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To breed or not to breed - need some advice from some first time breeders....

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  • #21
    They make a 30 day injectable Regumate:
    http://www.betpharm.com/proto.html

    And some mares can find relief for a few months with a sterile marble inserted in the uterus, which can mimic pregnancy.
    "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

    Comment


    • #22
      A big part of the reason I have bred my mare three times was the experience of having the foal and raising it. It doesn't really sound like that is one of the reasons you want to do this, since it will be sent to professionals basically the entire time?

      I have had a very wonderful time breeding these three young horses, two for me and one to sell. I've tried very hard to do things right and I've been very lucky as well. It's been a great experience (notice the past tense, I'm done!) but a lot of the 'great experience' WAS the experience of having and raising and now starting these babies. I don't believe that I'd personally do it otherwise, for someone else to raise, as it were.
      We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
      www.dleestudio.com

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      • #23
        Originally posted by horse_crazyi View Post
        Thanks! I can see why people say not to breed - particularly the part about possibly losing the mare. Funny how you hear stories about horses accidentally breeding - producing some funky horse and everything turns out fine - foaling etc. Then you hear about horses who receive the ultimate care and bam something bad happens. I'm leaning toward not breeding but it is something I'll be sad if I never get to experience.

        Anyway - what are people's experiences with breeding and helping with heat cycles? When in heat my mare show's very obviously - squirting, pinning ears, biting her sides etc. She's flaky to ride - spooky and difficult on the ground (will strike out - stallion like - when another horse is near). When not in heat she's manageable - but one must be careful as she'll fire out in the cross ties at neighbors and possibly try to kill other horses in the arena - it's a bit of a hit and miss as some days are worse than others. She is super sweet with humans (as long as no other horse is near) which is fantastic.

        She is currently on weekly depo which "seemed" to be helping the first 5 days of the week - but I've noticed as we've moved closer to spring the depo seems to not be helping. She had an injection yesterday and today - squealing, kicking in her stall, pinning ears, trying to kick neighbors, spookiness. She has not pee'd so I'm not sure if she is possibly coming into season again. Vet has suggested up'ing the dose of Depo to fix the issue. Regimate is not an option as I will not handle it (particularly if I'm going to get pregnant) and my trainer will not have her people (even male grooms) touch it - period. So that's that....
        If you do decide to breed your mare you need to be aware that a mare with this type of behavior can kick out at her foal when she comes into heat. I had a recip mare that kicked her baby into a fence.

        Comment


        • #24
          When I was a first time breeder, mare carried full term then foal was born dead at 336 (she had been alive the week earlier). I almost lost my mare as well.

          I did breed that mare again and have two lovely foals from her...but have decided not to breed her again and she is starting back into work. I love this mare and it just isn't worth the risk.

          Breeding is a risky thing. In the OP's situation....I wouldn't be motivated to breed her. If her being your riding horse is most important, start saving your pennies. With what it would cost you to breed, foal out and board them both....you could buy yourself a VERY nice 4-5 year old to be your second riding horse when you are ready in a year or two.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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          • #25
            I am riding a homebred grandson and granddaughter. Gives me the greatest satisfacion.

            They are nice horses, but the expenses were huge, since we had unexpected vet bills.

            I love, love, love the babies and would want one every year - but it is not a WISE decision.

            With three children, plus their activities - maybe Pony Club? - where will you find time to ride two horses........I had three kids too.

            I'm not one to tell anyone whether to breed or not, and you are obviously already aware of the pitfalls.
            Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Thanks for the replies good and bad. Ahf or someone here can you expand on injectable regimate - articles - where do you get it? I had a discussion with my vet about it yesterday (I had read cloth postings). It seems like a mystery here in my area.

              This is how the discussion went - Me "I had read on-line there is an injectible regimate". Well known great vet says "you can't always believe what you read on-line - never heard of it - these people must be talking about depo".

              So -I'm unclear where exactly people are getting it from. Vet said this altenergist (sp?) is just a generic version of regimate and people MUST be talking about depo - which is progesterone they're injecting - same thing. If I'm reading right - depo and regimate are not the same - therefore the injectible regimate cannot be the same as depo. I would like to go back to my vet with some proof - an article - something. I can't really find too much expert articles from vet's just what I've found on the cloth. Mare needs to be on something other than this depo 1x a week - maybe a stronger dose will do it - I just see my life flashing before my eye's walking her and it's not pretty...

