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Re: [RC] Mares Tying Up - heidi

I'm really glad this subject came up as I just returned from my vet
after  having a meeting with him on what changes to do for my mare who
had a really  bad tie up 4 miles into a ride last October . I am
seriously considering  spaying her as it is a cost effective procedure
and my mare although she was  not in heat at the time of the tie up has
very strong heat cycles and will  back up to a fence and kick and kick
at the other horses across the fence  even though they are doing nothing
so I am always worried she will hurt  herself . Her mother is exactly
the same way . Do any of you guys ride  spayed mares in endurance ? Do
they loose any of their competitiveness ? Or  change in any way EXCEPT
for the good ? Except for her heat cycles this mare  is wonderfull to
ride and be around .

Two issues here...  One, do people ride spayed mares in endurance?  Yes,
occasionally.  The procedure is not all that common.  If all goes well, no
surgical complications, etc., then there is no reason why she shouldn't do
endurance, and do it just as well as she does now.

Question two--do you really WANT to spay her??  And there are two parts to
this as well...  One, there is some risk involved, and you lose the
opportunity to breed her in the future.  For many mares, I wouldn't be all
that concerned about the latter, but Ruffy IS a pretty nice mare...  As
for the risk--it is not TOO high, in the hands of a veterinarian who does
many mare spays, but I've seen some doozies, with mares that have been
sent out to be spayed to become jump mares for breeding facilities.  It
isn't as simple as gelding a colt or spaying your pet dog or cat.

The second part of the second question is, will you really gain anything
by this?  I've seen some spayed jump mares who simply stay in a sort of
quasi-heat ALL the time, since there is no hormonal activity to suppress
heat.  We LOVE these mares at jump facilities, because we don't have to
put them on any hormones--they just tease the stallions and let them
mount.  Granted, more mares will be "out" of heat from being spayed than
will do this, but enough of them do this that I don't necessarily
recommend it as merely a way to keep them from showing heat as riding
horses.  Additionally, is this really Ruffy's problem?  I know you've been
through the whole selenium testing route, etc., and have ruled that out. 
But I also remember that there was another horse standing right next to
Ruffy being treated at the same ride, with exactly the same problem, and
that both of you rode out conservatively and are experienced riders.  And
the other one was a gelding--sure wasn't HIS ovaries causing the problem! 
The fact that this occurred to TWO horses in pretty much the same
circumstances at the same ride, and the fact that you have ridden Ruffy
for two years and 500+ miles, even garnering a couple of Top Tens and a
BC, I'm not sure that the conclusion to spay her is warranted.  I'd keep
looking for the needle in the haystack--you've ruled out selenium, but
what about calcium, magnesium, carb issues, something at the specific
ride, etc.?  I'm simply not convinced that mares tie up "just because they
are mares" and particularly not when it is only one incident.  Just some
food for thought...



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Re: [RC] Mares Tying Up, Jim & Drin Becker