I've been reading through some of these threads and notice that a few members are 100 percent against breeding. That's okay, but if you're going to come on here and yell at me for considering it, then you're not going to do anything but waste your breath (or perhaps bring yourself one step closer to carpel tunnel).
We have a mare named Jericho. She is a fifteen year old AQHA red roan mare. My mom brought up the idea of breeding her last week, but I never really considered it until yesterday or so.
Some info about her: she was used as a speed horse (barrels, poles, flags, etc) for about six years until my cousins decided they wanted to ride so we let them learn on her. So, she's been a beginner-husband safe horse for the past year or so. She's been bred before, but only once. Her foal is six and started his rodeo career two years ago. I've only seen him a couple of times, but from what I saw he is a very solid, nice running horse.
Now that I've been thinking about it, she is a very nice horse. My only concern with breeding her is finding a stallion that can compliment her conformation faults. She's not perfect, but she's not odd or off the wall either.
I've included some pictures of her so you can get a general idea of what she looks like. I'm sorry that I don't have any conformation pics.
What I am wondering is if it is worth it? If you're wondering, the foal would stay with me. I have worked with a couple of foals before, but I was thinking that I should include my trainer in the process as I've never worked and "trained" one from day one. I know my trainer has. As far as uses, I'd like to put the foal in the arena doing speed events, but in the occurrence that the foal doesn't turn out like I'd expected or isn't into running, I could always use another trail horse.
Wow, what a nice stocky horse!! It's a concern she wasn't bred in her early years, it might lead to problems with a future foal. She had a foal at 9, according to my math, and might be okay since she's not a total maiden at 15. If you have the funds, time, trainer's experience, and incentive, go ahead and breed her. Some might try to talk you out of it, but all I'm going to say is, find a stallion that's good and quality and will complement her to the best of your ability.
I'm not someone who is 100% against breeding, but I'll still voice my concerns. I've said about it so I am not just blindly complaining, but of course you can choose to read or not.
These days it is often cheaper to purchase a foal/yearling than it is to breed your own. There seem to be a wide range of young horses around and unless there is a very specific reason why you are breeding your mare (excellent competitions record, excellent breeding) then I'd be hesitant to breed any horse.
Not to mention that in a year you might not be in the position to care for a foal, or want a foal. Besides, by the time she gives birth, foal grows etc you can't really do anything with it for four years. Who knows what you will be doing then?
I don't know how old you are, and I am going to make a generalisation, but I tend to think that if someone does want to breed they should until they have a very stable job or their own property, and have done the whole travel/family thing. Because things happen, they change, and a foal is a very long term project. I don't know how old you are, but I am 20 and I can guess what I will be doing in a year, vaguely, but in four? There are so many variables, so many things to happen. I wouldn't breed a horse because I know that as a young person, my life is too unpredictable for multiple year responsibilities.
Your mare looks like a good mare, and she is nice, and I do like her, but I'm still not sure if breeding is the best idea.
After it all you are highly unlikely to make money, are you sure you wouldn't prefer purchasing a cheaper young horse now and working with it?
My problem with people coming and asking the 'i wanna breed my mare for a cute foal' has nothing to do with finding a long term home for the foal. In Australia, we don't have the problem of huge amounts of unwanted horses (possibly related to the fact that we have open slaughter houses but that's another debate lol).
My problem is this. If you haven't got the basic knowledge to know if your mare is breeding quality or not, then you don't have the basic knowledge to breed her. Having said that, I am not implying that you don't, just pointing out why I have issues with it.
As for your mare, she looks pretty good. She is a good using horse, which is important. Some better photos would help. From the photos all we can really tell is that she is sound to ride, and quiet enough to be ridden by kids. While she can influence the foal's personality, I am of the belief that temperament is almost 100% nurture, NOT nature. So breeding a mare just because she is calm and good with kids is not a reason to me.
Personally I am with Saskia. There are thousands of cheap youngstock around in the US that you can pick up easily. Most would cost less than the stud fee of a good stallion. Hell, most broke horses would cost less than that.
How old are you? Because unless you're an adult with your own house and a stable job, there is no POSSIBLE way for you to ensure you have the next 4 years to waste waiting for a rideable horse. Why would you want to? Is this mare THAT special that you want to throw away 4 years of resources, time and energy waiting for it to grow up into something you may never use?
