- Swishing her tail
- Reacting to touch
- Resisting having her girth tightened
- Soreness in the lower back or flanks
- Leaning against walls or posts
- Colic signs
If these symptoms are related to the mare's cycle they will appear and disappear in conjunction with her cycle every 16 to 21 days. If the symptoms are constant then there is probably another or multiple causes for the behavior.
Many people are quick to reach for a drug to suppress estrus but it is possible for a healthy mare to come into heat without discomfort that will prevent her from performing. Even healthy mares can occasionally have some discomfort during estrus and being aware of this and adjusting the training schedule is all that is needed.
Many estrus problems are related to Liver stagnation and supporting the liver will balance out the hormones. A 10 day course of milk thistle is a good way to support the liver. Dong Quai (tang kuei) is another great herb for liver and hormonal balancing. Herbal products that provide some pain relief as well as liver support such as RelaxHer Blend can be given when needed.
If a mare is performing strenuous exercise such as jumping, racing or cutting they may have a tendency to pull air into the vagina. This can be very irritating and homeopathic remedies such as sepia may tighten the vulva tissue or in some cases a caslicks procedure can be done to seal the upper part of the vulva to prevent air sucking into the vagina.