              Comment


              • #27
                The source for the injectable regumate (altrenogest) is BET Pharmacy. The link to that products page is in the second line of my above post above. Here is a paper on it:
                http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/et...ens_thesis.pdf

                Here is an older discussion from the AAEP:
                http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/et...ens_thesis.pdf

                That article mentions a newer technique I had not heard of, using oxytocin to prevent return to estrus.
                "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

                Comment


                • #28
                  Here is a good article from The Horse magazine that covers all the options (The Horse, I believe, is an official publication of the AAEP - your vet will hopefully know they that, and that they are a reliable source)

                  http://www.thehorse.com/articles/309...strus-in-mares

                  You will have to sign up to get it, but it's free. It doesn't discuss BET Pharm's 30 day altrenogest injection, but it does mention depo, and says it's pretty much ineffective. Which I've long suspected.

                  Also falling into this category is medroxyprogesterone acetate (marketed for humans as Depo-Provera). Study results, however, showed that administering this drug to mares with the goal of suppressing estrus wasn't effective, Ferris said. Mares still showed typical estrus behavior, and the drug did not appear to inhibit follicular development or prevent ovulation, he relayed.
                  "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    I don't think, given your situation, that I would breed your mare. It is unlikely to "fix" her heat cycles, though maybe more experienced breeders can chime in. You will spend a fortune keeping a baby with professionals for 4+ years and might still end up with something you don't want. As someone else pointed out, you might end up with a filly who is as bitchy or worse than yours. Your mare is very pretty, but it sounds like she has some shortcomings you are hoping to help with breeding. Personally, I think you will be better off putting a few hundred dollars a month (your board $) plus the $6K you plan on spending for breeding into a separate account, and by the time your children are older and your prospective baby would've been ready to ride, you can go buy yourself a nice horse who is already started. This way you can get exactly what you want, and sit on the horses ahead of time, and not have to risk your mare's wellbeing, or risk having a sick or deformed foal requiring extensive care and tons of $.


                    I think the other point brought up by someone else was that since you are not looking to bond with the baby and keep it with you, then you might as well buy one who has straight legs, a pretty face, the right attitude, and your favorite color and gender to boot!

                    If I were you I would explore other avenues for controlling your mare's cycles. Have you tried raspberry leaves. You can buy them pretty inexpensively in bulk, and they do seem to help. I would also try the injectable that ahf mentioned.

                    Good luck with whatever you decide! Babies are adorable and fun, but they take a loooooong time to grow up and be something.
                    Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

                    http://www.halcyon-hill.com

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by horse_crazyi View Post

                      This is how the discussion went - Me "I had read on-line there is an injectible regimate". Well known great vet says "you can't always believe what you read on-line - never heard of it - these people must be talking about depo".
                      I think I'd be vet shopping if this is an actual equine vet ... if a repro vet, I'd definitely be vet shopping!

                      Another vote for don't breed this mare - imagine, having another filly/mare just like her (or grumpy gelding, for that matter).
                      Take a fraction of the money you'd spend on breeding/raising that foal & have this mare investigated by a repro clinic.

                      It would be nice to have my mare out of commission during the time I'm pregnant and have a newborn.
                      Find a lease or training situation for your mare instead & go virtual foal/young prospect shopping

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        I have two non-breeder friends who bred their beloved riding mares because they specifically wanted foals that were related to the mares. They both have land at home in which to raise foals.
                        First friend - bred mare one time. Mare pregnant. Uneventful pregnancy. Now has her dream horse.
                        Second friend - bred mare a few times. Mare pregnant. Mare colics at 10ish months and requires colic surgery. Upon opening her up, they can find no reason for colic other than foal pressing on something. Mare so huge that they can't sew her up with foal in her and they have to sacrifice foal, who is not viable at this point. A few days later, mare colics again. They open her up again and end up putting her down on the table. HUGE vet bill and she has lost beloved mare and foal. She ends up buying a foal a few months later......
                        Eliza
                        www.foxwoodhanoverians.com

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                        • #32
                          It is good to think about the risks to your mare, but they are much smaller than what some of these responses might lead you to believe. I've known far more show horses who have died from accident or colic than broodmares to something related to pregnancy. Horses are always a risk. I think what makes foaling particularly stressful is that although the odds are small that you will have a problem, when things go bad, they go very bad very quickly.

                          You are more likely to end up with something not quite what you hoped for. Buying a two year old, you still get the joy of watching them develop, but you can have a very good idea of what you are going to end up with. I wouldn't buy a foal if I was going to have to board it.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            True...risks are not extremely high...but are higher than not breeding at all. The main issue is the costs....I doubt it will help with mare's cycles...it hasn't with my mare at least.