The sentiment is sweet, but this argument drives me BATTY. Nobody, anywhere, can ever say they will definitively keep the foal. So that's a completely moot argument. Breed for bloodlines, breed for performance, breed for SOMETHING other then "awww, a baby!"
There is MAYBE one person on this ENTIRE forum who is 100% against breeding. The other 99.9% of us are deadset against backyard breeding for absolutely no purpose whatsoever.
Don't ask questions you don't like the answers to. This mare will not produce anything you can't pick up for $25 in a killpen right now.
I think folks should re-read the OPs post before submitting personal attacks. The OP stated that her mother brought up the idea of breeding the mare which means her mother is more than likely planning to fund this little venture. The OP has also stated that she has some experience working with foals but plans to utilize the expertise of her training in bringing this foal up. She has also stated that she plans to keep the foal. She never said anything about "Awww cute baby". What she did say were things like "but I never really considered it until yesterday or so" and then she asked a very important question, which is "What I am wondering is if it is worth it? ".
Please remember the conscientious ettiquette policy when posting replies.
You asked for opinions by making the thread (although seem hesitant to accept them?) so here's my two cents.
You have a lovely mare with a great life. Why risk her health and life breeding her just because you can? There are plenty of good babies that you can find if you want to raise a foal.
Instead of trying to find reasons "not" to -- come up with some good reasons "to" do it as opposed to buying a baby. There are plenty of nice foals from nice, athletic mothers -- no need to spend the money and take the risks breeding your horse imo -- especially when it's mainly for sentimental value over having exceptional breeding stock.
Why would a potential horse from your mare be superior to a baby you could purchase (and for cheap, in this market) and get exactly what you want (color, gender, healthily arrived into the world) without risking your mare.
If you are thinking about breeding to raise and eventually sell a foal, or if you want a foal to raise to keep, but feel like breeding would save you money over buying a prospect, there are some important things to consider and check into.
Check around in your area to see what a comparable foal would sell for/could be bought for. For example, the actual selling prices of foals by the stallion(s) you are thinking of breeding to, out of mares with the same type of achievements and bloodlines and looks/size/type as your mare.
Check with the appropriate breed associations to see what it would cost to register your foal once it is born.
Add up stud fees, mare care costs while being bred, transport costs, registration fees, what is costs you to feed a pregnant/nursing mare for 16 months (additional feed and supplements for pregancy plus the amount of time the foal will be nursing) and feed for the foal for 5 months....add in pregnancy-related vet care (including fertility/uternine checks pre-breeding, vaccinations, ultrasounds, palpation, Rhino shots, newborn foal exam, IGg test, foal vaccinations, foal feet trimming, etc.).
Once you have a total for what breeding/pregnancy/foaling/foal care would cost, from the day you book your mare to the day you wean the foal, see if the amount you will be spending is more or less than the realistic price you could expect to get for a weanling/pay for a weanling in your area.
Things that could really screw up potentially breaking even or making any profit would be; difficulty getting a mare pregnant, complications of pregnacy/birth, injuries to mare or foal, having a foal born with crooked legs or anything else that needs ongoing veterinary care, ending up with any condition which is NOT fixable and which would affect the value of the foal, etc. Also there is the potential of the death of either a mare, foal, or both-- not common, but possible.
If you have a truly good chance of selling a foal for more than it costs to produce it from start to finish, then taking a risk on breeding might be worth it. But often, even with some very nice horses, it is not likely to be able to produce a foal for what it actually ends up being worth in this economy.
If you want a foal to raise, you might find out that you could buy a good comparable foal for less than the costs for breeding and raising your own.
With nice 'pleasure riding' type horses, it is usually easier to break even or profit by buying a young prospect for cheap, putting some time into it, and re-selling it for more, if you are capable of that type of training and have a decent facility and reputation which will attract buyers.
All of that said, if you have looked at all the costs and risks, evaluated your mare for quality and broodmare potential, and you come to the conclusion that you really want a foal from YOUR mare, my best advice is to go with the highest quality, most complimentary stallion you can afford, who is owned by a communicative, professional, responsible stallion owner. Look at several stallions. More importantly, look at their offspring, especailly as adults-- almost all foals are appealing, but they need to grow up into good adults. Talk to experts in your breed/discipline. Take your time deciding. You have several months. Make sure you are prepared for pregancny and housing a new and growing foal. Ask questions. Get help.