Pregnant Mares Get Some Exercise in Snowy Hokkaido

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Pregnant mares and other horses send up plumes of snow on Monday on the first of a daily winter run to assure they get sufficient exercise at the National Livestock Breeding Center’s Tokachi Station in Otofuke, Hokkaido. The runs, called “umaoi” (horse drive), consist of laps of about 800 meters around the ranch and are aimed at easing deliveries for horses cooped up in the stables. The center is currently raising about 180 horses for agricultural use, among which 52 are pregnant and expected to give birth between mid-February and late April. The runs are open to the public on weekday mornings through Feb. 24.