When can a mare return to riding after having foal?


Levi in field
Feb 27, 2006
When mares come back into work is a personal chaoice. One of our ponies came into work after 6 months. A friend of mine started doing light work with her mare after two(only 10 to 20 mins). After the foal is weaned would be my choice so between 6 and 12 months.

Where you start from depends on how long your mare has been off her level of schooling before she went into foal and her physical condition.

Of course if you are showing then mare and foal classes then they will be in very light work and so will the foal.


Active Member
Jan 14, 2002
Sunderland, UK
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Depends on where her education was beforehand.

When to start - depends on how she is and what your facilities are.

My foal is now almost 5 weeks old. My saddler is coming out to reset Peri's saddle next Friday and will then commence the long road to getting her fit again. She will start with just 5 minutes walking and build up from there. We have our own place so it is easy to organise. I want to do gradual weaning, so it should fit in nicely with that. I'll do my walk stuff in the field, but later on Belle will go in a stable for a few minutes and gradually increase the time she is away from Peri, until by 6 months she will only have a drink morning and night and be separate the rest of the time. Then completely off altogether after that. Means that I can work Peri in the separation periods with the aim to have her almost fully fit by the time Belle is completely weaned. It also supposed to be a much less stressful method of weaning for mare & foal.

My fitness target is high level dressage so it takes quite a bit longer to get to that as opposed to hacking etc as there are a lot of muscles to build up again, too quick and I risk injury to the mare.


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
IN Iceland the foals are show with their dams under saddle. Baby tölting along behind in the oval track.

I wouldn't like to ride a mare before the foal was at least a month old, and then only very gently and for not long.


Apr 29, 2002
Our shetland lead rein pony many years ago had an unexpected foal (bought from islands at a sale and two vets failed to discover she was in foal ) and we used her for riding with the foal accompanying us almost immediately (ok LR is very light work!!)

By the time the foal was two months old we were able to do mare and foal classes and leave the foal in the trailer long enough to do lead rein class. Admittedly classes were much smaller in those days so were taking about 30mins. Created quite a stir in the grand parade at one show and commentator remarked on the versitility of the breed as foal accompanied ridden mare into the parade.
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