Some help for a friend
So 2 years ago, a friend of mine bought a pretty oldenburg mare with rather decent conformation and movement and a decent dressage pedigree on top out of a TB mare. With people, she is friendly, and affectionate, easy to handle. She was bought for a dressage horse and was quite lovely to ride; however, this past spring, jumped out and got tangled up in a neighbor's fence. Tendons and ligaments were damaged to the point where the mare will not stay sound riding, except perhaps a tiny little slow pleasure ride; however, she seems to be comfortable enough in the pasture, and can move around okay.
The friends wants to breed this mare.
Here's the concern as I see it - the mare is beyond witchy with horses. She is an outright terror. The whole group of horses she lives with are on edge around her. Nobody dares to cross her, nobody dares to be within 10 feet of her. Recently my friend bought another horse to have something to ride. Her mare was been just wild towards the new horse although the new horse quickly made friends with other horses in the group. My friend says her mare is like this to every horse - does not sniff noses, just will charge with teeth bared and mouth gaping and will kick at anything with 4 legs with little to no provocation. Witchy might be an understatement.
I have said I would not personally breed a witchy mare like this because (a) I would be concerned she would attack the foal first before attempting to greet it, since she does not greet other horses like a normal horse (charge first, ask questions later mentality) and (b) even if she turned out to be a great mom, her foal would learn this behavior.
So my friend is not convinced, so I thought I would pose the question of CoTH and let her read the responses since outside opinions would be valuable.
Would you breed a witchy mare like this, even though she is lovely towards people? Or are my concerns unfounded?
She sounds more like a mare that has never been socialized, rather than an alpha. I have never had a problem breeding very dominate alpha types, but I once foaled out a show mare for a friend who had lived an isolated life and it didn't go well even though she was never aggressive with other adult horses.
She was fine with her foal, although not a particularly good mother, but she could not be turned out with any other foals. Once weaned, the foal got along fine with the herd, but was always over-reactive and accident prone. Coincidentally, this mare also had a career ending injury jumping out.
Personally, I would not breed her and I would be very concerned for her newborn.
As you pointed out...disasters waiting to happen.
I recently sold, as a riding horse, a really nice young, correct, pretty and talented mare because she was like the mare you speak of. Lovely to work with and ride...a *witch* with other horses. I did not want that passed on into the gene pool. I had to make a hard choice and chose to sell the mare with full disclosure about her behaviours.
I have been breeding and raising youngsters for over 25 yrs now...I would never breed a mare like that. Too much possible heart break! What if she kicked the **** out of the foal?...can happen ....I have seen it.
No thank you! For all the reasons already stated.
Like Pinto Power I had a similar mare. She was sold to me for the purpose of breeding. After realizing her temperament and her poor stall manners and her neurotic behaviour I felt she needed to work. SO I sold her as a jumper prospect and NOT the dressage prospect this person felt she was.
I am happy to report she is doing well in her home. It got back to the previous owner and she was livid. She felt I flipped her for $$$. Which is so far from the truth. Obviously she knew nothing of breeding. When babe is joined to mom's hip 24/7 they become a carbon copy of mom. Who wants a tyrant for a foal and go on to be a beyatch of a mare.
My friend had a foal from a similar type mare and they weaned at one month to save the foal from her mother. The unsuspecting foal constantly pushed and knocked down in the stall. The sweet thing blossomed once away from her tyrant of a mom.
Really depends is she an Alpha mare that is hard on herd mates or is she and aggressive mare who doesn't understand herd dynamics and boundary's.
I have a mare who would like to be Alpha is fairly poor at it and needs to live in a herd situation with a fairly confident and assertive Alpha.
She's been bred several times and is a very good mother great with her foals no aggressive behavior and is actually more settled in the field with a foal vs w/out.
Temperment issues, particularly those that serioius and treacherous immediately cross a mare off my list. That is the top trait on my list and I will never settle for anything less than stellar regardless of breeding, beauty or gaits. I love a diva or even strong willed and sensitive, but they need to get along with humans and horses. She's not breedable in my opinion.
Originally Posted by TKR
Been there....done that...never again! Our mare was not bad with people, but was horrid with other horses. She had one outstanding foal (sweet as could be) and when he was weaned she was sold...with disclosure....100's of miles away!!! Even her own foal was horrified of her!! She never hurt him, but he was warry! I was present/assisted the birth and was prepared to take the foal completely out of the stall if she attacked!! (She did not at that time, but was always a risk.) She upset the whole dynamics of our broodmare band. They were always on edge when she was near!! There are too many pleasant, quality mares around to risk it.
Well, for what it's worth I had a mare that was extremely alpha with others and unfair about it...to the point that I sold her because I was worried about the other foals out with her. But she had three foals for us and all three have turned out to be completely unlike her in this regard with excellent social skills. She was a super mother in every way. So, I kind of doubt poor social skills are very heritable but the concern for me would be how she would be out with other mares and foals. It really sucks when they are like this.
If the owner is set up to just keep the mare by herself while she has a foal at side then she could just do that, not ideal for baby but probably safer all together....an option if she is determined to have a foal from this mare.