Riding the Pregnant Mare

How far through the pregnancy do you continue to ride the pregnant mare? Do you show? Camp? Trail Ride?

My mare is just past the 6 month mark and all is going well. I don’t want to push her too hard but I do want to keep her fit as she tends to be a couch potato when left to her own devices. We don’t have turnout during the winter so she is in a small paddock. If I don’t ride, she doesn’t get any exercise.

How much would be too much? I’m assuming if she is used to doing 5-6 miles a couple of times a week it is safe to continue to do so?

Talk with your vet. Ours said work as normal through month 6-7 depending on how they are tolerating exercise. After month 8, stick to walk only, and switch to hand walking (or just turnout) as soon as they seem uncomfortable.

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You want her to be active but you don’t want to push her. Just like with women’s pregnancies everybody is different and what they can do is an individual thing.

You can still ride but start to tone it WAY down and watch her for signs of it getting difficult . Then stop all together.

By 9 months I stopped riding mine even at a slow walk. They have enough to endure just growing and nourishing that fast growing foal. They shouldn’t have to cart me around as well.


Walking is excellent fitness work, very underrated. Her size will start to dictate when the saddle doesn’t fit, and a lot of people will put on a nice bareback pad and walk that way for several more months.

At some point, her increasing size and discomfort will have her tell you that forced work isn’t in the cards, not even walking.

Hand walks 20-30 minutes can still be great exercise without adding weight to her body.

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She seems to be feeling pretty good right now so I’m letting her decide how she wants to go. She likes to gallop so I’m limiting it to short canters and a lot more walking. I think now that we are finally getting cooler weather she is a lot more comfortable. It was a very long, hot, humid summer.

I expect she may quiet down the next few months as the baby gets bigger. Already making plans to ride my friend’s horses so she can have more downtime.

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The mare I part-board is 5 months pregnant. Pre-pregnancy we were doing training level dressage. I jokingly tell people we are aiming to have a “Fit Pregnancy”. :grinning: Currently our rides are mostly walking (20-30 minutes) with short bursts of trot and canter if she feels like it.

Luckily, my mare is turned out for 10 hours a day, and comes in at night but doesn’t really self exercise as she is turned out with 2 older quiet mares. Their days are filled with eating & naps. In that order.

I figured I would keep doing what we are doing until month 7 and then just switch to hand walking or perhaps even try out long lining.