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Soundness and Breeding; WWYD?

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  • Soundness and Breeding; WWYD?

    So this is going to be sort of long, sorry about that.

    A few months ago we rescued what we think is a TB mare. She is 17hh, about 10 or 11 years old, and we have no idea on her history beyond her last owner who abandoned her. She came to us very underweight and with no muscle but 95% sound and with a very sweet personality.

    We have been bringing her back into work, and she is gaining muscle very nicely, but now that the swelling is down in her hind legs and she is gaining muscle it is becoming apparent that she was pushed very hard and her legs aren't in the best shape. She had a kick on her right hind that was swollen and nasty when we got her, hence the not 100% sound but that is finally going down. Her tendons on both hind legs are thickened, the left worse than the right. We are correcting the angles in his hind hooves to help take some of the stress off of her tendons but she is showing some signs of perminant damage in the left hind. This shows as a hitch in her step when she stretches down while tracking left. We will of course keep a very close eye on it and she is seen regularly by our vet/chiro.

    Besides the tendon damage she has good conformation and is a good mover. She has a lot of scope from the two times that I have free jumped her (the jumps have never been higher than 3'3" when free jumping but she almost cleared the standards the last time). She is very sweet and a pleasure to work with although she can get a little nervous about things. Besides getting nervous she doesn't have much of a real spook and is a doll undersaddle.

    If she turns out not to be more than trail and pasture sound at full weight would you breed her? If we considered it we would get full X-rays to confirm what is actually causing the lameness and to ensure that her feet are as good as they look.

    I'm not looking to be flamed, and this is all very hypothetical at this point as she needs to come up to full weight and get fit again before we can fully assess her soundness. I just want opinions.

    This is the mare in question as of today: http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f3...b/0a1f3d8e.jpg
    And this is her free jumping 3'3": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwIz9...e_gdata_player

    If we were to breed it would be for an eventer baby btw.
    "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

  • #2
    Don't do it. The market is very tough right tough right now. There are many registered foals from top bloodlines available for sale at prices that are far below what their breeders put into producing them. I wouldn't breed any mare in this market unless she is a truly outstanding individual with top bloodlines and top credentials (ie good results in sports, Elite/premium designation with her chosen registry and/or a history of producing top offspring)
    www.saraalberni.com

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    • #3
      I would have to agree. There are breeds that you can register without a pedigree like breeding her for Irish Draught Sport Horses IDHSNA As you said she does show a nice jump but her conformation isn't super and nothing screams "breed me" in my eyes. If you were breeding for yourself to keep then do what you wish but the caveat is "only breed if you would be happy with the image of your mare" . PatO

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Yeah I guess I should have said that this foal would be for ourselves, the only reason we would sell if we did breed would be because the resulting horse did not like eventing or jumpers. Not to mention we are fortunate enough to be in an area where the horse market is still good (having just sold a 10yr old gelding with no show record whatsoever for over 10000)
        "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

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        • #5
          It depends on what your goals are as a breeder. If you want to breed her for a keeper foal and you have the $$$ and facilities to raise it then I think it's fine. Just don't have any expectation of selling it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Mare has a nice jump. You don't know "who" she is, so I wouldn't breed. Chances of something jumping out that you did not expect are VERY high. A girlfriend bred a 3* mare of unknown origin to one of Edgar's stallions - Fuerst Gottard if IIRC. She did embryo transfer, flushed two and got a colt that ended up being 16.3 plus with a draft head and legs like tree stumps - that did win an Intermediate or two, and a filly that was barely 15hh and looked like an arab. They can both jump. Point is - these foals were the result of the SAME ovulation and you wouldn't even recognize them as being the same breed, let alone twins.

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            • #7
              Yeah I guess I should have said that this foal would be for ourselves, the only reason we would sell if we did breed would be because the resulting horse did not like eventing or jumpers. Not to mention we are fortunate enough to be in an area where the horse market is still good (having just sold a 10yr old gelding with no show record whatsoever for over 10000)
              No, I would not do it. The reason we have an overpopulation of horses now is because too many people think that just because it has a uterus, it should be bred.

