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How young is too young???

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  • #21
    Originally posted by password View Post
    We have found that older show mares that have never had foals can be much worse mothers than young mares with no opinions who just naturally do the right thing (as nature intended).
    I have not found this to be true at all. My original broodmare band was made up entirely of teenaged retired show horses. They were all excellent mothers and foaled out easily as maidens.

    Now that they are fully retired, I am using the daughters bred to replace them. I have bred them at three and so far, all have also been good mothers.

    Knocking on wood as I have three maidens due this year.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by tuckawayfarm View Post
      I have not found this to be true at all. My original broodmare band was made up entirely of teenaged retired show horses. They were all excellent mothers and foaled out easily as maidens.

      Now that they are fully retired, I am using the daughters bred to replace them. I have bred them at three and so far, all have also been good mothers.

      Knocking on wood as I have three maidens due this year.
      Sounds like your line of mares are just good mothers in general.

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      • #23
        On one hand, I understand completely all the reasons for breeding mares at 3 and 4 years old. On the other hand, what have these mares done to prove they are worthy of breeding? Most are barely undersaddle, not yet jumping so they have no performance credit behind them. It seems the only thing they have going for them is potential (based on their looks and movement) and lineage.

        In this day and age where there is a GLUT of horses, and warmbloods ship to slaughter as easily as TBs, it seems to me the better breeder would put some mileage on a mare before breeding her so that if she doesn't produce foals as good as herself, she still can have a job somewhere.

        I can understand wanting/needing to get back some of your costs, but frankly IMHO if you need money that badly, breeding ANYTHING is a poor way to get it.
        ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
        Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

        "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Kryswyn View Post
          On one hand, I understand completely all the reasons for breeding mares at 3 and 4 years old. On the other hand, what have these mares done to prove they are worthy of breeding? Most are barely undersaddle, not yet jumping so they have no performance credit behind them. It seems the only thing they have going for them is potential (based on their looks and movement) and lineage.

          In this day and age where there is a GLUT of horses, and warmbloods ship to slaughter as easily as TBs, it seems to me the better breeder would put some mileage on a mare before breeding her so that if she doesn't produce foals as good as herself, she still can have a job somewhere.

          I can understand wanting/needing to get back some of your costs, but frankly IMHO if you need money that badly, breeding ANYTHING is a poor way to get it.
          I'm not sure I am following your logic. How does breeding a well conformed, athletic young mare from high performance lines to see how she produces = Breed ANYTHING for money?

          If a mare does not produce a high quality foal, she has plenty of time to be trained and rehomed for a performance career.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Kryswyn View Post
            On one hand, I understand completely all the reasons for breeding mares at 3 and 4 years old. On the other hand, what have these mares done to prove they are worthy of breeding? Most are barely undersaddle, not yet jumping so they have no performance credit behind them. It seems the only thing they have going for them is potential (based on their looks and movement) and lineage.

            In this day and age where there is a GLUT of horses, and warmbloods ship to slaughter as easily as TBs, it seems to me the better breeder would put some mileage on a mare before breeding her so that if she doesn't produce foals as good as herself, she still can have a job somewhere.

            I can understand wanting/needing to get back some of your costs, but frankly IMHO if you need money that badly, breeding ANYTHING is a poor way to get it.
            While I can understand your perspective, the farm I alluded to is one of the top WB producers in the US. The owners follow a clear and well-regulated business plan, and have managed to maintain financial and competitive success from the early 1980s until now. Their business plan has remained flexible, and they've branched from Trakehners, on to KWPN, and have now successfully added Friesians. Part of their formula includes starting, then breeding, the 3yo mares. Mares that produce well may stay a permanent part of the mare band; however, there are others that go straight to the show ring. But what's important to know about their operation is this: the BEST mares go into and stay in the mare band . . . the second best end up on the show string or for sale. I'm not suggesting that their model is perfect or would / should work for everyone, but it's worked for them.
            Piaffe Girl -- Dressage. Fashionably.
            http://piaffegirl.wordpress.com/
            https://www.facebook.com/PiaffeGirl

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