Breeding the Old Maiden Mare
Originally Posted by county
anebel could you post some research to back up your claims? I've found no problems with breeding maiden mares at 10 years of age and have read no research that indicates in any way a higher rate of problems then any other age. I've bred 100's of mares and worked with many reproduction vets and not 1 feels theres a higher incident of problems with older or maiden mares foaling.
Or just google it yourself. There are a lot of problems including entrometritis, nutrition getting to the foal and the mare, keeping weight on the mare, caring for the mare's legs/joints, the mare being strong enough to make it through foaling, rejection, milk production, etc. In an older mare that has been bred before 10, these are not normally problems because the mare has already been through it all, younger, healthier and stronger. Also, if there are any complications the breeder will already know because she has been bred before and they know what to watch for in the mare and avoid going through the same things with an older mare. Also with a mare of this age (19/10) there is no indication whether or not her legs and conformation will hold up to pregnancy or birth.
I am not in the business of breeding, but I have attempted to breed a mare before (with the aid of one of the region's top vets) and am good friends with a very prominent breeder in the area. Breeding a good horse is not as easy as many people think, especially when you have one mare, and want one foal that is as close to perfect as possible. When running a large operation, if you breed 40 mares a year, you only expect 20 to be of good quality. If you are running a smaller operation or breeding only one mare, you have to increase those odds dramatically or else you are losing a lot of money very quickly. I am not disagreeing with you, only arguing that there is a large difference in running a breeding operation, and breeding one mare, once, for the first time.