              1. The mare's hind end is showing signs of weakness. Carrying the weight of a foal will exaccerbate whatever injuries she has.

              2. She is unpapered, has no performance history, has soundness issues as a mere 10 year old, she is flighty. Nothing there says she is brood mare quality. The soundness is the biggest red flag. You are *assuming* her unsoundness is due to overwork. She may not have been overworked and simply couldn't withstand *normal* work. You don't know. Hind end weakness is a curse no matter what the discipline.

              3. Breeding is a crap shoot under the best of circumstances. Even breeding two prime examples can result in a sow's ear. Breeding an unknown just increases the odds of getting a sow's ear. It's irresponsible when there are so many already on the ground and needing homes now.

              4. There are plenty of horses (TBs) coming off the track that are sound and sane and are at risk of riding in a truck to Canada or Mexico. Go rescue one of them instead of breeding one that may or may not like jumping. They're already on the ground and need a home. Contact CANTER. Some of those horses have already been started over fences or taken out hunting to see what they may be good at. You'll have a better chance of getting what you want and not having to wait 4 years to do it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Don't do it. I had one baby - one. The mare rejected her, she needed to be tube fed the first 3 days and then transferred to bottles/buckets. She's now 4, uglier than sin and blind. The problem with foals is you never know how it's going to turn out. You may very well produce something that doesn't fit your needs and no market with which to sell it. And what if the baby is born with a disability or special care consideration? Are you going to spend thousands in vet care? Your money would be better spent buying a foal that you know is healthy and a proper prospect.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by fibbermaggee View Post
                  It depends on what your goals are as a breeder. If you want to breed her for a keeper foal and you have the $$$ and facilities to raise it then I think it's fine. Just don't have any expectation of selling it.
                  Yeah this.

                  Not a breeding expert - her head is very, very common. That affects the market for her foal. Genetics being what it is, I doubt any stallion can promise a foal that people will line up for.

                  So ... breed only if the foal has a promised home before the breeding.

                  Also, strictly a personal opinion, obviously she is a strong and brave jumper. Especially since, to these eyes, the jumping is hurting her in the back legs, which she is protecting as best she can. Yes, she'll jump with pain because she has character. Just imo, she should not jump, not even at liberty.

                  It seems as if she will make someone a loyal, fine trail and pleasure horse, and at some point an equine companion. A destiny she deserves after whatever life brought her to the soundness condition she is in now.

                  Blessings on you for taking in this mare and giving her a second chance.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 2WBs1TB View Post
                    4. There are plenty of horses (TBs) coming off the track that are sound and sane and are at risk of riding in a truck to Canada or Mexico. Go rescue one of them instead of breeding one that may or may not like jumping. They're already on the ground and need a home. Contact CANTER. Some of those horses have already been started over fences or taken out hunting to see what they may be good at. You'll have a better chance of getting what you want and not having to wait 4 years to do it.
                    ^^I like this idea best. I wouldn't breed the poor mare. She needs someone to take care of her and doesn't need a foal to care for herself. Her poor legs look so sad in the jumping video and it does speak volumes to her character.

                    I 2nd the 'bless you' for taking her.
                    Chris Misita
                    www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
                    To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
                    Victor Hugo