                            Don't get me wrong...it can be very fun. Doing the research, making the selections and seeing if you can get it right and improve on your mare...watching the baby grow up. But there can be some serious heart ache and bills. Just paid another 3+ grand for the yearling...week stay in the hospital. He will be fine, but that's baby horses too...they do try and kill themselves, especially if they are really nice

                            I do a small amount of breeding primarily for tax reasons (helps with deducting a lot of my farm's expensives as it is more understandable as a business) but also because in my sport, very few in the US are breeding specifically for my sport. Most are cast offs of other breeding programs (I'm focused on eventing).

                            For the OP's reasons....I wouldn't risk her nice mare....but WOULD investigate injectable Regumate or other ways to help the mare with her heat. Most of my competition mares I have kept on Regumate. I never found Depo to work. Dosing daily is a bit of a PITA but if you buy a dosing gun it really isn't that big of a deal....that said, if the 30 injectable shot worked and was more affordable/low risk...I'd be looking into that.

                            If not....I'd get a big bottle of Regumate and one of these

                            http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.h...2&gas=regumate dosing gun


                            I don't even have to put a halter on my mares that get it, just walk into the stall in the am and squirt it in their mouth....super easy and far FAR FAR more effective than Depo shots.
                            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I bred my mare once 7 years ago - she is lovely with great confirmation, temperment, wonderful jump, and was a dream to show proving herself over and over in tough company. I chose Westporte - absolutely love his type and temperment and felt they would compliment my mare very well. Everything went really well through the pregnancy and it didn't cost more than I expected. Although I was extremely anxious the entire year, lost a lot of sleep being parnoid and warried about all the horror stories I read! Her foaling went perfect, healthy mare and foal at the end. I haven't had any issues with my baby - he is gorgeous. Definitely an improvement of my mare and a carbon copy of color and markings of Westporte. But he has turned out HUGE. Lol. My mare is 16.2, Westporte 16.3 and my baby is easily 17.2 or more at 6:s I have no idea how this happened - but he is stunning and I love him to pieces. Never would have known that my mare would throw such a massive babies, I am just glad everyone is healthy.

                              That being said, it's been 6 years. I have had to take it really slow with him and have given him lots of time to grow and develop into his size. I have paid alot of board for two horses over these 6 years and I am sure I could have went and bought my dream horse for less than the $40k I have spent on him to watch him grow up. And I haven't even begun all the professional training I want to put him through over the next couple years.

                              I don't regret it at all. He is my baby and turned out fancier than anything I have ever ridden. But I probably won't breed again unless I have my own property - and even then I would probably save the money and buy something already at the 3/4 year old stage by my fav stallion.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by rodawn View Post
                                The innocence of a first time breeder is you anticipate all the beautiful things, but you really have no idea just how horrifying the bad stuff gets. There is some peace and tranquility in that kind of innocence.
                                This cannot be stressed enough...and I know that because it was me three years ago.
                                www.rockhillfarm.net

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by horse_crazyi View Post

                                  Anyway - what are people's experiences with breeding and helping with heat cycles? When in heat my mare show's very obviously - squirting, pinning ears, biting her sides etc. She's flaky to ride - spooky and difficult on the ground (will strike out - stallion like - when another horse is near). When not in heat she's manageable - but one must be careful as she'll fire out in the cross ties at neighbors and possibly try to kill other horses in the arena - it's a bit of a hit and miss as some days are worse than others. She is super sweet with humans (as long as no other horse is near) which is fantastic.
                                  Hmm, if this were my mare I would look at other options because I honestly do not feel breeding is going to improve anything. I can actually envision this mare possibly being difficult with nursing a foal because initial milk "letdown" can be quite painful. Anyway, this mare sounds very miserable during heat, have you considered maybe even going as far as spaying her?
                                  I LOVE my Chickens!

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Neither Arthur nor I have any family members who are breeders. What we know, we learned from experience (ours and others). We’ve had seven foals… born over a five year period. One breeding was live cover, two were AI (each at the farm of the stallion owner – very $$$$), the rest were frozen semen breedings done at Nandi Vet. All the frozen semen breedings were from one dose / one insemination with imported frozen semen (Lord Sinclair and Sandro Hit). We did an ET from frozen, on a 22 year old mare… she got in foal on one dose, the foal was harvested, and she immediately got in foal again with one dose of frozen. All the foals were healthy, we foaled out all but the first one and the last. The last foal was born to a 27 year old mare, who foaled unattended. I would say that we have reproductive vigor in our mares.

