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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2013
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    19

    Default Maiden mare, too old to breed?

    I have a very special mare who is 10 years old this year. She is maiden and lately I've been thinking about having a foal from her. She is Worldly/Graf Remus, black and has such an amazing disposition! She is the most important horse to me that I have ever had. I cannot imagine losing her which is why I am struggling with the decision to breed her. It Is rather a catch 22 though because her importance to me is also the same reason I want her foal! I have heard it said that if you are not willing to risk losing your mare you should not breed her. That stuck with me, but at the same time...sigh...I just want her baby! ET is so expensive and there are still risks. I'm indecisive. Any suggestions or advice?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    5,530

    Default

    Have you ever bred a mare before, or would this be a first time for you too?

    The vet will be able to tell you wether it's safe for her, but I agree wholeheartedly with the advice: if the mare is too special to lose, don't breed her. I have a mare like that...I love her dearly and she's everything to me (I have 5 other horses but she's the "one")...I can't imagine losing her and would never breed her and risk losing her to a complication. But then again, with all of the horses out there, I don't see a point in breeding any of mine. I leave breeding up to professionals and have no desire to try my hand at it.
    Last edited by hundredacres; Apr. 22, 2013 at 12:43 PM.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2013
    Posts
    19

    Default

    I've bred a mare before (once) in 2003 and last year foaled out a mare at my farm. But I am not a breeder. I just want the one foal from this mare.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    19,748

    Default

    No, she is not too old. Only you can answer the rest of the question however.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2009
    Posts
    551

    Default

    Yes, you could lose her to complications. But, you could also lose her to a freak injury or pasture accident. There are risks in life and in breeding. And, what if she makes a GREAT mom and nice babies? Make sure you weigh both the pros and the cons.

    As far as age, I've seen significantly older maidens. She'll tell you if she can have babies- by simply taking or not taking. Ask your vet too!

    Good luck- and follow your heart on this one!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2007
    Location
    Wilsonville, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    The oldest maiden I bred was 18. She was owned by a vet and she came with a clean culture, a terrific biopsy and no reason on earth why she couldnt conceive and carry safely

    I leased her for one breeding season and she caught on the 2nd cycle, carried fine, foaled out fine, seemed a little surprised to be sharing her stall with a little one but was a great Mom overall.

    We truly didnt have one minute of trouble breeding a maiden mare that old. Wouldnt hesitate to do it again if the opportunity presented itself

    Good luck in your decision!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2013
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Great advice. Thanks to everyone. I think what keeps me thinking about it is that even though there are numerous horses available for sale, I would have a very hard time trying to replace her. I literally searched the world. Found her in Germany (as a 3 year old) and I know that to find one like her in the U.S. would cost way more than I paid for her. I bought her with the intention of breeding but ended up keeping her as my main riding horse because of her willing (almost eager) desire to work while at the same time is just a cuddle bug. It's so complicated because all of the things about her that keep me wishing for her foal all also the same things that keep me from breeding her for fear of losing her. I damned if I do and damned if I don't! In addition, I am truly the most indecisive person I know...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2007
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    5,786

    Default

    Have the vet out for a breeding soundness exam. If the vet says she's high risk, then you have your answer. If the vet says she has no increased risks, then you'll actually have to make up your mind.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2013
    Posts
    153

    Default

    So continue to ride and compete her for a few more years and then breed her when she's 15. Save your pennies in the meantime to pay for ET in case you decide to go that route later.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2006
    Posts
    3,826

    Default

    If you decide not to breed her, maybe you can contact the breeder and inquire about siblings or step siblings? Maybe her traits are partially inheritable. Good luck in your decision.
    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
    ¯ Oscar Wilde



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    8,284

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    No one can tell you with any assurance that there will be no risk for disaster if you breed your mare. The risk is quite low, but no one has a crystal ball that will show what will happen in the future and pregnancy and foaling carry very real and possibly fatal risks. I have had many, many textbook foalings. I have also lost a mare 20 hours post foaling to a twisted colon. Despite fast and expert intervention the mare could not be saved. Another possible risk is back problems from the pregnancy which could negatively impact the mare going back under saddle in the same shape that she was before the pregnancy.

