a foal.Pretty dumb for an experienced horse person not to know there own horse is pregnant!! Foal was born happy, healthy, gorgeous and the mare was the text book perfect Mom (we were a little terrified because she was so young, under 3 yrs old) I was wondering if you could give me some help on Quarter Horse growth. She is actually a Paint cross (3/4 paint, 1/4 surprise) Her sire is the APHA, Gallagher McCue breeding and Mom is the half APHA going back to Kims Pica Pride. Seeing as she will be 4 in august, had this early surprise foal, can I expect her to gain anymore height?? She has not even started to fill out yet, and her mouth seems to also be behind, Nov she finally lost her four front baby teeth (top2 and bottom 2). The reason I ask is she only stands 14hh right now and I’m 5’9″!! Needless to say we’re kind of an odd pair!! I’m new to the Quater horses/Paint and was hoping you could shed some light on what I ca expect from this mare. Her health is awesome, she is full of energy, on the skinny side as she is always running i her paddock and playing with buddies on the either side, she is dewormed regularly, is fed grass hay with 16% pellets, whole oats, oil and a vitamin supplement recommended by my vet. Also, I’m looking for something that I can give her to help maintain a better weight! She is so full of playing! And she eats well, I just need to add calories without adding more energy! She’s not hot under saddle, just in her paddock, she loves to play! Thanks so much, I look forward to your answer!! If you need any more info, please do not hesitate to ask!

ANSWER: 

Hi Michelle, I am not a horse reproductive expert, however from my experience I do not feel that having a foal would have anything to do with how well your mare matures and grows. Many people also find out that their mare is in foal and were not aware of it, this happens more often that you could imagine. She will propably mature based on how tall her parents were. There are many ways to guess where she will finish out height wise. Most horses are physically maturing at about five years of age, however that is not the case with all horses. I have found that you can guestimate the horses finish height by taking a rope and measuring from the point of the elbow and taking it down to the ergot, then taking that distance straight up from the elbow and that sometimes gives you a rough estimate of how tall she will be. It sounds like you are doing all the right things to insure your mares health and nutritional needs. I have found that alfalfa pellets tend to put on more weight than hay. You might talk with your vet about ways to increase her weight.

Thanks for the question and enjoy your mare.

Mark 

2019-01-16T15:19:39+00:00