Breeding question - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-08-2009, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Breeding question

I'm getting an 18 year old mare in the spring. When I was talking to the people that own her now, they were saying that she has never had a foal and even if I tried to breed her (which I am NOT going to do!) she would not catch. Now I have no intentions of breeding her, but since at times there are other horses in the field I'll be renting for her, I was worried about possibly a stallion being brought. There have been stallions in the field before.

If one is brought, I will move her from that field and find somewhere else till the stallion is gone - there is no way I am taking the chance of her being bred!

But that really got me thinking. Have you heard of 18 year old maidens having foals or is it true they just will not catch?
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-09-2009, 12:00 AM
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I believe that it really depends on the mare. As they age, maidens (well, hell, all mares) are less likely to catch and may have a difficult pregnancy but to say that she CANNOT catch would be a gross mis-statement. The one sure way to know if she is still fertile and capable of being bred or not is to have the vet check her. I am not sure if horses have menopause (sp?) or not but I bet a vet could tell you.

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post #3 of 9 Old 11-09-2009, 08:19 AM
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they didnt give you a reson of why? how do they know she wont catch?

anyway, the only thing im going to add here is that if the mare ever had a marble put in (i have a mare who has one) she will not catch unless the marble is removed. so if anyone ever had one put in, that would explain why she wont catch.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-09-2009, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies! They just said that with their experience, if a mare has never had a foal before they usually will never catch at 18 or over. I'm not really positive though so I think I'll take every precaution necessary so she isn't with a stud at all!
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-09-2009, 06:25 PM
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Totally depends on the mare. I personally know of 2 retired show mares who were bred and successfully had their first foals as 18 and 19 year old maidens. There is no "magic cutoff" age.

Mares don't have menopause like women do. In some cases it does become harder to get older mares bred and settled-- the cervix can become compromised, meaning it won't "seal" effectively so the mare can't carry past a certain point-- scar tissue in the uterus can be formed after multiple pregancies and foaling making it difficult for the uterus to support a growing fetus--some mares start having hormone problems that prevent them from carrying--mares can lose tone and their reproductive structures can "sag" making urine/feces/air able to enter the reproductive tract, making infections more common and harder to get rid of-- but all of the above "problem mares" are usually still ovulating.

There are occasionally older mares who simply "shut down" reproductively, but that is not the usual rule.

Laura Lyon
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-09-2009, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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That is really interesting to know - thanks so much for explaining that!
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-09-2009, 11:06 PM
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Slightly off topic but why would you have to move your mare so someone can put a stallion in the field? As a stallion owner the other person needs to make sure his horse isn't causing problems. Many stallions won't tollerate geldings and will run them through fences and generaly cause havoc.

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post #8 of 9 Old 11-09-2009, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I know it would be that way normally but the field is usually rented by someone who sometimes will bring stallions. She is the only one who rents the field. But the owner has said that if I get a horse I can keep it there (probably for very small rent) so I really can't make too many demands as I am fortunate to be able to keep her there. I also know the person who owns the horses and I will talk to her and ask her to let me know if she plans on bringing a stallion so I can make other arrangements until the stud is gone.
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-11-2009, 09:35 AM
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I have a mare that is 16 she was bred yesterday to our stallion. I personally owned a mare that was 7 and had her first foal. She did fine she rejected the foal though because she didn't understand what else to do next. When she has this foal she will be 17 years old. That is probably going to be her last foal as it will be her 14th foal.
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