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Tell me good experiences with leaving teenage mares open...

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  • Tell me good experiences with leaving teenage mares open...

    I'm tired, sick with a cold (again!) and generally fed up with struggling with work, family and horses.

    I am so tired that the thought of re-breeding my mare this year is causing more stress than anything else. I see the vet bills adding up and I can't take it anymore.

    But I am worried about leaving this mare open. She is 14 years old this year. She is good health, not a problem breeder at all. Perfectly fertile. She's about to foal her 7th foal by Banderas in 4 weeks or so. She's in good weight, but I feel she has somewhat struggled since her last pregnancy. Her 6th and now, 7th foal, are her firsts by Warmbloods and it's clear for me that it is more demanding for her. I think she could use a break and I'd love to ride her as well to gain more insight on her.

    I'll have her last TB filly to break to ride next year as well.

    However, she's an exceptional mare for me, and I don't want her breeding career to be over.

    Has anyone had any luck with leaving a teenage broodmare open and have her jump back into broodmare mode without any issues?

    Where does this theory re. teenage mares shutting down if left open originate from anyway?

    I most likely won't be singing the same song in even two weeks from now when my filly's first show will be over and I won't have this darn cold anymore... But still. I'd like to know what are my options.

    I don't think I could lease her out; I mean she's a lovely mare, but clearly, she is not a "fashionable" mare.
    Breeding & Sales
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  • #2
    teen mare

    My 22 year old had foals in 2007, 2008 and this year. She has a B uterus. I wouldn't worry. A year off can be good for her. This year's is wonderful too!
    Touchstone Acres Lipizzans, Standing N. Samira VI (Gray), N. XXIX-18(Black), more in 2014


    • #3
      I have a very well bred mare who we did essentially this with. I knew she needed a break. I will find out Monday how this plan has worked when we check to see if she is in foal. I will let you know, but I think you should follow your instincts if you think she needs a break. I know this girl did and either way I know I did right by the mare. Best of luck.
      Quality Hunter Ponies


      • #4
        I had a foal from my (then) 15 year old mare in 2010. It was a hard foaling so I gave her 2011 off, knowing that at this particular age it could be a calculated risk. She's 17 this year, but healthy and clean. We'll be trying and holding our breaths. I've had some older mares get in foal okay after a break. Some not.

        At 14, I don't think you've crossed into the old mare category yet and giving her a break would probably do her some good.
        Practice! Patience! Persistence!


        • #5
          My barn is full of teenage mares left open for a year or more, with success stories to tell.

          Mona skipped a year and she is a 1997 model. Caught 1st try frozen in 2011, double ovulated, got twins, pinched one. Will foal at anytime soon.

          Serenti was left open 2007, 2008, 2009. Got in foal 1st cycle in 2010 and same in 2011. She is a 1998 model.

          Weingrafin foaled in 2009, and bred back but lost her embryo so we didnt bred her again, it was late in the season. She got rebred in 2010 at age of 15. One cycle she got pregnant. Not bred back in 2011. We are waiting for the 1st preg check in about a week. Crossing fingers very hard. She is going on 17.

          Arabel skipped a year in 2007, she was 13. Got in foal first try in 2008. Had her last baby in 2009. Retired now to schoolmaster duties. She's going on 18, and I am holding myself with my two hands to not try to get a PRE cross out of her before she turns 20. For my personnal next riding horse.

          I would not worry that much. One year. It is not like you will give her a 5 years break.
          Les Écuries d'Automne, Québec, Canada
          Visit EdA's Facebook page!


          • #6
            My TB mare had her first foal at 8 or 9.... 2nd foal in 2010.... 3rd foal due in a month. Has always caught on first cycle LC or fresh shipped. I don't hold my disastrous 3-year, 3-mare, 2-stallion, 3-vet foray into breeding with frozen against any of the horses or vets involved.....

            Third Charm Event Team


            • #7
              My 1994 mare had a foal in 2010, and has always had uterine cysts. I rebred her in 2010 with frozen semen, but the cysts were causing a problem. She wasn't in foal, and I left her open. Early in 2011 I had the cysts removed, then bred her. She got in foal in one cycle and just foaled a healthy filly.
              Mystic Owl Sporthorses


              • #8
                As you know EM, I often breed alternate years. Mares that are 20, 16,14 years old; it has not caused me problems.
                More important to follow the older ladies with regumate once they are in foal I would say.
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                • #9
                  14 is not all that old....she should be fine open for a year. I have had open mares catch at 20.
                  Providence Farm


                  • Original Poster

                    Phew. Well thanks for the good stories.

                    So it sounds like I could give my girl, my wallet and my sanity a year off and not run into a plethora of issues next year trying to get her in foal... Very interesting.

                    Ok... So now, secondary question... When could I start her back under saddle after she foals? If she's taking a year off from motherhood, I'll ride her and get her relatively fit for inspections in the fall... Might as well, hum?
                    Breeding & Sales
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                    • #11
                      Physically I would say a month. Menatally is a whiole other issue. I have had mares that were very laid back a about having the foal in the ring with them....as long as the kid is in sight with them they did not care....at a month out and others that whose attention was totally on where the kid was/what they were doing and incapable of paying attention to me/had to wait a few months until they were more independent of the kid
                      Providence Farm


                      • Original Poster

                        I guess I will see then. Worst case scenario, we'll wait until that foal is weaned...
                        Breeding & Sales
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