    I would save my money and either do an ET with your mare or plan on later looking again for the next horse of your dreams. Even though it may seem unlikely that another search will produce the right horse for you, it is probably more likely to do so than breeding a mare one time.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2003
    Location
    canada
    Posts
    1,279

    Default

    I agree that you don't have to decide now. Ride her a few more years then decide on breeding, 13-15 is not too old to be a maiden.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2006
    Posts
    156

    Default

    My 12 year old mare delivered her first baby this year. I sent her to the clinic to foal out because of her age and just the fact that she was a maiden. We have a very healthy colt and my mare after a couple of days is a happy mother. I'm breeding her again this year. I really spent a lot of time talking to my vet and we had a full repo exam done before we even selected a stallion.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2005
    Posts
    2,807

    Default

    We had a 10YO deliver her first this year. (She had raced till age 8.) Checking a 9YO maiden (raced till age 7) for pregnancy tomorrow.
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2007
    Location
    Luthersville, GA
    Posts
    631

    Default

    10 is young. Our maiden mare just had her first foal at 20 this spring! We have also had maidens as old as 15 and 17.

    I would go ahead and have a breeding soundness exam done, your vet can advise you about her reproductive health. If everything looks good, there's no reason you couldn't wait a couple more years to breeder her.
    Fade to Grey Farm
    Eventing, Foxhunting & Connemaras
    *NEW* website:www.fadetogreyfarm.com



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2012
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    112

    Default

    I have asked my vet about breeding my mare because she is 13 this year and maiden as well. My vets advice was that she personally wouldnt consider breeding after the 18year mark BUT with that said she did say that just just this past year did an AI with a 20 year old maiden mare than took fine and last I heard carried just fine and delivered a great little foal. She also said she wouldnt do live cover at that age but sees nothing wrong with AI if the mare will take and is properly monitored.
    LILY-13yr APHA/PtHA mare**LUKE-11yr Rescue Haflinger gelding (being leased out)**ANNIE-7yr AQHA mare



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2013
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Home Again Farm View Post
    No one can tell you with any assurance that there will be no risk for disaster if you breed your mare. The risk is quite low, but no one has a crystal ball that will show what will happen in the future and pregnancy and foaling carry very real and possibly fatal risks. I have had many, many textbook foalings. I have also lost a mare 20 hours post foaling to a twisted colon. Despite fast and expert intervention the mare could not be saved. Another possible risk is back problems from the pregnancy which could negatively impact the mare going back under saddle in the same shape that she was before the pregnancy.

    I would save my money and either do an ET with your mare or plan on later looking again for the next horse of your dreams. Even though it may seem unlikely that another search will produce the right horse for you, it is probably more likely to do so than breeding a mare one time.
    Thank you, I really appreciate your input and had never considered the possibility of a foal negatively impacting her back. I'm sure the risk is low but nevertheless if it is a possibly I do t want to risk it. Also, I'll talk with my bet, if she isn't too old to do ET at 15 or so, I'd much rather save, like you suggested, and do that. Makes a lot more sense. The selfish me wants the baby now! But the realistic me knows its not necessary to have another horse right now if I can wait.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2013
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Dang auto correct! I meant vet. VET



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    8,284

    Default

    Fifteen is definitely not likely to be too old to do an ET. Good luck with your mare, whatever you decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldlylvr67 View Post
    Thank you, I really appreciate your input and had never considered the possibility of a foal negatively impacting her back. I'm sure the risk is low but nevertheless if it is a possibly I do t want to risk it. Also, I'll talk with my bet, if she isn't too old to do ET at 15 or so, I'd much rather save, like you suggested, and do that. Makes a lot more sense. The selfish me wants the baby now! But the realistic me knows its not necessary to have another horse right now if I can wait.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2002
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    1,271

    Default

    I have had the misfortune to have a mare slip a foal two years in a row. This mare is elderly now and has a similar biopsy result. One foal she slipped was around 10 months and the other sometime after 60 days. My mare was unconsolable after the 10 month foal slipped. I never want to go through that again. I now breed her for ET's as she has no problem getting pregnant but can't carry the foal to term. My vet said it was reasonable to try once more but I can't do it. I hate to be a neigh sayer but this is one more thing that you need to consider. I wish you good luck with your decision and whatever you decide will be right for you. ��
    It's not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on.”
    ? Marilyn Monroe



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