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Opinions on breeding 2 year olds

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    Opinions on breeding 2 year olds

    I know people do it, and I personally know a few who breed their 2 year old fillies.

    Looking for as many opinions and experiences with this as possible.

    Thinking about breeding a 2 year old in the spring, and currently leaning towards ET but I have a lot of people telling me I should leave the embryo in the 2 year old.

    I am thinking it can't be good for a growing body to carry and growing body, however I do know many people who have done this without any issues.

    #2
    Originally posted by iJump View Post

    I am thinking it can't be good for a growing body to carry and growing body, however I do know many people who have done this without any issues.
    This is my opinion as well. I personally do not agree with breeding 2-year-old fillies.

    www.DaventryEquestrian.com
    Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
    Also home to Daventry Equine Appraisals & Equine Expert Witness
    www.EquineAppraisers.com

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      #3
      I don't ride or breed 2 year olds. I know alot of Quarter horse breeders and they also lunge and ride their 2 year olds, which makes me cringe. They only have a limited amount of time to be a baby - let that happen IMO.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by iJump View Post
        I know people do it, and I personally know a few who breed their 2 year old fillies.

        Looking for as many opinions and experiences with this as possible.

        Thinking about breeding a 2 year old in the spring, and currently leaning towards ET but I have a lot of people telling me I should leave the embryo in the 2 year old.

        I am thinking it can't be good for a growing body to carry and growing body, however I do know many people who have done this without any issues.
        My thoughts on this are are if you want the foal or the two year old? To me you are either letting the two year old filly use the nutrition she takes in OR for her to grow or to nourish the foal in her. I would rather have a well grown mare who has access to all of her nutrition to be the best mare she could be. If the foal instead receives the lions share of the nutrients then you have missed a critical window in the mare's growth cycle. I would not be fooled into thinking you could feed the filly enough to meet the nutritional needs of both. It is not unusual for breeders of young mares to have very large foals out of very young mares or vice versa. It all comes down to how that particular mare divides up the resources internally.

        It would seem to me that if your filly where nice enough and valuable enough to breed, you would have other plans for her. A broodmare who has had training, a show record, the best nutrition and handling through her life has a far better chance of landing in a good place should circumstances change. To risk a foaling at such a young age, could seriously damage her chances not only in the breeding shed but in a future career. This is not even considering the mental state, since we cannot talk to these mares in person and get their views.

        I did have one experience with an AQHA mare. She was exposed while out on a trial at a boarding facility. She was purchased, moved to her home and got very fat. She was 28 months at exposure. The vet upon seeing her for another matter, asked if she was bred, felt confident, checked and indeed she was. She had a beautiful, HUGE, colt who went past term. She was a decent mother, but during the time of her "confinement" changed completely. When sold she was sweet, easy going, took easily to to ground work and first saddling. When the owners found out she was expecting she was moved to a local farm who was very experienced with broodmares. She was given the best of everything for the "blessed event" and her training was stopped. After the birth she was downright dangerous, I still have a big scar on my hip from the bite I received when walking past her stall after seeing the foal for the first time. (I was the original seller). The broodmare barn owners asked for her to be moved, she was taken home, the foal was weaned and she was moved to the trainers. They deemed her untrainable, this happened three more times. The owners were frightened of her and I bought her back. The day I sold her at 28mos she was 14.1 1/2. The day she died in my pasture at age 22 she was 14.1 1/2. She was as wide as a battle ship and a good breeder for me, ( I bred her again at age 5). Her sire was 16.2, her dam 16 hands, her first colt 16.3 and all of her other foals 15.3 or taller. She was never ridden again ( I tried but there is only so much you can take), she was never trustworthy around any people. Did this have to do with being bred so young, no idea, maybe she was just a bad egg. I do know her bloodline, she was bred for height that was never achieved, also could be a fault of her genetics. Did I ever think of breeding another 2 year old. To me it was not worth the risk.

        Embryo Transfer sounds like it would work a treat....IMHO

        Comment


          #5
          Daventry knows whereof she speaks.

          Why are you considering breeding a 2 year old? I am interested in the reasoning.

          If you breed a filly at two E.T. would be the wise choice. I assume this is a well bred and excellently conformed animal.

          We've all heard or know of fillies being bred at two. Yet nowhere, have I ever seen or heard an adequate explanation of why it was deemed necessary to breed and have a filly carry the foal while she is so young. ("They do it in the wild" doesn't get it, for obvious reasons.)

