Breeding a 3 year old mare? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 68 Old 02-12-2012, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Piaffe View Post
Also..since we are on the subject...I have heard breeding horses young can cause "long term" or even "permanent" damage to the mare (back problems,weight problems,bad hips,hard to train,etc,etc.) has anyone actually had this experience? Has anyone ever had a damaged horse because they were bred too young? If so what was the damage? Did the horse ever recover? Again...just curious...

I'm not sure about the permanent damage and what that could be. The only thing I can think of you could blame solely on breeding would be something uterus-related. If a mare was to go lame or hurt her back, etc, after she's had a brood mare and riding career, you wouldn't really know for sure what caused it unless the consequences were immediate.

Also, IMO, a mare who came back with a bad attitude didn't have a very leaderlike owner and is more likely to have gotten away with bad behavior in the past.

Last edited by trainerunlimited; 02-12-2012 at 04:03 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #22 of 68 Old 02-12-2012, 04:03 PM
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I haven't personally bred a horse that young but I have seen and been around horses that were..They can have long term back problems with their muscles and spine, joint problems, I've seen some not be able to be ridden because the problems have taken such a big toll on their body, the mare won't get much nutrients because it's all going to the foal so she can have stunted growth..all around be not as healthy as she should be.

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post #23 of 68 Old 02-12-2012, 04:11 PM
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I completely agree with you there, but my mare went along just fine after having her foal, whom I bought back and have again, and is now a show horse for a little 8 y/o girl.

The mares mentality sure plays a huge part. The filly out of my western pleasure mare and a crappy stud is a 5 year old and still acts like a big baby. I doubt she'd make a good mother at all, ever.
I know she did. Other's probably have, too. But it could have went the other way just as quickly.
Green leople just shouldn't breed.

There is just so much more then letting a stallion cover a mare. What about conformation? Do you know how.to judge the faults on your horse and to find a mate to compliment so you're not running the risk of producing a foal with a long back or is pigeon toed?
Pedigree? Do you know what lineage would be a good outcross to get the qualities in your foal for your chosen disicpline?
What about genetic diseases? Quarter Horses, Paints, and Arabians are probably in the top five of popular horses and carry the most deadly genetic diseases. HYPP, CA, LFS, SCID, HERDA.... If you're producing horses with bloodlines that carry those and you're not testing, you run the risk of wasting a foaling year and a foal's life.
Sort of off topic, but breeding is BIG. There's alot of people out there producing who just shouldn't and it bugs me... Lol

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post #24 of 68 Old 02-12-2012, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piaffe View Post
Also..since we are on the subject...I have heard breeding horses young can cause "long term" or even "permanent" damage to the mare (back problems,weight problems,bad hips,hard to train,etc,etc.) has anyone actually had this experience? Has anyone ever had a damaged horse because they were bred too young? If so what was the damage? Did the horse ever recover? Again...just curious...

My sister ended up with a yearling filly that was kept in with two year old colts. The pressure on her from being mounted damaged her spine and pinched her nerves. We thought she was savable but it got worse with age until she started losing motor functions in her hind end and we euthanised her.

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post #25 of 68 Old 02-12-2012, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by WSArabians View Post
I know she did. Other's probably have, too. But it could have went the other way just as quickly.
Green leople just shouldn't breed.

There is just so much more then letting a stallion cover a mare. What about conformation? Do you know how.to judge the faults on your horse and to find a mate to compliment so you're not running the risk of producing a foal with a long back or is pigeon toed?
Pedigree? Do you know what lineage would be a good outcross to get the qualities in your foal for your chosen disicpline?
What about genetic diseases? Quarter Horses, Paints, and Arabians are probably in the top five of popular horses and carry the most deadly genetic diseases. HYPP, CA, LFS, SCID, HERDA.... If you're producing horses with bloodlines that carry those and you're not testing, you run the risk of wasting a foaling year and a foal's life.
Sort of off topic, but breeding is BIG. There's alot of people out there producing who just shouldn't and it bugs me... Lol
I agree with you on the testing part. I was stalking another forum thread a couple years ago. They had what they thought was a cremello filly born, it was a very light cream color and died shortly after birth within a day or two. Ended up being the LWO, both sire and dam carried the gene.
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post #26 of 68 Old 02-12-2012, 04:30 PM
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The likelihood of those foals going onto top showing farms is actually very slim compared to the amount of those foals going to slaughter or just trail riding homes.

