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Should I breed this mare or wait?

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  • Should I breed this mare or wait?

    I need some help on deciding whether to breed my coming three year old this year or wait. Fortuna is the second generation of my breeding program http://www.sporthorse-data.com/d?i=10669696 She is turning out to be all I could have hoped for in terms of looks, movement, temperament. Her dam Forte is my current dressage horse, now schooling Third Level. Prior to that her grand dam Wolkenstar and "grand aunt" Wolte were my show horses, so I feel like I know this dam line very well and I know that it produces what I am looking for.

    I know that I will want to breed Fortuna for a keeper filly for sure at some point, in order to continue this mare line, so it seems like a good idea to breed her at the age of three, rather than later, so that I don't have to interrupt her show career. My dilemna is that it's not really the greatest time for me to have another foal. I still have two 2011 fillies that I need to sell. Also we just bought a farm, so we have many renovation projects that require my time and money. To complicate things further, the great grand dam of Fortuna, now in her twenties, will be having her last foal in 2013 and I may have the opportunity to purchase this foal as well if it is a filly. This mare, Aviary, is in the motherline of basically all of the best horses I've ever ridden, so I would love to have another one of her offspring. So what would you do? Wait to breed? Buy the other foal? Do neither and concentrate on getting the other youngsters sold?

  • #2
    I wouldn't want to breed a 3yo.

    I'd buy the other foal if you get the chance. If not, breed your mare when she's done growing and proves herself in competition.


    • #3
      She's got lots of years ahead of her, so I wouldn't breed her now. Work on selling the other 2 and try to pick up the Aviary filly. In your position, I would only breed if it might be my last chance to get a foal from here, not the earliest opportunity
      Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian


      • #4
        This shouldn't have to be an "either/or" situation... Chances are that you're not going to sell the two 2011 foals before next year, so use this time to put together a plan for 2013. This plan should include marketing ideas for your youngsters, possible stallion prospects for the mare you might breed, as well as a time line for your farm projects. Once you look at the big picture it may become apparent that you don't want to do one or the other thing.

        Breeding for a keeper filly is great but you may get a colt instead. What will that do to your overall plans? Another youngster to sell? The old mare may not have a filly, either, so then there's another item to be crossed off the list.

        I guess what I'm trying to say is this... put a reasonable and doable plan together but remember that owning horses means you always have to be quite flexible and ready to change course.

        Good luck!
        Siegi Belz
        2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
        Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


        • #5
          While I see no problems in breeding a three-year-old mare, from what you've mentioned, I'd wait to breed her. As Siegi stated, you have a lot of irons in the fire right now so I would see how a few of the other plans play out first before adding to the bunch.


          • #6
            Signs of the times?? The winner of the GOV stallion licencing sold for 400,000E. The non-licened colts sold for less than the cost to raise them. And these were horses good enough to be invited to apply for licencing! So, when in doubt, in this shrinking market, dont breed.


            • #7
              I would use the next season to let her grow and get some schooling then and then breed her as a 4 y/o. It still won't mess with her career, and it gives both of you more time.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Forte View Post
                I know that I will want to breed Fortuna for a keeper filly for sure at some point, in order to continue this mare line, so it seems like a good idea to breed her at the age of three, rather than later, so that I don't have to interrupt her show career.
                I would breed her for these reasons. This is what I did with my own promising three year old mare and I don't regret it. Yes, it may delay the start of her show career somewhat, but, IMHO, you need to think about what timetable you want for the mare and go from there. It will be quite a while before the foal hits the ground.

                No one can guarantee that either mare will have a filly. Also, the market is picking up. I sold three horses (a weanling, a yearling, and an 8 yr old) in less than 8 weeks this fall. Market your youngsters well and pick a stallion!
                Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
                Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
                'Like' us on Facebook


                • #9
                  I would either breed at three before serious work has started or plan to do an ET with her. This filly represents improvement in your damline so I would be much more tempted to get a filly foal from her verses the older mare.

                  No one can guarantee that either mare will have a filly. Also, the market is picking up. I sold three horses (a weanling, a yearling, and an 8 yr old) in less than 8 weeks this fall. Market your youngsters well and pick a stallion!

                  Yes, it is. I have a list of people looking for fancy dressage types between 2-4 years old. I don't have or know of anything but I sure wish I had bred more horses a few years ago. Yearlings are tough, but give it another year and you should have no prob moving your lovely fillies... I really wouldn't worry about that unless you need to.

                  "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.


                  • #10
                    I am glad I held off breeding my 3 year old. I put her under saddle, and she ending being different than I anticipated. Now I feel like I could choose a more suitable stallion for her, knowing what she is like under saddle.
                    'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall


                    • #11
                      I haven't had the greatest of luck with 3 year old breedings. Some didn't take as three year olds, one took just fine but then found the late pregnancy/foaling experience more than she could handle. I can't say I put a foal on the ground that survived from a 3 year old breeding so I will always wait until 4 going forward.

                      Yes, the market can be difficult but "marketing" is the key word here. I have sold my foals each year at good/top prices, but only have 2-3 foals each year (so far) so maybe that's the difference. This year sold a mare and 3 colts.

                      Ooh and yes, i have that special second generation mare I have tried to get a filly from and 3 years in a row I got colts! So maybe the ET is better way to go.

                      Good luck to you!
                      Imported from Germany, Assembled in Michigan
                      Rare damline of 7 direct generations of Elite/States Premium Mares.


                      • Original Poster

                        Some really good points made here . . . My reason for "being in a hurry" to breed this mare is that I bred both her dam and grand dam at age 4, and I do feel like it really slowed down their show careers. Both of them were lightly broked at 3, bred and turned out at 4, had a foal at 5, back under saddle at 5 1/2 and showing Training Level at 6. Where most talented young dressage horses are showing 2nd/3rd level at age 6, I worry that I have held my girls back. I am hoping that my breeding Fortuna at age 3 , in a year where she wouldn't have been doing all that much under saddle anyways, she won't end up too far behind in her training. If the foal is a colt, it would likely be retained for a riding horse for me and I would try again for filly.
                        That said, I really should concentrate on getting my 2011 fillies sold, so I am leaning towards holding off until at least one of them are sold.


                        • #13
                          That's why I think if you are going to breed it is best at three. I hesitated with my four year old when she was three and now she is going so well under saddle I don't want to give her the time off. It doesn't sound like you have plans to sell the mare but as much as I love my mare she will likely be for sale in the next few years so it is important that the training be age appropriate to be able to market the horse well. I think if I breed mine it will be via an ET.

                          "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.


                          • #14
                            I am thinking the same thing with my second generation mare. I would love to breed her at three to get another filly to retain OR to get a gelding to sell. I figure if I got a colt his sale could help finance his mother's future show career but like you I'm not sure that I want another horse period. Her dam is also in foal with her last foal, so if it's not a filly, my coming three year old will be the only one left to carry on that line.
                            So many things factor in but you don't have to decide right now, things may change between now and April....