          I'm very interested to learn why anyone would do this. Have the people that you know who have bred 2 year old fillies and had them carry the foal, ever explained to you why they think this is a good idea?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by skydy View Post
            Daventry knows whereof she speaks.

            Why are you considering breeding a 2 year old? I am interested in the reasoning.

            If you breed a filly at two E.T. would be the wise choice. I assume this is a well bred and excellently conformed animal We've all heard or know of fillies being bred at two. Yet nowhere, have I ever seen or heard an adequate explanation of why it was deemed necessary to breed and have a filly carry the foal while she is so young. ("They do it in the wild" doesn't get it, for obvious reasons.)

            I'm very interested to learn why anyone would do this. Have the people that you know who have bred 2 year old fillies and had them carry the foal, explained why they think this is a good idea?
            The reasoning is that they can. If you have a 2 year old sport horse mare, you can’t do much with her. You can’t really ride or compete her, you can’t lease her out, you can’t do a lot of training, and there’s not a huge market for people wanting to buy 2 YOs for this reason. So if you have a 2 year old mare, you’re already spending money on hay/ board/ whatever else. Why not breed the mare so she can be of some use that year? Also there’s not really conclusive research one way or the other on this practice. Or at least not that I’ve seen.

            Personally, I don’t agree. I get that it happens and it goes fine but I think mares deserve time to grow up and be a baby.

            FWIW my mare was born to a young dam. Her mom was bred at 2 and foaled my girl at 3. I love her and she turned out fine but she is very small for her breed.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Equkelly View Post

              The reasoning is that they can. If you have a 2 year old sport horse mare, you can’t do much with her. You can’t really ride or compete her, you can’t lease her out, you can’t do a lot of training, and there’s not a huge market for people wanting to buy 2 YOs for this reason. So if you have a 2 year old mare, you’re already spending money on hay/ board/ whatever else. Why not breed the mare so she can be of some use that year? Also there’s not really conclusive research one way or the other on this practice. Or at least not that I’ve seen.

              Personally, I don’t agree. I get that it happens and it goes fine but I think mares deserve time to grow up and be a baby.

              FWIW my mare was born to a young dam. Her mom was bred at 2 and foaled my girl at 3. I love her and she turned out fine but she is very small for her breed.
              Yes, I have heard that reasoning. Still, I was asking for an adequate explanation and I don't consider "my 2 year old isn't making me money" to be an adequate explanation.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by skydy View Post

                Yes, I have heard that reasoning. Still, I was asking for an adequate explanation and I don't consider "my 2 year old isn't making me money" to be an adequate explanation.
                Oh I agree, it’s absolutely not an adequate explanation in my book either but that’s the logic. And like I said there’s really not any evidence showing it’s a bad thing so I think the logic is kind of “why not?”

                Comment

                  Original Poster

                  #9
                  When I really think about it, about half of the mares I know that were bred at 2, and had foals at 3 ended up being miserable to deal with and very little work ethic. This may be no relation to the fact that they had foals, but possible!

                  Filly is put together well, good breeding.. why not get a foal from her now instead of later? I might not have this horse in the future to get a foal from.

                  I think I will definitely do ET as I had originally planned.

                  Still curious of other peoples experiences, please share!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I’ve also heard people do it so that if the mare has a competitive career you can carry on without having to take a break for breeding. You don’t want to breed maiden mares when they’re older, you want them to have at lest one when they’re younger. Breeding a 15 YO mare is one thing, breeding a 15 YO maiden mare is another so if you breed at 2, the mare has one under her belt. That way you can go on to compete and not worry about the biological clock ticking.

                    Still don’t agree, but that’s the logic I’ve heard.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Breeding a 2 YO might have had some justification in the past - don't want to interrupt competative career, too old to breed in her teens once competitive career ended - but modern reproductive methods makes it redundant.
                      "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Am I the only one who feels you don't really know for sure whether or not a 2 year old is worth reproducing? Don't get me wrong I've bred some that when they hit the ground I felt confident that they were going to be a worthy individual however as they grew up either their work ethic, greater 'flight' over fight response, etc made me decide NOT to add them to my breeding pool no matter how well put together or how well bred they were. For this reason I wouldn't intentionally breed my 2 year old colts let alone 2 year old fillies. It's obviously a personal opinion and decision not totally based on economics or finances since I have always been the one to back/start those I've produced if they didn't sell before the age of 3. I will add that while the recommendation of avoiding breeding a 15 year old maiden mare is sound...............I've done it several times successfully. I know I was probably just lucky; but, I definitely knew what i was breeding, warts and all at that age.
                        Ranch of Last Resort

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                          #13
                          A nice baby - weanling, yearling, 2 year old - is worth the wait until old enough to ride or breed. If you are in such a hurry, why don't you sell her and buy a horse old enough to do either?

