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Opinions sought on riding and competing a broodmare.

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  • Opinions sought on riding and competing a broodmare.

    I sit here with my dear Catahoula munching grass outside my bedroom window, looking just so magnificent. I am so eager to finally get a foal from her (she's been leased out twice, which really disrupted my plans for her--and worse of all, neither lease turned out to be productive in terms of her career as either broodmare or performer). I feel I've wasted so much time with her.

    And I adore her almost beyond reason, very nearly everything about her, which is so odd because I am usually my horses' most harsh critic. So now she's home, she's eight, she's FIT, and she's jumping out of her skin wanting to do something with all her energey, and also, as usual, wanting to be the center of attention as is her classic expectation about life.

    I've lined her up to be bred with the one remaining dose of frozen I used on her mom and sister last year--and that's what gets me to the reason I'm seeking opinions.

    There is no more semen available. That dose is my only shot, although I could try again with a second stallion whom I breeding to her mom to this year. But, if she catches on the one try, would you take the chance of losing it by putting her back to work and, even more risky due to exposure to whatever, shipping her off to compete? If yes, when would you put her back into work: 45 days? 60? And besides the usual rhino shots, what other precautions would you take (even managerial ones) to descrease the possibility of losing the foal? And if she doesn't catch, what would you do? Short cycle her and try with the second stallion, proceeding as before? Or what about breeding her to more of a sure thing--something comparatively inexpensive (I'm thinking risk here, not quality, as I wouldn't breed her to anything that wasn't at least her equal)--and then carrying on with her performance career, worrying less about the foal because I'd not have put anywhere near as much into it?

    I am in such a quandry about this. It's so much easier when one's emotions don't get intertwined with ones finances! (It'd be so much easier to just breed her and toss her out with the other broodies, but it's just going to kill me to see all that magnificent turn into fat, slow and sloppy...granted, her mom's been brooding all her life and is certainly fat, but one could never all ol' Mel slow or sloppy!)
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

  • #2
    When I have had one in work during pregnancy, this was how we proceeded. First the mare was started. Once she was going well, not at all stressed by the newness of work, she would be bred. We would keep things easy for the next 60 days. After that she might show a bit, but I never shipped them far. We stopped when they were about 7 months along.
    Mary Lou


    Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


    • #3
      Just so you don't feel all alone in not wanting to see a fine/pricey broodmare wasting out to field: I believe Wayne Lucas ran Spain in the Breeders' Cup when she was 5 months in foal to Storm Cat.


      • #4
        I would not be using a last dose of frozen on a mare that was not a proven broodmare. Often, you don't know their issues. Breed her first to the other stallion, and save the dose for next year, after she has produced a foal. If you breed her to the other stallion that is more available, you can go ahead and do the things she is used to under saddle. Everyone has to make the choice for themselves as to the slight risk of showing, exposure, etc.


        • #5
          Find that Ledyard `75 video that`s floating around the event board, and look at the very last horse, Royal Core, being ridden by Bruce D.
          I bought her with her yearling son, Core Buff, and sold her to Essie Perkins, Beth and Bea`s mom.
          Essie bred her to Good Twist, and after she foaled, they started her up, loaned her to the USET.
          Don Sachey rode her in England, 1974, and Bruce in 1975, where she placed 3rd in the Ledyard International.
          Later she had more foals. It doesn`t have to be one or the other, at least with some mares.
          PS---I`m giving her great grandson to Christan to bring on.


          • #6
            FEI rules require a mare stop competing at 120 days of pregnancy. On the other hand many of my hunting friends ride until Christmas and then give the mare off until she foals in the spring.
            "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist


            • #7
              Originally posted by Fairview Horse Center
              I would not be using a last dose of frozen on a mare that was not a proven broodmare. Often, you don't know their issues. Breed her first to the other stallion, and save the dose for next year, after she has produced a foal.
              Excellent advice. As finicky as frozen can be, I'd have the cards stacked in her favor, too (meaning don't breed her on the foal heat, but the 30 day heat).
              Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


              • #8
                I raced a mare in foal last year myself at her owners request. She raced up until October and had her foal in March. Totally normal, no problems whatsoever. She was only stabled and bred about 3 miles from the track so she didnt have any long hauls to deal with.

                I really like the suggestion of trying the 2nd stallion first and saving the last dose for next year.
                Jessi Pizzurro ~~ Pennyroyal Stables
                Racehorses, OTTBs ~~ 330 383 1281
                Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway. -- John Wayne


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by fish View Post
                  Just so you don't feel all alone in not wanting to see a fine/pricey broodmare wasting out to field: I believe Wayne Lucas ran Spain in the Breeders' Cup when she was 5 months in foal to Storm Cat.
                  Oh, wow. Really? How'd she do?

                  Geez, thanks, fish. That really gives me something to go on. Who wudda thunk it.

                  I really like the suggestion of trying the 2nd stallion first and saving the last dose for next year.
                  (sigh) But that, too, makes a heck of a lot of sense. You guys are so right: I would certainly worry less and I hadn't even thought about the maiden mare thing. There's a size issue, too...

                  Well, OK, I don't know how it makes y'all feel, but you've decided me. I'l use the frozen Chrissy (3/4 sib to Cat) for a full sib to what she's carrying, breed Cat to The Colonel and also put her to work--maybe I'll plurge on her next year. That really does make better business sense, I guess. Thanks for helping me see the sense of it...and if something happens to Cat so I never get that eventers-dream foal, I'll jsut send you all letter bombs.

                  Denny, that's a cool example, too. Way cool. BTW, it is just so exciting to wait and wonder what the future holds for Christan. She told me about her newest opportunity and I do hope she can make the most of it. I can just hear in her voice how much your support means to her.
                  Sportponies Unlimited
                  Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.


                  • #10
                    I actively hunted two of our mares until march, they foaled in June. We never stopped working them when we first bred them, and then once they had a foal on the ground we started riding again when the foal was 8 weeks old. No problems.


                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=pwynnnorman;3144178]Oh, wow. Really? How'd she do?

                      Geez, thanks, fish. That really gives me something to go on. Who wudda thunk it.

                      I got curious myself so did the research. Here's a link: http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/...ckval=GooglePM

                      Apparently Spain won the 2002 Fleur de Lis while in foal to Storm Cat, then only finished 3rd in the Molly Pritcher, so Lukas scratched her from the Breeders' Cup Distaff. The colt Spain was carrying sold for $2.4 million.


                      • #12
                        Not that I'm any sort of expert, as I have to my name exactly ONE mare (that I just shipped off to Laurel Inc yesterday for foaling in about 2 more weeks). But I competed her last spring while we bred her. She was bred between the Lexington spring shows and Upperville, both of which she showed at--for that matter, the stallion showed at these events as well. She stayed in work for several months more. I meant to bring her up to Southampton for August (the place, not the show), but we couldn't swing another stall up there, so she ended up staying here in VA, and getting turned out at that point. We rode her a little bit into the fall, and stopped at the end of Oct/early Nov.
                        Inner Bay Equestrian


                        • Original Poster

                          Well, at least I know it's not all that uncommon now.

                          Geez, Fish, 2.4 million? Interesting decision given how much the stud fee was valued at and the resulting product. I couldn't read the rest of the article since I don't have a subscription, alas.
                          Sportponies Unlimited
                          Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.