Well I have really lucked out and one of my friends is free leasing me a regional champion Arabian Mare that has been shown English and is Homozygous for Black. She has triple Bask and comes from a long line of champions, but I would have to see her papers to know who her sire and dam are. I am planning on breeding her to Beau Bey, the leading juvenile sire of halter and performance Arabians. I was wondering the best way to condition a Mare for breeding. She's underweight and needs muscle, and I really want to make sure that her condition is the best it can be before she gets pregnant. Also, having never bred a horse, what is the best books to get and pre-natal vitamens to get? Is there any type of insurance to purchase, or any things I should know before booking the stud? Any help would be great!
Is your friend aware you plan on breeding her mare? Are you planning on keeping the foal? How long is she leasing the mare to you for? With a stud fee that high and all the care $$ involved (mare getting her weight back, and mare in foal), I would make sure to get a contract in writing making clear the details of your lease - including who is to own the foal...I might even get something like that notarized.
He is quite a spectacular stallion!
As for her condition, you definitely want to get her to her best weight (not under weight and not over weight). I would make sure she is in good working/riding condition - with well toned muscles that are able to support her body through carrying the extra weight of the foal. If you get her whole body in good working condition, and then maintain a light level of condition through her pregnancy, she will hopefully come through it well :)
A good book to read is:
The complete book of Foaling...by Karen E.N. Hayes, DVM, MS
The internet is also a good source, as long as you verify that the information is credible (who is the author of the site? Does the information conflict with everything else you are seeing out there? Etc.)
Before booking the stud, be sure to carefully look over the breeding contract (hopefully with someone experienced with them), and understand what everything means. Also, be sure to get the okay from a vet for breeding (age, health, etc.). The vet should be able to do a breeding "soundness" type exam for her.
To build her muscle up, if she has not been ridden much, be sure to work her up gradually. In the beginning you might spend just 10 or 15 minutes a day with her on the lunge line at the walk and trot. You can slowly build up that time and add in canter. If you want to ride her as well...just remember to also take that slowly, starting just at a walk on trail or in arena, then add in short amounts of trot, then canter (just increase time and activity gradually). You can keep her work interesting with trails, patterns, ground poles, etc. Make sure she has sufficient weight before working her much.
Well, I am going to try and purchase the Mare from my friend. She hasn't exactly been well taken care of and their family has no money so she has kinda fallen by the wayside. They want to lease her to me so they don't have to sell her, and the lease would be for as long as I wanted to.. I mean they just want her taken care of, they know that the only reason I want to lease her is to breed her. I would definitely have a very strong contract written up, as well as keep all documentation showing that I paid for the care, the stud fee, and care of the colt as well as register it in my name as soon as it was born. I do think that I should just buy the mare; it would make my life a lot easier. I want to offer her 1500, which I think is generous for a Mare that is about 100 pounds underweight and with no muscle mass what-so-ever. I mean she was a show horse horse and is well trained, but right now she shouldn't even be ridden, plus she's 18 years old. I don't know, they expect someone to come around and pay 3,000 for her... I think that's way too much though, no matter how great her blood lines are. I'll take a picture and post it and you guys can tell me how much you think I should pay.
I would definitely get a vet out to do a soundness exam on her, being that she's 18. Mares can be too old to breed at that age without some sort of concern, especially to breed and expect a very smooth and easy ride, as far as foaling goes. I
F the mare is 100 pounds overweight, and has no muscle mass, you're looking at a few months' (at least) feeding and conditioning to get her back to peak preformance. Then you want to look at the breeding timeline, I.e. Heat cycles and gestation for when the foal is going to be born. If the mare isn't breeding sound until the fall, it's too late to breed her as far as cycles go.. and you don't want to foal being born in the middle of winter.
As AKPaintLover said, you have to think of all the costs involved in breeding a mare - vet costs for: initial exam, then AI (if it's not live cover) fees, then preg checks, then if there are complications, delivery costs. On top of that, there's the stud fee, mare care (if it's live cover), and boarding costs. And you're not guaranteed to get exactly what you want.
I would strongly recommend that you make sure this stallion has a live foal guarantee.
There is no guarantee that this pairing is going to produce the foal of your dreams - it could turn out exactly like you were hoping, but it could also produce a conformationally incorrect foal. You can talk a horse insurance provider in your state/province, but they won't provide insurance for an unborn foal, as there is too much chance. However, they might cover the mare for possible complications - all you can do is call them and talk to them.
I'm just warning you because I got suckered into the whole "foal fantasy," and blew $3000 for nothing - the mare didn't catch, and due to unforseen circumstances with the stallion, I couldn't re-breed her. This mare was 13 at the time as well, in the prime of her breeding health.
On the other hand, the stallion is gorgeous, and a great bet for producing a good foal.
Can you post pictures of the mare?
Would this be the mare's first foal? (Then I would really step back and talk to your vet about the feasability of having a healthy mare and foal.)
Ps. I'm not trying to sound harsh at all!! I would love to own a foal, and plan on buying one (already on the ground) in the future, and will hopefully have my own breeding program when I'm "all growed up" and can properly affoard it. I'm just warning you because I got burned - bad - when I tried to do it a couple years back.
Well this is the mare, not exactly in the greatest shape as you can see through the picture. I am not really concerned with breeding her this year, I am more concerned with her reaching good condition again. She has had at least 5 foals, so I know she can be breed. I just need to get her in shape and I think she will bounce back by July. I still think that paying them 1,500 is generous, but they want some great amount of money for her. I wish you guys could have seen her a few years ago, she was amazingly beautiful and she has such a sweet disposition. The guy who had her didn't feed her, so this is what she looks like now.
Well, she's a true black!
She looks like she would have been a gorgeous girl in her day.. I would definitely get your vet to do a breeding soundness exam, along with a general overall health checkup. She looks quite swaybacked, which might make pregnancy painful for her, so I'd ask the vet about that.
I'd say that with the present condition she's in $1500 is quite generous. Horse prices are very very low right now... at some auctions in my area you can pick up a well-broke, sound, young horse for $500.
Yes, she has showing experience and a good pedigree, but she has limited foaling years left, and even fewer years of foaling years that I wouldn't be concerned for the her safety in. Not to mention that she needs a lot of TLC just to get her back in good shape to bear a foal.
Like I said, she looks like she was a great mare in her prime, and I have no doubt that she would have been worth a pretty penny when she was younger. Also, I'm pretty sure she'd produce a gorgeous foal with the stallion you picked out. I just personally would not pay over $1000 for her.
Just out of curiosity, how much are they wanting for her?
They never specified exactly what they would want, but they said they would take 3,000 for her... which is crap, but now they want to use her for an endurance race in May so I'm just going to sell or ET one of my geldings, get a decent broodmare that I know can produce black and breed that way.
My friend covered a maiden 18yo Arabian mare two years ago with her stallion. It was a nightmare. I donít want to scare you, but in order for the stallion to breed her, we had to lubricate her beforehand. She ended up losing the baby, which was a good thing as a delivery for her at her age would have probably killer her and the bay (per the vet). The mareís owners never talked with a vet beforehand. I strongly recommend having a vet look at her and perform a breeding soundness exam. Do you plan to live cover or AI?
You may also want to think about having a vet do an embryo transfer on her. You can pick up a cheap young mare to be the recipient. Granted the costs do start to add up doing this, but it may prove safer for your mare in the long run.