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                      Also, strictly a personal opinion, obviously she is a strong and brave jumper. Especially since, to these eyes, the jumping is hurting her in the back legs, which she is protecting as best she can. Yes, she'll jump with pain because she has character. Just imo, she should not jump, not even at liberty.
                      I really wanted to say this but didn't want to put on my flame suit. This horse is in pain and should not be jumped. I saw in the comments on the video that you plan on jumping her under saddle soon. I'm sure she'll do it for you, but to do so would be cruel. Please do her a favor and get a vet's exam and clearance before moving ahead with jumping her under saddle.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post
                        Also, strictly a personal opinion, obviously she is a strong and brave jumper. Especially since, to these eyes, the jumping is hurting her in the back legs, which she is protecting as best she can. Yes, she'll jump with pain because she has character. Just imo, she should not jump, not even at liberty.
                        we did have her vetted before we got her and she passed her flexions just fine. I think some of the pain you see is just nervousness and lack of confidence. Her last owner basically ruined her or fences. From what I heard she was the type to just hold her nose to her chest and kick until the last stride before completely dropping her. At the moment we aren't jumping her very much since she isn't strong and is battling a fetlock injury (you can see the slight swelling in the picture). She is very willing though and even went through the chute of her own accord once. I am keeping an eye on that hind end though, it is so sad that such a sweet and willing mare ended up in the hands of someone who abused her willing nature.
                        "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Why is she being worked at all? I'd give this girl turnout in a small area with one buddy where she could walk a bit but wouldn't get to running. With all of her problems I wouldn't even be handwalking her at this point.

                          No I would not breed her.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would not expect a horse with her conformation to be (much less stay) sound for jumping, nor does she appear to be. Her confo is dubious (it certainly is not the claimed 'good'!), soundness iffy, temperament so-so, pedigree unknown, show record nonexistent..... She fails on EVERY point of a breeding-worthiness checklist.

                            Breeding for a keeper foal--are you rich enough to establish a trust to feed the offspring unti it dies? Otherwise, you get hit by a bus, that foal will likely be dog food in a week.

                            Jennifer
                            Third Charm Event Team

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For less than the price of a stud fee, you can easily find a sound, sane, well conformed OTTB. Nothing about this mare says 'breed me'. Honestly, her jump isn't even very nice. Not bad, but not worth breeding for. Why not save yourself the time, money, and risk and just buy a nice OTTB?
                              .

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Mare doesn't have a bad little pop as far as jumpers or eventers are concerned, but it's one fence loose. Far cry from the rigors of eventing and SJ.

                                In your post you state mare has been pushed before you owned her and it's the reason for most of her problems. So the mare has come out of a bad situation why are you doing this with her at all right now?

                                You state you will be keeping baby unless it doesn't like to jump. You must be looking for something specific that you can find for a lot less than breeding. Read and re read Snowflakes post. Read the numerous other posts that can be found on here about the many downsides of breeding. If you have your heart set on breeding you can buy a good decent mare or even lease one to produce closer to what you want. Mares with known heritage and even proven produce records.

                                Your mare is 10. Why not revisit after you have given her the time she needs and she is under saddle doing something. Loose jumping is all fine and well but it really isn't the jumping meter people think it is. If every horse that ever cleared the standards and jumped out of their massive board fences became international jumpers and eventing stars, life would be simple.

                                Terri
                                COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                                "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  She's a lucky girl to have found you, bless you for taking her.

                                  But please look again at your plans for jumping her. Watch what she does with her hind legs after the fence: they hit the ground, that impact is clearly painful so she picks them up and bounces them down again to minimise the pain she's feeling. And that's over a small fence without the weight of a rider on her back.

                                  Please don't jump her. You risk making her pre-existing injuries much worse.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Ok, now that I'm on a computer that would let me see the jumping video... definitely NOT a broodmare candidate.

                                    Her conformation is not really that good. She's not really "pretty", and her back end (motor) is weak. She doesn't reach underneath of herself at the canter or to jump with her back end. She is making it over the jump on sheer guts and heart, not talent.

                                    Her legs are a wreck and I don't think it's all due to her being overworked. Structurally, she's just not all that well put together in the leg department.

                                    Either way, this mare should be turned out to heal until late next spring... at least. Stop working her and let her heal. Seriously. And even moreso... don't breed her. Just don't.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Well thank goodness the breeders on this thread are talking sense. I cannot think of a single reason this mare should reproduce. Plus right now you can get well bred weanlings and nice young OTTB prospects for less than you would spend just to get a foal on the ground.

                                      This poor gal needs lots of love, pets and a nice retirement.
                                      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Bless you for rescuing her.

                                        I agree with just letting her recover until spring.
                                        www.oakhollowstable.blogspot.com

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