High-Performance Broodmares?

Q:I have heard that breeding a mare does irreversible damage to the ligaments, tendons, and muscles -- that once a mare is bred, she can't return to the performance ring, i.e., reining. Any reports or information on mares that have been returned to the performance ring after being bred would be greatly appreciated.


A: This is utter nonsense--many mares compete at the highest levels after producing a foal or two. I know plenty of show, draft, and Western performance mares which returned to work after foaling. Racehorses often race in early pregnancy, but it is usually unwise to return broodmares to race training due to age and the demands of racing. When broodmares don't return to other performance careers, it is usually due to age or other injuries rather than any changes in physiology due to pregnancy.

About the Author

Elizabeth Santschi, DVM, Dipl. ACVS

Elizabeth M Santschi, DVM, Dipl. ACVS, is a professor of equine surgery at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in Manhattan.

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