On a side note, when I was 15, I tried breeding my 4-1/2 year old mare through AI. She had a complete vet exam with XRays by my vet and vet gave a thumbs up. She didn't take and I decided not to try a re-breed. I am very happy that I did because the training that I put on my mare in the next couple of years and exhibiting her at shows really went a long way for her career. She is a money winner and is going to be bred in April/May of this year for the first time. She is now 11. Well worth the wait.

My step-aunt was a horrible breeder. She had fillies running with her stallion, barely any were able to be handled and they weren't cared for properly feed-wise as well. They never had show careers, it was all about quantity, not quality. Many of her young horses suffered from having babies too early in life. The foals also suffered and she usually lost 2 a year. Every year. Thank God I don't have to ever deal with her and her animals again!
What's wrong with a horse going to trail riding home??
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post #27 of 68 Old 02-12-2012, 04:32 PM
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I guess I'm the odd man out. I bred horses for many years, and have bred lots of 3 year olds for foaling at age 4 - never a problem, never a bad back, never a nutrition problem - no problems or issues at all. From my experience, and those of other long time breeders I know and have known, I would dispute these claims as groundless and based upon speculation rather than experience. A foal, and the accompanying afterbirth and fluids as foaling approaches is around 150 pounds - more for large horses of course, well distributed without pressure points as the mare is designed to carry the foal...nothing like carrying 150 pounds on her back, and most people don't think anything of backing a horse at 4 with 150 pounds of rider and tack. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of horses are backed at 3 or 3 1/2 without issues. I don't condone backing 2 year olds, but I always backed mine in the fall when they were 3 1/2 and never encountered any issue at all. All my horses are fully sound, and when I was breeding, all my broodmares were fully sound, and the health of my horses is always my highest priority.

I am well aware of the growth plate issue, and yes, there is some merit to it, but basic logic should tell you mares would not be fully fertile at 2 if their bodies were not ready to handle a pregnancy. I wouldn't breed a 2 year old, but I strongly dispute claims that breeding a 3 year old mare is harmful.

There is certainly nothing wrong with waiting till they are older, but 3 is the recommended minimum age. Here is one reference from the Univeristy of Missouri Extension, which is associated the Univerity's vet school, but there are lots of references out there. I'm sure you can find references to the contrary, but the consensus is it is perfectly OK to breed 3 year olds...
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post #28 of 68 Old 02-12-2012, 04:44 PM
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Mana's dam, Deja, was bred at 2 and had a foal every year after that until her 9 year old year when I bought her. She didn't seem as though she had any physical damage from it, but it is possible that something will show up as she ages. Poor girl never got to be a baby, herself. :(

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post #29 of 68 Old 02-12-2012, 04:45 PM
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I think you have a point, Faceman. I've seen lot's of three year olds get bred and fo out at four.. Mine all seem to be growing slow mentally right now lol

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post #30 of 68 Old 02-12-2012, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Faceman View Post
I guess I'm the odd man out. I bred horses for many years, and have bred lots of 3 year olds for foaling at age 4 - never a problem, never a bad back, never a nutrition problem - no problems or issues at all. From my experience, and those of other long time breeders I know and have known, I would dispute these claims as groundless and based upon speculation rather than experience.

I guess this is the main thing I was getting at/wondering. I have always heard the speculations..this will happen or that will happen. But I have never actually known anyone that has bred horses at 3 that has had anything bad happen. Other than things that could happen to a mare of any age. I personally am neither for nor against breeding a horse at 3. Just because I decided probably not to this year doesn't mean I think it would be horrible. Horses in the wild are certainly bred younger (and..please no rants on this..I KNOW domestic horses and wild horses aren't comparable...I'm just saying..their bodies are/seem to be capable of handling it even in potentially terrible conditions.) Most vets that I have encountered also say 3 or older. Again...mostly opinions...which I was I was looking for solid proof/personal experiences that breeding young mares can do more damage to a mare than breeding any other age (older) mare...
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