Pros & cons of mare hormone management

  • Which hormone management techniques allow mares to be at their competitive best? H&H investigates


    Regumate is a synthetic progesterone-containing medicine that suppresses the behavioural signs of oestrus. It is administered orally on a daily basis.


    • Proven to be the most effective hormone suppressant

    • Now allowed under FEI rules (although paperwork must be completed with the FEI vet prior to competition)

    • Should not compromise long-term fertility


    • Costly — in the region of £30-£40 for a two-week course

    • Must be given daily

    • High risk of cross-contamination

    • Must handle with care


    Mare-bles are glass marbles placed in the uterus to manage behavioural problems. It is thought that the marbles mimic pregnancy in the mare.


    • Does not rely on medication

    • When it does work, it is effective and does not appear to cause discomfort to the mare

    • No risk of the cross-contamination you could get with some medication


    • Not widely available in the UK

    • Not always effective

    • Undetectable from the outside, so could cause problems when horses change ownership

    • Risk of uterine inflammation

    Natural/herbal/homeopathic supplements

    Various alternative remedies which are usually in the form of dried herbs or liquid added to feed.


    • Cheap compared with Regumate

    • Should not compromise long-term fertility

    • A wide variety of products to choose from


    • No ‘hard’ science to prove they work

    • Risk of some of them containing banned substances

    • Their effectiveness can vary greatly from mare to mare

    For the full article on managing competition mares, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (1 July, ’10)

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