                                    I would offer this… other than the reproductive vigor of the mare, the single most important variable that determines success is the competence and skill of the repro vet.

                                    We’ve used vets in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina. The range of skill and ability is not to be believed. We have had friends who had horror stories – wasting tens of thousands of dollars, cycle after cycle, and not getting in foal. For example, I remember one vet that a friend used, who thawed the frozen semen on the dash of his truck, in the hot sun. We paid thousands for a vet who only came to the farm MWF. So, if your mare wasn’t in sync with him, tough!!!

                                    Regardless of whether or not a vet holds themselves out as a “repro specialist” if they do not have a consistent success rate, run like hell. For us, by far the best repro vet we ever used was Dr. John Hurtgen … it was always one dose, first cycle, pregnant. And, as icing on the cake, the foals from the breedings Dr Hurtgen did were all pintos – from solid colored sires. For us, Dr. Hurtgen was everything.

                                    If you have multiple generational breeding goals and the means to achieve them (which includes $$$ and a good repro vet), then breed. If not, e.g., if you just want a lovely horse, then purchase something that perfectly suits your goals and desires to a T, and let skilled knowledgeable breeders take the risks.
                                    Logres Farm on Facebook
                                    http://logresfarmpintowarmbloods.com/
                                    http://logresdobermans.com/

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                                    • #38
                                      First time breeder...thats me. My two cents worth:

                                      If you have a great mare to start with, and the passion, and a bottomless pocketbook...then go for it.
                                      PMS: Pissed-off Mare Syndrome
                                      _______________________________________________
                                      http://marshallfarms.ca/
                                      http://www.facebook.com/marshallfarms.ca

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                                      • #39
                                        Yikes! From the responses here, you'd think that 9 out of 10 equine pregnancies end in disaster and heartbreak. One poster even implied that 2 out of three pregnancies resulted in the death of the mother, foal, or both. (The Monty Hall problem is Statistics 101, but in the poster's example, you don't have the opportunity to choose the other door to improve your chances of a good outcome.)

                                        I'm pretty sure the success rate is higher than that. Otherwise, there would be no horses for us to ride at all.

                                        As for the money part, I justify the economics by thinking of breeding as a cost amortization plan. The total may end up higher, but, for me anyway, it's much easier to manage the slow bleed over 5 years rather than cough up tens of thousands of dollars in a lump sum.

                                        You can buy someone else's foal, but there's no guarantee that you won't have any unanticipated vet bills with that one either.

                                        Horror stories aside, I still think you should do it. Heck, you've probably heard a few childbirth horror stories that were a LOT worse than these and clearly they didn't dissuade you from having human babies.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by catzndogz22 View Post
                                          Yikes! From the responses here, you'd think that 9 out of 10 equine pregnancies end in disaster and heartbreak. One poster even implied that 2 out of three pregnancies resulted in the death of the mother, foal, or both. (The Monty Hall problem is Statistics 101, but in the poster's example, you don't have the opportunity to choose the other door to improve your chances of a good outcome.)

                                          I'm pretty sure the success rate is higher than that. Otherwise, there would be no horses for us to ride at all.

                                          As for the money part, I justify the economics by thinking of breeding as a cost amortization plan. The total may end up higher, but, for me anyway, it's much easier to manage the slow bleed over 5 years rather than cough up tens of thousands of dollars in a lump sum.

                                          You can buy someone else's foal, but there's no guarantee that you won't have any unanticipated vet bills with that one either.

                                          Horror stories aside, I still think you should do it. Heck, you've probably heard a few childbirth horror stories that were a LOT worse than these and clearly they didn't dissuade you from having human babies.
                                          You may have vet bills when you buy someone else's foal but there is a 100% chance your mare won't die foaling it out. It really boils down to how much risk you are prepared to handle. If the worst case scenario is a deal breaker then don't do it. I have been pretty lucky over the years. My first foal is now 14. She would have been my second foal but the mare aborted at 7 months during her first pregnancy. I have had a foal born with no eyes that was put down at 10 hours old. I had a foal with an intussecption that required surgery at 3 days old and again at 5 days old but survived after being hospitalized over two weeks. I lost one mare to colic midway through her pregnancy and one 4 days before her due date due to ruptured uterine artery. Two foalings were successful only because of the heroic efforts of the attendants. The rest were fine.
                                          McDowell Racing Stables

                                          Home Away From Home

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