If you’ve ever owned a mare, chances are you have had a few problems here or there with attitude as days become longer and breeding season comes into full swing. From the spring to early fall, mares enter their breeding cycle and often become a bit more difficult or unruly to deal with during these months.
These behaviors can become a problem for riders or handlers and, not only affect rides, training, or handling but can also influence the behavior and concentration of other horses nearby.
During their cycles, mares often exhibit difficult behaviors such as squealing, aggression, kicking, pinning ears, becoming difficult to handle or ride, decreased cooperation or concentration, nervous or anxiousness, or even becoming unpredictable. This can cause an unsafe environment for riders and handlers, other horses, or anyone working in the vicinity of the mare. On top of this, training progress can be slowed or halted and show seasons may be difficult to manage or may even be lost.
So how do you deal with mares exhibiting difficult behaviors? There are several drug therapies you can discuss with your veterinarian which affect the mares hormonal cycles and, consequently, can help manage her difficult behavior. However, these drugs aren't always an option due to safety concerns, financial constraints, or a desire to maintain the mare's cycle for breeding.
One option you may consider is herbal behavioral remedies. Herbal supplements are a good choice for many mares because they are non-pharmaceutical, safe to administer, and are formulated to help support a mare's mental and emotional health rather than hinder a biological function.
Herbal remedies which contain ingredients such as valerian root, chamomile, blue vervain, cohash, wild lettuce, horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), cherry plum (Prunus cerasifera), and even aspen (Populus tremula) can help to reduce feelings of anxiety, irritability, aggression, and stubbornness. There are many types of herbs that are traditionally known to help reduce these feelings and improve attitude, decrease unpredictability, and enhance concentration. Some herbs used specifically for mares may also have an affect on the mare's cycle. These herbs help alleviate some of the behavioral symptoms of cycling by balancing estrogen, reducing cramping and inflammation, and easing muscle soreness.
Equilite Herbals has formulated an herbal blend specifically for mares, RelaxHer Blend, which includes valerian root,
chamomile, cohash, and wild lettuce as well as other calming herbs. RelaxHer Blend is designed to not only have a calming affect for mares but to address the physical and hormonal changes that may be affecting their behavior during cycles.
Another great herbal remedy we recommend are the Botanical Animal Flower Essences. The specialized line of Botanical Animal Flower Essences work synergistically to address common behavioral challenges to bridge the gap between emotional health and its physical manifestation. Some great options for mares during cycle include Clear Thinking, Devil Be Gone, Easy Does It, or Mellow Out.
Herbal remedies are a great solution for many mare owners and allow more flexibility, are safer to administer, and often come with a more reasonable price point than some of the pharmaceutical options.
Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about incorporating herbal remedies in your mare's feed and training program. It is important to keep in mind that some herbs may not be safe for pregnant mares or mares you are trying to breed. Consult your veterinarian or contact our customer service team to discuss your mare's behavioral needs.