Marbles Keep Mares Out of Heat

Mares in performance careers are sometimes a frustration to their trainers and riders because during estrus, they can have difficulty concentrating on their work or have “behavioral problems.” Many horse owners resort to hormone therapy to keep mares from coming into heat while training or showing. The most commonly used drug is a synthetic progestin (altrenogest, marketed as Regumate) given

Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Mares in performance careers are sometimes a frustration to their trainers and riders because during estrus, they can have difficulty concentrating on their work or have “behavioral problems.” Many horse owners resort to hormone therapy to keep mares from coming into heat while training or showing. The most commonly used drug is a synthetic progestin (altrenogest, marketed as Regumate) given daily by mouth or in feed. Some of its drawbacks include cost and risk to humans, especially women. Contact with this drug (which is easily absorbed through the skin) can disrupt the menstrual cycle or cause miscarriage. However, a new way to keep mares out of heat has been introduced to the horse world–marbles.

Placing a glass marble in the mare’s uterus to suppress estrus was discussed at the 2001 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention by Gary Nie, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACT, Dipl. ABVP. He learned about this technique from a veterinarian in Holland and tried it on 24 mares in a two-year study with half using a 25 mm glass ball and half using a 35 mm glass ball.

Nie says that this method for suppressing estrus (in horses and other species) has been used for a number of years in Europe and the Middle East, but he had not heard of it being tried in this country, so he wanted to do a study

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Heather Smith Thomas ranches with her husband near Salmon, Idaho, raising cattle and a few horses. She has a B.A. in English and history from University of Puget Sound (1966). She has raised and trained horses for 50 years, and has been writing freelance articles and books nearly that long, publishing 20 books and more than 9,000 articles for horse and livestock publications. Some of her books include Understanding Equine Hoof Care, The Horse Conformation Handbook, Care and Management of Horses, Storey’s Guide to Raising Horses and Storey’s Guide to Training Horses. Besides having her own blog, www.heathersmiththomas.blogspot.com, she writes a biweekly blog at https://insidestorey.blogspot.com that comes out on Tuesdays.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Which skin issue do you battle most frequently with your horse?
239 votes · 239 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!