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by exvet View Post
                            Am I the only one who feels you don't really know for sure whether or not a 2 year old is worth reproducing?
                            I am a gambler, and this is third gen 'dam line' for me. I know these horses pretty well, and I breed for myself to develop.

                            But yes, very valid point!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by iJump View Post

                              I am a gambler, and this is third gen 'dam line' for me. I know these horses pretty well, and I breed for myself to develop.

                              But yes, very valid point!
                              Riding a fourth generation from my program I do understand and agree that you are likely to lessen getting a wild card in the mix. I find having ridden and trained almost all but one of the 4 generations of those in the bloodlines in my program the predictability of traits including disposition and trainability is much easier to predict accurately. It's those throw backs that get you though When I had more land I was more willing to take that gamble..............mostly retired from breeding now but not backing/starting but still acquiring from breeding programs with many generations on the ground for me to see in person
                              Ranch of Last Resort

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Exvet was 100% correct. it is impossible to tell whether ANY 2 year old is worth breeding. If one could solely rely on bloodlines to determine quality, there would be no "duds" from the best pairings, but there are. You can breed the same sire to the same dam 5 times and have NONE of those horses resemble one another and you're lucky if ANY is a top performer.

                                It is irresponsible to breed a 2 year old even using ET. It is ABUSIVE to breed a 2 year old and expect the filly to carry the foal.
                                Show me your horse and I will tell you who you are.

                                Comment

                                  Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Dressagelvr View Post
                                  You can breed the same sire to the same dam 5 times and have NONE of those horses resemble one another and you're lucky if ANY is a top performer.
                                  True enough, but also.. I know of a mare bred to the same stallion 4-5 times and all the foals are pretty uniform.

                                  Overall I am completely aware that horses are a total crap shoot anyways. Some top horses are put together insanely strange and manage to stay sound while some near textbook perfect competition is NQR.

                                  I have the means to support my gambles. I really don't think it is that irresponsible to breed a 2 year old any more than a gamble to breed a 5 year old, via ET.



                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I have always bred my mares when they are older and I had a better feel for their mature personality and ability. I’ve also heard that younger mares ignore their newly-born babies more often. I haven't been around people who breed that early, so I don’t know if there are any long-term physical repercussions.
                                    Banter whenever you want to banter....canter whenever you want to canter.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      I would love to ET my two year old but absolutely zero chance I would breed to carry. I have bred three year olds to carry without issue in the past.
                                      McDowell Racing Stables

                                      Remarkable Leather Goods
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                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by iJump View Post

                                        True enough, but also.. I know of a mare bred to the same stallion 4-5 times and all the foals are pretty uniform.

                                        Overall I am completely aware that horses are a total crap shoot anyways. Some top horses are put together insanely strange and manage to stay sound while some near textbook perfect competition is NQR.

                                        I have the means to support my gambles. I really don't think it is that irresponsible to breed a 2 year old any more than a gamble to breed a 5 year old, via ET.


                                        I still harbor the same opinions already stated but I too have to say that I had one mare who bred to the same stallion produced VERY SIMILAR offspring repeatedly. I've also seen the opposite; but, I can point to multiple repeated pairings within 'my' breed that also expressed definite uniformity of get. I think much depends on the prepotency of each parent. If both are strong in passing a specific set of traits when crossed and are very similar in type then you are likely to get uniformity outside of maybe height and sex. The cross I kept repeating gave me both colts and fillies - their similarity in disposition, build and movement is uncanny. Of course the first one was the smallest with the last two being about the same in mature height. One has a better (longer) neck than the others (all are nice though) but angles, over all build and movement pretty much the same and of course the color, markings vary on the same theme - white pasterns of varying number and all with a star, one with a snip. If you were to see them individually you would still have a good bet as to who the sire is. The point? I think if you have a good idea about your bloodlines and direct contact/experience with multiple generations you can lessen the gamble but as we know we can never eliminate it completely.
                                        Ranch of Last Resort

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